A computer is a device or machine that gets information and uses the input it receives to store and manipulate data. It is also a programmable piece of equipment that can format information and provide it to anyone, in a useful and easy-to-understand configuration, for many people to use.

The first computers were developed in the 1940’s and were huge in size. These computers could fit in a room and consumed a lot of power. They took up a lot of space and did not contain an “integrated circuit” or “IC”, like computers nowadays. An integrated circuit is a small chip and very small in size, but contains a lot of information and is placed on a circuit board and into computer hardware and electronic equipment, including cameras, camcorders, TV’s and the like, so as to make them function.

There are several types of computers, as well as a number of brands and manufacturers we will look at below and explain the differences, advantages, types of usage and also how they function.

The Different Types of Computers

1) The PC

A PC is a Personal Computer that is constructed and designed is such a way that a single individual can use it at home, in an office or on-the-go. The biggest advantage of a PC is that it is lightweight and portable.
PC’s were first called micro-processors, since they were small and complete, and not large and bulky like the systems in use at the time that were for tabletop use only.
A Mac manufactured by Apple Computers is also a type of PC (Personal Computer) and there are desktop Mac versions available.
Other manufacturers of desktop computers and PC’s are also available on the market such as Dell, IBM, and so on.

2) The Desktop Computer
This type of computer is not designed to be portable and is usually placed on a desk or table; in a location that is permanent, usually, since it is assumed it will not be moved around much. The desktop computer also has a separate or external hard drive, is powerful, has more storage space, and is very versatile, since you can add many other forms of equipment to them. The Desktop computer also costs less than the portable PC computer since it is not conveniently transportable.

3) The Laptop
This computer is also known as a “notebook” and laptops sit on a lap or table, the keyboard, hard drive, monitor and pointing device or “trackball” are all integrated into the computer laptop. The Laptop works with a rechargeable battery, although it can also be plugged into an electrical outlet, and is usually the size of a large notebook.

4) The PDA
A PDA or Personal Digital Assistant is a hand held computer that is not used as much these days but uses “Flash Memory” for storage verses a hard drive. Flash Memory is a memory chip that can keep and retain the information and data, even after the computer system has been turned off. PDA’s are small is size, and about the dimension of a paperback novel; the battery in a PDA has quite a long life before it has to be recharged.

5) A Workstation
This type of computer is also a Desktop computer which has a powerful processor, larger memory capacity and can perform various tasks such as developing games and graphics in 3D.

6) The Server
The Server is a computer is so large that it can fit in a room. It can provide service for other network computers, is optimized, has large hard drives, and a lot of memory space, as well as a powerful processor.

7) A Mainframe Computer
The size of this type of computer which is one of the first computers invented is as large as a whole floor in a building. It has less power and is not used as much now, although some companies use the term “Mainframe” when referring to giant machines that process many transactions a day.

8) A Minicomputer
These Minicomputers are no longer used today, although they are now known as a mid-size server, and they are something between a PC and a server that is used in a business.

9) The Supercomputer
These types of computers are extremely expensive and have a high performance, since they use multiple computers.

10) Wearable Computers
This is a reference to a computer that comes in clothing, visors, watches, and cell phones and is “e-mail capable”; has multimedia, a database and calendar. Wearable Computers are very trendy today and can go anywhere!