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Topic for Discussion: Types of Personal computers Identifying the key parts of the Personal Computer Basic Software Components Overview of PC Operations Operating Systems

Types of Personal computers

Work Station
A workstation is a high-end personal computer designed for technical or scientific applications. Intended primarily to be used by one person at a time, they are commonly connected to a local area network and run multi-user operating systems. Workstations are used for tasks such as computer-aided design, drafting and modeling, computation-intensive scientific and engineering calculations, image processing, architectural modeling, and computer graphics for animation [23] and motion picture visual effects.

Desktop computer
Prior to the wide spread of PCs a computer that could fit on a desk was considered remarkably small. Today the phrase usually indicates a particular style of computer case. Desktop computers come in a variety of styles ranging from large vertical tower cases to small form factormodels that can be tucked behind an LCD monitor. In this sense, the term 'desktop' refers specifically to a horizontally oriented case, usually intended to have the display screen placed on top to save space on the desk top. Most modern desktop computers have separate screens and keyboards.

Single unit
Further information: All-in-one computer Single unit PCs (also known as all-in-one PCs) are a subtype of desktop computers, which combine the monitor and case of the computer within a single unit. The monitor often utilizes a touchscreen as an optional method of user input, however detached keyboards and mice are normally still included. The inner components of the PC are often located directly behind the monitor, and many are built similarly to laptops.

Main article: Nettop A subtype of desktops, called nettops, was introduced by Intel in February 2008 to describe low-cost, lean-function, desktop computers. A similar subtype of laptops (or notebooks) are the netbooks (see below). These feature the new Intel Atom processor which specially enables them to consume less power and to be built into small enclosures. A nettop is a very small form factor, inexpensive, low-power desktop computer designed for basic tasks such as surfing the Internet, accessing web-based applications, document processing, audio/video playback and home automation.
[1][2][3] [4]

The word nettop is a portmanteau of Internet and desktop.

Main article: Laptop A laptop computer or simply laptop, also called a notebook computer, is a small personal computer designed for portability. Usually all of the interface hardware needed to operate the laptop, such as USB ports (previously parallel and serial ports), graphics card, sound channel, etc., are built in to a single unit. Laptops contain high capacity batteries that can power the device for extensive periods of time, enhancing portability. Once the battery charge is depleted, it will have to be recharged through a power outlet. In the interest of saving power, weight and space, they usually share RAM with the video channel, slowing their performance compared to an equivalent desktop machine. One main drawback of the laptop is sometimes, due to the size and configuration of components, relatively little can be done to upgrade the overall computer from its original design. Internal upgrades are either not manufacturer recommended, can damage the laptop if done with poor care or knowledge, or in some cases impossible, making the desktop PC more modular. Some internal upgrades, such as memory and hard disks upgrades are often easy, a display or keyboard upgrade is usually impossible. The laptop has the same access as the desktop to the wide variety of devices, such as external displays, mice, cameras, storage devices and keyboards, which may be attached externally through USB ports and other less common ports such as external video.

Desktop replacement
A desktop replacement computer (DTR) is a personal computer that provides the full capabilities of a desktop computer while remaining mobile. They are often larger, bulkier laptops. Because of their increased size, this class of computer usually includes more powerful components and a larger display than generally used in smaller portable computers and can have a relatively limited battery capacity (or none at all). Some use a limited range of desktop components to provide better performance at the expense of battery life. These are sometimes called desknotes, a portmanteau of the words "desktop" and "notebook," though the term is also applied to desktop replacement computers in general.


Netbooks (also called mini notebooks or subnotebooks) are a rapidly evolving


category of small, light and


inexpensive laptop computers suited for general computing and accessing web-based applications; they are often marketed as "companion devices," that is, to augment a user's other computer access. "relatively new category of small, light, minimalist and cheap laptops." more than smaller, cheaper notebooks."
[25] [26]

Walt Mossberg called them a

By August 2009, CNET called netbooks "nothing

At their inception in late 2007 as smaller notebooks optimized for low weight and low cost


netbooks omitted key

[28] [29]

features (e.g., the optical drive), featured smaller screens and keyboards, and offered reduced specification and computing power. Over the course of their evolution, netbooks have ranged in size from below 5 in from ~1 kg (2-3 pounds). Often significantly less expensive than other laptops,
[30] [31]

to over 13 in,


by mid-2009, netbooks had been offered

to users "free of charge", with an extended service contract purchase of a cellular data plan.

In the short period since their appearance, netbooks have grown in size and features, now converging with new smaller, lighter notebooks. By mid 2009, CNET noted "the specs are so similar that the average shopper would likely be confused as to why one is better than the other," noting "the only conclusion is that there really is no distinction between the devices."

Tablet PC
A tablet PC is a notebook or slate-shaped mobile computer. Its touchscreen or graphics tablet/screen hybrid technology allows the user to operate the computer with a stylus or digital pen, or a fingertip, instead of a keyboard or mouse. The form factor offers a more mobile way to interact with a computer. Tablet PCs are often used where normal notebooks are impractical or unwieldy, or do not provide the needed functionality.

Ultra-mobile PC
The ultra-mobile PC (UMPC) is a specification for a small form factor of tablet PCs. It was developed as a joint development exercise by Microsoft, Intel, and Samsung, among others. Current UMPCs typically feature the Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Linux operating system and low-voltage Intel Atom or VIA C7-M processors.

Ultra-low-cost personal computer

Main article: ultra-low-cost personal computer An ultra-low-cost personal computer (ULCPC) is an inexpensive personal computer such as a netbook or a nettop. It is most often used b yMicrosoft to define a class of computers which are eligible for special licensing and discounts. For example, the availability of Windows XP has been extended
[32][33] [34]

and discounts are offered

for ULCPCs. Microsoft have

recently been relaxing he definition to include larger displays (up to 14.1") and touchscreens.


Home theater PC
A home theater PC (HTPC) is a convergence device that combines the functions of a personal computer and a digital video recorder. It is connected to a television or a television-sized computer display and is often used as a digital photo, music, video player, TV receiver and digital video recorder. Home theater PCs are also referred to as media center

systems or media servers. The general goal in a HTPC is usually to combine many or all components of a home theater setup into one box. They can be purchased pre-configured with the required hardware and software needed to add television programming to the PC, or can be cobbled together out of discrete components as is commonly done withMythTV, Windows Media Center, GB-PVR, SageTV, Famulent or LinuxMCE.

Pocket PC
A pocket PC is a hardware specification for a handheld-sized computer (personal digital assistant) that runs the Microsoft Windows Mobileoperating system. It may have the capability to run an alternative operating system like NetBSD or Linux. It has many of the capabilities of modern desktop PCs. Currently there are tens of thousands of applications for handhelds adhering to the Microsoft Pocket PC specification, many of which arefreeware. Some of these devices also include mobile phone features. Microsoft compliant Pocket PCs can also be used with many other add-ons like GPS receivers, barcode readers, RFID readers, and cameras. In 2007, with the release of Windows Mobile 6, Microsoft dropped the name Pocket PC in favor of a new naming scheme. Devices without an integrated phone are called Windows Mobile Classic instead of Pocket PC. Devices with an integrated phone and a touch screen are called Windows Mobile Professional.


Identifying Key Part of Personal Computer

1. Scanner 2. CPU (Microprocessor) 3. Primary storage (RAM) 4. Expansion cards (graphics cards, etc.) 5. Power supply 6. Optical disc drive 7. Secondary storage (Hard disk) 8. Motherboard 9. Speakers 10. Monitor

1. Scanner:

2. CPU: The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is responsible for acting as the 'brain' of the computer. The function of the CPU is to execute programs stored in the main memory by fetching instructions, examining them, and executing them one after the other.

3. Primary storage (RAM)

RAM primary storage area directly controlled by the processor. Together with the Control Unit (CU) and the ALU, RAM is the third component of the processor Often called main memory, main storage, internal storage, or primary storage

4. Expansion slots (PCI, PCI express AGP, etc.)

5. Power supply A power supply unit (PSU) supplies DC power to the other components in a computer.

6. Optical disc drive A CD is a plastic disk with a reflective surface are similar to hard drives: can be IDE or SCSI drives usually rated in terms of how fast they can transfer data most drives transfer 24X (7200k, or 7.2MB) or more

7. Secondary storage (Hard disk) A hard disk drive[2] (HDD) is a non-volatile, random access digital data storage device.

8. Motherboard Motherboard holds the microprocessor, memory, and several card slots A motherboard, also known as mainboard or systemboard

9. Speakers

Overview of PC Operations
A computer collects, processes, stores, and out puts information. Input Devices An input device let s you communicate with a computer. You can use input devices t o enter information and issue commands. A keyboard, mouse and joystick are input devices. Processing The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is t he main chip in a computer. The CPU processes instructions, performs calculations and manages the f low of information through a compute r system. The CPU communicates with input , output, and storage devices t o perform t asks. Storage Devices A storage device holds information. The compute r uses information stored on these devices t o perform t asks. The hard drive, the tape drive, the floppy disk, and the CD-ROM drive are storage devices. Output Devices An output device lets a computer communicate with you. These devices display information on a screen, create printed copies or generate sound. Monitor, printers, and speakers are output devices.

Software Components
Software is a set of electronic instructions that tell a computer what to do. You cannot see or touch soft w are, but you can see and t ouch the packaging the software comes in.

Systems Software Applications Programming Languages

Operating Systems /Systems Software a special type of program that loads automatically when you start your computer. allows you to use the advanced features of a modern computer without having to learn all the details of how the hardware works.
Some examples of operating systems are Windows, Unix ,Linux etc

Functions: The link between the hardware and you, the user Makes the computer easy to use without having to understand bits and bytes!

Applications Software An application program is the type of program that you use once the operating system has been loaded. Examples include word-processing programs, spreadsheets and databases Word Processors, Spreadsheets, Databases, Desktop Publishing, Game Programs, Graphics Programs CAD, Communications, Web Browsers

Programming Languages A programming language or computer language is a standardized communication technique for expressing instructions to a computer. It is a set rules/commands used to define computer programs. A language enables a programmer to precisely specify what data a computer will act upon, how these data will be stored/transmitted, and precisely what actions to take under various circumstances. Example: BASIC C C++ COBOL Java PHP Pascal Visual Basic