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Absolute Beginner's Guide to Programming, Second Edition by Greg Perry

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Types of Computers

Computers come in all shapes and sizes, but they fall within four broad categories: supercomputers, mainframes, minicomputers, and microcomputers. Before delving into the hardware specifics, it will be helpful to define what the four types of computers are all about.

Warning

PCs will never be fast enough to replace mainframes completely. As desktop computers become faster and more powerful, larger computers become faster and more powerful, too. The largest computers of today, called supercomputers , are four times as fast as the supercomputers of two years ago.

Most computers today are designed to be multiuser computers. Even though a computer can perform only one instruction at a time, it does it so fast that more than one ...

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