A Brief Discussion on Desktop and Laptop Computers
A computer is an electronic machine which is programmed to perform certain mathematical or logical operations automatically, by the use of instructions. Modern computers are able to do extensive sets of common operations such as scheduling and controlling operations, storing data and controlling programs. Computers are used in every area of human activity from education and training to manufacturing and managing business. The computer helps in completing work at a faster rate and in increasing the speed of decision making. Computers are increasingly used in manufacturing plants to control the production process.
Desktop computers are small computers, which can be carried around in the user’s pocket. Desktop computers are categorized into microcomputers and mainframe computers. The word ‘micro’ refers to the operating system and hardware load; the word ‘mainframe’ refers to the software and hardware architecture. The desktop computer is the most popularly used computer, which is usually installed on the central processing unit or CPU of the desktop computer system. Other input devices, such as mouse, keyboard and monitor, are also used for inputting and receiving information.
Digital and analog computers are both used for input and output purposes. Digital computers can either be input and output (I/O) devices or can be input only. An I/O computer uses special hardware to manipulate information and send them to an output device. On the other hand, an analog computer is either input or output (O/O) device. It has its own internal memory that stores information that is used for its operation. An analog computer is different from a digital computer, because it can only execute one instruction at a time, unlike the digital computer, which can execute many Instructions at a time.
Both types of computers have built-in components to store and retrieve information. However, there are differences in their operating systems. Digital computers use a software program for input and output devices. On the other hand, an analog computer operates by accessing stored instructions stored in hardware.
There are many different types of input and output devices available for desktop computers. These input and output devices include printer, fax, scanner, camera, video camera, pointing devices, telephone, personal digital assistant (PDA), data recorder, audio tape, voice recorder, radio, television, computer keyboard, mouse, touch screen, gaming devices and wireless cards. Graphics card is an external device that is attached to the PC to provide graphics output to the PC. A graphics card usually plugs into a PCI slot on the motherboard of desktop computers.
Laptops are smaller than desktops. Unlike desktops, laptops do not have built-in input devices or output devices. Laptop computers are equipped with built-in batteries. Some laptop computers have special keys to help users enter text. Since some laptops come with built-in printers, all input and output devices are installed within the body of the laptop.