Technologically, there are two main divisions of computer system: the analog devices and the digital ones.
The machines that process analog data are called analog devices. Analog data consists of continuous values. Analog devices are employed to account for scalar quantities, e.g. length, weight and time. Examples of analog apparatuses are thermometers and time clocks and weighing scales employing hands (needle like pointers) to give reading (output).
The systems that process digital data are identified as digital devices. The nature of digital data is unique and distinctive (discrete). Digital values are countable and measurable to varying degrees with discrete figures at each step however minute it is. Unlike analog devices, digital devices don’t show reading output in a continuous form instead they show digital figures in unitary steps. Examples include calculators, digital clocks, electronic computers, etc.
The size / volume of a computer system are key factors in determining the class of a given computer. The possibility of existing in a huge variety of sizes enables computers to be used by different classes of people according to the nature of application being used for a given purpose.
One of the most complicated forms of computers is the supper computer. The designing techniques employed in their fabrication are very advanced and as such their storing capacity and processing speed are very high. These machines need a constant air-conditioned environment suited to their working for optimum performance. One of the examples of supercomputers in action is that of the one employed by the British Meteorological department: the supercomputer here carries out some 100,000,000,000 calculations to produce a reliable weather forecast for the next day.
A supercomputer is generally employed in a situation wherein a user has to deal with complex data. For example, a system that has to deal with the formulation of automobiles’ simulation to account for cars crashing against walls or the one designing aeroplane wings to calculate the air pressure across them. In view of their power of computations, super computers are in particular employed for calculations extending over long distances, e.g. oil exploration. Supers can help Managers working at departmental stores analyze what to buy and where to store it.
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Written By : Azan Ahmed