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Computers are classified on the basis of work, size and processing speed.

On the basis of work On the basis of work, computers are classified in three categories as:

  • Analog Computer
  • Digital Computer
  • Hybrid Computer

Analog Computer
The Analog computers are special purpose computers that are used to measure continuous physical values like length, temperature, pressure, speed, height, vibration, etc. and convert them into numeric value. Analog computers are used for scientific and engineering purposes. Industries like power plants, petroleum refineries and chemical plants use these computers. Seismograph is an example of analog computer that measures the earthquake. In hospital heartbeat, blood pressure, pulse etc. of a patient is measured by analog computers.

Digital Computer
Digital computers are general purpose computers which that used binary digits to work. They accept discrete data like letter, numbers, symbols and figures and these data are represented in terms of binary numbers. The computers that are used at offices and homes are Digital computers.

Hybrid Computer
The computer which has the features of both Analog and Digital computers is called Hybrid Computer. They are special purpose computers. They are used in airplanes, ships, factories, hospitals and Research centers. CT-Scan machine, ECG machine and Ultra sound machine are the examples of Hybrid Computers used in health sector.

On the basis of Size, there are four different types of computers. They are:

  • Microcomputer
  • Minicomputer
  • Mainframe Computer
  • Super Computer

Microcomputer is a small and powerful single user computer which is also called Personal Computer (PC). The microcomputers are commonly used at homes, schools, banks, offices etc. The microcomputers which can be kept on the desk are known as Desktop Computers. In 1981, IBM manufactured the first microcomputer called ‘IBM-PC’. Some microcomputers are small and compact in size which are called Laptop and Palmtop computers. Some examples of laptop manufacturing companies are Apple, Dell, Lenovo, HP, IBM, Sony, Toshiba, Acer, Intex etc.

Minicomputers are multi-users computers. They have high storage capacity and higher processing speed than microcomputers. A Minicomputer provides facilities to operate 100 people simultaneously via terminals.

Mainframe computer
Mainframe computers are multi-users computers having faster processing speed and more storage capacity than the minicomputers. They can supports thousands of users through the terminals.

Super Computer
Super computers are the most powerful computers in terms of speed and storage capacity. They are the fastest and the most expensive computers. They are used in the areas like the weather forecasting, automobile designing, lunching aircraft etc.

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