Pc and Mainframe

Topics: Personal computer, Mainframe computer, Computer Pages: 3 (806 words) Published: April 20, 2012
Comparing and Contrasting PCs and mainframes
Edward Ho
November, 2011
University of Phoenix

Comparing and Contrasting PCs and mainframes

Before the existence of personal computer or PC, there is minicomputer or microcomputer, the term “computer” simply referred to mainframes. Mainframes and personal computers have changed drastically over the years but their core functions and systems have stayed the same. The mainframe is used to connect multiple users for large organizations, while personal computers are generally used for a single user. The more drastic changes for mainframes and personal computers have been the increase of speed, memory, and the reduction of size. Mainframes use to be the size of buildings, now they are the size of a normal Intel blade server system. Last time when you need to access the mainframe you need to use a terminal for data entry or retrieve certain data. Then, the idea came to off load some of the processing from the mainframe and place it on a personal computer.

A mainframe is not much difference from a personal computer. There are many similarities between mainframes and personal computers which stands to reason since one evolved from the other. Both mainframes and personal computers have one or more central processor units, a huge number of memory, one or more busses, and one or more I/O systems. Another similarity between the two is that they are both IBM-based systems and similar hardware is used to build them. They can also perform some complex calculations, applications and handle multiple programs. Another area is that both require operating system to work and also to handle and optimize all the I/O systems or modules.

Although they are much similarity between the mainframes and computer as mention above, the similarity stop there as they are many differences too. Mainframes cost much more in terms of thousands of dollar than a...

References: Barnett, G. (2010, November). The Mainframe and The Cloud. Retrieved from http://www.techrepublic.com/whitepapers/bathwick-group-the-mainframe-and-the-cloud-the-role-of-the-mainframe-as-a-host-environment-for-enterprise-cloud-computing/3792769
Doerbecker, K., & Patterson, B. (2002). Mainframes. Retrieved from http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Mainframes.aspx
IBM. (September 2011). z/OS Version 1 Release 13. Retrieved from http://public.dhe.ibm.com/common/ssi/ecm/en/zss03057usen/ZSS03057USEN.PDF
Shurkin, J. N. (1996, Febuary). Mainframes. Retrieved from http://www.bookrags.com/research/mainframes-csci-01/
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