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Personal Computers

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A personal computer or PC is a general-purpose, digital computer designed for a single end-user. A typical personal computer consists of one CPU (central processing unit) that handles all the device’s computing tasks. It also contains internal memory, storage, and input and output ports. It is connected to external devices such as a monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer, and network. Its operations are controlled by the software called the Operating System.

Business Computers vs. Personal Computers

Business-grade computers which are massive in physical size and computer power are used by large and small businesses, governments, and scientific and educational institutions. Personal computers, on the other hand, are made for individual use. They are lightweight, portable, and affordable by individuals.

Timeline of Computer Evolution

Although no exact date of its inception is known, it is generally accepted that the first computer was invented by Charles Babbage in 1822. That computer was, however, far from what a typical computer looks like today. Over the years, the computer has evolved dramatically. Let us examine this evolution.

First Generation

The early computers were created for business or scientific use. The first generation of computers worked by vacuum tubes and used magnetic drums to store memory. This is the period when the ENIAC (Electric Numerical Integrator and Computer) came into being. The ENIAC covered 1800 square feet and weighed 30 tons. There were several issues with the first round of computers, paving the way for improvement.

Second Generation

The second generation of computers replaced vacuum tubes with transistors as it was a more reliable mechanism. It helped spur the growth of smaller and more manageable computers, closer to the ones we see today.

Third Generation

However, the lifespan of transistors was short-lived as integrated circuits started becoming popular. This significantly improved the computers’ speed and efficiency, making them more affordable and accessible to a larger mass of people.

Fourth Generation

The fourth generation, which is the present age of computers saw the invention of microprocessors. Microprocessors helped the production of personal computers in a mass scale. Microprocessors contain thousands of integrated circuits on a single silicon chip, the CPU, input and output controls, and memory.

Today’s Personal Computers

The evolution of computers shows how accessibility and affordability created the personal computer, now used by a single user for work and entertainment. Personal computers were truly born in 1977, with the launch of three mass-produced personal computers: Apple Inc., the Personal Electronic Transactor (PET) of Commodore International, and the Tandy Radio Shack TRS-80, which all used microprocessors. Personal computers became affordable and popular during the 1980’s.

Conclusion

Personal computers changed the way people live and interact with one another today. They enable a user to engage in numerous activities, including work, internet browsing, online social interacting, gaming, multimedia streaming, and online shopping, just to list a few. The evolution of personal computers has been rapid and steady. It is hard to imagine life without a personal computer today.

About the Author: Amita Vadlamudi had a long career in the computer industry for over 35 years. After retiring from the field, Amita Vadlamudi now spends her time reading and blogging on various topics, including computers.

5G Cell Phone Technology

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5G is short for “5th Generation Mobile Network” and this is the next installation for global wireless standards after 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G technologies.

5G cell phone technologies have enabled a cutting edge network that can connect virtually everyone with everything including devices, objects and machines. 5G was already being used in different parts of the world during early 2019. In 2020, many other countries are expected to provide 5G access to their population.

How Does 5G Work?

5G utilizes OFDM technology (Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing), which is a method of modulating digital signals across a variety of channels in order to reduce interferences. In addition to this, 5G also makes use of wider bandwidth technologies such as mmWave and sub-6 GHz.

Quite like 4G, 5G’s OFDM technology operates on similar mobile networking principles. Still, the 5G NR air interface has the ability to enhance OFDM to produce higher degrees of scalability and flexibility. In simpler words, 5G could provide access to more people and objects pertaining to a large variety of use cases.

How Is It Different From Previous Network Technologies?

Even though 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G inspired the creation of 5G, the latter is able to provide more connectivity than ever experienced before by network users.

5G not only has a more efficient air interface, but it is more unified and has an extended capacity to allow for next-gen user experiences. Additionally, 5G will also be able to deliver new deployment models and empower new services with negligible latency, superior reliability and high speed connectivity.

5G Applications

5G was specifically designed to not only deliver better and faster mobile broadband services as compared to 4G LTE, but also to broaden its reach into new areas of service such as connecting to the IoT or mission-critical communications. It is safe to say that 5G will make an impact on every industry, including digitized logistics, precision agriculture, remote healthcare, and many others.

Wi-Fi: Exploring the Digital Era

The onset of a digital era has brought about a myriad of inventions. One of the most commonly used technologies is the Wi-Fi. While millions of people use Wi-Fi every day, we can bet there is little knowledge about what exactly it is and how it works. Upending traditional networking methods, Wi-Fi carries a whopping 60% of internet traffic from all over the world.  

What is Wi-Fi?

 Wi-Fi stands for wireless fidelity. As the name suggests, it provides a wireless internet connection that uses radio frequencies to transmit signals between devices. Also known as Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN), Wi-Fi is actually a simpler term for its technical name, IEEE 801.11 technology.

How does it Work?

The main purpose of a Wi-Fi network is to provide connectivity to all devices connected to it. As mentioned above, Wi-Fi uses radio waves to operate. Radio waves are a type of electromagnetic radiation. Wi-Fi transmits and receives these radio waves in the Gigahertz range.

Wi-Fi requires a frequency of 2.4 Ghz to 5Ghz to perform optimally. There are a whole lot of invisible radio waves working to allow you to stream your favorite show with ease.

Benefits of Wi-Fi

Wireless networking is a burgeoning trend these days, owing to its convenience. One of the most obvious benefits of Wi-Fi is its wireless quality, rendering it a mobile way to stay connected, anywhere you may be.

Wi-Fi connections are affordable and easy to set, which explains why every household will most likely have a working Wi-Fi connection.

Wi-Fi is a popular choice as it ensures security. To avoid random people from using your personal connection, you can set a password to unlock WPA2, or Wi-Fi Protected Access. If you want to allow someone to connect to your Wi-Fi, you may open your ‘hotspot’,

Among the innumerable technological advances, Wi-Fi is undoubtedly one of the most useful inventions, allowing seamless connectivity.

Look for other articles by Amita Vadlamudi on this website, as well as the following:

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