A microcomputer is a small, relatively inexpensive computer with a microprocessor as its central processing unit (CPU). It includes a microprocessor, memory and minimal input/output (I/O) circuitry mounted on a single printed circut board (PCB).Microcomputers became popular in the 1970s and 1980s with the advent of increasingly powerful microprocessors. The predecessors to these computers, mainframes and minicomputers, were comparatively much larger and more expensive (though indeed present-day mainframes such as the IBM System z machines use one or more custom microprocessors as their CPUs). Many microcomputers (when equipped with a keyboard and screen for input and output) are also personal computers (in the generic sense).
The abbreviation micro was common during the 1970s and 1980s, but has now fallen out of common usage.
- What is Microcomputer.
A microcomputer is a complete computer on a small scale, designed for use by one person at a time. An antiquated term, a microcomputer is now primarily called a personal computer (PC), or a device based on a single-chip microprocessor. Common microcomputers include laptops and desktops. Beyond standard PCs, microcomputers also include some calculators, mobile phones, notebooks, workstations and embedded systems.
Smaller than a miniframe or minicomputer, a microcomputer uses a single integrated semiconductor chip for its central processing unit (CPU). They also contain memory in the form of read-only memory (ROM) and random access memory (RAM), input/output (I/O) ports, and a bus or system of interconnecting wires, all housed in a single unit usually referred to as a motherboard.
Common I/O devices include keyboards, monitors, printers and external storage.
- Measuring the evolution of microcomputer technology
People who are interested in evaluating and rating microcomputer technology need a single, composite measure which is rich enough to enable comparing machines of widely differing time periods, features and formats. Traditionally, computers are modeled by describing four primary features ? their CPU, available memory, and input/output (I/O) capabilities. Applying this general model to portable microcomputers, this paper uses a scoring model methodology to develop a composite measure for the portable microcomputer marketplace and then evaluates the model’s longitudinal performance. The technological scoring model methodology is a very pragmatic and highly subjective technique to derive a relative measure for identifying long?term technological trends and rating/ranking individual machines one with another. Furthermore, employing the scoring model offers some unique challenges to the technological forecaster. However, the scoring model does seem to be a useful approach (at least for portable microcomputer technology) if used with due caution.
Innovations in microcomputer technology in the area of related services (e.g., communication therapy, counseling, occupational and physical therapy) are appearing in ever-increasing numbers. This paper describes several of these innovations and attempts to analyze their potential contribution in helping the handicapped to function more independently. The innovations are discussed according to a cost/benefit approach. Costs associated with these innovations include those for conducting studies to determine the efficacy of the innovation; purchasing new or modified hardware (microprocessors, peripheral devices) and software; training personnel to modify software for unique needs and to instruct potential clients on the uses of the innovations; and devoting storage space for hardware and software as well as providing for their maintenance. Potential benefits include the number of handicapped individuals to be served; number of functions and tasks to be performed and the efficient in performing them; and the perceived degree of independence to be achieved by students and clients.