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 Mainframe Computers

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Join date : 2009-06-24
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Location : Cabanatuan City

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PostSubject: Mainframe Computers   Mainframe Computers Empty30th June 2009, 10:09

We all know a PC, probably heard of supercomputers. But mainframes are not so known.
When you watch television and see a movie with a big machine, or hear people talking to each other (at college) about a mainframe do you sometimes wonder what that is? What they are talking about? Then this page is intended for you.
This page is the first in a future series to explain what a mainframe is and how it evolved in history. Who were the pioneers and what companies were, and still are, involved.
How did and how do they look like? On this page are a few pictures of the earliest mainframes.
Mainframe Computers Mark1
Mark I mainframe (1950's)
The ranking of a mainframe is as you can see almost at the top. (quantum computers are hardly out of the laboratories)

A mainframe is simply a very large computer. And totally different from what you have on your desk. Don't say: what seems to be a mainframe today is on your desktop tomorrow. Apart from the CPU's (processors) that is far from true.
Mainframe Computers Eniac
Eniac (1946)
Mainframe is an industry term for a large computer. The name comes from the way the machine is build up: all units (processing, communication etc.) were hung into a frame. Thus the maincomputer is build into a frame, therefore: Mainframe

And because of the sheer development costs, mainframes are typically manufactured by large companies such as IBM, Amdahl, Hitachi.
Their main purpose is to run commercial applications of Fortune 1000 businesses and other large-scale computing purposes.
Think here of banking and insurance businesses where enormous amounts of data are processed, typically (at least) millions of records, each day.
Mainframe Computers Binac

Historically, a mainframe is associated with centralized computing opposite from distributed computing. Meaning all computing takes (physically) place on the mainframe itself: the processor section.
Mainframe Computers Ibm_4381_p13-processor
IBM 4381 mainframe processor from 1985
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