Browse Definitions :
Definition

general-purpose computer

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A general-purpose computer is one that, given the appropriate application and required time, should be able to perform most common computing tasks.  

Personal computers, including desktops, notebooks, smartphones and tablets, are all examples of general-purpose computers. The term is used to differentiate general-purpose computers from other types, in particular the specialized embedded computers used in intelligent systems.

ENIAC, designed and built in the 1940s, was the first general-purpose computer. ENIAC weighed 30 tons and covered an area of about 1,800 square feet. In contrast, a current smartphone weighs a few ounces and is small enough to slip into a pocket.

This was last updated in October 2013

Join the conversation

2 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

helpfull!!
Cancel
This really helped with work for my GCSE.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

SearchSecurity

  • certificate authority (CA)

    A certificate authority (CA) is a trusted entity that issues digital certificates, which are data files used to cryptographically...

  • hacktivism

    Hacktivism is the act of hacking, or breaking into a computer system, for a politically or socially motivated purpose.

  • advanced persistent threat (APT)

    An advanced persistent threat (APT) is a prolonged and targeted cyberattack in which an intruder gains access to a network and ...

SearchHealthIT

  • Cerner Corp.

    Cerner Corp. is a public company in North Kansas City, Mo., that provides various health information technologies, ranging from ...

  • clinical decision support system (CDSS)

    A clinical decision support system (CDSS) is an application that analyzes data to help healthcare providers make decisions and ...

  • Health IT (health information technology)

    Health IT (health information technology) is the area of IT involving the design, development, creation, use and maintenance of ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • tabletop exercise (TTX)

    A tabletop exercise (TTX) is a disaster preparedness activity that takes participants through the process of dealing with a ...

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a data center.

  • ransomware recovery

    Ransomware recovery is the process of resuming options following a cyberattack that demands payment in exchange for unlocking ...

SearchStorage

  • storage virtualization

    Storage virtualization is the pooling of physical storage from multiple storage devices into what appears to be a single storage ...

  • cache (computing)

    A cache -- pronounced CASH -- is hardware or software that is used to store something, usually data, temporarily in a computing ...

  • mebibyte (MiB)

    A mebibyte (MiB) is a unit of measurement used in computer data storage.

Close