A desktop computer is a personal computer designed for regular use at a single location on or near a desk or table due to its size and power requirements. The most common configuration has a case that houses the power supply, disk storage; the case may be oriented horizontally or vertically and placed either underneath, beside, or on top of a desk. Prior to the widespread use of microprocessors, a computer that could fit on a desk was considered remarkably small. Early computers took up the space of a whole room. Minicomputers fit into one or a few refrigerator-sized racks, it was not until the 1970s when programmable computers appeared that could fit on top of a desk. 1970 saw the introduction of the Datapoint 2200, a "smart" computer terminal complete with keyboard and monitor, was designed to connect with a mainframe computer but that didn't stop owners from using its built in computational abilities as a stand alone desktop computer. The HP 9800 series, which started out as programmable calculators in 1971 but was programmable in BASIC by 1972, used a smaller version of a minicomputer design based on ROM memory and had small one-line LED alphanumeric displays and displayed graphics with a plotter.
The Wang 2200 of 1973 had cassette tape storage. The IBM 5100 in 1975 had a small CRT display and could be programmed in BASIC and APL; these were expensive specialized computers sold for business or scientific uses. Apple II, TRS-80 and Commodore PET were first generation personal home computers launched in 1977, which were aimed at the consumer market – rather than businessmen or computer hobbyists. Byte magazine referred to these three as the "1977 Trinity" of personal computing. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, desktop computers became the predominant type, the most popular being the IBM PC and its clones, followed by the Apple Macintosh, with the third-placed Commodore Amiga having some success in the mid-1980s but declining by the early 1990s. Early personal computers, like the original IBM Personal Computer, were enclosed in a "desktop case", horizontally oriented to have the display screen placed on top, thus saving space on the user's actual desk, although these cases had to be sturdy enough to support the weight of CRT displays that were widespread at the time.
Over the course of the 1990s, desktop cases became less common than the more-accessible tower cases that may be located on the floor under or beside a desk rather than on a desk. Not only do these tower cases have more room for expansion, they have freed up desk space for monitors which were becoming larger every year. Desktop cases the compact form factors, remain popular for corporate computing environments and kiosks; some computer cases can be interchangeably positioned either horizontally or upright. Influential games such as Doom and Quake during the 1990s had pushed gamers and enthusiasts to upgrade to the latest CPUs and graphics cards for their desktops in order to run these applications, though this has slowed since the late 2000s as the growing popularity of Intel integrated graphics forced game developers to scale back. Creative Technology's Sound Blaster series were a de facto standard for sound cards in desktop PCs during the 1990s until the early 2000s, when they were reduced to a niche product, as OEM desktop PCs came with sound boards integrated directly onto the motherboard.
While desktops have long been the most common configuration for PCs, by the mid-2000s the growth shifted from desktops to laptops. Notably, while desktops were produced in the United States, laptops had long been produced by contract manufacturers based in Asia, such as Foxconn; this shift led to the closure of the many desktop assembly plants in the United States by 2010. Another trend around this time was the increasing proportion of inexpensive base-configuration desktops being sold, hurting PC manufacturers such as Dell whose build-to-order customization of desktops relied on upselling added features to buyers. Battery-powered portable computers had just 2% worldwide market share in 1986. However, laptops have become popular, both for business and personal use. Around 109 million notebook PCs shipped worldwide in 2007, a growth of 33% compared to 2006. In 2008, it was estimated that 145.9 million notebooks were sold, that the number would grow in 2009 to 177.7 million. The third quarter of 2008 was the first time when worldwide notebook PC shipments exceeded desktops, with 38.6 million units versus 38.5 million units.
The sales breakdown of the Apple Macintosh have seen sales of desktop Macs staying constant while being surpassed by that of Mac notebooks whose sales rate has grown considerably. The change in sales of form factors is due to the desktop iMac moving from affordable to upscale and subsequent releases are considered premium all-in-ones. By contrast, the MSRP of the MacBook laptop lines have dropped through successive generations such that the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro constitute the lowest price of entry to a Mac, with the exception of the more inexpensive Mac Mini (albeit with
Sun Microsystems, Inc. was an American company that sold computers, computer components and information technology services and created the Java programming language, the Solaris operating system, ZFS, the Network File System, SPARC. Sun contributed to the evolution of several key computing technologies, among them Unix, RISC processors, thin client computing, virtualized computing. Sun was founded on February 24, 1982. At its height, the Sun headquarters were in Santa Clara, California, on the former west campus of the Agnews Developmental Center. On April 20, 2009, it was announced; the deal was completed on January 27, 2010. Sun products included computer servers and workstations built on its own RISC-based SPARC processor architecture, as well as on x86-based AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon processors. Sun developed its own storage systems and a suite of software products, including the Solaris operating system, developer tools, Web infrastructure software, identity management applications. Other technologies included the Java platform and NFS.
In general, Sun was a proponent of open systems Unix. It was a major contributor to open-source software, as evidenced by its $1 billion purchase, in 2008, of MySQL, an open-source relational database management system. At various times, Sun had manufacturing facilities in several locations worldwide, including Newark, California. However, by the time the company was acquired by Oracle, it had outsourced most manufacturing responsibilities; the initial design for what became Sun's first Unix workstation, the Sun-1, was conceived by Andy Bechtolsheim when he was a graduate student at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Bechtolsheim designed the SUN workstation for the Stanford University Network communications project as a personal CAD workstation, it was designed around the Motorola 68000 processor with an advanced memory management unit to support the Unix operating system with virtual memory support. He built the first ones from spare parts obtained from Stanford's Department of Computer Science and Silicon Valley supply houses.
On February 24, 1982, Vinod Khosla, Andy Bechtolsheim, Scott McNealy, all Stanford graduate students, founded Sun Microsystems. Bill Joy of Berkeley, a primary developer of the Berkeley Software Distribution, joined soon after and is counted as one of the original founders; the Sun name is derived from the initials of the Stanford University Network. Sun was profitable from its first quarter in July 1982. By 1983 Sun was known for producing 68k-based systems with high-quality graphics that were the only computers other than DEC's VAX to run 4.2BSD. It licensed the computer design to other manufacturers, which used it to build Multibus-based systems running Unix from UniSoft. Sun's initial public offering was in 1986 for Sun Workstations; the symbol was changed in 2007 to JAVA. Sun's logo, which features four interleaved copies of the word sun in the form of a rotationally symmetric ambigram, was designed by professor Vaughan Pratt of Stanford; the initial version of the logo was orange and had the sides oriented horizontally and vertically, but it was subsequently rotated to stand on one corner and re-colored purple, blue.
In the dot-com bubble, Sun began making much more money, its shares rose dramatically. It began spending much more, hiring workers and building itself out; some of this was because of genuine demand, but much was from web start-up companies anticipating business that would never happen. In 2000, the bubble burst. Sales in Sun's important hardware division went into free-fall as customers closed shop and auctioned high-end servers. Several quarters of steep losses led to executive departures, rounds of layoffs, other cost cutting. In December 2001, the stock fell to the 1998, pre-bubble level of about $100, but it kept falling, faster than many other tech companies. A year it had dipped below $10 but bounced back to $20. In mid-2004, Sun closed their Newark, California and consolidated all manufacturing to Hillsboro, Oregon. In 2006, the rest of the Newark campus was put on the market. In 2004, Sun canceled two major processor projects which emphasized high instruction-level parallelism and operating frequency.
Instead, the company chose to concentrate on processors optimized for multi-threading and multiprocessing, such as the UltraSPARC T1 processor. The company announced a collaboration with Fujitsu to use the Japanese company's processor chips in mid-range and high-end Sun servers; these servers were announced on April 17, 2007, as the M-Series, part of the SPARC Enterprise series. In February 2005, Sun announced the Sun Grid, a grid computing deployment on which it offered utility computing services priced at US$1 per CPU/hour for processing and per GB/month for storage; this offering built upon an existing 3,000-CPU server farm used for internal R&D for over 10 years, which Sun marketed as being able to achieve 97% utilization. In August 2005, the first commercial use of this grid was announced for financial risk simulations, launched as its first software as a service product. In January 2005, Sun reported a net profit of $19 million for fiscal 2005 second quarter, for the first time in three years.
This was followed by net loss of $9 million on GAAP basis for the third quarter 2005, as reported on April 14, 2005. In January 2007, Sun reported a net GAAP profit of $126
SUSE Linux is a computer operating system. It is built on top of the free and open source Linux kernel and is distributed with system and application software from other open source projects. SUSE Linux is of German origin an acronym of “Software und System-Entwicklung”, was developed in Europe; the first version appeared in early 1994, making SUSE one of the oldest existing commercial distributions. It is known for its YaST configuration tool. Novell bought the SUSE brands and trademarks in 2003. Novell, one of the founding members of the Open Invention Network, decided to make the community an important part of their development process by opening the distribution development to outside contributors in 2005, creating the openSUSE distribution and the openSUSE Project. Novell employed more than 500 developers working on SUSE in 2004. On 27 April 2011, Novell were acquired by The Attachmate Group, which made SUSE an independent business unit. In October 2014, the entire Attachmate Group, including SUSE, was acquired by the British firm Micro Focus International.
SUSE continues to operate as an independent business unit. On 2 July, 2018, it was announced that Micro Focus would sell SUSE to Blitz 18-679 GmbH, a subsidiary of EQT Partners, for $2.535 billion. Gesellschaft für Software und System Entwicklung mbH was founded on 2 September 1992 in Nuremberg, Germany, by Roland Dyroff, Thomas Fehr, Burchard Steinbild, Hubert Mantel. Three of the founders were still mathematics students at a university; the original idea was that the company would develop software and function as an advisory UNIX group. According to Mantel, the group decided offering support, their name at founding was "S.u. S. E" and it was chosen as a German acronym for "Software und System-Entwicklung", meaning "Software and systems development"; the full name has never been used and the company was known as "S.u. S. E", shortened to "SuSE" in October 1998, in 2003 capitalized to "SUSE"; the official logo and current mascot of the distribution is a veiled chameleon named, "GEEKO", following a competition.
As with the company's name, the "GEEKO" logo brand has evolved over time to reflect the name changes. The company started as a service provider, which among other things released software packages that included Softlanding Linux System and Slackware, they printed UNIX/Linux manuals and they offered technical assistance. These third party products SUSE used had those characteristics and were managed by SUSE in different fashions: In mid-1992, Peter MacDonald created the comprehensive Linux distribution known as SLS, which offered elements such as X and TCP/IP; this was distributed to people. In 1993, Patrick Volkerding cleaned up the SLS Linux distribution, releasing a newer version as Slackware. In 1994, with help from Patrick Volkerding, Slackware scripts were translated into German, marked as the first release of S.u. S. E. Linux 1.0 distribution. It was available first on floppies, on CDs. For building its own distribution of Linux, S.u. S. E used first Slackware in 1992 the jurix distribution in 1996 as starting point.
This was created by Florian La Roche. S. E team, he began to develop YaST, the installer and configuration tool that would become the central point of the distribution. In 1996, the first distribution under the name S.u. S. E Linux was published as "S.u. S. E Linux 4.2". The version number has caused much discussion: it should have been just version 1.1, but using the number 4.2 was an intentional reference to the answer to the "Big Question about Life, the Universe and Everything" of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy science fiction novels by the English writer Douglas Adams. YaST's first version number, "0.42", was a similar reference. Over time, SuSE Linux incorporated many aspects of Red Hat Linux, such as its RPM Package Manager and its file structure. S.u. S. E. Became the largest Linux distributor in Germany. In 1997, SuSE, LLC was established under the direction of President and Managing Partner James Gray in Oakland, which enabled the company to develop Linux markets in the Americas and Asia.
While Red Hat was ubiquitous in the United States, SuSE Linux continued to grow in Germany as well as in Nordic countries such as Finland and Sweden. In October 1998, the name was changed to, SuSE. Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel, used it often. SuSE entered the UK in 1999. In 2001, the company was forced to reduce its staff in order to survive. On 4 November 2003, Novell announced; the acquisition was finalized in January 2004. In a move to reach its business audience more SuSE introduced the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server in 2001, a few months before Novell's purchase, changed the company name to "SUSE Linux". "SUSE" is now a name, not an acronym. According to J. Philips, Novell's corporate technology strategist for the Asia Pacific region, Novell would not "in the medium term" alter the way in which SUSE was developed. At Novell's annual BrainShare conference in 2004, for the first time, all of their computers were run with SUSE Linux and it was announced that the proprietary SUSE administration program YaST2 would be released under the GPL license.
On 4 August 2005, Novell announced that the SUSE Professional series would become more open, with the launch of the openSUSE Project community. The software always
International Business Machines Corporation is an American multinational information technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, with operations in over 170 countries. The company began in 1911, founded in Endicott, New York, as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company and was renamed "International Business Machines" in 1924. IBM produces and sells computer hardware and software, provides hosting and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology. IBM is a major research organization, holding the record for most U. S. patents generated by a business for 26 consecutive years. Inventions by IBM include the automated teller machine, the floppy disk, the hard disk drive, the magnetic stripe card, the relational database, the SQL programming language, the UPC barcode, dynamic random-access memory; the IBM mainframe, exemplified by the System/360, was the dominant computing platform during the 1960s and 1970s. IBM has continually shifted business operations by focusing on higher-value, more profitable markets.
This includes spinning off printer manufacturer Lexmark in 1991 and the sale of personal computer and x86-based server businesses to Lenovo, acquiring companies such as PwC Consulting, SPSS, The Weather Company, Red Hat. In 2014, IBM announced that it would go "fabless", continuing to design semiconductors, but offloading manufacturing to GlobalFoundries. Nicknamed Big Blue, IBM is one of 30 companies included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and one of the world's largest employers, with over 380,000 employees, known as "IBMers". At least 70% of IBMers are based outside the United States, the country with the largest number of IBMers is India. IBM employees have been awarded five Nobel Prizes, six Turing Awards, ten National Medals of Technology and five National Medals of Science. In the 1880s, technologies emerged that would form the core of International Business Machines. Julius E. Pitrap patented the computing scale in 1885. On June 16, 1911, their four companies were amalgamated in New York State by Charles Ranlett Flint forming a fifth company, the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company based in Endicott, New York.
The five companies had offices and plants in Endicott and Binghamton, New York. C.. They manufactured machinery for sale and lease, ranging from commercial scales and industrial time recorders and cheese slicers, to tabulators and punched cards. Thomas J. Watson, Sr. fired from the National Cash Register Company by John Henry Patterson, called on Flint and, in 1914, was offered a position at CTR. Watson joined CTR as General Manager 11 months was made President when court cases relating to his time at NCR were resolved. Having learned Patterson's pioneering business practices, Watson proceeded to put the stamp of NCR onto CTR's companies, he implemented sales conventions, "generous sales incentives, a focus on customer service, an insistence on well-groomed, dark-suited salesmen and had an evangelical fervor for instilling company pride and loyalty in every worker". His favorite slogan, "THINK", became a mantra for each company's employees. During Watson's first four years, revenues reached $9 million and the company's operations expanded to Europe, South America and Australia.
Watson never liked the clumsy hyphenated name "Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company" and on February 14, 1924 chose to replace it with the more expansive title "International Business Machines". By 1933 most of the subsidiaries had been merged into one company, IBM. In 1937, IBM's tabulating equipment enabled organizations to process unprecedented amounts of data, its clients including the U. S. Government, during its first effort to maintain the employment records for 26 million people pursuant to the Social Security Act, the tracking of persecuted groups by Hitler's Third Reich through the German subsidiary Dehomag. In 1949, Thomas Watson, Sr. created IBM World Trade Corporation, a subsidiary of IBM focused on foreign operations. In 1952, he stepped down after 40 years at the company helm, his son Thomas Watson, Jr. was named president. In 1956, the company demonstrated the first practical example of artificial intelligence when Arthur L. Samuel of IBM's Poughkeepsie, New York, laboratory programmed an IBM 704 not to play checkers but "learn" from its own experience.
In 1957, the FORTRAN scientific programming language was developed. In 1961, IBM developed the SABRE reservation system for American Airlines and introduced the successful Selectric typewriter. In 1963, IBM employees and computers helped. A year it moved its corporate headquarters from New York City to Armonk, New York; the latter half of the 1960s saw IBM continue its support of space exploration, participating in the 1965 Gemini flights, 1966 Saturn flights and 1969 lunar mission. On April 7, 1964, IBM announced the first computer system family, the IBM System/360, it spanned the complete range of commercial and scientific applications from large to small, allowing companies for the first time to upgrade to models with greater computing capability without having to rewrite their applications. It was followed by the IBM System/370 in 1970. Together the
POWER7 is a family of superscalar symmetric multiprocessors based on the Power ISA 2.06 instruction set architecture released in 2010 that succeeded the POWER6. POWER7 was developed by IBM at several sites including IBM's Rochester, MN. IBM announced servers based on POWER7 on 8 February 2010. IBM won a $244 million DARPA contract in November 2006 to develop a petascale supercomputer architecture before the end of 2010 in the HPCS project; the contract states that the architecture shall be available commercially. IBM's proposal, PERCS, which won them the contract, is based on the POWER7 processor, AIX operating system and General Parallel File System. One feature that IBM and DARPA collaborated on is modifying the addressing and page table hardware to support global shared memory space for POWER7 clusters; this enables research scientists to program a cluster as if it were a single system, without using message passing. From a productivity standpoint, this is essential since some scientists are not conversant with MPI or other parallel programming techniques used in clusters.
The POWER7 superscalar symmetric multiprocessor architecture was a substantial evolution from the POWER6 design, focusing more on power efficiency through multiple cores and simultaneous multithreading. The POWER6 architecture was built from the ground up to maximize processor frequency at the cost of power efficiency, it achieved a remarkable 5 GHz. While the POWER6 features a dual-core processor, each capable of two-way simultaneous multithreading, the IBM POWER 7 processor has up to eight cores, four threads per core, for a total capacity of 32 simultaneous threads. IBM stated at ISCA 29 that peak performance was achieved by high frequency designs with 10–20 FO4 delays per pipeline stage at the cost of power efficiency. However, the POWER6 binary floating-point unit achieves a "6-cycle, 13-FO4 pipeline". Therefore, the pipeline for the POWER7 CPU has been changed again, just as it was for the POWER5 and POWER6 designs. In some respects, this rework is similar to Intel's turn in 2005 that left the P4 7th-generation x86 microarchitecture.
The POWER7 superscalar symmetric multiprocessor is available with 4, 6, or 8 physical cores per microchip, in a 1 to 32-way design, with up to 1024 SMTs and a different microarchitecture and interfaces for supporting extended/Sub-Specifications in reference to the Power ISA and/or different system architectures. For example, in the Supercomputing System Power 775 it is packaged as a 32-way quad-chip-module with 256 physical cores and 1024 SMTs. There is a special TurboCore mode that can turn off half of the cores from an eight-core processor, but those 4 cores have access to all the memory controllers and L3 cache at increased clock speeds; this makes each core's performance higher, important for workloads which require the fastest sequential performance at the cost of reduced parallel performance. TurboCore mode can reduce "software costs in half for those applications that are licensed per core, while increasing per core performance from that software." The new IBM Power 780 scalable, high-end servers featuring the new TurboCore workload optimizing mode and delivering up to double performance per core of POWER6 based systems.
Each core is capable of four-way simultaneous multithreading. The POWER7 has 1.2 billion transistors and is 567 mm2 large fabricated on a 45 nm process. A notable difference from POWER6 is that the POWER7 executes instructions out-of-order instead of in-order. Despite the decrease in maximum frequency compared to POWER6, each core has higher performance than the POWER6, while each processor has up to 4 times the number of cores. POWER7 has these specifications: 45 nm SOI process, 567 mm2 1.2 billion transistors 3.0–4.25 GHz clock speed max 4 chips per quad-chip module 4, 6 or 8 C1 cores per chip 4 SMT threads per C1 core 12 execution units per C1 core: 2 fixed-point units 2 load/store units 4 double-precision floating-point units 1 vector unit supporting VSX 1 decimal floating-point unit 1 branch unit 1 condition register unit 32+32 kB L1 instruction and data cache 256 kB L2 Cache 4 MB L3 cache per C1 core with maximum up to 32 MB supported. The cache is implemented in eDRAM, which does not require as many transistors per cell as a standard SRAM so it allows for a larger cache while using the same area as SRAM."Each POWER7 processor core implements aggressive out-of-order instruction execution to drive high efficiency in the use of available execution paths.
The POWER7 processor has an Instruction Sequence Unit, capable of dispatching up to six instructions per cycle to a set of queues. Up to eight instructions per cycle can be issued to the Instruction Execution units; the POWER7 processor has a set of twelve execution units as "This gives the following theoretical single precision performance figures: max 99.36 GFLOPS per core max 794.88 GFLOPS per chip4 64-bit SIMD units per core, a 128-bit SIMD VMX unit per core, can do 12 Multiply-Adds per cycle, giving 24 SP FP ops per cycle. At 4.14 GHz, that gives 4.14 billion * 24 = 99.36 SP GFLOPS, at 8 cores, 794.88 SP GFLOPS. Peak double precision performance is half of peak SP performance. For comparison, the latest microarchitecture from Intel, can do 16 DP FLOPs or 32 SP FLOPs per cycle (8/16 DP/SP Fused multiply-add spread across 2× 256 bit AVX2 FP vector units
The user interface, in the industrial design field of human–computer interaction, is the space where interactions between humans and machines occur. The goal of this interaction is to allow effective operation and control of the machine from the human end, whilst the machine feeds back information that aids the operators' decision-making process. Examples of this broad concept of user interfaces include the interactive aspects of computer operating systems, hand tools, heavy machinery operator controls, process controls; the design considerations applicable when creating user interfaces are related to or involve such disciplines as ergonomics and psychology. The goal of user interface design is to produce a user interface which makes it easy and enjoyable to operate a machine in the way which produces the desired result; this means that the operator needs to provide minimal input to achieve the desired output, that the machine minimizes undesired outputs to the human. User interfaces are composed of one or more layers including a human-machine interface interfaces machines with physical input hardware such a keyboards, game pads and output hardware such as computer monitors and printers.
A device that implements a HMI is called a human interface device. Other terms for human-machine interfaces are man–machine interface and when the machine in question is a computer human–computer interface. Additional UI layers may interact with one or more human sense, including: tactile UI, visual UI, auditory UI, olfactory UI, equilibrial UI, gustatory UI. Composite user interfaces are UIs that interact with two or more senses; the most common CUI is a graphical user interface, composed of a tactile UI and a visual UI capable of displaying graphics. When sound is added to a GUI it becomes a multimedia user interface. There are three broad categories of CUI: standard and augmented. Standard composite user interfaces use standard human interface devices like keyboards and computer monitors; when the CUI blocks out the real world to create a virtual reality, the CUI is virtual and uses a virtual reality interface. When the CUI does not block out the real world and creates augmented reality, the CUI is augmented and uses an augmented reality interface.
When a UI interacts with all human senses, it is called a qualia interface, named after the theory of qualia. CUI may be classified by how many senses they interact with as either an X-sense virtual reality interface or X-sense augmented reality interface, where X is the number of senses interfaced with. For example, a Smell-O-Vision is a 3-sense Standard CUI with visual display and smells; the user interface or human–machine interface is the part of the machine that handles the human–machine interaction. Membrane switches, rubber keypads and touchscreens are examples of the physical part of the Human Machine Interface which we can see and touch. In complex systems, the human–machine interface is computerized; the term human–computer interface refers to this kind of system. In the context of computing, the term extends as well to the software dedicated to control the physical elements used for human-computer interaction; the engineering of the human–machine interfaces is enhanced by considering ergonomics.
The corresponding disciplines are human factors engineering and usability engineering, part of systems engineering. Tools used for incorporating human factors in the interface design are developed based on knowledge of computer science, such as computer graphics, operating systems, programming languages. Nowadays, we use the expression graphical user interface for human–machine interface on computers, as nearly all of them are now using graphics. There is a difference between a user interface and an operator interface or a human–machine interface; the term "user interface" is used in the context of computer systems and electronic devices Where a network of equipment or computers are interlinked through an MES -or Host to display information. A human-machine interface is local to one machine or piece of equipment, is the interface method between the human and the equipment/machine. An operator interface is the interface method by which multiple equipment that are linked by a host control system is accessed or controlled.
The system may expose several user interfaces to serve different kinds of users. For example, a computerized library database might provide two user interfaces, one for library patrons and the other for library personnel; the user interface of a mechanical system, a vehicle or an industrial installation is sometimes referred to as the human–machine interface. HMI is a modification of the original term MMI. In practice, the abbreviation MMI is still used although some may claim that MMI stands for something different now. Another abbreviation is HCI, but is more used for human–computer interaction. Other terms used are operator interface terminal; however it is abbreviated, the terms refer to the'layer' that separates a human, operating a machine from the machine itself. Without a clean and usable interface, humans would not be able to
A workstation is a special computer designed for technical or scientific applications. Intended to be used by one person at a time, they are connected to a local area network and run multi-user operating systems; the term workstation has been used loosely to refer to everything from a mainframe computer terminal to a PC connected to a network, but the most common form refers to the group of hardware offered by several current and defunct companies such as Sun Microsystems, Silicon Graphics, Apollo Computer, DEC, HP, NeXT and IBM which opened the door for the 3D graphics animation revolution of the late 1990s. Workstations offered higher performance than mainstream personal computers with respect to CPU and graphics, memory capacity, multitasking capability. Workstations were optimized for the visualization and manipulation of different types of complex data such as 3D mechanical design, engineering simulation and rendering of images, mathematical plots; the form factor is that of a desktop computer, consist of a high resolution display, a keyboard and a mouse at a minimum, but offer multiple displays, graphics tablets, 3D mice, etc.
Workstations were the first segment of the computer market to present advanced accessories and collaboration tools. The increasing capabilities of mainstream PCs in the late 1990s have blurred the lines somewhat with technical/scientific workstations; the workstation market employed proprietary hardware which made them distinct from PCs. However, by the early 2000s this difference disappeared, as workstations now use commoditized hardware dominated by large PC vendors, such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Fujitsu, selling Microsoft Windows or Linux systems running on x86-64 processors; the first computer that might qualify as a "workstation" was the IBM 1620, a small scientific computer designed to be used interactively by a single person sitting at the console. It was introduced in 1960. One peculiar feature of the machine was. To perform addition, it required a memory-resident table of decimal addition rules; this saved on the cost of logic circuitry. The machine was code-named CADET and rented for $1000 a month.
In 1965, IBM introduced the IBM 1130 scientific computer, meant as the successor to the 1620. Both of these systems came with the ability to run programs written in other languages. Both the 1620 and the 1130 were built into desk-sized cabinets. Both were available with add-on disk drives and both paper-tape and punched-card I/O. A console typewriter for direct interaction was standard on each. Early examples of workstations were dedicated minicomputers. A notable example was the PDP-8 from Digital Equipment Corporation, regarded to be the first commercial minicomputer; the Lisp machines developed at MIT in the early 1970s pioneered some of the principles of the workstation computer, as they were high-performance, single-user systems intended for interactive use. Lisp Machines were commercialized beginning 1980 by companies like Symbolics, Lisp Machines, Texas Instruments and Xerox; the first computer designed for single-users, with high-resolution graphics facilities was the Xerox Alto developed at Xerox PARC in 1973.
Other early workstations include the Terak 8510/a, Three Rivers PERQ and the Xerox Star. In the early 1980s, with the advent of 32-bit microprocessors such as the Motorola 68000, a number of new participants in this field appeared, including Apollo Computer and Sun Microsystems, who created Unix-based workstations based on this processor. Meanwhile, DARPA's VLSI Project created several spinoff graphics products as well, notably the SGI 3130, Silicon Graphics' range of machines that followed, it was not uncommon to differentiate the target market for the products, with Sun and Apollo considered to be network workstations, while the SGI machines were graphics workstations. As RISC microprocessors became available in the mid-1980s, these were adopted by many workstation vendors. Workstations tended to be expensive several times the cost of a standard PC and sometimes costing as much as a new car. However, minicomputers sometimes cost as much as a house; the high expense came from using costlier components that ran faster than those found at the local computer store, as well as the inclusion of features not found in PCs of the time, such as high-speed networking and sophisticated graphics.
Workstation manufacturers tend to take a "balanced" approach to system design, making certain to avoid bottlenecks so that data can flow unimpeded between the many different subsystems within a computer. Additionally, given their more specialized nature, tend to have higher profit margins than commodity-driven PCs; the systems that come out of workstation companies feature SCSI or Fibre Channel disk storage systems, high-end 3D accelerators, single or multiple 64-bit processors, large amounts of RAM, well-designed cooling. Additionally, the companies that make the products tend to have good repair/replacement plans. However, the line between workstation and PC is becoming blurred as the demand for fast computers and graphics have become