First released in the 1960s, minicomputers got their name because of their small size compared to other computers of the day. The capabilities of a minicomputer are somewhere between those of mainframes and personal computers. For this reason, minicomputers are often called midrange computers.
A computer with a microprocessor and its central processing unit is known as a microcomputer.
Fig. 1: Minicomputer.
Minicomputers do not occupy space as much as mainframes do. When supplemented with a keyboard and a mouse, microcomputers can be called personal computers. A monitor, a keyboard and other similar input-output devices, computer memory in the form of RAM and a power supply unit come packaged in a microcomputer. These computers can fit on desks or tables and prove to be the best choice for single-user tasks.
Like mainframes, minicomputers can handle much more input and output than personal computers can. Although some ‘‘minis’’ arc designed for a single user, the most powerful minicomputers can serve the input and output needs of hundreds of users at a time. Users can access a central minicomputer through a terminal or a standard PC.

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