History and Components of a Modern Mainframe Computer

Mainframe computers are critical for some of the largest corporations in the world. Each mainframe has more than one modern processor, RAM ranging from a few megabytes to multiple-score gigabytes, and disk space and other storage beyond anything on a microcomputer. A mainframe can control multiple tasks and serve thousands of users every second without downtime.

The chief difference between mainframes and other computing systems is the level of processing that takes place. Mainframes are also different in terms of data bandwidth, organization, reliability, and control. Big organizations-banking, healthcare, insurance, and telecom companies, etc.-use mainframes for processing critical commercial data.

In this article, we discuss the evolution of mainframe computers and their components.

History of mainframe computers

IBM developed a critical part of mainframe computing, the Automatic Sequenced Controlled Calculator (ASCC) for arithmetic operations, in 1944. From the late 1950s through the 1970s, several companies manufactured mainframes: IBM, Burroughs, RCA, NCR, General Electric, and Sperry Rand, for example. Since then, System / 390 by IBM is the only kind of mainframe in use. It evolved from IBM's System / 360 in 1960.

An Early mainframe occupied a huge space. New technologies have drastically reduced the size and cost of the hardware. A current-generation mainframe can fit in a small closet.

Components of a modern mainframe computer

Like a PC, a mainframe has many components for processing data: operating system, motherboard or main board, processor, controllers, storage devices, and channels.

• Motherboard: The motherboard of a mainframe computer consists of a printed circuit that allows CPU, RAM, and other hardware components to function together through a concept called "Bus architecture". The motherboard has device slots for input cards and cable interfaces for various external devices. Where PC motherboards use 32- or 64-bit buses, mainframes use 128-bit buses. General instructions regarding the internal architecture help the motherboard connect to the other devices and retrieve data using binary computation.

• Processor: A CPU acts as the central processing point in mainframe architecture and includes an Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) for performing arithmetic calculations. It also works as a controller for the bus architecture and handles traffic and data requests. The processing power of mainframes is much higher compared to PCs, so that they can handle huge amounts of data.

• Storage devices: Storage devices are for entering, retrieving, storing, and recording data. Many are external devices, such as hard drives, tape drives, and punch card readers, all connected to terminals of the mainframe and controlled by the CPU. Their capacity for data storage can be hundred or even thousands of times that of a PC.

• Communication controllers: Communication controllers allow remote computers to access a mainframe. With the help of networks, LAN or WAN, communication controllers establish connections with various devices, perform data transmission over communication channels, and keep track of users at terminals.

• Channels: The "channels" are the cables used to connect the CPU and the main storage to other parts of the system and make sure that data is moved in a systematic way without losing its integrity.

Modern mainframes have advanced features such as expanded service management capabilities, cross-platform integration facilities, etc. And so are suitable for critical data center operations. The cost of maintaining modern mainframes is much less compared to older models.

The Role of Technology in Education

In the current age we live in, technology has become an important component. Every day there is some new gadget or software that makes lives easier and improves on the technology and software that already exists. Making lives easier is not, however, the only role technology plays in our lives.

Technology is playing an increasing role in education. As technology advances, it is used to benefit students of all ages in the learning process.

Technology used in the classroom helps students adsorb the material. For example, since some people are visual learners, projection screens linked to computers can allow students to see their notes instead of simply listening to a teacher deliver a lecture.

Software can be used to supplement class curriculum. The programs provide study questions, activities, and even tests and quizzes for a class that can help students continue learning outside the classroom.

Technology has also become part of many curriculums, even outside of computer and technology classes. Students use computers to create presentations and use the Internet to research topics for papers and essays.

Students also learn to use the technology available to them in computer and tech classes. This ensures that after graduation they will be able to use the technology in a work setting, which may put them ahead of someone who didn’t have access to a particular technology or software in their own school setting.

As technology advances, students have better access to educational opportunities like these. When something new and “better” is revealed, the “older” technology becomes more affordable, allowing it to be used in educational settings, even when schools are on a tight budget.

Technology has also advanced to help children even before they’ve started school. Educational video games and systems for young children helps them prepare for school and in some cases get a head start on their education.

There are people who may say children are “spoiled” by technology. Instead of being able to add a long column of numbers in their heads, for example, they turn to a calculator. Regardless of these arguments, technology is an important part of today’s society. By incorporating it into the classroom, students will be better equipped to transition from the classroom to the work place.

How Do Hemorrhoids Affect Your Overall Health?

Most people are too embarrassed to tell their doctors about their hemorrhoids. Also called piles, hemorrhoids are masses that accumulate around the rectum. Due to straining or pressure, veins protrude from thin membranes, forming pouches. These can be so painful and irritating that even normal tasks can become stressful ordeals. What is the impact of hemorrhoids to your overall health?

Internal hemorrhoids are those formed inside the rectum, and sometimes extend outside the anus when dilated. External hemorrhoids are lumps that can be seen by the naked eye. Digital rectal exams (DRE) administered by doctors can detect lumps that aren’t visible, but a common symptom of hemorrhoids involve streaks of blood in the stool or toilet paper.

Hemorrhoids can be hereditary in nature. If you have family members with the same problem, then yours is probably genetic. Frequent diarrhea and constipation can increase pressure on the main vein leading to your lower extremities. Straining can impede normal circulation in the body, which weakens the walls of the veins, forming hemorrhoids.

Hemorrhoids, both internal and external, are painful. Prolonged standing and sitting can cause irritation, pain and even inflammation in the affected areas. It is uncomfortable and can distract from work. Worse, there are instances when hemorrhoids can really take a toll on your health.

There are times where a blood clot may form and cause severe pain in the area. This condition requires immediate intervention. Since hemorrhoids can bleed, anemia may also be a problem. Bowel movements, and scratching can lead to severe blood loss in some cases. Untreated anemia will result in fatigue, poor nutrition and body weakness – all of which can get in the way of your work even further.

As stated before, hemorrhoids can also protrude outside the body. When this happens, there’s a tendency that blood supply may be cut off. This condition is called strangulated hemorrhoids, which can lead to tissue death. Infection is the primary concern when this happens.

Hemorrhoids require immediate medical intervention. Topical creams/ointments and painkillers may be prescribed to numb the pain. Your doctor may also suggest soaking the affected area in warm water to relax the area and prevent irritation.

Most hemorrhoids are mild in nature, and sometimes go away on their own. But if you don’t pay close attention, they may lead to complications. Always keep in mind that prevention is better than cure, so keep moving, get some exercise, and eat only the right stuff.

Simple Rules For Personal Health and Hygiene

Have you been following a plan for your own personal hygiene, or do you get up in the morning, take a bath, brush and blow dry your hair, use the bathroom through the day, and go to bed at night? If you only do the latter, you need to put more planning and preparation into your personal care and grooming.

Cleanliness is seen nowadays as next to Godliness, and neglect of your own personal hygiene may cause health and social problems of which you are not even aware. Bad breath, for example, is a common problem–the perpetrator is often accused of it, but he or she may not be attending to it. Problems such as dandruff are forgivable, but good looks are usually the result of great care and attention paid to personal grooming. You should put some time and effort into it if you want to feel and look your best every day.

All external parts of the body need time and attention. Below is a partial list of the body parts which you should be taking care of with your grooming plan. Here are some tips as to how to attend to your most common and ordinary daily grooming needs.

HAIR

First of all, keep your hair at a length and style which you can properly maintain in a cleanly manner at all times. Wash your crowning glory at least twice per week, using a mild shampoo devoid of borax or alkalis. It is not a good idea to use soap, as it can leave a fine film of stickiness in your hair. Shampoo is meant to wash totally out of your hair. Be sure and carefully towel dry your hair after you wash it, and be cautious with the blow dryer. You don’t want your hair to become too dry and brittle. Especially if you have long or thick hair, brush it three to four times per day, using a soft bristled brush or wide toothed comb. Be sure to wash your hair grooming tools every time you wash your hair. And oil your scalp with grooming oil once per week, preferably one hour before you wash it. A hot oil treatment is fine–if you know exactly what you are doing.

Hair coloring or dye is not recommended, as no current dyes have been found to be completely safe for long term use. They contain chemicals which can seep into your scalp and even cause premature hair loss. So we recommend not using hair dye if possible. Also, try not to wear a hat for a very long period of time. Wearing hats has also been shown to cause premature hair loss. Redheads need to be particularly concerned, as they are subject to early hair loss.

SKIN

A good bath once or twice per day is essential for cleanliness and good grooming. You should always bathe after any strenuous physical activity. Mild soaps are best, and you don’t need to use a germicidal or antiseptic soap unless you have a medical or “smelliness” problem. Bath brushes, bath sponges, and mildly abrasive scrubbers are recommended. You must also pay special attention to your genitals and anal area, as lack of care paid to these can lead to serious infections–as well as an inadequate sex life. Rinse yourself thoroughly after washing, and be sure to use a dry and clean towel to properly dry yourself. Don’t ever share towels, try not to share bathing equipment, and wash all of your equipment after each bath. Putting a teaspoonful of bleach in one gallon of warm water, rinse your bathing equipment in the water, and then under warm running water. And always change into completely clean underwear after each bath.

It’s good to use a fine organic moisturizing oil or cream every day, especially as you get older. Put it on at night to avoid that sticky feeling, and so as to not attract dust and filmy dirt throughout the day.

TEETH

Brush your teeth two to three times every day, or after meals or snacks as needed. It’s important especially to brush right before bedtime. Pay attention to getting rid of the food particles stuck between your teeth. Flossing is highly recommended over toothpicks for this. You only need about a pea sized dab of toothpaste on your toothbrush. When brushing, brush down on the upper teeth and brush up on the lower teeth, using a circular motion. Also, brush the inner as well as the outer surface of your teeth, and before you brush each time, carefully brush your tongue.

Your toothbrush should never be shared with anyone. It should have resilient bristles, and it should be well rinsed and left somewhere completely sanitary to dry after each usage. Try to use organic toothpaste, one that’s completely safe and free of harsh abrasives or strong antiseptics. Baking soda has been found to be a very effective substitute for toothpaste, if you don’t mind its strong flavor.

HANDS

You should always be washing your hands. There’s no such thing as too often. Use a good hand cream if they become dry. Pay attention to your fingernails when you wash your hands. A good nail brush placed near your bathroom sink is a sound investment. Use soap every time you wash, and always wash before and after meals–and after you go to the bathroom. Many infections such as E. coli are caused every day by people who don’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom. You should also keep washing your hands while preparing meals.

NAILS

Your fingernails completely replace themselves every five to six months. You need to keep them well trimmed, and preferably buffed and polished too. Men can buff their nails and use a nail shining tool instead of polish to give their nails a healthy glow. Women may of course polish their nails with beautiful colors, which can hide the discoloration that comes with age. Clip your nails to the length you want them, but don’t ever trim too close to the skin. If your nails chip easily, consider adding more protein to your diet, as finger and toenails are all made of protein. Eating gelatin can work for this.

Very brittle, highly yellow or discolored nails can be a sign of a serious health problem. Please see your doctor immediately if you have this. Also, do not always keep your nails painted with polish. This can lead to stripping of the natural keratin of the nails. Also, either go out or give yourself a home manicure and a pedicure once every couple of weeks. Be sure and buy a very good manicure kit for this purpose.

FEET

Many people take no care whatsoever of their own feet, usually to their detriment. Always keep your toenails clipped, shaping the nails but not cutting too close to the skin. Always give your feet a good scrubbing with a pumice stone or mildly abrasive brush when taking a bath, and before you put on your socks, dry carefully between your toes. Try wearing a clean pair of cotton socks every day; this will pamper your feet and keep them dry and not smelly. Powder your feet after you take a bath. Try not to wear the same pair of shoes every day, and alternate wearing your shoe pairs. And make sure you wear comfortable shoes. Comfort and safety should come before stylishness. High heels can lead to the shortening of important calf muscles.

DEODORANT

Your underarms don’t emit an odor until you hit your preteens. That’s when your apocrine glands, which are located under your arms and around your genitals, begin to function, producing a milky, oily type of perspiration. Bacteria then thrive in this sweat, causing the familiar underarm odor.

To control strong odor, you can wash daily with an antibacterial soap such as Lever 2000. You should always wear clean clothes that are free of staining and sweat. Use a deodorant that is also an antiperspirant, which will dry up moisture in the armpits. Cut back on your caffeine intake-it puts your apocrine glands into overdrive. After a bath, dust yourself liberally with a fine talcum powder. Always drink plenty of water, both to flush your system of toxins and to regulate your bowels. This alone may end some problems you may have with “smelliness.”

TANNING

Getting a “healthy tan” is not considered to be healthy anymore. Now doctors are telling us that you shouldn’t mind your pale skin. Skin cancer, which is often deadly, is not a fair trade for good looks. When sunning, protect your fair skin with an at least SPF 30 sunscreen lotion. Keep your skin oiled and moisturized during the summer, and don’t bother with the “bronze look.”

BODY HAIR

Around puberty, your hair follicles respond to hormones raging in your body. You can end up with hair around your belly button, on your back, near your breasts and for both women and men, on your upper lip. If it’s especially coarse, show your doctor, as you may have a treatable hormonal imbalance. Some such “peach fuzz” is normal for girls, and if it seems unsightly to you, you can try bleaching or removing it. Nair is known to be a gentle permanent hair remover.

I hope you found these simple rules to be helpful to you. If you follow your own careful grooming and personal care plan, you will feel better, look more attractive, and probably live a longer, happier and more fulfilling life.