A computer is simply a device that is programmed to execute mathematical or logical operations automatically through computer programming. Modern computers are able to execute a wide array of operations, known as software programs. These software programs allow computers to perform a wide array of complex tasks. One example of this is the Microsoft Office Suite, which allows a user to enter office applications such as word processing and presentation into a mainframe. While the computer helps the user to manipulate the documents, the processor inside the mainframe stores and retrieves them for the end-user, so when the user goes out of the office the information is still there.
These complex mainframes are often housed in data centers, though smaller mainframes are also available. Data centers store the vast amounts of data that are necessary for the smooth operation of corporate computing. These large data centers are usually located in major metropolitan areas such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.. Many small to medium sized mainframe computers are housed in data centers, as well.
A general-purpose computer, also sometimes referred to as a CPU, is a general purpose microprocessor that can perform basic mathematical calculations. These general-purpose computers are the primary computers in most homes. The concept of a general-purpose computer came about in the late 1960s, with the development of the electronic computer. These general-purpose computers to perform basic functions such as storing data and controlling operations with a keyboard and mouse. Because they perform these tasks very quickly, general-purpose computers are ideal for use by individuals who need computers at a small cost, such as home users.