A computer system is a system that combines, on the one hand, the physical part of computing and, on the other, the digital or non-tangible part of computing.
In other words, a computer system must be made up of hardware and software for it to be called such. Examples of parts of the hardware and software in an IS are the peripherals, the operating system of the device or the applications that it has.
The main function of a computer system is the processing of stored data. Thanks to the usefulness of computer systems, they are adaptable to almost any sector or economic activity, they can be used with almost no restrictions.
Components of a computer system
We can divide the components of a computer system according to the subsystems it has:
- Physical components: This is the entire environment related to the hardware elements that participate in the system.
- Logical components: It encompasses again, each and every one of the elements that can be classified within the environments related to the software.
In addition, it is possible to also include a subsystem that attributes a certain role to the human factor. The idea is based on the fact that just as an electronic device necessarily needs the software factor, the human factor is necessary for its operation in the same way.
Types of computer systems
Although the SI can be classified according to more interest (sector, origin, technology ...) in this classification they will be exposed according to their main function or mission:
- Storage: In this type of system only data is stored. Examples are external hard drives.
- Processing: In this case, they are mere data processors. Examples are WiFi routers or Google ‘Chromecast’ devices.
- Mixed: Refers to those devices that, like SI, store and process data. Examples are video game consoles.
- Production: The production of data originates from those SIs that have the mission of creating, storing and processing, in that order. Examples are devices intended solely to 'mine' cryptocurrencies.
- Complete: A complete computer system is one that stores, processes and produces with few or almost no conditions. Examples are gifted devices known as 'smart', which is still an AI in its most basic state. Some of these devices are smart watches, smartphones or smart speakers.
It should be noted that the term ‘smart’ comes from English, and that translated into Spanish it would be ‘intelligent’.
Computer system example
If we have a next-generation smartwatch, what will its physical and logical components include? How can we classify it?
In the first place, the physical and logical components can generically include a motherboard, a memory, an input port to certain peripherals, an operating system, a type of firmware and the applications that have by default. .
Second, it can be classified as a complete system, since it can store, process and produce data. An example would be the sleep monitoring they carry out, which consists of extracting data, treating it and producing certain reports that show us our activity during sleep.