Choices Between Micro and Mainframe Computers

by Abdul-Malik Al-Sheikh, King Faisal Univ, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia,
Otto J. Helweg, King Faisal Univ, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia,
Ahmed Alajaji, King Faisal Univ, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Steel Structures


The explosion of microcomputers (PCs) has shifted a great amount of engineering computing from mainframes to micros. It has also shifted a lot of programming from FORTRAN to BASIC. This paper examines what classes of programs are more amenable to BASIC and the micro computers and which need FORTRAN and the mainframe computers. Also, the trend of micro computing power is described and projected which will suggest an even greater shift to micros in the future. Presently, microcomputers have three limitations, size, speed, and accuracy. A simple matrix is presented to aid the programmer and user to estimate which applications belong in which environment.

Subject Headings: Computing in civil engineering | Computer programming | Computer languages | Computer aided operations | Computers | Irrigation | Explosions | Project management

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