Von Neumann architecture is most of the computers we use today. The fetch-decode-execute cycle describes how a processor (CPU) functions.
A general purpose computer is a system that was created soley for managing multiple tasks. (This is not the same as multitasking). A PC is an example of a general purpose computer. It can be used to:
Access the internet. This could mean browsing the web, social media, online shopping and a bunch other stuff!
It can also be used to work. This means they can be used for a multitude of presentation, word processing, database software. This means it can be used for working or anything else you need to generally type in.
You can also use them to play games! Depending on the quality and specification of the computer (whether it is a gaming PC or a general office PC) you can play a category of games on the web and offline. You can also use it to watch and play music and videos. This can be from online entertainment companies for the naughty pirated sites!
Computers can also be used for receiving and sending data. This could mean a multitude of things…
Sending messages and receiving messages (online socialising). Saving data to a database, sending packets and requests to networks etc
This means that data is a key feature in computers and without it, they would be unable to function.
Each of these tasks is called an application.
Any computer that can have many applications, such as those listed, is a general purpose computer.
Apart from PCs and laptops, the following devices are also classed as general purpose computers:
tablets – like PCs, they can run a variety of applications and software. This is more limited than an actual computer but they still have some uses and similarities between them.
smartphones – today’s smartphones can also run a variety of applications, the same as the tablet. However, the smartphone can also be used for calls, data, text and other communication. Along with games and other sources of entertainment.
games consoles – as well as games, modern consoles also allow users to watch videos, play music and browse the internet. In my opinion, consoles are a waste of time and money and should only be used by the devil and his spawn. Who voluntarily games on a device with the worst FPS known to man?
media systems in cars – allow users to navigate, listen to music and connect to a smartphone. This helps by reducing drivers habit to look at their phone while driving due to hands-free and Bluetooth. It can also play the music you have saved to your smartphone making it more efficient than having CD’s with different albums and artists on.