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Used originally as a term for almost any computer system, then to describe a large system, the term 'mainframe' is used less frequently as the numbers in use decline. This is due largely to the massive increase in processor power of smaller computers. A year 2000 home user desktop computer has more storage capacity and raw processing power than a 1966 vintage mainframe, and an entire organisation can now be run with just one desktop server connected to a number of PCs.

Mainframes (and Supercomputers) are still being built, installed and run, but their use tends to be restricted to the scientific/academic/government communities rather than the commercial world.

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