there's been a thread on this for a while in AFA section so i thought i'd bring it here. What computers are the mids issued? are there "filters" on their internet access (like most HSs) are previously purchased comps allowed?
When I was there during CVW, the youngster I was shadowing told me that the Academy has a specific list of things of qualifications the monitor needs to have but other than that it's pretty much free choice on monitors- a lot of the mids I noticed had ones that looked like flat screen TVs. This is where the website discusses it (http://candidatedata.usna.edu/computerspecs.asp) but it's for the class of 2011...
All members of the incoming Class are issued the same computer system at the end of Plebe Summer. Over the course of time you will see Mids that get different monitors. As far as modifying the basic system that you are given - Midshipmen are not authorized to do so. You do to want to have modified your system and then have problems requiring IT assistance. Personal laptops are allowed, however you can not connect to the internet. Only USNA supplied hardware may be used to connect to the internet.
A microcomputer is the original terminology used to describe a personal computer (PC). This would encompass all PCs - from the smallest to the biggest, most powerful to the least powerful. Portable or desktop. Typically, a personal computer is designed to have only one user at a time logged into it and using it.
A midrange computer is a small, but pretty powerful multi user machine that is often refered to as a server (like an application server or a web server). To a limited extent, these computers can be broken into several smaller virtual machines.
A mainframe is a monster of a computer and can accomidate thousands of users at a time. Enormous processing power and extensive virtualization (many smaller virtual machines are created from one physical machine).
A super computer is just that - total pie in the sky computing. Mainly used in specialized research venues.