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i think that it's really wierd how calculators can work so fast.
Not as fast as your PC, though. Just think how much it has to do to make the graphics for a modern game look good.
The average desktop PC can perform about 100 million instructions per second. That may sound impressive but the IBM BlueGene/L can perform 360 trillion operations per second. That is officially the world's fastest computer. I think it would be pretty obvious which of those would be classed as a mainframe.Incidentally, there is a computer, the RIKEN MDGrape-3, that is almost 3 times as fast as the BlueGene/L at 1 quadrillion operations per second. However, that computer cannot run the officical software that is used to rate speed so that is why the BlueGene/L is officially the fastest (I wonder who wrote that test software - IBM. maybe?)But neither of those can match the human brain. That has been estimated to perform 10 quadrillion instructions per second.
Well I brought mine for $16. 
It was buggered when you said...
its weird - you ask a question on this site and it seems to just turn into a big, mad and sometimes pointless conversation... not a bad thing though.