Browse Definitions:
Definition

personal computer (PC)

Contributor(s): Reg Harbeck

In its more general usage, a personal computer (PC) is a microcomputer designed for use by one person at a time. Prior to the PC, computers were designed for (and only affordable by) companies who attached terminals for multiple users to a single large computer whose resources were shared among all users. The advent of the era of the personal computer was acknowledged by Time magazine in 1982, when they broke with tradition by choosing the PC as their "Man of the Year." By the late 1980s, technology advances made it feasible to build a small computer that an individual could own and use.

The term "PC" has been traditionally used to describe an "IBM-compatible" personal computer in contradistinction to an Apple Macintosh computer. The distinction is both technical and cultural and harkens back to the early years of personal computers, when IBM and Apple were the two major competitors. Originally, the "IBM-compatible" PC was one with an Intel microprocessor architecture and an operating system such as DOS or Windows that written to use that microprocessor. The Apple Macintosh uses a Motorola microprocessor architecture and a proprietary operating system. The "IBM-compatible" PC was associated with business and use, while the "Mac," known for its more intuitive user interface, was associated with graphic design and desktop publishing. Although the distinctions have become less clear-cut in recent years, people often still categorize a personal computer as either a PC or a Mac.

According to Michael Dell, there were 240 million PCs sold worldwide in 2005.

Get the latest Dell Coupons at Brighthand.com.

This was last updated in January 2011 ???publishDate.suggestedBy???

Continue Reading About personal computer (PC)

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

This really is a wonderful article. Have a look at this one with about what is a computer and some interesting facts about computers. http://www.byte-notes.com/what-computer
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

SearchCloudProvider

  • cloud ecosystem

    A cloud ecosystem is a complex system of interdependent components that all work together to enable cloud services.

  • cloud services

    Cloud services is an umbrella term that may refer to a variety of resources provided over the internet, or to professional ...

  • uncloud (de-cloud)

    The term uncloud describes the action or process of removing applications and data from a cloud computing platform.

SearchSecurity

  • Common Body of Knowledge (CBK)

    In security, Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) is a comprehensive framework of all the relevant subjects a security professional ...

  • Metamorphic virus

    A metamorphic virus is a type of malware that is capable of changing its code and signature patterns with each iteration.

  • vulnerability assessment (vulnerability analysis)

    A vulnerability assessment is the process of defining, identifying, classifying and prioritizing vulnerabilities in computer ...

SearchHealthIT

  • Practice Fusion

    Practice Fusion Inc. is a San Francisco-based company that developed a free electronic health record (EHR) system available to ...

  • RHIA (Registered Health Information Administrator)

    An RHIA, or registered health information administrator, is a certified professional who oversees the creation and use of patient...

  • 21st Century Cures Act

    The 21st Century Cures Act is a wide-ranging healthcare bill that funds medical research and development, medical device ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchStorage

  • storage medium (storage media)

    In computers, a storage medium is any technology -- including devices and materials -- used to place, keep and retrieve ...

  • Random Access Memory (RAM)

    Random Access Memory (RAM) is the hardware in a computing device where the operating system (OS), application programs and data ...

  • floating gate transistor (FGT)

    A floating gate transistor (FGT) is a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology capable of holding an electrical ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close