What is a PC?

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Lednaara

Honestly I don't think I've heard the term PC used outside of a magazine or news article in some time. Most people I've been around simply refer to a computer as their desktop computer or their laptop or their tablet etc. etc. I think the term PC as marketed by IBM back in the 80's has lost it's place in the current age. IBM heavily marketed the term PC as applied to their x86 architecture based desktops and later laptops. Back then anything non-IBM but still using an x86 cpu we simply referred to it as IBM compatible. That's not to say that the PowerPC processor based systems as put out by Apple weren't personal computers. Apple just decided to go a different marketing route and stay away from their systems being called PC's as well. This is why Gordon's differentiating between PC, which we've grown up to classify anything x86 based as, and personal computer, which is any computer that can be owned and used personally. Some of us PC enthusiasts like to modify that even further by saying it's not only x86, but can be customized or run the OS we want it to run. So does that mean that the Intel cpu based Macs/iMacs/Macbooks are still not PC's? They can run Mac OSX or Linux or even Windows now. So I argue they are PC's now, but they've always been personal computers. Do I consider my iPad a PC? no. Heck I don't even really consider it a personal computer as much as it's a media consumption device/computer. It's just easier to say tablet though. And where does that leave the Surface Pro from Microsoft and products similar coming out from ASUS and Acer etc.? Arguably they meet the criteria put forth as PC. I think it might be time to drop the "PC" and just call it what type of computer it truly is now.

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praack

the funnything is we are the only ones that debate this stuff

ask your family and friends-you know the ones- the non techies- ask them what they have and they will tell you all about thier tablet or phone- they won't care about calling it a PC or not.

in fact they don't care that they bought something instead of a desktop- they just got something because it met thier lifestyle.

if they needed a desktop or laptop they would buy it.they did not- and chances are - most are not addng any of those additional costly apps to thier tablet/phone of choice.

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captainjack

This whole debate remindes me of the book I read as a child entitled 'Frindle'. It was all about whether the meaning of a word is determined by what the establishment says (the dictionary) or by popular usage. It doesn't really matter who is right in this debate; only what the word becomes in the future.The awesome thing about language is that words can change meaning as our understanding of that object changes. I believe that the term PC has outgrown the confines of the meaning given to it by the establishment (IBM). Whatever happens to the word 'PC' is now in the hands of it's user base. This is a scary thing in some aspects (do we really want tablets to be refered to as PC's)? But it is a needed change.

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ShyLinuxGuy

I tend to use PC interchangeably. Sometimes, I say PC to mean the x86 Windows platform. For an example, I may say "Make sure these PCs get the new GPOs." Obviously this means that I'm telling a person I'm supervising or working with to update Group Policy on Windows computers on the x86 platform (I know, dorky example), and obviously, the person I'm telling this to would not apply this to Mac or Linux computers, unless they were 1) severely unqualified and unknowledgeable, or 2) being a smartass and/or taking everything literally.

But, really, I know that anything from an iOS device to a Android tablet or smartphone to a Mac Pro is a PC. A PC is any computing device that a person uses and interacts with.

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Cregan89

I don't think defining a PC as anything with an x86 CPU is very accurate...

As other posters have mentioned, what about upcoming Intel Atom based smartphones running Android? I doubt those fit your idea of a PC.

Or how about PowerPC based systems, like older Macs (or IBM-PPCs), which obviously ran Mac OS X, and most distributions of Linux (including Ubuntu desktop). They have keyboards, mice, external monitors, and run full web browsers, Photoshop, Microsoft Office, and pretty much any other piece of classic PC software.

And for that matter, what about Intel Itanium and SPARC?

In fact, the latest version of Ubuntu 12.10 desktop has images for PowerPC and ARM. There is literally no technical reasons preventing you from installing Ubuntu 12.10 desktop on an ARM smartphone and connecting a mouse and keyboard to it and connecting it to an external monitor, and running the majority of Linux software on it, even Steam if you can find good enough GPU drivers.

Even in Windows RT, the only reason you can't recompile and run legacy x86 Windows desktop applications is because of an artificial limitation Microsoft built in as an attempt to push users and developers towards the new Windows 8 APIs. Hackers have already 'jailbroken' this limitation and have indeed run x86 desktop applications on Windows RT.

In short, what you consider a 'PC' is just an artificial generalization of a specific form factor. So I think it's time to start thinking of the PC as what it really is, a "Personal Computer". If you don't want to consider desktop computers and tablets in the same category, then just compare "desktops", not "PCs".

I mean the simple fact remains, more and more consumers are choosing not to purchase classical "PCs" and instead are purchasing tablets to do all of the same things that they would have done on the "PC". So it is perfectly fair and correct to include them in the same comparison. They are absolutely replacing "PCs" for a large number of consumers.

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MaximumMike

You had a few inconsistencies here, so I figured I'd address them.

>>As other posters have mentioned, what about upcoming Intel Atom based smartphones running Android? I doubt those fit your idea of a PC.

I'd be very curious to see what Gordon thinks on this one as well. But based on his other determinations, I'd be willing to guess he'd call these devices PC's because of their Atom processors.

>>Or how about PowerPC based systems, like older Macs (or IBM-PPCs), which obviously ran Mac OS X,

PowerPC was not an x86 architecture, and traditionally those devices were not called PC's. Infact, as one other poster mentioned, Apple wanted nothing to do with the 'PC' nomenclature.

>>and most distributions of Linux (including Ubuntu desktop).

But wait, Linux doesn't run on the PowerPC architecture (at least I haven't heard that it does). It probably could though, and even if it did, I don't think that's what you're talking about. Traditionally, Linux runs on an x86 architecture. In fact, the whole reason Linus Trovalds wrote Linux was to have Unix running on an x86 machine. I don't know of anyone who wouldn't call these machines PC's, except maybe for some Apple know-nothings. But most certainly not Gordon. Reread the article and you'll see that Linux boxes would fall into the PC category per Gordon's criteria.

>>And for that matter, what about Intel Itanium and SPARC?

Itanium is an interesting one because it is an x86 architecture that has made it's way into enterprise and mainframe environments. What we may be seeing here is a broadening of the x86 architecture into areas that are clearly not 'PC' territory. But I don't see this as an encroachment of other architectures on the PC moniker. In regards to SPARC, I have never heard anyone refer to a SPARC system as a PC, not even erroneously.

>>In fact, the latest version of Ubuntu 12.10 desktop has images for PowerPC and ARM.

I stand corrected, Linux does run on PowerPC (although not traditionally). This is a development that does blur the lines unless you are willing to have a much more strict definition of PC, for instance a traditional desktop based on an x86 architecture, but running any compatible OS. This is a narrow definition that would even exclude laptops. But with the changing landscape I'm not so sure that something similar isn't needed, lest the term 'PC' become mostly meaningless.

>>In short, what you consider a 'PC' is just an artificial generalization of a specific form factor.

Well... it's not artificial. An entire industry has agreed for the most part on what a PC is for around 20 years. I'd hardly call that artificial.

>>So I think it's time to start thinking of the PC as what it really is, a "Personal Computer".

I get that 'PC' is an abbreviation for 'personal computer,' but that doesn't mean that it has that exact meaning. Take the common chat abbreviation, 'lol,' for instance. It stands for 'laughing out loud'. At its inception, it was only used when something happened in a chat that was funny enough to cause the reader to audibly laugh. But now, the overwhelming majority of people who type, 'lol' aren't laughing audibly. And even worse, I have met people who actually say 'lol' in normal conversation, and they aren't even laughing. I find it obnoxious, but it happens. What we see here is that 'lol' has ceased to mean 'that was so funny that I could no longer contain myself and I laughed audibly.' Now, quite to the contrary, it means 'I find that mildly amusing'. But go ahead and start insisting that people who type 'lol' actually laugh out loud. And if you aren't willing to insist that people recognize 'lol' as having the exact same meaning as 'laughing out loud,' then why would you insist that an industry of professional people should change jargon that has been accepted for 20 years?

>>If you don't want to consider desktop computers and tablets in the same category, then just compare "desktops", not "PCs".

Or you could stop calling tablets PC's. The more I think about it, I may be reversing my stance here. I had initially agreed with Gordon. But I'm starting to see that the form factor is just as necessary to the meaning of PC as the processing architecture is.

>>more and more consumers are choosing not to purchase classical "PCs" and instead are purchasing tablets to do all of the same things that they would have done on the "PC"

Not quite. There is a small subset of things that were traditionally done on a PC which are now done by the general masses whether they are using a PC or some other device. The general masses do those things regardless what device they are using because those are simply the most popular things to do. But that doesn't suddenly mean that only those things are things which are important to PC's. But quite to the contrary, there are still many things that can be done on the traditional PC, which cannot be done on these other platforms.

Most importantly, PC's are infinitely more customizable on the hardware end. You can literally replace (or upgrade) anything on the unit that you like. And you can add a plethora of new devices, including ports for varying architectures that support devices that cannot be connected to say, a USB port. This is made possible by the inclusion of an accessible mother board with ports/connectors/pins/slots that allow interchangeable components. No tablet in existence supports that degree of customization, and therefore, cannot possibly be used for the same things as a PC. The more I think about what you're saying, the more I realize that only a desktop is truly a PC.

>> So it is perfectly fair and correct to include them in the same comparison.

I'm not denying that they have many similarities or that we ought to be comparing them. But the same is true of cars and trucks, and we can compare those without calling them all cars.

>>They are absolutely replacing "PCs" for a large number of consumers.

So, should we call cars horses because they replaced the horse? Or is it ok to create a new word for a new device, even if it serves the same purpose as the device it's replacing?

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MrGeek

Here's the filter question:

Can it run Skyrim or Crysis 3 in ultra high definition? Then it is a PC. Otherwise is a piece of crap wishing it was a pc!

God created PC's for gaming... anything else is just an excuse for April 15!

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Glycerin

So you're saying a notebook PC is not a PC?

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Engelsstaub

Oooooh...I'm sorry, sir. That answer is incorrect.

It was a pleasure to have you though.

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MaximumMike

Gordon,

You said, "Is your smartphone running Android 4.1 a PC? No."
What about the new generation of Android phones that will run on Atom processors? What say you about those devices?

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jgottberg

To me, PC means what it stands for. A personal computer. I take that to mean anything electronic that I enter input into and receive output from. I think the real designation needs to come in front of "PC" to determine the type of "PC" it is; like Desktop PC, laptop PC, tablet PC, etc...

For example, a Ford F-150 in loose terms could be called a car. In reality, it is a truck. A Ford Taurus is a car. Yet, when Ford reports sales, they report vehicle sales as a whole. Even though Ford may not have sold more Taurus's than Honda sold Accords, Ford may have sold more (in general terms) cars.

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MaximumMike

But, that's not what the term PC traditionally meant, or what the vast majority of readers here think when they say, "PC." I realize that the term is becoming more and more broad, but I don't see how you can apply it to anything that isn't x86.

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jgottberg

Hey Mike,

I'm old school (been in the IT industry almost 20 years) so I know what you mean. I'm still nostalgic myself about the x86/PC thing. Thing is, the changing landscape of how we consume information and create it has blurred the meaning.

Just throwing this out there because I"m not sure myself but... What if the x86 architecture was replaced by a much faster and efficient architecture rendering x86 obsolete and eventually dropped. All things being equal, it did everything x86 did. Would we just stop using the term, PC?

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MaximumMike

I really don't know. And I think that's where the conversation is taking us. Perhaps we would need a new term, and just let the term PC go. Or perhaps it would become something else despite our objections. It may be becoming that any way. If I could pick one accomplishment of Apple that shaped the computing landscape it would be redefining every technical term imaginable with their marketing department. It's frustrating because it makes doing your job and communicating with people extremely difficult. Medical jargon isn't up for redefinition by pharmaceutical companies looking to make a quick buck, so I don't see why our jargon should be any different.

But if some new architecture really does pop up, if Intel outdoes x86, or some upstart with a superior technology suddenly knocks them off their horse, I think I will be way too impressed to care about what we call a PC anymore.

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jgottberg

I'm ok with dropping the "PC" moniker. Until this article, the last time I even used or heard the term?... Gosh, I can't even remember. I have just gotten to the point where I call things what they are, a laptop, desktop, tablet, etc.

I do think you are right where media/manufacturer hyperbole skews the meaning of the word is concerned. Every time I see the headline "Apple tops all PC manufacturers in total shipments" or the like, I cringe. Sales volume or shipments should be broken down into their respective segments. But what fun would that be? That's not nearly as attention grabbing.

*I should note that I DO realize this is Maximum"PC" and do see the term. I guess I meant "in the wild" so to speak.

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MaximumMike

I guess I'm really not there yet. The beauty of the English language is our ability to expand it and use it in new ways. And yes, you could say that 'PC' is being used in new ways, but it seems unimaginative and stale to keep trying to add new concepts to the same word. Let's create new, more meaningful terminology as opposed to watering down existing language to the point that it is practically meaningless. Besides, 'personal computer' is plenty generic enough. What's wrong with keeping with the traditional meaning of 'PC' as a device derived from the x86 architecture? Can't people still say 'personal computer' when they want to speak generically? And if they can't, what new terminology would we use to refer to the category of devices we currently call PC's? And if we are just going to invent a new word to replace the one we already have, why not keep the existing word and educate people of the difference?

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USraging

A computer was defined as anything you can put raw data in and get information out of. Now the term PC "personal computer" came from the fact that back in the day general consumers could not afford what was defined as a computer. Hence the PC was developed to bring computing into the home. Now you too can have monochrome monitors and floppy drives.

There is no getting around it my smart phone is really a computer. But is it a PC? Well it does put computing in the palm of my hand. I don't feel comfortable defining it as a PC but i will define it as a PD or (personal device).

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Gezzer

If I remember correctly before IBM set us all straight we had 3 types of computers. Main frames, that were made up of many separate components each in their own housing/case and usually taking up any where from a small room to many floors of a building. Mini computers, like the systems that Cray computers used to make. And lastly micro computers like a Commodore 64 or Atari 800.
IBM felt the term micro was bad from a marketing perspective and decided to call their home computers IBM Personal Computers or PCs. Now the question for me would be was it meant to replace micro, or was it meant for just IBM's micro computers? It did become the standard term to replace micro pretty much, so the next question becomes are tablets or even laptops micro computers or something else?
Pretty much any computing device that is used by one person at a time could be considered a personal computer, but to me PC means a x86 desktop computer just like it did when IBM came up with the term, and I never call a laptop a PC, it's a laptop. Same goes for tablets and smart phones. If it can be used while your moving, it's not a PC.
As for the question of Apple computers, when they switched over to x86 processors they became PCs, but I still call them Macs because it denotes the fact that they are very much a closed system, designed so you can only use it the way Apple wants you to. It kind of puts them in a subcategory of PC. While the common PC is much more open system.

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Engelsstaub

I respect your point of view and even understand it. I am somewhat unwilling to call an iPad a PC as well. I *believe* this would really be a non-issue to you if it wasn't for the Apple-part.

I know the site is running a seeming contradiction but the media loves to play fast and loose with terminology to fit whatever agenda they are selling as news. (Look at the way the term "assault weapon" is generalized to the point of it meaning anything they want it to mean.) Perhaps the iPad (and other tablets) are hurting "PC" sales. I think they're just using the word PC in such an instance to describe "real computers" like the cheap ones the majority buys at WalMart to be Facebook/porn machines. Nearly all of the stuff the Avg Joe could do on those can be done on an iPad now or an Android tablet.

Real muhfugs, like you and your readership aren't the Avg Joe. We use PCs for much more than what a tablet can ever do in the near future.

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MaximumMike

I think you're missing the point. Gordon was clear that the iPad was not a PC, because it wasn't x86, but not because it was Apple. Apple did a good job running it's Mac vs. PC campaign. But at the time they ran those commercials every Mac being made was a PC. I hope you didn't swallow that propaganda.

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Engelsstaub

At that point my only PCs were running Windows. I never owned my own Mac until about two yrs ago or so. I was honestly pretty oblivious to the commercials (other than a few mentions here and on the web) because I really don't watch enough TV. (Have you ever heard someone say "I don't watch enough TV?" It's like saying I don't eat at McDonalds enough lol )

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MaximumMike

Haha! Or, "I don't bang my head into walls enough." Seriously though, my only real TV weakness is football. Other than that, I don't watch very much TV either. But during football season I'm prone to see just about everything advertisers have to say. I honestly hated most of the Mac vs PC commercials when they were airing. They were too smug and usually flat out wrong. But they had one that was making fun of Vista's annoying security features that was awesome. If you ever feel like finding it on you tube, you won't be disappointed. It was definitely one of Apple's best.

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aarcane

PC is just an acronym for Personal Computer that got hijacked by the x86 fanboys somewhere along the line and used in marketing jargon. If anything, the exact definition is "Personal Computer". A Personal Computer is any computing device capable of both general purpose computing and being used by an individual. Anything that is designed to fit this that has been modified to fit this chriteria is a PC. Regardless of Operating System, Processor, interface, etc. The iPad, the android, the x86 PC, and even the ARM laptops and tablets. I don't think it often, but in this case it's undeniable: Your opinion is absolutely unquestionably wrong.

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MaximumMike

The term PC was coined by IBM at the beginning (didn't you read the article), and is not to be confused with the generic term, 'personal computer.' It was only hijacked recently by know-nothing smart-ass noobs like yourself. And there are things such as facts and and things such as opinions. Unfortunately, your facts are "absolutely unquestionably wrong." And this leads you to have really bad uninformed opinions.

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DeltaFIVEengineer

+1

Even with the attempt at poking the hornet's nest with this article, a standard definition is still a standard definition.

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HKUSPC40

The PC is my electronic command center... I use it to watch TV, play games, complete work (Matlab, AutoCAD, etc.), pay bills, play music, and a million other tasks that I can't/wouldn't do with a tablet, laptop, or phone.

If PC makers were smart they would figure out how to seamlessly combine a PC into a XBox, cable receiver, router, Blu-Ray player, surround sound receiver, and even a monitoring/control center for your home's electrical system.

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MaximumMike

If I remember correctly, the Playstation 4 announcement moves the platform to an x86 architecture. So, with that entry, PC's are currently in every market you just mentioned.

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Glycerin

Yep, it was announced they will be using x86. Ought be interesting..

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KuroZero

I think the definitions are more or less irrelevant - as technology advances and we interact with devices differently (I.e. google glass) they're bound to change.

What i got out of this basically boils down to this: How can you adversely affect a market (I.e. "PC sales") if your products are a part of said market?

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digitaldoc77

"During the next few years, the lines will get blurred."

I think the lines are more than blurred already! I often think about an Android phone as a "PC = personal computer," because unlike my last feature phone is can download and run software. And what about my Blackberry that has Documents To Go on it that can be used to open, and (painfully) edit a document. The lines are blurry already, but I totally agree that this will get even fuzzier as time goes on!

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MaximumMike

But for the most part, Android phones don't have x86 processors, an absolute MUST by any definition of PC.

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Bullwinkle J Moose

It depends on the Operating System as much as your hardware

Are you in control, or is it some Corporation or Government?

If you are connected to the Internet with any version of Windows made in the past 10 years, then it's not a "Personal" Computer

It's just a Computer!

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lhatten

Ya know Develray I don't give a damn what you think or do! If you had gone through the S-100 bus, Commodore 64, Apple II, et al, then you may understand. The PC name is really a shortening of IBM PC. Because IBM decided not to not protect its BIOS (a mind-boggling decision), other manufactures could create a clone of the IBM PC and they all became known as PCs. Apple, with its new Mac wanted nothing to do with the name, so PC referred to IBM PCs & clones and Mac or Apple refereed to the other. For quite awhile, that was it. S-100 bus computers disappeared, along with all of the other minor players such as the above mentioned Commodore 64. The crack in the armor happened when Linux appeared. But you could only load it on an X86 computer, not an Apple (forget about emulators). Now we have phones,tablets, cloud terminals (Chrome & maybe soon Firefox). All of the new stuff is a computer, it is personal, but IT IS NOT A PC! Nuff said. Oh and Develray, why don't you just go by a Mac!

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davelray

Hrmmm. Strange. If you didn't give a damn, then why did you go to the trouble to post as well as purposefully misspell my name? Thanks for sharing your opinion even though it's completely obvious you don't give a damn.

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davelray

You know, honestly, this article is one of the reasons why I'm considering canceling my subscription to the magazine. And I've been a subscriber for many years. Longer than I've been a member of the website. Why put all these strict definitions of what a PC is? It's real simple. A PC is a personal computer. A computer that can be purchased and used by anyone unlike mini computers or mainframes or super computers. When you narrow the field down so far as you have in this article, you lose sight of the bigger picture. You no longer see the forest, just the few trees in front of you.

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MaximumMike

Perhaps reading the magazine and not just letting it set on your coffee table would give you a better understanding of what a PC is, because your understanding is tellingly lacking. Gordon is right on.

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davelray

Gee, I hope I know what a PC is. I've been building them and repairing them for over two decades. And I'm sure there are other folks here that have been doing the same longer than I. That's great that you agree with Gordon's opinion. I do not however. Saying I have a lack of understanding of what a PC is is just you trying to take a cheap shot at me and has absolutely no bearing on anything. Troll elsewhere.

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MaximumMike

Sorry, but I'm not trolling. What a PC is and has been historically is not up to your interpretation, though what it may become might be. I've met enough dumb mechanics that repaired cars in my life to know that just because you spend 20 years repairing something doesn't mean you really know everything about it. I'm sorry the definition of the PC architecture has escaped you for 20+ years, though I cannot fathom how. Perhaps you might take this opportunity to educate yourself. It's not a cheap shot to correct your misinformed notion that the term PC can be applied generically to any personal computer. In fact, if you had read (or understood) the article you would have realized that this was the whole point. It has been easy in the past to correct the ignorant among us (no matter how long they have been repairing computers) by simply pointing to the x86 architecture. But now that architecture is popping up in form factors we did not expect. The lines are blurring. So, there is a need in our industry to have a dialogue about what this means and what we are really willing to call a PC. But even with a really broad definition of PC, it's senseless to think that the terms 'PC' and 'personal computer' are exactly equivalent, unless of course you have been ignorant for a long time or you simply choose to ignore the significance of the term 'PC' despite its universal acceptance by the industry. So you either really do have a lack of understanding and should appreciate the opportunity to learn something about your industry, or you are in fact the troll.

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davelray

A personal computer (PC) is any general-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and original sales price make it useful for individuals, and which is intended to be operated directly by an end-user with no intervening computer operator. This contrasted with the batch processing or time-sharing models which allowed larger, more expensive minicomputer and mainframe systems to be used by many people, usually at the same time. Large data processing systems require a full-time staff to operate efficiently. - Source: Wikipedia

PC - a digital computer designed for use by only one person at a time. A typical personal computer assemblage consists of a central processing unit (CPU), which contains the computer’s arithmetic, logic, and control circuitry on an integrated circuit; two types of computer memory, main memory, such as digital random-access memory (RAM), and auxiliary memory, such as magnetic hard disks and special optical compact discs, or read-only memory (ROM) discs (CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs); and various input/output devices, including a display screen, keyboard and mouse, modem, and printer. See also computer: History of computing. Source - Britannica

So the answer is no, nothing about the PC has escaped my understanding over the last 20 years or more. Want to keep going? I'm sure I can find more sources that same the same things. It's not a matter of "my interpretation." And that's my point. Gordon is narrowing down what the playing field far too much.

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MaximumMike

Please don't ever link anything to me from wikipedia, EVER. It's great for getting the gist of an idea, but there's a reason that no one will accept it as a reputable source, and that goes for me as well. If you're too lazy to actually find something interesting and reputable to link to, don't bother. Posting a link to wikipedia is only proof that you're a lazy, asinine jackass. And if that's how you get your knowledge, then I think I finally get how you missed a small phenomenon otherwise known as the PC architecture. If you can't find something written by someone who might actually be an authority on the matter, then please make a quick exit from any future discourse with me. Take a look at this much more reputable book and you will find that there was indeed much that was missed by not just you, but also wikipedia and encyclopedia brittanica- that is if you're not too arrogant to admit that you're wrong and actually learn something: http://karbosguide.com/books/pcarchitecture/chapter00.htm

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davelray

*laughs* I could care less whether you like Wikipedia or not. That was not the point. The point is two sources of knowledge and information both say pretty much the same thing. And by the way, of my more than 20 years in the industry, I spent 6 working for IBM. They are the authority in PC architecture. Maybe you've heard of them? So take your opinionated litany somewhere else. Your arrogance is what's astounding and also laughable. I'm done with you now. Have a good one.

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MaximumMike

Right. So, as long as I get two sources, I can say whatever I like? It no longer matters if it is true or reputable, just that I have two sources? Apparently you've been done with logic and reason for over 20 years. I can only imagine why you don't still work for IBM if you ever really did. But I've met a plenty of IBM printer and server techs that couldn't spell their first name. The PC architecture might very well be IBM's defining achievement, and you are either completely oblivious to it, or a dumb troll who wants to pretend he's oblivious to it. But thanks for obliging to exit the conversation, as you're too lazy to back up your backwards notions of the PC industry with any real facts. That must be much more convenient than actually reading the reputable source I so kindly linked for you and having to digest actual facts that don't agree with your ignorant notion of what PC's are.

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davelray

Nope, I'm exiting the conversation at the point because talking to you is like talking to a brick wall. And not that it's any of your business, but I left IBM because they moved my department to another country and I did not want to move overseas. I backed up my "backwards notions" as you refer to it. Whether you accept them or not is no longer my concern. With three sources total by the way. Two of them highly reputable. And even if you consider wikepedia not so reputable, they do a fairly good job of citing their sources and backing up a large number of their articles up as well. Strange how I have rather good sources of information as well as real world experience and education, and yet I'm the ignorant one?

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MaximumMike

You provided two sources, not three. And even then, one was of ill repute and the other, just plain not likely to know the distinction. And no, you cannot count yourself as a source. So, the fact that you cannot count to two makes you "the ignorant one". Also, the fact that you refuse to read something somewhat more scholarly than encyclopedia brittanica, even when the link to said "FREE" literature was provided for you, makes you pretty ignorant. So, you can stick your head in the sand and scream "NA NA NA I CAN'T HEAR YOU," all day long if you like. You've obviously been doing that for 20+ years. But the fact will remain that you are simply wrong. Whether you ever choose to acknowledge that fact or not, will not deteriorate it's truth one iota. But you will remain perpetually ignorant.

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jonnyohio

My iPad is NOT a PC. It's not because there is nothing "personal computing" about it. It is a locked-down media device designed to serve up content, content provided by PCs...it is an extension of a PC really. A "personal computer" is something that can be modified, upgraded, and have custom software installed on it to the users liking (hence the term 'personal')...it's functions are not limited by the creator, it serves data to other devices, and its primary purpose is for a person to create data and programs-- though its not its only purpose. My iPad merely serves up data, media, and apps to me that was created on a PC...it is a PCD (personal consumer device) because its purpose is to allow the consumer (me) to easily purchase software, data, and media that was created on a PC that meets my needs and satisfaction. Sure, my iPad fits the definition of a computer, but a PC it is not.

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davelray

Your iPad is a personal computer because you can afford to own one and can use it personally. That's what makes it a personal computer. You personally can own and operate it.

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jonnyohio

No that is what makes it a PCD...try reading what I wrote before responding.

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jonnyohio

Oops double post

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big_montana

A PC is also a device that allows you to install, and uninstall, any program or application that can run for your OS. That is not locked down by the manufacturer with restrictions on what you can install on it, or uninstall, does not force you to break laws by jail breaking or rooting your device to get rid of unnecessary applications that you do not want. It is open to do with as you please, and easy to upgrade the hardware as you see fit without having to purchase an entirely new system in 1 years time when it is outdated.

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Renegade Knight

I agree. A PC is a personal computer. The IBM PC was IBM's personal computer.

The key thing for me to call something a PC is that you can write programs on it, and run them on it. Plus install and run programs others have written on it. Directly. DOS (As in a Disk Operating System) needs to exist in some way to let you access every file on the machine. Nothing is hidden and the machine isn't locked down. Modern OSs are starting to head down the path of lock down though.

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