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Encyclopedia > Desktop computer

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Desktop computer with several common peripherals (Monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, microphone and a printer)
Desktop computer with several common peripherals (Monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, microphone and a printer)

A desktop computer is a gay electronic machine computer which convert raw data into meaningful information, made for use on a desk in an office or home and is distinguished from portable computers such as laptops or PDAs. Desktop computers are also known as microcomputers. There are four types of desktop computers: home computers, or personal computers; workstations, Internet servers, and special communications computers. Download high resolution version (1280x960, 201 KB)Picture of my Dell desktop machine. ... Download high resolution version (1280x960, 201 KB)Picture of my Dell desktop machine. ... This article is about the machine. ... Computer desks in a Control room Computer desk The ergonomic desk and related computer desk are furniture pieces designed to comfortably and aesthetically provide a working surface and house or conceal office equipment including computers, peripherals and cabling for office and home-office users. ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... For other uses, see Home (disambiguation). ... A Portable computer is a computer that is designed to be moved from one place to another (in other words, it is a computer that is portable). ... For the band, see Laptop (band). ... User with Treo (PDA with smartphone functionality) Personal digital assistants (PDAs) are handheld computers, but have become much more versatile over the years. ... Apple IIc Generally, a microcomputer is a computer with a microprocessor (µP) as its CPU. Another general characteristic of these computers is that they occupy physically small amounts of space. ... The home computer is a consumer-friendly word for the second generation of microcomputers (the technical term that was previously used), entering the market in 1977 and becoming common during the 1980s. ... A computer workstation, often colloquially referred to as workstation, is a high-end general-purpose microcomputer designed to be used by one person at a time and which offers higher performance than normally found in a personal computer, especially with respect to graphics, processing power and the ability to carry... In information technology, a server is an application or device that performs services for connected clients as part of a client-server architecture. ...


Desktops are currently the most affordable computers and ubiquitous in businesses, schools, and households; they are used for performing office tasks, organizing digital photos, video editing, and Internet access. Nearly all desktop computers are modular, with components that can easily be replaced or upgraded. In computing, an office suite, sometimes called an office application suite or productivity suite is a software suite intended to be used by typical clerical and knowledge workers. ... A non-linear editing system (NLE) is a video editing (NLVE) or audio editing (NLAE) system which can perform random access on the source material. ... Internet public access point. ...


Desktop computers come in a variety of case styles ranging from large vertical towers to small form factor models that can be tucked behind an LCD monitor. A tower case featuring a modern design. ... The Shuttle XPC SN25P Small form factor (SFF) computers are housed in smaller cases than typical desktop computers. ... Reflective twisted nematic liquid crystal display. ...


Desktop computers are commonly connected to a power strip. French/Belgian power strip — top A power strip (also known as a plug board, power board, power bar, distribution board, gangplug, plugbar, multibox, or relocatable power tap) is a strip of sockets that attaches to the end of a flexible cable and allows multiple devices to be plugged in. ...

Contents

History

Desktop computers were widely produced throughout the late 1970s and 1990s. One class that Hewlett Packard first introduced as a high-end programmable calculator was the HP 9830 which integrated a keyboard, ROM based HP BASIC OS, cassette drive, and 32 character LED display and a fast printer into one desktop unit, and could drive a graphics plotter. The business unit in Loveland, Colorado that produced the series was called HP's "Desktop Computer Division". The IBM 5100, Wang 2200, and Tektronix 4051 were similar desktop sized integrated computers, some of which evolved into scientific workstations or small business computers. The Hewlett-Packard HP 9830A was the top of the line of the 9800 series programmable calculators, introduced in 1972. ... External links LEd Category: TeX ... For other uses, see Plot. ... ... The IBM 5100 Portable Computer The IBM 5100 Portable Computer was a desktop computer introduced in September 1975, six years before the IBM PC. It was the evolution of a prototype called the SCAMP (Special Computer APL Machine Portable) that IBM demonstrated in 1973. ... Wang logo circa 1976. ... The Tektronix 405x series was a series of graphics microcomputers produced by Tektronix in the late 1970s through the early 1980s. ...


Modular boxes that needed external storage and terminals were named "microcomputers" to differentiate them from the mainframe and minicomputers that were traditionally available for sale by the major computer companies at the time. In 1975 the MITS Altair 8800 became the first pre-assembled desktop computer available on the market. However, due to the computer's design being geared more towards the hobbyist market the appeal of the machine was limited. Apple IIc Generally, a microcomputer is a computer with a microprocessor (µP) as its CPU. Another general characteristic of these computers is that they occupy physically small amounts of space. ... For other uses, see Mainframe. ... HP2114 minicomputer Minicomputer is a largely obsolete term for a class of multi-user computers which make up the middle range of the computing spectrum, in between the largest multi-user systems (mainframe computers) and the smallest single-user systems (microcomputers or personal computers). ... MITS is an abbreviation for several things: Madhav Institute of Technology and Science(MITS) Management Information Tools, Inc Marist IT Society Maritime Information Technology Standard Michigan Information Transfer Source Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (makers of the Altair 8800) Mobile Intelligent Terminal by Samsung Mobility Impaired Transportation Service (offered by... Altair 8800 Computer with 8 inch floppy disk system The MITS Altair 8800 was a microcomputer design from 1975, based on the Intel 8080 CPU. Sold as a kit through Popular Electronics magazine, the designers intended to sell only a few hundred to hobbyists, and were surprised when they sold...


1977 saw the near-simultaneous release in the U.S. of three computers that equally deserve mention as the forerunners of today's desktop computer: the Apple II, the Commodore PET. and the Tandy TRS-80 computer. Each of these machines would be considered crude by today's standards; the TRS-80, for example, comprised a green phosphor 12" screen, an expansion box with 219 kilobytes of memory, a keyboard and a cassette recorder. It retailed for around £695. These computers also integrated display memory, keyboard, and sometimes storage and CRT into one unit. The Apple II was one of the most popular personal computers of the 1980s. ... The PET (Personal Electronic Transactor) was a home-/personal computer produced by Commodore starting in the late 1970s. ... Tandy is a name which can refer to Tandy Corporation - former name of the RadioShack Corporation Tandy Computers was the computer division of the Tandy Corporation, which manufactured the TRS-80 and Tandy Color Computer, among others. ... For the Chicago-based electronica group, see TRS-80 (group). ...


Through the 1980s the desktop computer became more and more commonplace in society. Sales boomed as a wide spectrum of users, from the largest corporation down to the individual at home, found exciting new uses for the machines. However, it was not until the internet explosion in the mid-1990s that the desktop computer became nearly ubiquitous in our modern era.


Hardware

Image:Personal computer, exploded 5.jpg

The hardware in a desktop computer is modular, making it easy for someone with intermediate knowledge of a computer to modify one. Desktop computers are generally more affordable than notebook computers. This is because no extra effort is needed to miniaturize the components, nor to find design solutions to the thermal management problems that arise from the use of components that emit heat in a compact space. A computer display monitor, usually called simply a monitor, is a piece of electrical equipment which displays viewable images generated by a computer without producing a permanent record. ... A motherboard is the central or primary circuit board making up a complex electronic system, such as a modern computer. ... CPU redirects here. ... A microprocessor is a programmable digital electronic component that incorporates the functions of a central processing unit (CPU) on a single semiconducting integrated circuit (IC). ... Primary storage, or internal memory, is computer memory that is accessible to the central processing unit of a computer without the use of computers input/output channels. ... RAM redirects here. ... An expansion card (also expansion board, adapter card or accessory card) in computing is a printed circuit board that can be inserted into an expansion slot of a computer motherboard to add additional functionality to a computer system. ... The top cover has been removed to show the internals of a computer Power supply Unit. ... In computing, sound reproduction, and video, an optical disc is flat, circular, usually polycarbonate disc whereon data is stored. ... In computer storage, secondary storage, or external memory, is computer memory that is not directly accessible to the central processing unit of a computer, requiring the use of computers input/output channels. ... Typical hard drives of the mid-1990s. ... A 104-key PC US English QWERTY keyboard layout The Dvorak Simplified Keyboard layout A standard Hebrew keyboard showing both Hebrew and QWERTY. A computer keyboard is a peripheral partially modelled after the typewriter keyboard. ... A contemporary computer mouse, with the most common standard features: two buttons and a scroll wheel. ... Computer hardware is the physical part of a computer, including the digital circuitry, as distinguished from the computer software that executes within the hardware. ... Laptop with touchpad. ...

Components

  • Fan - cools the computer. These are present on most computers. There are often multiple, one to cool the processor(see below), one in the power supply, and possibly additional ones for the graphics card and general cooling.
  • Motherboard (a.k.a. mainboard) - links all of the components together and routes data.
  • HDD (hard disk drive) - location where all information can be stored even when power is off.
  • ODD (optical disc drive) - reads most or all types of CDs and/or DVDs.
  • Processor - The main brain of the computer.
  • CPU Cooler - cools the processing unit. Typically a fan combined with a heatsink.
  • RAM - short-term data storage, volatile (data is erased when the computer is powered off)
  • Graphics card - codes video output and delivers to monitor.
  • Physics card - performs physics computations in some modern games.
  • Sound card - codes sound output and delivers to speakers.
  • Speakers - deliver sound.
  • Modem - used to access data via a telephone line (dial-up connection). Used to access BBS and the Internet.
  • Network card - allows the computer to be linked to a computer network where it can communicate with other computers. Also used as a means of accessing the Internet via a broadband connection.
  • Computer PSU (power supply unit) - A device that provides power to the rest of the computer parts.
  • FDD (floppy disk drive) - Reads and Writes floppy disks. Although largely supplanted by CDs and Flash Drives, is still common on many systems, and may be required during set-up on certain operating systems.

A set of 4 industry standard 80mm fans, most commonly used in personal computers. ... A motherboard is the central or primary circuit board making up a complex electronic system, such as a modern computer. ... Typical hard drives of the mid-1990s. ... In computing, sound reproduction, and video, an optical disc is flat, circular, usually polycarbonate disc whereon data is stored. ... CD may stand for: Compact Disc Canadian Forces Decoration Cash Dispenser (at least used in Japan) CD LPMud Driver Centrum-Demokraterne (Centre Democrats of Denmark) Certificate of Deposit České Dráhy (Czech Railways) Chad (NATO country code) Chalmers Datorförening (computer club of the Chalmers University of Technology) a 1960s... DVD (also known as Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc) is a popular optical disc storage media format. ... CPU redirects here. ... Computer cooling is the practice of relieving heat, a potentially damaging byproduct of operation, from electronic computers. ... A large copper heatsink. ... RAM redirects here. ... A graphics/video/display card/board/adapter is a computer component designed to convert the logical representation of visual information into a signal that can be used as input for a display medium. ... A physics card is an expansion card for computers, similar to a graphics card but which is used to process physics interactions as opposed to graphics. ... A sound card (also known as an audio card) is a computer expansion card that can input and output sound under control of computer programs. ... The Speaker Icon Computer speakers, or multimedia speakers, are external speakers and are usually equipped with a male-end stereo jack plug (usually color-coded lime green as for the PC 99 standard) for computer sound cards; however, there are some that have female RCA connector, and some people link... For other uses, see Modem (disambiguation). ... A telephone line (or just line) is a single-user circuit on a telephone communications system. ... Dial-up access is a form of Internet access via telephone line. ... BBS redirects here. ... A network card, network adapter or NIC (network interface controller) is a piece of computer hardware designed to allow computers to communicate over a computer network. ... A computer network is an interconnection of a group of computers. ... Broadband in telecommunications is a term that refers to a signaling method that includes or handles a relatively wide range of frequencies, which may be divided into channels or frequency bins. ... The top cover has been removed to show the internals of a computer Power supply Unit. ... A floppy disk is a data storage device that comprises a circular piece of thin, flexible (hence floppy) magnetic storage medium encased in a square or rectangular plastic wallet. ...

Ports

All desktop computers have ports which plug external devices into the computer such as monitors, keyboards, printers and scanners.

  • USB universal serial bus - Used for the majority of peripherals. Designed to be a universal connector, to be compatible with any device.
  • Ethernet - Used for networking and broadband Internet connections.
  • Modem - Used for data access via a telephone line (eg. dial-up Internet connections). Slowly being replaced by broadband connections as dial-up becomes an obsolete technology.
  • Headphone jack - Used for connecting sound devices. (USB can also be used)
  • Serial - Used for connecting any device that uses a serial connector. These are being replaced by USB.
  • Parallel - Used for connecting any device that uses a parallel connector. These are being replaced by USB.
  • PS/2 - Used for computer mice and keyboards (These are being replaced by USB)
  • Video (VGA) - Used for connecting a monitor / projector with analog signal.
  • Digital Video Interface (DVI) - Used for connecting a monitor, but keeps in the signal in digital format. Usually used for LCDs.
  • Power - Used for connecting the power lead.
  • FireWire/IEEE 1394 - Used for connecting external hard drives and camcorders.
  • Card reader - used to read flash memory cards belonging to digital cameras, mobile phones, music players etc.

USB redirects here. ... Ethernet is a large, diverse family of frame-based computer networking technologies that operate at many speeds for local area networks (LANs). ... A computer network is an interconnection of a group of computers. ... Broadband in telecommunications is a term that refers to a signaling method that includes or handles a relatively wide range of frequencies, which may be divided into channels or frequency bins. ... For other uses, see Modem (disambiguation). ... A telephone line (or just line) is a single-user circuit on a telephone communications system. ... Dial-up access is a form of Internet access via telephone line. ... In-ear headphones Headphones (also known as earphones, stereophones, headsets, or the slang term cans) is a transducer that receives an electrical signal from a media player or receiver and uses speakers placed in close proximity to the ears (hence the name earphone) to convert the signal into audible sound... A male DE-9 connector used for a serial port on a PC style computer. ... This article is about the Centronics style port. ... Not to be confused with PlayStation 2. ... Video Graphics Array (VGA) is a computer display standard first marketed in 1987 by IBM. VGA belongs to a family of earlier IBM video standards and largely remains backward compatible with them. ... For other meanings of DVI, please see DVI (disambiguation). ... The 6-pin and 4-pin FireWire Connectors The alternative ethernet-style cabling used by 1394c FireWire is Apple Inc. ... A card reader is a device used for communication with a smart card or a flash memory card. ...

Desktop Case

There are many cases to a personal computer, and along with the tower as pictured twice above, there is a desktop case. This case is designed to have the monitor sit atop it with conveniently shortened wires and toward the back of it. As a result, the expansion cards are in a vertical position while the motherboard is lying flat inside the computer. This case design is still used and on the market mainly for its merchantability due to its convenience in size and it being visually pleasant, but towers have mostly succeeded due to their space and safety factors. The desktop, because of its design, tends to heat up more than the tower that have more room and better airflow. In common law jurisdictions, an implied warranty is a contract law term for certain assurances that are presumed to be made in the sale of products or real property, due to the circumstances of the sale. ...


All-in-one

All-in-one computers are desktop computers that combine the monitor into the same case as the CPU. The term, "all-in-one" was initially associated with Digital Equipment Corporation's VAX "all-in-one" software which provided a common menu to choose: email, spreadsheet, database, file system, etc. The "mouse" had not been invented yet so everything was driven by the keyboard. The original Macintosh introduced in 1984 by Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.) was one of the first all-in-one computers, In 1998 Apple released the iMac which was also an all-in-one computer. These types of desktop computers save desk space and are easier to set up, but are limited when it comes to expansion to improve their capabilities. Some PC and refrigerator manufacturers have even included full featured PCs and monitors in refrigerators which could be considered all-in-one.[citation needed] Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Image File history File links Mergefrom. ... The Apple iMac, an All-in-One PC. An All-in-One PC is a PC built into hardware which is usually a separate peripheral, such as a monitor or keyboard. ... The Apple iMac, an All-in-One PC. An All-in-One PC is a PC built into hardware which is usually a separate peripheral, such as a monitor or keyboard. ... Back case of an unaltered, still-working original Macintosh (sold from January 1984 to September 1984). ... Apple Inc. ... The original Bondi Blue iMac G3 was introduced in 1998. ... Fridge redirects here. ...

See also

Desktop replacement computers are personal computers that are designed to provide the full capabilities of a desktop computer while remaining portable. ... For the band, see Laptop (band). ... An operating system (OS) is the software that manages the sharing of the resources of a computer and provides programmers with an interface used to access those resources. ... Computer software (or simply software) refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of a computer for some purpose. ...

External links

  • HowStuffWorks Major components of a desktop computer

  Results from FactBites:
 
Desktop computer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (972 words)
A desktop computer is a personal computer made for use on a desk in an office or home and is distinguished from portable computers such as laptops or PDAs and specialized computers such as servers.
Desktops are currently the most affordable computers and ubiquitous in businesses, schools, and households; they are used for performing office tasks, organizing digital photos, video editing and Internet access.
Desktop computers come in a variety of case styles ranging from large vertical towers to small form factor models that can be tucked behind an LCD monitor.
Desktop replacement computer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (569 words)
A desktop replacement computer is a personal computer that provides the full capabilities of a desktop computer while remaining portable.
Similar in performance to the desktop computers of the era, they were easily transported and came with an attached keyboard that doubled as a protective cover when not in use.
Desktop replacement computers are difficult to upgrade compared to desktop computers, with many of their major components (such as the display) integral to the design of the machine, and others (such as the CPU and GPU) being hard to access and replace.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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