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Encyclopedia > Personal computer
A stylised illustration of a personal computer
A stylised illustration of a personal computer

A personal computer (PC) is a computer whose original sales price, size, and capabilities make it useful for individuals, intended to be operated directly by an end user, with no intervening computer operator. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Image File history File links Computer-aj_aj_ashton_01. ... Image File history File links Computer-aj_aj_ashton_01. ... This article is about the machine. ...


Today a PC may be a desktop computer, a laptop computer or a tablet computer. The most common operating systems are Microsoft Windows and Mac OS, while the most common microprocessors are the x86 and PowerPC CPUs. Software applications for personal computers include word processing, spreadsheets, games, and a myriad of personal productivity and special-purpose software. Modern personal computers often have high-speed or dial-up connections to the Internet, allowing access to the World Wide Web and a wide range of other resources. Bold text 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... Laptop with touchpad. ... Toshiba Portege 3500 tablet PC, in tablet configuration. ... In computing, an operating system (OS) is the system software responsible for the direct control and management of hardware and basic system operations. ... Windows redirects here. ... This article relates to both the original Classic Mac OS as well as Mac OS X, Apples more recent operating system. ... x86 or 80x86 is the generic name of a microprocessor architecture first developed and manufactured by Intel. ... PowerPC is a RISC microprocessor architecture created by the 1991 Apple–IBM–Motorola alliance, known as AIM. Originally intended for personal computers, PowerPC CPUs have since become popular embedded and high-performance processors as well. ... Word processing, in its now-usual meaning, is the use of a word processor to create documents using computers. ... A spreadsheet is a rectangular table (or grid) of information, often financial information. ... For information on interactive gaming in general, see video game. ... WWWs historical logo designed by Robert Cailliau The World Wide Web (commonly shortened to the Web) is a system of interlinked, hypertext documents accessed via the Internet. ...


A PC may be a home computer, or may be found in an office, often connected to a local area network. The distinguishing characteristics are that the computer is primarily used, interactively, by one person at a time. This is opposite to the batch processing or time-sharing models which allowed large expensive systems to be used by many people, usually at the same time, or large data processing systems which required a full-time staff to operate efficiently. Children playing on a Amstrad CPC 464 in the 1980s. ... LAN redirects here. ...


While early PCs owners usually had to write their own programs to do anything useful with the machines, today's users have access to a wide range of commercial and free software which is easily installed. The coming convergence of larger devices and the Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), mobile phone and wearable computer markets which have similar functions, operating systems and even the same components, will decide if personal computer will refer to these devices.[1][2][3][4] User with Treo (PDA with smartphone functionality) Personal digital assistants (PDAs) are handheld computers, but have become much more versatile over the years. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Contents

History

Main article: History of personal computers

The capabilities of the PC have changed greatly since the introduction of electronic computers. By the early 1970s, people in academic or research institutions had the opportunity for single-person use of a computer system in interactive mode for extended durations, although these systems would still have been too expensive to be owned by a single person. The introduction of the microprocessor, a single chip with all the circuitry that formerly occupied large cabinets, led to the proliferation of personal computers after about 1975. Early personal computers generally called microcomputers, sold often in kit form and in limited volumes, and were of interest mostly to hobbyists and technicians. By the late 1970s, mass-market pre-assembled computers allowed a wider range of people to use computers, focusing more on software applications and less on development of the processor hardware. A microprocessor incorporates most or all of the functions of a central processing unit (CPU) on a single integrated circuit (IC). ... Integrated circuit of Atmel Diopsis 740 System on Chip showing memory blocks, logic and input/output pads around the periphery Microchips with a transparent window, showing the integrated circuit inside. ... 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. ...


Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, home computers were developed for household use, offering personal productivity, programming and games. Somewhat larger and more expensive systems (although still low-cost compared with minicomputers and mainframes) were aimed for office and small business use. Workstations are characterized by high-performance processors and graphics displays, with large local disk storage, networking capability, and running under a multitasking operating system. Workstations are still used for tasks such as computer-aided design, drafting and modelling, computation-intensive scientific and engineering calculations, image processing, architectural modelling, and computer graphics for animation and motion picture visual effects.[5] Children playing on a Amstrad CPC 464 in the 1980s. ... Minicomputer (colloquially, mini) 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 (traditionally, mainframe computers) and the smallest single-user systems (microcomputers or personal computers). ... For other uses, see Mainframe. ... Sun SPARCstation 1+, 25 MHz RISC processor from early 1990s A workstation, such as a Unix workstation, RISC workstation or engineering workstation, is a high-end desktop or deskside microcomputer designed for technical applications. ... CADD and CAD redirect here. ... This article is about building architecture. ... This article is about the scientific discipline of computer graphics. ...


Eventually the market segments lost any technical distinction; business computers acquired color graphics capacity and sound, and home computers and game systems used the same processors and operating systems as office-bound computers. Mass-market computers had graphics and memory comparable to dedicated workstations of a few years before. Even local area networking, originally a way to allow business computers to share expensive mass storage and peripherals, became a standard feature of a home computer.


Types

Desktop computer

Main article: Desktop computer

A desktop computer is an independent personal computer (PC), as opposed to smaller forms of PCs, such as a mobile laptop. Prior to the wide spread of PCs a computer that could fit on a desk was considered remarkably small. Today the phrase usually indicates a particular style of computer case. Desktop computers come in a variety of styles ranging from large vertical tower cases to small form factor models that can be tucked behind an LCD monitor. In this sense, the term 'desktop' refers specifically to a horizontally-oriented case, usually intended to have the display screen placed on top to save space on the desk top. Most modern desktop computers have separate screens and keyboards. Bold text 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... For the band, see Laptop (band). ... A tower case featuring a modern design. ... A computer case (also known as the computer chassis, cabinet, tower, box, enclosure or housing) is the enclosure that contains the main components of a computer. ... The Shuttle XPC SN25P Small form factor (SFF) computers are housed in smaller cases than typical desktop computers. ... Reflective twisted nematic liquid crystal display. ...


Laptop

Main article: Laptop

A laptop computer or simply laptop, also called a notebook computer or sometimes a notebook, is a small personal computer designed for mobility. Usually all of the interface hardware needed to operate the laptop, such as parallel and serial ports, graphics card, sound channel, etc., are built in to a single unit. Most laptops contain batteries to facilitate operation without a readily available electrical outlet. In the interest of saving power, weight and space, they usually share RAM with the video channel, slowing their performance compared to an equivalent desktop machine. For the band, see Laptop (band). ... For the band, see Laptop (band). ... This article is about the Centronics style port. ... A male DE-9 connector used for a serial port on a PC style computer. ... For other uses, see Battery. ...


One main drawback of the laptop is that, due to the size and configuration of components, relatively little can be done to upgrade the overall computer from its original design. Some devices can be attached externally through ports (including via USB); however internal upgrades are not recommended or in some cases impossible, making the desktop PC more modular.


Tablet PC

Main article: Tablet PC

A Tablet PC is a notebook or slate-shaped mobile computer, first introduced by Pen Computing in the early 90s with their PenGo Tablet Computer and popularized by Microsoft. Its touchscreen or graphics tablet/screen hybrid technology allows the user to operate the computer with a stylus or digital pen, or a fingertip, instead of a keyboard or mouse. The form factor offers a more mobile way to interact with a computer. Tablet PCs are often used where normal notebooks are impractical or unwieldy, or do not provide the needed functionality. A Tablet PC is a notebook- or slate-shaped mobile computer. ... This article is about the writing pad. ... A mobile computer is any computing device intended to frequently move location while maintaining operation. ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... Touchscreens are display overlays which have the ability to display and receive information on the same screen. ... A graphics tablet/screen hybrid (or tablet/LCD hybrid, Tablet LCD Monitor [1] ) is a graphics tablet that incorporates an LCD into the tablet itself, allowing the user to draw directly on the display surface. ... This article is about the machine. ... For the online music and film magazine, see Stylus Magazine. ... 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. ...


Ultra-Mobile PC

Main article: Ultra-Mobile PC

The Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC) is a specification for a small form factor tablet PC. It was developed as a joint development exercise by Microsoft, Intel, and Samsung, among others. Current UMPCs typically feature the Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005, Windows Vista Home Premium Edition, or Linux operating system and low-voltage Intel Pentium or VIA C7-M processors in the 1 GHz range. The Ultra-Mobile PC (abbreviated UMPC), previously known by its codename Project Origami, is a specification for a small form factor tablet PC. It was developed as a joint development exercise by Microsoft, Intel, and Samsung, among others. ... Form factor refers to the linear dimensions and configuration of a device as distinguished from other measures of size (for example Gigabytes; a measure of storage size): in computing, form factor is used to describe the size and format of PC motherboards (see AT, ATX, BTX), but also of hard... A Tablet PC is a notebook- or slate-shaped mobile computer. ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC, SEHK: 4335), founded in 1968 as Integrated Electronics Corporation, is an American multinational corporation that is best known for designing and manufacturing microprocessors and specialized integrated circuits. ... Samsung Group is one of the largest South Korean business groupings. ... A typical Windows XP desktop. ... Windows Vista is a line of graphical operating systems used on personal computers, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, Tablet PCs, and media centers. ... This article is about operating systems that use the Linux kernel. ... 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. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The VIA C3 is an x86 central processing unit for personal computers produced by VIA Technologies. ... A gigahertz is a billion hertz or a thousand megahertz, a measure of frequency. ...


Home theater PC

Main article: Home theater PC

A home theater PC (HTPC) is a convergence device that combines the functions of a personal computer and a digital video recorder. It is connected to a television or a television-sized computer display and is often used as a digital photo, music, video player, TV receiver and digital video recorder. Home theater PCs are also referred to as media center systems or media servers. The general goal in a HTPC is usually to combine many or all components of a home theater setup into one box. They can be purchased pre-configured with the required hardware and software needed to add television programming to the PC, or can be cobbled together out of discrete components as is commonly done with Windows Media Center, GB-PVR, SageTV, Famulent or LinuxMCE. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Media PC. (Discuss) A home theater PC, or HTPC for short, is a personal computer connected to a television. ... Foxtel IQ, a digital video recorder and a satellite cable set-top box. ... 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. ... This article is about media centers in general. ... A media server is a computing device, ranging from an enterprise class machine providing video on demand, to, more commonly, a small home computer storing various digital media. ... Home cinema, also called Home theater, seeks to reproduce cinema quality video and audio in the home. ... Windows Media Center is an application designed to serve as a home-entertainment hub. ... GB-PVR is a free Personal Video Recorder (PVR) software program for Microsoft Windows that allows a computers TV tuner card to be used to record and pause live TV, much like a PVR box such as TiVo. ... SageTV Media Center is a popular digital video recording software package for Windows and Linux. ... LinuxMCE is an free and open source designed to allow a computer to act as a Media PC / HTPC (Home Theater PC). ...


Pocket PC

Main article: Pocket PC

A Pocket PC is a hardware specification for a handheld-sized computer (Personal digital assistant) that runs the Microsoft Windows Mobile operating system. It may have the capability to run an alternative operating system like NetBSD or Linux. It has many of the capabilities of modern desktop PCs. An O2 Pocket PC phone A Pocket PC, abbreviated P/PC or PPC, is a hardware specification for a handheld-sized computer (Personal digital assistant) that runs the Microsoft Windows Mobile operating system. ... Specification may refer to several different concepts: Specification (standards) refers to specific standards Specificatio - a legal concept Specification (regression) refers to the practice of translating theory into a regression model Category: ... A handheld is most often used to refer to: A personal digital assistant (PDA). ... This article is about the machine. ... User with Treo (PDA with smartphone functionality) Personal digital assistants (PDAs) are handheld computers, but have become much more versatile over the years. ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... Windows Mobile is a compact operating system combined with a suite of basic applications for mobile devices based on the Microsoft Win32 API. Devices which run Windows Mobile include Pocket PCs, Smartphones, Portable Media Centers, and on-board computers for certain automobiles. ... 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. ... 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. ... NetBSD is a freely redistributable, open source version of the Unix-like BSD computer operating system. ... This article is about operating systems that use the Linux kernel. ... IBM PC compatible computers are those generally similar to the original IBM PC, XT, and AT. Such computers used to be referred to as PC clones, or IBM clones since they almost exactly duplicated all the significant features of the PC, XT, or AT internal design, facilitated by various manufacturers...


Currently there are thousands of applications for handhelds adhering to the Microsoft Pocket PC specification, many of which are freeware. Some of these devices also include mobile phone features. Microsoft compliant Pocket PCs can also be used with many other add-ons like GPS receivers, barcode readers, RFID readers, and cameras. In 2007, with the advent of Windows Mobile 6, Microsoft dropped the name Pocket PC in favor of a new naming scheme. Devices without an integrated phone are called Windows Mobile Classic instead of Pocket PC. Devices with an integrated phone and a touch screen are called Windows Mobile Professional.[6] Computer software (or simply software) refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of a computer for some purpose. ... The term Freeware refers to gratis proprietary software with closed source. ... GPS redirects here. ... Wikipedia encoded in Code 128 Wikipedia encoded in Code 93 Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia encoded in the DataMatrix 2D barcode For the taxonomic method, see DNA barcoding. ... An EPC RFID tag used for Wal-Mart Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is an automatic identification method, relying on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called RFID tags or transponders. ...


Hardware

Main article: Computer hardware

A typical hardware setup of a desktop computer is following: Image File history File links Personal_computer,_exploded_5. ... Image File history File links Personal_computer,_exploded_5. ... 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 incorporates most or all of the functions of a central processing unit (CPU) on a single 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. ... 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 wall wart style variable DC power supply with its cover removed. ... “Optical media” redirects here. ... 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. ... Bold text 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...

These components can usually be put together with little knowledge, to build a computer. The motherboard is a main part of a computer while it connects all devices together. The memory card(s), graphics card and processor, are mounted directly onto the motherboard (the processor in a socket and the memory and graphics cards in expansion slots). The mass storage is connected to it with cables and can be installed in the computer case or in a separate case. Same for keyboard and mouse, except that they are external and connect to the I/O panel on the back of the computer. The monitor is also connected to the I/O panel, either through an onboard port on the motherboard, or a port on the graphics card. A tower case featuring a modern design. ... The top cover has been removed to show the internals of a computer Power supply Unit. ... A motherboard is the central or primary circuit board making up a complex electronic system, such as a modern computer. ... CPU redirects here. ... The terms storage (U.K.) or memory (U.S.) refer to the parts of a digital computer that retain physical state (data) for some interval of time, possibly even after electrical power to the computer is turned off. ... A video card, also referred to as a graphics accelerator card, display adapter, graphics card, and numerous other terms, is an item of personal computer hardware whose function is to generate and output images to a display. ... A hard disk drive (HDD), commonly referred to as a hard drive, hard disk or fixed disk drive,[1] is a non-volatile storage device which stores digitally encoded data on rapidly rotating platters with magnetic surfaces. ... 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. ... Operating a mechanical 1: Pulling the mouse turns the ball. ... Nineteen inch (48 cm) CRT computer monitor A computer display, monitor or screen is a computer peripheral device capable of showing still or moving images generated by a computer and processed by a graphics card. ... The Socket 370 processor socket, a ZIF type PGA socket A CPU socket or CPU slot is a connector on a computers motherboard that accepts a CPU and forms an electrical interface with it. ... Fitting an expansion card into a motherboard An expansion 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. ...


Several functions (implemented by chipsets) can be integrated into the motherboard, such as typically USB and network, but also graphics and sound. But even if these are present, a separate card can be added if what is available isn't sufficient. The graphics and sound card can have a break out box to keep the analog parts away from the electromagnetic radiation inside the computer case. For really large amounts of data, a tape drive can be used or (extra) hard disks can be put together in an external case. Diagram of a motherboard chipset A chipset is a group of integrated circuits, or chips, that are designed to work together, and are usually marketed as a single product. ... Note: USB may also mean upper sideband in radio. ... A breakout box (BoB) is usually a box, in which a compound electrical connector is separated or broken out into its component connectors. ... This box:      Electromagnetic (EM) radiation is a self-propagating wave in space with electric and magnetic components. ... DDS tape drive. ...


The hardware capabilities of personal computers can sometimes be extended by the addition of expansion cards connected via an expansion bus. Some standard peripheral buses often used for adding expansion cards in personal computers as of 2005 are PCI, AGP (a high-speed PCI bus dedicated to graphics adapters), and PCI Express. Most personal computers as of 2005 have multiple physical PCI expansion slots. Many also include an AGP bus and expansion slot or a PCI Express bus and one or more expansion slots, but few PCs contain both buses. Computer hardware is the physical part of a computer, including the digital circuitry, as distinguished from the computer software that executes within the hardware. ... 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. ... In computer architecture, a bus is a subsystem that transfers data or power between computer components inside a computer or between computers and typically is controlled by device driver software. ... This article is about the computer bus type. ... The Accelerated Graphics Port (also called Advanced Graphics Port, often shortened to AGP) is a high-speed point-to-point channel for attaching a graphics card to a computers motherboard, primarily to assist in the acceleration of 3D computer graphics. ... PCI Express (formerly known as 3GIO for 3rd Generation I/O, not to be mistaken with PCI-X) is an implementation of the PCI computer bus that uses existing PCI programming concepts and communications standards, but bases it on a much faster serial communications system. ... This article is about the computer bus type. ...


Computer case

Main article: Computer case

A computer case is the enclosure that contains the main components of a computer. Cases are usually constructed from steel, aluminium, or plastic, although other materials such as wood, plexiglas or fans[7] have also been used in case designs. Cases can come in many different sizes, or form factors. The size and shape of a computer case is usually determined by the form factor of motherboard that it is designed to accommodate, since this is the largest and most central component of most computers. Consequently, personal computer form factors typically specify only the internal dimensions and layout of the case. Form factors for rack-mounted and blade servers may include precise external dimensions as well, since these cases must themselves fit in specific enclosures. A tower case featuring a modern design. ... This article is about the machine. ... For other uses, see Steel (disambiguation). ... Aluminum redirects here. ... For other uses, see Plastic (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Wood (disambiguation). ... Structure of PMMA: (C5O2H8)n Structure of methyl methacrylate Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) or polymethyl-2-methylpropanoate is the synthetic polymer of methyl methacrylate. ... 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. ... A motherboard is the central or primary circuit board making up a complex electronic system, such as a modern computer. ... Equipment mounted in several 19-inch racks A row of 19-inch racks in a modern server farm A 19-inch rack is a standardized (EIA 310-D, IEC 60297 and DIN 41494 SC48D) system for mounting various electronic modules in a stack, or rack, 19 inches (482. ... IBM HS20 blade server. ... In information technology, a server is an application or device that performs services for connected clients as part of a client-server architecture. ...


Currently, the most popular form factor for desktop computers is ATX, although microATX and small form factors have become very popular for a variety of uses. Companies like Shuttle Inc. and AOpen have popularized small cases, for which FlexATX is the most common motherboard size. Apple Computer has also produced the Mac Mini computer, which is similar in size to a standard CD-ROM drive. The ATX (for Advanced Technology Extended) form factor was created by Intel in 1995. ... A8N VM CSM, an ASUS microATX motherboard microATX, also known as µATX (sometimes transliterated as mATX on online forums[1]) is a small form factor standard for computer motherboards, with a maximum size of 244 mm × 244 mm (9. ... The Shuttle XPC SN25P Small form factor (SFF) computers are housed in smaller cases than typical desktop computers. ... Shuttle (TAIEX:2405) is a Taiwan-based manufacturer of motherboards, barebone computers, complete PC systems, and monitors. ... Acer (LSE: ACID) (Traditional Chinese: ) is a Taiwanese multinational electronics manufacturer. ... FlexATX is a PC motherboard form factor derived from ATX. It is the smallest of the ATX-based form factors. ... Apple Inc. ... The Mac mini is the smallest desktop computer made by Apple Inc. ...


Motherboard

Main article: Motherboard

The motherboard referred to interchangeably as systemboard or mainboard, is the primary circuit board within a personal computer. Many other components connect directly or indirectly to the motherboard. Motherboards usually contain one or more CPUs, supporting circuitry -- usually integrated circuits (ICs) providing the interface between the CPU memory and input/output peripheral circuits, main memory, and facilities for initial setup of the computer immediately after power-on (often called boot firmware or, in IBM PC compatible computers, a BIOS). In many portable and embedded personal computers, the motherboard houses nearly all of the PC's core components. Often a motherboard will also contain one or more peripheral buses and physical connectors for expansion purposes. Sometimes a secondary daughter board is connected with the motherboard to provide further expandability or to satisfy space constraints. A motherboard is the central or primary circuit board making up a complex electronic system, such as a modern computer. ... Close-up photo of one side of a motherboard PCB, showing conductive traces, vias and solder points for through-hole components on the opposite side. ... Integrated circuit of Atmel Diopsis 740 System on Chip showing memory blocks, logic and input/output pads around the periphery Microchips with a transparent window, showing the integrated circuit inside. ... CPU redirects here. ... A microcontroller, like this PIC18F8720 is controlled by firmware stored inside on FLASH memory In computing, firmware is a computer program that is embedded in a hardware device, for example a microcontroller. ... For other uses, see Bios. ... A daughterboard or daughtercard is a circuit board meant to be an extension or daughter of a motherboard (or mainboard), or occasionally another card. ...


Central processing unit

The central processing unit, or CPU, is that part of a computer which executes software program instructions. In older computers this circuitry was formerly on several printed circuit boards, but in PC class machines, has been from the first personal computers, a single integrated circuit. Nearly all PCs contain a type of CPU known as a microprocessor. The microprocessor often plugs into the motherboard using one of many different types of sockets. IBM PC compatible computers use an x86-compatible processor, usually made by Intel, AMD, VIA Technologies or Transmeta. Apple Macintosh computers were initially built with the Motorola 680x0 family of processors, then switched to the PowerPC series (a RISC architecture jointly developed by Apple Computer, IBM and Motorola), but as of 2006, Apple has switched again, this time to x86 compatible processors. Modern CPUs are equiped with a fan attached via heat sink. CPU redirects here. ... A computer program is a collection of instructions that describe a task, or set of tasks, to be carried out by a computer. ... Part of a 1983 Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer board. ... A microprocessor incorporates most or all of the functions of a central processing unit (CPU) on a single integrated circuit (IC). ... IBM PC compatible computers are those generally similar to the original IBM PC, XT, and AT. Such computers used to be referred to as PC clones, or IBM clones since they almost exactly duplicated all the significant features of the PC, XT, or AT internal design, facilitated by various manufacturers... x86 or 80x86 is the generic name of a microprocessor architecture first developed and manufactured by Intel. ... Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC, SEHK: 4335), founded in 1968 as Integrated Electronics Corporation, is an American multinational corporation that is best known for designing and manufacturing microprocessors and specialized integrated circuits. ... Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. ... VIA Technologies logo VIA Technologies is a Taiwanese manufacturer of integrated circuits, mainly motherboard chipsets, CPUs, and memory, and is part of the Formosa Plastics Group. ... Transmeta NASDAQ: TMTA develops computing technologies with a focus on reducing power consumption in electronic devices. ... Motorola Inc. ... PowerPC is a RISC microprocessor architecture created by the 1991 Apple–IBM–Motorola alliance, known as AIM. Originally intended for personal computers, PowerPC CPUs have since become popular embedded and high-performance processors as well. ... Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC), is a microprocessor CPU design philosophy that favors a smaller and simpler set of instructions that all take about the same amount of time to execute. ... Apple Inc. ... For other uses, see IBM (disambiguation) and Big Blue. ... Motorola Inc. ... A set of 4 industry standard 80mm fans, most commonly used in personal computers. ... This article is about the substance or device. ...


Main memory

Main article: Primary storage
A four-megabyte RAM card measuring about 56 by 38 centimeters (twenty-two by fifteen inches); made for the VAX 8600 minicomputer (ca. 1986). Dual in-line package (DIP)  Integrated circuits populate nearly the whole board; the RAM chips are the most common kind, and located in the rectangular areas to the left and right.
A four-megabyte RAM card measuring about 56 by 38 centimeters (twenty-two by fifteen inches); made for the VAX 8600 minicomputer (ca. 1986). Dual in-line package (DIP)  Integrated circuits populate nearly the whole board; the RAM chips are the most common kind, and located in the rectangular areas to the left and right.

A PC's main memory is fast storage that is directly accessible by the CPU, and is used to store the currently executing program and immediately needed data. PCs use semiconductor random access memory (RAM) of various kinds such as DRAM or SRAM as their primary storage. Which exact kind depends on cost/performance issues at any particular time. Main memory is much faster than mass storage devices like hard disks or optical discs, but is usually volatile, meaning it does not retain its contents (instructions or data) in the absence of power, and is much more expensive for a given capacity than is most mass storage. Main memory is generally not suitable for long-term or archival data storage. 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. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (2195x1161, 2356 KB) dfhosjdg è Title : 4 Mb VAX 8600 memory board. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (2195x1161, 2356 KB) dfhosjdg è Title : 4 Mb VAX 8600 memory board. ... This article is about a unit of data. ... RAM redirects here. ... VAX is a 32-bit computing architecture that supports an orthogonal instruction set (machine language) and virtual addressing (i. ... Minicomputer (colloquially, mini) 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 (traditionally, mainframe computers) and the smallest single-user systems (microcomputers or personal computers). ... ICs in DIP14-Package Several PDIPs and CERDIPS. The large CERDIP in the foreground is an 8080 processor. ... Integrated circuit of Atmel Diopsis 740 System on Chip showing memory blocks, logic and input/output pads around the periphery Microchips with a transparent window, showing the integrated circuit inside. ... A semiconductor is a solid whose electrical conductivity is in between that of a conductor and that of an insulator, and can be controlled over a wide range, either permanently or dynamically. ... RAM redirects here. ... Dynamic random access memory (DRAM) is a type of random access memory that stores each bit of data in a separate capacitor within an integrated circuit. ... Static random access memory (SRAM) is a type of semiconductor memory. ... Typical hard drives of the mid-1990s. ... “Optical media” redirects here. ... Volatile memory refers to computer memory that must be powered to maintain its data. ...


Hard disk

Main article: Hard disk drive
Internals of a Winchester hard drive with the disks removed.
Internals of a Winchester hard drive with the disks removed.

Mass storage devices store programs and data even when the power is off; they do require power to perform read/write functions during usage. Although semiconductor flash memory has dropped in cost, the prevailing form of mass storage in personal computers is still the electromechanical hard disk. A hard disk drive (HDD), commonly referred to as a hard drive, hard disk or fixed disk drive,[1] is a non-volatile storage device which stores digitally encoded data on rapidly rotating platters with magnetic surfaces. ... Download high resolution version (1024x717, 141 KB)A dismantled 10GB Quantum Fireball hard drive Date: 28th July 2004 22:51 Camera: Canon DIGITAL IXUS II Exposure: 1/8 sec. ... Download high resolution version (1024x717, 141 KB)A dismantled 10GB Quantum Fireball hard drive Date: 28th July 2004 22:51 Camera: Canon DIGITAL IXUS II Exposure: 1/8 sec. ... A USB flash drive. ... Typical hard drives of the mid-1990s. ...


The disk drives use a sealed head/disk assembly (HDA) which was first introduced by IBM's "Winchester" disk system. The use of a sealed assembly allowed the use of positive air pressure to drive out particles from the surface of the disk, which improves reliability.


If the mass storage controller provides for expandability, a PC may also be upgraded by the addition of extra hard disk or optical disc drives. For example, DVD-ROMs, CD-ROMs, and various optical disc recorders may all be added by the user to certain PCs. Standard internal storage device interfaces are ATA, Serial ATA, SCSI, and CF+ Type II in 2005. In computing, sound reproduction, and video, an optical disc is flat, circular, usually polycarbonate disc whereon data is stored. ... DVD (also known as Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc) is a popular optical disc storage media format. ... The CD-ROM (an abbreviation for Compact Disc Read-Only Memory (ROM)) is a non-volatile optical data storage medium using the same physical format as audio compact discs, readable by a computer with a CD-ROM drive. ... ATA cables: 40 wire ribbon cable top, 80 wire ribbon cable bottom Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) is a standard interface for connecting storage devices such as hard disks and CD-ROM drives inside personal computers. ... SATA redirects here. ... Scuzzy redirects here. ...


Video card

Main article: Video card

The video card - otherwise called a graphics card, graphics adapter or video adapter - processes and renders the graphics output from the computer to the computer display, also called the visual display unit (VDU), and is an essential part of the modern computer. On older models, and today on budget models, graphics circuitry tended to be integrated with the motherboard but, for modern flexible machines, they are supplied in PCI, AGP, or PCI Express format. A video card, also referred to as a graphics accelerator card, display adapter, graphics card, and numerous other terms, is an item of personal computer hardware whose function is to generate and output images to a display. ... A video card, also referred to as a graphics accelerator card, display adapter, graphics card, and numerous other terms, is an item of personal computer hardware whose function is to generate and output images to a display. ... 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. ... This article is about the computer bus type. ... The Accelerated Graphics Port (also called Advanced Graphics Port, often shortened to AGP) is a high-speed point-to-point channel for attaching a graphics card to a computers motherboard, primarily to assist in the acceleration of 3D computer graphics. ... PCI Express (formerly known as 3GIO for 3rd Generation I/O, not to be mistaken with PCI-X) is an implementation of the PCI computer bus that uses existing PCI programming concepts and communications standards, but bases it on a much faster serial communications system. ...


When the IBM PC was introduced, many existing personal computers used text-only display adapters and had no graphics capability.


Visual display unit

Main article: Visual display unit

A visual display unit (also called monitor) is a piece of electrical equipment which displays viewable images generated by a computer without producing a permanent record. The word "monitor" is used in other contexts; in particular in television broadcasting, where a television picture is displayed to a high standard. A computer display device is usually either a cathode ray tube or some form of flat panel such as a TFT LCD. The monitor comprises the display device, circuitry to generate a picture from electronic signals sent by the computer, and an enclosure or case. Within the computer, either as an integral part or a plugged-in interface, there is circuitry to convert internal data to a format compatible with a monitor. Nineteen inch (48 cm) CRT computer monitor A computer display, monitor or screen is a computer peripheral device capable of showing still or moving images generated by a computer and processed by a graphics card. ... A piece of electrical equipment is a machine, powered by electricity and usually consists of an enclosure, a variety of electrical components and often a power switch. ... Look up image in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about the machine. ... Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and video signals (programs) to a number of recipients (listeners or viewers) that belong to a large group. ... Cathode ray tube employing electromagnetic focus and deflection Cutaway rendering of a color CRT: 1. ... A 15 TFT-LCD TFT-LCD (thin film transistor liquid crystal display) is a variant of liquid crystal display (LCD) which uses thin film transistor (TFT) technology to improve image quality. ... An electronic circuit is an electrical circuit that also contains active electronic devices such as transistors or vacuum tubes. ... This article is about the engineering discipline. ... In the fields of communications, signal processing, and in electrical engineering more generally, a signal is any time-varying quantity. ... An electrical enclosure is a cabinet for electrical equipment to protect the contents from the environment, mount switches, knobs and displays and to prevent electrical shock. ... Look up interface in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In Computer Science, data is often distinguished from code, though both are represented in modern computers as binary strings. ...


Other components

Mass storage
The operating system (e.g.: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Linux or many others) can be located on either of these, but typically it's on one of the hard disks. A LiveCD is also possible, but it is very slow and is usually used for installation of the OS, demonstrations, or problem solving.
Common peripherals and adapter cards

Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Prose is writing distinguished from poetry by its greater variety of rhythm and its closer resemblance to everyday speech. ... Typical hard drives of the mid-1990s. ... 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. ... Iomega ZIP-100 Drive Logo An internal Zip drive. ... Optical Storage is made possible by data storage devices such as optical discs and holographic storage systems. ... 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 ÄŒeské 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. ... Blu-ray Disc (also known as Blu-ray or BD) is an optical disc storage media format. ... A USB flash drive. ... Four major types of memory cards (from left to right: CompactFlash, Memory Stick, Secure Digital, and xD. A memory card or flash memory card is a solid-state electronic flash memory data storage device used with digital cameras, handheld and Mobile computers, telephones, music players, video game consoles, and other... 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. ... Windows redirects here. ... This article relates to both the original Classic Mac OS as well as Mac OS X, Apples more recent operating system. ... This article is about operating systems that use the Linux kernel. ... Gnoppix 0. ... For an account of the words periphery and peripheral as they are used in biology, sociology, politics, computer hardware, and other fields, see the periphery disambiguation page. ... A computer printer, or more commonly a printer, produces a hard copy (permanent human-readable text and/or graphics) of documents stored in electronic form, usually on physical print media such as paper or transparencies. ... Look up scanner in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A typical webcam Webcams are small cameras, (usually, though not always, video cameras) whose images can be accessed using the World Wide Web, instant messaging, or a PC video conferencing application. ... For the Marty Friedman album, see Loudspeaker (album) An inexpensive low fidelity 3. ... Microphones redirects here. ... For other uses, see Modem (disambiguation). ... This article is about a computer networking device. ... Headset may refer to: headset (earphone, headphone) headset (bicycle part) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... A card reader is a device used for communication with a smart card or a flash memory card. ... For other uses, see Joystick (disambiguation). ... 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. ... A video card, also referred to as a graphics accelerator card, display adapter, graphics card, and numerous other terms, is an item of personal computer hardware whose function is to generate and output images to a display. ... 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 PCI Winmodem/Softmodem (on the left) next to a traditional ISA modem (on the right). ...

Software

Main article: Computer software

Computer software is a general term used to describe a collection of computer programs, procedures and documentation that perform some tasks on a computer system.[8] The term includes application software such as word processors which perform productive tasks for users, system software such as operating systems, which interface with hardware to provide the necessary services for application software, and middleware which controls and co-ordinates distributed systems. Software redirects here. ... Look up collection, collect in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A computer program is a collection of instructions that describe a task, or set of tasks, to be carried out by a computer. ... A procedure is a series of activities, tasks, steps, decisions, calculations and other processes, that when undertaken in the sequence laid down produces the described result, product or outcome. ... Application software is a subclass of computer software that employs the capabilities of a computer directly and thoroughly to a task that the user wishes to perform. ... A word processor (also more formally known as a document preparation system) is a computer application used for the production (including composition, editing, formatting, and possibly printing) of any sort of viewable or printed material. ... System software is a generic term referring to any computer software which manages and controls the hardware so that application software can perform a task. ... 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. ... For other uses, see Hardware (disambiguation). ... This article is about integration software. ... Distributed computing is a method of computer processing in which different parts of a program are run simultaneously on two or more computers that are communicating with each other over a network. ...


Software applications for word processing, Internet browsing, Internet faxing, e-mail and other digital messaging, multimedia playback, computer game play and computer programming are common. The user of a modern personal computer may have significant knowledge of the operating environment and application programs, but is not necessarily interested in programming nor even able to write programs for the computer. Therefore, most software written primarily for personal computers tends to be designed with simplicity of use, or "user-friendliness" in mind. However, the software industry continuously provide a wide range of new products for use in personal computers, targeted at both the expert and the non-expert user. Word processing, in its now-usual meaning, is the use of a word processor to create documents using computers. ... Internet fax uses the internet to receive and send faxes. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Look up Multimedia in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A computer game is a game composed of a computer-controlled virtual universe that players interact with in order to achieve a defined goal or set of goals. ... Programming redirects here. ... Computer software (or simply software) refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of a computer for some purpose. ... Usability is a term used to denote the ease with which people can employ a particular tool or other human-made object in order to achieve a particular goal. ... Starting in the 1980s, application software has been sold in mass-produced packages through retailers The software industry comprises of businesses involved in the development, maintenance and publication of computer software. ...


Operating system

Main article: Operating system

An operating system (OS) manages computer resources and provides programmers with an interface used to access those resources. An operating system processes system data and user input, and responds by allocating and managing tasks and internal system resources as a service to users and programs of the system. An operating system performs basic tasks such as controlling and allocating memory, prioritizing system requests, controlling input and output devices, facilitating computer networking and managing files. 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. ... This article is about the machine. ... Look up interface in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... 1 GiB of SDRAM mounted in a personal computer. ... Energy Input: The energy placed into a reaction. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...


Common contemporary desktop OSes are Linux, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows and Solaris. Windows is most popular on desktops while Linux is most popular in server environments. The desktop computer operating system market is currently dominated by Microsoft Windows which holds around 90% of the market.[9][10] Linux, Mac OS X and MS Windows all have server and personal variants. With the exception of Microsoft Windows, the designs of each of the aforementioned OSs were inspired by, or directly inherited from, the Unix operating system. Unix was developed at Bell Labs beginning in the late 1960s and spawned the development of numerous free and proprietary operating systems. This article is about operating systems that use the Linux kernel. ... Mac OS X (pronounced ) is a line of graphical operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Inc. ... Windows redirects here. ... Solaris is a computer operating system developed by Sun Microsystems. ... Look up server in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... 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. ... Look up Market in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Market dominance is a measure of the strength of a brand, product, service, or firm, relative to competitive offerings. ... Windows redirects here. ... Filiation of Unix and Unix-like systems Unix (officially trademarked as UNIX®, sometimes also written as or ® with small caps) is a computer operating system originally developed in 1969 by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie and Douglas McIlroy. ... Bell Laboratories (also known as Bell Labs and formerly known as AT&T Bell Laboratories and Bell Telephone Laboratories) was the main research and development arm of the United States Bell System. ...


Windows Mobile can be found on mobile devices. Windows Mobile is a compact operating system combined with a suite of basic applications for mobile devices based on the Microsoft Win32 API. Devices which run Windows Mobile include Pocket PCs, Smartphones, Portable Media Centers, and on-board computers for certain automobiles. ...


Microsoft Windows

Main article: Microsoft Windows

Microsoft Windows is the name of several families of software operating systems by Microsoft. Microsoft first introduced an operating environment named Windows in November 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs).[11] Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal computer market, overtaking Mac OS, which had been introduced previously. At the 2004 IDC Directions conference, IDC Vice President Avneesh Saxena stated that Windows had approximately 90% of the client operating system market.[12] The most recent client version of Windows is Windows Vista. The current server version of Windows is Windows Server 2008. Windows redirects here. ... Computer software (or simply software) refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of a computer for some purpose. ... 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. ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... Microsofts disk operating system, MS-DOS, was Microsofts implementation of DOS, which was the first popular operating system for the IBM PC, and until recently, was widely used on the PC compatible platform. ... GUI redirects here. ... Market dominance is a measure of the strength of a brand, product, service, or firm, relative to competitive offerings. ... This article relates to both the original Classic Mac OS as well as Mac OS X, Apples more recent operating system. ... IDC Analyze the Future-logo. ... Windows Vista is a line of graphical operating systems used on personal computers, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, Tablet PCs, and media centers. ... Windows Server 2008 is the name of the next server operating system from Microsoft. ...


Mac OS X

Main article: Mac OS X

Mac OS X is a line of graphical operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Inc., the latest of which is pre-loaded on all currently shipping Macintosh computers. Mac OS X is the successor to the original Mac OS, which had been Apple's primary operating system since 1984. Unlike its predecessors, Mac OS X is a Unix-based operating system[13] built on technology developed at NeXT from the second half of the 1980s until early 1997, when Apple purchased the company. Mac OS X (pronounced ) is a line of graphical operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Inc. ... 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. ... Apple Inc. ... For other uses, see Macintosh (disambiguation) and Mac. ... This article relates to both the original Classic Mac OS as well as Mac OS X, Apples more recent operating system. ... Filiation of Unix and Unix-like systems Unix (officially trademarked as UNIX®, sometimes also written as or ® with small caps) is a computer operating system originally developed in 1969 by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie and Douglas McIlroy. ... For other meanings, see Next. ...


The server edition, Mac OS X Server, is architecturally very similar to its desktop counterpart but usually runs on Apple's line of Macintosh server hardware. It includes workgroup management and administration software tools that provide simplified access to key network services, including a mail transfer agent, a Samba server, an LDAP server, a domain name server, and others. In information technology, a server is an application or device that performs services for connected clients as part of a client-server architecture. ... Mac OS X Server is the server-oriented version of Apples operating system, Mac OS X. Mac OS X, in both desktop and server versions, is a Unix operating system based on technology that Apple acquired from NeXT Computer. ... The software architecture of a program or computing system is the structure or structures of the system, which comprise software elements, the externally visible properties of those elements, and the relationships between them. ... Network services are the foundation of a networked computing environment. ... A mail transfer agent or MTA (also called a mail transport agent, mail server, or a mail exchanger in the context of the Domain Name System) is a computer program or software agent that transfers electronic mail messages from one computer to another. ... Samba logo. ... Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) is a protocol for accessing on-line directory services. ... The Domain Name System (DNS) associates various sorts of information with so-called domain names; most importantly, it serves as the phone book for the Internet by translating human-readable computer hostnames, e. ...


Linux

Main article: Linux

Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system. Linux is one of the most prominent examples of free software and open source development: typically all underlying source code can be freely modified, used, and redistributed by anyone.[14] The name "Linux" comes from the Linux kernel, started in 1991 by Linus Torvalds. The system's utilities and libraries usually come from the GNU operating system, announced in 1983 by Richard Stallman. The GNU contribution is the basis for the alternative name GNU/Linux.[15] This article is about operating systems that use the Linux kernel. ... Diagram of the relationships between several Unix-like systems A Unix-like operating system is one that behaves in a manner similar to a Unix system, while not necessarily conforming to or being certified to any version of the Single UNIX Specification. ... 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. ... Free software is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with minimal restrictions only to ensure that further recipients can also do these things. ... Open source refers to projects that are open to the public and which draw on other projects that are freely available to the general public. ... Source code (commonly just source or code) is any series of statements written in some human-readable computer programming language. ... The Linux kernel is a Unix-like operating system kernel. ... Linus Benedict Torvalds   (born December 28, 1969 in Helsinki, Finland) is a Finnish software engineer best known for initiating the development of the Linux kernel. ... System software is a generic term referring to any computer software whose purpose is to help run the computer system. ... Illustration of an application which may use libvorbisfile. ... GNU is a free software operating system. ... Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16, 1953), often abbreviated rms,[1] is an American software freedom activist, hacker,[2] and software developer. ... The GNU/Linux naming controversy is a dispute between members of the free and open source software community relating to the normative branding of the computer operating systems commonly referred to as Linux. ...


Predominantly known for its use in servers, Linux is supported by corporations such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Novell, Oracle Corporation, Red Hat, and Sun Microsystems. It is used as an operating system for a wide variety of computer hardware, including desktop computers, supercomputers,[16] video game systems, such as the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3, several arcade games, and embedded devices such as mobile phones, routers, and stage lighting systems. In information technology, a server is an application or device that performs services for connected clients as part of a client-server architecture. ... This article is about the corporation Dell, Inc. ... The Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ), commonly known as HP, is a very large, global company headquartered in Palo Alto, California, United States. ... For other uses, see IBM (disambiguation) and Big Blue. ... For the road bicycle racing team previously known as Novell, see Rabobank (cycling). ... Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ: ORCL) is one of the major companies developing database management systems (DBMS), tools for database development, middle-tier software, enterprise resource planning software (ERP), customer relationship management software (CRM) and supply chain management (SCM) software. ... For other uses, see Red Hat (disambiguation). ... Sun Microsystems, Inc. ... For other uses, see Hardware (disambiguation). ... Bold text 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... A supercomputer is a device for turning compute-bound problems into I/O-bound problems. ... PS2 redirects here. ... The PlayStation 3 , trademarked PLAYSTATION®3,[3] commonly abbreviated PS3) is the third home video game console produced by Sony Computer Entertainment; successor to the PlayStation 2. ... Centipede by Atari is a typical example of a 1980s era arcade game. ... An embedded system is a special-purpose computer system, which is completely encapsulated by the device it controls. ... This article describes the computer networking device. ... This is a current Stagecraft collaboration! Please help improve it to good article standard. ...


Applications

Main article: Application software

Application software employs the capabilities of a computer directly and thoroughly to a task that the user wishes to perform. This should be contrasted with system software which is involved in integrating a computer's various capabilities, but typically does not directly apply them in the performance of tasks that benefit the user. In this context the term application refers to both the application software and its implementation. A simple, if imperfect analogy in the world of hardware would be the relationship of an electric light bulb (an application) to an electric power generation plant (a system). The power plant merely generates electricity, not itself of any real use until harnessed to an application like the electric light that performs a service that benefits the user. Application software is a subclass of computer software that employs the capabilities of a computer directly and thoroughly to a task that the user wishes to perform. ... System software is a generic term referring to any computer software which manages and controls the hardware so that application software can perform a task. ... Application software is a subclass of computer software that employs the capabilities of a computer directly to a task that the user wishes to perform. ... Analogy is both the cognitive process of transferring information from a particular subject (the analogue or source) to another particular subject (the target), and a linguistic expression corresponding to such a process. ...


Typical examples of software applications are word processors, spreadsheets, and media players. Multiple applications bundled together as a package are sometimes referred to as an application suite. Microsoft Office and OpenOffice.org, which bundle together a word processor, a spreadsheet, and several other discrete applications, are typical examples. The separate applications in a suite usually have a user interface that has some commonality making it easier for the user to learn and use each application. And often they may have some capability to interact with each other in ways beneficial to the user. For example, a spreadsheet might be able to be embedded in a word processor document even though it had been created in the separate spreadsheet application. A word processor (also more formally known as a document preparation system) is a computer application used for the production (including composition, editing, formatting, and possibly printing) of any sort of viewable or printed material. ... Screenshot of a spreadsheet under OpenOffice A spreadsheet is a rectangular table (or grid) of information, often financial information. ... Microsoft Office is an office suite from Microsoft for Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X operating systems. ... OpenOffice. ... The user interface is the part of a system exposed to users. ...


User-written software tailors systems to meet the user's specific needs. User-written software include spreadsheet templates, word processor macros, scientific simulations, graphics and animation scripts. Even email filters are a kind of user software. Users create this software themselves and often overlook how important it is. User software is computer software that is tailored for a specific user or users, rather than the general public. ...


Lifetime

Most personal computers are standardized to the point that purchased software is expected to run with little or no customization for the particular computer. Many PCs are also user-upgradeable, especially desktop and workstation class computers. Devices such as main memory, mass storage, even the motherboard and central processing unit may be easily replaced by an end user. This upgradeability is, however, not indefinite due to rapid changes in the personal computer industry. A PC that was considered top-of-the-line five or six years prior may be impractical to upgrade due to changes in industry standards. Such a computer usually must be totally replaced once it's no longer suitable for its purpose. This upgrade and replacement cycle is partially related to new releases of the primary mass-market operating system, which tends to drive the acquisition of new hardware and tends to obsolete previously serviceable hardware (planned obsolescence). A motherboard is the central or primary circuit board making up a complex electronic system, such as a modern computer. ... CPU redirects here. ... Planned obsolescence (also built-in obsolescence (UK)) is the decision on the part of a manufacturer to produce a consumer product that will become obsolete and/or non-functional in a defined time frame. ...


See also

Electronics Portal 

Image File history File links Nuvola_apps_ksim. ... . ... Desktop replacement computers are personal computers that are designed to provide the full capabilities of a desktop computer while remaining portable. ... Bold text 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... International Business Machines Corporation (IBM, or colloquially, Big Blue) (NYSE: IBM) (incorporated June 15, 1911, in operation since 1888) is headquartered in Armonk, New York, USA. The company manufactures and sells computer hardware, software, and services. ... Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), (founded 1975), headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA, is the worlds largest software company (with over 50,000 employees in various countries, as of May 2004). ... Apple Inc. ... // The terms Gaming PC and Gaming Computer specifically refer to computers built to have the capacity to play personal computer games. ... Some personal computers on an interactive display. ... A quiet PC is a personal computer that makes little noise. ... For other uses, see Supercomputer (disambiguation). ... A public computer (or public access computer) is any of various computers available in public areas. ...

References

  1. ^ "A Personal Computer To Carry In a Pocket", The New York Times. Retrieved on 2008-02-13. 
  2. ^ "Google's Android approach threatens no less than the personal computer itself", TalkBack on ZDNet. Retrieved on 2008-02-13. 
  3. ^ "War for the '4th screen'", International Herald Tribune. Retrieved on 2008-02-13. 
  4. ^ Philip Greenspun (September 2005). Mobile Phone As Home Computer. Retrieved on 2008-02-13.
  5. ^ Ralston, Anthony; Reilly, Edwin (1993). "Workstation". Encyclopedia of Computer Science (Third Edition). New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold. ISBN 0442276796. 
  6. ^ New Windows Mobile 6 Devices :: Jun/Jul 2007
  7. ^ pete edge...casefancasefancase
  8. ^ Wordreference.com: WordNet® 2.0. Princeton University, Princeton, NJ. Retrieved on 2007-08-19.
  9. ^ W3Counter - Global Web Stats
  10. ^ Market share for browsers, operating systems and search engines
  11. ^ http://inventors.about.com/od/mstartinventions/a/Windows.htm?rd=1. Retrieved on 2007-04-22.
  12. ^ IDC: Consolidation to Windows won't happen www.linuxworld.com.au
  13. ^ http://images.apple.com/macosx/pdf/MacOSX_UNIX_TB_v2.pdf
  14. ^ Linux Online ─ About the Linux Operating System. Linux.org. Retrieved on 2007-07-06.
  15. ^ Weeks, Alex (2004). "1.1", Linux System Administrator's Guide, version 0.9. Retrieved on 2007-01-18. 
  16. ^ Lyons, Daniel. Linux rules supercomputers. Retrieved on 2007-02-22.

2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance to the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 44th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance to the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 44th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance to the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 44th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance to the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 44th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 231st day of the year (232nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 112th day of the year (113th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 187th day of the year (188th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 18th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 53rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Further reading

  • Accidental Empires: How the boys of Silicon Valley make their millions, battle foreign competition, and still can't get a date, Robert X. Cringely, Addison-Wesley Publishing, (1992), ISBN 0-201-57032-7

External links

HowStuffWorks is a website created by Marshall Brain but now owned by the Convex Group. ... HowStuffWorks is a website created by Marshall Brain but now owned by the Convex Group. ... This List of computer size categories attempts to list commonly used categories of computer by size. ... For other uses, see Supercomputer (disambiguation). ... Minisupercomputers constituted a class of computers that emerged in the mid-1980s. ... For other uses, see Mainframe. ... Minicomputer (colloquially, mini) 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 (traditionally, mainframe computers) and the smallest single-user systems (microcomputers or personal computers). ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (2592x1944, 2110 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Supercomputer Cray-2 ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (966x1280, 101 KB) Summary Sony Ericsson P910i with Opera web browser. ... Bold text 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... The Commodore 64 was one of the most popular microcomputers of its era, and is the best selling model of home computer of all time. ... Children playing on a Amstrad CPC 464 in the 1980s. ... 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. ... Sun SPARCstation 1+, 25 MHz RISC processor from early 1990s A workstation, such as a Unix workstation, RISC workstation or engineering workstation, is a high-end desktop or deskside microcomputer designed for technical applications. ... In information technology, a server is an application or device that performs services for connected clients as part of a client-server architecture. ... Mobile Computing is a generic term describing your ability to use technology untethered, that is not physically connected, or in remote or mobile (non static) environments. ... Mobile, full size computers - cart computers - allow high mobility for a full size computer. ... 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). ... 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). ... Sony VAIO model C1 subnotebook A subnotebook is a small and lightweight portable computer, with most of the features of a standard notebook computer but smaller. ... A Tablet PC is a notebook- or slate-shaped mobile computer. ... The Ultra-Mobile PC (abbreviated UMPC), previously known by its codename Project Origami, is a specification for a small form factor tablet PC. It was developed as a joint development exercise by Microsoft, Intel, and Samsung, among others. ... An electronic organizer is a small calculator-sized computer, often with an in-built diary application but few other functions such as an address book and calendar. ... A pocket computer is a small calculator-sized computer programmable in BASIC. This specific category of computers existed primarily in the 1980s. ... A handheld game console is a lightweight, portable electronic machine for playing video games. ... A typical PDT A portable data terminal, or PDT, is an electronic device that is used to enter or retrieve data via wireless transmission (WLAN or WWAN). ... A mobile data terminal (MDT) is a computerized device used in police cars, taxicabs, courier vehicles, service trucks, commercial trucking fleets, military logistics, fishing fleets, warehouse inventory control, and emergency vehicles to communicate with a central dispatch office. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... User with Treo (PDA with smartphone functionality) Personal digital assistants (PDAs) are handheld computers, but have become much more versatile over the years. ... An information appliance (IA) is any device that can process information, signals, graphics, animation, video and audio; and can exchange such information with another IA device. ... Sharp Mobilon PRO PV5000A, one of the many Handheld PCs produced. ... An O2 Pocket PC phone A Pocket PC, abbreviated P/PC or PPC, is a hardware specification for a handheld-sized computer (Personal digital assistant) that runs the Microsoft Windows Mobile operating system. ... A Sony Ericsson Smartphone (Model P910i) with touch screen and QWERTY keyboard Look up smartphone in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... // Definition A PDA Phone is a combination of mobile phone (cellular phone) and personal digital assistant functionality in one device. ... For other uses, see Calculator (disambiguation). ... A router, an example of an embedded system. ... “WSN” redirects here. ... Smartdust is a hypothetical network of tiny wireless microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensors, robots, or devices, installed with wireless communications, that can detect anything from light and temperature, to vibrations, etc. ... Nanocomputer is the logical name for a computer smaller than the microcomputer, which is smaller than the minicomputer. ... For other persons named Jimmy Carter, see Jimmy Carter (disambiguation). ... Sadat redirects here. ... Deng Xiaoping   (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Teng Hsiao-ping; August 22, 1904 – February 19, 1997) was a prominent Chinese politician and reformer, and the late leader of the Communist Party of China (CCP). ... Ruhollah Musawi Khomeini (Persian:  , RÅ«ullāh MÅ«sawÄ« KhumaynÄ«) (September 24, 1902[1][2] – June 3, 1989) was a senior Shia Muslim scholar, marja (religious authority), and the political leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution which saw the overthrow of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran. ... Reagan redirects here. ... WaÅ‚Ä™sa redirects here. ... Reagan redirects here. ... Ueberroth (front right) watches President Ronald Reagan throw the first pitch prior to a game. ... Deng Xiaoping   (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Teng Hsiao-ping; August 22, 1904 – February 19, 1997) was a prominent Chinese politician and reformer, and the late leader of the Communist Party of China (CCP). ... Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco Aquino (born January 25, 1933), widely known as Cory Aquino, was President of the Philippines from 1986 to 1992. ... Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev[1] (Russian: , IPA: ; born 2 March 1931) is a Russian politician. ... This article is about Earth as a planet. ... Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev[1] (Russian: , IPA: ; born 2 March 1931) is a Russian politician. ... George Herbert Walker Bush (born June 12, 1924) was the 41st President of the United States, serving from 1989 to 1993. ... For other persons named Ted Turner, see Ted Turner (disambiguation). ... William Jefferson Bill Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III[1] on August 19, 1946) was the 42nd President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001. ... PeaceMaker is a 1997 self-released demo by Sonata Arctica (under the name Tricky Beans). ... Not to be confused with Yasir Arafat (cricketer). ... Frederik Willem de Klerk (born March 18, 1936) was the last State President of apartheid-era South Africa, serving from September 1989 to May 1994. ... For other people named Mandela, or other uses, see Mandela. ... For other persons named Rabin, see Rabin (disambiguation). ... Coat of Arms of Pope John Paul II. The Letter M is for Mary, the mother of Jesus, to whom he held strong devotion Pope John Paul II (Latin: , Italian: Giovanni Paolo II, Polish: Jan PaweÅ‚ II) born   []; 18 May 1920 – 2 April 2005) reigned as the 264th Pope of... Newton Leroy Gingrich, (born June 17, 1943), served as the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. ... Dr. David Ho David Da-i Ho (何大一, pinyin: Hé DàyÄ«) (born November 3, 1952) is a Taiwanese American AIDS researcher famous for pioneering the use of protease inhibitors in treating HIV-infected patients with his team. ... Dr. Andrew Stephen Grove (born September 2, 1936 in Budapest, Hungary) is an American businessman. ... William Jefferson Bill Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III[1] on August 19, 1946) was the 42nd President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001. ... Kenneth Winston Starr Kenneth Winston Starr (born July 21, 1946) is an American lawyer and former judge who was appointed to the Office of the Independent Counsel to investigate the death of the deputy White House counsel Vince Foster and the Whitewater land transactions by President Bill Clinton. ... Jeffrey Preston Bezos (born January 12, 1964) is the founder, president, chief executive officer, and chairman of the board of Amazon. ... George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the forty-third and current President of the United States of America, originally inaugurated on January 20, 2001. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Personal computer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2424 words)
The term was popularized by Apple Computer with the Apple II in the late-1970s and early-1980s, and afterwards by IBM with the IBM PC.
Mostly, the term PC is used to describe personal computers that use Microsoft Windows operating systems.
The hardware capabilities of personal computers can sometimes be extended by the addition of expansion cards connected via an expansion bus.
Personal computer game - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3349 words)
Personal computer game are usually distributed using standard storage units for personal computers, such as compact discs and most recently, DVDs.
Although computers have become commonplace only in recent times, since they were prohibitively expensive and bulky until the development of the microprocessor, they have been used for computer gaming since at least the 1960s.
Personal computers have at times been superior to their equivalent video game consoles, and thus capable of playing more graphically sophisticated games and prompting the rise of entire genres such as the first person shooter.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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