Chapter 2. PC Components, Features, and System Design

What Is a PC?

When I begin one of my Upgrading and Repairing PCs seminars, I like to ask the question, “What exactly is a PC?” Most people immediately answer that PC stands for personal computer, which in fact it does. Many continue by defining a personal computer as any small computer system purchased and used by an individual, which is also true. However, while it is true that all PCs are personal computers, not all personal computers are PCs. For example, all of Apple’s pre-2006 Motorola/IBM processor–based Macintosh systems, older 8080/Z-80 processor–based CP/M machines, and even my old Apple ][+ system are considered personal computers, but most people wouldn’t call them PCs, least of ...

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