A computer designed for use by one person at a time. The term "PC" commonly describes what used to be known as an IBM-PC, as opposed to an Apple Macintosh, but both are personal computers. In fact, it's been said that the entire evolution of the PC can be viewed as an effort to catch up with the Apple Macintosh.
The distinction between PCs and Macs is both technical and cultural: a PC (or clone) has an operating system (such as DOS or Windows) that is written to use the Intel microprocessor; the Apple Macintosh uses a Motorola microprocessor architecture and its proprietary operating system. The PC is associated with business (as well as home) use and is used commonly by programmers; the Mac, known for its more intuitive graphical user interface (GUI), is associated with graphic design, desktop publishing, and home use and is used commonly by graphic designers.
The PC became a communication tool with the invention of networking, which began on a local basis at first (with LANs) and eventually spread to WANs, the basic foundation of the Internet. Now the PC is just one device in a rapidly expanding universe of computing (see: divergence). Most of what we know about computers comes from magazines, such as PC Magazine, PC World, MacWorld, Personal Computing, and New Media (thanks to David Bunnell, who founded all of these magazines).
Commodore released the first personal computer in 1985: the Amiga 1000. It was originally designed as a successor to Atari, but evolved into both a game console and a home computer.
NetLingo Classification: Net Hardware
Subscribe to Word of the Day - Email this Definition to a Friend