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What is a PC?

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by Steveknj, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. Mar 1, 2013 #1 of 26

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey

    Mar 10, 2003
    New Jersey

    From the article:

    I used to agree with this assessment, but over the last year or so, after using my tablets (Android and iPad) and my smartphone as much or more than my home PCs (not including work PC here), I've come to the conclusion that MY definition of a PC has changed. I probably argued against this in another thread, but I'm now in the camp that agrees that Apple is the largest PC maker, on the strength of their mobile devices.

    What say you? Should make for some interesting Friday chatter :D
  2. Mar 1, 2013 #2 of 26

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey

    Mar 10, 2003
    New Jersey
    Ooops, meant for Happy Hour thread.

    Superop or whoever, please move...
  3. Mar 1, 2013 #3 of 26

    markp99 TakoKichi TCF Club

    Mar 21, 2002
    Nashua, NH
    I agree with the x86/64 criteria, though a Mac does not exactly fit that criteria, but still a "PC" for me.

    Not a PC:

    Netbooks, though very near the PC line
  4. Mar 1, 2013 #4 of 26

    allan Just someone TCF Club

    Oct 13, 2002
    I'd consider the netbooks to be PCs, just rather underpowered and crappy ones. However, I don't consider the Chromebooks to be PCs.
  5. Mar 1, 2013 #5 of 26

    Amnesia The Question

    Jan 30, 2005
    Boston, MA
    Strictly speaking, a Mac is a PC, but in common usage people make a distinction between the two...
  6. Mar 1, 2013 #6 of 26

    wouldworker _

    Sep 7, 2004
    MA, USA
    I stopped caring what he had to say when I read "And yes, the Mac is just an overpriced PC." If you can't put aside your hatred for Apple long enough to make an entirely unrelated point I won't bother listening to you.
  7. Mar 1, 2013 #7 of 26

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey

    Mar 10, 2003
    New Jersey
    Forgetting what he said in the article though, what do you consider a PC?
  8. Mar 1, 2013 #8 of 26

    Waldorf Super Duper Member

    Oct 4, 2002
    Phoenix, AZ
    Old school computer science guy here... PC is a Personal Computer intended to be operated by an end user with no intervening computer operators. I consider workstations, desktops, laptops, nettops, netbooks, tablets, etc. to be categories of Personal Computers.

    Edited to add: A few years ago, there was an "Get a Mac" marketing campaign intended to highlight he differences between Apple Computers and "PCs". While many of them were targeted at Windows and it's new Vista Operating System, some were hardware based, as in the one where "PC" is in a wheelchair because someone tripped on his cord while Mac mentions his magnetic power cord feature. Later in 2008, Windows released the "I'm a PC" campaign to further confuse matters. At the time, I argued the ads should have gone with Justin Long saying, "I'm a Mac" and John Hodgman would say, "and I'm not."
  9. Mar 1, 2013 #9 of 26

    Ment Well-Known Member

    Mar 27, 2008
    wrong forum so BIH Fox?
  10. efilippi

    efilippi Active Member

    Jul 24, 2001
    Mundelein, Il
    Wasn't the acid test whether it could run Flight Simulator?
  11. Polcamilla

    Polcamilla -b±√(b^2 - 4ac)/2a

    Nov 7, 2001
    I don't think the label "PC" has any real-world relevance anymore, so I wouldn't even bother arguing the definition and explicitly stating which things are PCs and which aren't. At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter to the person using the tech.

    I do think we could make a distinction between on-board capability and networked capability (eg. smartphones that are bricks when they aren't able to connect to the network to supply content) but even that isn't terribly important in day-to-day usage.
  12. JYoung

    JYoung Series 3

    Jan 16, 2002
    Los Angeles
  13. jamesl

    jamesl Active Member

    Jul 12, 2012

    consoles (xbox, ps3) are not pcs
    macs are not pcs
    iPads and tablets are not pcs

    even though all of the above can play some sort of game, they are not pcs

    for it to be a pc you have to be able to order the parts and build it yourself,
    you have to be able to install Steam on it and play Diablo 2, Portal, Minecraft and a variety of mmos

    Macs are almost pcs, but not quite
  14. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Uhh, what? Macs are x86/64 and can run BOTH 64 bit and 32 bit apps/frameworks. AFAIK, you have to purchase a separate version of Windows to do 64 bit.
  15. jsmeeker

    jsmeeker Notable Member TCF Club

    Apr 2, 2001
    A Mac isn't a PC. It's a Mac. A PC runs something that isn't MacOS.
  16. AeneaGames

    AeneaGames Member

    May 2, 2009
    So a Mac running OSX is not a PC but a Mac running Linux or Windows is??? :confused:

    A PC in my eyes is any computer with a monitor, a keyboard, maybe a mouse that allows you to install several different OSes. I don't even care about the CPU type really.

    If you want to include the Intel x86 or compatible CPU in it a Mac is still a PC.

    According to that definition a heck of a lot of Windows running PCs out there are no PCs, most people just buy stock models from companies like Dell, Acer, etc.

    Also Macs run Steam just fine, also runs Diablo 2, Portal and Minecraft, and yes, in OSX! Of course it runs everything any PC does when you install Windows on it as well...

    Then there is a thing called Hackintoshes, non Apple hardware, usually ordered as parts, built by the owners themselves and they install OSX on it. Also no PCs suddenly anymore?

    This whole discussion is basically pointless :D
  17. Worf

    Worf Active Member

    Sep 15, 2000
    Or the fact that we even have this thread indicates we're well into the "post PC" era where we have multiple forms of computing and we're no longer stuck in front of desktops and laptops to work or play.

    Especially when you have lots of things like tablets, smartphones, media boxes, DVRs, consoles, etc., all of which have embedded processors and often have more power and memory than what we had in regular desktop/laptop computers just a few short years ago.
  18. Wil

    Wil Senile Member

    Sep 26, 2002
    Historically that is kinda correct. Apple computers in the 1970s and into the 1980s (and the other consumer computers prior to IBM entering the market), were called "Personal Computers" (less often "Home Computers"). "PC" was frequently used, but of no significance beyond a geeky abbreviation.

    The first IBMs in the market specifically used the abbreviation "PC" rather than "Personal Computer". Very smart marketing, as "Personal Computer" had become a term of derision by mainframe/mini-oriented professionals. Then came the "IBM PC Clones" running MSDOS on cheaper and more capable hardware, and the rest is history. When Apple introduced the Mac, the distinction became between PCs (no longer related to IBM, which actually had a very small market share, and no longer "clones" as the clones had became the mainstream) and Macs. Apple IIs continued to be called Personal Computers for as long as they were produced, into the 1990s, but never PCs. Other non-MSDOS-specific personal computers, DEC Rainbows et al, WERE frequently called PCs.
  19. Jesda


    Feb 12, 2005
    I recently caught myself referring to "IBMs and Macs"
  20. Mars Rocket

    Mars Rocket Loosely wound

    Mar 24, 2000
    Sinnoh region
    At work we use the term "desktop computer" to mean either a Mac or a PC. Everybody knows what it means, and it's obviously not a tablet or phone.

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