Personal Computer Dictionary Definitions

According to abbreviationfinder, Personal Computer is also known as PC. From the English Personal Computer is a microcomputer compatible with the IBM PC and designed to be used by a single person at a time, although some operating systems (such as UNIX, XENIX, LINUX and others) allow several users to work simultaneously (from consoles connected to the central processor), which is known as multi-user. It should not be confused with the multiple sessions that single-user operating systems, such as Windows, allow.


The term personal computer (PC) was first recorded in 1964 published in New Scientist magazine in the article: “The Banishment of Paper Work” by Arthur L. Samuel, (from IBM’s Watson Research Center) who wrote:

“Until it is feasible to get a home schooling, through our own personal computer , human nature will not have changed

The first generation of these computers began to be manufactured in the seventies but it was very unsophisticated, powerful and versatile, which is why it only gained space among computer enthusiasts.

With the launch in 1979 of the VisiCalc spreadsheet, initially for the Apple II and later for the IBM PC, an application that managed to turn the microcomputer into a work tool, attached to the low cost of personal computers, made them acquire a large popularity for both families and workers in the eighties.

As early as the 1990s, it became more successful for personal computers as it radically increased their power, blurring the line between personal computers and mainframes. High-end computers are distinguished from personal computers by their greater reliability or their greater ability to multitask and not by the power of the CPU.


Most PCs use a hardware architecture compatible with the IBM PC, using x86 compatible processors made by Intel, AMD or Cyrix, in addition to the use of BIOS.

In addition to the enormous popularity of personal computers, certain microcomputers not compatible with the IBM PC are equally popular and are also called personal computers. The main alternative of these incompatible microcomputers to the IBM PC was the computer with a PowerPC processor, with the Mac OS X operating system from Apple Computer.

Emergence of the acronym PC

Second-generation personal computers entered the market in 1977 and became more readily available to the general public in the 1980s; due to mass production of chips based on the chip of silicon, competitive rates and flexibility to be useful both at home and in industry and business; as well as its design to be immediately useful to non-technical customers, in contrast to first-generation microcomputers.

Use of the term “personal computer” largely died out in the late 1980s in the US. or in the early 90’s in Europe. This was due to the emergence of the IBM PC compatible personal computer, and the consequent preference for the term “PC” over “the personal computer.”

Notable PCs

List of the most notable PCs in the 70s – 80s:


  • June of 1977: Apple II (North America) (color graphics, eight expansion slots)
  • August of 1977: Tandy Radio Shack TRS-80 (N.) (First Personal Computer less than $ 600)
  • December of 1977: Commodore PET (N.) (First full computer: keyboard / screen / tape)
  • 1979: Atari 400/800 (N.) (First computer with a specific chipset and programmable video chip)
  • 1979: TI-99/4 (first personal computer with a 16-bit processor)


  • 1980: Commodore VIC-20 (under $ 300; world’s first computer to pass the million-unit sold mark)
  • 1980: TRS-80 color computer (Motorola 6809, optional OS-9 multitasking)
  • 1980: Osborne Computer Company launches Osborne 1 (first “portable” computer)
  • June of 1981: Texas Instruments TI-99 / 4A – based on the least successful TI-99/4, second personal computer with a CPU of 16 bit, the first to add graphics ” sprite “
  • August of 1981: IBM PC – Original version compatible hardware platform of the IBM PC. The original model was called the IBM 5150. It was created by a team of 12 engineers and designers under the leadership of Estridge of IBM’s Gateway Systems Division in Boca Raton,
  • 1981: Sinclair ZX81 (Europe) – kit was £ 49.95; £ 69.95 pre-built. It was released as the Timex Sinclair 1000 in the US. in 1982
  • 1981: BBC micro (Europe) – UK Prime Minister’s educational computer for a decade; Advanced BASIC with built-in 6502 auto code assembler; designed with a myriad of I / O ports
  • 1982: Kaypro launches the Kaypro II computer
  • April of 1982: Sinclair ZX Spectrum (Europe) – Britain ‘s best – selling personal computer; created the British software industry
  • August of 1982: Commodore 64 – The best – selling computer model of all time: ~ 17 million sold
  • 1983: Coleco Adam
  • 1983: MSX (Japan) – ASCII and Microsoft reference design, manufactured by various companies: ~ 5 million sold)
  • 1983: Laser 200 – entry-level VTech computer engineered being the cheapest on the market).
  • January of 1984: Apple Macintosh (N.) – First commercially successful mouse driven, home / personal computer completely GUI-based; first 16/32-bit
  • 1984: Amstrad / Schneider CPC and PCW are extended (Europe) – British standard before the IBM PC; German sales next to Apple’s C64 and Macintosh
  • 1985: Atari ST (N.) – First with built-in MIDI interface; also 1MB RAM for less than US $ 1000
  • July of 1985: Commodore Amiga (N.) (chipset custom for graphics and sound; OS jobs multiple)
  • 1987: Acer Archimedes (Europe) (based on the Acer-in- development powerful 32-bit ARM microprocessor; most powerful personal computer in its class at its beginning)

Personal Computer