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A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose electronic computer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. PCs are intended to be operated directly by an end user, rather than by a computer expert or technician.

Personal computers are forms of microcomputers, distinct from larger, more expensive minicomputer and mainframe systems. Home computers were an early class of personal computers.

"Computers were invented to 'compute': to solve complex mathematical problems, but today, due to media dependency and the everyday use of computers, it is seen that 'computing' is the least important thing computers do."[1] The computer time-sharing models that were typically used with larger, more expensive minicomputer and mainframe systems, to enable them be used by many people at the same time, are not used with PCs.


The introduction of microprocessors, with the Intel 4004, developed by Busicom and Intel from 1969 to 1971, laid the foundations for the microcomputer revolution. The first microcomputer was Sord Computer Corporation's SMP80/08, developed in April 1972, based on the Intel 8008 microprocessor.[2]

1977 saw the release of the first home computers, which came with monitor displays. These included the Apple II, Sord M200 Smart Home Computer,[3] and Commodore PET.

See also[]

  • Desktop computer
  • Laptop
  • Portable computer
  • Public computer
  • PC game


  1. Ceruzzi,, Paul E. (2003). A History of Modern Computing. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. p. 1. ISBN 0262532034. 
  2. Japan, Information Processing Society of. SMP80/x series-Computer Museum. Retrieved on 1 April 2017.
  3. Japan, Information Processing Society of. M200 Smart Home Computer Series-Computer Museum. Retrieved on 1 April 2017.

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
  • PC Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 6, November 1983, ‘'SCAMP: The Missing Link in the PC's Past?‘’