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Personal computer

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Personal computer

A personal computer or PC is usually a microcomputer whose price, size, and capabilities make it suitable for personal usage. Personal computers are normally operated by one user at a time to perform such general purpose tasks as word processing, internet browsing, e-mail and other digital messaging, multimedia playback, video game play, computer programming, etc. The user of a modern personal computer may have significant knowledge of the operating environment and application programs, but is not necessarily interested in programming nor even able to write programs for the computer. Therefore, most software written primarily for personal computers tends to be designed with simplicity of use, or "user-friendliness" in mind.

Since the terms "personal computer" and "PC" have been introduced to vernacular language, their meanings and scope have changed somewhat. The first generations of personal microcomputers were usually sold as kits or merely instructions, and required a somewhat skilled person to assemble and operate them. These were usually called microcomputers, but personal computer was also used. Later generations were sometimes interchangeably called by the names "home computer" and "personal computer." By the mid-1980s, "home computer" was becoming a less common label in favor of "personal computer." These computers were pre-assembled and required little to no technical knowledge to operate. In today's common usage, personal computer and PC usually indicate an IBM PC compatible. Because of this association, some manufacturers of personal computers that are not IBM PCs avoid explicitly using the terms to describe their products.

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