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1 definition found
 for IBM PC
From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) :

  IBM PC
  
      International Business Machines Personal Computer.
  
     IBM PCs and compatible models from other vendors are the most
     widely used computer systems in the world.  They are typically
     single user personal computers, although they have been
     adapted into multi-user models for special applications.
  
     Note: "IBM PC" is used in this dictionary to denote IBM and
     compatible personal computers, and to distinguish these from
     other personal computers, though the phrase "PC" is often
     used elsewhere, by those who know no better, to mean "IBM PC
     or compatible".
  
     There are hundreds of models of IBM compatible computers.
     They are based on Intel's microprocessors: Intel 8086,
     Intel 8088, Intel 80286, Intel 80386, Intel 486 or
     Pentium.  The models of IBM's first-generation Personal
     Computer (PC) series have names: IBM PC, IBM PC XT, IBM PC
     AT, Convertible and Portable.  The models of its second
     generation, the Personal System/2 ({PS/2), are known by model
     number: Model 25, Model 30.  Within each series, the models
     are also commonly referenced by their CPU clock rate.
  
     All IBM personal computers are software compatible with each
     other in general, but not every program will work in every
     machine.  Some programs are time sensitive to a particular
     speed class.  Older programs will not take advantage of newer
     higher-resolution display standards.
  
     CPU+({microprocessor">The speed of the CPU ({microprocessor) is the most
     significant factor in machine performance.  It is determined
     by its clock rate and the number of bits it can process
     internally.  It is also determined by the number of bits it
     transfers across its data bus.  The second major performance
     factor is the speed of the hard disk.
  
     CAD and other graphics-intensive application programs can
     be sped up with the addition of a mathematics coprocessor, a
     chip which plugs into a special socket available in almost all
     machines.
  
     Intel 8086 and Intel 8088-based PCs require EMS
     (expanded memory) boards to work with more than one megabyte
     of memory.  All these machines run under MS-DOS.  The
     original IBM PC AT used an Intel 80286 processor which can
     access up to 16 megabytes of memory (though standard MS-DOS
     applications cannot use more than one megabyte without EMS).
     Intel 80286-based computers running under OS/2 can work
     with the maximum memory.
  
     Although IBM sells printers for PCs, most printers will work
     with them.  As with display hardware, the software vendor must
     support a wide variety of printers.  Each program must be
     installed with the appropriate printer driver.
  
     The original 1981 IBM PC's keyboard was severely criticised by
     typists for its non-standard placement of the return and left
     shift keys.  In 1984, IBM corrected this on its AT keyboard,
     but shortened the backspace key, making it harder to reach.
     In 1987, it introduced its Enhanced keyboard, which relocated
     all the function keys and placed the control key in an awkward
     location for touch typists.  The escape key was relocated to
     the opposite side of the keyboard.  By relocating the function
     keys, IBM made it impossible for software vendors to use them
     intelligently.  What's easy to reach on one keyboard is
     difficult on the other, and vice versa.  To the touch typist,
     these deficiencies are maddening.
  
     An "IBM PC compatible" may have a keyboard which does not
     recognize every key combination a true IBM PC does,
     e.g. shifted cursor keys.  In addition, the "compatible"
     vendors sometimes use proprietary keyboard interfaces,
     preventing you from replacing the keyboard.
  
     The 1981 PC had 360K floppy disks.  In 1984, IBM introduced
     the 1.2 megabyte floppy disk along with its AT model.
     Although often used as backup storage, the high density
     floppy is not often used for interchangeability.  In 1986, IBM
     introduced the 720K 3.5" microfloppy disk on its Convertible
     laptop computer.  It introduced the 1.44 megabyte double
     density version with the PS/2 line.  These disk drives can be
     added to existing PCs.
  
     Fixed, non-removable, hard disks for IBM compatibles are
     available with storage capacities from 20 to over 600
     megabytes.  If a hard disk is added that is not compatible
     with the existing disk controller, a new controller board
     must be plugged in.  However, one disk's internal standard
     does not conflict with another, since all programs and data
     must be copied onto it to begin with.  Removable hard disks
     that hold at least 20 megabytes are also available.
  
     When a new peripheral device, such as a monitor or
     scanner, is added to an IBM compatible, a corresponding, new
     controller board must be plugged into an expansion slot (in
     the bus) in order to electronically control its operation.
     The PC and XT had eight-bit busses; the AT had a 16-bit bus.
     16-bit boards will not fit into 8-bit slots, but 8-bit boards
     will fit into 16-bit slots.  Intel 80286 and Intel 80386
     computers provide both 8-bit and 16-bit slots, while the 386s
     also have proprietary 32-bit memory slots.  The bus in
     high-end models of the PS/2 line is called "{Micro Channel".
     EISA is a non-IBM rival to Micro Channel.
  
     The original IBM PC came with BASIC in ROM.  Later, Basic
     and BasicA were distributed on floppy but ran and referenced
     routines in ROM.
  
     IBM PC and PS/2 models
  
     PC range
  
     		Intro	  CPU	  Features
      PC		Aug 1981   8088	  Floppy disk system
      XT		Mar 1983   8088	  Slow hard disk
      XT/370		Oct 1983   8088	  IBM 370 mainframe emulation
      3270 PC	Oct 1983   8088	  with 3270 terminal emulation
      PCjr		Nov 1983   8088	  Floppy-based home computer
      PC Portable	Feb 1984   8088	  Floppy-based portable
      AT		Aug 1984   286	  Medium-speed hard disk
      Convertible	Apr 1986   8088	  Microfloppy laptop portable
      XT 286		Sep 1986   286	  Slow hard disk
  
     PS/2 range
  
     		Intro	  CPU	  Features
      Model 1987-08-25   8086	  PC bus (limited expansion)
      Model 1987-04-30   8086	  PC bus
      Model 30 1988-09-286   286	  PC bus
      Model 1987-04-50   286	  Micro Channel bus
      Model 50Z	Jun 1988   286	  Faster Model 50
      Model 55 SX	May 1989   386SX  Micro Channel bus
      Model 1987-04-60   286	  Micro Channel bus
      Model 1988-06-70   386	  Desktop, Micro Channel bus
      Model P1989-05-70   386	  Portable, Micro Channel bus
      Model 1987-04-80   386	  Tower, Micro Channel bus
  
     IBM PC compatible specifications
  
      CPU   CPU    Clock    Bus	    Floppy	  Hard
            bus    speed   width  RAM    disk	  disk	   OS
            bit    Mhz     bit   byte    inch   byte	  Mbyte
  
      8088  16    4.8-9.5	8    1M*     5.25  360K	  10-40	  DOS
     				     3.5   720K
     				     3.5   1.44M
  
      8086  16     6-12     16    1M*		  20-60
  
      286   16     6-25     16   1-8M*    5.25  360K	  20-300  DOS
     				     5.25  1.2M		  OS/2
  
      386   32     16-33    32   1-16M**  3.5   720K		  Unix
     				     3.5   1.44M  40-600
  
      386SX 32     16-33    16   1-16M**		  40-600
  
     *Under DOS, RAM is expanded beyond 1M with EMS memory boards
  
     **Under DOS, RAM is expanded beyond 1M with normal "extended"
     memory and a memory management program.
  
     See also BIOS, display standard.
  
     (1995-05-12)
  

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