Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Oct 2010 16:00 UTC
In the News An interesting discussion is currently raging through the world of computing, or more accurately, through the world of bloggers and analysts. It basically comes down to this: should the iPad be included in laptop and desktop sales figures? If it is included - Apple becomes the largest PC manufacturer in the United States. But, if the iPad should be included - why not the modern smartphone?
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Special vs General
by telns on Mon 18th Oct 2010 17:54 UTC
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I'd break it down as special purpose vs general purpose.

iPads, smartphones, Android tablets, many game consoles, etc. are all special purpose computers.

An iMac or a PC are general purpose computers.

Tablets are less specialized than they were, but I don't think anyone would seriously consider getting an iPad for all of their computing needs, unless they had only very specific needs (ie, not general).

A general purpose computer, in addition to web browsing, ought to be capable of all the other "general" computing tasks like word processing, publishing/layout, spreadsheets, database management, financial management, photo, sound, and video editing, programming, playing games, etc. and it should be able to do them all acceptably well [for its time period].

Obviously, the user doesn't have to do every one of those things, but the hardware and OS should be capable of doing them decently. The short version is to be a PC, it needs to be a jack of all trades, not a specialized tool.


I thought of a useful metric. Not perfect, but handy. If it comes with a text editor and can print, odds are it is a PC. If there is no text editor--or the closest thing is a "notes app"--and you can't print, it isn't a PC.

Edited 2010-10-18 18:01 UTC

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