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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RE[2]: Special vs General
by telns on Mon 18th Oct 2010 18:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Special vs General"
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I very specifically mentioned "for its time period."

The 386 time period was quite a while ago. Can you imagine anyone selling a new i386-based device now for anything other than highly specialized tasks? I didn't say 386s aren't PCs. When they were sold, they fit the bill for all the general computing I mentioned.

The OS is an important part of what makes a computer general purpose or special purpose. I had in mind a Mackie processor a friend uses. It is absolutely standard, commercial off-the-shelf PC hardware on the inside, but the OS it runs is D8B. By your definition it is a PC, by mine it is a special purpose tool.

My argument is that PCs are general purpose tools, and to be that they have to run general purpose OSs. Stick on a highly specific specialized OS (ala D8B), and it may cease to be what I would label a personal computer.

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