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  Computer Dictionary : PC
 

Welcome to the eComputer Bay's Computer Dictionary - the free online dictionary of computer and technology terms. The goal of the Computer Dictionary is to not just define computer terms, but explain them as well.

Definitions of computer terms are helpful, but explanations with examples are even better. eComputer Bay contains hundreds of computer and technology terms, all with detailed explanations.

Use the Search Bar Below To Get Computer Definations And To Check out All the Terms Simply leave the Computer Term Blank...-



Computer Term

1. PC

Stands for "Personal computer." PCs are are what most of us use on a daily basis for work or personal use. A typical PC includes a system unit, monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Most PCs today also have a network or Internet connection, as well as ports for connecting peripheral devices, such as digital cameras, printers, scanners, speakers, external hard drives, and other components.

Personal computers allow us to write papers, create spreadsheets, track our finances, play games, and do many other things. If a PC is connected to the Internet, it can be used to browse the Web, check e-mail, communicate with friends via instant messaging programs, and download files. PCs have become such an integral part of our lives that it can be difficult to imagine life without them!

While PC stands for "personal computer," the term can be a bit ambiguous. This is because Macintosh computers are often contrasted with PCs, even though Macs are also technically PCs. However, Apple itself has used the term "PC" to refer to Windows-based machines, as opposed to its own computers, which are called "Macs." While the Mac/PC dilemma remains, PCs can always contrasted with other types of computers, such as mainframes and server computers, such as Web servers and network file servers. In other words, if you use a computer at home or at work, you can safely call it a PC.

2. PCB

chips, and Stands for "Printed Circuit Board." A PCB is a thin board made of fiberglass or a similar material. Electrical wires are "printed" onto the board, connecting the central processor to other components on the board. Some examples of PCBs include motherboards, RAMnetwork interface cards.

Printed circuit boards are sometimes abbreviated as "PC boards," which is fitting, since the boards are commonly used in personal computers. However, PCBs are also found in other types of electronic devices, such as radios, televisions, and computer monitors. Because PCBs are relatively flat, they can also be used in thin devices such as laptops and portable music players.

3. PCI

Stands for "Peripheral Component Interconnect." It is a hardware bus designed by Intel and used in both PCs and Macs. Most add-on cards such as SCSI, Firewire, and USB controllers, use a PCI connection. Some graphics cards use PCI, but most new graphics cards connect to the AGP slot. PCI slots are found in the back of your computer and are about 3.5" long and about 0.5" high. So before you go buy that Firewire expansion card, make sure you have at least one PCI slot available.

4. PCI-X

Stands for "Peripheral Component Interconnect Extended." Once again, "Ex" is abbreviated with an "X" instead of an "E." Most desktop computers include one or more PCI slots for expanding the computer's I/O capabilities. Common PCI cards include network cards, sound cards, and video cards. In the early 1990s, when PCI was first introduced, the 66 MHz speed of PCI was more than sufficient for PCI cards available at the time. However, a decade later, expansion cards supported much faster data transfer rates and therefore became faster than the PCI bus would support. To prevent the interface from becoming a bottleneck, PCI-X was introduced.

The first version of PCI-X supported data transfer rates of 133 MHz, which is more than twice as fast as the original PCI standard. Then along came PCI-X 2.0, which can run at speeds of 266 or 533 MHz. These speeds are fast enough to support Gigabit Ethernet cards and video capture devices without slowing them down. PCI-X cards can only be installed in PCI-X slots, but the slots themselves are backwards compatible with PCI cards.

5. PCMCIA

Stands for "Personal Computer Memory Card International Association." It can also mean, perhaps more appropriately, "People Can't Memorize Computer Industry Acronyms." This way-to-long acronym stands for an association founded in 1989 which develops standards for expansion cards for portable computers. However, the term is most commonly associated with the actual cards standardized by the organization. These cards are referred to as "PCMCIA cards," or simply "PC cards." There are three types of PCMCIA cards, all of which are rectangular and measure 8.56 by 5.4 cm., but have different widths:

  • Type I: up to 3.3 mm. thick, mainly used to add additional ROM or RAM.
  • Type II: up to 5.5 mm. thick, typically used for fax/modem cards.
  • Type III: up to 10.5 mm. thick, often used to attach portable disk drives.
PCMCIA slots also come in three sizes -- a Type I slot can hold one Type I card, a Type II slot can hold one Type II card or two Type I cards, and a Type III slot can hold one Type III card or one Type I and one Type II card. PC Cards can be removed or inserted "on the fly," which means you don't have to turn your computer off to exchange them and you don't have to restart for your computer to recognize them.



 
 



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