Tag Archives: Computer

Command Prompt – How to use the simple, basic commands

by Codrut Neagu published on 05/11/2016. digitalcitizen . life

Geeks and experts all love the Command Prompt because of the advanced tasks and commands you can run in it. But that doesn’t mean that it’s only useful for experts – after all, every expert was a novice in the beginning. And Command Prompt is not built only on advanced commands, but also on simple commands designed to perform basic operations. In this article we will show you how to execute commands like changing the working folder, viewing the contents of a directory, creating and renaming folders, copying, deleting files and folders, and launching any application from the Command Prompt. We will also see how to get help when using this tool.

NOTE: The information shared in this tutorial applies to Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. Note that, for simplicity, we will use screenshots taken only in Windows 10.

How to navigate between folders


The first command from the list is CD (Change Directory). This command enables you to change the current folder or, in other words, to navigate to another folder from your computer.

For instance, the command CD\ takes you to the top of the directory tree. To see how it works, after you open the Command Prompt, type cd\ and press Enter on your keyboard. You will see that the CD\ command takes you to the top of the directory tree (in this case to the “C:” drive).

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NOTE: Command Prompt is not case sensitive, meaning that commands can be typed with capital letters, lowercase or any combination of them. The commands CD, cd or Cd will all work in the same way.

Going back to the “CD\” command, now you are working on the root of the “C:” drive. If you need to go to a specific folder from this drive run the command “CD Folder”. The subfolders must be separated by a backslash character: “\”. For instance, when you need to access the System32 folder located in “C:\Windows”, type “cd windows\system32\” as shown below, and then press Enter on your keyboard.

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When you need to go to one folder up, use the “cd..” command. Let’s assume that you want to go back to the Windows folder. Type “cd..” and press Enter on your keyboard. You will notice that your current directory has changed to ”C:\Windows”.

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How to access a certain drive


To access another drive, type that drive’s letter, followed by “:”. For instance, if you wanted to change the drive from “C:” to “D:”, you should type “d:” and then press Enter on your keyboard.

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To change the drive and the directory at the same time, use the cd command, followed by the “/d” switch. The “/d” parameter is used to change the current drive to a specific folder from another disk volume. For instance, if you are now on the ”D:” drive and you want to go back to the Windows folder from the“C:” drive, you should type “cd /d C:\Windows” and press Enter on your keyboard, like in the following screenshot.

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NOTE: By typing the drive letter you automatically move to your most recent location in that drive. For instance, if you are on “D:” drive and type “cd c:\windows” nothing seems to happen. But if you type “c:”, then the working folder will change to “c:\windows” (assuming that it was the last folder you worked with on your “C:” drive).

How to view the contents of a folder
You can view the contents of a folder by using a simple command called DIR. To test it, we’ve created a folder named Digital_Citizen on the D: drive, with several files and subfolders.

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The last time, our working folder was “C:\Windows”. We will navigate to the folder mentioned above by using the command “cd /d D:\Digital_Citizen”. To view the contents of the folder we will type DIR and press Enter on the keyboard. A list of the files and folders contained by it is displayed, together with some details about them (the size and the date and time when they were last modified).

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How to create a new folder from the Command Prompt


You can make a new directory using the MKDIR (Make Directory) or the MD command. The syntax of these commands is “MKDIR Folder” or “MD Folder”.

Let’s say we need to create a new folder called Digital_Citizen_Life that will be placed in the “D:\Digital_Citizen” folder. We will type “mkdir Digital_Citizen_Life” and then we will press Enter, as shown below.

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To test if it worked, we will use again the dir command. The newly created folder appears in the list.

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NOTE: Don’t forget that all these commands depend on the current location in the Command Prompt. For instance, if you are on the “C:” drive and type “MKDIR test”, a new folder will be created in the root of the “C:” drive.

Another way to create a folder, that doesn’t involve being in the desired folder, is to type the complete path of the new folder. For example, if you are working on the “D:” drive and you want to create a new folder in “C:”, called other_stuff, type “mkdir c:\other_stuff” and then press Enter.

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When you need to create a folder with subfolders at the same time you can use the ”MKDIR Folder\Subfolder” command . For instance, if we type “mkdir Digital_Citizen_Tests\Beta\Test1” three folders will be created: Digital_Citizen_Tests, Beta and Test1, in a tree-like structure.

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How to rename files and folders


To rename files and folders you need to use the REN (Rename) command.

To rename folders, type “ren Folder NewFolderName”. For example, if we wanted to rename the Digital_Citizen_Tests folder to Digital_Citizen_Final_Tests, we should run “ren Digital_Citizen_Tests Digital_Citizen_Final_Tests” and then press Enter.

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To rename a file, use the same command, like this: “ren filename.extension newname.extension”. For instance, to rename the Digital_Citizen_Picture.jpg file to Picture1.jpg we have to run the command “ren Digital_Citizen_Picture.jpg Picture1.jpg” command.

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Copy files and folders


The Copy command allows you to copy files from one location to another. To use this command you have to type

“copy location\filename.extension newlocation\newname.extension”.

For example, let’s use this command to copy the Picture1.jpg file from the Digital_Citizen folder located on the “D:” drive to the

“D:\Digital_Citizen\Digital_Citizen_Tests\ folder.

To make things more interesting we want the file to be named Testing_Picture1.gif. We will write the command

“copy D:\Digital_Citizen\picture1.jpg

:\Digital_Citizen\Digital_Citizen_Tests\testing_picture1.gif”

followed by Enter. You will receive a confirmation of the operation, as you can see below.

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If you are copying within the same directory you don’t have to put the path in command. As an example, we will copy Digital_Citizen_Notes.txt from “D:\Digital_Citizen” in the same folder, only with a different extension: let’s say Digital_Citizen_Notes.doc. To do that, we have to run the command “copy Digital_Citizen_Notes.txt Digital_Citizen_Notes.doc”.

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To copy a folder and its content from a location to another, use the XCOPY command followed by the “/s /i” operators. Let’s assume that we need to copy a folder from “D:\Digital_Citizen” to “C:\Backup_Digital_Citizen”. To do that, we’ll have to run the command “xcopy /s /i d:\Digital_Citizen c:\Backup_Digital_Citizen”. The “/s” parameter will ensure that all the directories and subdirectories will be copied, except the ones that are empty. The ‘/i’ parameter will create a new directory if the destination folder doesn’t exist and will copy all the files.

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Delete files and folders


The DEL (Delete) is used to delete files from the folders you’ve created. To delete all the files from a folder you have to run the command “del folder”. For instance, from the directory Digital_Citizen found on the “D:” drive, we will delete all the files from the Digital_Citizen_Tests folder, by typing the command “del Digital_Citizen_Tests”. You need to confirm the delete process by typing the letter “y” and then press Enter.

NOTE: To also delete hidden files from the folder, you must add the “/h” parameter. Also note that the DEL command doesn’t work for deleting folders – for that, you’ll have to use the RD command of which we’ll talk in a bit.

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If you need to delete a single file, use the DEL command followed by that file’s name. For instance, to delete the file Digital_Citizen_Notes.txt from “D:\Digital_Citizen”, we should run the command “del Digital_Citizen_Notes.txt”.

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Here is a list of useful DEL combinations that are worth mentioning:

  • DEL *.DOC – delete all files with the DOC extension (you can use any file extension necessary, DOC is just an example);
  • DEL Test*.* – delete all files beginning with Test;
  • DEL *.* – delete ALL files from the current folder.

The DEL command cannot be used to delete folders, therefore we will use another command to remove any empty folder: RD (Remove Directory). We’ve previously deleted all the files from the Digital_Citizen_Tests folder. It’s time to delete it by typing ”RD Digital_Citizen_Tests”.

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Launch an application from the Command Prompt


To run a program from the Command Prompt, you need only to navigate to the folder that contains the executable and type the program’s name. For example, if you want to launch Paint using Command Prompt, go to “C:\Windows\System32” and you will find the executable called mspaint.exe. Let’s see how this operation is done, if you were in “D:\Digital_Citizen”. First off all, change the working directory to the application’s folder by typing “cd /d c:\windows\System32\”. Then write mspaint.exe or simply mspaint and press Enter. Both commands can be seen in the screenshot below.

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How to get help in Command Prompt


To access help in Command Prompt you have to type the help command and then press Enter. A list with all available commands will be displayed, as you can see below.

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If a certain command interests you, type help followed by the name of that command. Another way to do the same thing is to type the command’s name followed by the “/?” parameter. To test it, use “help cd” or “cd/?” to display information about the cd command. In the picture below you can see the result.

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Conclusion


The Command Prompt remains a very powerful tool for any computer user who is willing to get his hands dirty and learn new things. We hope this article was useful in helping you learn the basics about running commands in the Command Prompt. If you have any questions about it, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment below.

Command Prompt – View system information and manage running processes

by Codrut Neagu published on 05/26/2016. digitalcitizen . life

The easiest way to view information about your computer is to use Windows built-in graphical tools like the Task Manager or System Information . However, just like us, some people prefer to use the Command Prompt for, well, anything. That’s why, in this article, we thought it would be useful to show you how to view the complete system information directly from the Command Prompt , as well as how to manage your running processes, all with the use of just a few advanced commands:

NOTE: The information shared in this tutorial applies to Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. For simplicity, we will use screenshots taken in Windows 10.

1. How to view your system information


Command Prompt allows you to view system information by using a simple command called systeminfo . Open Command Prompt , type systeminfo and press Enter . Do you s ee what’s happening? Just like in screenshot below, a complete list of information about your operating system and computer hardware and software components is displayed.

You will see details such as the version of the operating system installed on your computer, the status of your RAM memory or the processor you have. There’s also some network information, like the IP and the MACaddresses of your network cards.

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2. Display the list of currently running processes


To view the list of currently running processes, you have to use the tasklist command. Type tasklist and press Enter . Command Prompt should display a list similar to the one below, where you see details about the names of running processes, their PID (Process identifier) and the memory they use.

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3. Stop a process using taskkill


To kill or stop a running process, you have to use the taskkill command. Let’s assume that you want to stop the Snipping Tool application t hat is running on your computer. Its process is called SnippingTool.exe . In order to kill it, you should use Command Prompt to run the command “taskkill /im snippingtool.exe” . The /im parameter is used to identify and stop a process by typing its name.

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There are times when you need to open a program twice or even several times. Every new window of a specific program (for example, Internet Explorer ) creates a separate process called instance that has attached a unique PID (Process identifier).

To stop a single instance of a process, you need to specify its PID(Process identifier). Let’s assume that there are two instances of Internet Explorer open on your computer . The process’ name is iexplore.exe , but you want to close only one of its two running instances.

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If you want to kill the process that has a PID of 6984, you will type taskkill /PID 6984 and then press Enter .

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Another interesting parameter that you can use for the command taskkill is /t . This parameter allows you to terminate a specified process and any child processes which were started by it.

Take the same example: the Internet Explorer process. Let’s assume that you have three processes and you want to kill all of them using the parameter /t . You should type the command “taskkill /t /im iexplore.exe” and then press Enter . Check the screenshot below to see the confirmation of the command you just typed.

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Note that if you misuse the commands listed in this article, you can risk losing the data opened in the running processes. It is important to be careful and have a backup available for your data. Therefore proceed carefully and don’t say we did not warn you. 🙂

Also, keep in mind that, in order to kill any running process, you need to have administrative permissions and run the Command Prompt as administrator. Check out the 7 ways to run programs as administrator in Windows to see how to run Command Prompt as administrator.

Conclusion


We hope you’ve liked this guide which continues our series of advanced commands that can be run in the Command Prompt . Now you know how to display the system information and you know how to stop processes, all by using just some text commands in the Command Prompt . Don’t you feel geeky right now? 🙂 Don’t forget that, if you have any questions about the commands shared in this article, you can always leave a comment below.

 

How To Repair Missing Or Corrupt Windows Files From The Command Prompt

by Codrut Neagu published on 02/19/2015. digitalcitizen . life

When you have problems with your computer, Windows system files may become corrupted or go missing. This might be caused by all kinds of issues like sudden power drops, hardware malfunctions, a hard disk approaching its “death” and so on. If Windows reports that it cannot start because some of its files are corrupted or missing, you should use the System File Checker (SFC) tool in the Command Prompt. You should do the same when Windows starts to Blue Screen on you with weird corruption related errors. SFC scans all the Windows system files on your computer, identifies those that are corrupt or missing and tries to fix the problems it find. Here’s how to use it:

NOTE: This tutorial applies to both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.

How To Fix Problems With Missing Or Corrupted Files When Windows Won’t Boot


If Windows doesn’t load because of missing or corrupt system files, follow this tutorial to start the Command Prompt: How To Start The Command Prompt When Windows Doesn’t Boot?.

In the Command Prompt window, use the sfc command with two additional parameters:

  • /offbootdir – used to specify the partition that contains the system files that are required for booting Windows. In most cases, this partition is going to be “C:\”.
  • /offwindir – used to specify the location of the Windows directory. In most cases, this folder is “C:\Windows”.

You will need to type something like: 

sfc /scannow /offbootdir=c:\  /offwindir=c:\windows and press Enter.

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The “translation” for this command is the following: scan the Windows folder located on the boot partition “C:\”and fix missing or corrupt system files.

Arm yourself with some patience because running this command will take quite a bit of time. When the process finishes, you are informed that the verification is 100% complete. If problems were found, you are also informed. The problematic files that cannot be fixed are always mentioned in a log file named CBS.log. This file is found in the Windows folder, at this location: “C:\Windows\Logs\CBS\CBS.log”.

If everything is fine with your system files, you will receive a message saying that: “Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations”.

How To Fix Problems With Missing Or Corrupted Files When Windows Boots


You may also find yourself in a scenario where Windows loads successfully but it crashes randomly with a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) mentioning corruption errors. If that is the case for you, start the Command Prompt as an administrator, using any of the methods described in this tutorial: 7 Ways to Launch the Command Prompt in Windows 7 & Windows 8.

Type the command: sfc /scannow and press Enter. The /scannow parameter forces the SFC tool to scan the integrity of all system files and repair problematic files when possible.

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Again, arm yourself with some patience. The tool takes a long time to run. At least a couple of minutes. When it’s done, you are informed that the verification is 100% complete. If problems were found, you are also informed.

In our case, SFC found corrupt files and it was unable to fix some of them.

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The problematic files that cannot be fixed are always mentioned in a log file named CBS.log. This file is found in the Windows folder, at this location: “C:\Windows\Logs\CBS\CBS.log”.

How To Analyze The CBS.Log File


Go to “C:\Windows\Logs\CBS” and open the CBS.log. This file is quite large and it takes a while to open it in Notepad. If possible, open it with a different application like Notepad++ or Microsoft Word, so that it is opened faster and you have an easier time working with it.

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Scroll towards the end of the file and search for entries that start with the text: “Cannot repair member file”. There you will find the missing or corrupted system file(s) that cannot be repaired.

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Search for information online about the file(s) mentioned in this log file and from there on you might get an idea on how to fix your problems.

Conclusion


Hopefully you will never need to use the SFC command to repair Windows systems files. However, if you do have issues, don’t hesitate to consider using it. This tutorial should come in handy when you have to deal with system files being corrupted or missing.

If you are looking for other useful troubleshooting tutorials, read the articles recommended below.

 

How to use the Command Prompt to fix issues with your PC’s boot records

by Codrut Neagu published on 02/02/2017. digitalcitizen . life

You can use system recovery tools to fix most of your computer problems. However, there are times when you’ll need to address such issues in a manual way, like, for example, when your Windows computer won’t boot. In these cases, you can use a tool named Bootrec.exe. It can help you troubleshoot and repair things like the Master Boot Record (MBR), the boot sector or the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) store. Here’s how it works, in all modern versions of Windows:

NOTE: This guide covers Windows 10, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.

Bootrec.exe – The ultimate repair tool for boot problems in Windows


No matter whether you use Windows 7 or Windows 10, if your operating system has trouble booting and Startup Repair can’t fix the problem, it’s worth trying the Bootrec.exe tool. With this tool you can repair the Master Boot Record (MBR), write a new boot sector, rebuild the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) and add missing Windows installations to the boot configuration data.

If you need to know what all these mean, here’s an explanation for each of them:

  • Master Boot Record (MBR) – the first sector of your system drive. Its purpose is to tell the computer’s BIOS where to look for the operating system, so that it can start it.
  • Boot Sector – the region of the disk that contains the code to be loaded into the RAM memory, that is necessary to load the operating system. A boot sector must have a specific disk signature to be seen by BIOS as a boot sector. If this signature is corrupted, or has been changed, the BIOS will not be able to find the boot sector and won’t be able to load the necessary instructions for finding and starting the operating system. In Windows 7 and newever versions of Windows, the boot sector loads the Windows Boot Manager, accesses the Boot Configuration Data and uses this information to load the operating system
  • Boot Configuration Data (BCD) – The BCD is a database of boot-time configuration data that is used by the Windows Boot Manager. The Boot Configuration Data is stored in a data file that has the same format as the Windows Registry.

How to start the Command Prompt when Windows won’t load successfully


In order to be able to use Bootrec.exe, you’ll have to use Command Prompt. However, because you already have startup issues, it’s obvious that you won’t be able to simply run it from Windows.

You need to use a repair disc or a recovery drive that was created on a working Windows computer. Here are some guides that will help you create such discs/drives:

  • What is a system repair disc and how to create one in Windows – this guide applies to all modern versions of Windows. Windows 7 users can only use this method if they want to have a chance at repairing the computer. The repair disc can be a CD or DVD with all the necessary files for troubleshooting your system
  • How to create a recovery drive in Windows 10 – learn how to create a bootable USB memory stick with recovery tools for Windows 10.
  • How to create a recovery drive on a USB memory stick in Windows 8 & 8.1 – this guide is useful for Windows 8 users only.

Once you have recovery drive/disc created, boot from it. In order to do that, plug it in and start your Windows computer or device. Immediately after it starts, press the boot device selection key on your keyboard. It’s usually the F12, F11 or the Escape key, but it could be another as well, depending on the manufacturer of your device’s mainboard. Doing that will make your computer display a boot priority selection menu. Use the arrow keys on the keyboard to select the recovery drive. Then, press Enter and, when asked to press any key to boot from that drive, do so.

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If you are using Windows 10 or Windows 8.1, once your PC boots from the USB drive, you will be asked to choose the keyboard layout that you want to use. When this happens, click or tap on the layout that matches your keyboard. To navigate between all the available keyboard layouts, press “See more keyboard layouts”.

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The list of available keyboard languages is quite long and you may have to scroll a lot until you find the layout that you want to use. On the next screen, you should click or tap on Troubleshoot (Reset your PC or see advanced options).

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On the Advanced options screen, click or tap on Command Prompt.

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If you are using Windows 7, first, select the keyboard input method that you want to use and click Next.

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Then, it scans for available Windows installations and lists those that are found. Select the Windows 7 installation that you want to repair and click Next.

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Then, when the list of available System Recovery Options are shared, click Command Prompt.

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Once you’ve launched the Command Prompt, type the command bootrec.exe and hit Enter to see the options that are available for this tool. As you can see in the screenshot below, there are four parameters available: /FixMbr, /FixBoot, /ScanOs and /RebuildBcd.

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Let’s see how each of them can help you solve your computer’s boot problems. Keep in mind though, that even if the Bootrec.exe tool can handle most boot problems, it does not guarantee success in every possible situation.

How to repair the Master Boot Record (MBR)


The first parameter of the Bootrec.exe tool is /FixMbr. It allows the repair of a corrupted or damaged Master Boot Record (MBR). Usually, you will use this parameter when you are faced with one of these error messages: “Operating System not found”, “Error loading operating system”, “Missing operating system” or “Invalid partition table”. To start the repair process of the MBR, run the command: bootrec.exe /fixmbr.

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How to write a new boot sector


The /FixBoot parameter writes a new boot sector to the system partition. The tool will use a boot sector that is compatible with your Windows version. Using this parameter is useful in the following situations:

  • The boot sector has been replaced with a non-standard Windows boot sector;
  • The boot sector is damaged;
  • An earlier Windows operating system has been installed after your version of Windows was installed.

To start writing a new boot sector, use this command: bootrec.exe /fixboot.

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How to rebuild the Boot Configuration Data (BCD)


The Boot Configuration Data (BCD) contains a detailed list of what is supposed to load at startup. Microsoft indicates that a boot error can also be caused by missing or damaged files in the BCD. The /rebuildbcdparameter can be very useful when you must fix some errors by completely rebuilding the BCD. To completely rebuild the Boot Configuration Data, run this command: bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd.

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How to add missing Windows installations to the Boot Configuration Data


If your computer has multiple operating systems installed but not all of them are available, use the /ScanOSoption. Using this parameter on Bootrec.exe will launch a scan on all disks for any Windows installations that are not currently included in the Boot Configuration Data (BCD). In the screenshot below, you can see how this scan process might look.

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If the bootrec.exe /scanos command returns results, you will be able to continue the repair process. In the end, you will get the lost Windows installation back into the secure BCD table, thus making it bootable again.

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First of all, you have to clean the Master Boot Record (MBR) by using bootrec /fixmbr. Next, type bootsect.exe /nt60 all /force and press Enter. The /nt60 parameter applies the master boot code that is compatible with BOOTMGR. The /all argument updates the master boot code on all partitions. The /force parameter forcibly dismounts the volume(s) during the boot code update so that the Bootsect.exe tool does not gain exclusive volume access.

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Running all these commands will create a new MBR and tell it to use the correct Windows boot loader in order to load that specific installation from your drive.

Conclusion


As you can from this guide, Bootrec.exe is a very powerful tool for troubleshooting and fixing problems with your Windows computer’s boot records. If you know other ways to fix issues with your boot records, don’t hesitate to share them in a comment.

 

 

 

Command Prompt – The Most Powerful & Least Used Windows Tool

by Codrut Neagu published on 12/06/2010. digitalcitizen . life

At the beginning of 2010, we started a series on system recovery tools for Windows 7. Little did we know that the series would expand tremendously and, in the end, we would cover quite extensively a very old and misunderstood tool: the Command Prompt. While working with it, we were fortunate to truly learn its power and usefulness. Therefore, we would like to end our series of articles with a recap about all the great things the Command Prompt can do.

The Basics about the Command Prompt


If you have not used the Command Prompt much, it is best to start with the basics. In our article about How to Customize the Command Prompt you will learn where to find this tool and how to start it and customize it. You might not think of your Command Prompt as something cute and colourful, right? Think again. Go through this tutorial and experiment with all the configuration options. The Command Prompt can be cute and pink too, right along with the newer, sexier Windows 7 tools such as Desktop Gadgets.

Before you run any command, it is best to learn how to run the Command Prompt in Administrator ‘mode’. Many of its powers require administrator privileges in order to work.

In Command Prompt – How to Use Basic Commands  we have covered the most basic and yet useful commands. You will learn how to navigate through partitions, files and folder structures and how to work with them. Also, you will learn how to launch other applications or how to get help while working in the Command Prompt.

Getting into Command Prompt’s Advanced Powers


Now that you’ve got your basics right, it’s time to fine-tune your ninja computing skills and learn some of the advanced commands you can run inside the Command Prompt:

  • Command Prompt – Advanced Disk Management Commands – To complete the list of file and folder management commands listed in the basic guide, we’ve got more advanced stuff about how you can manage your partitions directly from the Command Prompt. You will learn how to create, modify or delete partitions with a few simple commands.
  • Command Prompt – Advanced Commands for System Information & Managing Active Tasks – Do you want to know all currently running processes? Do you have an unresponsive application which you want to kill? Do you want complete system information by typing only one short command? This tutorial has the answers for you.
  • Command Prompt – Advanced Networking Commands – If you want to be the ultimate geek, you need to learn a bit about networking and how to run some networking tasks in the Command Prompt. This tutorial covers useful commands which help you retrieve information about your network connections and MAC address; and test and display information about active connections.

Repair Your Computer from the Command Prompt


The ultimate power users (such as geeks :)) are able to utilize the Command Prompt also for repairing broken computers and Windows operating systems. For them we’ve got the following tutorials:

Conclusion


Our series on the Command Prompt tool is far from being complete. We did not manage to cover all the commands you can run. What we tried to do was to simply give you a taste of what this powerful tool can do for you and hopefully raise your interest in learning more about it. Do let us know if we’ve succeeded. Also, if you’ve got some other cool tips and commands to share, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. We might decide to continue the series.

 

Command Prompt – 6 Disk Management Commands you should know

by Codrut Neagu published on 06/21/2016. digitalcitizen . life

One of the easiest and most straightforward ways to manage your disks is to use the Disk Management tool from Windows. But hey, Disk Management is a visual tool and some of us like command based interfaces a whole lot more. That’s why we thought it would be a great idea to see how several disk management actions can be done from the Command Prompt , using DiskPart and other command-line tools . In this article you will learn how to create, format, delete, defragment and check your partitions for errors, directly from the Command Prompt . Let’s get started:

Important aspects to consider before moving forward


In order to perform any action presented in this article, you need to have administrative permissions and run the Command Prompt as administrator. Check ou t 7 Ways To Run Programs As Administrator In Windows to see how to run Command Prom pt as administrator.

It’s also very important for you to acknowledge the fact that, if you misuse the commands listed in this article, you risk losing your data. Be careful and make a backup of your data before going ahead. If anything bad should happen, don’t say we didn’t warn you! 🙂

1. How to create a partition from Command Prompt


First of all, open the Command Prompt. Then, type diskpart to access the Windows tool called Diskpart .

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After you’ve launched diskpart it’s time to establish which hard drive or solid state drive will be used to create a new partition. You will select the drive by using the select command. To view the available disks on your system, use the command list disk.

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To select the disk you want to work with, type select disk followed by the number of the hard disk you want to use.

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To create a new partition, you need to use the create partition command followed by the partition type and size. Note that the list command used previously also displays the available free space on each hard disk. Your partition must be of a size equal or less to the amount of available free space.

For instance, in order to make a new primary partition with the size of 1000 MB, you should type “create partition primary size=1000” . Use the same command and change the size according to your needs and the available free space on your hard disk.

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2. How to assign a letter to a partition from Command Prompt


You can and will probably want to also assign a letter to the newly created volume. Assigning a letter to a partition makes it visible in File Explorer , so that you can easily access it. To assign a letter to a partition directly from Command Prompt , use the assign command.

For instance, if you wanted to assign the R letter to the partition you just created, you should type “assign letter = R” .

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Please remember that before assigning a drive letter, you need to start Diskpart and select the disk for which you want to assign the letter.

3. How to format a partition from Command Prompt


Although you now have a new partition created on your computer or device and it also has a letter assigned so it’s easy to access it, you are still unable to use it until you also format that partition. To do that too, use the command “format fs=ntfs quick” . Use help format to find out more information about this command.

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This command should be used after you start Diskpart and select the disk that you want to format.

When you are done working with diskpart , type the exit command to close the program.

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4 . How to delete a partition from Command Prompt


When you need to delete a drive from your computer, the procedure is quite simple. First, open the diskpart application. Then, select the partition that you want to delete and type the delete partition command. You can see an example of how the delete operation works, below. It is a matter of selecting the disk where the partition is found, then selecting the volume to be deleted and running the delete command.

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5 . How to check a disk for errors from the Command Prompt


To check a disk for errors you have to use the chkdsk command. Type chkdsk followed by the drive’s letter. We recommend that you always use this command in combination with the /f parameter. This enables the tool to automatically fix any errors it finds.

As an example, we will scan the R : drive for errors by typing chkdsk /f r: and pressing Enter . The scan process will start.

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After the scan is finished you see a report similar to the one from the picture below.

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This summarizes how much disk space the partition has, how many files are in use by the system, how much free space is available on the disk, how many bad sectors were identified and so on.

6 . How to defragment a disk from the Command Prompt


The Command Prompt also gives you a way of defragmenting a partition. All you have to do is type the command defrag followed by the drive’s letter. If you wanted to defragment the R: partition, for example, you would use “defrag r:”. If everything worked well, you should get a report like the one below, after the volume you selected has been defragmented.

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The report includes information prior to the optimization process and after it was completed, like the volume size, free space, total fragmented space and the largest free space size.

Conclusion


Despite the fact that you might think it’s hard to manage your partitions through the Command Prompt , we hope that we managed to prove that it’s not that difficult. The procedures involved are not complicated at all and, once you know the correct commands, using the Command Prompt can be a lot faster than using other tools like Disk Management . If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

 

 

BINAC [Binary Automatic Computer]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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This article is about the early electronic computer. For the town in Kosovo, see Binac.
BINAC (Binary Automatic Computer) was an early electronic computer designed for Northrop Aircraft Company by the Eckert–Mauchly Computer Corporation (EMCC) in 1949. Eckert and Mauchly, though they had started the design of EDVAC at the University of Pennsylvania, chose to leave and start EMCC, the first computer company. BINAC was their first product, the first stored-program computer in the United States; the BINAC is also sometimes wrongly claimed to be the world’s first commercial digital computer  even though it was very limited in scope, never fully functional and always economically unviable.

Architecture


The BINAC was an advanced bit-serial binary computer with two independent CPUs, each with its own 512-word acoustic mercury delay line memory. The CPUs continuously compared results to check for errors caused by hardware failures. It used approximately 700 vacuum tubes. The 512-word acoustic mercury delay line memories were divided into 16 channels each holding 32 words of 31 bits, with an additional 11-bit space between words to allow for circuit delays in switching. The clock rate was 4.25 MHz (1 MHz according to one source) which yielded a word time of about 10 microseconds. The addition time was 800 microseconds and the multiplication time was 1200 microseconds. New programs or data had to be entered manually in octal using an eight-key keypad. BINAC was significant for being able to perform high-speed arithmetic on binary numbers, with no provisions to store characters or decimal digits.

Customer Acceptance


The BINAC ran a test program (consisting of 23 instructions) in March 1949, although it was not fully functional at the time. Here are early test programs that BINAC ran:

  • February 7, 1949 – Ran a five-line program to fill the memory from register A.
  • February 10, 1949 – Ran a five-line program to check memory.
  • February 16, 1949 – Ran a six-line program to fill memory.
  • March 7, 1949 – Ran 217 iterations of a 23-line program to compute squares. It was still running correctly when it stopped.
  • April 4, 1949 – Ran a fifty-line program to fill memory and check all instructions. It ran for 2.5 hours before encountering an error. Shortly after that it ran for 31.5 hours without error.

Northrop accepted delivery of BINAC in September 1949. Northrop employees said that BINAC never worked properly after it was delivered, although it had worked at the Eckert-Mauchly workshop. It was able to run some small problems but did not work well enough to be used as a production machine. Northrop attributed the failures to it not being properly packed for shipping when Northrop picked it up; EMCC said that the problems were due to errors in re-assembly of the machine after shipping. (Northrop, citing security considerations, refused to allow EMCC technicians near the machine after shipping, instead hiring a newly graduated engineering student to re-assemble it. EMCC said that the fact that it worked at all after this was testimony to the engineering quality of the machine.)

First Computer User Manual


Previous computers were the darlings of university departments of engineering. The users knew the machines well. The BINAC was going to go to an end user, and so a usermanual was needed. Automobile “users” were quite accustomed in those days to doing significant servicing of their vehicles, and “user manuals” existed to help them. The BINAC manual writers took inspiration from those manuals when writing the user manual for the BINAC.

Definition – What does Binary Automatic Computer (BINAC) mean?

The Binary Automatic Computer (BINAC) was one of the first electronic computers. Developed in 1949 by Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation for Northrop Aircraft Company, it has the distinction of being the first commercial digital computer in the world as well as the first stored-program computer in the United States.

Techopedia explains Binary Automatic Computer (BINAC)

The Binary Automatic Computer (BINAC) was the only product from the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation, as it later became a division of Remington Rand Corp. The computer consisted of two independent central processing units, each having its own 512-word acoustic mercury delay line memory, which was further divided into 16 channels. The channels in turn could hold 32 words of 31 bits. It also made use of approximately 700 vacuum tubes. The associated clock rate was around 4.25 MHz. New data or applications could only be entered into the computer manually, and only in octal with the help of an eight-key keypad. In other words, the input/output for the computer was entirely octal and instructions provided to the computer were absolute machine language. Apart from reset commands and flip-flop commands, the machine literally had no input/output instructions.

The Binary Automatic Computer had no provisions to store decimal digits or characters, but was able to perform high-speed arithmetic on binary numerals. Although the Binary Automatic Computer was an advanced bit-serial binary computer, it was never intended to be used as a general-purpose computer.

Gallery


The History of Computer Peripherals

by Mary Bellis
Updated March 17, 2017

Periferal

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Computer peripherals are any of a number of devices that work with a computer. Here are some of the most well known components.

COMPACT DISK/CD

A compact disk or CD is a popular form of digital storage media used for ​computer files, pictures and music. The plastic platter is read and written to using a laser in a CD drive. It comes in several varieties including CD-ROM, CD-R and CD-RW.

James Russell invented the compact disk in 1965Russell was granted a total of 22 patents for various elements of his compact disk system. However, the compact disk did not become popular until it was mass manufactured by Philips in 1980.

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THE FLOPPY DISK

In 1971, IBM introduced the first “memory disk” or the “floppy disk,” as it is known today. The first floppy was an 8-inch flexible plastic disk coated with magnetic iron oxide. Computer data was written to and read from the disk’s surface.

The nickname “floppy” came from the disk’s flexibility. The floppy disk was considered a revolutionary device throughout the history of computers for its portability, which provided a new and easy means of transporting data from computer to computer.

The “floppy” was invented by IBM engineers led by Alan Shugart. The original disks were designed for loading microcodes into the controller of the Merlin (IBM 3330) disk pack file (a 100 MB storage device).

 So, in effect, the first floppies were used to fill another type of data storage device.

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THE COMPUTER KEYBOARD

The invention of the modern computer keyboard began with the invention of the typewriterChristopher Latham Sholes patented the typewriter that we commonly use today in 1868. The Remington Company mass marketed the first typewriters starting in 1877.

A few key technological developments allowed for the transition of the typewriter into the computer keyboard. The teletype machine, introduced in the 1930s, combined the technology of the typewriter (used as an input and a printing device) with the telegraph. Elsewhere, punched card systems were combined with typewriters to create what was called keypunches. Keypunches were the basis of early adding machines and IBM was selling over one million dollars worth of adding machines in 1931.

Early computer keyboards were first adapted from the punch card and teletype technologies. In 1946, the Eniac ( Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) used a Punched Card Reader as its input and output device. In 1948, the Binac Computer  (Binary Automatic Computer) used an electromechanically controlled typewriter to both input data directly onto magnetic tape (for feeding the computer data) and to print results. The emerging electric typewriter further improved the technological marriage between the typewriter and the computer.

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THE COMPUTER MOUSE

Technology visionary Douglas Engelbart changed the way computers worked, turning them from specialized machinery that only a trained scientist could use to a user-friendly tool that almost anyone can work with. He invented or contributed to several interactive, user-friendly devices such as the computer mouse, windows, computer video teleconferencing, hypermedia, groupware, email, the Internet and more.

Engelbart conceived of the rudimentary mouse when he started thinking about how to improve interactive computing during a conference on computer graphics. In the early days of computing, users typed codes and commands to make things happen on monitors. Engelbart came up with the idea of linking the computer’s cursor to a device with two wheels—one horizontal and one vertical. Moving the device on a horizontal surface would allow the user to position the cursor on the screen.

Engelbart’s collaborator on the mouse project, Bill English, built a prototype—a hand-held device carved out of wood, with a button on the top. In 1967, Engelbart’s company SRI filed for the patent on the mouse, although the paperwork identified it as “x,y position indicator for a display system.” The patent was awarded in 1970.

Like so much in computer technology, the mouse has evolved significantly. In 1972 English developed the “track ball mouse” that allowed users to control the cursor by rotating a ball from a fixed position. One interesting enhancement is that many devices are now wireless, a fact that makes this Engelbart’s early prototype almost quaint: “We turned it around so the tail came out the top. We started with it going the other direction, but the cord got tangled when you moved your arm. 

The inventor, who grew up on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon, hoped his achievements would add to the collective intelligence of the world. “It would be wonderful,” he once said, “if I can inspire others, who are struggling to realize their dreams, to say ‘if this country kid could do it, let me keep slogging away’.” 

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PRINTERS

In 1953, the first high-speed printer was developed by Remington-Rand for use on the Univac computer. In 1938, Chester Carlson invented a dry printing process called electrophotography that’s now commonly called a Xerox, the foundation technology for laser printers to come.

The original laser printer called EARS was developed at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center beginning in 1969 and completed in November 1971. Xerox Engineer, Gary Starkweather adapted Xerox copier technology adding a laser beam to it to come up with the laser printer. According to Xerox, “The Xerox 9700 Electronic Printing System, the first xerographic laser printer product, was released in 1977. The 9700, a direct descendent from the original PARC “EARS” printer which pioneered in laser scanning optics, character generation electronics, and page-formatting software, was the first product on the market to be enabled by PARC research.”

According to IBM, “the very first IBM 3800 was installed in the central accounting office at F. W. Woolworth’s North American data center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1976.” The IBM 3800 Printing System was the industry’s first high-speed, laser printer and operated at speeds of more than 100 impressions-per-minute. It was the first printer to combine laser technology and electrophotography, according to IBM.

In 1992, Hewlett-Packard released the popular LaserJet 4, the first 600 by 600 dots per inch resolution laser printer. In 1976, the inkjet printer was invented, but it took until 1988 for the inkjet to become a home consumer item with Hewlett-Parkard’s release of the DeskJet inkjet printer, which was priced at a whopping $1000. 

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COMPUTER MEMORY

Drum memory, an early form of computer memory that actually did use a drum as a working part with data loaded to the drum. The drum was a metal cylinder coated with recordable ferromagnetic material. The drum also had a row of read-write heads that wrote and then read the recorded data.

Magnetic core memory (ferrite-core memory) is another early form of computer memory. Magnetic ceramic rings called cores stored information using the polarity of a magnetic field.

Semiconductor memory is computer memory we are all familiar with. It’s basically a computer memory on an integrated circuit or chip. Referred to as random-access memory or RAM, it allowed data to be accessed randomly, not just in the sequence it was recorded.

Dynamic random access memory (DRAM) is the most common kind of random access memory (RAM) for personal computers.

The data the DRAM chip holds has to be periodically refreshed. In contrast, static random access memory or SRAM doesn’t need to be refreshed.

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Personal Computer (English)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Children being taught how to use a notebook personal computer; a desktop personal computer’s CRTmonitor, keyboard, and mouse are visible in the background.

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An artist’s depiction of a 2000s-era personal computer of the desktop style, which includes a metal case with the computing components, a display monitor and a keyboard (mouse not shown).

A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. PCs are intended to be operated directly by an end user, rather than by a computer expert or technician. Computer time-sharing models that were typically used with larger, more expensive minicomputer and mainframe systems, to enable them be used by many people at the same time, are not used with PCs.

Early computer owners in the 1960s, invariably institutional or corporate, had to write their own programs to do any useful work with the machines. In the 2010s, personal computer users have access to a wide range of commercial software, free software (“freeware”) and free and open-source software, which are provided in ready-to-run form. Software for personal computers is typically developed and distributed independently from the hardware or OS manufacturers. Many personal computer users no longer need to write their own programs to make any use of a personal computer, although end-user programming is still feasible. This contrasts with mobile systems, where software is often only available through a manufacturer-supported channel, and end-user program development may be discouraged by lack of support by the manufacturer.

Since the early 1990s, Microsoft operating systems and Intel hardware have dominated much of the personal computer market, first with MS-DOS and then with Windows. Alternatives to Microsoft’s Windows operating systems occupy a minority share of the industry. These include Apple’s macOS and free open-source Unix-like operating systems such as Linux. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) provides the main alternative to Intel’s processors.

Contents
1 Terminology
2 History
3 Types
3.1 Stationary
3.1.1 Workstation
3.1.2 Desktop computer
3.1.2.1 Gaming computer
3.1.2.2 All-in-one
3.1.3 Nettop
3.1.4 Home theater PC
3.2 Portable
3.2.1 Laptop
3.2.1.1 Desktop replacement
3.2.2 Netbook
3.2.3 Tablet
3.2.4 Ultra-mobile PC
3.2.5 Pocket PC
4 Hardware
4.1 Computer case
4.2 Power supply unit
4.3 Processor
4.4 Motherboard
4.5 Main memory
4.6 Storage drive
4.7 Visual display unit
4.8 Video card
4.9 Keyboard
4.10 Mouse
4.11 Other components
5 Software
5.1 Operating system
5.1.1 Microsoft Windows
5.1.2 macOS
5.1.3 Linux
5.2 Applications
5.3 Gaming
6 Sales
6.1 Market share
6.2 Average selling price
7 Use
7.1 Toxicity
7.2 Electronic waste regulation

Terminology


PC” is an initialism for “Personal Computer“. The IBM Personal Computer incorporated the designation in its model name, but IBM has not used this brand for many years. It is sometimes useful, especially in a marketing context, to distinguish personal computers of the “IBM Personal Computer” family from personal computers made by other manufacturers. For example, “PC” is used in contrast with “Mac”, an Apple Macintosh computer. This sense of the word is used in the Get a Mac advertisement campaign that ran between 2006 and 2009, as well as its rival, I’m a PC campaign, that appeared in 2008. Since none of these Apple products were mainframes or time-sharing systems, they were all “personal computers” and not “PC” (brand) computers

History


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Commodore PET in 1983 (at American Museum of Science and Energy), an early example of a personal computer

The “brain” [computer] may one day come down to our level [of the common people] and help with our income-tax and book-keeping calculations. But this is speculation and there is no sign of it so far.

— British newspaper The Star in a June 1949 news article about the EDSAC computer, long before the era of the personal computers.
In the history of computing there were many examples of computers designed to be used by one person, as opposed to terminals connected to mainframe computers. It took a while for computers to be developed that meet the modern definition of a “personal computers”, one that is designed for one person, is easy to use, and is cheap enough for an individual to buy.

Using the narrow definition of “operated by one person”, the first personal computer was the ENIAC which became operational in 1946. It did not meet further definitions of affordable or easy to use.

An example of an early single-user computer was the LGP-30, created in 1956 by Stan Frankel and used for science and engineering as well as basic data processing. It came with a retail price of $46,000—equivalent to about $414,000 today.

Introduced at the 1965 New York Worlds Fair, the Programma 101 was a printing programmable calculator described in advertisements as a “desktop computer”. It was manufactured by the Italian company Olivetti and invented by the Italian engineer Pier Giorgio Perotto, inventor of the magnetic card system for program storage.

The Soviet MIR series of computers was developed from 1965 to 1969 in a group headed by Victor Glushkov. It was designed as a relatively small-scale computer for use in engineering and scientific applications and contained a hardware implementation of a high-level programming language. Another innovative feature for that time was the user interface combining a keyboard with a monitor and light pen for correcting texts and drawing on screen. In what was later to be called the Mother of All Demos, SRI researcher Douglas Engelbart in 1968 gave a preview of what would become the staples of daily working life in the 21st century: e-mail, hypertext, word processing, video conferencing and the mouse. The demonstration required technical support staff and a mainframe time-sharing computer that were far too costly for individual business use at the time.

By the early 1970s, people in academic or research institutions had the opportunity for single-person use of a computer system in interactive mode for extended durations, although these systems would still have been too expensive to be owned by a single person. Early personal computers—generally called microcomputers—were often sold in a kit form and in limited volumes, and were of interest mostly to hobbyists and technicians. Minimal programming was done with toggle switches to enter instructions, and output was provided by front panel lamps. Practical use required adding peripherals such as keyboards, computer displays, disk drives, and printers. Micral N was the earliest commercial, non-kit microcomputer based on a microprocessor, the Intel 8008. It was built starting in 1972 and few hundred units were sold. This had been preceded by the Datapoint 2200 in 1970, for which the Intel 8008 had been commissioned, though not accepted for use. The CPU design implemented in the Datapoint 2200 became the basis for x86 architecture used in the original IBM PC and its descendants.

In 1973 the IBM Los Gatos Scientific Center developed a portable computer prototype called SCAMP (Special Computer APL Machine Portable) based on the IBM PALM processor with a Philips compact cassette drive, small CRT and full function keyboard. SCAMP emulated an IBM 1130 minicomputer in order to run APL\1130. In 1973 APL was generally available only on mainframe computers, and most desktop sized microcomputers such as the Wang 2200 or HP 9800 offered only BASIC. Because SCAMP was the first to emulate APL\1130 performance on a portable, single user computer, PC Magazine in 1983 designated SCAMP a “revolutionary concept” and “the world’s first personal computer”. This seminal, single user portable computer now resides in the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.. Successful demonstrations of the 1973 SCAMP prototype led to the IBM 5100 portable microcomputer launched in 1975 with the ability to be programmed in both APL and BASIC for engineers, analysts, statisticians and other business problem-solvers. In the late 1960s such a machine would have been nearly as large as two desks and would have weighed about half a ton.

Another desktop portable APL machine, the MCM/70, was demonstrated in 1973 and shipped in 1974. It used the Intel 8008 processor.

A seminal step in personal computing was the 1973 Xerox Alto, developed at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). It had a graphical user interface (GUI) which later served as inspiration for Apple Computer’s Macintosh, and Microsoft’s Windows operating system. The Alto was a demonstration project, not commercialized, as the parts were too expensive to be affordable.

Also in 1973 Hewlett Packard introduced fully BASIC programmable microcomputers that fit entirely on top of a desk, including a keyboard, a small one-line display and printer. The Wang 2200 microcomputer of 1973 had a full-size cathode ray tube (CRT) and cassette tape storage. These were generally expensive specialized computers sold for business or scientific uses. The introduction of the microprocessor, a single chip with all the circuitry that formerly occupied large cabinets, led to the proliferation of personal computers after 1975.

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Altair 8800 Computer

1974 saw the introduction of what is considered by many to be the first true “personal computer”, the Altair 8800 created by Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS). Based on the 8-bit Intel 8080 Microprocessor, the Altair is widely recognized as the spark that ignited the microcomputer revolution as the first commercially successful personal computer. The computer bus designed for the Altair was to become a de facto standard in the form of the S-100 bus, and the first programming language for the machine was Microsoft’s founding product, Altair BASIC.

In 1976, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak sold the Apple I computer circuit board, which was fully prepared and contained about 30 chips. The Apple I computer differed from the other kit-style hobby computers of era. At the request of Paul Terrell, owner of the Byte Shop, Jobs and Wozniak were given their first purchase order, for 50 Apple I computers, only if the computers were assembled and tested and not a kit computer. Terrell wanted to have computers to sell to a wide range of users, not just experienced electronics hobbyists who had the soldering skills to assemble a computer kit. The Apple I as delivered was still technically a kit computer, as it did not have a power supply, case, or keyboard when it was delivered to the Byte Shop.

The first successfully mass marketed personal computer was the Commodore PET introduced in January 1977. However, it was back-ordered and not available until later in the year. Five months later (June), the Apple II (usually referred to as the “Apple”) was introduced, and the TRS-80 from Tandy Corporation / Tandy Radio Shack in summer 1977, delivered in September in a small number. Mass-market ready-assembled computers allowed a wider range of people to use computers, focusing more on software applications and less on development of the processor hardware.

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IBM 5150, released in 1981

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The 8-bit PMD 85 personal computer produced in 1985–1990 by the Tesla company in the former socialist Czechoslovakia. This computer was produced locally (in Piešťany) due to a lack of foreign currency with which to buy systems from the West.

During the early 1980s, home computers were further developed for household use, with software for personal productivity, programming and games. They typically could be used with a television already in the home as the computer display, with low-detail blocky graphics and a limited color range, and text about 40 characters wide by 25 characters tall. Sinclair Research, a UK company, produced the ZX Series—the ZX80 (1980), ZX81 (1981), and the ZX Spectrum; the latter was introduced in 1982, and totaled 8 million unit sold. Following came the Commodore 64, totaled 17 million units sold.

In the same year, the NEC PC-98 was introduced, which was a very popular personal computer that sold in more than 18 million units. Another famous personal computer, the revolutionary Amiga 1000, was unveiled by Commodore on July 23, 1985. The Amiga 1000 featured a multitasking, windowing operating system, color graphics with a 4096-color palette, stereo sound, Motorola 68000 CPU, 256 KB RAM, and 880 KB 3.5-inch disk drive, for US$1,295.

Somewhat larger and more expensive systems (for example, running CP/M), or sometimes a home computer with additional interfaces and devices, although still low-cost compared with minicomputers and mainframes, were aimed at office and small business use, typically using “high resolution” monitors capable of at least 80 column text display, and often no graphical or color drawing capability. Workstations were characterized by high-performance processors and graphics displays, with large-capacity local disk storage, networking capability, and running under a multitasking operating system. Eventually, due to the influence of the IBM PC on the personal computer market, personal computers and home computers lost any technical distinction. Business computers acquired color graphics capability and sound, and home computers and game systems users used the same processors and operating systems as office workers. Mass-market computers had graphics capabilities and memory comparable to dedicated workstations of a few years before. Even local area networking, originally a way to allow business computers to share expensive mass storage and peripherals, became a standard feature of personal computers used at home.

In 1982 “The Computer” was named Machine of the Year by Time magazine. In the 2010s, several companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Sony sold off their PC and laptop divisions. As a result, the personal computer was declared dead several times during this period.

Types


Stationary

Workstation

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Sun SPARCstation 1+ from the early 1990s, with a 25 MHz RISC processor

A workstation is a high-end personal computer designed for technical, mathematical, or scientific applications. Intended primarily to be used by one person at a time, they are commonly connected to a local area network and run multi-user operating systems. Workstations are used for tasks such as computer-aided design, drafting and modeling, computation-intensive scientific and engineering calculations, image processing, architectural modeling, and computer graphics for animation and motion picture visual effects.

Desktop Computer

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A Dell OptiPlex desktop computer

Prior to the widespread usage of PCs, a computer that could fit on a desk was remarkably small, leading to the “desktop” nomenclature. More recently, the phrase usually indicates a particular style of computer case. Desktop computers come in a variety of styles ranging from large vertical tower cases to small models which can be tucked behind an LCD monitor. In this sense, the term “desktop” refers specifically to a horizontally oriented case, usually intended to have the display screen placed on top to save desk space. Most desktop computers have an external display screen and an external keyboard, which are typically plugged into the computer case.

Gaming Computer

A gaming computer is a standard desktop computer that typically has high-performance hardware, such as a more powerful video card, processor and memory, in order to handle the requirements of demanding video games, which are often simply called “PC games”. A number of companies, such as Alienware, manufacture prebuilt gaming computers, and companies such as Razer and Logitech market mice, keyboards and headsets geared toward gamers.

All-in-one

All-in-one PCs (also known as single-unit PCs) are a subtype of desktop computer that combines the monitor and processor within a single unit. A separate keyboard and mouse are standard input devices, with some monitors including touchscreen capability. The processor and other working components are typically reduced in size relative to standard desktops, located behind the monitor, and configured similarly to laptops.

Nettop

A subtype of desktops, called nettops, was introduced by Intel in February 2008, characterized by low cost and lean functionality. A similar subtype of laptops (or notebooks) is the netbook, described below. The product line features the new Intel Atom processor, which specifically enables nettops to consume less power and fit into small enclosures.

Home Theater PC

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An Antec Fusion V2 home theater PC, with a keyboard placed on top of it

A home theater PC (HTPC) is a convergence device that combines the functions of a personal computer and a digital video recorder. It is connected to a TV set or an appropriately sized computer display, and is often used as a digital photo viewer, music and video player, TV receiver, and digital video recorder. HTPCs are also referred to as media center systems or media servers. The general goal in a HTPC is usually to combine many or all components of a home theater setup into one box. More recently, HTPCs gained the ability to connect to services providing on-demand movies and TV shows. HTPCs can be purchased pre-configured with the required hardware and software needed to add television programming to the PC, or can be cobbled together out of discrete components, what is commonly done with software support from MythTV, Windows Media Center, GB-PVR, SageTV, Famulent or LinuxMCE.

Portable

Laptop

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A laptop computer

A laptop computer, also called a notebook, is a small personal computer designed for portability. Usually, all of the hardware and interfaces needed to operate a laptop, such as the graphics card, audio devices or USB ports (previously parallel and serial ports), are built into a single unit. Laptops usually have “clamshell” design, in which the keyboard and computer components are on one panel and a flat display screen on a second panel, which is hinged to the first panel. The laptop is opened for use and closed for transport. Closing the laptop also protects the screen and keyboard during transportation. Laptops have both a power cable that can be plugged in and high-capacity batteries that can power the device, enhancing its portability. Once the battery charge is depleted, it will have to be recharged through a power outlet. In the interests of saving power, weight and space, laptop graphics cards are in many cases integrated into the CPU or chipset and use system RAM, resulting in reduced graphics performance when compared to an equivalent desktop machine. For this reason, desktop or gaming computers are usually preferred to laptop PCs for gaming purposes.

One of the drawbacks of laptops is that, due to the size and configuration of components, usually relatively little can be done to upgrade the overall computer from its original design or add components. Internal upgrades are either not manufacturer-recommended, can damage the laptop if done with poor care or knowledge, or in some cases impossible, making the desktop PC more modular and upgradable. Desktop PCs typically have a case that has extra empty space inside, where users can install new components. Some internal upgrades to laptops, such as memory and hard disk drive upgrades are often easily performed, while a display or keyboard upgrade is usually difficult or impossible. Just like desktops, laptops also have the same input and output ports for connecting to a wide variety of devices, including external displays, mice, cameras, storage devices and keyboards, which may be attached externally through USB ports and other less common ports such as external video. Laptops are also a little more expensive compared to desktops, as the miniaturized components for laptops themselves are expensive.

A subtype of notebooks, called subnotebook, has most of the features of a standard laptop computer, but with smaller physical dimensions. Subnotebooks are larger than hand-held computers, and usually run full versions of desktop or laptop operating systems. Ultra-Mobile PCs (UMPC) are usually considered subnotebooks, or more specifically, subnotebook tablet PCs, which are described below. Netbooks are sometimes considered to belong to this category, though they are sometimes separated into a category of their own (see below).

Desktop Replacement

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An Acer Aspire desktop replacement laptop

A desktop replacement computer (DTR) is a personal computer that provides the full capabilities of a desktop computer while remaining mobile. Such computers are often actually larger, bulkier laptops. Because of their increased size, this class of computers usually includes more powerful components and a larger display than generally found in smaller portable computers, and can have a relatively limited battery capacity or none at all in some cases. Some use a limited range of desktop components to provide better performance at the expense of battery life. Desktop replacement computers are sometimes called desknotes, as a portmanteau of words “desktop” and “notebook”, though the term is also applied to desktop replacement computers in general.

Netbook

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An HP netbook

Netbooks, also called mini notebooks or subnotebooks, are a subgroup of laptops acting as a category of small, lightweight and inexpensive laptop computers suited for general computing tasks and accessing web-based applications. They are often marketed as “companion devices”, with an intention to augment other ways in which a user can access computer resources. Walt Mossberg called them a “relatively new category of small, light, minimalist and cheap laptops.” By August 2009, CNET called netbooks “nothing more than smaller, cheaper notebooks.” Initially, the primary defining characteristic of netbooks was the lack of an optical disc drive, requiring it to be a separate external device. This has become less important as flash memory devices have gradually increased in capacity, replacing the writable optical disc (e.g. CD-RW, DVD-RW) as a transportable storage medium.

At their inception in late 2007—as smaller notebooks optimized for low weight and low cost—netbooks omitted key features (e.g., the optical drive), featured smaller screens and keyboards, and offered reduced specifications and computing power. Over the course of their evolution, netbooks have ranged in their screen sizes from below five inches to over 13 inches, with weights around ~1 kg (2–3 pounds). Often significantly less expensive than other laptops, by mid-2009 netbooks had been offered to users “free of charge”, with an extended service contract purchase of a cellular data plan. In the short period since their appearance, netbooks have grown in size and features, converging with new smaller and lighter notebooks. By mid-2009, CNET noted that “the specs are so similar that the average shopper would likely be confused as to why one is better than the other,” noting “the only conclusion is that there really is no distinction between the devices.”

Tablet

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HP Compaq tablet PC with rotating/removable keyboard

A tablet is a type of portable PC that de-emphasizes the use of traditional input devices (such as a mouse or keyboard) by using a touchscreen display, which can be controlled using either a stylus pen or finger. Some tablets may use a “hybrid” or “convertible” design, offering a keyboard that can either be removed as an attachment, or a screen that can be rotated and folded directly over top the keyboard. Some tablets may run a traditional PC operating system such as Windows or Linux; Microsoft attempted to enter the tablet market in 2002 with its Microsoft Tablet PC specifications, for tablets and convertible laptops running Windows XP. However, Microsoft’s early attempts were overshadowed by the release of Apple’s iPad; following in its footsteps, most tablets use slate designs and run mobile operating systems such as Android and iOS, giving them functionality similar to smartphones. In response, Microsoft built its Windows 8 operating system to better accommodate these new touch-oriented devices. Many tablet computers have USB ports, to which a keyboard or mouse can be connected.

Ultra-mobile PC

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A Samsung Q1 ultra-mobile PC

The ultra-mobile PC (UMP) is a specification for small-configuration tablet PCs. It was developed as a joint development exercise by Microsoft, Intel and Samsung, among others. Current UMPCs typically feature the Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Linux operating system, and low-voltage Intel Atom or VIA C7-M processors.

Pocket PC

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An O2 pocket PC

A pocket PC is a hardware specification for a handheld-sized computer (personal digital assistant, PDA) that runs the Microsoft Windows Mobile operating system. It may have the capability to run an alternative operating system like NetBSD or Linux. Pocket PCs have many of the capabilities of desktop PCs. Numerous applications are available for handhelds adhering to the Microsoft Pocket PC specification, many of which are freeware. Some of these devices also include mobile phone features, actually representing a smartphone. Microsoft-compliant Pocket PCs can also be used with many other add-ons like GPS receivers, barcode readers, RFID readers and cameras. In 2007, with the release of Windows Mobile 6, Microsoft dropped the name Pocket PC in favor of a new naming scheme: devices without an integrated phone are called Windows Mobile Classic instead of Pocket PC, while devices with an integrated phone and a touch screen are called Windows Mobile Professional.

Hardware


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An exploded view of a personal computer and peripherals (some of which are optional):

  1. Scanner
  2. CPU (Microprocessor)
  3. Memory (RAM)
  4. Expansion cards (graphics cards, etc.)
  5. Power supply
  6. Optical disc drive
  7. Storage (Hard disk or SSD)
  8. Motherboard
  9. Speakers
  10. Monitor
  11. System software
  12. Application software
  13. Keyboard
  14. Mouse
  15. External hard disk
  16. Printer

Computer hardware is a comprehensive term for all physical parts of a computer, as distinguished from the data it contains or operates on, and the software that provides instructions for the hardware to accomplish tasks. The boundary between hardware and software has become blurred, with the existence of firmware that is software “built into” the hardware. For example, a 2010-era LCD display screen contains a small computer inside. Mass-market consumer computers use highly standardized components and so are simple for an end user to assemble into a working system. Most 2010s-era computers only require users to plug in the power supply, monitor, and other cables. A typical desktop computer consists of a computer case (or “tower”), a metal chassis that holds the power supply, motherboard, hard disk drive, and often an optical disc drive. Most towers have empty space where users can add additional components. External devices such as a computer monitor or visual display unit, keyboard, and a pointing device (mouse) are usually found in a personal computer.

The motherboard connects all processor, memory and peripheral devices together. The RAM, graphics card and processor are in most cases mounted directly onto the motherboard. The central processing unit (microprocessor chip) plugs into a CPU socket, while the memory modules plug into corresponding memory sockets. Some motherboards have the video display adapter, sound and other peripherals integrated onto the motherboard, while others use expansion slots for graphics cards, network cards, or other I/O devices. The graphics card or sound card may employ a break out box to keep the analog parts away from the electromagnetic radiation inside the computer case. Disk drives, which provide mass storage, are connected to the motherboard with one cable, and to the power supply through another cable. Usually, disk drives are mounted in the same case as the motherboard; expansion chassis are also made for additional disk storage.

For large amounts of data, a tape drive can be used or extra hard disks can be put together in an external case. The keyboard and the mouse are external devices plugged into the computer through connectors on an I/O panel on the back of the computer case. The monitor is also connected to the input/output (I/O) panel, either through an onboard port on the motherboard, or a port on the graphics card. Capabilities of the personal computers hardware can sometimes be extended by the addition of expansion cards connected via an expansion bus. Standard peripheral buses often used for adding expansion cards in personal computers include PCI, PCI Express (PCIe), and AGP (a high-speed PCI bus dedicated to graphics adapters, found in older computers). Most modern personal computers have multiple physical PCI Express expansion slots, with some of the having PCI slots as well.

Computer Case

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An empty ATX case lying on its side

A computer case is an enclosure that contains the main components of a computer. They are usually constructed from steel or aluminum combined with plastic, although other materials such as wood and tempered glass have been used for specialized units. Cases are available in different sizes and shapes; the size and shape of a computer case are usually determined by the configuration of the motherboard that it is designed to accommodate since this is the largest and most central component of most computers. The most popular style for desktop computers is ATX, although microATX and similar layouts became very popular for a variety of uses. Companies like Shuttle Inc. and AOpen have popularized small cases, for which FlexATX is the most common motherboard size. In the 1990s, desktop computer cases were larger and taller than 2010-era computer cases.

Power Supply Snit (PSU)

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Computer power supply unit with top cover removed

The power supply unit (PSU) converts general-purpose mains AC electricity to direct current (DC) for the other components of the computer. The rated output capacity of a PSU should usually be about 40% greater than the calculated system power consumption needs to be obtained by adding up all the system components. This protects against overloading the supply, and guards against performance degradation. Power supply capacities range from 250 to 2000 watts for desktop computers.

Processor (Central processing unit)

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AMD Athlon 64 X2 CPU

The central processing unit (CPU) is a part of a computer that executes instructions of a software program. In newer PCs, the CPU contains over a million transistors in one integrated circuit chip called the microprocessor. In most cases, the processor plugs directly into the motherboard. The processor chip may have a heat sink and a fan attached for cooling. IBM PC compatible computers use an x86-compatible microprocessor, manufactured by Intel, AMD, VIA Technologies or Transmeta. Apple Macintosh computers were initially built with the Motorola 680×0 family of processors, then switched to the PowerPC series; in 2006, they switched to x86-compatible processors made by Intel.

Motherboard

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A motherboard without processor, memory and expansion cards, cables

The motherboard, also referred to as system board or main board, is the primary circuit board within a personal computer, and other major system components plug directly into it or via a cable. A motherboard contains a microprocessor, the CPU supporting circuitry (mostly integrated circuits) that provide the interface between memory and input/output peripheral circuits, main memory, and facilities for initial setup of the computer immediately after power-on (often called boot firmware or, in IBM PC compatible computers, a BIOS or UEFI). In many portable and embedded personal computers, the motherboard houses nearly all of the PC’s core components. Often a motherboard will also contain one or more peripheral buses and physical connectors for expansion purposes. Sometimes a secondary daughter board is connected to the motherboard to provide further expandability or to satisfy space constraints.

Main Memory (Primary Storage)

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1 GB DDR SDRAM PC-3200 module

A PC’s main memory is a fast primary storage device that is directly accessible by the CPU, and is used to store the currently executing program and immediately needed data. PCs use semiconductor random-access memory (RAM) of various kinds such as DRAM, SDRAM or SRAM as their primary storage. Which exact kind is used depends on cost/performance issues at any particular time. Main memory is much faster than mass storage devices like hard disk drives or optical discs, but is usually volatile, meaning that it does not retain its contents (instructions or data) in the absence of power, and is much more expensive for a given capacity than is most mass storage. As a result, main memory is generally not suitable for long-term or archival data storage.

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Storage Drive (Hard Disk Drive/Solid State Drive)

A Western Digital 250 GB hard disk driveMass storage devices store programs and data even when the power is off; they do require power to perform read and write functions during usage. Although flash memory has dropped in cost, the prevailing form of mass storage in personal computers is still the hard disk drive. If the mass storage controller provides additional ports for expandability, a PC may also be upgraded by the addition of extra hard disk or optical disc drives. For example, BD-ROMs, DVD-RWs, and various optical disc recorders may all be added by the user to certain PCs. Standard internal storage device connection interfaces are PATA, SATA and SCSI. Solid state drives (SSDs) are a much faster replacement for traditional mechanical hard disk drives but are also more expensive in terms of cost per gigabyte. Solid state drives connect using several connectors, including SATA, M.2, and U.2. Some models use the NVMe protocol, which have vastly improved performance over standard hard disk drives and older SSDs that use the older AHCI protocol.

Visual Display Unit (VDU)

A visual display unit, computer monitor or just display, is a piece of electrical equipment, usually separate from the computer case, which displays visual images without producing a permanent computer record. A display device was usually either a CRT in the 1980s, but by the 2000s, flat panel displays such as a TFT LCD had largely replaced the bulkier, heavier CRT screens. Multi-monitor setups are quite common in the 2010s, as they enable a user to display multiple programs at the same time (e.g., an email inbox and a word processing program). The display unit houses an electronic circuitry that generates its picture from signals received from the computer. Within the computer, either integral to the motherboard or plugged into it as an expansion card, there is pre-processing circuitry to convert the microprocessor’s output data to a format compatible with the display unit’s circuitry. The images from computer monitors originally contained only text, but as graphical user interfaces emerged and became common, they began to display more images and multimedia content. The term “monitor” is also used, particularly by technicians in broadcasting television, where a picture of the broadcast data is displayed to a highly standardized reference monitor for confidence checking purposes.

Video Card

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An ATI Radeon video card

The video card—otherwise called a graphics card, graphics adapter or video adapter—processes the graphics output from the motherboard and transmits it to the display. It is an essential part of modern multimedia-enriched computing. Graphics circuitry may be integrated with the motherboard, or may be on cards istalled in PCI, AGP, or PCI Express slots. When the IBM PC was introduced, most existing business-oriented personal computers used text-only display adapters and had no graphics capability. Home computers at that time had graphics compatible with television signals, but with low resolution owing to the limited memory available to the eight-bit processors available at the time.

Keyboard (Computer Keyboard)

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A “Model M” IBM computer keyboard from the early 1980s. Commonly called the “Clicky Keyboard” due to its buckling spring key spring design, which gives the keyboard its iconic ‘Click’ sound with each keystroke.

A keyboard is an arrangement of buttons that each correspond to a function, letter, or number. They are the primary devices used for inputting text. In most cases, they contain an array of keys specifically organized with the corresponding letters, numbers, and functions printed or engraved on the button. They are generally designed around an operators language, and many different versions for different languages exist. In English, the most common layout is the QWERTY layout, which was originally used in typewriters. They have evolved over time, and have been modified for use in computers with the addition of function keys, number keys, arrow keys, and keys specific to an operating system. Often, specific functions can be achieved by pressing multiple keys at once or in succession, such as inputting characters with accents or opening a task manager. Programs use keyboard shortcuts very differently and all use different keyboard shortcuts for different program specific operations, such as refreshing a web page in a web browser or selecting all text in a word processor. In addition to the alphabetic keys found on a typewriter, computer keyboards typically have a numeric keyboard and a row of function keys and special keys, such as CTRL, ALT, DEL and Esc

Many keyboards include LED lights under the keys that increase the visibility of the letters or symbols in dark environments.

Mouse (Computer Mouse)

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A selection of computer mice built between 1986 and 2007

A computer mouse is a small handheld device that users hold and slide across a flat surface, pointing at various elements of a graphical user interface with an on-screen cursor, and selecting and moving objects using the mouse buttons. Mice may be plugged into a dedicated mouse socket, or a USB port, or, may be connected wirelessly. Mice include one or more buttons to allow a user to signal the computer to carry out some operation, such as selecting an item from a menu of choices on the screen. A mouse may have a scroll wheel, to allow users to move the displayed image. The scroll wheel can also be pressed down, and used as a third button. Some mouse wheels may be tilted from side to side to allow sideways scrolling. Different programs make use of these functions differently, and may scroll horizontally by default with the scroll wheel, open different menus with different buttons, etc. These functions may be also user-defined through software utilities. Mechanical mice used a ball, which drove pulse generators to detect movement along “north-south” or “east-west” axies. Optical mice use a special mouse pad with a printed grid to allow detection of motion, or else use an imaging chip that allows detection of motion on almost any opaque surface.

Other Components

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A proper ergonomic design of a personal computer workplace is necessary to prevent repetitive strain injuries, which can develop over time and can lead to long-term disability.

All computers require either fixed or removable storage for their operating system, programs and user-generated material. Early home computers used compact audio cassettes for file storage; these were at the time a very low cost storage solution, but were displaced by floppy disk drives when manufacturing costs dropped, by the mid-1980s. Initially, the 5.25-inch and 3.5-inch floppy drives were the principal forms of removable storage for backup of user files and distribution of software. As memory sizes increased, the capacity of the floppy did not keep pace; the Zip drive and other higher-capacity removable media were introduced but never became as prevalent as the floppy drive. By the late 1990s, the optical drive, in CD and later DVD and Blu-ray Disc forms, became the main method for software distribution, and writeable media provided means for data backup and file interchange. As a result, floppy drives became uncommon in desktop personal computers since about 2000, and were dropped from many laptop systems even earlier.

A second generation of tape recorders was provided when videocassette recorders were pressed into service as backup media for larger disk drives. All these systems were less reliable and slower than purpose-built magnetic tape drives. Such tape drives were uncommon in consumer-type personal computers but were a necessity in business or industrial use. Interchange of data such as photographs from digital cameras is greatly expedited by installation of a card reader, which is often compatible with several forms of flash memory devices. It is usually faster and more convenient to move large amounts of data by removing the card from the mobile device, instead of communicating with the mobile device through a USB interface.

A USB flash drive performs much of the data transfer and backup functions formerly done with floppy drives, Zip disks and other devices. Mainstream operating systems for personal computers provide built-in support for USB flash drives, allowing interchange even between computers with different processors and operating systems. The compact size and lack of moving parts or dirt-sensitive media, combined with low cost and high capacity, have made USB flash drives a popular and useful accessory for any personal computer user.

The operating system can be located on any storage, but is typically installed on a hard disk or solid-state drive. A Live CD represents the concept of running an operating system directly from a CD. While this is slow compared to storing the operating system on a hard disk drive, it is typically used for installation of operating systems, demonstrations, system recovery, or other special purposes. Large flash memory is currently more expensive than hard disk drives of similar size (as of mid-2014) but are starting to appear in laptop computers because of their low weight, small size and low power requirements. Computer communications involve internal modem cards, modems, network adapter cards, and routers. Common peripherals and adapter cards include headsets, joysticks, microphones, printers, scanners, sound adapter cards (as a separate card rather than located on the motherboard), speakers and webcams.

Software (Computer Software)


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A screenshot of the OpenOffice.org Writer software

Computer software is any kind of computer program, procedure, or documentation that performs some task on a computer system. The term includes application software such as word processors that perform productive tasks for users, system software such as operating systems that interface with computer hardware to provide the necessary services for application software, and middleware that controls and co-ordinates distributed systems.

Software applications are common for word processing, Internet browsing, Internet faxing, e-mail and other digital messaging, multimedia playback, playing of computer game, and computer programming. The user 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. However, the software industry continuously provide a wide range of new products for use in personal computers, targeted at both the expert and the non-expert user.

Operating System (Usage Share of Operating Systems)

An operating system (OS) manages computer resources and provides programmers with an interface used to access those resources. An operating system processes system data and user input, and responds by allocating and managing tasks and internal system resources as a service to users and programs of the system. An operating system performs basic tasks such as controlling and allocating memory, prioritizing system requests, controlling input and output devices, facilitating computer networking, and managing files.

Common contemporary desktop operating systems are Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Solaris and FreeBSD. Windows, macOS, and Linux all have server and personal variants. With the exception of Microsoft Windows, the designs of each of them were inspired by or directly inherited from the Unix operating system, which was developed at Bell Labs beginning in the late 1960s and spawned the development of numerous free and proprietary operating systems.

Microsoft Windows

Microsoft Windows is the collective brand name of several operating systems made by Microsoft which, as of 2015, are installed on PCs built by HP, Dell and Lenovo, the three remaining high volume manufacturers. Microsoft first introduced an operating environment named Windows in November 1985, as an add-on to MS-DOS and in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs) generated by Apple’s 1984 introduction of the Macintosh. As of January 2017, the most recent client and server version of Windows are Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016.

macOS

macOS (formerly OS X) is a line of operating systems developed, marketed and sold by Apple Inc. macOS is the successor to the original Mac OS, which had been Apple’s primary operating system since 1984. macOS is a Unix-based graphical operating system, and Snow Leopard, Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, Mavericks, Yosemite, El Capitan and Sierra are its version codenames. The most recent version of macOS is codenamed macOS High Sierra.

Linux

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A Linux distribution running KDE Plasma Workspaces 4

Linux is a family of Unix-like computer operating systems. Linux is one of the most prominent examples of free software and open source development: typically all underlying source code can be freely modified, used, and redistributed by anyone.The name “Linux” refers to the Linux kernel, started in 1991 by Linus Torvalds. The system’s utilities and libraries usually come from the GNU operating system, announced in 1983 by Richard Stallman. The GNU contribution is the basis for the alternative name GNU/Linux.

Known for its use in servers, with the LAMP application stack as one of prominent examples, Linux is supported by corporations such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Novell, Oracle Corporation, Red Hat, Canonical Ltd. and Sun Microsystems. It is used as an operating system for a wide variety of computer hardware, including desktop computers, netbooks, supercomputers, video game systems such as the Steam Machine or PlayStation 3 (until this option was removed remotely by Sony in 2010), several arcade games, and embedded devices such as mobile phones, portable media players, routers, and stage lighting systems.

Applications

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A screenshot of GIMP, which is a raster graphics editor.

Generally, a computer user uses application software to carry out a specific task. System software supports applications and provides common services such as memory management, network connectivity and device drivers, all of which may be used by applications but are not directly of interest to the end user. A simplified analogy in the world of hardware would be the relationship of an electric light bulb (an application) to an electric power generation plant (a system): the power plant merely generates electricity, not itself of any real use until harnessed to an application like the electric light that performs a service that benefits the user.

Typical examples of software applications are word processors, spreadsheets, and media players. Multiple applications bundled together as a package are sometimes referred to as an application suite. Microsoft Office and LibreOffice, which bundle together a word processor, a spreadsheet, and several other discrete applications, are typical examples. The separate applications in a suite usually have a user interface that has some commonality making it easier for the user to learn and use each application. Often, they may have some capability to interact with each other in ways beneficial to the user; for example, a spreadsheet might be able to be embedded in a word processor document even though it had been created in the separate spreadsheet application.

End-user development tailors systems to meet the user’s specific needs. User-written software include spreadsheet templates, word processor macros, scientific simulations, graphics and animation scripts; even email filters are a kind of user software. Users create this software themselves and often overlook how important it is.

Gaming

PC gaming is popular among the high-end PC market. According to an April 2014 market analysis, Gaming platforms like Steam (software), Uplay, Origin, and GOG.com (as well as competitive eSports titles like League of Legends) are largely responsible for PC systems overtaking console revenue in 2013.

Sales


Market share

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Personal computers worldwide in million distinguished by developed and developing world

In 2001, 125 million personal computers were shipped in comparison to 48,000 in 1977. More than 500 million personal computers were in use in 2002 and one billion personal computers had been sold worldwide from the mid-1970s up to this time. Of the latter figure, 75% were professional or work related, while the rest were sold for personal or home use. About 81.5% of personal computers shipped had been desktop computers, 16.4% laptops and 2.1% servers. The United States had received 38.8% (394 million) of the computers shipped, Europe 25% and 11.7% had gone to the Asia-Pacific region, the fastest-growing market as of 2002. The second billion was expected to be sold by 2008. Almost half of all households in Western Europe had a personal computer and a computer could be found in 40% of homes in United Kingdom, compared with only 13% in 1985.

The global personal computer shipments were 350.9 million units in 2010, 308.3 million units in 2009 and 302.2 million units in 2008. The shipments were 264 million units in the year 2007, according to iSuppli, up 11.2% from 239 million in 2006. In 2004, the global shipments were 183 million units, an 11.6% increase over 2003. In 2003, 152.6 million computers were shipped, at an estimated value of $175 billion. In 2002, 136.7 million PCs were shipped, at an estimated value of $175 billion. In 2000, 140.2 million personal computers were shipped, at an estimated value of $226 billion. Worldwide shipments of personal computers surpassed the 100-million mark in 1999, growing to 113.5 million units from 93.3 million units in 1998. In 1999, Asia had 14.1 million units shipped.

As of June 2008, the number of personal computers in use worldwide hit one billion, while another billion is expected to be reached by 2014. Mature markets like the United States, Western Europe and Japan accounted for 58% of the worldwide installed PCs. The emerging markets were expected to double their installed PCs by 2012 and to take 70% of the second billion PCs. About 180 million computers (16% of the existing installed base) were expected to be replaced and 35 million to be dumped into landfill in 2008. The whole installed base grew 12% annually.

Based on International Data Corporation (IDC) data for Q2 2011, for the first time China surpassed US in PC shipments by 18.5 million and 17.7 million respectively. This trend reflects the rising of emerging markets as well as the relative stagnation of mature regions.

In the developed world, there has been a vendor tradition to keep adding functions to maintain high prices of personal computers. However, since the introduction of the One Laptop per Child foundation and its low-cost XO-1 laptop, the computing industry started to pursue the price too. Although introduced only one year earlier, there were 14 million netbooks sold in 2008. Besides the regular computer manufacturers, companies making especially rugged versions of computers have sprung up, offering alternatives for people operating their machines in extreme weather or environments.

Opera Snapshot_2017-12-27_230443_en.wikipedia.org

In 2011, Deloitte consulting firm predicted that, smartphones and tablet computers as computing devices would surpass the PCs sales (as has happened since 2012). As of 2013, worldwide sales of PCs had begun to fall as many consumers moved to tablets and smartphones for gifts and personal use. Sales of 90.3 million units in the 4th quarter of 2012 represented a 4.9% decline from sales in the 4th quarter of 2011. Global PC sales fell sharply in the first quarter of 2013, according to IDC data. The 14% year-over-year decline was the largest on record since the firm began tracking in 1994, and double what analysts had been expecting. The decline of Q2 2013 PC shipments marked the fifth straight quarter of falling sales. “This is horrific news for PCs,” remarked an analyst. “It’s all about mobile computing now. We have definitely reached the tipping point.” Data from Gartner Inc. showed a similar decline for the same time period. China’s Lenovo Group bucked the general trend as strong sales to first time buyers in the developing world allowed the company’s sales to stay flat overall. Windows 8, which was designed to look similar to tablet/smartphone software, was cited as a contributing factor in the decline of new PC sales. “Unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only didn’t provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market,” said IDC Vice President Bob O’Donnell.

In August 2013, Credit Suisse published research findings that attributed around 75% of the operating profit share of the PC industry to Microsoft (operating system) and Intel (semiconductors). According to IDC, in 2013 PC shipments dropped by 9.8% as the greatest drop-ever in line with consumers trends to use mobile devices.

Average Selling Price

Selling prices of personal computers steadily declined due to lower costs of production and manufacture, while the capabilities of computers increased. In 1975, an Altair kit sold for only around US$400, but required customers to solder components into circuit boards; peripherals required to interact with the system in alphanumeric form instead of blinking lights would add another $2,000, and the resultant system was only of use to hobbyists.

At their introduction in 1981, the US$1,795 price of the Osborne 1 and its competitor Kaypro was considered an attractive price point; these systems had text-only displays and only floppy disks for storage. By 1982, Michael Dell observed that a personal computer system selling at retail for about $3,000 US was made of components that cost the dealer about $600; typical gross margin on a computer unit was around $1,000. The total value of personal computer purchases in the US in 1983 was about $4 billion, comparable to total sales of pet food. By late 1998, the average selling price of personal computer systems in the United States had dropped below $1,000.

For Microsoft Windows systems, the average selling price (ASP) showed a decline in 2008/2009, possibly due to low-cost netbooks, drawing $569 for desktop computers and $689 for laptops at U.S. retail in August 2008. In 2009, ASP had further fallen to $533 for desktops and to $602 for notebooks by January and to $540 and $560 in February. According to research firm NPD, the average selling price of all Windows portable PCs has fallen from $659 in October 2008 to $519 in October 2009.

Use


Toxicity

Personal computing can fulfill individual needs, but that fulfillment may come at a cost to society as well, especially in terms of environmental impact, although this impact differs between desktop computers and laptops.

Electronic Waste Regulation

Personal computers have become a large contributor to the 50 million tons of discarded electronic waste that is being generated annually, according to the United Nations Environment Programme. To address the electronic waste issue affecting developing countries and the environment, extended producer responsibility (EPR) acts have been implemented in various countries and states. Organizations, such as the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, Basel Action Network, Toxics Link India, SCOPE, and Greenpeace have contributed to these efforts. In the absence of comprehensive national legislation or regulation on the export and import of electronic waste, the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition and BAN (Basel Action Network) teamed up with 32 electronic recyclers in the US and Canada to create an e-steward program for the orderly disposal of manufacturers and customers electronic waste. The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition founded the Electronics TakeBack Coalition, a coalition that advocates for the production of environmentally friendly products. The TakeBack Coalition works with policy makers, recyclers, and smart businesses to get manufacturers to take full responsibility of their products. There are organizations opposing EPR regulation, such as the Reason Foundation. They see flaws in two principal tenets of EPR: First EPR relies on the idea that if the manufacturers have to pay for environmental harm, they will adapt their practices. Second EPR assumes the current design practices are environmentally inefficient. The Reason Foundation claims that manufacturers naturally move toward reduced material and energy use.

Personal Computer | Komputer Pribadi

Dari Wikipedia bahasa Indonesia, ensiklopedia bebas

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Menara sebuah PC. (Atas-Bawah): Pemutar/perekam DVD (ditandai dengan huruf D), Pemutar/perekam CD (ditandai dengan huruf E) dan drive floppy-disk 3.5 inci (di bagian tengah menara). Hard drive berkapasitas 160 gigabyte ada di dalam menara.

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PC dan perlengkapannya. (Kiri-Kanan): printer ink jet, monitor CRT, modem kabel jalur lebar (broadband) untuk internet, scanner flat bed. Kotak CPU ada di sebelah kanan bawah. Menggunakan mouse dan keyboard tanpa kabel.

Istilah komputer pribadi atau PC (Bahasa Inggris:Personal Computer)mempunyai beberapa arti:

  • Istilah umum yang merujuk pada komputer yang dapat digunakan dan diperoleh orang dengan mudah.
  • Istilah umum yang merujuk kepada mikrokomputer yang sesuai dengan spesifikasi IBM.
  • Komputer pribadi yang pertama kali dikeluarkan oleh IBM dan secara tidak langsung mencetuskan penggunaan istilah PC (Personal Computer) – lihat PC IBM.

Generasi mikrokomputer yang pertama hanya dijual dalam jumlah kecil kepada orang yang mampu membeli(membuat dan merakit sendiri), dan mengoperasikannya, yaitu: para insinyur dan penggemar bidang elektronika. Mikrokomputer generasi kedua lebih dikenal sebagai komputer rumah (home computer).

Daftar isi
1 Sejarah
2 Perangkat Pada Komputer
3 Komponen Perangkat Keras (Hardware)
4 Arsitektur dan kartu tambahan

Sejarah


Istilah komputer pribadi pertama kali digunakan di majalah New Scientist pada tahun 1964 dalam artikel berseri yang berjudul “The World in 1984” (Dunia pada Tahun 1984). Dalam “The Banishment of Paper Work” (Hilangnya Pekerjaan Tulis-Menulis), Arthur L. Samuel dari Pusat Penelitian Watson (Watson Research Center) nya IBM menulis, “Meskipun mungkin saja kita dapat memperoleh pendidikan di rumah melalui PC orang tersebut sendiri, sifat asli manusia tetap tak akan berubah.”

Generasi pertama mikrokomputer mulai bermunculan pada tahun 70-an. Namun begitu, ia tidak berkemampuan tinggi, dan kurang cakap dibandingkan dengan komputer bisnis (Business Computer) pada waktu itu, sehingga hanya digunakan oleh peminat komputer, atau hanya untuk permainan elektronik serta penggunaan bulletin board system. Seperti pada komputer modern di era chip silikon PC menggunakan mikrokomputer sebagai Unit Pemroses Pusat . Mikroprosesor yang pertama dipakai pada PC IBM adalah Intel4004 yang dikeluarkan pada 15 November 1971.

Mikrokomputer menjadi alat perniagaan ketika program spreadsheet VisiCalc diluncurkan untuk mesin Apple II, dan kemudian untuk kelompok 8-bit Atari, Commodore PET, dan PC IBM yang menjadi program aplikasi terpopuler. Pada sekitar tahun 1980an, harga komputer pribadi yang rendah menjadi sebab utama kepopularannya untuk kegunaan di rumah serta bisnis. Pada tahun 1982, majalah Time memberikan “Komputer Pribadi” gelar “Man of the Year”.

Perangkat Pada Komputer


  • Perangkat Keras (Hardware)
  • Perangkat Lunak (Software)

Komponen Perangkat Keras (Hardware)


  • Unit Pemroses (Processing Unit)

Central Processing Unit (CPU). Umumnya terdiri atas:

  1. Motherboard
  2. VGA Card
  3. Lan Card
  4. RAM
  5. Hardisk
  6. Floppy Disk
  7. CD Room Drive.dll

Perangkat Masukan (Input)

  • Mis. Mouse, Keyboard, Microphone, Scanner

Perangkat Pengeluaran (Output)

  • Mis. Printer, Speaker, Monitor

Arsitektur dan kartu tambahan


Kebanyakan PC menggunakan arsitektur peranti keras (hardware) yang kompatibel dengan PC IBM, contohnya prosesor yang kompatibel dengan x86 buatan Intel seperti produk dari AMD dan Cyrix. Kemampuan peranti keras PC biasanya dapat dikembangkan dengan penambahan kartu tambahan (expansion card).

Komputer pribadi dapat dibagi dalam beberapa jenis:

  • Komputer Desktop
  • Notebook atau Laptop
  • PDA
  • Komputer yang bisa dipakaikan ke badan (wearable computer)

Tipe PC dan PW (personal workstation) lainnya:

  • Apple Macintosh
  • Acorn Archimedes & RiscPC
  • Workstation NeXT
  • BeBox
  • Sun
  • Workstation-workstation SGI seperti SGI Indigo dan SGI Onyx
  • NEC PC-9800 (Ada di Jepang selama beberapa saat)