PC != Windows

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PC != Windows

Postby jrife0 » Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:13 pm UTC

Does anybody else get annoyed when people think PC is a synonym for windows? I do.
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby Kurushimi » Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:19 pm UTC

Not at all. These days, when people say PC, they obviously mean a Windows. Haven't you seen the commercials?
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby jrife0 » Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:27 pm UTC

Yeah the commercials bug me! I can't help but think, no PC is not Windows every time. Maybe I'm the only one and just seem crazy but I had so say it somewhere
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby Kangaroo » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:37 pm UTC

Oh yeah, these PC vs. Mac battles are quite amusing, since nowadays PC=Mac; folks don't even know what they are fighting for.
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby brakos82 » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:46 pm UTC

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Re: PC != Windows

Postby lulzfish » Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:03 pm UTC

I HATE THAT.

I always try to say, "I have a Dell" or whatever. I dunno, it's just such a pain. They're really asking, "what OS do you run?" but they're aren't technical enough to understand the subtle distinction between OS and computer brand.

YOU JUST REMINDED ME HOW MUCH I HATE "PC == WINDOWS" NOW I'M ANGRY.
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby phillipsjk » Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:33 am UTC

Is this a religious war if everybody seems to be in agreement?

Just recently, Slashdot featured "Swiss Open Source Decision Going Microsoft's Way". The linked articles explain that "Red Hat, and 17 other vendors, have protested a Swiss government contract given to Microsoft without any public bidding." The story goes on to say:
eWeekEurope.co.uk wrote: The contract, for "standardised workstations", was issued with no public bidding process, . . . because the Swiss agency asserted there was no sufficient alternative to Microsoft products.


With the prospect of DRM protected by law in more and more countries (due to the 1996 WIPO treaty), I fear it is only going to get worse. The only way to get a "general-purpose" computer would be to get low-power chips designed for embeded use. Historic definition of computer: somebody who does calculations (by hand).
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby Vault » Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:27 pm UTC

Let's see. PC = Personal Computer. Saying that a computer running OS X is not a PC is either saying a) it is not personal or b) it is not a computer. Seeing as last time I checked it is in fact a computer then it obviously must be a. The dictionary defines personal as "of, affecting, or belonging to a particular person rather than to anyone". So we can see that if you own a computer running OS X, it is fine if anyone at all uses it.

I think that this has some interesting implications. It explains why your friends don't listen to you when you ask for your new laptop back, even though they have a perfectly good one of their own. It also works wonders for data security. I heard that this is was the inspiration for cloud computing.
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby jrife0 » Sat Aug 08, 2009 3:35 pm UTC

Well considering I simply said PC != Windows and not PC == !Mac or Mac != PC I think you just supported my argument. You see, I was simply stating that windows shouldn't be a synonym for PC since, yes, a personal computer can include Dells, HPs, Macs, etc. I didn't even mention Mac OSX.
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby Vault » Sat Aug 08, 2009 4:02 pm UTC

I was talking about the Mac vs PC commercials specifically, and I also think that in most people's minds anything non-Mac = PC. The Linux users I know would say that they own a PC, so as far as I can tell, the only thing associated with being not a PC is Mac. Most of the Mac users I know would call their computers a Mac (I'm probably guilty of this too). Thinking about it though it sounds really weird to identify your computer by the OS it runs. "Do you have a PC? Nope, I've got a Debian" "Do you have a PC? Nope, I've got a Windows" "Do you have a PC? Nope, I've got a Mac"
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby Kurushimi » Sat Aug 08, 2009 4:03 pm UTC

Well, I feel that if the term PC refers to Windows then that's just the way it is. It's nothing to get annoyed over. And it doesn't really cause a lot of confusion.
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby stephentyrone » Sat Aug 08, 2009 4:38 pm UTC

Vault wrote:I was talking about the Mac vs PC commercials specifically, and I also think that in most people's minds anything non-Mac = PC. The Linux users I know would say that they own a PC, so as far as I can tell, the only thing associated with being not a PC is Mac. Most of the Mac users I know would call their computers a Mac (I'm probably guilty of this too). Thinking about it though it sounds really weird to identify your computer by the OS it runs. "Do you have a PC? Nope, I've got a Debian" "Do you have a PC? Nope, I've got a Windows" "Do you have a PC? Nope, I've got a Mac"


They're identifying it by the hardware brand, not the OS. As in "I have a Dell", which is a completely reasonable thing to say. The only thing that's interesting is the distinguishing of a specific case (Mac) from the generic term (PC).
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby Kurushimi » Sat Aug 08, 2009 9:41 pm UTC

stephentyrone wrote:They're identifying it by the hardware brand, not the OS. As in "I have a Dell", which is a completely reasonable thing to say. The only thing that's interesting is the distinguishing of a specific case (Mac) from the generic term (PC).


That's actually not that incredibly interesting. Since people refer to Windows as PC's, and Mac is supposedly Window's rival so they wouldn't call it "PC" as well.

If you're wondering why people still refer to Linux computers as "PC's" I'd suppose it's because it's a lot easier to say than "Linux".
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby Pinky's Brain » Sun Aug 09, 2009 2:34 am UTC

The aggressive co-optation of the term is just an Apple marketing thing ... it might be successful, hell I might be hopelessly old fashioned for not following along yet, but the motivation for it's use by people like me to refer IBM compatible PCs and the OS's which run on them is just an artefact of computing history though ... don't get annoyed, just be patient with us old farts.

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Re: PC != Windows

Postby 10nitro » Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:34 pm UTC

I hate it when this happens:

me: fuck Windows!
Mac-user: Mac-user, high five!
me: no. Macs fail.
Davey: Linux-user, high five!
me: eh, GNU/Linux, but whatever, *high fives Davey*

To clarify, yes a Mac is a `PC', strictly speaking. It was one of the few mainstream PCs
Mac vs. other PCs
When IBM released the `IBM PC', it became huge, and dominated the rest of the market
Mac vs. IBM PC
But then, other vendors began to release clones of the IBM PC. You wanted to still identify these with the IBM PC, but it was wrong to still call them ``IBM PC's''
Mac vs. IBM PC-compatible
Except that was to long. Why don't we just cut out the vendor part? More than half the term is just there to neutralize it! Techie: No, wait--
Mac vs. PC
So now, when people say `PC', they mean `IBM PC-compatible' (which is still weird because todays 64-bit comps with PCIe slots on ATX motherboards are in no way compatible with the IBM PC's 16-bit processor and ISA slots on a [brain-burp] motherboard)
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby Kurushimi » Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:38 pm UTC

10nitro wrote:So now, when people say `PC', they mean `IBM PC-compatible' (which is still weird because todays 64-bit comps with PCIe slots on ATX motherboards are in no way compatible with the IBM PC's 16-bit processor and ISA slots on a [brain-burp] motherboard)


I think you missed something, because when I say "PC", I don't think I mean 'IBM PC-compatible'.
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby Berengal » Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:50 pm UTC

Who says PC? I use "box", "machine", "thingy", "abacus" (since February) or less frequently "self-contained programmable interconnectable data processing unit with attached human interface devices" (SCPIDPUWAHID for short).
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby stephentyrone » Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:07 pm UTC

Berengal wrote:(SCPIDPUWAHID for short).


"Skip-id-poo-waa-hid"? could be worse.
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby Woegjiub » Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:56 am UTC

It's worse at my university, we have "mac labs", "pc labs" (win XP), and a "unix lab" (red hat GNU/Linux).
Even the admins call them by those names, completely ignoring the fact that the only unix on campus is what's in the "mac labs".

I've always called my computer a pc (home assembled linux/win dualboot, just like almost everyone else), and I'm sure it annoys everyone, but I have to tell off the macfags when they insult "pcs", by calling their precious apple-branded pc a "fischer-price my first pc".

/rant :p
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:25 am UTC

It doesn't really pay to get too pedantic about terms, and I think both Mac and non-Mac brands are happy about the division. Mac like people to pay more for a product that ostensibly transcends the PC; Windows, Linuxes and etceteras like to differentiate themselves from Mac, who come across as pretentious (if somewhat delicious).
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby Sc4Freak » Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:11 am UTC

Woegjiub wrote:It's worse at my university, we have "mac labs", "pc labs" (win XP), and a "unix lab" (red hat GNU/Linux).
Even the admins call them by those names, completely ignoring the fact that the only unix on campus is what's in the "mac labs".

I've always called my computer a pc (home assembled linux/win dualboot, just like almost everyone else), and I'm sure it annoys everyone, but I have to tell off the macfags when they insult "pcs", by calling their precious apple-branded pc a "fischer-price my first pc".

How funny, my uni does the exact same thing with the Mac/PC labs.

And coincidentally enough, I also had a habit of making the same "Fisher Price's My First PC" joke to Mac users.

I'm having another one of those classic "get out of my head" moments that seem to happen so frequently in and around xkcd. :P
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby Troy Martin » Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:52 pm UTC

The whole "PC == Windows" shit pisses me off. Sure, the Linux community is smaller than the windows one, but if it runs on a PC (and it does) then PC != Windows. PC == a personal freakin' computer. PC != Windows, PC != x86, PC != x64, PC == personal computer.

Microsoft's just scared they're going to lose domination of the market... and so they should.
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby ash.gti » Wed Aug 12, 2009 3:37 am UTC

My macbook pro has 3 OS's on it, Windows, OS X and Gentoo. I don't personally assume PC == Windows.
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby lu6cifer » Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:07 pm UTC

It seems like what we have here is a reverse proprietary eponym, or something similar.

Instead of a specific brand being the generic name for the product of that brand, the specific brand (Windows) is instead being referred to by its generic product (PC)....even though an OS != computer, the relation is still there.
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby Berengal » Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:21 pm UTC

Actually, PC is a specific brand. It was a microcomputer produced by IBM.
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby LuNatic » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:40 am UTC

Hmm, I generally refer to them as x86 and Mac. This gets many confused looks.
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby lulzfish » Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:38 pm UTC

LuNatic wrote:Hmm, I generally refer to them as x86 and Mac. This gets many confused looks.


Since newer Macs are x86, and most computers now are x64 or ia_64 or whatever it's called, yes, I would be confused too.
In fact, I am confused. If a computer is running Windows by default, you call it "x86"?
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby Area Man » Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:31 pm UTC

lulzfish wrote:Since newer Macs are x86, and most computers now are x64 or ia_64 or whatever it's called, yes, I would be confused too.
In fact, I am confused. If a computer is running Windows by default, you call it "x86"?

IA-64 (itanium) is intel's failed attempt at replacing x86, it is completely different from [x86-64, x64, AMD64].

As for the PC confusion, it's apple's ("im a mac", "and im a pc") and microsoft's (going with it) fault; mac is also the term used for the OS as well as the hardware branding. You can run windows on a "mac".
Linux is an os but is not connected with any particular platform (and runs on too many), so it's hard to confabulate or make any assumptions (and the user is more likely to be aware of the issue).
Indeed, we should come up with a common word which means "Linux on x86".

Edit: "Lux" ?
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby LuNatic » Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:37 am UTC

lulzfish wrote:
LuNatic wrote:Hmm, I generally refer to them as x86 and Mac. This gets many confused looks.


Since newer Macs are x86, and most computers now are x64 or ia_64 or whatever it's called, yes, I would be confused too.
In fact, I am confused. If a computer is running Windows by default, you call it "x86"?


Yeah, it doesn't hold up so well now that Macs use Intel, but as for a non-Mac PC, Windows isn't a solid state of being. The platform is x86, but the OS could be Windows, Linux, BSD or all of the above at the same time. Unlike Macs, it isn't locked in tight.
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby stephentyrone » Fri Aug 14, 2009 5:00 pm UTC

LuNatic wrote:Yeah, it doesn't hold up so well now that Macs use Intel, but as for a non-Mac PC, Windows isn't a solid state of being. The platform is x86, but the OS could be Windows, Linux, BSD or all of the above at the same time. Unlike Macs, it isn't locked in tight.


Er, you can run all of those on Mac hardware, too; many of us do.
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby shieldforyoureyes » Fri Aug 14, 2009 5:38 pm UTC

I've heard people use the term "wintel" for x86 running MS Windows, but I think the term is mostly used by people who like non-x86 hardware, so it's probably obscure...

It's annoying that I have to follow up "I hate PCs." with "No, Macs are PCs." and "No, Linux on a PC is still a PC.".

I'll use PCs as x-terminals, but that's all. (ie: the bump in the cable inbetween the monitor and the LAN.)
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby phillipsjk » Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:30 am UTC

A home mini computer stored in the basement can probably be construed to be a PC as well ;)
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby shieldforyoureyes » Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:22 am UTC

phillipsjk wrote:A home mini computer stored in the basement can probably be construed to be a PC as well ;)


Ha

So the VAX-11/785 that I had in my living room for a few months was a PC?
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby phlip » Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:24 am UTC

I dunno... it's personal, but can something that old be called a "computer"?
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby phillipsjk » Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:08 am UTC

Well, according to this page, the VAX 11/785 "Can run NetBSD" as of "2003-07-18". If it can run a modern OS, it must be a computer!

I was a little surprised by the power consumption (don't know why): 6225W

With north-american household outlets putting out only 1800W (peak), it is obviously not designed for "personal use". The ability to install up to 8MB of RAM in the early 80's, late 70's (according to wikipedia) also hints it is designed with "group" use in mind. I was assuming that because a PC can be used as a family computer, that any family computer must be a PC. I now realize my logic was flawed. However, I still think any minicomputer used for personal use can be considered a personal computer.
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby shieldforyoureyes » Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:33 pm UTC

VAX-11/785 sitting in my living room (with cat):

Image

That's just the CPU, memory, and bus controllers. Doesn't include the actual IO busses, IO boards, or disks. That would be another cabinet of about the same size. (It isn't actually mine, I was just holding it for a museum for a few months while they made space for it.)

This however, *is* mine. Anyone identify?

Image
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby shadyraptors » Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:15 pm UTC

Well now that that's agreed, here's Tux!


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Re: PC != Windows

Postby dean.menezes » Wed Aug 19, 2009 5:14 pm UTC

shadyraptors wrote:Well now that that's agreed, here's Tux!
{Shiny Tux}

I see Tux has got Compiz. For those of you with an old computer, here is Tux without Compiz:
Image
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby hotaru » Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:21 pm UTC

dean.menezes wrote:I see Tux has got Compiz. For those of you with an old computer, here is Tux without Compiz:
Image

you can't do anti-aliasing without compiz?
Code: Select all
uint8_t f(uint8_t n)
{ if(!(
1)) return 2;
  if(
== 143) return 11;
  if(
== || == 77 || == 91) return 7;
  
= (>> 4) + (0xF); += >> 4&= 0xF;
  return (
== || == || == || == 12 || == 15) ? :
         (
== || == 10) ? 0; } 
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Re: PC != Windows

Postby phillipsjk » Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:30 pm UTC

After wasting ~4 hours trying to find a similar picture of a minicomputer, I learned several things:
  • Mainframes tend to be used at about 90% utilization (Wikipedia). I already knew that mircocomputers tend to be used at 10% utilization.
  • Google Image search informs me the the adjective "mini" is applied to everything from actual minicomputers to hand held devices.
  • At one point there were over 100 companies making minicomputers (Blog found on sun website).
  • The distinction between "mainframes" and "supercomputers": supercomputers tend to focus on raw processing, Mainframes I/O (various).

What annoys me is that I may have seen a picture of such a distinctive computer in the past. My first guess (due to the black case) was IBM, but IBM tends to use Blue, rather than red highlights.

Are those grey boxes in the background some kind of Network Attached Storage?
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