Re: Okay, whaddaya call

Subject: Re: Okay, whaddaya call
From: Gwen Gall <ggall -at- CA -dot- ORACLE -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 1994 12:37:57 EDT

In-Reply-To: CNSEQ1:TECHWR-L -at- VM1 -dot- ucc -dot- okstate -dot- edu's message of 07-07-94 20:19

Sharon writes:

a computer that runs DOS and/or Windows? "IBM/compatible
computer" can become awfully cumbersome -- plus, so many *aren't*
IBMs anymore; "personal computer," to me, also means Macintoshes;
"DOS-based" leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Since Windows is not yet a *true* operating system, and requires DOS to run,
"DOS-based" is completely accurate. I am curious as to why you think it tastes
bad. Sounds fine to me.

An alternative might be PC--as I understand it, it has been used in the
computer world as a term for IBM-compatible computers, NOT as an initialism
for "personal computer" (except that it originally came from IBM-PC), but to
distinguish them from Macs. (Any opinions on this?) For example, although it is
not listed as such in the "New Hacker's Dictionary", the PC is referred to
under IBM: "What galls hackers most about IBM machines above the PC level
isn't so much that they are underpowered and overpriced..."

A further muddying of the waters occurs with the introduction of the PowerPC
and the Pentium--which of course are defined as different from regular PCs
by their chips (Well, Pentium is the Intel 586...) and all these computers are
now powerful enough to be running versions of Unix (SCO, for example).

I have also heard the term "desktop" systems, but I think this is used to
distinguish both PC's and Macs from workstations and mainframes (?)

Finally, (and then I'll shut up 'cause lunch will be over) it would make a
difference whether your requirements specification "computer that runs DOS
and/or Windows" was for software that runs under DOS or Windows, or whether
you are specifying a hardware platform (i.e. 486, Pentium, etc.).


Gwen Gall (ggall -at- ca -dot- oracle -dot- com)

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