A report on IBM PC compatible

The Compaq Portable was one of the first nearly 100% IBM-compatible PCs.
The original IBM PC (Model 5150) motivated the production of clones during the early 1980s.
The DEC Rainbow 100 runs MS-DOS but is not compatible with the IBM PC.
MS-DOS version 1.12 for Compaq Personal Computers
The PowerPak 286, an IBM PC compatible computer running AutoCAD under MS-DOS.

IBM PC compatible computers are similar to the original IBM PC, XT, and AT that are able to use the same software and expansion cards.

- IBM PC compatible
The Compaq Portable was one of the first nearly 100% IBM-compatible PCs.

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Compaq

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American information technology company founded in 1982 that developed, sold, and supported computers and related products and services.

American information technology company founded in 1982 that developed, sold, and supported computers and related products and services.

First Compaq logo, used until 1993
Compaq Portable
Compaq Portable 386 BIOS
Aerial map of the Compaq headquarters, now the HP USA campus in unincorporated Harris County, Texas
Former Compaq headquarters, now the Hewlett-Packard United States campus
Post merger logo for Compaq products.
An example of a HP Compaq.

Compaq produced some of the first IBM PC compatible computers, being the second company after Columbia Data Products to legally reverse engineer the IBM Personal Computer.

IBM Personal Computer with keyboard and monitor

IBM Personal Computer

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IBM Personal Computer with keyboard and monitor
IBM Personal Computer with keyboard and monitor
Internal view of a PC compatible computer, showing components and layout.
Original IBM Personal Computer motherboard
IBM PC with MDA monitor
IBM Model F keyboard
IBM Personal Computer with IBM CGA monitor (model 5153), IBM PC keyboard, IBM 5152 printer and paper stand. (1988)
The back of a PC, showing the five expansion slots
PC DOS 3.30 running on an IBM PC
Digital Research CP/M-86 Version 1.0 for the IBM PC

The IBM Personal Computer (model 5150, commonly known as the IBM PC) is the first microcomputer released in the IBM PC model line and the basis for the IBM PC compatible de facto standard.

A pair of AMD BIOS chips for a Dell 310 computer from the 1980s

BIOS

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Firmware used to provide runtime services for operating systems and programs and to perform hardware initialization during the booting process (power-on startup).

Firmware used to provide runtime services for operating systems and programs and to perform hardware initialization during the booting process (power-on startup).

A pair of AMD BIOS chips for a Dell 310 computer from the 1980s
Boot process
BIOS chips in a Dell 310 that were updated by replacing the chips
Award BIOS setup utility on a standard PC
BIOS replacement kit for a Dell 310 from the late 1980s. Included are two chips, a plastic holder for the chips, and a chip puller.
American Megatrends BIOS 686. This BIOS chip is housed in a PLCC package in a socket.
Compaq Portable 386 BIOS
An American Megatrends BIOS showing an "Intel CPU uCode Loading Error" after a failed attempt to upload microcode patches into the CPU
A detached BIOS chip

The BIOS firmware comes pre-installed on an IBM PC or IBM PC compatible's system board and exists in UEFI-based systems too.

The x86 architectures were based on the Intel 8086 microprocessor chip, initially released in 1978.

X86

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Family of complex instruction set computer instruction set architectures initially developed by Intel based on the Intel 8086 microprocessor and its 8088 variant.

Family of complex instruction set computer instruction set architectures initially developed by Intel based on the Intel 8086 microprocessor and its 8088 variant.

The x86 architectures were based on the Intel 8086 microprocessor chip, initially released in 1978.
Intel Core 2 Duo, an example of an x86-compatible, 64-bit multicore processor
AMD Athlon (early version), a technically different but fully compatible x86 implementation
Am386, released by AMD in 1991
Registers available in the x86-64 instruction set
In supercomputer clusters (as tracked by TOP 500 data and visualized on the diagram above, last updated 2013), the appearance of 64-bit extensions for the x86 architecture enabled 64-bit x86 processors by AMD and Intel (teal hatched and blue hatched, in the diagram, respectively) to replace most RISC processor architectures previously used in such systems (including PA-RISC, SPARC, Alpha, and others), and 32-bit x86 (green on the diagram), even though Intel initially tried unsuccessfully to replace x86 with a new incompatible 64-bit architecture in the Itanium processor. The main non-x86 architecture which is still used, as of 2014, in supercomputing clusters is the Power ISA used by IBM Power microprocessors (blue with diamond tiling in the diagram), with SPARC as a distant second.

The term is not synonymous with IBM PC compatibility, as this implies a multitude of other computer hardware.

Apple Inc.

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American multinational technology company that specializes in consumer electronics, software and online services headquartered in Cupertino, California, United States.

American multinational technology company that specializes in consumer electronics, software and online services headquartered in Cupertino, California, United States.

In 1976, Steve Jobs co-founded Apple in his parents' home on Crist Drive in Los Altos, California. Although it is widely believed that the company was founded in the house's garage, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak called it "a bit of a myth". Jobs and Wozniak did, however, move some operations to the garage when the bedroom became too crowded.
Apple's first product, the Apple I, designed by Steve Wozniak, was sold as an assembled circuit board and lacked basic features such as a keyboard, monitor, and case. The owner of this unit added a keyboard and wooden case.
The Apple II Plus, introduced in 1979, designed primarily by Wozniak
The Macintosh, released in 1984, is the first mass-market personal computer to feature an integral graphical user interface and mouse.
The PenLite is Apple's first prototype of a tablet computer. Created in 1992, the project was designed to bring the Mac OS to a tablet – but was canceled in favor of the Newton.
The MacBook Pro, Apple's first laptop with an Intel microprocessor, introduced in 2006
Newly announced iPhone on display at the 2007 MacWorld Expo
Apple customers wait in line around an Apple Store in Shanghai in anticipation of a new product.
Apple Campus (1 Infinite Loop)
Apple Fifth Avenue, the flagship store in New York City
The Genius Bar at Apple's Regent Street store in London
The Apple store in the Carnegie Library of Washington D.C. maintains the building's historic exterior design.
Steve Wozniak and Andy Hertzfeld at the Apple User Group Connection club in 1985
Universities with the most alumni at Apple
PRISM: a clandestine surveillance program under which the NSA collects user data from companies like Facebook and Apple.

As the market for personal computers expanded and evolved throughout the 1990s, Apple lost considerable market share to the lower-priced duopoly of the Microsoft Windows operating system on Intel-powered PC clones (also known as "Wintel").

Clockwise from top: MacBook Air (2015), iMac G5 20" (2004), Macintosh II (1987), Power Mac G4 Cube (2000), iBook G3 Blueberry (1999) and original Macintosh 128K (1984)

Macintosh

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Family of personal computers designed, manufactured, and sold by Apple Inc. (originally as Apple Computer, Inc.) since January 1984.

Family of personal computers designed, manufactured, and sold by Apple Inc. (originally as Apple Computer, Inc.) since January 1984.

Clockwise from top: MacBook Air (2015), iMac G5 20" (2004), Macintosh II (1987), Power Mac G4 Cube (2000), iBook G3 Blueberry (1999) and original Macintosh 128K (1984)
A prototype of the Macintosh from 1981 (at the Computer History Museum)
The Apple Macintosh Plus at the Design Museum in Gothenburg, Sweden
The Macintosh II, the first Macintosh model with color graphics
The Macintosh SE, updated Compact Macintosh design using Snow White design language
The Macintosh Portable, Apple's first battery-powered Macintosh
The Macintosh LC II with a Macintosh 12" RGB Display.
The PowerBook 100
The iMac G3, introduced in 1998. Though it led Apple's return to profitability, its associated mouse was one of consumers' least favorite products.
2006 MacBook Pro
27-inch Slim Unibody iMac
The 15-inch late 2016 MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar
2020 MacBook Pro
An iMac G5 with its back panel removed
The original Macintosh introduced a radically new graphical user interface for personal computers. Users interact with the computer using a metaphorical desktop with icons of real life items, instead of abstract textual commands.

Early Macintosh models were relatively expensive, hindering competitiveness in a market dominated by the much cheaper Commodore 64 for consumers, as well as the IBM Personal Computer and its accompanying clone market for businesses, although they were less expensive than the Xerox Alto and other computers with graphical user interfaces that predated the Mac, except Atari ST.

The command-line interface, showing that the current directory is the root of drive C

MS-DOS

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Operating system for x86-based personal computers mostly developed by Microsoft.

Operating system for x86-based personal computers mostly developed by Microsoft.

The command-line interface, showing that the current directory is the root of drive C
MS-DOS command prompt
MS-DOS (Compaq-DOS) version 1.12 (based on MS-DOS 1.25) for Compaq Personal Computer
MS-DOS 2.11 boot disk for the Leading Edge Model D in its sleeve
MS-DOS 3.3C for the PC-9800 series
MS-DOS version 5.0
German MS-DOS 6.2 Update
MS-DOS version 6.22
Japanese MS-DOS 6.2/V
The original MS-DOS advertisement in 1981
MS-DOS Prompt in Windows 95
Command Prompt in Windows 10
, MS-DOS is still used in some enterprises to run legacy applications, such as this US Navy food service management system.

MS-DOS was the main operating system for IBM PC compatibles during the 1980s, from which point it was gradually superseded by operating systems offering a graphical user interface (GUI), in various generations of the graphical Microsoft Windows operating system.

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

Personal computer

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Multi-purpose microcomputer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use.

Multi-purpose microcomputer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use.

An artist's depiction of a 2000s-era desktop-style personal computer, which includes a metal case with the computing components, a display monitor and a keyboard (mouse not shown)
Commodore PET in 1983 (at the American Museum of Science and Energy), an early example of a personal computer
The 8-bit architecture Pravetz 82 computer produced in Bulgaria from 1982, in school class in the Soviet Union
Altair 8800 computer
The three personal computers referred to by Byte Magazine as the "1977 Trinity" of home computing: The Commodore PET, the Apple II, and the TRS-80 Model I.
IBM 5150, released in 1981
The 8-bit PMD 85 personal computer produced in 1985–1990 by the Tesla company in the former socialist Czechoslovakia
Sun SPARCstation 1+ from the early 1990s, with a 25 MHz RISC processor
A Dell OptiPlex desktop computer
A portable computer Cambridge Z88 released in 1987
A laptop computer
An HP netbook
HP Compaq tablet PC with rotating/removable keyboard
The LG G4, a typical smartphone
A screenshot of the LibreOffice Writer software
A screenshot of Krita, which is a raster graphics editor.
Children being taught how to use a laptop computer in 2005. An older (1990s-era) desktop personal computer's CRT monitor is visible in the background.
Personal computers worldwide in million distinguished by developed and developing world

Pocket PCs have many of the capabilities of desktop PCs.

One 8-bit and five 16-bit ISA slots on a motherboard

Industry Standard Architecture

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16-bit internal bus of IBM PC/AT and similar computers based on the Intel 80286 and its immediate successors during the 1980s.

16-bit internal bus of IBM PC/AT and similar computers based on the Intel 80286 and its immediate successors during the 1980s.

One 8-bit and five 16-bit ISA slots on a motherboard
8-bit XT, 16-bit ISA, EISA (top to bottom)
8-bit XT: Adlib FM Sound card
16-bit ISA: Madge 4/16 Mbps Token Ring NIC
16-bit ISA: Ethernet 10Base-5/2 NIC
8-bit XT: US Robotics 56k Modem

The bus was (largely) backward compatible with the 8-bit bus of the 8088-based IBM PC, including the IBM PC/XT as well as IBM PC compatibles.

Commodore 64

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8-bit home computer introduced in January 1982 by Commodore International .

8-bit home computer introduced in January 1982 by Commodore International .

The Commodore 64 startup screen
Game cartridges for Radar Rat Race and International Soccer
Commodore MAX Machine
Commodore Educator 64
Commodore SX-64
Commodore 64C with 1541-II floppy disk drive and 1084S monitor displaying television-compatible S-Video
Commodore 64 Games System "C64GS"
The Simons' BASIC interpreter start-up screen. Note the altered background and text colors (vs the ordinary C64 blue tones) and the 8 KB reduction of available BASIC-interpreter program memory allocation, due to the address space used by the cartridge.
Block diagram of the C64
The two PETSCII character sets of the C64
Sprites on screen in a C64 game
Three case styles were used: C64 (top, 1982), C64C (1986, middle) and C64G (1987, bottom)
An early C64 motherboard (Rev A PAL 1982)
A C64C motherboard ("C64E" Rev B PAL 1992)
Joystick ports, power switch, power inlet
Commodore 64 ports (from left: Joy1, Joy2, Power, ROM cartridge, RF-adj, RF modulator, A/V, Serial 488 bus, Tape, User)
C64 Direct-to-TV
The C64 "Web.it" Internet Computer
THEC64 Mini (top) next to an original C64
Full-size THEC64 in its original box
Commodore 1541 floppy drive
Commodore 1541C floppy drive
Commodore 1541-II floppy drive
Commodore 1530 Datasette
Commodore MPS-802 dot matrix printer
Commodore VIC-Modem
Commodore 1351 mouse
Commodore 1702 video monitor

For a substantial period (1983–1986), the C64 had between 30% and 40% share of the US market and two million units sold per year, outselling IBM PC compatibles, Apple computers, and the Atari 8-bit family of computers.