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What Makes a PC? Thoughts on Computing Platforms, Standards, and Compatibility
April-June 2007 (vol. 29 no. 2)
pp. 88, 87
James Sumner, University of Manchester
Addressing computing platforms as negotiable constellations of producer and user norms, not rigid standards, we can broaden the historiography of personal computing geographically and culturally.

1. Most notably through the thinly veiled totalitarian references in the iconic Macintosh launch advertisement (1984). More subtly, "Think Different" (1997–2002) plays on IBM's venerable corporate motto "THINK!"
2. "The legal/technical acrobatics of the reverse-engineering process involved are elegantly summarized in P. Ceruzzi," A History of Modern Computing, MIT Press, 2003, pp. 277–280.
3. For instance: G. Laing, Digital Retro, Ilex, 2004, pp. 6–7, 186.
4. M. Campbell-Kelly and W. Aspray, Computer: A History of the Information Machine, Westview, 2004, pp. 121–122.
5. See for instance the threefold division of "Low cost," "Medium-priced," and "Business" in H. Varley and I. Graham, The Personal Computer Handbook, Pan, 1983, pp. 182–187.
6. B. Bagnall, On the Edge: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Commodore, Variant, 2005.
7. Ibid., p. 152; L. Haddon, "The Home Computer: The Making of a Consumer Electronic," Science as Culture, vol. 2, 1988, pp. 7–51.

Index Terms:
personal computing; microcomputing; PC; Macintosh; standards; compatibility
James Sumner, "What Makes a PC? Thoughts on Computing Platforms, Standards, and Compatibility," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 88, 87, April-June 2007, doi:10.1109/MAHC.2007.30
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