Like CD is to compact disc, it’s easy to forget that PC (in technology terms) stands for personal computer. Though most people know the words behind the acronym, most of us arguably haven’t used it that way in two, maybe three decades. Computing is now so ubiquitous, and so individualised, that the P is essentially redundant.

Cast your mind back to the 1970s and 1980s: the idea that industrial-scale computing machines could be shrunk and repurposed for things like word processing and entertainment was mind-blowing, especially when this term was vying for dominance with “microcomputer”. The idea seems positively quaint today. Remember when Bill Gates shared his aspiration to have a computer on every desk? How ambitious and impossible that seemed...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as articles from our international business news partners; ProfileData financial data; and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now