Technology

Personal computer | technology | Britannica

Personal computer (PC), a digital computer designed for use by only one person at a time. A typical personal computer assemblage consists of a central processing unit (CPU), which contains the computer’s arithmetic, logic, and control circuitry on an integrated circuit; two types of computer memory, main memory, such as digital random-access memory (RAM), and auxiliary memory, such as magnetic hard disks and special optical compact discs, or read-only memory (ROM) discs (CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs); and various input/output devices, including a display screen, keyboard and mouse, modem, and printer. See also computer: History of computing.

From hobby computers to Apple

Computers small and inexpensive enough to be purchased by individuals for use in their homes first became feasible in the 1970s, when large-scale integration made it possible to construct a sufficiently powerful microprocessor on a single semiconductor chip. A

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5 ways technology is transforming finance

New report: The Future of FinTech: A Paradigm Shift in Small Business Finance

For decades, banks and insurers have employed the same relatively static, highly profitable business models. But today they find themselves confronted on all sides by innovators seeking to disrupt their businesses. Crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lenders, mobile payments, bitcoin, robo-advisers – there seems to be no end to the diversity, or to the sky-high valuations, of these “fintech” innovators.

Yet, some might note that they have heard this tune before. The direct banks and “digi-cash” of the 90s captured the imagination of journalists and investors in a similar fashion, but ultimately had little impact. In fact, the financial services industry has been remarkably impervious to past assaults by innovators, partially due to the importance that scale, trust and regulatory know-how have traditionally played in this space.

However, as they say in investing, “past performance is not an indicator of

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Business Reference Services (Science, Technology & Business Division, Library of Congress)

Notice: Out of an abundance of caution, all Library of Congress research centers will be closed to the public (including researchers and others with reader identification cards) until further notice, to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 coronavirus. All Library-sponsored public programs are also postponed or cancelled through May 11. Online resources and reference services, such as Ask a Librarian, will continue to be available during this time. For more information, see: www.loc.gov/coronavirus.

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