Template talk:Computer sizes

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Netbook[edit]

Does anyone think netbook deserves to be in this template?--Kozuch (talk) 19:01, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Absolutely not. A netbook is an "Internet notebook". With netbooks now available upto 13.4 inches size is now essentially meaningless. -- samj inout 19:17, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
That is just one model... I do not see how it can considered to be representative of an entire "class" of computer... Rilak (talk) 03:33, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Isn't a "netbook" with a 13.4-inch screen pretty much just a laptop? Letdorf (talk) 10:34, 24 February 2009 (UTC).

Misleading representation of workstations and servers[edit]

There has been a discussion at Talk:List of computer size categories about whether servers and workstations are desktops. I think that this template should be updated to reflect the result of the discussion. Rilak (talk) 07:20, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

I don't think it is particularly misleading (they are someplace in middle ground between minicomputers and microcomputers). But I rearranged the items - put servers up with minicomputers (since they are usually shared/beefier systems), retitled the second section (Desktops are generally microcomputers, but not all microcomputers are desktops). Does that help? Zodon (talk) 09:48, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Should embedded system be removed?[edit]

I was looking at this list and noticed that embedded system seems a little bit out of place. The article on embedded systems says that they can vary in size from a microcontroller to complex controll systems with multiple modules, peripherals, etc. So it's location in a size hierarchy seems quite ambiguous. I added microcontroller to the template (it pretty clearly fits in at the small end), was wondering whether there is merit to keeping embedded system here, or whether it is better to dispense with it. Zodon (talk) 06:39, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

"Embedded system" is not a precise term - it has hundreds of meaning depending on the context. What should happen is that "embedded system" be replaced with form factors that are primarily used by embedded systems, and one form factor is "single board computer", which is rougly the size of a small PC motherboard. I'm not too familiar with embedded systems, but I believe must are rack mounted so they fit in with the rest of the machinery in an industrial environment. Rilak (talk) 06:51, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
Probably most are microcontrollers that are integrated into other devices, like microwaves, MP3 players, thermostats, ... (If one counts by number of individual devices.) But I agree that adding SBC makes sense. Zodon (talk) 07:41, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
As I've said, "embedded systems" can mean many of things :)
I just happen to have access to a few catalogs from companies that sell embedded systems for industrial control and remote data aquisition applications. I'll look through them to see if they use any other form factors that are not on the list. Rilak (talk) 07:55, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
Found another template template:Computer form factors that lists several form factors for PC compatible computers. Zodon (talk) 06:13, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

How meaningful is this template?[edit]

How meaningful is it to try to categorize types of computers by physical size? "Servers" have no typical physical form-factor - they could potentially be 1U rackmount boxes, or full 42U racks. Why are desktops and workstations "microcomputers", but laptops and tablets aren't? Should cart computers be in the same category as pocket computers? And microcontrollers aren't really "computers" in this context. Letdorf (talk) 00:10, 27 October 2008 (UTC).

I find the template useful since it helps find one's way in the coverage of various computer classifications (especially in the smaller end of the scale).
There is more discussion of the servers matter in Talk:List of computer size categories (Basically yes, servers are currently regarded as a role rather than a particular size of machine, but they have tended to be on the larger/more powerful/beefier end of things.)
Microcomputer
  • There weren't appreciable numbers of laptops and tablets when the term microcomputer originated (and term, like Mainframe and Minicomputer not used so much anymore). The usage here corresponds roughly to one of the usages mentioned in the wikipedia article in that it covers machines of about the size and design as were common when the term originated.
  • Grouping the smaller device categories underneath microcomputer would not make the template any easier to read or use.
(i.e. it is a convenient group label that reasonably covers that range of machines).
The mobile category is arranged roughly by size, so cart computers are at the larger end, where graphing calculators or pocket computers are toward the smaller end. (Again, the mobile grouping isn't perfect, since a cart computer may be comparable in size to a desktop and larger than an SFF).
Why is a microcontroller not a "computer" in this context? They generally have a programmable processor, memory, I/O ("a functional computer system-on-a-chip"Microcontroller); some of them are more powerful than the Personal computers of a few years ago. Zodon (talk) 01:25, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
I raised this concern a while ago. The fact is, you can't put every computer, or even most computers, accurately into neat little size categories. Yes, I have seen high-school level textbooks try to do this, but it is not possible in the real world, and I don't believe the industry or the academics attempt do this. Head over to Sun Microsystems website and browse through their server product pages. Servers range from Netra blade servers to the two-rack Sun Enterprise. Is this reflected in this template? No. Also, browsing through IBM's website, their mainframes are around the same size as the high-end System p, yet the template claims that mainframes are larger. If I am not mistaken, some models of the VAX 9000 minicomputer were bigger than some Bull mainframes. It is possible to find many examples where this template's claims are disproven, but I don't have the time. Rilak (talk) 04:59, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
I've just noticed that the template claims that workstations are smaller than personal computers. Sigh. I believe the Mac Pro is significantly larger than the generic personal computer I'm typing this on, the BOXX APEXX even larger and some models of the early RS/6000 to be gigantic. Rilak (talk) 05:02, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, technically, a microcomputer is any computer based on microprocessor technology - ie. pretty much any computer made in the last 20 years or so. Theoretically, some microcontrollers can be considered computers, but in practice, they usually either perform the role of an auxilliary processor in another computer system, or are incorporated into embedded systems - ascribing a typical physical form factor to either of those cases is pretty pointless. I think a more useful template would be a list of computer form factors: rack, rackmount, deskside/pedestal, desktop, laptop, tablet, handheld etc. Trying to map these onto other classifications just ends up being misleading, IMHO. Letdorf (talk) 11:22, 27 October 2008 (UTC).
Since this is a navigation template, it isn't clear that it has to represent all the variants possible. The purpose is to allow people to find articles about types of computers; classification would be more reasonably handled (if it can be done at all) using categories, which allow more varied structures.
There are enough items that a straight list without subdivisions becomes harder to use, and for any list some order must be selected. Zodon (talk) 12:04, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
In that case, how about we forget about "size", rename the template something like "Types of computers" and change the categories to something like "personal", "mobile", "other" and another category for servers, mainframes etc. that I can't think of a good name for at the moment? Letdorf (talk) 16:30, 27 October 2008 (UTC).
You are right about this is being a navbox, but is it not a navbox which categorizes the entries contained within by size? I think Letdorf is right about renaming the template to something more appropriate. Sorting can always be decided later. Rilak (talk) 05:17, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
I just fixed the Wikilink above, it was supposed to go to Wikipedia:Navigation templates, sorry about that.
While renaming seems not unreasonable (though the name as it is doesn't seem bad), we may need to work on name a bit more. "Types of computers" might reasonably attract things like Apples vs IBMs, or optical vs. quantum vs. Analog vs. digital, tube vs. transistor, etc. (There is a huge array of different ways to classify computers.) So it seems likely to expand to unwieldly proportions. Zodon (talk) 10:19, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Suggests personal computers are only micro computers[edit]

The Micro row contains "Personal (Workstation, Desktop, Home, Gaming, SFF (Nettop))". The Mobile row doesn't say have any link to Personal computer. Yet, laptops are personal computers. Our current presentation misleadingly suggests they aren't. --Chealer (talk) 14:51, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

It seems to me that many mobile devices in themselves are microcomputers - perhaps it would be better to merge the two sections together in some way? (perhaps to "micro and mobile"?) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Techhead7890 (talkcontribs) 07:25, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Remove Smartbook[edit]

As noted in the Talk:Smartbook page the term is deprecated even by it's creator, Qualcomm. Should it be removed? Grantbow (talk) 23:30, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Add Chromebook[edit]

I think the use of many arm processors and the creation of simple appliances with lower prices put Chromebooks in a new subclass of Subnotebooks. Should it be added? Grantbow (talk) 23:30, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Indicating certain words are prefixes[edit]

It seems to me that many of the words in the in the table are prefixes, for example, "Super" actually meaning "Supercomputer". In my opinion as one of the uninitiated, this does not seem immediately apparent. It may be helpful to indicate this in some way, by adding hyphens to the end of some of the row headings (eg Micro-) or simply typing out the full word/title of the link, even though the table is inherently about computers, for simplicity. This is really just a personal opinion than anything else; I haven't checked any official documentation to see if this is appropriate suggestion to make for such a table. Techhead7890 (talk) 07:21, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Encyclopedic terms vs. brand names[edit]

I think it does not hurt the Wikipedia to maintain this navbar. But I think it should be cleaned of ANY marketing™ terms and especially brands. E.g. Chromebook is some brand, not a size. Less concise are terms like Palm-size PC, Pocket PC or Pocket computer or Palmtop PC or Ultra-mobile PC, which, AFAIS, do not represent different sizes, but are all products of different marketing departments. Feature phone is another typical a marketing term...

Ultrabook could be, by Intel. Where is the difference to a Netbook or a Smartbook. Subnotebook seems to be the most encyclopedic article, and the picture File:MacBookEeePCNintendoDS.JPG at least tries to bring some clarity.

Even the term Personal computer (PC) is, AFAIK, based on IBM marketing, see IBM PC compatible.

I would bother to delete them articles, but in case the people who wrote those article would like people writing other article to link to them, well, some clean-up would be nice.

Remember, clarity™ is something, marketing departments want to insinuate, but definitely not something they want to really provide. User:ScotXWt@lk 17:18, 20 June 2014 (UTC)