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For the first few years of its existence, the PC was a text-only device. As users' needs increased and the technology improved, graphics became commonplace on the computer screen. Graphics are now viewed as a prerequisite for virtually all PCs, and our insatiable appetite for PCs that can do more and more has led us into the age of so-called "multimedia". Most people use PCs today that can show not just graphics but sound, animation and full-motion video as well.
The term "multimedia" is, unfortunately, one of those buzzwords that means different things depending on who says it and what they are talking about. It generally refers to the use of software that incorporates elements of sound, graphics and moving video (animation or recorded). Graphics have been around for years and so has sound. What is really new on the PC, relatively speaking, is full-motion video. This section briefly takes a look at the topic, concentrating on the new technologies involved in delivering full motion video to the PC desktop.