You are in the: Small Business Computing Channelarrow View Sites +
Small Business Technology
» ECommerce-Guide | Small Business Computing | Webopedia | WinPlanet |  »Close
Enter a word for a definition... ...or choose a computer category.

   Term of the Day
   New Terms
   New Links
   Quick Reference
   Did You Know?
   Tech Support
   Webopedia Jobs
   About Us
   Link to Us

talk to us
   Submit a URL
   Suggest a Term
   Report an Error
Internet Lists
Internet News
Internet Resources
Linux/Open Source
Personal Technology
Small Business
Windows Technology
xSP Resources
Corporate Info
Tech Jobs
E-mail Offers
  Be a Commerce Partner

Last modified: Tuesday, October 30, 2001 

(n) Indicates that a product can work with or is equivalent to another, better-known product. The term is often used as a shorthand for IBM-compatible PC , a computer that is compatible with an IBM PC. Another term for a compatible is clone.

(adj) The ability of one device or program to work with another device or program. The term compatible implies different degrees of partnership. For example, a printer and a computer are said to be compatible if they can be connected to each other. An IBM compatible PC, on the other hand, is a computer that can run the same software as an IBM PC.

Compatibility of two devices, such as printers, usually means that they react to software commands in the same way. Some printers achieve compatibility by tricking the software into believing that the printer is a different machine. This is called emulation.

Be aware, however, that hardware compatibility does not always extend to expansion slots. For example, two compatible printers may not accept the same font cartridges. Complete hardware compatibility is denoted by the term plug compatible.

Software products are compatible if they use the same data formats. For example, many programs are compatible with dBASE. This means that the files they produce can easily be transformed into a dBASE database or that they can import dBASE files.

E-mail this definition to a colleague

Sponsored listings

Chesapeake Imaging Products: Printer Ink & Toner - Offer printer ink & toner cartridges, printer ribbons, POS ribbons and MICR from major manufacturers including HP, Canon, Brother, IBM, Epson, etc.

HP Home & Home Office Store: Printer Ink - Buy Ink, Toner, and Paper for your HP printer at the official Hewlett-Packard store featuring the complete line of HP home and home office products.

Buy Name Brand Printer Ink for Less at - Huge selection and Low prices on ink for your printer at Over 50,000 products in stock. Free Shipping on qualified orders!

For pages about compatible . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

The ChipList
This is The ChipList, by Aad Offerman, which answers questions about the differences between chips that are available for PC's and compatibles.

Yahoo!'s IBM compatibles page
Yahoo!'s directory of IBM compatibles.

Sponsored listings

InkSmile: Printer Ink and Toner - Online distributor of remanufactured ink and toner supplies offers printer ink and toner cartridges. Printer Ink - High-quality ink and toner cartridges with Free Shipping. Bizrate Certified Merchant. Huge Selections: ink/toner cartridges, and refills.

TonerBoss: Printer Ink & Toner - Supplies OEM and remanufactured toner cartridges for laser printers, faxes, and copiers. Free shipping on orders of $200 or more.

Ganson Engineering: Ink & Toner Supplies - Shop online for ink and toner supplies for most major brands of computer printers, fax machines and copiers. Free UPS Ground shipping.

Siemens Industrial Automation: SCSI Adapters and Terminators - PROFINET offers decentralized IO, peer-to-peer communications, data visibility, machine safety, and motion control on one Industrial Ethernet network.

related categories



related terms

backward compatible

binary compatible





font cartridge



plug compatible


upward compatible


Give Us Your

compatible Products
Compare Products,Prices and Stores

Shop by Category:
Cartridges and Toners
7097 Model Matches

Office Supplies
870 Store Offers

Random Access Memory (RAM)
985 Model Matches

JupiterWeb networks:

Search JupiterWeb:

Jupitermedia Corporation has two divisions:
Jupiterimages andJupiterWeb

Legal Notices, Licensing, Reprints, & Permissions, Privacy Policy.

Jupitermedia Corporate Info | Newsletters | Tech Jobs | Shopping | E-mail Offers