Definition of a Computer
tomj at wps.com
Wed Apr 6 23:57:27 CDT 2005
>> Years ago, someone (I don't remember who) gave the definition of a
>> computer as a "device which inputs some stuff, does some stuff to
>> it, and outputs some other stuff".
Chickens do that; they turn bugs into birdshit and eggs.
For a stored program, automatic, digital, computer, the thing that
distinguishes it from other human artifacts is this one
simple-seeming thing: the machine that modifies itself.
(I know that now a bunch of pointless threads about "well as I
drive my car the engine wears, that's 'changing itself'" but
include me out of that time-wasting nonsense.)
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