Definition of a Computer
ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk
Thu Apr 7 19:48:56 CDT 2005
> Tom Jennings wrote:
>> 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.
Problem is, AFIAK this list is not just about stored-program digital
computers... Analogue machines are on-topic, so arguably are machines
that can't change their own program.
> The main point I remember about computer defs is 'They do stupid simple
> things really fast."
Quote from the preface of the TRS80 microcomputer technical reference
handbook (for the model 1 of course).
'If you are a technical person, but have never played around with
microprocessors, dive right in! A computer is nothing more than a fast
idiot. Don't let the "idiot" intimidate you. All of the familiar logic is
there; there just may be more of it than you're used to seeing in one place.'
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