Computers

Have computers replaced dogs as man's best friend? They've certainly become an indispensable part of daily life for most people in our modern society. The first modern computers used analog systems, which were especially useful for solving problems and simulating dynamic systems in real time. By the 1960s, digital computers had largely replaced their analog counterparts, though analog computers continued to be used for aircraft and spaceflight simulation. Later there was a similar transition from mainframe computers—large machines that were typically shared by multiple people within one organization—to personal computers, which were much more manageable in size and usability. The advent of personal computers brought computers into the individual consumer's home for the first time. Rapid developments in computer and Internet technology powered an ever-expanding selection of handheld digital devices such as the Palm Pilot, BlackBerry, iPhone, and iPod. Computer chips were increasingly embedded in consumer devices of all sorts, including cars, cameras, kitchen appliances, toys, watches, and much more, reinforcing the interconnected nature of the world in which we now live.

Computers Encyclopedia Articles

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Bill Gates
Bill Gates, American computer programmer and entrepreneur who cofounded Microsoft Corporation, the world’s largest personal-computer software company. Gates wrote his first software program at the age of 13. In high school he helped form a group of programmers who computerized their school’s...
Biography
Bill Gates
Apple Inc.
Apple Inc., American manufacturer of personal computers, computer peripherals, and computer software. It was the first successful personal computer company and the popularizer of the graphical user interface. Headquarters are located in Cupertino, California. Apple Inc. had its genesis in the...
Encyclopedia / Computers
Wozniak, Steve; Jobs, Steve
Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI), the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings. The term is frequently applied to the project of developing systems endowed with the intellectual processes characteristic of humans, such as...
Encyclopedia / Computers
Turing, Alan
Machine learning
Machine learning, in artificial intelligence (a subject within computer science), discipline concerned with the implementation of computer software that can learn autonomously. Expert systems and data mining programs are the most common applications for improving algorithms through the use of...
Encyclopedia / Computers
Android
Android, operating system for cellular telephones. Android, which is based on Linux, an open source operating system for personal computers, was first developed by the American search engine company Google Inc. The first cellular telephone to feature the new operating system was the T-Mobile G1,...
Encyclopedia / Computers
Alan Turing
Alan Turing, British mathematician and logician, who made major contributions to mathematics, cryptanalysis, logic, philosophy, and mathematical biology and also to the new areas later named computer science, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and artificial life. The son of a civil...
Biography
Turing, Alan
Computer virus
Computer virus, a portion of a program code that has been designed to furtively copy itself into other such codes or computer files. It is usually created by a prankster or vandal to effect a nonutilitarian result or to destroy data and program code. A virus consists of a set of instructions that ...
Encyclopedia / Computers
Dell Inc.
Dell Inc., global company that designs, develops, and manufactures personal computers (PCs) and a variety of computer-related products. The company is one of the world’s leading suppliers of PCs. Dell is headquartered in Round Rock, Texas. The company, first named PC’s Limited, was founded in 1984...
Encyclopedia / Computers
Digital computer
Digital computer, any of a class of devices capable of solving problems by processing information in discrete form. It operates on data, including magnitudes, letters, and symbols, that are expressed in binary code—i.e., using only the two digits 0 and 1. By counting, comparing, and manipulating...
Encyclopedia / Computers
Difference Engine
Computer program
Computer program, detailed plan or procedure for solving a problem with a computer; more specifically, an unambiguous, ordered sequence of computational instructions necessary to achieve such a solution. The distinction between computer programs and equipment is often made by referring to the ...
Encyclopedia / Computers
UNIVAC
UNIVAC, one of the earliest commercial computers. After leaving the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, J. Presper Eckert, Jr., and John Mauchly, who had worked on the engineering design of the ENIAC computer for the United States during World War II, struggled...
Encyclopedia / Computers
IBM
IBM, leading American computer manufacturer, with a major share of the market both in the United States and abroad. Its headquarters are in Armonk, New York. It was incorporated in 1911 as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company in a consolidation of three smaller companies that made punch-card...
Encyclopedia / Computers
Garry Kasparov and Deep Blue
Zombie computer
Zombie computer, computer or personal computer (PC) connected to the Internet and taken over by a computer worm, virus, or other “malware.” Groups of such machines, called botnets (from a combination of robot and network), often carry out criminal actions without their owners’ detecting any unusual...
Encyclopedia / Computers
Smartphone
Smartphone, mobile telephone with a display screen (typically a liquid crystal display, or LCD), built-in personal information management programs (such as an electronic calendar and address book) typically found in a personal digital assistant (PDA), and an operating system (OS) that allows other...
Encyclopedia / Computers
G1 smartphone
Supercomputer
Supercomputer, any of a class of extremely powerful computers. The term is commonly applied to the fastest high-performance systems available at any given time. Such computers have been used primarily for scientific and engineering work requiring exceedingly high-speed computations. Common...
Encyclopedia / Computers
The Cray-1 supercomputer, c. 1976. It was approximately 6 feet high and 7 feet in diameter (1.8 by 2.1 metres).

Computers Encyclopedia Articles

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