Galler, Bernard A. Computing Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Sayler, John H. Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Last reviewed:July 2018
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- Analog computer
- Digital computer
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A device that receives, processes, and presents information. The two basic types of computers are analog and digital. Although generally not regarded as such, the most prevalent computer is the simple mechanical analog computer, in which gears, levers, ratchets, and pawls perform mathematical operations—for example, the speedometer and the watt-hour meter (used to measure accumulated electrical usage). The general public has become much more aware of the digital computer with the rapid proliferation of personal computers and smartphones, and especially with access to the Internet (see illustration). See also: Internet; World Wide Web
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