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computer

English translation: an electronic device

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:computer
English translation:an electronic device
Entered by: Kim Metzger
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00:22 Nov 5, 2001
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Tech/Engineering
English term or phrase: computer
computer
Theresa
Computer
Explanation:
A computer is an electronic device which is capable of receiving information (data) and performing a sequence of logical operations in accordance with a predetermined but variable set of procedural instructions to produce a result in the form of information or signals.
Selected response from:

Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 20:06
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement. KudoZ.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +2Computer
Kim Metzger
5 +1Please see the explanation below:
Irina Glozman
5 +1data processor, electronic computer, information processing system -- (a machine for performTBQGS


  

Answers


8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Computer


Explanation:
A computer is an electronic device which is capable of receiving information (data) and performing a sequence of logical operations in accordance with a predetermined but variable set of procedural instructions to produce a result in the form of information or signals.


    Concise Oxford
Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 20:06
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 2249
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement. KudoZ.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Andrea Bullrich
45 mins

agree  athena22
17 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
data processor, electronic computer, information processing system -- (a machine for perform


Explanation:
Main Entry: com·put·er
Function: noun
Usage: often attributive
Date: 1646

Specifically : a programmable electronic device that can store, retrieve, and process data.

1. computer, data processor, electronic computer, information processing system -- (a machine for performing calculations automatically)
2. calculator, reckoner, figurer, estimator, computer -- (an expert at calculation (or at operating calculating machines))

Hope this helps,
good luck!



    Reference: http://www.m-w.com
    dictionary
TBQGS
PRO pts in pair: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  athena22
17 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 day 12 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Please see the explanation below:


Explanation:
A device that computes, especially a programmable electronic machine that performs high-speed mathematical or logical operations or that assembles, stores, correlates, or otherwise processes information.

computer, a device capable of performing a series of arithmetic or logical operations. A computer is distinguished from a calculating machine, such as an abacus or electronic calculator, by being able to store a computer program (so that it can repeat its operations and make logical decisions) and to store and retrieve data without human intervention. Computers are classed as analog or digital. An analog computer operates on continuously varying data; a digital computer performs operations on discrete data. An analog computer represents data as physical quantities and operates on the data by manipulating the quantities. In a complex analog computer, continuously varying data are converted into varying electrical quantities and the relationship of the data is determined by establishing an equivalent relationship, or analog, among the electrical quantities. Although analog computers are commonly found in such forms as speedometers and watt-hour meters, they largely have become obsolete for general-purpose mathematical computations and data storage by digital computers. Within a digital computer, data are expressed in binary notation (see numeration), i.e., by a series of "on-off" conditions that represent the digits "1" and "0." A series of eight consecutive binary digits, or bits, is called a byte and allows 256 "on-off" combinations. Each byte can thus represent one of up to 256 alphanumeric characters. Arithmetic and comparative operations can be performed on data represented in this way and the result stored for later use. Digital computers are used for reservation systems, scientific investigation, data-processing applications, desktop publishing, and electronic games.
Hardware


The four major physical components, or hardware, of a computer are the central processing unit (CPU), main storage, auxiliary storage, and input/output devices. Computer operations are performed in the CPU, which contains the logic circuits for arithmetic and logical operations and for control of the other units that make up a computing system. The CPU also contains the registers, a relatively small number of storage locations that can be accessed faster than main storage and are used to hold the intermediate results of calculations. The main storage is contained in the storage unit, or memory, of the computer. Main storage—once made up of vacuum tubes and later of magnetic cores, each tube or core representing one bit—is now made up of tiny integrated circuits, each of which contains thousands of semiconductors. Each semiconductor represents one bit. Random access memory (RAM), which both can be read from and written to, is erased each time the computer is turned off. Read only memory (ROM), which cannot be written to, maintains its content at all times and is used to store the computer's control information. Programs and data that are not currently being used in main storage can be saved on auxiliary storage, or external storage. Although punched paper tape and punched cards once served this purpose, the major materials used today are magnetic tape and magnetic disks, which can be read from and written to, and the optical-storage compact discs—CD-ROM, which can only be read, CD-R, which can be written to just once, CD-RW, which can be written to multiple times, and DVD, which can hold more data than its CD cousins. Data are entered into the computer and the processed data made available via input/output devices. All auxiliary storage devices are used as input/output devices. For many years, the most popular input/output medium was the punched card. Although this is still used, the most popular input device is now the computer terminal and the most popular output device is the high-speed printer. The CPU, main storage, auxiliary storage, and input/output devices collectively make up a system. Computers are categorized by both size and the number of people who can use them concurrently. Supercomputers are sophisticated machines designed to perform complex calculations at the maximum speed; they are used to model very large dynamic systems, such as weather patterns. Mainframes, the largest and most powerful general-purpose systems, are designed to meet the computing needs of a large organization by serving hundreds of computer terminals at the same time. Minicomputers, though somewhat smaller, also are multiuser computers, intended to meet the needs of a small company by serving up to a hundred terminals. Microcomputers, computers powered by a microprocessor, are subdivided into personal computers and workstations, the latter typically incorporating RISC processors. Although microcomputers were originally single user computers, the distinction between them and minicomputers has blurred as microprocessors have become more powerful. Linking multiple microcomputers together through a local area network or by joining multiple microprocessors together in a parallel-processing system has enabled smaller systems to perform tasks once reserved for mainframes.

Software


The computer program, or software, controls the functioning of the hardware and directs its operation. See computer program.

History


Although the development of digital computers is rooted in the abacus and early mechanical calculating devices, Charles Babbage is credited with the design of the first modern computer, the "analytical engine," during the 1830s. John Atanassoff constructed the first semielectronic digital computing device in 1939. The first fully automatic calculator was the Mark I, or Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator, begun in 1939 at Harvard by Howard Aiken, while the first all-purpose electronic digital computer, ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Calculator), which used thousands of vacuum tubes, was completed in 1946 at the Univ. of Pennsylvania. UNIVAC (UNIVersal Automatic Computer) became (1951) the first computer to handle both numeric and alphabetic data with equal facility; this was the first commercially available computer. First-generation computers were supplanted by the transistorized computers (see transistor) of the late 1950s and early 1960s, second-generation machines that could perform a million operations per second. They, in turn, were replaced by the third-generation integrated-circuit machines of the mid-1960s and 1970s. The 1980s and 90s were characterized by the development of the microprocessor and the evolution of increasingly smaller but powerful computerssuch as the personal computer, portable "laptop," and personal digital assistant. The latter part of the 1990s saw a resugence of the mainframe as the backbone of the Internet and World Wide Web.



    Reference: http://www.atomica.com
Irina Glozman
United States
Local time: 18:06
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Dan McCrosky: The differentiation was very helpful to me as a computer layman, thanks!
1 day 11 hrs
  -> Thank you!
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