Re: a term in French ... or perhaps [insertion]...


Subject: Re: a term in French ... or perhaps [insertion]...
From: Michael Gogins (gogins@pipeline.com)
Date: Mon May 30 2005 - 09:46:03 EDT


The current widely accepted technical definition of "computer" in computer science, mathematics, and philosophy is any device, whether electronic, mechanical, or biological, that given enough time and memory can compute any function that any Turing machine can compute. A Turing machine is the abstract or mathematical specification of the idea of a computer.

It is obviously the case that a human being with enough time can compute anything any Turing machine can compute, so persons are indeed computers, whether or not persons also have additional powers that transcend the limitations of Turing machines.

Regards,
Mike

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Doornbusch <pauld@koncon.nl>
Sent: May 30, 2005 2:25 AM
To: cec-conference@concordia.ca
Subject: Re: a term in French ... or perhaps [insertion]...

ROTFL!

Yes, the definition of computer is quite tricky, especially compared
to a calculator. Indeed, in the 40's and 50's etc a 'computer' was a
person or seccretary with a calculator... Thus the terms of the time
"Electronic Computer" and "Automatic Computer" make sense.

It's mostly acccepted these days amongst the computer historians (the
things you learn on a project...) that a modern-style computer is an
all-electronic device, capable of calculating and branching operations,
where the data and instructions are held in some sort of rewritable
memory.

Of course, music is probably an act of will... (ooh, didn't mean to
go _there_)

So, the Graniger-Cross machines are seen as instruments, not computers.

hope that helps,
Paul

>According to the exhibition Paul Doornbusch helped to set up at
>Museum Victoria in Melbourne where CSIRAC is located, a computer was
>originally a young woman, so maybe we should take your word for it
>Linda regardless of any references pending the definition of young.
>
> I note the sound of valves and clicks is released as music
>thesedays.. So maybe the 1st computer music was not CSIRAC after
>all, if music can be unintentional.
>
> Does a computer need to be electrical? If not then the
>Cross-Grainger free music machine which was mechanical may also be a
>synchronically aligned candidate for "computer music".
>
> best,
> Innes
>
>Linda A Seltzer <lseltzer@Princeton.EDU> wrote:
>
>Circular convolution is a specific term in signal processing.
>
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