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A computer? For real?





badai
Imagine you have this conversation with your grandmother:

You: Grandma, what did you do for living?

Your grandma: Oh... I was a computer for 40 years.

You: ????

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_computer_science#Birth_of_computer
Code:
Before the 1920s, computers (sometimes computors) were human clerks that performed computations. They were usually under the lead of a physicist. Many thousands of computers were employed in commerce, government, and research establishments. Most of these computers were women, and they were known to have a degree in calculus. Some performed astronomical calculations for calendars
Sylin
Lol, it does make sense.

They compute.. so they are computers!! Very Happy


Seriousely though, interesting historical point to know =)
Bluedoll
And I suppose if you do not work from your own home travel to work you are a commuter computer. It is a concern to see the local company in town advertising for a computer therapist. Must be job stress. On a more serious note I suspect the work commuter computers do will be taken over in the future by a machine but new jobs will be required to make the new machine work and fix the problems that are encountered.
deanhills
I'd imagine the human computers got more workout for their brain cells than us with electronic computers. I've got so spoilt. Both with spell check and using Google, excel and calculators.
badai
deanhills wrote:
I'd imagine the human computers got more workout for their brain cells than us with electronic computers. I've got so spoilt. Both with spell check and using Google, excel and calculators.


not much actually. they use slide rule, few people will do the same calculation and they compare the results. fingers workout maybe.
standready
Well somebody had to do those calculations before the electronics and before the programs we use today existed. I remember in college doing a Finite Element Analysis by hand then comparing answers with computer program results.
Problem is now people use programs and have no understanding of concepts involved in the solution. That is why you hear "garbage in > garbage out".
Magicman
standready wrote:

Problem is now people use programs and have no understanding of concepts involved in the solution. That is why you hear "garbage in > garbage out".


While in school for Engineering, we always learned how to calculate everything by hand and the qualitative mechanics behind it before we learned the computer programs to solve the equations. Now, while working, I check calculations by hand to make sure I don't end up with 'garbage out.'

That being said, if I had to use an old style 'computer', these calculations would take much, much longer!
bukaida
There are cases when human beat computer in calculation. The human computer Mrs. Shakuntala Devi from India, did it quite a few times
Shakuntala_Devi

More over, the 3D image processing is much more faster by human brain compared with any modern computer system.
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