Computer Myth and Reality
A large part of this chapter will be concerned to start an essential process in any discussion of computing among those who are not specialists in the subject, not part of an ‘in-group’. That is demystification, clearing away the layers of complexity which impede easy understanding. Complexity surrounds, first of all, the very definition of the term ‘computer’, which can be used to indicate one specific item of equipment, or as an umbrella label for a range of equipment (hardware) and programs (software). More difficulty stems from the technical language of computing, a jargon which has developed with great rapidity, primarily from American sources, and is a mixture of abbreviations, newly created words and a distorted use of everyday terms.
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