From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"By reasoning, I understand computation. And to compute is to collect the sum of many things added together at the same time, or to know the remainder when one thing has been taken from another. To reason therefore is the same as to add or to subtract."--De Corpore (1655) by Thomas Hobbes
Interpol and Deutsche Bank, FBI and Scotland Yard
--"Computer World" (1981) by Kraftwerk
A computer is a device that can be instructed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically via computer programming. Modern computers have the ability to follow generalized sets of operations, called programs. These programs enable computers to perform an extremely wide range of tasks.
Computers are used as control systems for a wide variety of industrial and consumer devices. This includes simple special purpose devices like microwave ovens and remote controls, factory devices such as industrial robots and computer-aided design, and also general purpose devices like personal computers and mobile devices such as smartphones.
Many science fiction writers have depicted supercomputers in their works, both before and after the historical construction of such computers. Much of such fiction deals with the relations of humans with the computers they build and with the possibility of conflict eventually developing between them. Examples of supercomputers in fiction include HAL-9000, Multivac, The Machine Stops, GLaDOS, The Evitable Conflict, Vulcan's Hammer, Colossus, WOPR, and Deep Thought.