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The chapter “Basic Principles” explains fundamental concepts, such as analog and digital computers, numerical and physical quantities, counting and measuring, conditional instructions, decimal and binary computers, parallel and serial computers, hybrid computers, special-purpose and universal computers, punched card machines, bookkeeping machines, mechanical calculating machines, adding machines, relay, vacuum tube, magnetic storage, direct and indirect subtraction, direct and indirect multiplication, sequence and program control, automation, commercial data processing, scientific computing, stepped drum, pinwheel, counting board, bead frame, slide rule, sector, curvimeter, planimeter, and pantograph. Numerous features serve to characterize analog and digital calculating devices in detail. The examples are taken from the fields of mathematics (difference engine), astronomy (armillary sphere, astrolabe, terrestrial globe, celestial globe, planisphere), geodesy (pedometer, odometer), and time measurement (planetarium clock). The evolution of the digital system is briefly described.
The following topics are also discussed: algorithms, artificial intelligence, artificial neural networks, big data, blockchains, booking platforms, data privacy, the digital transformation, digitization, drones, electronic commerce, the Internet of Things, machine learning, quantum computers, ride-hailing services, robots, self-driving cars, smartphones, social networks, and voice assistants.
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