According to the dictionary, a computer is a machine which deals with calculations or with different operations available in logical and numerical terms. Although this definition is accurate, it doesn’t succeed in differentiating the abilities and the functions of the different kinds of computers, may they be contemporary or future models.
Computers are also called electric machines, programmable machines, or electric machines which execute the commands given by a program. Also, it is known as an electric machine which can execute, save and process the information introduced. As you can notice, the definitions of this machine vary from one case to another, only covering part of what the computer we know today actually is.
When it comes to the origins of this term, there has been a continuous evolution from this point of view. However, all the terms have been based on the abilities of a machine used by the man. At first, the term was used to define a person who did mathematical calculations. This meaning is still used. In 1892, the word “computer” was introduced in the Oxford dictionary, establishing a reference to an automatic calculation system. Other more explicit definitions were introduced in 1946, these definitions differentiating more types of computers, such as analogical computers, digital ones and electrical ones.
There are a lot of things to be said about the origins of the word “computer”, but there seem to be even more things to be said about the origins of the computer itself. Not all people know the history of these highly performing machines, but this is a hole new topic.