Q:

What is the difference between an analog and a digital computer?

A:

Quick Answer

The basic difference between analog and digital computers lies in the different approaches they take to handling data. Analog computers are able to deal with continuously varying inputs for complex phenomena such as voltage changes and temperature fluctuations. Digital computers must have their inputs reduced to a simple binary language in order to accurately model the world.

Continue Reading
What is the difference between an analog and a digital computer?
Credit: Don DeBold CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

Analog systems were once favored by engineers who lacked modern digital technology to run calculations on. As digital technology advanced, however, it came to be preferred for its higher precision and the flexibility of the programs that could be run on digital machines. Modern electronic computers are virtually all digital and express their models in terms of 1s and 0s.

Analog computers haven't died out, however. Oscilloscopes, of the kind used by electrical and sound engineers, are examples of analog computer technology. Slide rules are another example of a computation device that runs essentially on an analog input and output system. Perhaps the most ubiquitous example of an analog computer in the world is the brain itself. Brains are actually a combination of digital and analog systems. While the firing of a single neuron can be regarded as a simple on/off function, the communication between neurons is accomplished chemically by means of neurotransmitters that vary in concentration and intensity.

Learn more about Computers & Hardware

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the merits and demerits of computer technology?

    A:

    The positive side of computer technology is the ability of all people who use computers to stay connected; the negative side of computer technology is the lack of privacy that exists in a society that is heavy with computer technology. While computers provide a place for all people to stay connected on both personal and business levels, they also prevent people from keeping many of the things that they want private.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some desirable computer attributes?

    A:

    Some desirable computer attributes include compactness, making the computer suitable for users with limited space, low price, particularly for computers intended only for media playback and Web browsing, and the inclusion of additional connection ports such as HDMI and USB 3.0. For laptops, desirable attributes include light weight, sleek design and the presence of an optical drive for users who consume media from CDs and DVDs.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What type of products are available at the Best Buy online store?

    A:

    Best Buy's online store offers a wide selection of electronics, such as computers, video game consoles, phones and computer accessories. Although Best Buy specializes in electronic equipment, it also offers furniture, lighting and sports equipment. Special shipping options and weekly deals are available at given times.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some tips for finding places that buy old computers?

    A:

    Amazon.com, Best Buy, Nextworth and Gazelle are four places where computer owners can sell or trade-in their old computers. Reimbursement can come in the form of cash or gift cards, so sellers should check the buy-back or trade-in policies of the store before bringing in their old computers.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore