What is a Computer?
A computer is, at a fundamental level, simply a clump of electrical switches each of which are in either an on or an off position. Whether and when a given switch is on or off is the result of the code that configures the switche(s) to be on/off and the subsequent result of passing small amounts of electrical charge through these switches (gates) and observing the output…. Software (and a power supply) is what makes a computer what we have, by now, come to know as a “computer”, i.e., our smart phone, laptop, or tablet. A computer, as a bundle of configurable switches; it is the “clay” a programmer uses to “sculpt” possibilities of outcomes based on a predigested set of inputs. The more the clay, the more the possibilities and the more “capable” a computer can become. Hence, each new chip with more switches, provides more possibilities, i.e., more and faster clay. The computer is the sculpted clay we hold in final form as determined by the program. The programmer, then, is the “artist” that creates the form, i.e, the utility. A program cannot manifest except on a computing device and the program running on a that computer is what defines that device (i.e., Windows, Mac, etc.). Will it ever think? Not in the same way you or I think, but maybe that is not a bad thing. We self program based on morality and context that we learn through a variety of inputs and adopt or reject as we roll through life. The circumstances that led to one decision when we were 18 lead, thankfully, to a different decision now!