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Computers Versus Humans

Software is more like a bridge than an edifice. Although it runs on high-technology microprocessors, it must be operated and used by mere mortals. Amid all the attention and excitement about new technology, we overlook the incredible differences between computers and the humans who have to use them.

For example, because computers have memories, we imagine that they must be something like our human memories, but that is simply not true. Computer memories work in a manner alien to human memories. My memory lets me easily recognize the faces of my friends, whereas my own computer never even recognizes me. My computer's memory stores a million phone numbers with perfect accuracy, but I have to stop and think to recall my own.


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