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Analog computers were widely used in scientific and industrial applications where digital computers of the time lacked sufficient performance.
Analog computers can have a very wide range of complexity.
Setting up an analog computer required scale factors to be chosen, along with initial conditions—that is, starting values.
Another essential was creating the required network of interconnections between computing elements.
An analog computer or analogue computer is a form of computer that uses the continuously changeable aspects of physical phenomena such as electrical, mechanical, or hydraulic quantities to model the problem being solved.
In contrast, digital computers represent varying quantities symbolically, as their numerical values change.
The planisphere was a star chart invented by Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī in the early 11th century.It was a mechanical-geared wheeled vehicle used to discern the southern cardinal direction.It was designed to calculate astronomical positions.In some instances, the computer could, after a certain running time interval, repeatedly return to the initial-conditions state to reset the problem, and run it again.This is a list of examples of early computation devices which are considered to be precursors of the modern computers.
Running an electronic analog computer, assuming a satisfactory setup, started with the computer held with some variables fixed at their initial values.