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Answered 2011-06-17 11:52:43

This is a loaded question with many potentially right answers. The potential advantages for using a computer depend closely on the intended use. Given a few potential uses, here are some of my thoughts:

For writing:

  • Quick entry
  • Easy to edit and restructure
  • Many tools to produce various kinds of output (html, text, books, pdf documents, etc.)
  • Storage is inexpensive and doesn't take up much space
  • Easy to search/navigate through documents

For organization

  • Many different kinds of tools from Palm software to Franklin Covey, to GTD based on David Allen's system, to flat text files ala todo.txt (http://www.todotxt.com) by Gina Trapani.
  • Once a document is in electronic form it is easy to store and many, many documents can be stored on one computer in much less space than in a file cabinet.
  • Easy to search

For programming

  • Most programming requires the use of computers
  • There are many, many tools available to programmers such as:
    • Editors: CodeWrite, SlickEdit, VIM, EMACS, Notepad, BBEdit...
    • Compilers: MSVC, Sun javac, GNU Compiler Collection (java, fortran, C, C++, and more), Intel C Compiler...
    • Assemblers: NASM, MASM, TASM...
    • Interpreters: Ruby, Python, Lisp, Perl, bash, and countless others
    • GUI Builders: Glade, QT Designer, MSVC, ...
    • Code browsers (many use output from etags or ctags, MS has their own)
    • Simulators, Emulators
  • Using a computer makes it easy to search code and tools make it easier to understand it
  • Easily gather programs from other creators
  • Easily distribute your own works

For research

  • Access to the internet has become invaluable as a research tool
  • Easily gather huge amounts of information and store/catalog it
  • Easily search for new information or search the information already acquired
  • Interact with other researchers to create/gather more research
  • Almost instant access to many remote or obscure locations of the globe and their researchers/experiences/knowledge
  • Easily disseminate results of your own research

Computers are not a panacea. There are many things for which a computer does not add significant advantages. But, used in an appropriate and realistic way, computers can enhance and facilitate certain activities.

To the poster of the question: What uses did you have in mind?

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