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From the end of the 19th century the word began to take on its more familiar meaning, a machine that carries out computations.
The Online Etymology Dictionary gives the first attested use of "computer" in the "1640s, [meaning] "one who calculates,"; this is an "... The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the use of the term to mean "calculating machine" (of any type) is from 1897." The Online Etymology Dictionary indicates that the "modern use" of the term, to mean "programmable digital electronic computer" dates from "...
Such computers are used as control systems for a very wide variety of industrial and consumer devices.
The processing element carries out arithmetic and logical operations, and a sequencing and control unit can change the order of operations in response to stored information.
Peripheral devices include input devices (keyboards, mice, joystick, etc.), output devices (monitor screens, printers, etc.), and input/output devices that perform both functions (e.g., the 2000s-era touchscreen).
Peripheral devices allow information to be retrieved from an external source and they enable the result of operations to be saved and retrieved.
The first digital electronic calculating machines were developed during World War II.
The speed, power, and versatility of computers has increased continuously and dramatically since then.
A combination of the planisphere and dioptra, the astrolabe was effectively an analog computer capable of working out several different kinds of problems in spherical astronomy.