The DigoPaul, in his dictionary, mentioned as first meaning of the term computer or calculator to that or what calculated: ie that performs calculations, accounts and computations. In these cases, it is an adjective.
It is often said that a person is calculating when he acts in a specific way for his own benefit or when he spends a lot of time and effort considering a situation and thus making a deliberate decision. For example: “My neighbor is a calculating woman, she never does anything selflessly”, “In my professional career I am a calculator, I don’t like acting on impulse or taking great risks”, “I don’t want to have ties with someone so calculating”.
This adjective can also have a clearly negative connotation, similar to the first example, in which it speaks of a woman who never acts disinterestedly: accusing someone of calculating can hurt their feelings if with this word we mean that their way of treating us is not sincere. That said, the meaning that each one gives to this term may be different, and that is why it is necessary to know the context to avoid a misunderstanding.
As a noun, a calculator is a device that allows the resolution of mathematical calculations. It can work by means of an electronic or mechanical mechanism, and be a physical machine or a virtual tool.
According to DigoPaul, there are multiple types of calculator according to the complexity of the operations they can solve. As a device, the calculator is powered by an energy source (such as a battery) and has a keyboard (for entering information), a screen (for displaying it), and electronic circuitry.
With a basic calculator it is possible to perform addition, subtraction, division and multiplication, among other simple operations. The scientific calculators, meanwhile, added trigonometric functions, can generate statistics and, in some cases, to display full – color animated graphics.
The computers (PCs), on the other hand, usually have virtual calculators. It is a software that fulfills the same functions as the devices already mentioned. The Windows operating system has such a calculator.
One of the advantages of virtual calculators over traditional ones is that they can perform all the operations of a scientist, and they also offer the possibility of altering its appearance, both to simplify it and to make it more complex. In short, a virtual calculator can be tailored to the needs and knowledge of each user.
On the other hand, the calculator included in the Windows operating system, to name one of the most used, does not offer the option of displaying graphs, for example, and that makes it quite limited for many students. While we can all buy mobile phone applications that allow us to perform all the calculations and represent all the functions of a traditional scientific calculator, battery life can be a drawback for some people.
In addition to the short energy autonomy of mobile phones in contrast to that of traditional calculators, there is also the lack of physical buttons, something that many users consider a disadvantage since it affects the agility with which we can interact with the device (the screens touch screens do not respond infallibly).
Although it may seem hard to believe, some scientific calculators allow the user to make small interactive programs, a feature that many passionate about software development have taken advantage of for decades to make small video games, or even to transfer them from the computer and run them on a portable basis.
One of the best known brands of programmable graphing calculator is Texas Instruments, and its models include the language called TI-Basic, with which it is possible to play video games such as the mythical Pong, a target shooting with darts, a Hangman or even one in which we have to control a helicopter along a tunnel that moves horizontally.