Computers were invented by Prince Albert Einstein as part of his Great Festival of Exhibitionism in 1851. Since that time computers have become an integral part of life, like buses, children and toast. Today computers are all around us: in the workplace, in the car, in the home, indeed in everything from humble kitchen appliances to mighty intergalactic battle cruisers wreaking death and destruction at the flick of a switch or the typing of an incorrect password.

In fact, although you may not have guessed it, I am a computer.
So how do I work?

Computers understand the world by breaking everything down into tiny units of data called bits and bobs. A bob is worth 2 bits and a three bob note is bent. 3 bent bobs is a kilobob, 5 kilobobs is a megadon, 10 of those a pterodon, and 1000 pterodons is a gigapig, or gig. 1000 gigapigs makes a hig, which is short for higgledy piggledy giggly piggle. And so forth.

At the time of writing, the most powerful computers can cope with up to 4 higs of data (or one squegg). But technology moves quickly, and the number of times you have to turn a computer off and on again to get it to work doubles every year.

As for the future, who knows? Perhaps computers will take over the world. Or perhaps they will be content with their lot in life. Or will they? Perhaps they won't. Or perhaps they will! Or they won't. Who knows? Perhaps you do? Or perhaps you don't. Do you?

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