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As slide rule development progressed, added scales provided reciprocals, squares and square roots, cubes and cube roots, as well as transcendental functions such as logarithms and exponentials, circular and hyperbolic trigonometry and other functions.
Aviation is one of the few fields where slide rules are still in widespread use, particularly for solving time–distance problems in light aircraft.
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.
The astrolabe was invented in the Hellenistic world in either the 1st or 2nd centuries BC and is often attributed to Hipparchus.
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.
The tide-predicting machine invented by Sir William Thomson in 1872 was of great utility to navigation in shallow waters.
Devices of a level of complexity comparable to that of the Antikythera mechanism would not reappear until a thousand years later.Running an electronic analog computer, assuming a satisfactory setup, started with the computer held with some variables fixed at their initial values.Moving a switch released the holds and permitted the problem to run.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.