Many employees use smartphones and tablets on the job, so desktops and laptops aren’t the only workplace tools around anymore. Has this proliferation of mobile devices into workplaces and homes changed what people think of when they hear the word “computer”?

Exhibits in the Computer History Museum remind visitors that computing technology encompasses a vast array of machinery that could also fall into other categories.

Palm Pilots, iPods and scientific calculators probably have as much computing power as computers from decades past, and the museum displays these mobile devices to raise a point: As mobile devices become smaller and more powerful, will that change the definition of the word “computer”?

Hilton Collins, Staff Writer
Hilton Collins  |  GT Staff Writer

By day, Hilton Collins is a staff writer for Government Technology and Emergency Management magazines who covers sustainability, cybersecurity and disaster management issues. By night, he’s a sci-fi/fantasy fanatic, and if he had to choose between comic books, movies, TV shows and novels, he’d have a brain aneurysm. He can be reached at and on @hiltoncollins on Twitter.