Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/04/04

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Photoshop! The Leica of...
From: Johnny Deadman <>
Date: Wed, 04 Apr 2001 20:59:14 -0400

on 4/4/01 7:39 PM, Simon Stevens at wrote:

> What is a "Turing Machine"? I know who Alan Turing was and Ive heard of
> the Turing test (and sometimes I'm convinced that's what the LUG is),
> but I haven't heard this term before.

A Turing machine is a kind of theoretical computer that reads digital data,
performs a particular set of operations on them, and outputs digital data.

The point about a Turing machine is that given a certain minimum set of
operations the machine is capable of performing, a Turing machine is capable
of carrying out any intellectual task we know an algorithm for. This is
important because it shows we don't need more and more powerful computers to
solve more and more difficult problems. The most basic Turing machine
imaginable is quite capable of solving the most difficult problem imaginable
*given enough time*. EG a sinclair spectrum could have passed the Turing
test, given that we knew how to program *any* computer to pass the test.

There is a lot about Turing machines in Hofstadter and Bennet's GODEL,
ESCHER, BACH, which is one of those books everyone should read at least

My analogy was that Photoshop is capable of carrying out any graphical
manipulation task you throw at it, *given that you know how to do it!*
- -- 
Johnny Deadman

Replies: Reply from "clive sanbrook" <> (Re: [Leica] OT was Photoshop! The Leica of...)