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RIXLUTS3aComputers don’t just automatically know how to do things – they need software programmed for them by people. Amobile phone, for example, has software installed to tell the on-board computer how to carry out different functions. This includes running the menus, digitising your voice to transmit it, and even playing music or games. The softwarebreaks down these functions into individual tasks, each of which is processed by a particular algorithm. ‘Algorithm’ may sound technical, but it is just a way of describing how to do something. An algorithm is a list of instructions, like following a recipe to bake a cake.

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