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A computer operator is a person who controls a computer system. Traditionally, the term "computer operator" has been used as a professional title or distinction, however as computer use is very much a part of mainstream life now, the title can be accurately applied to anybody who interacts with any sort of computing device (including, but not exclusive to, smart media devices as well as laptop and desktop computers).
The role of a computer operator has changed over the years in respect to the gradual evolution of computer technology. Early devices (such as Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine) foreshadowed the rise of computer technology during the twentieth century, and during those early phases, computer operators were trained professionals who were charged with the tasks of maintaining computer hardware and data, monitoring and responding to errors, and providing support for third parties. Professional computer operators have traditionally worked in server rooms and data centers, but now often work remotely.