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A domestic computer is a hybrid digital-analogue device which performs several functions within the home:
- It enables communications with the outside world such as the telephone/videophone system, acting as a terminal for telecommuting the receipt of electronic newspapers and books and sending and receiving electronic mail
- It enables the user to process information such as word processing and doing the accounts.
- It is an entertainment centre, providing music, radio and TV reception, videodisc and CD playing and video games.
- It coordinates domestic robots and domestic automation such as the scheduling of the Spangler, cooker, fridge, domestic security, heating and air conditioning.
Because they are crucial to the running of the home, domestic computers have a back-up computer available to take over and if not used for twenty-four hours, automatically contact the local telephone exchange. If this contact does not take place, a maintenance team is ordered by the central mainframe.