In 1972, when I was 16, I was sent on a one-week computing course at the local technical college in Worcester (UK). I was one of a group of girls who were intending to take Maths A-level the following year.
One of the interesting things I remember was being shown how to use an 'analog computer' to solve quadratic equations. They were open circuit boards, 12-15" square, and you plugged in cables with banana plugs to set up the equation to solve. I don't remember much else about them, but I have often wondered whether they had a real world use, and if so, when and why they became obsolete.
Does anyone remember these?
[I have to say that that week put me off computers for ten years, which I spent learning librarianship, hating that, then becoming a 'fine wirewoman' for a lift control company. I did eventually get into computing via that route, and took a degree in Computer Systems Engineering in 1993.]