Computing refers to the kind of data-processing activities that can be automated by computer hardware, as well as all kinds of other activities related to the hardware. Originally, the term was synonymous with counting and calculating.

Permacomputing has so far been mostly concerned about computer-based computing rather than things like mental calculation.

It should also be noted that even though many problems are currently solved with computing or digital technology, this does not always need to be the case. Computing has its strengths and weaknesses compared to non-digital technologies – for example, in long-term archival of documents, microforms may be a very feasible alternative and should therefore be considered.