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I am useful, not beautiful.

Years ago I was huge, but now I can sit in a desk.

I do not think, but I can help you do your school work.

New models of me can play music.

What am I?

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Probably it is

a computer.

I am useful, not beautiful.

They're not known for being particularly aesthetic, though some are better than others.

Years ago I was huge, but now I can sit in a desk.

Old computers filled whole rooms. Now a laptop can easily fit in a desk drawer.

I do not think, but I can help you do your school work.

Computers only run programs, they don't actually think. But much schoolwork today is not only facilitated by a computer, it actually requires one.

New models of me can play music.

Sure!

This riddle feels like it's from the late 1980s or 1990s, though, where

"not beautiful" and "sit in a desk" (perhaps "sit ON a desk" in the original?) and "new models ... can play music" feel more relevant. Desktop PCs were definitely a thing, were squat and ugly, and had only recently gotten to the point where they could play music.

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It can be

A watch or alarm clock.


Because

Alarm clock is useful, but few people love it, especially in the early morning.


Many years ago, the watch was very bulky, now there are miniature models that can be put on a table.

Moreover

The watch has a mechanism that helps to look time and distribute it and in addition to mechanical cod, modern alarms can play a melody.

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Is it a

calculator?

I am useful, not beautiful.

They are tools, not art.

Years ago I was huge, but now I can sit in a desk.

They were a lot larger originally, but technological advancement has made them smaller.

I do not think, but I can help you do your school work.

They are useful for rote mathematical computation.

New models of me can play music.

They can. Some people have even played songs on them.

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