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A Computerized World

Essay by review  •  September 10, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  2,384 Words (10 Pages)  •  1,703 Views

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COMPUTERS

A Computerized World

Computers play an important role in this modern society. All people around the world are forced the "computer age" nowadays. Since the first computer was made in the late 1950s, which I heard that was came from the Chinese Abacus, the technology has developed extremely. Computers are everywhere and control a great deal of our living environment. More and more areas are being taken over by the computer. Not able to use a computer is a serious handicap with ramifications in all areas of life. Therefore, if people do not know computers or do not know how to use them it means that they are not prepared for the future. They will fall behind our advancing society. Computers have been applied to industry, agriculture, political affairs, economy, military, science and many other fields; it is becoming more and more important. It is reason why I feel; I need to know more about computers such as why computer is useful, history of computer, and Internet.

COMPUTERS ARE USEFUL IN OUR LIFE

Nowadays, no matter what the professions, a mainstay of the companies prefers to hire employees who basically need to know how to operate computers. "Knowledge of computers" has become a basic requirement in job descriptions. As computers are capable of handling large amounts of data in a very short time, they are well suited for word processing. For instance, medical officers use computer to record patients' data for finding them easier and more

conveniently. Banks also use computers to store information for consumers to know their account conveniently and orderly, etc. The government agencies are the one who use computers most because they need to record confidential data, for instance, the military, and the U.S Census Bureau, etc. The business also use computer password system in the companies that to avoid other companies' stealing their business secrets. Therefore, the secret data will not let out to other countries or companies. Since a small diskette can contain much more data than a written page, and it takes less place, I think it will not be too long all the paper-archives are replaced by magnetic tapes and diskettes. It is possible to get the American telephone book on just one diskette.

HISTORY OF COMPUTERS

About two hundred years before, the word "computer" started to appear in the dictionary. Some people even did not know what is a computer. However, most of the people today not just knowing what is a computer, but understand how to use a computer. Now people may ask a question "where is computer originated from? Today's complex computers are not really intelligent at all. The intelligence is in the people who design them. Therefore, in order to understand the intelligence of computers, we must first take a look at the history of computers.

The predecessor to today's computers was nothing like the machines we use today. It was the adding machine, invented by Blaise Pascal, a brilliant French mathematician and physicist. In 1642, Pascal decided to make his father's job at a local tax office easier. The result was a simple mechanical adding machine. There were some improvements to the adding machine over the years, but it was not until English mathematics professor, Charles Babbage created a computer-like machine, Analytical Engine; designed in 1834. It was a remarkable device for its time. In fact, the Analytical Engine required so much power and would have been so much more complex than the manufacturing methods of the time, it could never be built. No more than twenty years after Babbage's death, Herman Hollerith, an American inventor designed an electromechanical machine that used punched cards to tabulate the 1890 U.S. Census. His tabulation machine was so successful; he formed IBM to supply them. The computers of those times worked with gears and mechanical computation.

Unlike today's chip computers, the first computers were non-programmable, electromechanically machines. Not one would ever confuse the limited power of those early machines with the wonder of the human brain. An example was the ENIAC, or Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer. It was a huge, room-sized machine, designed to calculate artillery-firing tables for the military. ENIAC was built with more than 19,000 vacuum tubes, nine times the amount ever used before this. The internal memory of ENIAC was a paltry twenty decimal numbers of ten digits each. (Today's average home computer can hold roughly 20,480 times this amount.)

Today, the chip-based computer easily packs the power of more than 10,000 ENIACs into a silicon chip the size of an infant's fingertip. Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce invented the chip in 1958, but their crude devices looked nothing like the sleek, paper-thin devices common now. The first integrated circuit had but four transistors and was half an inch long and narrower than a toothpick. Chips found in today's PCs, such as the Motorola 68040, cram more than 1.2 million transistors onto a chip half an inch square.

The ENIAC was an extremely expensive, huge and complex machine, while PCs new are shoebox-sized gadgets costing but a few thousand dollars. Because of the incredible miniaturization, that has taken place, and because of the seemingly "magical" speed at which a computer accomplishes its tasks, many people look at the computer as a replacement for the human brain. Once again, though, the computer can only accomplish its amazing feats by breaking down every task into its simplest possible choices. However, in fact, the computer has influenced every aspect of people's lives. It has affected the way people work and play. It has made everyone's life easier by doing difficult work for people. The computer truly is one of the most incredible inventions in history.

INTERNET

The Internet is a network of networks that interconnects computers around the world, supporting both business and residential users. It is also an extraordinary learning and entertainment tool that, when used properly, and significantly enhance a user's ability to gather information. Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) started the Internet. It was a project under taken by the Department of Defense (DOD) in 1969. It started as an experiment to link together DOD and military research including Universities doing military-funded research.

The ARPANET was very successful, and every university in the country wanted to sign up because so many people wanted to use the Net. ARPANET started getting hard to manage, especially

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