09 IT, computers and their role in our lives
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Information technology, Computers and their role in our lives The idea of an automatic machine capable of executing complicated mathematical tasks is very old. The first idea was a mechanical computer. This concept is almost 200 years old. Some of these computers existed only as a layout on the paper, some of them really worked. The later tests have demonstrated that many of these layouts are very advanced and able to work. Unfortunately the level of technology and materials of that time was not advanced enough for such a device to be constructed. Such a “computer” was able to perform similar operations like a small modern pocket calculator. The same one, we have now integrated for example in our cell phones. The real modern computers came at the age of electronics. The first computers were based on electron tubes, then on transistors. Later, the integrated circuit started to be used. During the 20th century, the computers were domain of armies and specialized scientists. Today we mostly use computers known as PC. This abbreviation means “personal computer”. The age of the personal computers, as we know them today, started around the turn of the seventies and the eighties. The integrated circuits (chips) were every year smaller and cheaper. Thanks to this development, smaller and cheaper computers were used by ordinary companies and individuals. It was a real boom of the computer age. The computers have started to influence our lives more and more. At first, it was predominantly in our jobs. But later, computers have started to invade our homes. We use them almost every day. These machines help us in many ways. For example: processing documents, communication with other people, performing difficult mathematical tasks, processing photos and videos etc. We should also mention computer games, as an important part of modern entertainment. Nowadays, a computer is almost in every office and living room. Off course, it influences our lives whether we want or not. A computer, like any other invention, can be a very good helper, but it can also bring some negatives. At first, look at the computers at our homes. The good thing is we can continue to work at home, if we need it. We can use the computer with the internet connection for a very fast searching of any kind of information. It also helps in the educational process. The computer is also a part of entertainment, thanks to its capability of using it as many kinds of media and of running computer games. This is only a short list. The possibilities of the modern computers are huge, due to their large versatility. Where are the negatives? For example: You work too much at home and do not take a rest enough. You can become a computer gambler or an internet addicted. Not all the information on the internet is good, some of them can be harmful to children. You can be overwhelmed by information, because our brain is not able to receive so many tings in such a high speed. As you can see, you need to find your own way how to deal with. You must feel that the computer improves the quality of your life, saving your time and making your work easier. What about the computers in a working process? In my opinion, it has many similarities with the problem dealt above. The last sentence of the previous paragraph should be mentioned here too. The main difference is, that today in your job you usually can not decide whether to use computer or not. You have to use it. Sometimes it is not possible to do your job without it. Or you are not able to do it without a computer as fast as you need. The very important advice is: Do not let the computer consume your working time. Here we come to another modern computer age term. It is a computer literacy. It is not necessary to understand all the computer process, technologies and other details, but it is important to know how to effectively use common software, how to find information on the Internet, how to perform basic operations with the data, such as copying, back-uping, sending files via email etc. If you are literate in this way, the computer will be mostly your helper and not your nightmare and enemy. You will we able to learn new skills faster, thanks to your good basic knowledge. Improving the computer literacy is especially important for the older people, who started to work with a computer much later then their children. If your skill is high enough, the computer facilitates your work. When you are not computer literate, it only stresses you and eats your working time uselessly. The second important danger for your computer work efficiency is the Internet itself. For example, in case you do your private stuff instead of your job. This behaviour will make your employer angry and it highly decreases your working performance. Company internet abusing is a big problem of modern firms. It could be a topic for a separate essay… One computer with the appropriate software is good. Many computers connected to an effective network create a very powerful tool. The magic word is “the network”. Every network consists of two kinds of computers – servers and clients (stations).A server is a powerful computer controlling the network and providing variable services for the clients. The client is any other computer in the network. For example, your computer, connected to the internet server, which provides you email services. There are several basic kinds of networks. The first one is called as LAN – Local Area Network. This network is connecting computers of one company, school, state office etc. Simply you can imagine this as a network in one building, factory or something like that. The second shortcut you can see very often is WAN – Wide-Area Network. WAN is a computer network that spans a relatively large geographical area. Typically, a WAN consists of two or more local-area networks (LANs). For example it consists of two LANs in different cities. The connection is usually realized by some public line, such as a public t