Computers in modern society
Looking around at daily life, I noticed a pattern of computer oriented devices that make life easier and allow us to be lazier. These devices are in most daily activities ranging from waking up to an alarm clock that is computerized to watching the news before going to bed on a computerized television. All of these computerized facets of our society help to increase our daily productivity and help us to do whatever it is we need to accomplish in the day. The computer age is upon us and it will continue to grow in influence until society revolves around it daily without need for improvement.
In personal computers, the industry has began to create faster machines that can store much more information. For speed, the internal microprocessor has been tweaked to perform at high rates of speed. One such microprocessor is the Intel Pentium chip that is the fastest commercial microprocessor on the market. In addition to internal speed and to allow faster hook- up to the Internet, faster telephone lines, most notably the fiber optic lines, have been added, for an extra charge, to transfer data about 4 times faster than conventional phone lines (about 28,000 bits per second has been quadrupled to about 128,000 bits per second. As speed enhances, memory and storage space is needed to hold excess information. EDO RAM is a new, faster memory module that helps transfer RAM data twice as fast as normal RAM. For long term storage of large amounts of data, hard drives have been under a constant upgrade of performance, and it is not uncommon to find hard drives about 8-9 gigabytes on the market.
Along with technology, an ease of use factor has been instilled in the modern day PC's. The most notable ease of use enhancement is a GUI(Graphical User Interface), which allows the user to see a choice instead of reading about the choice. This is accomplished by using pictures and windows to simplify the choices. Windows 95 and the Macintosh OS both use GUI to simplify use. Another change in technology has been in almost putting manufacturing of typewriters into extinction. Offices are more and more turning to computers instead of typewriters because the computers integrate many office tasks in one machine, most notably the use of word processors. With the use of word processors on a computer comes the use of spell check which is only offered on a few typewriters.
The most growing part of the computer-oriented world is the Internet. It allows users to send electronic mail (E-mail), faster and more conveniently than conventional, or "snail" mail. In addition to text sent, the user may opt to send a program or picture attached to the letter. In addition to electronic mail, the Internet is also used to give information on almost any topics. It is a tool now common in college research because it offers millions of sources and there is no limit to finding information. It is not only a tool for research, but also a tool for business. Businesses use it to advertise and to try to sell items on-line. These companies set up their own web sites and place the sites' addresses in their television and radio ads. Business use is not limited to advertising and selling, but also to sell and buy from other companies faster than conventional methods.
Technology is all around us and there are many practical applications of computer technology. For example, the government uses the superhighway to verify drivers' licenses and Social Security numbers. The Internet is used by congressional committees to conduct research related to their current problems. Technology is used in automobiles to calculate the right amount of gas to air mixture in fuel injected cars. In auto garages, the technology is used to align the wheels and to find electrical system problems. Another example is radio and television, the two most important things in many lives. These devices would not be able to do what they do without the help of mini-computers that decipher the incoming signal. On the digitized radios and televisions, there are computers that control volume level. Banks are even installing technology into their operations by using Automated Teller Machines (ATM's). These machines take the place of human tellers and process transactions faster with built in logic control to prevent overwithdrawal. Even businesses use technology during non-business hours by having automated telephones that continue to do business long after the last person went home. They accomplish this by using prerecorded messages and a logic control to allow the dialer to get information if they have a touch-tone phone. This increases business productivity with minimal maintenance costs. So by using computers, the businesses have educated their consumer without having to manually speak to them.
There are many possibilities for future uses of computers to simplify daily life and enhance the life experience. The first which is already under development is highway navigation. This lets the cars drive themselves and should make the roads safer. To enhance the personal life, video phones will let you see who you are talking to. This technology will depend on how we develop data transfer and deciphering capabilities that are too expensive to use now. We will be able to use almost every major household luxury on a PC that we have now. We could watch TV, listen to the radio, and talk on the telephone. These technologies are under development and are available in limited form, except the radio which can be used in final form now.
Society is changing rapidly. This change is attributed to ease of use of computerized manufactured goods. These luxuries that will become standard living tools are creating a society in which computers will rule. We will continue to develop technology until life is as automated as it could get. Almost every daily task will be computerized and computers will dominate the world.
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