Computers in Modern Society
Looking around at daily life, I notice a pattern of computer-oriented devices that make life easier and allow us to be more efficient. These devices are present in most daily activities, ranging from waking up to an alarm clock to watching the news before going to bed on a television.
All of these computerized facets of our society help to increase our daily productivity and help us accomplish our tasks efficiently. The computer age is upon us, and it will continue to grow in influence until society revolves around it without the need for further improvement. In the personal computer industry, faster machines with greater storage capacity have been developed. The internal microprocessor has been tweaked for speed, resulting in the Intel Pentium chip, which is the fastest commercial microprocessor on the market. Faster telephone lines, particularly fiber optic lines, have been added for an additional charge to allow faster hook-up to the internet and transfer data about four times faster than conventional phone lines (about 28,000 bits per second has been quadrupled to about 128,000 bits per second).
As speed improves, memory and storage space are 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 constantly upgraded for performance, and it is not uncommon to find hard drives with about 8-9 gigabytes on the market. Along with technology, an ease-of-use factor has been instilled in modern-day PCs. The most notable ease-of-use enhancement is a GUI (Graphical User Interface), which allows the user to see choices instead of reading about them.
This is accomplished by using pictures and windows to simplify choices. Windows 95 and the Macintosh OS both use GUI to simplify use. Another change in technology has been the almost complete extinction of typewriter manufacturing. Offices are increasingly turning to computers instead of typewriters because computers integrate many office tasks into 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. Additionally, users may opt to send a program or picture attached to the letter. The Internet is also used to provide information on almost any topic. It is a common tool 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 for business. Businesses use it to advertise and sell items online. These companies set up their own websites and place the site addresses in their television and radio ads. Business use is not limited to advertising and selling, but also to buying and selling 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, technology is used to align the wheels and find electrical system problems. Another example is radio and television, which are two of the most important things in many lives.
These devices would not be able to function without the help of mini-computers that decipher incoming signals. Digitized radios and televisions have computers that control volume levels. Banks are even incorporating technology into their operations by using Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). These machines replace human tellers and process transactions faster, with built-in logic controls to prevent over-withdrawal.
Even businesses use technology during non-business hours by having automated telephones that continue to do business long after the last person has gone home. They accomplish this by using prerecorded messages.