Computer Technology Handout

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Computer Technology
* What is a computer?
* A programmable machine that accepts data – raw facts and figures – and processes (or manipulates) it into information people can use * A machine that performs tasks, such as calculations or electronic communication, under the control of a set of instructions called a program. Programs usually reside within the computer and are retrieved and processed by the computer’s electronics. The program results are stored or routed to output devices, such as video display monitors or printers. Computers perform a wide variety of activities reliably, accurately, and quickly. (Microsoft Encarta) Computer Technology

* What is computer technology?
* Technology that consists of computing devices and peripherals used to speed up problem solving and increase productivity Communications Technology
* What is (tele)communications?
* The electronic transfer of data from one place to another * What is communications technology?
* Technology that consists of electromagnetic devices and systems for communicating over long distances. * ex. telephone, radio, tv, cable
Information Technology
* What is information technology?
* Technology that merges computing with high-speed communication links carrying data, sound and video Technological Convergence
* a.k.a digital convergence
* Refers to the technological merger of several industries through various devices that exchange information in the electronic format used by computers * Industries are: computers, electronics, entertainment, mass media Directions in Computer Technology

* Smaller in size
* More power
* Less expensive
5 kinds of computers
* Classification based mainly on processing speed and storage capacity * Supercomputers – high capacity computers used mainly for research * Mainframes – less powerful than supercomputers

* Minicomputers – or midrange computers; essentially scaled-down mainframes * Microcomputers – small computers that can fit on a desktop or in one’s briefcase * Types:
* Desktop Computers – designed to sit on (or under) a desk or table * Workstations – expensive desktop machines used mainly by engineers, scientists, and animators for sophisticated purposes. * Notebook computers – approximates the shape of an 8.5” x 11” notebook. a.k.a. Laptops, they operate on alternating currents or special batteries * Tablet PCs – offers full functionality of a notebook but are lighter and usually accepts input from a stylus pen * Classification based mainly on processing speed and storage capacity * Supercomputers – high capacity computers used mainly for research * Mainframes – less powerful than supercomputers

* Minicomputers – or midrange computers; essentially scaled-down mainframes * Microcomputers – small computers that can fit on a desktop or in one’s briefcase * Types:
* Desktop Computers – designed to sit on (or under) a desk or table * Workstations – expensive desktop machines used mainly by engineers, scientists, and animators for sophisticated purposes. * Notebook computers – approximates the shape of an 8.5” x 11” notebook. a.k.a. Laptops, they operate on alternating currents or special batteries * Tablet PCs – offers full functionality of a notebook but are lighter and usually accepts input from a stylus pen Developments in Communications Technology

* Better communication channels
* Copper wire -> coaxial -> fiber optics
* Wired + wireless
* Better communication networks
* LAN -> INTERNET
* Better sending and receiving devices
* cell phones, fax machines
* Bluetooth, wi-fi technology
Effects of Digital Convergence
* Connectivity
* Refers to connecting computers to one...
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