THE IMPACT OF COMPUTER IN A DEVELOPING COUNTRY LIKE NIGERIA
Abstract The cascade of in format ion available to the society, which is carried on by natural and artificial representation, has added more functional values to the use of computer, h is becoming more important lo appreciate application with its flexible and versatile roles and the tree aim it gives to our individuality. Computer has been used in the various; fields. The business people have applied it to boost their entrepreneurial spirit by their electronic spread sheet, it has been used by writers and editors whose creativity is nourished by word processing, researchers and social scientists whose range is extended by computerized databases. It alsoapplies to visual artists who are provided with sketchpad through computer graphics, simulations and computer animations. To the teachers, it has been useful in developing computer based individualized instructions. It is a patient tutor for every child. It is this same computer mat provides mysterious accuracy outcomes, in controlling space (light, and guided missiles and satellites. The paper assesses various roles of computers in a developing country. These include the use of computers for instructional delivery, for information processing, for graphic production and presentations, and for communication among others. It also suggested ways through which Nigeria could respond to this great challenge. Introduction Computer is one of the latest media which technology has brought for the use of mankind. Computer has been described as an automatic electronic machine that performs calculation. It is capable of accepting data, and performing operation according to instruction (programme), and providing result of the operation with great speed and accuracy (Brightman and Dunsdalc 19X6). Computer has a depth of history from the oriental world, with the use of an Abacus since about 3,000 years ago. Pascal, a French scientist, developed the first digital calculating machine in 1642. Gollried W.L, a German mathematician, also developed 'Stepped Reckoner' in 1671, an improvement on Pascal's effort. Further development led to the invention of the analogue computer in the 1940s (Anyaogu, 1991). Computer at these times were used basically for elementary task of calculation and were merely looked upon as a device to help mankind move some data and do some calculation. Its further adaptive use in the 20"
Nigerian Journal of Research and Production (NIJOREP) Vol. 1, 2002
century is in automation and its adaptation to educational and individual functions. Computer today is involved in reshaping the global world and had been more deeply involved in the texture of human life than any other dormant technology ever. Computer has become an integral part of an operation, and also, it is a tool that aids in computation of data processing. It has a significant place in offices, banks, factories, and schools and even in the homes; it has been used in business offices and banks for data processing for inventory control, preparation of pay roll and distributing operations. It has also been used for research and to aid decision-making at a high administrative level. Computer has also been applied in medical fields to aid research and solve diagnostic problems, modeling diseases and for full medical training. Seehrest & Henry (1996) conducted at research on computer-based patient education observations on effective communication in the clinical setting. The researchers relayed their experiences in designing and implementing interactive multimedia presentations for patient education in an orthopaedic surgery office setting. Their findings revealed that computer graphics and animation arc good for conveying complex medical and surgical concepts. In a similar study, Deir, Bittner-Wust, Pick, Kaiser,, & Felix (1996), worked on 3D visualization of...