Inf 103: Computer Literacy
Instructor: ray Schafer
November 23, 2012
Mobile computing is dramatically changing our day-to-day lives, especially with the popularity of small devices such as personal digital assistants (PDAs). Mobile Computing is technology that allows transmission of data, via a computer, without having to be connected to a fixed physical link. Let me take you through the fast growing technology of computing from laptops, netbooks, portable devices, cell phones, smart cards, tablets, and all of the systems and applications such as android, cloud, gps, google, etc.
Laptops were introduced during the 1980’s they were not as powerful as a desktop computer. Today, however, that has changed. They run the same programs, and are controlled by the same operating systems. All of them have Wi-Fi connectivity. A netbook is smaller than a laptop, and easier to carry around. This does everything a laptop does, and when you are away from home you can connect back to your home PC or business network. Computers are getting smaller, more powerful, and less expensive in this fast growing world of technology. The computer we walk around with can access a world of information at the click of a button, tell you the exact location on earth, and make phone calls. There are two portable devices that are very popular. The E-Reader, and Amazon Kindle. The E-Reader does not have Wi-Fi, but uses 3g wireless. It can hold 1500 books in its internal memory and can go a full week without a battery charge. It also lets you check your email for free. The Kindle can read word files and PDF. It’s being integrated into online education courses. Using the Kindle reduces textbook costs and also is more environmentally conscious because e-books require no paper (U.S. News and World Report, 2009).
During the 1990’s, two technological developments were popular. First were cell phones and their service plans. By the end of this decade, almost every person owned one. Second, a new electronic device called the Personal Digital Assistant emerged. These small computers offered calendars, datebooks, organizational software, and gaming applications. Third, laptops were able to surf the internet which people carried just to check their email. By 2004, the Blackberry smartphone combined the features of PDA with the ability to check email. It served as a flash drive, media player for music and video, and picture viewer. It also added the QWERTY keyboard. Soon other competitors emerged, mostly Apple’s iPhone.
Have you ever heard of a Smart Card? It looks like a credit card, but has an embedded microprocessor that replaces the magnetic strip that is used for identification purposes in traditional credit cards. A smart card can be “swiped” in a small card reader the same way as a credit card, but it can also communicate through radio frequency interface. A tablet computer, or a slate, is a portable computer that combines the mobility of a laptop with the touch screen of a smart phone. It is larger than a cell phone and therefore has a bigger screen, greater memory, and a faster processor. It does not have the physical keyboard found in the laptop, but instead when data entry is required, a virtual keyboard appears on the screen. Since the screen is touch-sensitive, each letter is registered when you lightly touch it. This takes some getting used to, since there is no physical sensation of a key actually depressed (Parsons & Oja, 2010, p. 59). In early 2010, Steve Jobs of Apple announced the arrival of a "magical and revolutionary product" called the iPad (Sutter & Gross, 2010). It was the next generation of the tablet computer, GPS stands for Global Positioning System, a network of 24 satellites. Computers, and receivers that can work together to calculate your exact position on earth (latitude, longitude, and altitude). This technology was built by the Department of Defense at...