Our age is known as the age of Information Technology. Information Technology with its superhighway has not only revolutionized man’s way of working but also his very existence. IT (Information Technology) revolution is sweeping our civilization bringing about unfathomable changes in our present- day civilization. Twenty first century belongs to the IT world. The term ‘Information Technology’ or simply known as IT is a generic name given to all improvements that are taking place in our world due to the inter-linked advancement in technology, learning, and information. The term refers to recent technological developments that are taking place in our world as a result of better technology, due to better information. It consists of a number of allied modern advancements such as, computer, Internet, websites, surfing, E-mail, E-commerce. E-governance, Video-conference, cellular phones, paging, fax machines, smart cards, credit cards, ATM cards etc. All these have been possible due to the advancement in information gathering technique or system which is known as ‘Information Superhighway’ which, like a highway, opens us to a world of technology and information full of immense possibilities. Two essential components of IT revolution have been the development of computer and internet. These two developments have revolutionized modern civilization. Today at the press of a button we can get any information that we want from anywhere in the world in a fraction of a second, sitting in our room. This easy and quick access to information has been instrumental in improving our communication, travel, business, entertainment, space exploration, defense capabilities, medical surgeries etc. “We can visit sites situated thousands of miles away, chat with people sitting in other parts of the world, see the latest movies, watch live international matches, read daily newspapers, attend business conferences, conduct business transactions, visit world famous libraries, go through the latest books etc. all at the click of a key on the computer. The facility of internet and surfing opens us to the world of information superhighway enabling us to seek the information that we want. With the possibility of downloading programs and information through a computer to a paper, our task of gathering information is a few minutes affair. In this manner, today the process of gathering knowledge and information has become, easy, cheap, fast, and enjoyable. This has been the greatest advantage of IT boom. IT revolution has also altered the very face of business operations and E- commerce is becoming a fashion of the day. We can advertise our products and seek jobs and make ourselves available through the internet. IT boom has also revolutionized our style of living. It has made our life easy, pleasurable, and luxurious. Today, we need not go hunting for household items in congested markets. Sitting in our room we can order things, buy tickets, talk to clients, listen to lectures, take part in on-line lotteries, sign business agreements, do bank transactions etc. In other words the recent development in the IT world has reduced man’s labor, workload, and has created a better world to live in. Today IT revolution is sweeping over the world, nothing is possible without IT.
What is Information Technology?
In the 1960s and 1970s, the term information technology (IT) was a little known phrase that was used by those who worked in places like banks and hospitals to describe the processes they used to store information. With the paradigm shift to computing technology and "paperless" workplaces, information technology has come to be a household phrase. It defines an industry that uses computers, networking, software programming, and other equipment and processes to store, process, retrieve, transmit, and protect information. In the early days of computer development, there was no such thing as a college degree in IT. Software development and computer programming were best left to the computer scientists and mathematical engineers, due to their complicated nature. As time passed and technology advanced, such as with the advent of the personal computer in the 1980s and its everyday use in the home and the workplace, the world moved into the information age. By the early 21st century, nearly every child in the Western world, and many in other parts of the world, knew how to use a personal computer. Businesses' information technology departments have gone from using storage tapes created by a single computer operator to interconnected networks of employee workstations that store information in a server farm, often somewhere away from the main business site. Communication has advanced, from physical postal mail, to telephone fax transmissions, to nearly instantaneous digital communication through electronic mail (email)-Great technological advances have been made since the days when computers were huge pieces of equipment that were stored in big, air conditioned rooms, getting their information from punch cards . The information technology industry has turned out to be a huge employer of people worldwide, as the focus shifts in some nations from manufacturing to service industries. It is a field where the barrier to entry is generally much lower than that of manufacturing. Since the very beginning of mankind they wanted to store the information they gathered in day today life. Firstly it was just a bunch of pictures drawn in caves and now they have become databases stored in computers. So in shortly IT is any technology that use to process and store information.
Development of Information Technology
With the increasing needs of mankind, they needed advanced technology to handle their information. So IT was developed simultaneously with the development of mankind. A History of Information Technology and Systems
Four basic periods
Characterized by a principal technology used to solve the input, processing, output and communication problems of the time: 1. Premechanical,
3. Electromechanical, and
A. The Premechanical Age: 3000 B.C. - 1450 A.D.
1. Writing and Alphabets--communication.
1. First humans communicated only through speaking and picture drawings. 2. 3000 B.C., the Sumerians in Mesopotamia (what is today southern Iraq) devised cuneiform 3. Around 2000 B.C., Phoenicians created symbols
4. The Greeks later adopted the Phoenician alphabet and added vowels; the Romans gave the letters Latin names to create the alphabet we use today. 2. Paper and Pens--input technologies.
1. Sumerians' input technology was a stylus that could scratch marks in wet clay. 2. About 2600 B.C., the Egyptians write on the papyrus plant 3. Around 100 A.D., the Chinese made paper from rags, on which modern-day papermaking is based. 3. Books and Libraries: Permanent Storage Devices.
1. Religious leaders in Mesopotamia kept the earliest "books" 2. The Egyptians kept scrolls
3. Around 600 B.C., the Greeks began to fold sheets of papyrus vertically into leaves and bind them together. 4. The First Numbering Systems.
1. Egyptian system:
The numbers 1-9 as vertical lines, the number 10 as a U or circle, the number 100 as a coiled rope, and the number 1,000 as a lotus blossom. 2. The first numbering systems similar to those in use today were invented between 100 and 200 A.D. by Hindus in India who created a nine-digit numbering system. 3. Around 875 A.D., the concept of zero was developed.
5. The First Calculators: The Abacus.
B. The Mechanical Age: 1450 - 1840
1. The First Information Explosion.
1. Johann Gutenberg (Mainz, Germany)
Invented the movable metal-type printing process in 1450.
2. The development of book indexes and the widespread use of page numbers. 2. The first general purpose "computers"
1. Actually people who held the job title "computer: one who works with numbers." 2. Slide Rules, the Pascaline and Leibniz's Machine.
Slide rule, the pascaline,Leibniz’s machine
3. Babbage's Engines
C. The Electromechanical Age: 1840 - 1940.
The discovery of ways to harness electricity was the key advance made during this period. Knowledge and information could now be converted into electrical impulses. 1. The Beginnings of Telecommunication.
1. Voltaic Battery.
Late 18th century.
3. Morse code.
Developed in1835 by Samuel Morse
Dots and dashes.
4. Telephone and Radio.(Alexander Graham Bell 1876)
5. Followed by the discovery that electrical waves travel through space and can produce an effect far from the point at which they originated. 6. These two events led to the invention of the radio(Guglielmo Marconi 1894) 7.
2. Electromechanical Computing
1.Herman Hollerith and IBM.
Herman Hollerith (1860-1929) in 1880
2.Mark 1 Howard Aiken, a Ph.D. student at Harvard University Built the Mark I Completed January 1942 8 feet tall, 51 feet long, 2 feet thick, weighed 5 tons, used about 750,000 partsrk 1. D. The Electronic Age: 1940 - Present.
1. First Tries.
Electronic vacuum tubes.
2. Eckert and Mauchly.
The First High-Speed, General-Purpose Computer Using Vacuum Tubes: Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC)
The First Stored-Program Computer(s)
The First General-Purpose Computer for Commercial Use: Universal Automatic Computer (UNIVAC).
2. The Four Generations of Digital Computing.
1. The First Generation (1951-1958)
1. Vacuum tubes as their main logic elements.
2. Punch cards to input and externally store data.
3. Rotating magnetic drums for internal storage of data and programs 2. The Second Generation(1959-1963)
1. Vacuum tubes replaced by transistors as main logic element. AT&T's Bell Laboratories, in the 1940s
Crystalline mineral materials called semiconductors could be used in the design of a device called a transistor 2. Magnetic tape and disks began to replace punched cards as external storage devices. 3. Magnetic cores (very small donut-shaped magnets that could be polarized in one of two directions to represent data) strung on wire within the computer became the primary internal storage technology. High-level programming languages
E.g., FORTRAN and COBOL
3. The Third Generation (1964-1979)
Individual transistors were replaced by integrated circuits. Magnetic tape and disks completely replace punch cards as external storage devices. Magnetic core internal memories began to give way to a new form, metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) memory, which, like integrated circuits, used silicon-backed chips. Operating systems
Advanced programming languages like BASIC developed (Which is where Bill Gates and Microsoft got their start in 1975.)
4. The Fourth Generation (1979-Present)
1. Large-scale and very large-scale integrated circuits (LSIs and VLSICs) 2. Microprocessors that contained memory, logic, and control circuits (an entire CPU=Central Processing Unit) on a single chip.