Social, Ethical, and Legal Issues in Computer Graphics

Topics: Computer, Computer graphics, Operating system Pages: 6 (1734 words) Published: May 12, 2002
Computers in some form are in almost everything these days. From Toasters to Televisions, just about all-electronic things have some form of processor in them. This is a very large change from the way it used to be, when a computer that would take up an entire room and weighed tons of pounds has the same amount of power as a scientific calculator. The changes that computers have undergone in the last 40 years have been colossal. So many things have changed from the ENIAC that had very little power, and broke down once every 15 minutes and took another 15 minutes to repair, to our Pentium Pro 200's, and the powerful Silicon Graphics Workstations, the core of the machine has stayed basically the same. The only thing that has really changed in the processor is the speed that it translates commands from 1's and 0's to data that actually means something to a normal computer user. Just in the last few years, computers have undergone major changes. PC users came from using MS-DOS and Windows 3.1, to Windows 95, a whole new operating system. Computer speeds have taken a huge increase as well, in 1995 when a normal computer was a 486 computer running at 33 MHz, to 1997 where a blazing fast Pentium (AKA 586) running at 200 MHz plus. The next generation of processors is slated to come out this year as well, being the next CPU from Intel; code named Merced, running at 233 MHz, and up. Another major innovation has been the Internet. This is a massive change to not only the computer world, but to the entire world as well. The Internet has many different facets, ranging from newsgroups, where you can choose almost any topic to discuss with a range of many other people, from university professors, to professionals of the field of your choice, to the average person, to IRC, where you can chat in real time to other people around the world, to the World Wide Web, which is a mass of information networked from places around the world. Nowadays, no matter where you look, computers are somewhere, doing something. Computers today are very popular among homeowners, businesses and schools. Microsoft began to suffice to the population by creating user-friendly programs such as the ever-popular Windows. This graphical interface served as a bridge to the computer illiterate and then began the reign of Microsoft over the population. Untouched by wrath of Microsoft would later be a small minority of UNIX users and other DOS like programs. Various programs were made just for Windows, which of course ran in DOS. OS/2 at this point was already made, not well known and not very popular. Ironically, Bill Gates worked closely with IBM in 1983, to help develop OS/2, even conceding to IBM that their OS/2 would one day overtake Microsoft's own attempt at a graphical interface, Windows. However, Windows advanced in its versions and graphics capabilities as well as DOS. In 1995, Microsoft announces its new creation, which will revolutionize computers everywhere. Windows 95 is introduced as a powerful operating system, with an astounding graphical and user-friendly interface. Although, the proprietary nature of the Apple Macintosh operating system and OS/2 led to small market acceptance, and Windows and DOS become the world leading Personal Computer operating systems. The message Microsoft is trying to send to consumers is simple: "Windows 95 is it, if you don't use it, buy it, if your computer can't run it, replace it. Changes in computer hardware and software have taken great leaps and jumps since the first video games and word processors. Video games started out with a game called Pong...monochrome (2 colours, typically amber and black, or green and black), you had 2 controller paddles, and the game resembled a slow version of Air Hockey. The first word processors had their roots in MS-DOS; these were not very sophisticated or much better than a good typewriter at the time. About the only benefits were the editing tools available with the word processors. But,...
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