Computer Revolution Essay Sample
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Computer Revolution Essay Sample
It is not very often that such a small inorganic object can drastically change our lives forever. Such a device that changes the way we work, live, and play is a special one, indeed. For over fifty years, a revolution has been taking place in the United States and the world. The personal computer has changed the way many people think and live. With its amazing versatility, it has found its way into every area of life, and knowing how to operate it is a requirement for today’s world. If there were suddenly no computers on the world, there would be total chaos. People could not communicate, commute, make business transactions, purchase things, or do most things in their daily routine, because power plants use computers to control the production of electricity.
The most monumental change has been in the past fifteen years. Not too long ago, all that you could do with a computer was make mathematical calculations and type documents. Then the Apple computer company evolved it to a simpler system, this system was called BASIC. BASIC was a major development in the computer industry, because it made computers accessible to the average American. This helped greatly in proving that computers were no longer just toys and they had a very useful purpose.
Several years after the introduction of the BASIC system, Apple introduced a new line of computers called the Macintosh. Steve Jobs innovative idea of a personal computer led him into revolutionizing the computer hardware and software industry. When Jobs was twenty one, he and a friend, Wozniak, built a personal computer called the Apple. Two years after building the Apple I, Jobs introduced the Apple II. The Apple II was the best buy in personal computers for home and small business throughout the following five years. When the Macintosh was introduced in 1984, it was marketed towards medium and large businesses. The Macintosh took the first major step in adapting the personal computer to the needs of the corporate work force.
He was able to build a personal computer and market the product. His innovative ideas of user-friendly software for the Macintosh changed the design and functionality of software interfaces created for computers. The Macintosh’s interface allowed people to interact easier with computers, because they used a mouse to click on objects displayed on the screen to perform some function. These Macintosh computers were extremely easy to use, and were about the same price of a computer that used BASIC. Apple’s business exploded with the Mac, Macintosh was put in schools and millions of homes proving that the computer was a useful tool after all. The Macintosh made such an impact on the computer industry that IBM and Microsoft joined forces to produce the MS-DOS system. The MS-DOS system was the basis of the Windows program, which made Bill Gates the multi-billionaire that he is. Steve Jobs was considered a brilliant young man in Silicon Valley, because he saw the future demands of the computer industry.
With windows and the Apple system, the modem which had been around for several years, could be used for its full potential. Instead of linking one computer to another, now millions of computers could be linked with massive main frames from on-line services such as America On-Line or Prodigy. People finally had full affordable access to the World Wide Web and could communicate with people across the street or across the world. The internet is used by millions of people across the world each day for a vast variety of reasons from reading a magazine, to getting business information such as stock quotes, to planning a trip and making reservations, to send and receive e-mail, or even listen to music and watch a video clip.
Advancement in technology has affected many people in many ways. New technology has altered peoples’ consciousness, language, and the way society views the world. Technological advancements have made the world smaller, and have made things easier. Computers have been the inventions that have advanced so much since they were developed and have had such a big impact on humanity. “Humans were once considered to be superior to all other creatures of the Earth. The reason for human supremacy was the ability to think, process data, store information, and perform calculations”(Silver, 5). Until the second half of the twentieth century, nothing could perform these tasks faster and more accurately than the human mind. “Computers first became available in the early 1950s to be used as “super calculators” for processing numbers. Since then, computers have evolved into something far superior” (Deutschman 10).
Much of the reason for the rapid growth and popularity of computers was an increase in paperwork in business and government. People came to realize that the computer is the best, most efficient, timesaving tool to control information. In 1950 there were only a dozen or so large-scale computers in the United States. By 1975 the number had grown to 155,000. Soon after came the invention of minicomputers, microprocessors, and desktop computers. By the 1990s, a personal computer had grown to become a necessity in almost every home and business. In less than three decades, the computer has become indispensable to business, industry, government, in school, and home. Computer literacy is now considered as vital as learning to read and is to be taught to everyone. The influence of computer technology is evident in many aspects of society. Whether it is to help space exploration or processing checks or producing mailing labels, computers are used.
Applications of computers in society influence each typical person. Some recognition of the role of computers results from the way computers direct the daily lives of the individual or the family. “The average person forms some impressions on computers and their pervasiveness in society while the larger, philosophical issues may never reach a conscious level of awareness” (Young, 43). Computers provide assistance for many applications such as handling money and record keeping.
Though they can be useful, computers can be bad if used improperly. Computers were not developed to think for us, they do not think but rather follow directions. Computers are thought to have changed society but in actuality society has allowed computers to change them. People rely on their computers for everything even tasks that can be accomplished without using a computer. A prime example of this is the internet. The internet was first introduced in 1983 as an extended source of information. Internet access provides the user with information about almost any topic. On-line services, which provide reference materials, electronic mail, and the internet, provide anything and everything a person could possibly need to know about.
Instead of writing and mailing a letter to a friend, you could send e-mail directly to his/her computer. A user on the internet could also go shopping, watch a movie, or talk to unknown people across the world. “Millions of people on every continent participate in computer-mediated social groups called virtual communities, and this population is growing fast” (Stross, 35). The internet also allows new people from all over to meet each other and “chat.” Internet Misuse “Chatting” over the internet is not always safe because people could be telling others that they are someone other than they are. Some people who “chat” with others sometimes arrange to meet each other; this is not a safe idea because often when these people have met bad things happen to them. “Cyberhate” is becoming a problem for internet users. Its Web literature that is posted up to advocate any form of racism, prejudice based on gender, religion, race, etc…etc…
The internet is also unsafe because there are ways of one user to obtain names, addresses, social security numbers, etc. about any person in the world. There are ways to find credit card numbers of people making a purchase over the internet as well. Privacy has become an almost impossible idea since the internet has been around. Clinton’s Educational Reform In 1996, President Clinton proposed his “educational reform.” As a part of this reform, he proposed to have every school connected to the information superhighway, or internet, by the year 2000. Clinton also suggests that all students become computer literate and internet familiar starting at a young age. “I want to get the children of America hooked on education through computers, we must make technological literacy a standard,” said President Clinton. However, Clinton’s networking goal seems beyond reach. Currently, 3% of the nation’s classrooms have internet connections, and only about 16% of teachers use the internet or computer-based connection services like America Online.
In the past, reading, writing and arithmetic were fundamental to a student’s success. In the 1990s, the fundamentals became reading, writing, arithmetic and internet. “Society has become, in many ways, too dependant of computers”(Stross, 68). Tasks that were normally handled without computers are now completed with a computer. “Computer technology is meant to be used as a convenience to help users complete work faster and more accurately”(Young, 92). However, society has made computers more of a necessity, especially in recent years. For this reason, all of these problems like cyberhate arise. Whether we like it or not, computer technology has advanced to the point of becoming a major part of our lives. Each time we use a credit card or register for a class on campus, we are all affected by computers. Computers influence our activities, attitudes, and the way we think. The influence of computers will continue to expand in the future, but people have to learn not to revolve their lives around computers.