Text 1. HISTORY OF COMPUTERS

АНГЛИЙСКИЙ ЯЗЫК

Учебное пособие для самостоятельной работы студентов механико-математического факультета

Под редакцией К.Н. Волченковой

Челябинск

Издательский центр ЮУрГУ

ББК Ш143.21-923

М911

Одобрено

Учебно-методической комиссией факультета лингвистики

Рецензенты:

Л.Б. Довгополова, С.В. Колтышева

Мурдасова, Е.В.

М911 Английский язык. Учебное пособие для самостоятельной работы студентов механико-математического факультета / К.В. Волченкова. – Челябинск: Изд. центр ЮУрГУ, 2011. – 100 с.   Учебное пособие предназначено для студентов 2 курса факультета «Механико-Математический», а также может быть использовано в работе с магистрами и студентами факультета «Вычислительная Математика и Информатика». Целью данного пособия является подготовка студентов к извлечению необходимой информации из текстов при чтении специальной литературы, а также развитие готовности студентов к использованию профессионально-ориентированной лексики для общения в профессиональной и непрофессиональной деятельности. Пособие содержит 30 текстов и заданий к ним, которые обеспечивают развитие навыков ознакомительного, изучающего и просмотрового чтения. Материал подобран из научно-популярной литературы по специальности и охватывает широкий круг вопросов, связанных с информационными технологиями.

ББК Ш143.21-923

© Издательский центр ЮУрГУ, 2012

CONTENTS

Text 1. History of Computers …………………………………… 4

Text 2. Supermarket Checkout ……………………………….…. 8

Text 3. Netbooks ………………………………………………… 10

Text 4. Green PC ………………………………………………… 14

Text 5. Webcams ………………………………………………… 17

Text 6. Interactive whiteboard (IWB) …………………………… 20

Text 7. Laser Printer Inventor …………………………………… 22

Text 8. Magnetic storage ………………………………………... 27

Text 9. HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray: who cares? ………………………. 30

Text 10. Linux ……………………………………………………. 33

Text 11. Microsoft's Docs for Facebook ……………….. ……….. 37

Text 12. Why Social Networking? ……………………………….. 40

Text 13. Tim Berners-Lee ………………………………………… 43

Text 14. Digital Rights Management ……………………………... 46

Text 15. ILOVEYOU Worm ……………………………………… 49

Text 16. The changing image of a hacker ………………………… 52

Text 17. How to Stream Video over a Network or the Internet…… 55

Text 18. Quake - Game Engine …………………………………… 60

Text 19. Graphic design vs. Desktop publishing …………………. 61

Text 20. Distance education ………………………………………. 63

Text 21. Blogs and blogging /……………………………………… 66

Text 22. Lord Palmerston on Programming ……………………….. 68

Text 23. Programming languages …………………………………. 73

Text 24. Wearable computers become the ‘sixth sense……………. 76

Text 25. Wireless LANs …………………………………………... 79

Text 26. Second Life ………………………………………………. 81

Text 27. Robots on the job ………………………………………… 84

Text 28. The Pitch Correction Algorithm …………………………. 87

Text 29. Software Development Process ………………………….. 89

Text 30. How to Give a Successful Presentation ………………….. 95

References………………………………………………………….. 99

Text 1. HISTORY OF COMPUTERS

1. Translate these definitions:

punched card - a card on which data can be recorded in the form of punched holes

binary code - code using a string of 8 binary digits to represent characters

2. Discuss the following questions in pairs:

1. Why do so many people not know how the modern computer began?

2. Why do you think the computer has changed more rapidly than anything else?

3.How do you think W.W.II might have been different if the ENIAC, the first all electrical computer, whose first job was to calculate the feasibility of a design for the hydrogen bomb, had not been invented then?

3. Read the text and give the main idea of each part:

1. Computers have been around for quite a few years. Some of your parents were probably around in 1951 when the first computer was bought by a business firm. Computers have changed so rapidly that many people cannot keep up with the changes. One newspaper tried to describe what the auto industry would look like if it had developed at a similar pace to changes in computer technology:

“Had the automobile developed at a pace equal to that of the computer during the past twenty years, today a Rolls Royce would cost less than $3.00, get 3 million miles to the gallon, deliver enough power to drive (the ship) the Queen Elizabeth II, and six of them would fit on the head of a pin!” These changes have occurred so rapidly that many people do not know how our modern computer got started.

2. Since ancient times, people have had ways of dealing with data and numbers. Early people tied knots in rope and carved marks on clay tablets to keep track of livestock and trade. Some people consider the 5000-year-old ABACUS - a frame with beads strung on wires - to be the first true computing aid.

As the trade and tax system grew in complexity, people saw that faster, more reliable and accurate tools were needed for doing math and keeping records.

In the mid-60’s, Blaise Pascal and his father, who was a tax officer himself, were working on taxes for the French government in Paris. The two spent hours figuring and refiguring taxes that each citizen owed. Young Blaise decided in 1642 to build an adding and subtraction machine that could assist in such a tedious and time-consuming process. The machine Blaise made had a set of eight gears that worked together in much the same way as an odometer keeps track of a car’s mileage. His machine encountered many problems. For one thing, it was always breaking down. Second, the machine was slow and extremely costly. And third, people were afraid to use the machine, thinking it might replace their jobs. Pascal later became famous for math and philosophy, but he is still remembered for his role in computer technology. In his honor, there is a computer language named Pascal.

The next big step for computers arrived in the 1830s, when Charles Babbage decided to build a machine to help him complete and print mathematical tables. Babbage was a mathematician who taught at Cambridge University in England. He began planning his calculating machine, calling it the Analytical Engine. The idea for this machine was amazingly like the computer we know today. It was to read a program from punched cards, figure and store the answers to different problems, and print the answer on paper. Babbage died before he could complete the machine. However, because of his remarkable ideas and work, Babbage is known as the Father of Computers.

The next huge step for computers came when Herman Hollerith entered a contest organised by the U.S. Census Bureau. The contest was to see who could build a machine that would count and record information the fastest. Hollerith, a young man working for the Bureau, built a machine called the Tabulating Machine that read and sorted data from punched cards. The holes punched in the cards matched each person’s answers to questions. For example, married, single, and divorced were answers on the cards. The Tabulator read the punched cards as they passed over tiny brushes. Each time a brush found a hole, it completed an electrical circuit. This caused special counting dials to increase the data for that answer.

Thanks to Hollerith’s machine, instead of taking seven and a half years to count the census information it only took three years, even with 13 million more people since the last census. Happy with his success, Hollerith formed the Tabulating Machine Company in 1896. The company was later sold in 1911 and in 1912 his company became the International Business Machines Corporation, better known today as IBM.

3. What is considered to be the first computer was made in 1944 by Harvard Professor Howard Aiken. The Mark I computer was very much like the design of Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, having mainly mechanical parts but with some electronic parts. His machine was designed to be programmed to do many computing jobs. This all-purpose machine is what we now know as the PC or personal computer. The Mark I was the first computer financed by IBM and was about 50 feet long and 8 feet tall. It used mechanical switches to open and close its electric circuits. It contained over 500 miles of wire and 750,000 parts.

4. The first all electronic computer was the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer). ENIAC was a general purpose digital computer built in 1946 by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly. The ENIAC contained over 18,000 vacuum tubes (used instead of the mechanical switches of the Mark I) and was 1000 times faster than the Mark I. In twenty seconds, ENIAC could do a math problem that would have taken 40 hours for one person to finish. The ENIAC was built at the time of World War II and as its first job had to calculate the feasibility of a design for the hydrogen bomb. The ENIAC was 100 feet long and 10 feet tall.

5. A more modern type of computer began with John von Neumann’s development of software written in binary code. It was von Neumann who began the practice of storing data and instructions in binary code and initiated the use of memory to store data, as well as programs. A computer called the EDVAC (Electronic Discrete Variable Computer) was built using binary code in 1950. Before the EDVAC, computers like the ENIAC could do only one task; then they had to be rewired to perform a different task or program. The EDVAC’s concept of storing different programs on punched cards instead of rewiring computers led to the computers that we know today.

While the modern computer is far better and faster than the EDVAC of its time, computers of today would not have been possible without the knowledge and work of many great inventors and pioneers.

4. Answer the questions using to the text:

1. Why was Pascal honored with a computer language named after him?

2. Who was the first to invent a machine whose operating principle is very similar to present-day computers? Describe these similarities.

3. In which process was Hollerith’s machine involved and what was its role?

4. Describe all the technical parameters of the first electric powered computer.

5. What were the differences between the Mark I and the ENIAC?

6.What is the main advantage of using binary code in storing data and instructions?