The impact of media invention : Week 2

It was a sunny day. You look up. “Starbucks Coffee” was written on the signboard. You walked to the glass door under the signboard that marks the premise of the cafe. You opened the door using your right hand. Sniff sniff. The smell of coffee beans that were just freshly roasted goes through your nose. You smiled to yourself. Then, you walked to the the queue for the counter. One, two, three, yes three people are before you. And you waited in line. Beep beep, goes something in your pocket. The right pocket in your pants. Hmm. You wondered what was it. So, you took your right hand and reached into the right pocket of your pants. You touched something. A rectangular object, but thin as a piece of plywood. But it was a familiar object. You grabbed the object, brought it out, and looked at it. There is a small screen on the object. “2 messages from 2 groups”, it shows on the screen. You moved your fingers, unlocked it and read the messages. Oh look, it’s your turn to order. You placed the object back in your pocket and ordered your favorite coffee. After getting your coffee, you looked for a table to sit. At the window, there is an empty space. That same place every time you go to that cafe. You sat at the table. Reached for your bag. Pulled out another object. Rectangular. But this time, its bigger than the last one. You placed the object on the table. There was a flap. You opened it up. “Password” is written on the screen, asking you to input in the field. And then you continued your day as usual.

That people, is the modern day human. Often seen in coffee shops and cafes, these people are usually doing work or just chilling. Those objects are tools to live everyday life nowadays. The small object, is called a smartphone. It is simply, a mobile phone that performs many of the functions of a computer, typically having a touchscreen interface, Internet access, and an operating system capable of running downloaded applications. And the bigger rectangle, is what you call a laptop, or a computer. A laptop is, a portable computer, usually battery-powered, small enough to rest on the user’s lap and having a screen that closes over the keyboard like a lid. As you can see in this definitions, a word keeps appearing over and over again. The word computer. So, what is a computer? A computer is a programmable electronic device designed to accept data, perform prescribed mathematical and logical operations at high speed, and display the results of these operations. Mainframes, desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones are some of the different types of computers. The invention of computers has changed how we live, especially comparing now, the technology and information age, and the previous ages. The following excerpt was taken from http://www.history.com.

The earliest electronic computers were not “personal” in any way: They were enormous and hugely expensive, and they required a team of engineers and other specialists to keep them running. Running computer like this are complicated. One of the first and most famous of these, the Electronic Numerical Integrator Analyzer and Computer (ENIAC), was built at the University of Pennsylvania to do ballistics calculations for the U.S. military during World War II. ENIAC cost $500,000, weighed 30 tons and took up nearly 2,000 square feet of floor space. On the outside, ENIAC was covered in a tangle of cables, hundreds of blinking lights and nearly 6,000 mechanical switches that its operators used to tell it what to do. On the inside, almost 18,000 vacuum tubes carried electrical signals from one part of the machine to another.

ENIAC and other early computers proved to many universities and corporations that the machines were worth the tremendous investment of money, space and manpower they demanded. (For example, ENIAC could solve in 30 seconds a missile-trajectory problem that could take a team of human “computers” 12 hours to complete.) At the same time, new technologies were making it possible to build computers that were smaller and more streamlined. In 1948, Bell Labs introduced the transistor, an electronic device that carried and amplified electrical current but was much smaller than the cumbersome vacuum tube. Ten years later, scientists at Texas Instruments and Fairchild Semiconductor came up with the integrated circuit, an invention that incorporated all of the computer’s electrical parts–transistors, capacitors, resistors and diodes–into a single silicon chip.

But one of the most significant of the inventions that paved the way for the PC revolution was the microprocessor. Before microprocessors were invented, computers needed a separate integrated-circuit chip for each one of their functions. (This was one reason the machines were still so large.) Microprocessors were the size of a thumbnail, and they could do things the integrated-circuit chips could not: They could run the computer’s programs, remember information and manage data all by themselves.

The first microprocessor on the market was developed in 1971 by an engineer at Intel named Ted Hoff. (Intel was located in California’s Santa Clara Valley, a place nicknamed “Silicon Valley” because of all the high-tech companies clustered around the Stanford Industrial Park there.) Intel’s first microprocessor, a 1/16-by-1/8-inch chip called the 4004, had the same computing power as the massive ENIAC.

The inventions that followed after the invention of the personal computer has changed people in many ways. Nowadays, you do not require many people to operate a computer. Now computers has evolved in the form of phones, laptops and tablets that are portable and can be brought everywhere. Computers now can help to do human tasks in many ways. Computing, calculation, art, even study. And that’s the story of how computers changed modern society.

 

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