Computer Currents

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Computer Currents

  1. 1. Computer Currents Miguel Rebollo Introduction to Computer Science 2009-2010
  2. 2. Aims • What is a computer and what it does • Study current trends in the evolution of modern computers • Analyse the fundamental differences between computers and other machines • Know the relationship between hardware and software • Classify the different kinds of computers • Understand the social and ethical impact of information technology on our society 4626. Introd to Computer Science
  3. 3. General perspective • Computers are machines that converts input data into output information • Computer’s versatility is built upon its software 4626. Introd to Computer Science
  4. 4. Computers in perspective • 1939: first programmable, general-purpose, digital machine (Konrad Zuse) • 1943: first electronic, digital computer (Alan Turing) • 1944: IBM develops Mark I (based on Babbage’s analytical machine) • 1946: ENIAC, Univ. Pennsylvania • 1951: UNIVAC, first commercial computer 4626. Introd to Computer Science
  5. 5. Computer’s evolution 60 years of transistor (1947-2007) vacuum transistors tubes integrated micro- circuits processor 4626. Introd to Computer Science
  6. 6. Computers today • Supercomputers • Servers • Workstations • Personal computers • Portable computers • Specific purpose computers 4626. Introd to Computer Science
  7. 7. Mainframes and supercomputers • cost: 1,000,000 € • used by large organisations • huge computations tasks • time sharing: to give short time periods to each user • supercomputers: intensive calculus 4626. Introd to Computer Science
  8. 8. Servers • provide services (sw resources) to several users among a network • servers are specifically designed to this work 4626. Introd to Computer Science
  9. 9. Workstations • high-end desktop computers • for users who need massive computer power • scientific applications 4626. Introd to Computer Science
  10. 10. Personal computers • serve a single user at a time • powerful enough for common applications, and cheaper • IBM PC is not the only personal computer (PC) 4626. Introd to Computer Science
  11. 11. First IBM PC 4626. Introd to Computer Science
  12. 12. Portable computers • machines that are not tied to the desktop (less than 3 kg) • same power as PC • in the border line: handheld computers and PDAs (personal digital assistant) 4626. Introd to Computer Science
  13. 13. Specific purpose • dedicated computers that performs specific tasks • their programs cannot be changed easily, because they’re stored in their circuits • embedded computers: integrated in a lot of devices (as electronic equipment or household appliances) 4626. Introd to Computer Science
  14. 14. Is this a computer? 4626. Introd to Computer Science
  15. 15. And these? 4626. Introd to Computer Science
  16. 16. Computer connections • They appear when terminals are substituted by PC (60s) →LAN • Allow to share resources among computers and to communicate • Joined forming bigger networks (WAN) • use of standard telephonic lines • extended to domestic users in 90s 4626. Introd to Computer Science
  17. 17. Internet revolution • Born for educational and research instit. • Closely related with WWW development • Current alternatives to connections: • network computers (NC) • household appliances • games and set-top boxes • cell phones 4626. Introd to Computer Science
  18. 18. Main applications • Productivity tools • Graphics and digital photography • Digital sound and video. Multimedia • Telecomm. and networks • Artificial intelligence • Entertainment • General problem resolution 4626. Introd to Computer Science
  19. 19. Social and ethic problems • Threat to personal privacy • Difficulty to keep data secure • Difficulty to protect property • Risk to failures • Threat to work automation and deshumanisation • High dependence of tech 4626. Introd to Computer Science
  20. 20. does technology have to change?
  21. 21. ...or is the people who has to change?
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