Computers in Every Day Life Had Humble Beginnings3 min read
Because computers are so prevalent in today’s society, it’s important to have at least a working knowledge of where they come from as well as what kinds there are. While we may think we know everything, simply because we have one sitting on a desk at home, you might find there’s a bit more you could learn. And learning is what a computer ought to be for, isn’t it?
Once upon a time, a computer was a person who did calculations and of course computations. As early as 1613 these people were called ‘computers’. In the 19th century, the first computing machines came about. These included things modern people would consider very simple, such as the abacus, sliding rule and an astronomical clock that tracked the stars and the signs of the zodiac.
Computers are the result of two technologies. One is that of automated calculation and the other is about programmability. In a general sense, a computer is a multi-purpose tool built around a microprocessor. It includes a hard drive, memory, a modem as well as other components. A computer user is able to type documents, send email and browse the internet. Of course, they are also useful for playing games. Any computer will offer a method of inputting information and receiving an output.
One type of computer is called a personal computer or desktop, shortened to the acronym PC. A PC is used by an individual person rather than a large group of people. Their direct predecessors are mainframe computers, which were used to do batch processing and required an intervening operator between user and system. PCs are more for word processing, spreadsheets, internet use and databases. PCs also allow users to play games such as single player titles or multi-massive online and more interactive games.
Laptops are similar to PCs in the way of components but slightly different when it comes to use and purpose. They are meant to be lightweight and mobile, but are also good for creating documents, accessing the internet and playing games. Laptops are gaining more and more popularity and more laptops were sold in 2008 than PCs. One major difference between a PC and laptop is the pointing device. Where PCs use a mouse, a laptop will use a touchpad or a pointing stick. Many laptops can outperform the average PC when it comes to games and internet use.
Games are a major reason why people purchase new computers. While the computer and especially the internet have a strong educational role in today’s society, most people are familiar with playing games on their PC or laptop. It wasn’t that long ago that games could only be found in arcades or on game consoles alone. Now, however, the individual computer user can play games on their own, some taking up to forty real time hours before completion, or play in worlds full of thousands of other logged on users. Many games require a computer that has a special graphics processing unit or GPU, also known as a video card, in order to run the high-demand graphics that most game designers use.
Computers are everywhere today and it’s important that everyone who uses one have a little bit of information on what they are about. While games are a major draw for getting a computer, it’s also important to remember that computers can provide much education and knowledge. With the right information and resources, a single user with a personal computer can be a very powerful influence on the world, in many good ways.