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Visualizing Technology Chapter 1

All-in-one computer
compact desktop computer with an integrated monitor. Some systems have a touch screen monitor and are wall mountable. All in ones save desktop real estate but may be difficult to upgrade because of their small size. They are popular in places where space is at a premium, such as emergency rooms, bank teller windows and business cubicles.
Bioinformatics
the use of computers, software, and mathematical models to process and integrate biological information from large data sets.
Computer
A computer is a programmable machine that converts raw data into useful information. A computer can be a calculator, a media center, a communications center and much more. The ability to change its programming is what distinguishes a computer from any other machine.
Convergence
the integration of technology on multifunction devices like television and smartphones.
Data
the unprocessed, or raw form, of information
Desktop Computer
designed to sit on a user’s desk. They range in price from under $500 for basic personal systems to thousands of dollars for cutting-edge machines that can be used for video editing, gaming, and number crunching. Desktop computers offer the most speed, power, and upgradability for the lowest cost. The term workstation is used in a business environment to refer to a high-end desktop computer or one that’s attached to a network.
Distributed Computing
distributes the processing of a task across a group of computers. This can be done on a fairly small scale, using a few computers in one location(GRID COMPUTING) or on a much larger scale.
Embedded Computer
the “brains” many everyday mechanism. Considered ubiquitous because they are found in many everyday mechanisms, like wireless devices, traffic signals and washing machines.
ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer)
the first working, digital, general-purpose computer
-invented the automated general-purpose calculator, called the Mark 1. This computer was able to compute ballistics tables for the U.S. Army called the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC). This computer wasn’t completed until after the WWII ended. Later they designed the UNIVAC, the first general-purpose computer built in the U.S.
Ergonomics
relationship between users and their workspace. Design factors are intended to maximize productivity by minimizing operator fatigue and discomfort. Proper ergonomic design is necessary to prevent repetitive strain injuries, which can develop over time and can lead to a long-term disability. An improperly set up workspace can affect your health, comfort and productivity. Ergonomic design creates a work environment designed to reduce illness and musculoskeletal disorders. The furniture you use, the lighting in the room and the position of your equipment all impact your work environment.
GPS (Global Positioning System)
Commonly found on cell phones today, another familiar handheld device is the GPS unit. Originally built by the military, GPS (global positional system) consists of 24 satellites that transmit signals that can be picked up by a GPS receiver on the ground and used to determine the current location, time, and velocity through triangulation of these signals. Today GPS is used in cars, boats, and cell phones.
Green Computing
the efficient and eco-friendly use of computers and other electronics.
Grid Computing
is a form of distributed computing that is done on a small scale and uses a few computers in one location.
Handheld/ Mobile Devices
portable computers used for business and entertainment and come in many different shapes and sizes-from pocket-sized PDAs to heart-rate monitors that you wear on your wrist. Some of these devices serve specialized functions, such as GPS navigation, while others, such as smartphones, are more general-purpose devices. These devices have more features and capabilities with ever new model introduced, and costs continue to drop.
Information
the processed, useful form of data
IPC (Information Processing Cycle)
The four steps of the IPC are input, processing, storage and output. Raw data is entered into the system during the input stage. The data processed or manipulated to create useful information. The information is then stored for later retrieval and is returned to the user in the output stage.
Integrated Circuit
a silicon chip that contains a large number of tiny transistors
-Third generation technology introduced the integrated circuit (IC). IC’s are silicon chips that contain large numbers of tiny transistors. They replaced transistors because they were faster, smaller and more reliable. These were popularized in the 1960’s. Two separate inventors, Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce, unaware of each other’s activities invented almost identical IC’s at nearly the same time.
Mac
built by Apple and run the MAC OS X Snow Leopard operating system. MACs have a reputation for being secure, stable and fun. They come with a variety of useful programs already installed and are very user friendly. MACs are often used in creative businesses, such as advertising and graphic design.
Mainframe
are large servers that process millions of transactions a day. These are most commonly found in businesses that have massive amounts of data or transactions to process, such as banks and insurance companies. Enterprise servers have largely replaced mainframe computers and terms can be used synonymously. These systems allow thousands of users to utilize the system concurrently.
Microprocessor
the chip that contains the central processing unit (CPU) of a computer
Minicomputer
-smallest multiuser computers. Users connect to minicomputers via dumb terminals, which have no processing capabilities of their own. Today, minicomputers have been replaces by midrange servers that users connect to via personal computers called clients.
-Midrange servers can be used to perform complex calculations, store customer information and transactions or host an e-mail system for an organization. They can support hundreds of simultaneous users and are scalable, allowing for growth, as a company’s needs change. (Replaced by minisized servers).
Moore’s Law
The observation made in 1965 by Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since the integrated circuit was invented. Moore predicted that this trend would continue for the foreseeable future. In subsequent years, the pace slowed down a bit, but data density has doubled approximately every 18 months, and this is the current definition of Moore’s Law, which Moore himself has blessed. Most experts, including Moore himself, expect Moore’s Law to hold for at least another two decades.
Multiuser Computer
allow users to leverage the power of computers that far exceed what a PC can do. They ability to centrally manage information and security to distribute the processing across multiple systems has given the scientific and business communities the power to solve many of our most pressing problems in an extremely short amount of time.
Netbook
newest type of notebook computer. They are lightweight; inexpensive computers are designed primarily for Internet access. Netbooks have built-in wireless capabilities but have small screens and offer limited computing power and storage. Netbooks are becoming popular quickly.
Notebook
or laptops are portable personal computers. Today notebook computers rival desktops in power and storage capacity-but at a price. A notebook can cost about twice as much as a comparable desktop system. However the cost of all computers has come down drastically, and notebook computers are becoming more popular as a result. Once used primarily by business travelers, notebooks are now common on college campuses, in living rooms, and in coffee shops. Modern notebook computers typically come with built-in wireless networking capabilities, webcams, and bright widescreen displays. Desktop replacements are high-end notebooks with large screens and powerful processors.
PC
can be built by any number of companies; including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Acer, and Toshiba. PCs that run some version of Windows or Linux constitute over 90% of the U.S. market share. Because they’re produced by many manufactures, PCs are available by numerous models, configurations and price ranges. They also have a much larger selection of software applications available. The type of computer you get depends on, personal preferences, the types of software you need to run, compatibility with school or work computers, and cost.
Personal Computer
a small microprocessor-based computer designed to be used by one person at a time. Refers to a computer running on a Windows operating system however Macintosh computers and those running on Linux operating systems are also personal computers.
Server
computers that provide services such as Internet access, e-mail, or file and print services, to client systems. They range in size and cost from very small servers costing a few hundred dollars to massive enterprise servers costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Supercomputer
as the name implies, are super and can perform complex math calculations, such as those used in weather forecasting and medical research. Designed to perform a limited number of tasks as quickly as possible, supercomputers can consist of a single computer with multiple processors or a group of computers that work together. The world’s top supercomputers can be found at major universities and research institutes around the world.
Table PC
a type of notebook computer that has a screen that can swivel to fold into what resembles a notepad or tablet. They include a special digital pen or stylus that allows the user to write directly on the screen. Table PCs are useful for taking notes or drawing diagrams and for making information such as sale catalogs portable. Windows 7 includes a feature called Windows Touch, which offers multi-touch capability. Newer all in ones and tablets that support multi touch allow you to interact with your computer using not just one finger but two or even four!
Transistor
tiny electronic switches were invented in 1947 and led to second generation computers in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The use of transistors in place of vacuum tubes allowed these newer computers to be more powerful, smaller and more reliable. Equally important, they could be reprogrammed in far less time.
– Replaced the vacuum tubes in 1947
– Made computers more powerful, smaller and reliable
– Revolutionized the electronics industry
Ubicomp (Ubiquitous Computing)
when computers become so commonplace we don’t recognize the technology as being a computer. Occurs when technology fades into the background and appears unseen.
Vacuum Tube
a tube that resembles an incandescent light bulb and was used in first-generation computers
Video Game System
a computer designed primarily to play games. Today’s video game consoles are seventh generation systems with high-end graphics and processing.
Volunteer Computing
a form of distributed computing that relies on the processing power of hundreds or thousands of volunteers’ personal computers
Wearable
Today wearable computers are used for health monitoring, communications, military operations and entertainment.
Workstation
a high-end desktop computer or one that’s attached to a network in a business setting

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