Text Computers in the modern world

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Text 2. Computers in the modern world.

1. Read the text

(Прочитайте текст)

Almost everything in the modern world is done with the help of computers. Today computers are being used more and more extensively, for the simple reason that they are far more efficient than human beings. They have much better memories and can store great amount of information and they can do calculations in a fraction of the time required by a human mathematician. No man can do 500,000 sums in a second, but a modern computer can.

They can control machines, work out tomorrow's weather and even play chess, write poetry or compose music. They help scholars to find a book or article in many subjects. There are also systems which are being developed to translate articles from foreign magazines by computer and to make up many lists of information which are needed in a modern library.

Computers influence our life and our language. Today even a 5 years old child knows that a mouse is not only a type of small animal that has long front teeth, but also an input device, on top of which there are one or more buttons for communicating with the computer. But the only language computers can understand directly is called machine code. It is known to consist of the binary code (1s and 0s). Machine code as a means of communication is very difficult to write, so you need a special program to understand this language.

Basic languages, in which the program is similar to the machine code version, are known as low-level languages. To make the program easier to write and to overcome the problem of intercommunication between different types of machines, higher-level languages were developed such as BASIC, COBOL, FORTRAN, Pascal, Ada, C and others. A higher-level language is a problem oriented programming language, whereas a low-level language is machine oriented. This means that higher-level language is a convenient and simple means of describing the information structure and sequences of actions to be performed for a particular task. At present there is a tendency towards an even higher level of programming languages, which might be called specification languages, and an increasing use of software development tools. People communicate instructions to the computer in symbolic languages and the easier this communication can be made, the wider the application of the computers will be. Scientists are reported to be already working on artificial intelligence and the next generation of computers will be able to understand human languages.

Another great achievement of the computer world is the Internet. It is a magnificent global network with millions of people and computers connected together, where they exchange an immeasurable amount of information, e-mails, news, resources and ideas. With a few touches of a keyboard a person can get access to materials in almost everywhere. The web is one of the best resources for the up-to-date information. It is a hypertext-based system by which you can navigate through the Internet. Hypertext is the text that contains links to other documents. A special program known as browser can help you to find news, pictures, virtual museums, electronic magazines and print Web pages. You can also click on keyboard or buttons that take you to other pages or other Web sites. This is possible because browsers understand hypertext markup language or code, a set of commands to indicate how a web page is formatted and displayed. Internet allows Video conferencing programs and television for home communications, shopping, banking and other interactive services. For example, e-commerce offers buyers convenience. They can visit the World Wide Web sites 24 hours a day and seven days a week to compare prices and make purchases, without having to leave their homes or offices. In some cases, consumers can immediately obtain a product or service, such as an electronic book, a music file, or computer software, by downloading it over the Internet. For long-distance or worldwide communications, computers are usually connected into a wide area network to form a single integrated network. Networks can be linked together by telephone lines or fibre-optic cables. Modern telecommunication systems use fibre-optic cables require little physical space, they are safe as they don't carry electricity, and they avoid electromagnetic interference.

Network on different continents can also be connected via satellites. Computers are connected by means of a modem to ordinary telephone lines or fibre-optic cables, which are linked to a dish aerial. Communication satellites receive and send signals on a transcontinental scale.

Computer graphics are known to be pictures and drawings produced by computers. A graphics program interprets the input provided by the user and transports it into images that can be displayed on the screen, printed on paper or transferred to microfilm. In the process the computer uses hundreds of mathematical formulas to convert the bits of data into precise shapes and colours. Graphics can be developed for a variety of uses including illustrations, architectural designs and detailed engineering drawings. Basically, computer graphics help users to understand complex information quickly by presenting it in more understandable and clearer visual forms. Electric engineers use Computer graphics for design circuits and in business it is possible to present information as graphics and diagrams.

We interact with computers by entering instructions and data into them. After the information has been processed, we can see the result on the visual display unit or the monitor. The picture and the characters we see on the screen are made up of picture elements which are called pixels. The total number of pixels the display is divided in (both horizontally and vertically) is known as resolution. Sharp image and high resolution are obtained with large number of pixels, and when the number of pixels is small, the resolution is low. Thus, pixel density affects the quality of the image. The cathode ray tube of the monitor is similar to that of TV set. An electron beam inside the tube scans the screen and turns on or off the pixels that make up the image. In a color monitor the, the screen surface is coated with substances called phosphor materials are - one each for red, green and blue. A beam of electrons causes phosphor materials to give coloured light from which the picture is formed. Colour monitors are capable to display many different colours at the same time. Portable computers use a flat liquid-crystal display (LCD) instead of a picture tube.


2. Learn the Words and Word Combinations

(Выучите эти слова и выражения)

Words and Word Combinations

1. extensively - широко

2. calculations- вычисления

3. a mouse -мышь

4. an input device - устройство ввода

5. button - кнопка, клавиша

6. machine code - машинный код, кодирование

7. binary - бинарный, двоичный

8. a low-level languages - низкоуровневый язык

9. a higher-level language - язык высокого уровня

10. sequence - последовательность

11. intercommunication - совместимость

12. software - программное обеспечение

13. network - работа в сети

14. web - сеть

15. browser - браузер

16. keyboard - клавиатура

17. up-to-date - современный

18. bits of data - биты информации

19. interactive services - интерактивные услуги

20. fiber-optic cable - оптоволоконный кабель

21. to download - загрузить

22. screen - экран

23. pixel - пиксель

24. resolution - разрешение

25. display- монитор

26. density - плотность

27. cathode ray tube - катодно-лучевая трубка

28. electron beam - электронный луч

29. quality - качество

30. flat liquid-crystal display - плоский жидкокристаллический дисплей

Все последующие задания выполняются письменно

3. Copy from the text the sentences with the words and word combinations of essential vocabulary and translate them into Russian. ( Найдите и выпишите из текста предложения со словами и выражениями из предыдущего задания и переведите их на русский язык)

4. Choose the answers to the following questions

( Выберите ответы на следующие вопросы):

1. Are the computers far more efficient than human beings?

a) Yes, they are;

b) No, they are not;

c) I don't know;

d) Aren't they?

2. What is a computer mouse?

a) a type of small animal that has long front teeth;

b) an input device;

c) traditional letterpress;

d) raised printing elements.

3. What is machine code?

a) a special type of printing;

b) embroidered artwork;

c) the only language computers can understand directly;

d) foreign language.

4. What is the Internet?

a) an application program;

b) an indirect printing technology;

c) a magnificent global network;

d) computer software.

5. What is pixel?

a) the result of a visual display;

b) the smallest unit of an image on a computer screen;

c) the screen resolution;

d) the screen printing.

5. Match the two halves of the phrases:

(Соедините две половины выражений)














an input
























cathode ray



6. Translate the resulting expressions into Russian.

(Переведите полученные выражения (из упр. 5) на русский язык письменно)

7. Fill in the gaps with an appropriate word or phrase from the box:

(Заполните пропуски словами из рамки):

Desktop, clicking, Internet, modem, dialog box, mouse, icon, resolution, software, binary system.

1. A …….. is a small input device, on top of which there are one or more buttons for communicating with the computer.

2. .……….. means the programs needed to operate computer equipment.

3. People send e-mail messages with the help of the ……. .

4. An …….. is a small picture representing an object, process or function.

5. ………. is a basic mouse action to place a cursor to close a window.

6. A ……… an electronic device that converts signals to enable a computer to be connected to an ordinary telephone line.

7. The main operating system's background screen is called the ………. .

8. The ………. ……….. is a number system that only uses two digits (0 and 1).

9. A ………. ………. is a message window with different options for the user to choose, with a text box and some command buttons inside it.

10. ……… is the amount of details that you can see on a television or computer screen, or in a photograph.

8. Put the verbs in brackets in appropriate form of continuous tense

( Употребите глаголы в правильной грамматической форме продолженного времени):

1. Computers (to be used) more and more extensively in the world today.

2. There are also systems which (to be developed) to translate articles from foreign magazines by computer.

3. - What's the use of the Internet?

-Look! With a few touches of a keyboard I (to get) access to materials in almost everywhere.

4. - What is he doing?

- He (to make) purchases in the Internet-shop.

5. Just now I (to download) an electronic book over the Internet.

6. At this moment the computer (to use) hundreds of mathematical formulas to convert the bits of data into precise shapes and colours.

7. - What's the matter with you now?

- Oh, my new portable computer (not to switch on).

8. Do you happen to know that at this moment an electron beam inside the tube (to scan) the screen and (to turn) on or off the pixels that make up the image.

9. Find in the text the English equivalents to these Russian words:

(Найдите в тексте английские эквиваленты следующих слов)

1. развивать

2. иностранный

3. язык

4. влиять

5. следующее поколение

6. человеческий

7. покупатель

8. покупка

9. потребитель

10. загружать

11. пользователь

12. данные

13. общее число

14. вещество

15. покрывать

16. достигать, получать

17. понятный

18. ясный

19. чертеж

20. преобразовывать.

10. Transfer the sentences from passive voice into active:

(Преобразуйте предложения из страдательного залога в действительный):

1. Almost everything in the modern world is done with the help of computers.

e.g.: The help of computers does almost everything in the modern world.

2. Higher-level languages such as BASIC, COBOL, FORTRAN, Pascal, Ada, C and others were developed by the programmers.

3. The input of data is provided by the graphic program.

4. Sharp image and high resolution are obtained with a large number of pixels.

5. The quality of the image is affected by pixel density.

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