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Impact of Computers on Society

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Impact of Computers on Society

Ever since the dawn of civilization, knowledge has been power. If you knew how to count, you could understand more than others. This still applies today. If you know more than another, you will have more power. Computers in the modern world are the main source of knowledge. From a simple calculator to the most powerful supercomputer, computers give man an edge over his/her rivals.

Technology is all about being one step ahead of others. Being able to do advanced math before your opponents allows you to gain a strategic advantage in corporate competition or global politics. Supercomputers can compute missile trajectories while at the same time can be used to look for oil. The movie Hackers takes that into account when it refers to Gibson supercomputers being used to search for oil. You can analyze billions of pieces of data for a certain pattern and return the results in a comparatively short amount of time. Even though not everyone has a super computer, the ability to analyze large amounts of data is still there. Groups like SETI@HOME use thousands of computers at once to search for life elsewhere in the universe. This just shows how many applications a large amount of computing power has.

I have been around computers my entire life almost. During the early days of MS-DOS, I was using a program called “Alpine Tram Ride.” Like all the other games I got latter on, this was educational. To tell you the truth I can’t even remember the game and what it taught, yet I do remember the fact that I did use it a lot and that it was helpful. Other programs taught math or geography. This was the beginning of computers in education at home. Today you can get courses on CD or be schooled over the internet. Home schooling would have been more difficult before computers. Computers increased one’s ability to teach him/herself. They have even created new fields of study such as Artificial Intelligence or the best field of all…Computer Programming in Perl taught by Dmitriy Genzel. =) These classes then spread into fields like engineering where users can use programs like AutoCAD and design things (I don’t know much about CAD programs so don’t know how or what they design).

Computers have entered right into the classroom. If you use a calculator…that is a computer. Also programs like Excel (or other graphing programs) can allow you to graph certain functions that would be hard to do by hand.
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