As each us of look at our lives, do we realize the importance of these electronic mechanisms we call computers? I shall now endeavor to elaborate upon how these mind tools have, and continue to affect me.
Every morning, I awake to the awkward squawking of my alarm clock. Much to my dismay, I groggily smack the ‘off’ button and crawl out of bed. My first encounter of the day has just occurred. That small black box that faithfully rouses me, is a simple microcomputer. If it were not for this device, many days I would arrive late to class.
During the process of dressing myself, I strap a watch to my wrist. This little timepiece is quite useful, reminding me of deadlines and appointments. Inside my watch, believe it or not, is yet another microcomputer.
Moving on, I begin to prepare a meal. In my kitchen are several devices that are in some fashion controlled by computers. For example, let us examine the microwave. The microwave contains a microprocessor and memory. These work together to maintain an accurate clock, as well as an efficient food preparatory system. Information is input to the microwave by use of the external touch pad, this data is stored and processed in the memory and processor as it completes it’s task.
Another activity that I may do is listen to a compact disc. CD players have decoders that interpret the microscopic pits and dents on the surface of a CD into music. This decoded information is then converted into sound and amplified to produce the desired sounds.
Still another event that requires the use of computers is checking e-mail. I daily communicate with friends by the use of electronic mail. The lists of occurrences that take place for me to be able to do this are much too complicated to explain now, so I will only briefly outline this process.
To start with, my personal computer must be functional and be able to communicate with a remote server. When this takes place, all of my outbound messag...