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Text B. THE LANGUAGE OF COMPUTERS
Fifty years ago, people hadn’t even heard of computers, and today we cannot imagine life without them.
Computer technology is the fastest-growing industry in the world. The first computer was the size of a minibus and weighed a ton. Today, a chip the size of a pinhead can do its job. And the revolution is still going on.
Very soon we’ll have computers that we’ll wear on our wrists or even in our glasses and earrings. Such wearable computers are being developed in the USA.
Japan’s biggest mobile-phone company has just released its cleverest product so far, the I-mode, a mobile phone that allows you to surf the Internet as well as make calls. People are already using the phone to check the news headlines, follow the stock market and download the latest jokes. Soon they will be able to buy cinema tickets and manage their bank accounts.
The next generation of computers will be able to talk and even think for themselves. They will contain electronic “neural networks”. Of course, they’ll be still a lot simpler than human brains, but it will be a great step forward. Such computers will help to diagnose illnesses, find minerals, understand and control the world’s money markets, identify criminals and control space travel.
Computer revolution is changing our life and our language, too. We are constantly making up new words or giving new meanings to old ones. Most of computer terms are born in Silicon Valley, the world’s top computer-science centre.
I. Read the text ‘The Language of Computers’ without a dictionary. Try to understand it.
II. ARE YOU PART OF COMPUTER REVOLUTION?
Do the following tasks and find out.
A. Choose an answer – a) or b).
1. A mouse is
a) a small furry animal with a long tail;
b) a small box used to operate a computer.
2. To surf is
a) to ride on a board on the waves of the sea;
b) to move around the Internet.
3. A bug is
a) a small insect;
b) an error in a computer programme.
4. A flame is
a) a red or yellow burning gas seen when something is on fire;
b) an unfriendly or rude e-mail.
5. To boot is
a) to kick;
b) to start a computer.
6. A geek [gi:k] is
a) someone who bites off the heads of alive chickens as part of a show;
b) a person who knows everything about computers.
B. Choose an answer – a), b) or c).
1. What do you use a modem for?
a) to print a document;
b) to play music on your computer;
c) to send messages along a telephone line.
2. What do you use when you want to look for sites on the world wide web?
a) a browser;
b) a CD ROM;
c) a printer.
3. What can you use the Internet for?
a) to delete a file from your computer;
b) to help you find information and communicate with people;
c) to make your computer work faster.
4. What do you use a scanner for?
a) to transfer photos and texts to your computer;
b) to find certain files on the Internet;
c) to clean your computer.
5. How much is a gigabyte?
a) 1,000 megabytes;
b) 100 megabytes;
c) 1000 bytes.
C. Match the words (or phrases) with the definitions.
1. chat room
a) the ability of a computer to run several programmes at once;
b) the screen you see after you’ve switched your computer;
c) an area on the Internet where people can communicate with each other in “real time”;
d) the business of buying and selling goods and services on the Internet;
e) a stick which helps you move in computer games;
f) the imaginary place where electronic messages, information pictures, etc. exist when they are sent from one computer to another.
D. True or False?
1. When you use the Internet, you need a computer, a radio and a phone line.
2. You can use the Internet to read newspapers and magazines.
3. You cannot use the Internet to play videogames.
4. The Internet can help you to do shopping.
5. You can use the Internet to “chat” with people and make new friends.
6. You need a CD to send e-mail.
7. Multimedia pages with pictures, music and video make downloading slow.
E. Do this puzzle and you’ll read the name of one of the most successful computer companies.
1. This small box is used to operate a computer.
2. A document on your computer.
3. A device, which is used to transfer photos and texts to your computer.
4. To make a computer better or able to do more things.
5. This looks like a typewriter and has the keys you need to press.
6. It can be hard or floppy.
7. A device, which allows your computer to send messages along a telephone line.
8. An unfriendly or rude e-mail.
9. To start a computer.
F. Complete the sentences by using the following words:
web, information, interactive, e-mail, on-screen, chat, PC, generation, video.
Is it possible to have a TV set, a (1)_____ and the Internet all in one? With the advent of Internet TV it has become a reality. Imagine watching a film on TV and getting (2) _____ on the actors in the film at the same time! To enter (3) _____ addresses and write (4) _____ you use a remote control and an (5) _____ keyboard or an optional wireless keyboard. By clicking a button, you can also read adverts, (6) “_____” with a friend, plan your holiday and play your favourite (7) _____ games. In the future you’ll be able to change the plot of the film you’re watching and meddle in the private lives of the characters. The next (8) _____ of Internet TVs will also have a smart card for shopping, banking and other (9) _____ activities.
III. Retell the text ‘The language of computers’ in English.
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