И. Н. Мороз english for it students
to be referred
free of charge
a) chose the correct translation:
3) to convert
4) to clip
5) reference book
b) Match the words with their meanings:
с) Match the words with their definitions:
a) Before reading the text, match the words with their definitions:
b) Read the text and try to explain the heading:
Delete Keys – Clipboard Technology
FOR THE LAST GENERATION, Silicon Valley and Tokyo have been working to design computers that are ever easier to use. There is one thing, however, that has prevented the machines from becoming their user-friendliest: you still have to input data with a keyboard, and that can require you to do a lot of typing and to memorize a lot of elaborate commands.
Enter the clipboard computer, a technology that has been in development for the last 20 years but took hold in the mass market only this year. Clipboard PCs - which, as their name suggests, are not much bigger than an actual clipboard - replace the keyboard with a liquid crystal display (LCD) screen and an electronic stylus. Users input data by printing individual letters directly on the screen.
There are two technologies at work in a clipboard PC: one allows raw data to get into the computer and the other allows the computer to figure out what that data means. The first technology relies principally on hardware and varies depending on the particular computer. In one system, marketed under the name GRIDPad, the computer's LCD screen is covered by a sheet of glass with a transparent conductive coating. Voltage is sent across the glass in horizontal and vertical lines forming a fine grid; at any point on the grid, the voltage is slightly different. When the stylus - which is essentially a voltmeter – touches the screen, it informs the computer of the voltage at that point. The computer uses this information to determine where the stylus is and causes a liquid crystal pixel to appear at those coordinates. The position of the stylus is monitored several hundred times a second, so as the stylus moves across the glass, whole strings of pixels are activated.
‘What we do is sort of connect the dots,’ says Jeff Hawkins, the creator of GRIDPad. `Users can then write whatever they want on the screen with a kind of electronic ink.’
Making that writing comprehensible to the computer, however, requires the help of some powerful software. When the stylus is being used, the computer is programmed to look for moments when the tip does not touch the screen for a third of a second or more. Every time this happens - and it happens a lot when somebody is printing - the software assumes that one letter or number has been written. The pixel positions of this fresh character are then passed on to the computer’s pattern recognition software, which instantly identifies the letter or number written.
The software does this by first cleaning up the character - smoothing out crooked lines and removing errant dots. The remaining lines and curves are then compared with a series of templates in the computer’s memory that represent hundreds of thousands of different versions of every letter in the English alphabet and all ten numerals. When the computer finds the closest match, it encodes the character in memory and displays it on the screen as if it had been typed. The entire process takes just a fraction of a second. To delete a word, you simply draw a line through it. To move to the next page, you flick the stylus at the bottom of the screen as if you’re flicking the page of a book.
There are a handful of clipboard computers now on the market, including GRIDPad, which is sold in the US; Penvision, manufactured by NCR and sold around the world; and Sony's Palmtop and Canon’s Al Note, both sold only in Japan. IBM and Apple are also pouring millions of dollars into the technology.
In addition to this hardware, a variety of software is also making its way to the market. Depending on the power of the computer and the sophistication of the software, clipboard systems can be programmed to understand the particular quirks of a particular user's printing1; this is an especially useful feature in Japan, where elaborate kanji2 characters make up most of the written language. Improvements in software may soon allow machines sold in the US to understand not only printing but continuous script as well.
Given such flexibility, the designers of clipboard computers are predicting big things – and a big market – for their products. ‘There’s no doubt about it,’ says an optimistic Hawkins. `You’re going to own one of these things in the not-too-distant future’.
8.made by mistake
9.move quickly and sharply
e) Complete the dialog using the information from the text:
A How big is a clipboard PC?
A Does it have a keyboard?
A How does the stylus work?
A How does the computer know when one letter or number is complete?
A And how does the computer recognize different letters?
A Can you delete a word after you have written it?
B Yes. _________________________________________________
A Are these systems capable of recognizing joined writing?
Laptops have the same features as desktop computers, but they’re smaller. Figure 3-4 shows a typical PC laptop, which has everything a desktop computer has, but all shoved into the space of a typical three-ring binder. Because of laptops’ smaller components, they usually run more than twice the cost of a comparable desktop system.
Be mindful of the case design!
Although some computer boxes look sleeker than others — and that’s a purchase decision — you have to make more practical decisions in choosing a case — noise, for example.
Some case designs are quieter than others. Computers do make noise, mostly from their internal fans. Some manufacturers take care with their designs to make their computers quieter.
For example, most Macintoshes make hardly a sound, whereas some mom-’n’-pop custom computers tend to be noisier than a room full of 8-year-olds playing video games.
Another consideration is those translucent cases and colorful computers. You pay a premium for buying those types of cases with your computer. However, many after-market dealers sell fancy computer case upgrades, similar to the aftersale market for car accessories.
On the Macintosh side, the PowerBook G4 is the laptop of choice (see Figure 3-5). It’s essentially a desktop Macintosh all crammed into a tiny space. Also, the iMac type of laptop is a lower-end model named the iBook.
Unlike desktop Macintoshes, the laptop versions are price-competitive with PC laptops.
- Laptop computers are also known as notebooks. (In the olden days, the term notebook implied a lightweight laptop, but all laptops are now light enough to be notebooks.)
- I don’t generally recommend a laptop as your first computer purchase. Even so, in some circumstances, a laptop suits you far better than a desktop can.
- Also see Chapter 14, which covers the issues involved with buying a laptop computer.
Though they’ve been available for some time now, Tablet computers really haven’t taken off. Their relatively high price is an issue, and I believe that the lack of a keyboard is also holding back these unique and fun devices.
- Tablet PCs have an option to allow you to plug in an external keyboard, if you want.
- Some Tablet PCs are merely laptops where the flip-top screen can bend all the way around and the unit can be held like a clipboard.
Palmtop and handheld computers
A palmtop, or handheld, computer isn’t really as much a computer as it is a data-gathering device. Basically, the system is about the size of a pad of paper, with a large screen and a few handy buttons, as shown in Figure 3-7. A stylus is used to write directly on the screen, which serves as both the display and the input device.
The palmtop computer is more ideally a replacement for the old organizer.
It’s good for taking notes, scheduling, doodling, and playing games, plus some versions can play music or even take digital pictures. But, overall, this type of computer works best as an on-the-go extension of a desktop computer system.
- The most popular palmtop device is the Palm handheld computer. This fact leads some folks to refer to this category as “Palm” computers, although many other handheld computer brands, makes, and models are available.
- Unlike other, earlier small computers, the modern handheld system is revolutionary because it doesn’t pretend to be a smaller version of a fullon computer. It serves as a notepad, address book, and scheduler, and it has lots of unique software. The handheld system does specialized tasks and does them well.
- Handheld computers can work with both Macintosh and PC computers, making them an ideal supplement to a desktop system.
(Chapter 3: Computers from A to Z)
a) Listen to this interview with Tom Bryant, a writer with a computer magazine. Are these sentences true or false?
1. Palmtops are a type of handheld computers.
2. Palmtops have a mouse and a keyboard as input devices.
3. Handheld computers run Windows XP.
4. Some pen computers come with operating systems that can recognize handwriting.
5. Handhelds are primarily designed to organize and communicate personal information.
6. You cannot transmit data from handheld computers to desktop PCs and peripherals.
7. Business people will make up a large section of the handheld market.
b) Read the extract from the interview and fill in the missing words. The first letter of each missing word is given:
Interviewer: Some portable computers are referred to as laptops and others as (1)p___. Can you explain the difference?
Tom: Sure. Laptops are simply smaller versions of desktop Pcs, but they can run similar applications. However, palmtops are (2)h___ computers and weigh less than 2 pounds; they are used as PC companions or as personal (3)d___ assistants.
Interviewer: And what are the basic features of palmtops?
Tom: Well, these handheld devices run on rechargeable alkaline batteries and have small (4)k___ and high-contrast LCD (5)s___. Sometimes they have buttons for launching applications and a stylus or (6)p___, which is used for interacting with a touch-sensitive screen.
Interviewer: Do they need special operating (7)s___?
Tom: Yes. They usually run Palm OS, from Palm Computing or Pocket PC OS, the system developed by Microsoft for mobile-computing devices. Some pen-based systems can also (8)r___ hand-written characters and convert them into editable text.
Interviewer: Right. What sort of things can you do with handheld computers?
Tom: They are usually designed to store personal (9)i___, for example, a calendar, an address book, a note pad, a calculator and a voice recorder. They can also come with built-in (10)m___ and Internet software, which lets you send and receive e-mail from a payphone, a hotel or even a plane.
Now listen to the recording again and check your answers.
6 Summing- Up
a) Read the extract from Dan Gooking’s book ‘Buying a Computer for Dummies’. Give a good translation of the extract, try to keep to the style of the author:
“Just Tell Me Which Type of Computer I Need!”
Sorry — can’t do that. Everyone is different, so everyone needs something a little different in their computers. Although it’s true that you could get by with just about any computer, why settle for something less than what you need? This book shows you how to find a computer especially for you.
Think of it like a car. You may say “I want a new car.” Which type of car? A sedan? A truck? How big of an engine do you want? What about good gas mileage? Do you want to pay extra for power seats or heated outside mirrors? And — most important — what color do you want? Computers are more complex than cars, so you have even more personal decisions to make.
Figure out what you want to do with your computer
Believe it or not, knowing what you want to do with the computer before you buy it is really helpful. Even if your only reason for buying one is that it would match the décor of your high-tech office, that’s a good enough reason. Other folks, though, usually have some inkling in mind about why the Emperor of All Gadgets would be useful to them.
The first step toward buying your own computer is to decide what you want to do with it. As with other handy devices you own — a telephone, a car, a refrigerator, and that lava lamp — you need a reason to have a computer. Well? What do you see yourself doing on a computer?
Unit B. Computer Uses (1)
to take medicine
to be/get familiar with
a) chose the correct translation:
b) Match the words with their meanings:
c) Match the words with their definitions:
a) Read the text and write a list of uses of the computer, or computer applications, add as many as you can think of. Discuss them with other students.
What can computers do?
Computers and microchips have become part of our everyday lives: we visit shops and offices which have been designed with the help of computers, we read magazines which have been produced on computer, we pay bills prepared by computers. Just picking up a telephone and dialling a number involves the use of a sophisticated computer system, as does making a flight reservation or bank transaction.
We encounter daily many computers that spring to life the instant they’re switched on (e.g. calculators, the car’s electronic ignition, the timer in the microwave, or the programmer inside the TV set), all of which use chip technology. What makes your computer such a miraculous device? Each time you turn it on, it is a tabula rasa (нечто чистое, нетронутое) that, with appropriate hardware and software, is capable of doing anything you ask. It is an electronic filing cabinet which manages large collections of data such as customers’ lists, accounts, or inventories. It is a magical typewriter that allows you to type and print any kind of document – letters, memos, or legal documents. It is a personal communicator that enables you to interact with people around the world. If you like gadgets and electronic entertainment, you can even use your PC to relax with computer games.
b) Tick (√) the computer uses mentioned in the following article:
Computers are part of our everyday lives. They have an effect on almost everything you do. When you buy groceries at a supermarket, a computer is used with laser and barcode technology to scan the price of each item and present a total. Barcoding items (clothes, food, and books) requires a computer to generate the barcode labels and maintain the inventory. Most television advertisements and many films use graphics produced by a computer. In hospitals, bedside terminals connected to the hospital's main computer allow doctors to type in orders for blood tests and to schedule operations. Banks use computers to look after their customers' money. In libraries and bookshops, computers can help you to find the book you want as quickly as possible.
Computers in everyday life
a) Match these words (1-8) to the correct locations (a-d):
b) Listen to the recording. Identify which place is described in each extract:
a) Match the places in column A with the computer uses in column B:
b) Now fill in the gaps in the paragraph about computer uses:
Computers are now part of our everyday life. In shops, they 1 ____. In factories, they 2____. In 3____, they look after patient records and medicines. When we have a bank account, a computer 4____. In our homes, computers 5____.
a) Listen to a lecturer describing to the new students the way in which computers may be useful to them. As you listen for the first time, look a Figure 1:
As you know, in computing a common way of showing how things are related is to use a connectivity matrix.
b) Now listen again and try to fill in the table to show how different people need different software (e.g. computer science students will need to know something about databases):
What do you use your computer for?
What features are the most important for you?
Unit C. Computer Uses (2): Word Processing
artificial intelligence (AI)
hide (hid, hidden)
to strike through
a) chose the correct translation:
4) to define
5) to substitute
7) to hide
9) to correspond
b) Match the words with their meanings:
c) Match the words with their definitions:
d) Find synonyms:
to divide –
to report –
to hit –
b) Read and translate the sentences from the text:
1) By this time millions of typewriters were in use, and in countries using Roman alphabet, very few official letters and documents were still being handwritten.
2) Some people remain nostalgic for the old-fashioned typewriter, though.
3) Most significantly, perhaps, with no easy correction, sentences have to be fully thought – just before they are committed to paper – an intellectual discipline perhaps in danger of being forgotten in the age of cut, copy, paste and delete.
4) You have more formatting choices with a word processor, and the spelling, grammar and language tools are useful, too.
5) Many people use a text editor for the Internet, which is similar to a word processor but has fewer formatting features and cannot use graphics.
Portable typewriters appeared in 1912, and electric machines became available in 1925. By this time millions of typewriters were in use, and in countries using Roman alphabet, very few official letters and documents were still being handwritten.
Although typewriters are still manufactured in small quantities, they have largely been replaced by computer word-processing applications. Some people remain nostalgic for the old-fashioned typewriter, though. It requires no electricity, no separate printer and no expensive ink cartridges (a single ribbon will type hundreds of pages, and is quick and cheap to replace). Most significantly, perhaps, with no easy correction, sentences have to be fully thought – just before they are committed to paper – an intellectual discipline perhaps in danger of being forgotten in the age of cut, copy, paste and delete.
Word processors do have disadvantages, however. First, it is not easy to read long documents on a computer screen. Second, sometimes the printer does not print an exact copy of what you see on the screen. Not all word processors can read each other’s files, which is another disadvantage. Finally, word processors do not always work well with e-mail. If you paste a word processed letter into an e-mail it may lose a lot of its formatting. Many people use a text editor for the Internet, which is similar to a word processor but has fewer formatting features and cannot use graphics. Text editors, such as Notepad, use a simple coding system called ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange), as does e-mail.
e) Decide if the sentences are true (T) or false (F). Change the false sentences to make them true:
1. you can store letters on a manual typewriter.
2. You can change your documents easily on a word processor.
3. Printed documents look better than handwriting.
4. Improving your writing is more difficult with a word processor.
5. Word processors work well with e-mail.
f) Match the words and phrases in the text with their definitions:
1. by hand, not electronic ___
2. the way a program organizes data ___
3. a program used for simple text files ___
4. the code that e-mail uses ___
5. things that a program has, or can do ___
6. a program used for text and graphics ___
g) Which of these documents would you write by hand and which on a word processor?