14 155 Computer networks 66 Multimedia 155 Network configurations 70 Computer-to-video conversion 160 Language focus F




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Oxford English for

Computing

Keith Boeckner

P. Charles Brown

Oxford University Press



Page Page

Unit 1 4 Unit 9 100

Personal computing 4 Computers in education 100

The processor 8 CALL 103

Language focus A 11 Language focus I 108

Contextual reference Giving examples

Unit 2 13 Unit 10 110

Portable computers 13 Computers in medicine 110

Operating systems 20 Data storage and management 115

Language focus B 24 Language focus J 120

Word formation prefixes Explanations and definitions

Unit 3 28 Unit 11 123

Online services 28 Robotics 123

Data transmission 32 Robot characteristics 128

Language focus C 36 Language focus K 131

Word formation suffixes Compound nouns

Unit 4 39 Unit 12 134

Programming and languages 39 Virtual reality 134

C language 44 VR input devices 139

Language focus D 49 Language focus L 142

Organizing information Classifying

Unit 5 52 Unit 13 145

Computer software 52 Machine translation 145

Comparing software packages 57 Al and expert systems 148

Language focus E 61 Language focus M 152

Making comparisons Cause and effect

Unit 6 66 Unit 14 155

Computer networks 66 Multimedia 155

Network configurations 70 Computer-to-video conversion 160

Language focus F 75 Language focus N 164

Time sequence Making predictions

Unit 7 78 Unit 15 167

Computer viruses 78 Computer graphics 167

Computer security 81 24-bit colour 172

Language focus G 86 Appendix 1 176

Listing Letter writing

Unit 8 88 Appendix 2 197

Computers in the office 88 Glossary of terms

Information systems 94

Language focus H 97

The passive




4
Personal computing

Start-up




Task 1 a

Name these devices. What are they used for?





Listening




Task 2

You will hear two interviews between a market researcher and visitors to a computer exhibition. As you listen, fill in the missing information in the table opposite.

Interview 1 Interview 2

Name:

Occupation:

Type of PC used:

Reasons for choice: 1

2

3



R
Task 4

5
eading


Before reading the text on the following page, match each word with the correct definition:


1

mainframe

a

2

mouse

b

3

icon

c

4

operating system

d

5

software

e

6

hardware

f

7

microchip

g



the set of software that controls a computer system

a very small piece of silicon carrying a complex electrical circuit

a big computer system used for large-scale operations the physical portion of a computer system

a device moved by 'hand to indicate position on the screen

a visual symbol used in a menu instead of natural language

data, programs, etc., not forming part of a computer, but used when operating it.

Task 5 Now read the text and decide on a suitable title for it.

I n 1952, a major computing company took a decision to get out of the business of making mainframe computers. They

5 believed that there was only a market for four mainframes in the whole world. That company was IBM. The following year they reversed their decision.

1() In 1980, IBM decided that there

was a market for 250,000 PCs, so they set up a special team to develop the first IBM PC. It went on sale in 1981 and set a world-wide

15 standard for IBM-compatibility which, over the next ten years, was only seriously challenged by one other company, Apple Computers. Since then, over seventy million

20 PCs made by IBM and other

manufacturers have been sold. Over this period, PCs have become commodity items. Since IBM made the design non-proprietary, anyone

25 can make them.

The history of the multi-billion dollar PC industry has been one of mistakes. Xerox Corporation funded the initial research on

30 personal computers in their Palo Alto laboratory in California. However, the company failed to capitalize on this work, and the ideas that they put together went

35 into the operating system developed for Apple's computers. This was a graphical interface: using a mouse, the user clicks on icons which represent the function

40 to be performed.

The first IBM PC was developed using existing available electrical components. With IBM's badge on the box it became the standard

45 machine for large corporations to purchase. When IBM were looking for an operating system, they went

initially to Digital Research, who were market leaders in command-

50 based operating systems (these are operating systems in which the users type in commands to perform a function). When the collaboration between IBM and Digital Research

55 failed, IBM turned to Bill Gates, then

25 years old, to write their operating system.

Bill Gates founded Microsoft
on the basis of the development

60 of MS/DOS, the initial operating system for the IBM PC. Digital Research have continued to develop their operating system, DR/DOS, and it is considered by

65 many people to be a better product than Microsoft's. However, without an endorsement from IBM, it has

become a minor player in the

70 market. Novell, the leaders in PC networking, now own Digital Research, so things may

change.

The original IBM PC had a

75 minimum of 16K of memory, but this could be upgraded to 512K if necessary, and ran with a processor speed of 4.77MHz. Ten

years later, in 1991, IBM were

so making PCs with 16Mb of memory, expandable to 64Mb, running with a processor speed of 33MHz. The cost of buying the hardware has come down

85 considerably as the machines have become commodity items. Large companies are

considering running major applications on PCs, something

90 which, ten years ago, no one would have believed possible of a PC. In contrast, many

computers in people's homes are just used to play computer 95 games.

The widespread availability of computers has in all probability changed the world for ever. The microchip technology which

loo made the PC possible has put chips not only into computers, but also into washing-machines and cars. Some books may never be published in paper form, but

105 may only be made available as
part of public databases.

Networks of computers are already being used to make information available on a world-

110 wide scale.

V
6
ocabulary


commodity items (1. 2 3) — items which can be produced and traded freely non-proprietary (I. 24) — not belonging to any single company

capitalize on (I. 3 3) — profit from, turn to one's advantage


Task 6 When you read the text to decide on a title, which of the following did you do?

Did you:
r
7
ead the text slowly and try to understand every word?

Fl read quickly and try to understand the main theme?

underline or mark sentences that you thought were important? make notes about important points?

Which of these reading strategies do you think is most appropriate for this kind of task? Which do you think is least appropriate?

Task 7 Answer these questions about the text.

1 How many mainframes did IBM think it was possible to sell in 1952?

2 How many PCs have now been sold?

3 Who paid for the initial research into PCs?

4 Which company later used the results of this research to develop their operating system?

5 What are command-based operating systems?

6 DR/DOS is an acronym. What does it stand for?

7 Since the invention of the IBM PC, many of its features have been improved. Which of the following features does the text not mention in this respect?

a memory

b speed

c size

d cost

8 Give three examples from the text of how the availability of computers has 'in all probability changed the world for ever'.

Task 8
Task 9


Using the line references given, look back in the text and find words that have a similar meaning to:

1 international (lines 10-15)

2 contested (lines 15-20)

3 errors (lines 25-30)

4 paid for (lines 25-30)

5 buy (lines 45-50)

6 first (lines 60-65)

7 recommendation (lines 65-70)

8 improved (lines 75-80)

Writing

Translate the sixth paragraph (starting 'The original IBM PC...') into your own language. Look carefully at the tenses before you start.



Task 10

Speaking

The article states that 'many computers in people's homes are just used to play computer games'.

Discuss the following questions:

1 In what other ways are computers used at home, or outside work?

2 If you already have a PC, how do you use it? (If not, how would you use one?)

The processor



Reading

R
Task 11
ead this passage about the structure of the processor and fill in the gaps using the words below.


8



Structure of the processor The processor consists of a'

which are mounted 2

components linked together by 3 form of control, address, and data 4

, which is a circuit board on chips, memory chips, and other

lines or channels in the

. In addition, a processor
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