Учебно-методический комплекс по дисциплине Английский язык Для студентов специальностей




НазваниеУчебно-методический комплекс по дисциплине Английский язык Для студентов специальностей
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Методическое пособие по развитию навыков чтения для изучающих ИТ (English for IT Students)




Раздел 3. Сomputer Basics


Unit 1 COMPUTER BASICS


Text A

Reading. Read the text and try to guess the meaning of the words in bold. Check your variants in the dictionary.


A COMPUTER

The word “computer” has been part of the English language since 1646, but if you look in a dictionary printed before 1940, you might be surprised to find a computer defined as a person who performs calculations! Prior to 1940, machines designed to perform calculations were referred to as calculators and tabulators, not computers. The modern definition and use of the term “computer” emerged in the 1940s, when the first electronic computing devices were developed.

Most people can formulate a mental picture of a computer, but computers do so many things and come in such a variety of shapes and sizes that it might seem difficult to distill their common characteristics into an all-purpose definition. At its core, a computer is a device that accepts input, processes data, stores data, and produces output, all according to a series of stored instructions.

Computer input is whatever is typed, submitted, or transmitted to a computer system. Input can be supplied by a person, the environment, or another computer. Examples of the kinds of input that a computer can accept include words and symbols in a document, numbers for a calculation, pictures, temperatures from a thermostat, audio signals from a microphone, and instructions from a computer program. An input device, such as a keyboard or mouse, gathers input and transforms it into a series of electronic signals for the computer to store and manipulate.

In the context of computing data refers to the symbols that represent facts, objects, and ideas. Computers manipulate data in many ways, and this manipulation is called processing. The series of instructions that tell a computer how to carry out processing tasks is referred to as a computer program, or simply a “program”. These programs form the software that sets up a computer to do a specific task. Some of the ways that a computer can process data include performing calculations, sorting lists of words or numbers, modifying documents and pictures, keeping track of your score in a fact-action game, and drawing graphs. In a computer, most processing takes place in a component called the central processing unit (CPU), which is sometimes described as the computer’s “brain”.

A computer stores data so that it will be available for processing. Most computers have more than one place to put data, depending on how the data is being used. Memory is an area of a computer that temporarily holds data waiting to be processed, stored, or output. Storage is the area where data can be left on a permanent basis when it is not immediately needed for processing. Output is the result produced by a computer. Some examples of computer output include reports, documents, music, graphs, and pictures. An output device displays, prints, or transmits the results of processing.

Take a moment to think about the way you use a simple handheld calculator to balance your checkbook each month. You’re forced to do the calculations in stages. Although you can store data from one stage and use it in the next stage, you cannot store the sequence of formulas – the program – required to balance your checkbook. Every month, therefore, you have to perform a similar set of calculations. The process would be much simpler if your calculator remembered the sequence of calculations and just asked you for this month’s checkbook entries.

Early “computer” were really no more than calculating devices, designed to carry out a specific mathematical task. To use one of these devices for a different task, it was necessary to rewire its circuits – a job best left to an engineer. In a modern computer, the idea of a stored program means that a series of instructions for a computing task can be loaded into a computer’s memory. These instructions can easily be replaced by a different set of instructions when it is time for the computer to perform another task.

The stored program concept allows you to use your computer for one task, such as word processing, and then easily switch to a different type of computing task, such as editing a photo or sending an e-mail message. It is the single most important characteristic that distinguishes a computer from other simpler and less versatile devices, such as calculators and pocket-sized electronic dictionaries.


Comprehension check. Mark the following statements as True or False.


1. A computer can be defined by its ability to perform different mathematical and logical operations according to a set of instructions.

2. Computers had already been used before WWII.

3. There is no any significant difference between memory and storage.

4. Computer programs and software mean the same.

5. CPU is a part of a computer that controls all other parts of the system.

6. Computers and calculators are very similar devices which are based on the stored program concept.


Vocabulary practice.

1. Match the words with their synonyms.


supply unit

distinguish appear

purpose but

device open

emerge goal

available differentiate

although provide


2. Which word does not belong to the group?


a) input carry out output process

b) hold store keep perform

c) edit data transmit set up

d) software storage supply memory

e) accept refer input load

f) unit device software equipment


3. Complete the following sentences choosing one out of the variants given.


1. If you don’t back up regularly, you can lose all your … .

a) CPU b) programs c) data d) storage

2. A computer … input, processes and stores data, produces output according to a series of instructions.

a) accepts b) submits c) emerges d) transmits

3. Reports, documents, graphs and pictures can be … to as computer output.

a) performed b) supplied c) transformed d) referred

4. A computer can perform various tasks such as word processing or sending messages that … it from any calculator.

a) set up b) distinguish c) keep track d) mean

5. Memory is the part of a computer where data and instruction are stored … .

a) permanently b) available c) temporarily d) versatile

6. Data is processed in the … according to the instructions that have been loaded into the computer memory.

a) CPU b) variety c) storage d) output


4. Make two-word expressions connected with computing by combining words from two lists: A and B. Then match each expression with the appropriate phrase.


A: stored B: processing

permanent device

word output

handheld storage

input calculator

computer program


1. A small electronic instrument allowing you to do mathematical functions.

2. A set of instructions understood by a computer and kept in its memory.

3. A piece of equipment, such as a mouse or keyboard.

4. A form of volume in which information can be stored for a long time.

5. The use of a computer to edit, format, store or print a piece of text.

6. Reports, music, documents and pictures produced by a computer.


5. Restore the instructions for switching a computer by matching the beginnings with the endings and put them into the correct order.


Beginnings Endings

a) If a message asks - for your computer & turn it on.

b) Locate the power switch - desktop to appear.

c) Then press the Enter key - for your user ID or password,

type them in.

d) Wait for the Windows - connected to your computer & turn them on.

e) Locate the power switch - on your computer’s keyboard.

for any devices


6. Fill in the gaps in the text.


A computer is a ___ that accepts input, ___ data, stores data, and produces out put according to a series of stored instructions. Before a computer processes data, it is temporarily held in ___. This data is processed in the ___. The idea of ___ program means that a series of instructions for a computing task can be loaded into a computer’s memory.


Speaking. Discuss the following questions.


How old is the word “computer”?

What is a computer?

What can be called “computer input”?

What input devices can you name?

Why do we need software?

What is the purpose of the CPU?

How do memory and storage differ?

What computer output can we get?

What’s so significant about a computer’s ability to store instructions?

What does a stored program mean?


Text B

Pre-reading. Match the terms with the appropriate definitions.


a desktop computer

a) this computer is especially suited for storing and distributing data on a network; these machines do not include features such as sound cards, DVD players, and other fun accessories; they don’t require specific hardware and just about any computer can be configured to perform such work;

a notebook

b) these are powerful desktop computers designed for specialized tasks; they can tackle tasks that require a lot of processing speed, most have circuitry specially designed for creating and displaying three-dimensional and animated graphics and often dedicated to design tasks;

a tablet computer

c) it’s a large and expensive computer capable of simultaneously processing data for hundreds or thousands of users; used by businesses or governments to provide centralized storage, processing and management for large amount of data in situations where reliability, data security and centralized control are necessary;

a handheld computer

d) it fits on a desk and runs on power from an electrical wall outlet; its keyboard is typically a separate component, connected to the main unit by a cable;

a workstation

e) it’s a portable computing device featuring a touch-sensitive screen that can be used as a writing or drawing pad;

a mainframe computer

f) it’s one of the fastest computers in the world; can tackle complex tasks such as breaking codes, modeling worldwide weather systems and simulating nuclear explosions;

a supercomputer

g) it features a small keyboard or touch-sensitive screen and is designed to fit into a pocket, run on batteries and be used while you are holding it; also called a PDA (personal digital assistant), it can be used as an electronic appointment book, address book, calculator and notepad;

a server

h) it’s a small lightweight personal computer that incorporates screen, keyboard, storage and processing components into a single portable unit, also referred to as a “laptop”.


Reading. Read the text and try to guess the meaning of the words in bold. Check your variants in the dictionary.


PERSONAL COMPUTER SYSTEMS

The term “computer system” usually refers to a computer and all the input, output, and storage devices that are connected to it. A personal computer system usually includes the following equipment:

• System unit. The system unit is the case that holds the main circuit boards, microprocessor, power supply, and storage devices. The system unit the notebook computer holds a built-in keyboard and speakers, too.

• Display device. Most desktop computers use a separate monitor as a display device, whereas notebook computers use a flat panel LCD screen (liquid crystal display screen) attached to the system unit.

• Keyboard. Most computers are equipped with a keyboard as the primary input device.

• Mouse. A mouse is an input device designed to manipulate on-screen graphical objects and controls.

• Hard disk drive. A hard disk drive can store billions of characters of data. It is usually mounted inside the computer’s system unit. A small external light indicates when the drive reading or writing data.

• CD and DVD drives. A CD drive is a storage device that uses laser technology to work with data on computer or audio CDs. A DVD drive can work with data on computer CDs, audio CDs, computer DVDs, or DVD movie disks. Some CD and DVD drives are classified as “read only” devices that cannot be used to write data onto disks. They are typically used to access data from commercial software, music, and movie CDs or DVDs. “Writable” CD and DVD drives, however, can be used to store and access data.

• Floppy disk drive. A floppy disk drive is a storage device that reads and writes data on floppy disks.

• Sound card and speakers. Desktop computers have a rudimentary built-in speaker that’s mostly limited to playing beeps. A small circuit board, called a sound card, is required for high-quality music, narration, and sound effects. A desktop computer’s sound card sends signals to external speakers. A notebook’s sound card sends signals to speakers that are built into the notebook system unit.

• Modem and network cards. Many personal computer systems include a built-in modem that can be used to establish an Internet connection using a standard telephone line. A network card is used to connect a computer to a network or cable Internet connection.

• Printer. A computer printer is an output device that produces computer-generated text or graphical images on paper.

The term peripheral device designates equipment that might be added to a computer system to enhance its functionality. Popular peripheral devices include printers, digital cameras, scanners, joysticks, and graphics tablets.

The word “peripheral” is a relatively old part of computer jargon that dates back to the days of mainframes when the CPU was housed in a giant box and all input, output, and storage devices were housed separately. Technically, a peripheral is any device that is not housed within the CPU.

Although a hard disk drive seems to be an integral part of a computer, by the strictest technical definition, a hard disk drive would be classified as a peripheral device. The same goes for other storage devices and the keyboard, monitor, LCD screen, sound card, speakers, and modem. In the world of personal computers, however, the use of the term “peripheral” varies and is often used to refer to any components that are not housed inside the system unit.


Comprehension check. Indicate the paragraph where the following ideas are found in the text.


When the drive is being used a small light indicator is on.

Sound characteristics of different computers vary.

This device is most suitable for controlling the position of the cursor on screen.

It’s a device to use Internet via a phone line.

This system is represented by different interlinked input, output and storage devices.

There is a storage device that uses laser technology.


Vocabulary practice.

1. In the text find the opposites to the given words.


internal rough unfasten secondary reduce successively


2. Put the letters in the following words into correct order.


peroayrtylm netmipqeu literesav hpelarepir afuteer beroadyk


3. Complete the following sentences choosing one out of the variants given.


1. Which of the following statements about hard disk is not true?

a) it stores data b) it’s not a peripheral c) it’s a magnetic device

d) it’s placed inside a computer

2. This storage format is used to store digital video or computer data.

a) a floppy disk b) CD c) a sound card d) DVD

3. What are the elements of a computer system?

a) disk drives b) a monitor c) a central processor d) all of the above

4. These portable computers are ideal for mobile users. They are easy to carry and can be used outdoors without the need for an electrical outlet.

a) mainframes b) notebooks c) workstations d) servers

5. Which of the following functions can a floppy disk drive perform?

a) store data b) read data c) write data d) all of the above

6. This electronic device has a special pen and acts like an electronic piece of paper transferring images to the computer screen.

a) a laptop b) PDA c) a tablet computer d) a mainframe


4. Make three-word expressions connected with computing combining words from three lists: A, B and C. Then match each expression with the appropriate phrase.


A: central B: circuit C: disk

liquid video network

hard processing drive

main crystal unit

digital area display

local disk board


1. This computer network is located within a limited geographical area such as a small business or a university lab.

2. The part of a computer that controls all the other parts of the system.

3. An electronic device that is used to display information in many calculators and portable computers.

4. A central flat card used as a base on which electronic components are placed and then connected together by wires.

5. A type of volume used for storing movies.

6. A disk drive that passes data to or from the hard disk and the computer.


5. Transform the following sentences without any change in meaning. Use the prompts as they are given (words in brackets, parts of sentences).


1. The factory is equipped for computer controlled production.

The factory has … for … .

2. This is our system for storing client records. (provides)

3. Only privileged users can access this information.

Only privileged users have … .

4. This device is primarily used to connect different peripherals. (establish)

5. This device can perform a huge variety of functions.

The functions … greatly.

6. Almost any equipment that can be attached to a computer to enhance its functionality is called a peripheral. (designates)


6. Fill in the gaps in the text.


Computers are grouped into categories, such as ___ computers, handhelds, mainframes, supercomputers, servers, workstations, and videogame ___. A ___ computer is a type of microcomputer designed to ___ the needs of an individual while ___ are very expensive and used for very specific and complex ___.


Speaking. Discuss the following questions.


What are the characteristics of desktop computers?

How do notebook computers differ from desktops?

What is a tablet computer?

What is a hand held and what is it used for?

What type of computers can be classified as workstations?

What’s so special about a mainframe computer?

How powerful is a supercomputer?

What makes a computer a “server”?

What does a personal computer system include?

What’s a peripheral device and can a hard disk be called so?


Critical thinking. Read the article and express you opinion on the problem.


Digital Rights Management

Suppose you purchase a music CD of your favorite recording group. Now you want to transfer the file to your computer, rip the best tracks, and transfer them to your portable audio player. But wait! That CD is copy protected and your computer CD drive won’t read it. You purchased the disk. Can’t you listen to the music on any device you choose? The answer is “yes” and “no”. Yes, copyright law gives you the right to make copies for your personal use and transfer works into a format that works on your equipment. However, the growing pervasiveness of digital rights management may curtail your ability to exercise these rights.

It is easy to copy digital material. Before the dawn of the digital age, copies produced by analog equipment, such as photocopiers and audio tape dubbing machines, were of considerably poorer quality than the originals. Copies of digital materials, however, are indistinguishable from the originals, and that factor has encouraged an alarming increase in software, music, and movie piracy.

The battle against piracy took shape as a concept called digital rights management (DRM), vigorously supported by Microsoft and backed by a host of industry leaders.

Today, digital rights management encompasses a variety of technologies implemented by copyright holders, such as record companies and software publishers, which restrict the usage of digital material. DRM systems address piracy by using a variety of technologies for manipulating data, media, devices, and transactions.

Software copy protection techniques include reading data written to places on a disk or CD-ROM that the drive cannot normally access, using hardware that must be plugged into the computer when the software is run, requiring a serial number during the installation process, and using Internet product activation that checks the validity of an installation. Most software copy protection schemes have proved to be costly for publishers or inconvenient for consumers.

Many consumers are not aware that they pay a surcharge for every blank audio tape or CD they purchase. Collected revenues from this surcharge go to music publishers to compensate recording artists for the fact that many people duplicate works without authorization.

Most of today’s music download sites encrypt music files and embed codes that limit the number of times they can be copied and the devices on which they can be played. Various formats used by different sites are not compatible with each other and require different players. Music from several different download sites cannot be compiled into a single playlist. It is becoming more common for music CDs to use play-protection technology designed to make the CD unusable in devices, such as computer CD-R drives, that can also be conveniently used for duplicating CDs. Consumers who purchase these protected CDs find that they cannot be copied to a computer hard disk, then ripped to produce an MP3 file for a portable audio player.

Commercial movie DVDs use CSS (Content-Scrambling System) encryption to make DVDs playable only on authorized DVD players equipped with decryption key circuitry. Movies purchases in the United States and Canada cannot be played on devices manufactured for the European or Asian markets.

Despite DRM technologies and the inconveniences imposed on consumers, digital piracy remains rampant. According to an article about digital rights management posted on Wikipedia, “To date, all DRM systems have failed to meet the challenge of protecting the rights of the rights holder while also allowing the use of the rights of the purchaser. None have succeeded in preventing criminal copyright infringement by organized, unlicensed, commercial pirates.”

Current DRM technologies do not seem able to distinguish between pirates and legitimate consumers. As a result, DRM technologies essentially pose restrictions on consumers that go beyond the intended limitations of copyright law.

The current status of DRM seems to conflict with the original intent of copyright law to allow consumers to manipulate and copy works for their own use. Can technology eventually offer a solution that prevents piracy, but allows individuals to exercise their rights to fair use of copyrighted materials?


What do you think?


Have you had trouble using software or music CDs because of copy protection?

In your opinion, do sites like the iTunes Music Store provide consumers with enough flexibility for copying files and creating playlists?

Are DRM technologies are justified because of the high rate of piracy?


Projects. Choose and perform one of the projects given.


1. Although the Internet provides a global communications network, communication between people still depends on finding a common language. For this project, explore the Web and experiment with ways in which technology is being used to close the language gap. You might start at Google or Wikipedia and look at the selection of languages they offer. Chronicle your exploration, making sure to document the sites you visited. Present your conclusions about Internet use by non-English speakers in writing.

2. Whether you’re taking this course to fulfill a graduation requirement or to improve your career options take a few minutes to evaluate what you expect to gain from this course. Look though the units of this textbook and select the section that you think will be the most useful, interesting and the section that seams to be the least relevant to you. Incorporate your thoughts in two or three paragraphs.


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