Computer revolution

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Computer revolution

For this project, please pick either Option A or Option B.

Write your answers to the following questions in Short Essay Format. Be sure to include reasons and facts as required to support your answers. Total length of response for this assignment needs to be a minimum of 2 full pages; maximum response is 3 pages.Use MS Word or its equivalent.

Option A.

Background:

The “computer revolution” is here. The changes these machines are bringing to society are profound, if not revo­lutionary. Moreover, like many previous revolutions, the computer revolution is hap­pening very quickly. The computer as defined today did not exist in 1950. Before World War II, the word computer meant a human being who worked at a desk with a calculating machine, or something built by a physics professor to solve a particular problem, used once or twice, and then retired to a basement store­room. Modern computers – machines that do a wide variety of things, many having little to do with mathematics or physics – emerged after World War II from the work of a dozen or so individuals in England, Germany, and the United States. The “revolution,” however one may define it, began only when their work became better known and appreciated.

These perceptions, which lay behind the widely held belief that computers would never find more than a limited (though important) market in the industri­alized world, came mainly from looking at the new invention strictly in the con­text of what it was replacing: calculating machines and their human operators. That context was what limited the pioneers’ vision.

Whenever a new technology is born, few see its ultimate place in society. The inventors of radio did not foresee its use for broadcasting entertainment, sports, and news; they saw it as a telegraph without wires. The early builders of auto­mobiles did not see an age of “automobiles”; they saw a “horseless carriage.” Likewise, the computer’s inventors perceived its role in future society in terms of the functions it was specifically replacing in contemporary society. The predic­tions that they made about potential applications for the new invention had to come from the context of “computing” as they knew of. Though they recognized the electronic computer’s novelty, they did not see how it would permit opera­tions fundamentally different from those performed by human computers.

Assignment: Your challenge is to imagine the dynamics of an emerging technology.

First, pick a current emerging high technology trend (innovation, invention, or gadget) that would utilize some new application of knowledge or scientific discovery. Then discuss, using your own opinion, what the ultimate uses of that technology might be? How will the impact of that technology affect civilization and life as we know it? What differences will it make? How might the evolution of that technology change social, political, and economic conditions? What beneficial effects or harmful effects will result? Look into the future and imagine the changes that might result from the use of that new technology.

Option B.

Background:

Historically when we talk about the effects of technology upon society, we speak of the golden spike, Kitty Hawk, UNIVAC, the horseless carriage, The Bomb – events somewhat removed from our personal knowledge and experience. But during the 19th century and early 20th century important interactions between technology and society took place closer to home, indeed in the home, at play, and where we work. This technological revolution, transformed our daily lives in a myriad of ways, new ideas led to new inventions, new technologies and to new products and gadgets.

“Everything that can be invented has been invented.” proclaimed Charles Duell, director of the U.S. Patent office, arguing in 1899 for the closure of his department. It seems he was wrong. The U.S. Patent Office is still busy, in fact busier than ever. (There still seems to be plenty of new ideas.)

Assignment: Answer the following two questions. Here is your opportunity to be creative and invent:

  1. Innovation is nothing more than finding a better way to do something. Choose an everyday job that you dislike, but must perform, and be innovative in discovering a new way to accomplish the same task.
  1. If you had the resources and the time, what innovation, invention (technology) or gadget would you create? Why?

Formatting:

Text Size: All of the text in this assignment needs to be set in 12-point size. Please resist the temptation to mix and match point sizes. If you doubt your applications intentions, just select all of your text and insure that it is in 12-point size.

Double Spacing: For this class select all of your text and set it for double spacing. This includes the name block, title and body of your work. This allows space for marking up or making notes while I am reviewing what you have written.

Margins: One-inch margins mean one (1”) on all sides. The only text that ends up on the outside of the one-inch margin is the page number.

Name Block: Place the name block in the upper right corner of the page. In this class, the name block only needs to be on the first page. Put your name first, then the class title and then the date. Example:

Title: All homework assignments have a title. Please place the title just below the name block. The title for this assignment is “Project 2, Option A or Option B”. Please don’t make me guess which option you chose.

Spelling/Grammar Checking: Remember to do your spelling and grammar checking before turning your assignments in. When doing the spelling/grammar checking keep in mind that some words such as mush and must, woods and words, or here and cow, will not be caught by either check. To correct these problems, you will need to proofread your work.

Paragraphs: The first word of the first sentence in a paragraph needs to be indented. At the end of a paragraph, do not insert an extra blank line. The indentation serves as the visual clue that there is a new paragraph.

Page Numbers: Any homework that has more than one page, needs to have page numbers on it. Please place your page numbers on the bottom of the page. In MS Word, use the footer selection and place the page number in the bottom center or bottom right of the page.

Content:

Opinion: When a question asks for your opinion, its answer is exactly that – your opinion. Feel free to use your own opinion.

Stating the Question before Answering It: While some reports require that you state the question before your answer, please refrain from this in this class.

Short Essay Format

Short essay format is a format that requires at least 2 paragraphs for each answer. Please remember that a paragraph is not just one, two, or three sentences in length.

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