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Прочтите текст 2 и скажите, что такое компьютер и каковы его основные функции.


A computer is a machine with an intricate network of elec­tronic circuits that operate switches or magnetize tiny metal cores. The switches, like the cores, are capable of being in one or two possible states, that is, on or off; magnetized or demag­netized. The machine is capable of storing and manipulating numbers, letters, and characters (symbols).

Английский язык. Основы компьютерной грамотности 14

The basic idea of a computer is that we can make the ma­chine do what we want by inputting signals that turn certain switches on and turn others off, or magnetize or do not magne­tize the cores.

The basic job of computers is processing of information. For this reason computers can be defined as devices which accept information in the form of instructions, called a program, and characters, called data, perform mathematical and / or logical operations on the information, and then supply results of these operations. The program, or part of it, which tells the comput­ers what to do and the data, which provide the information needed to solve the problem, are kept inside the computer in a place called memory.

It is considered that computers have many remarkable pow­ers. However most computers, whether large or small, have three basic capabilities.

First, computers have circuits for performing arithmetic op­erations, such as: addition, subtraction, division, multiplication and exponentiation.

Second, computers have a means of communicating with the user. After all, if we couldn't feed information in and get results back, these machines wouldn't be of much use. Some of the most common methods of inputting information are to use ter­minals, diskettes, disks and magnetic tapes. The computer's input device (a disk drive or tape drive) reads the information into the computer. For outputting information two common devices used are: a printer, printing the new information on paper, and a cathode-ray-tube display, which shows the results on a TV-like screen.

Third, computers have circuits which can make decisions. The kinds of decisions which computer circuits can make are not of the type: "Who would win the war between two coun­tries?" or "Who is the richest person in the world?" Unfortu­nately, the computer can only decide three things, namely: Is one number less than another? Are two numbers equal? and, Is one number greater than another?

A computer can solve a series of problems and make thou­sands of logical decisions without becoming tired. It can find the solution to a problem in a fraction of the time it takes a human being to do the job.

15 Unit 1. Information-Dependent Society

A computer can replace people in dull, routine tasks, but it works according to the instructions given to it. There are times when a computer seems to operate like a mechanical 'brain', but its achievements are limited by the minds of human beings. A computer cannot do anything unless a person tells it what to do and gives it the necessary information; but because electric pulses can move at the speed of light, a computer can carry out great numbers of arithmetic-logical operations almost instan­taneously. A person can do the same, but in many cases that person would be dead long before the job was finished.

8. Переведите текст. Ответьте на вопросы, используя ин­

1. What is a computer? 2. What are the two possible states of the switches? 3. What are the main functions of a computer? 4. In what way can we make the computer do what we want? 5. What is the basic task of a computer? 6. In what form does a computer accept information? 7. What is a program? 8. What are data? 9. What is memory? 10. What three basic capabilities have computers? 11. What are the ways of inputting informa­tion into the computer? 12. What is the function of an input device? 13. What devices are used for outputting information? 14. What decisions can the computer make? 15. What are the computer's achievements limited by?

9. Найдите в тексте 2 английские эквиваленты следующих

Сложная сеть электронных цепей; управлять (приво­дить в действие) переключателями; возможные состояния; хранить (запоминать) числа; обрабатывать символы; по­средством ввода сигналов; включать; выключать; размаг­ничивать сердечники; обработка информации; информа­ция в виде команд; символы, называемые данными; выполнять математические операции; выдавать результа­ты; обеспечивать необходимую информацию; иметь заме­чательные возможности; основные свойства; сложение, вычитание, деление, умножение; возведение в степень; средства для общения с пользователем; устройство ввода; дисковод; считывать информацию; вывод информации; катоднолучевая трубка; принимать решения; выполнять тысячи логических операций; без устали; находить реше-

Английский язык. Основы компьютерной грамотности 16

ние задачи; значительно меньший промежуток времени; человек; нудная рутинная работа; в соответствии с введен­ной программой; вырабатывать свои суждения; возможно­сти ограничены программой, заложенной в него челове­ком; дать требуемую информацию; электрические импульсы; со скоростью света; мгновенно производить огромное количество математических операций; человеку может не хватить всей жизни, чтобы закончить работу.

10. Составьте пары или группыблизких позначению слов
из перечня, приведенного ниже.

Например: A. to perform, to exercise, to carry out; B. a man, a person, a human being;

Verbs: to turn on, to provide, to type, to accept, to help, to learn, to observe, to call, to tell, to keep, to feed, to solve, to relate, to switch off, to communicate, to receive, to supply, to switch on, to assist, to print, to study, to input, to turn off, to decide, to store, to say, to name, to watch.

Nouns: work, machine, fundamentals, display, application, capabilities, job, storage, screen, state, basics, use, concept, specialist, journal, character, memory, idea, expert, magazine, position, symbol, command, data, solution, device, instruction, powers, information, decision.

Adjectives: basic, tiny, common, small, main, significant, routine, general, remarkable, uninterested, intricate, important, wonderful, complex, little.

Adverbs: rapidly, probably, instantaneously, in a moment, quickly, perhaps.

11. Выполните письменный перевод текста 3 по вариантам.


1.At present a great deal of the work force of most coun­tries is engaged in creating, processing, storing, communicat­ing and just working with information. Computers have become commonplace in homes, offices, stores, schools, research insti­tutes, plants.

The use of computers in business, industry and communi­cation services is widespread today. Computer-controlled robots are able to improve the quality of manufactured products and

17 Unit 1. Information-Dependent Society

to increase the productivity of industry. Computers can control the work of power stations, plants and docks. They help in mak­ing different decisions and in management of economy.

The work of banks depends upon computer terminals for millions of daily operations. Without these terminals, records of deposits and withdrawals would be difficult to maintain, and it would be impossible to make inquiries about the current sta­tus of customer accounts.

Computers form a part of many military systems including communication and fire control. They are applied for automatic piloting and automatic navigation. Space exploration depends on computers for guidance, on-board environment and re­search.

2. Computers find application in astronomy and upper at­mosphere research. Weather forecasting, library information services can benefit from computers too.

It is interesting to note that computers are widely used in medicine. They became valuable medical diagnostic tools. Computers are used for optical scanning and image processing, ranging from pattern recognition to image processing. Techni­cians can operate computer tomography scanners which com­bine x-rays with computer technology to give sectional views of the body of patients. The views then can be combined into a single image shown on the screen.

It should be noticed that learning on a computer can be fun. Students spend more time with computer-aided instruction per­forming the assigned task, as compared with conventional class­room.

At last air traffic control is impossible without computer ap­plication. It fully depends upon computer-generated informa­tion.

Many other uses of computers that we cannot imagine at present will become commonplace in the transition from an industrial to post industrial, or information society.

Notes ________________________________________

to maintain records — вести учет

deposits and withdrawal — вклады и изъятие (выемка)

guidance — наведение (на цель); управление; руковод­ство

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