A decade ago many workers worried that they would be replaced by robots and computerized manufacturing equipment. However, in some cases exactly the opposite has occurred— workers not only have not been replaced by machines but many have found that their jobs have been made more meaningful by the introduction of smart machines. This has come about because workers are being given more responsibility and authority to deal with problems or to make production-line decisions that were once reserved for supervisory personnel. Workers do more than just run machines; they spend large parts of their time collecting and processing data on quality control, inventory, and shipments. The result of this change is an information factory, where machines not only perform some operations, but they supply workers with information on processing operations.
As an example of this type of change, consider General Electric's Salisbury, North Carolina, factory. At this plant, which is highly automated, it was decided in 1984 to cut factory floor bottlenecks by giving workers the information and power to make decisions to keep the manufacturing process running. A machine operator with a problem, for example, now can talk directly to manufacturing engineers about solutions to the problem or can order parts for the machine without prior approval of management. Workers also serve on committees to hire new workers in the plant.
From 1985 through 1988, General Electric's pairing of smart workers with smart machines resulted in a tenfold decrease in delivery time, a reduction in employee turnover, a reduction by two-thirds in the number of hours per production unit, and an increase in General Electric's market share. Since 1988, concrete figures have not been available on the effect of these measures; however, plant management believes that the workers are continuing to assume more and more responsibility for running the plant. Each year, they have exceeded production goals and reduced production cost.
ROBOTICS AND THE CHIP
One of the most exciting areas of chip use is in the field of robotics, that is, the use of machines to perform work. Currently, robots are used extensively by the automobile industry to handle heavy, dirty, or dangerous tasks such as spot welding or materials handling. They are also used in the electronics industry to help build calculators, by performing the same precision task time after time. In each case, the robots that are being used are a far cry from the walking, talking C3PO robot of Star Wars fame. An industrial robot is little more than a mechanical arm controlled by a microprocessor chip to perform a specified set of tasks using instructions built into a ROM chip. While not very cute, these robots have had a big impact on the automobile industry; the Japanese companies have used them to gain an advantage over the more labor-intensive U.S. companies.
In robotics, chips direct the actions of a robot by sending the robot the instructions it needs to perform the desired actions. PROM (programmed ROM) chips are useful for this purpose because an individualized set of actions can be programmed into a chip. The chip converts the programming into directions for the robot. If a robot needs a new set of actions, the PROM chip can be replaced by a new PROM that contains the new instructions. One important fact to remember about the use of chips with robotics; A human must create the list of instructions for the chip before it can be used to direct the robot.
It is possible that robots will be used in such areas as hospital care, security, commercial cleaning, and support of elderly, infirm people. Handling these tasks will require "smart" robots, that is, robots that can see where they are going, note obstacles, and take action to avoid them. Another name for a smart robot that has a built-in microprocessor and is able to move around is android. A key problem that must be solved before androids will be widely used is that of three-dimensional sight. Without this, robots will not be able to move around in a crowded hospital hallway or a small apartment.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SOFTWARE
Software has been described as the "driving force" of computers and the "wizard in the machine"; its importance to the use of computers cannot be minimized. Even though the hardware advances of the recent decade have been mind-boggling, the computer without software—without the instructions given it by the user or the manufacturer—would be nothing except a well-constructed combination of silicon chips and electronic circuitry. While there are only so many ways that chips and circuitry can be combined to build a computer, the number of different activities a computer can be instructed to perform by software is virtually limitless. The idea of a computer without software has been described as everything from a car without a driver to a camera without film. Any such analogy makes the point: Computer hardware must have software to direct it.
In 1990, worldwide sales of computer software were estimated to be over $80 billion, but it is expected that over $1 trillion of software will be sold annually by the year 2000. Because each software program must be created by one or more human programmers, not all software has decreased in price as hardware has. Programs that sold for around $500 when introduced in the mid-1980s still sell for that price or for even more.
Uses of software include just about every application imaginable—from playing games to running the family farm as discussed in the opening box. In this chapter, we will introduce the various types of software and the terminology involved in using software. Detailed discussions of the material introduced here are given in Block Three, Applications Software.
" I ’ LL HAVE THE USUAL"
It seems that ordering a pizza for home delivery is as familiar to college students as buying textbooks and studying for exams. Now, Domino's Pizza has a data base system called OASIS that makes it even easier for students and other pizzaphiles to indulge.
The next time you call Domino's to place an order an employee may request your telephone number and then simply ask if you want "the usual." This is possible because OASIS, which is installed on each store's UNIX-based personal computer, gathers information about the store's customers. Types of information the data base stores include the customer's address, favorite toppings, number of pizzas usually ordered, method of payment, and special requests, such as delivering the pizza to a dorm room. The data base also knows if the caller is telephoning from a number that has been used by someone who refused to pay for a pizza or by a prankster who, for example, requested pizza delivery to a nonexistent address.
When the employee enters the caller's telephone number in the store's computer, the caller's buying habits are displayed on the screen and the Domino's employee can ask, "Do you want the same toppings as last time?" or "Do you want it delivered to your dorm room?" Drivers have all this information before leaving the store. If a customer does not want to provide his or her telephone number, the system allows the employee to key in the order rather than pull up the information from the customer data base.
In addition to speeding the order process for both the customer and the Domino's employee, the OASIS system automates order preparation and delivery by creating a "door slip" when an order is taken. The slip tells the pie maker exactly what the customer ordered and tells the driver exactly where to deliver the pizza. Further, OASIS provides Domino's management with the demographic characteristics of each store.
Source: "New Domino's Computer System Could Help the Company" The Atlanta Journal.
1. About a year ago the project was awarded a 1.4 million euro subsidy from the European Commission and is generating commercially applicable results.
2. All software projects are exposed to some degree of risk, but it’s the way we manage risk that makes the difference between delivering a successful solution and counting the cost of a failed project.
3. Since a free version of LimeWire was released on the Internet two years ago, the software has been downloaded over 12 million times and remains one of the most requested programs on CNET’s Download.com site.
4. Recording Industry Association claims that shipments of CDs slipped by about 10 percent last year, and the study of consumers it commissioned found 23 percent weren’t buying more music because they were downloading or copying their music for free.
5. After you’ve been an engineer three for five years, you’ve acquired skills to the point of mastery.
6. Firebox, like Linux and the Mac Mini, brushes off viruses meant for the Internet Explorer, surf the Web quickly, blocks pop-up adds and lets users search a document from a small form in the corner of the window.
7. HP has been studying the switch for some years and has already built it into experimental memory and logic circuits.
8. But only now have its researchers found a way to give the switch “gain” – the power to amplify a signal.
9. In addition, she noted, while some self-healing approaches search for replacements for failed components in predefined locations, Jini looks for any available component anywhere on the network.
10. Bandwidth has reached a point where people are considering using excess resources for something other than to make things faster, such as to make the system more stable.
11. The 65,000-processor Blue Gene/L supercomputer, which IBM is developing with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is slated to run 200 teraflops when it becomes operational.
12. Dell built an assembly plant in China to support its direct model there, but it has also been forced to develop relationships with local distributors and resellers who can give it access to large corporate accounts.
1. This middleware will monitor system performance and execute repairs, resource allocations, and applications as necessary, without barraging network administrators with new parameters to set and operational decisions to make.
2. Computer architectures were supposed to be beautiful, not driven by efficiency.
3. It’s not a revolution that Gorton foresaw, but it is one that he is happy to help lead.
4. A criterion for “event coverage” might require all reachable events in a GUI to execute at least once during a complete cycle of test cases.
5. Other goals include portable tools and techniques to allow test information generated on one platform to be used on all other execution platforms.
6. It also lets users brose many sites at once with a minimum of desktop clutter by opening “tabs” in a window, rather than creating new windows.
7. Science is supposed to learn more from its failures than from its successes.
8. Because humans can’t identify and fix problems fast enough to permit a petaflops computer to continue functioning effectively, IBM is using autonomic-computing principles to enable self-healing and self-management.
9. Processors can include self-healing firmware with enough intelligence to make necessary decisions quickly enough to heal or bypass the system’s problems before it crashes.
10. In recent years, the world’s second-and-third-largest PC makers, Compaq and HP, have both seen their market share in China fall sharply.
11. Success requires foreign company to partner with Chinese companies to gain distribution channel and market access.
12. China has succeeded with an import substitution strategy that proved to be much less successful in India, Brazil and Mexico during the 1980s.
1. This design evolved into the geometry engine, the chip that was to be the foundation for launching Silicon Graphics Inc.
2. Instead of needing microcode to translate the instruction set, the processor would encounter instructions so simple that it could execute them directly.
3. It was clear that a chip with RISK architecture needed to be built.
4. He told Hennessy that to get RISK ideas out into the world he would have to start his own company.
5. Looking back, he admits they made a fair number of design errors and the chip wasn’t as efficient as it could have been.
6. For conventional servers many operations have to be done explicitly, by physically detaching and reattaching cables and then manually reinstalling software and reconfiguring networking information.
7. Many customers fear that they may be tied to a single vendor or, even worse, that they may eventually get stuck with products from different manufacturers that don’t talk to each other.
8. So buyers need to take into account such things as how many machines they have, how much they spend on maintenance, and what levels of reliability they need to find out how they can benefit from blades.
9. Developers can write service implementations in other programming languages, but they must encapsulate each object in Java Native Interface wrapper so that Java environment can dynamically load the objects.
10. Meanwhile, they will have to overcome the obstacles still facing the technology.
11. Another potential advantage is that optical connection in chips wouldn’t generate crosstalk which can degrade performance.
12. In spite of radical research developments chip connections may not be ready for commercial use for another 10 years.
1. A PRAM – Parallel Random Access Machine – is a device that provides massively parallel computing power with processors working synchronously on a shared memory with uniform memory access time.
2. C++ has evolved through three reasonably distinct phases, each being regarded as a separate language, with different features and supporting different styles.
3. In this new model, businesses offer Web services that applications running in other businesses could invoke automatically, building bridges between systems that otherwise would require extensive integration and development efforts.
4. IBM’s leading self-healing research efforts have been the eLisa and subsequent autonomic-computing projects.
5. Several research projects promised improved distributed storage technologies as a way to cope with rapidly growing data volumes and increasingly scattered organizations.
6. Automated or not, the time-consuming record-playback approach easily misses important GUI decisions.
7. How much power blades can save varies on a case-by-case basis, depending on the types of processors and applications being used.
8. Finally, while China has favored domestic firms, it has maintained a highly competitive local computer market, the approach benefiting computer users and helping domestic firms prepare to compete in markets outside China.
9. Zucotto Systems develops semiconductor solutions for wireless Internet applications, the company’s Xpresso Java native processors targeting embedded systems in the network service and consumer device markets.
10. UPnP is an open, distributed architecture being developed for proximity networking – networks available to all clients in the same geographical area as a service they desire.
11. Jini has come a long way since it was officially introduced in 1999, the technology having already been seen as a solution to a number of challenging issues.
12. JetSend fully describes the content being exchanged so that the data transfer is both machine- and operating system independent.
1. Anticipating problems, determining the probability of problems occurring, evaluating the potential impact and preparing the solutions in advance all require considerable effort.
2. Much C++ suffers from being low-level and repetitive.
3. PCF helps in understanding the roles of the various proposed standards with respect to these building blocks and in identifying both overlaps and gaps.
4. Researchers are accelerating works on self-monitoring, self-healing systems, which detect problems and continue to operate by fixing or simply bypassing malfunctions without human intervention.
5. Despite having been around for more than thirty years, conventional servers still have many drawbacks: they take up huge amounts of space and use a lot of electricity.
6. By sharing these components instead of having their own, the blades require much less space, cabling, and power in comparison with conventional servers.
7. The country’s domestic PC makers have grown by focusing on the middle and lower end of the market and taking market share from foreign vendors and clone makers.
8. Finally, having manufacturing capabilities inside China is vital, both to avoid tariffs and the value added tax and to show the commitment to the Chinese market.
9. Jini has focused on coordinating device-to-device communication, JetSend being concentrated on data content encoding, negotiation and conversation.
10. While many potential pitfalls in dealing with traditional distribution channels remain, bypassing these channels by selling direct is difficult, as Dell found out.
11. Putting optical connections on chips would be expensive because it is a new technology and adding the physical infrastructure and then generating light streams would also be expensive.
12. However, fiber interconnects would offer greater data capacity and eliminate the cost of packaging and placing large number of pins in a chip with metal connections.
1. It advises IT staff to ensure that new systems processing personal data are covered by the DPA (Data Protection Act) before any processing occurs.
2. Creating national software standard based on Linux should also help some foreign information technology vendors.
3. Our proposed Process Coordination Framework outlines the building blocks required Web services-enabled e-business automation.
4. This process is extremely labor intensive, often relying on the test designer’s ability to generate interesting GUI interactions.
5. An automatic test case generator can provide higher level of support, but a programmer must code it for all possible decision points in the GUI.
6. The difficulty of anticipating a test case’s fault-detection capability makes it difficult, in turn, to select the most effective subset.
7. National Instruments Educational Laboratory Virtual Instrumentation Suite empowers professors and students to connect theory to the real world through an integrated design, prototype, and measurement platform built on the powerful NI Lab VIEW graphical development environment.
8. After a 3-D application has filled the graphics card’s frame-buffer memories with its 3-D image, our software extracts the color position and depth information for each pixel and passes it onto the DepthCube’s 3-D frame buffer.
9. A programming-language-neutral interface definition language specifies interfaces for accessing a service.
10. Successful information technology sourcing decisions require customers to identify their IT needs, and develop significant contract-crafting and relationship management skills.
11. A US startup Barcelona Design plans to build engines for different chip maker’s manufacturing processes.
12. Barcelona Design’s Prado Synthesis Platform automates much of the work of analog-circuit design for chips, a process that in the past required many engineers and considerable time and money.
1. After all, if allowed to run unchecked, a single purchased movie could be replayed on literary millions televisions worldwide.
2. Had the scheme been based on broadcast encryption, on the other hand, developers could have issued new disks that would exclude those circumvention programs without affecting legitimate consumer devices.
3. HP has put self-healing technology – including the ability to correct single-bit errors in the CPU cache and to replace a processor if there are too many errors to fix – in some of its newer servers.
4. If the designers have to generate a subset of all possible test cases, they often must select the subset during test case generation.
5. Also, if the oracle does not verify the QUI after each execution step, pinpointing the error’s actual cause can become difficult.
6. Stunning graphics can fool the eyes into believing a few lines of code and a few electrons really are an intricate world, but only with haptics (science of touch) can players reach in, touch, and manipulate that world as if it were real.
7. If its plans fit with the wellbeing of the locality, a small company could receive support and expand quickly into an enterprise group or public company with a much higher value.
8. Thus, if one computer or an important element had failed, the system could have switched to another.
9. However, software that does understand the protocol, if set up and used appropriately, should scan and catch worms downloaded once a system tries to save an infected file.
10. Were defining software requirements difficult, defining a universal, fixed process would be difficult as well.
11. If software is a rational endeavor, improving quality involves better and more resources: better management, better tools, more disciplined production, and more programmers.
12. If software is a craft, improving quality involves the exact opposite: focusing on hierarchy, better knowledge, more-skilled programmers, and greater development flexibility.
WORDS AND PHRASES
1. To date, some of the most promising ideas have been brought to market by a group of smaller vendors.
2. It was one of them, in fact, that pioneered the very idea of a super-slim server.
3. As it turns out, even RLX dropped out of the blades market, announcing early this year it would focus solely on server management software.
4. So the competition is based not so much on which components they use as on how cleverly they can make them work together.
5. So far not ideal solution has emerged, and therefore the race is on.
6. Two to the 64-th power is an extremely large number, and there are usually two operands involved.
7. These laboratory curiosities never reached the market because they could not be manufactured reliably, nor could they produce full-color images or work with existing graphics software.
8. Few, if any, developing countries would have such desirable markets or be able to attract foreign investment on terms so favorable to the host country.
9. China’s computer industry policies have succeeded in expanding both production and computer use, taking advantage of domestic capabilities as well as attracting leading multinationals to produce in China.
10. Although China’s growing PC market has created opportunities for domestic and foreign PC makers alike, the latter have seen their market shares shrink dramatically, an outcome consistent with the government’s desire to avoid foreign domination on its IT sector.
11. China has become a major force in the global PC industry, as both the most attractive growth market and as a large producer.
12. By now, however, China’s PC makers are strong enough to compete on an even footing in their home market.
ADJECTIVES AND ADVERBS
1. They are much easier to install, manage, and repair than conventional servers – especially when you have hundreds of thousands of units.
2. The upshot is that the more blades proliferate, the closer administrators come to eliminating a longstanding problem in computer room everywhere: machines are working far below their full computing capacity.
3. Even worse – perhaps their biggest shortcoming – is their relative inflexibility.
4. Because they share power supplies and have fewer functional chips and other components, blades consume less electricity and generate less heat.
5. Worse still, other customers reported they found out they didn’t have enough electric power to run whole racks of blades.
6. Because of the comparative ease with which they can be upgraded or reconfigured, blades have lower administrative and service costs, which can make up for the higher initial outlay in as few as two or three years.
7. Recent advances in projection technologies, including cheaper, brighter laser diodes have made the swept-volume display an effective part of machinery for high-end visualization.
8. Cheaper, faster, and more customizable than established players, Linux has become the film industry’s new favorite.
9. Ultimately, data rates would depend on more than just optical technology’s higher speeds.
10. However, adding more transistors requires building a greater number of metal connections closer together, which increases energy use and electrical interference.
11. Unlike Intel processors, which really need dual-channel memory to provide their best performance, the AMD Sempron is quite happy with single-channel PC3200 DDR-SDRAM.
12. Sempron processors are noticeably faster than Celerons for most tasks, consume less power, and run cooler.
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE USA
The United States of America was formed by emigrants in 1382. The USA consists of 50 states. Washington, the capital of the United States is situated on the Potomac River in the District of Columbia. The district is a piece of land which doesn't belong to any state but to all the states. All these states are sovereign. The USA occupies a large territory and is situated in the central and southern part of North America. The USA is washed by the Atlantic Ocean in the east and by the Pacific Ocean in the west. In the north, the USA borders on Canada and in the south - on Mexico.
The USA is divided into three areas: Eastern area is a highland, central area is a plain and Western area is mountains including the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. There are great lakes in the northern part of the USA. There are: Huron, Michigan, Ontario and Erie. They are connected by fast rivers. Mississippi together with its tributary Missouri is the longest river in the world. . The world’s most famous waterfall called Niagara Fall is also located in the country. Mountains range across the country from north to south and don't protect it against cold air from the north and the warm one from the south. The USA has a continental climate.
The USA is a highly developed industrial country. Large deposits of oil, coal, iron ore and other minerals are the solid base for the development of Americans industry. Heavy industry, which includes such branches as the mining, metallurgical, engineering, chemical, aircraft and automobile, prevails in the USA. The country has also well-developed light and food industries. Both animal breeding and farming are very important for the economy of the USA.
Under the Constitution, the federal government is divided into three branches. The Congress is vested with the legislative power and made up of two houses: the Senate and the House of Representatives. There are 435 members in the House of Representatives and 100 senators. Each state elects two members to the Senate.
The executive branch is headed by the President, who proposes bills to Congress, serves as commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces. The President is chosen in nation-wide elections every 4 years. The second person in the executive branch is vice President. The elected vice President belongs to the same political party as the President.
The judicial branch consists of Federal District Courts, 11 Federal Courts and the Supreme Court. Federal judges are appointed by the President. Federal courts decide cases involving federal law, conflicts between citizens of different states. Constitution is the most important document in the USA. It has been amended 26 times. The Bill of Rights guarantees individual liberties: freedom of speech, religion and so on.