In the 1960s and 1970s, the term information technology (IT) was a little known phrase that was used by those who like banks and hospitals to describe the processes they used to store information. With the paradigm shift to computing technology and "paperless" workplaces, information technology has come to be a household phrase. It defines an industry that uses computers, networking, software programming, and other equipment and processes to store, process, transmit, and protect information.
In the early days of computer development, there was no such thing as a college degree in IT. Software development and computer programming were best left to the computer scientists and mathematical engineers, due to their complicated nature. As time passed and technology advanced, such as with the advent of the personal computer in the 1980s and its everyday use in the home and the workplace, the world moved into the information age.
By the early 21st century, nearly every child in the Western world, and many in other parts of the world, knew how to use a personal computer. Businesses' information technology departments have gone from using storage tapes created by a single computer operator to interconnected networks of employee workstations that store information in a server farm, often somewhere away from the main business site. Communication has advanced, from physical postal mail, to telephone fax transmissions, to nearly digital communication through electronic mail (email). Great technological advances have been made since the days when computers were huge pieces of equipment that were stored in big, air conditioned rooms, getting their information from punch cards. The information technology industry has turned out to be a huge employer of people worldwide, as the focus shifts in some nations from manufacturing to service industries. It is a field where the barrier to entry is generally much lower than that of manufacturing, for example. In the current business environment, being proficient in computers is often a necessity for those who want to compete in the workplace.
Jobs in information technology are widely varied, although many do require some level of higher education. Positions as diverse as software designer, network engineer, and database administrator are all usually considered IT jobs. Nearly any position that involves the intersection of computers and information may be considered part of this field.
1. Answer the questions:
1.When was a term information technology in the first there ?
2.Who used term information technology firstly?
3.For whom were best left software development and computer programming?
4.Did every child know how to use a personal computer?
5.In the 1980s the world moved into the information age, didn’t it?
6.Are jobs in information technology widely varied?
7.What kinds of jobs are usually considered as IT jobs?
2. Choose true or false:
1.In the 1970s and 1980s, the term information technology (IT) was a little known phrase that was used by those who like banks and hospitals.
2.Information technology was used by those who worked in places like banks and hospitals.
3.In the early days of computer development, there was such thing as a college degree in IT
4.In the 1980s world moved into the information age.
5.In the early 21st century no one child in the world, knew how to use a personal computer.
6.Great technological advances have been made in present days.
3. Put the following sentences logically in the right order according to the text:
1.In the 1960s and 1970s, the term information technology (IT) was a little known phrase
2.The information technology industry has turned out to be a huge employer of people worldwide.
3.Software development and computer programming were best left to the computer scientists and mathematical engineers.
4.Jobs in information technology are widely varied.
5.By the early 21st century, nearly every child in the Western world, and many in other parts of the world, knew how to use a personal computer.
4. Match the sentence halves:
1.Communication has advanced, from physical postal mail
2.In the 1960s and 1970s, the term information technology (IT)
3.Businesses' information technology departments have gone
4.Nearly any position that involves the intersection of computers and information
a.from using storage tapes created by a single computer operator to interconnected networks of employee workstations.
b.may be considered part of this field.
c.was a little known phrase.
d.to telephone fax transmissions, nearly digital communication electronic mail (email).
Taking computer for granted
(1) How easy is to get cynical about computers. Almost every day comes news of an office network that fails and paralyzes the company, of software that is years late, millions over budget and still doesn't work, of a spell-checker program that «corrects» a right word into a wrong one.
(2)At times we feel at the machines' mercy, propelled in directions we would rather not go. The technology keeps growing more complex, more demanding, more intimidating. But every now and then it's worthwhile to think positive, to take stock of the computers that work, that we use daily without thinking, that have made a difference. And that would have most of us screaming if taken away. Herewith is an unscientifically compiled list of areas that the machines have forever changed.
(3) Have you ever been to a country where banking still runs on paper? You wait in line, deal with a teller, than take a number and sit down. If you're lucky, the clerk takes only 30 minutes to go to a back room and rummage through giant ledgers to see if you have money. Remember how ominous the term «banking hours» used to be? We had to build a trip to the bank into our weekly schedules. The price of missing that trip was cashless weekends or embarrassment of mooching from friends. Now we expect 24-hours access to our money at machines.
(4) When I was a boy you had to spend hundreds of dollars to get truly accurate time on your wrist. It was common for watches (even those allegedly packed with tiny jewels) to lose or gain 10 minutes a day and break after a few months. You can still spend as much as you want on a watch, but $10 or $15 will buy you one that is off only by seconds a month and lasts for years. There's more: it will wake you with an alarm. Squeeze a button and it will turn into a stopwatch and tell you precisely how many seconds it takes from door to bus stop. As a boy I always wanted a stopwatch, but never had the money for one.
(5) We used to think nothing of waiting hours for an overseas call to go through. We would tell an operator the number and hope for the best. Now we dial the digits and, in a few seconds, a telephone is ringing a continent away. Computers make that happen.
(6) People under 30 won't believe it, but there was a time when we balanced our check-books by hand. Or didn't balance them at all. Of course, there are plenty of people who still pursue that route. But the point is that if you want mathematical accuracy, you can get something that does the numbers as accurately as any child prodigy.
(7) The huge human genome project, which proposes to unlock the basic genetic code from which we are constructed and possibly tame AIDS, cancer and a host of other incurables, depends very heavily on computer-generated analyses of genetic structure.
(8) With computers' help, controllers can place many more planes close in the sky than they could using ghostly blips on a radar screen. When the computers fail, the controllers shift back to the blips and have to space planes farther apart. That means you sit fuming on a runway waiting for takeoff clearance.
(9) Large electronic data-bases allow companies to instantly check ticket availability. That's why you can buy a ticket to a Rolling Stones concert in Washington from anywhere in the country. Or how the airline reservation agent knows whether there's space on the flight from Denver to Los Angeles.
(10) You do not need to stand in line inside the service station to pay. You slip your card into a pump. A networked computer inside it validates the card in a few seconds. You ump your gas and hit the road. And cars go further these days because of «electronic engine management», a collection of chips in your car that control such crucial as spark plug timing and air flow.
(11)Of course, each of these successes carries a potential cost. If kids can punch buttons to get a sum, they may not learn basic arithmetic. We may lose something in a world in which a watch is a throwaway commodity, not a possession to be saved for, lovingly chosen, than cared for through the years.
(12)But it seems that most of these things, and plenty of others, have been for the better. We can never go back and, in most cases, wouldn't want to. Imagine the protests if somebody proposed removing computers from medical research labs, or that banks go back to paper ledgers. One thing that stands out about the positives - they tend to be technologies that began 15, 20 or even 30 years ago. There's been plenty of time to rethink and refine, and turn them into things that really work.
I. Define the main idea of the text:
2.The areas that computers have changed.
3.Computers and their numerous applications are the most significant technical achievements we can’t live without.