The Creation And Development Of The Personal Computer (PC)
This paper analyzes the events that led up to the creation of the Personal Computer (PC). This paper also explores how the Personal Computer has affected our modern society, science, as well as technology. Aside from that, the paper describes the major components of the PC, explains how different file formats are stored in a computer memory, and describes data compression and its effects on data quality. Further still, this paper defines software applications, sheds light on how antivirus and firewalls help protect data stored in a PC, and finally explains the role of Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) in the PC to PC communication over the web.
Key Words: Personal Computer, Data Compression, Hypertext Markup Language
History of the PCPC technology has developed drastically over the past few decades. The computers of our modern era are exceptionally speedy when compared to the initial versions. Aside from that, they are considerably smaller in size and can easily be carried around. Originally, computers had been developed to be used by big institutions and corporations like universities and scientific facilities. Later on, around the 1970s, there was a major evolution of technology, and common people began to gain interest in computers. Around this period, however, computers and electronics enthusiasts could only buy unassembled units that they would later assemble and program themselves. The invention of the microprocessor in 1971 paved the way for the PC revolution. With a microprocessor, it became cheaper and easier to manufacture computers. Aside from that, the microprocessor helped reduce the size of these computers. As a conquence, it also became possible for more people to afford a PC. Gradually, more and more people continued to purchase personal units. At the same time, technology continued to develop over the years making PC’s even more affordable. ("Invention of the PC," 2018).
How the PC has Affected Society, Science, and Technology? Over the years, the PC innovation has vastly affected society, science, and technology. Arguably, the most dramatic effect of PCs on society is the connectedness that it brought with the web. With the web, people who are miles apart can able to communicate within a fraction of a second. Information and other news are disseminated across the world at lightning speed. Unlike before, it has become considerably easy to access information. Research can be done online within a very short period of time. However, this ease with which society can do things from the comfort of their seats has made humanity less active in actual physical activities and interactions (Jancer, 2018). On the field of science, PCs have enhanced speed and reliability of processing scientific data.
For instance, today’s weather forecasting relies on highly accurate stand-alone computer models (Jancer, 2018). Similarly, the PC has been instrumental in spurring the technological advancement that is being witnessed around the world. Discoveries, research findings, and other important information get shared easily over the web which allows people to identify and develop areas requiring development quickly. PC’s Major ComponentsA PC is composed of five major components that include:
- The Central Processing Unit (CPU) – this component is responsible for all the activities that happen inside a PC. Its duty is to control all the internal and external devices as well as perform arithmetic and logical operation as instructed.
- The input unit – this is comprised of a collection of devices that connect a PC’s central processing unit with the external environment. Through these devices, data and instructions are relayed into the computer to be processed as required. These devices include the Keyboard, the mouse, and sensors.
- The output unit – this is comprised of a collection of devices that links a PC’s CPU with the external environment. This unit relays results of the processed data and instructions. These results could be transformed into human reader-able formats which can then be displayed in interfaces such as the monitor.
- The Memory - This is the unit responsible for storing and holding data and instructions. It includes components such as the hard drive, RAM, and ROM.
- Arithmetic and Logical Unit – this is the component in which the actual processing of data and execution of instructions take place (Khan, 2013)
Data Storage and Compression
When it comes to a PC, all data formats including image, audio, and video are stored digitally in the form of 0’s and 1’s. Data inputs are converted into this form in the imput devices. Output devices, on the other hand, re-convert this information back to the formats comprehensible to humans. Normally, data is usually compressed prior to being stored in order for it to occupy less memory space as well as speed up operations. By definition, data compression is a reduction of the number of bits required to represent a given piece of data (Salomon, 2004). Data compression is done by an algorithm that represents strings of 0s and 1s with even smaller strings of 0s and 1s. This is sometimes done by identifying less necessary information and removing it. Sometimes, this removal is irreversible, and this leads to a loss of information. Consequently, this translates to a loss of quality, for example, loss of picture clarity. (Salomon, 2004). Software Applications, Antivirus Software, Firewalls, and HTMLBy definition, a software application is a program that is designed to perform specific tasks for an end-user. This may include applications like word processors, database programs, and media players ("What is Application Software | eduCBA," 2018).
A series of activities are undertaken before a software application becomes functional. Firstly, the idea of what the application will do is conceived and designed. Then, the application is programmed, tested, and fixed of any bugs. Antivirus software and firewalls offer protection to the data stored in a PC by carrying out a number of actions. Typically, an antivirus or a firewall will scan files that are being opened, programs that are to be run, and sites being visited for any suspicious behaviors as well as by comparing any program to known viruses and worms. Hence, malicious programs are prevented from corrupting or destroying data. HTML, known in full as HyperText Markup Language, is a vital component of the web as it allows the creation of the electronic pages that can be displayed on the web. These pages contain a series of links that interconnect with other pages across the web (Shannon, 2018). This makes it possible for people connected in the web by use of their PCs to access these pages. This creates a series of communication links between difference PCs which makes their communication possible.