Computers and culture
Computers and their role in human life have changed drastically since the 1950s. If 60 years ago computers did not play an important role in society, these day computers play a significant role in our lives. Initially, computers were big and awkward machines that were used just for keeping information and calculations. Throughout the last 50 years computers have become much smaller and much more sophisticated. If first computers were so large that they could occupy a single room, modern computers can be as small as a cell phone. Also, computing abilities magnified and in 1970s computers were able to help both in office and at home (Odin). Even though computers were very expensive at that time, many middle class families could afford to have one at home. Therefore, the personal computer industry started in the 1970s. J. Odin, a professor of University of Hawaii at Manoa, writes: “With the development of Random Access Memory (RAM) and invention of microprocessors, the personal computer industry took off in the seventies” (Odin). The idea that computers could be used not only by scientists, but also by common people appealed to many in 1970s and 1980s. When personal computers gained popularity in the 1980s, they were mostly used as word processors. There were no any networks and the Internet was yet to be born. In the 1990s computers became involved in the field of knowledge making. J. Odin writes: b ”The effective interaction that today's computers allow makes it possible for the user to switch back and forth among various roles of creator, transformer, communicator as well as receiver of knowledge” (Odin). With the arriving of the Internet computer became not only an essential tool for keeping, transforming and exchanging information, but an artificial intellect able to solve complex problems. When in the 1990s Garry Kasparov, a World Chess Champion, was defeated by a computer, it was obvious that...
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Odin, Jaishree K. "Computers and Cultural Transformation." 2011. http://www.hawaii.edu. 29 March 2013.
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