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Государственный университет – Высшая школа экономики

ФАКУЛЬТЕТ ЭКОНОМИКИ
КАФЕДРА АНГЛИЙСКОГО ЯЗЫКА

Барановская Т.А., Шемякина В.И.

УЧЕБНО-МЕТОДИЧЕСКОЕ ПОСОБИЕ

INFOTECH
HARDWARE

МОСКВА 2009
Предисловие

Данное учебное пособие предназначено для студентов первого курса, изучающих


английский язык в области информационных технологий по теме Hardware. Цель курса
научить студентов работать со специальной базой научно-технических данных в
названной области.
Представленный материал состоит из 5 разделов, полностью охватывающих
указанное направление:

Different Types of Computers


Computer Basics
Input Devices
Output Devices
Secondary Storage Devices

Практика преподавания настоящего аспекта показала целесообразность


лексической направленности упражнений и закрепляющего материала. Учебные
задания должны способствовать усвоению специальных понятий и терминов в
области информационных технологий.
В первом, третьем, четвертом и пятом разделах представлены задания,
позволяющие развивать навыки учащихся давать собственную оценку полученной
информации. Каждый урок этих разделов включает: тексты-опоры; англо-русский
глоссарий; определения базовых терминов; упражнения, закрепляющие понимание
терминологии; лексические упражнения, развивающие устную речь. Второй раздел
представляет собой изложение структурной схемы персонального компьютера, поэтому
упор в этом разделе делается на усвоение специальных терминов и перевод.
Специфика преподавания данного аспекта состоит в необходимости постоянного
обновления материала. Тексты-опоры, содержащие всю необходимую терминологию,
дополняются материалами сайтов ИТ и, прежде всего, сайтов выставок CES и CeBit.
Представляется целесообразным предлагать студентам самостоятельно находить
необходимый материал, развивая тем самым навыки поиска и аннотирования
информации. На занятиях предполагается вести обсуждение тем с опорой на текст
пособия и знакомый учащимся лексико-грамматический материал. Обсуждения носят
информационно-познавательный характер.
Пособие учитывает наличие разноуровневых групп. С этой целью введен раздел,
содержащий дополнительные тексты, рассчитанные на самостоятельное освоение
материала студентами первых групп.

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Contents

Introduction… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …4
Section 1. Different Types of Computers
Unit 1. Five Generations of Computers … … … … … … … … … … … 5
Unit 2. Types of Computers . … … … … … … … … … … … … … … 13
Unit 3. Laptops vs Desktops .… … … … … … … … … … … … … … 18
Unit 4. Notebooks vs Netbooks vs Ultra-mobile PCs . … … … … … … 28

Section 2. Computer Basics


Unit 1. Motherboard .. … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … 35
Unit 2. Microprocessor … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …40
Unit 3. Computer Memory … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …48

Section 3. Input Devices


Unit 1. Computer Keyboard .. … … … … … … … … … … … … … …58
Unit 2. Computer Mouse .. … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …64
Unit 3. Image Capture . … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …70

Section 4. Output Devices


Unit 1. Computer Monitor … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … 77
Unit 2. Types of Printers .. … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …84

Section 5. Secondary Storage Devices


Unit 1. Hard disk drive … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … 90
Unit 2. Optical Discs … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …97

Section 6. Supplementary Texts… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … 104


Text 1. UMPC, MID, Netbook, Nettop
Text 2. The Future of PCs
Text 3. Overclocking
Text 4. Speech Recognition
Text 5. SSD-Solid State Drive
Text 6. USB Flash Drive
Text 7. Different types of memory cards

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Introduction

Information technology, or IT, describes any technology that powers or enables the


storage, processing and information flow within an organization. Anything involved with
computers, software, networks, intranets, Web sites, servers, databases and
telecommunications falls under the IT umbrella.
The software and the hardware make up a computer system.
Hardware refers to the physical portion of the computer system, including the
electrical/electronic components (e.g. devices and circuits), electromechanical
components (e.g. a disk drive), and mechanical components.
Software is most commonly used to refer to the programs executed by a computer
system.
Central processing unit implies the principal operating part of a computer. It is
usually defined as the ALU (arithmetic and logic unit) and the control unit (CU). It must
be joined to a primary memory to form the processor-memory of the basic von Neumann
machine.
The term peripheral identifies any device, including I/O devices and backing store,
that is connected to the computer. The term originated in the mainframe era. Since the
advent of the smaller computers, printers etc., the term peripheral is seldom used.

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Section 1
Different Types of Computers

Unit 1
The Five Generations of Computers

The history of computer development is often referred to the different generations of


computing devices. Each generation of computer is characterized by a major technological
development that fundamentally changed the way computers operate, resulting in
increasingly smaller, cheaper, more powerful and more efficient and reliable devices.
Read about each generation and the developments that led to the current devices that
we use today.
First Generation - 1940-1956: Vacuum Tubes
The first computers used vacuum tubes for circuitry and magnetic drums for memory,
and were often enormous, taking up entire rooms. They were very expensive to operate and
in addition to using a great deal of electricity, generated a lot of heat, which was often the
cause of malfunctions. First generation computers relied on machine language to perform
operations, and they could only solve one problem at a time. Input was based on punched
cards and paper tape, and output was displayed on printouts.
The UNIVAC and ENIAC computers are examples of first-generation computing
devices. The UNIVAC was the first commercial computer delivered to a business client, the
U.S. Census Bureau in 1951.
Second Generation - 1956-1963: Transistors
Transistors replaced vacuum tubes and ushered in the second generation of computers.
The transistor was invented in 1947 but did not see widespread use in computers until the
late 50s. The transistor was far superior to the vacuum tube, allowing computers to become
smaller, faster, cheaper, more energy-efficient and more reliable than their first-generation
predecessors. Though the transistor still generated a great deal of heat that subjected the
computer to damage, it was a vast improvement over the vacuum tube. Second-generation
computers still relied on punched cards for input and printouts for output.
High-level programming languages were developed at this time, such as early versions
of COBOL and FORTRAN. These were also the first computers that stored their instructions

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in their memory, which moved from a magnetic drum to magnetic core technology.
The first computers of this generation were developed for the atomic energy industry.
Third Generation - 1964-1971: Integrated Circuits
The development of the integrated circuit was the hallmark of the third generation of
computers. Transistors were miniaturized and placed on silicon chips, called
semiconductors, which drastically increased the speed and efficiency of computers.
Instead of punched cards and printouts, users interacted with third generation
computers through keyboards and monitors and interfaced with an operating system, which
allowed the device to run many different applications at one time with a central program that
monitored the memory. Computers for the first time became accessible to a mass audience
because they were smaller and cheaper than their predecessors.
Fourth Generation - 1971-Present: Microprocessors
The microprocessor brought the fourth generation of computers, as thousands of
integrated circuits were built onto a single silicon chip. What in the first generation filled an
entire room could now fit in the palm of the hand. The Intel 4004 chip, developed in 1971,
located all the components of the computer - from the central processing unit and memory to
input/output controls - on a single chip.
In 1981 IBM introduced its first computer for the home user, and in 1984 Apple
introduced the Macintosh. Microprocessors also moved out of the realm of desktop
computers and moved into many areas of life as more and more everyday products began to
use microprocessors.
As these small computers became more powerful, they could be linked together to
form networks, which eventually led to the development of the Internet. Fourth generation
computers also saw the development of GUIs, the mouse and handheld devices.
Fifth Generation - Present and Beyond: Artificial Intelligence
Fifth generation computing devices, based on artificial intelligence, are still in
development, though there are some applications, such as voice recognition, that are being
used today. The use of parallel processing and superconductors is helping to make artificial
intelligence a reality. Quantum computation and molecular and nanotechnology will
radically change the face of computers in years to come. The goal of fifth-generation
computing is to develop devices that respond to natural language input and are capable of
learning and self-organization.

Vocabulary

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vacuum tube электровакуумная лампа, вакуумная трубка
circuitry схемы; цепи
magnetic drum магнитный барабан, внешнее запоминающее устройство
прямого доступа
generate производить, создавать, образовывать, формировать
malfunction сбой, неисправность
punch card = punched card перфокарта
paper tape перфолента
printout распечатка, твердая копия
assembly language язык ассемблера
magnetic core магнитопровод; магнитный сердечник
integrated circuit ( IC) интегральная микросхема, ИС, микросхема
полупроводниковый прибор, содержащий несколько
электронных элементов
transistor транзистор, электронный прибор, на котором строится
логика интегральной микросхемы
silicon chip кремниевая микросхема
silicon кремний, полупроводниковый материал
chip микросхема, кристалл, чип от слова microchip; общее
название интегральной схемы
chip, element
integrated circuit, microchip микросхема
semiconductor полупроводник
efficiency эффективность, производительность
inefficiency неэффективность
efficiency, performance,
power, productivity
capability, capacity производительность
duty cycle производительность, [максимальная] нагрузка например,
число страниц, печатаемых на принтере в месяц
performance производительность, быстродействие, эффективность
power мощность, энергия, способность, производительность,
степень, показатель степени

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productivity производительность
interface (n) сопряжение; согласование
inteface (v) соединять
monitor осуществлять текущий контроль, контролировать
application ( app) приложение, прикладная программа
control устройство [орган] управления
parallel processing параллельная обработка, параллельное выполнение
superconductor сверхпроводник
quantum computer квантовый компьютер

Basic Terminology
interface (n) a common boundary between two systems, devices, or programs
interface (v) to provide and interface; to interact
user interface(n) the means of communication between a human user and a
computer system, referring in particular to the use of
input/output devices with supporting software
chip 1. a device made up of a non-metallic semiconducting material
(silicon), which contains a set of integrated circuits, with high-
speed performance
2. informal name for integrated circuit

1. Answer the following questions:

What caused the malfunctions in the first computers?


What are the advantages of transistors?
What was the main distinctive feature of the third generation of computers?
What advanced IBM to introduce first home computer?
What is the goal of the fifth-generation computing?

2. Find in the text the equivalents to the following words and phrases :

совершенствование технологии
эффективные и надежные устройства
занимать целую комнату
причины сбоя

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транзисторы значительно превосходят вакуумные лампы
подвергать компьютер повреждениям
отличительная черта третьего поколения компьютеров
взаимодействовать с компьютером посредством клавиатуры и монитора
находиться в стадии развития
искусственный интеллект

Defining a term

If you define something, you show, describe, or state clearly what it is and what its limits are,
or what it is like.
To define a term you have to use the following words and expressions:
apply to, refer to, relate with, imply, define, is used to identify, is used to describe,
represent, constitute.
a. Algorithm refers to a series of instructions or a step-by-step procedure for the solution
of a problem.
b. Byte implies a unit of information which consists of a fixed number of bits.
c. The term disk is used to identify a storage device made of flat circular plates with
magnetizable surfaces.
d. Input represents the process of transferring information into the memory from some
peripheral unit.

3. Match the terms to the definitions:

Terms Definitions

Circuitry very small electronic circuit printed on a single silicon chip

Malfunction a solid-state electronic switch or amplifier

Transistor the main electronic chip of a computer

integrated circuit a type of computer technology which is concerned with making machines
work in an intelligent way, similar to the way that the human mind works

microprocessor a system of electric circuits

Artificial Intelligence a common boundary between two systems, devices, or programs

parallel processing the branch of technology that deals with dimensions of less than 100

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nanometres, especially the manipulation of individual atoms and
molecules

Interface a mode of computer operation in which a process is split into parts that
execute simultaneously on different processors attached to the same
computer

Nanotechnology the occurrence of a fault, usually a hardware fault

4. Make up a plan and retell the text.

Phrasal Verbs
The term phrasal verb is used to describe a combination of verb+preposition. There is a
strong tendency to use phrasal verbs instead of their one-verb equivalents.

5. Different meanings of the phrasal verbs are given. Translate the following
phrasal verbs and construct your own sentences:

move away
 If you move away, you go and live in a different town or area of a country.
move in, move into
 When you move in somewhere, you begin to live there as your home.
move in
 If police, soldiers, or attackers move in, they go towards a place or person in order to
deal with or attack them. Intervene, especially so as to attack or take control.
move out
 If you move out, you stop living in a particular house or place and go to live
somewhere else.
move on
 When you move on somewhere, you leave the place where you have been staying or
waiting and go there.
 If you move on, you finish or stop one activity and start doing something different.

move around
 If you move around or move about, you keep changing your job or keep changing the
place where you live.

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move along
 If someone, especially a police officer, tells you to move along, or if they move you
along, they tell you to stop standing in a particular place and to go somewhere else.
move off
 When you move off, you start moving away from a place.

6. Render the following text.

Очевидно, что технопрогресс имеет положительную сторону: мы двигаемся


быстрее, едим вкуснее и работаем организованнее. Однако у этой медали есть и
оборотная сторона. Облегчив себе жизнь в той или иной ее сфере, мы становимся
зависимыми от нового «помощника», будь это социальные сети для разностороннего
общения, мобильник для быстрой связи или WiFi-роутер для беспроводного выхода в
интернет.
И все же куда больше беспокойства обычно вызывает патологическая тяга к
компьютеру. Психологи констатируют, что это серьезная угроза для человечества в
целом. Такой вывод они сделали, подведя итоги всемирной акции «Выключи свой
компьютер», которая проходила пару лет назад. Суть акции была в том, что участники
клятвенно обещали не включать компьютер в течение суток. 14%, и это довольно
много, своего слова сдержать не смогли. Организаторы эксперимента говорят, что эта
доля просто не сумела справиться с психологической зависимостью от ПК. Врачи
настаивают на том, чтобы официально внести ее в медицинские справочники: число
жертв этого недуга постоянно растет.
Есть и другой, как многие считают - негативный, аспект стремительного развития
технологий — роботы. Когда-нибудь машины научатся действовать самостоятельно.
Во всяком случае, такие прогнозы, если не сказать опасения, можно услышать
довольно часто. «Вокруг света» сообщает о первом шаге в этом направлении. Он был
сделан в мае 1997-го, когда компьютер IBM Deep Blue впервые обыграл чемпиона мира
Гарри Каспарова в шахматы. В июле того же года робот Sojourner начал полностью
автономное исследование Марса в рамках космической программы NASA.
В 1965 году было сделано наблюдение, которое известно как закон Мура и
заключается в том, что число транзисторов на кристалле удваивается каждые 24
месяца. Представив в виде графика рост производительности запоминающих
микросхем, ученый Гордон Мур обнаружил закономерность: новые модели микросхем
разрабатывались спустя более или менее одинаковые периоды после появления их
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предшественников, а емкость их при этом возрастала каждый раз примерно вдвое. Если
такая тенденция продолжится, заключил Мур, то мощность вычислительных устройств
экспоненциально возрастет на протяжении относительно короткого промежутка
времени.
Если руководствоваться этим постулатом, можно предположить, что
быстродействие компьютеров к 2050 году увеличится почти в миллион раз. Значит, и
объем информации, который воспринимает мозг взрослого человека, без особых
усилий будет обрабатываться устройством не больше современного «наладонника». В
таком случае можно говорить о том, что вычислительных мощностей хватит для
создания более или менее полноценного искусственного интеллекта.

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Unit 2
The Different Types of Computers

There are a lot of terms used to describe computers. Most of these terms imply the
size, expected use or capability of the computer. While the term computer can apply to
virtually any device that has a microprocessor in it, most people think of a computer as a
device that receives input from the user through a mouse or keyboard, processes it in some
fashion and displays the result on a screen.
Desktop. A PC that is not designed for portability. The expectation with desktop
systems are that you will set the computer up in a permanent location. Most desktops offer
more power, storage and versatility for less cost than portable computers.
Nettop. A low-power desktop computer, designed for surfing the Internet.
Laptop. Also called notebooks, laptops are portable computers that integrate the
display, keyboard, a pointing device, processor, memory and hard drive all in a battery-
operated package slightly larger than an average hardcover book.
Netbook. A low-power laptop, designed for surfing the Internet.
Palmtop. More commonly known as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), palmtops are
tightly integrated computers that often use flash memory instead of a hard drive for storage.
These computers usually do not have keyboards but rely on touchscreen technology for user
input. Palmtops are very lightweight with a reasonable battery life. A slightly larger and
heavier version of the palmtop is the handheld computer.
Tablet PC. In general, a tablet PC is a wireless personal computer (PC) that allows a
user to take notes using natural handwriting with a stylus or digital pen on a touch screen. The
handwriting is digitized and can be converted to standard text through handwriting
recognition, or it can remain as handwritten text. Tablet PCs also typically have a keyboard
and/or a mouse for input.
A digitizer is laid under or over an LCD screen to create an electromagnetic field that
can capture the movement of a special-purpose pen, or stylus, and record the movement on
the LCD screen.
Workstation. A desktop computer that has a more powerful processor, additional
memory and enhanced capabilities for performing a special group of task, such as 3D
Graphics or game development.
Terminal. A visual display unit where data may be input to or output from a data
communications system.

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Server. A computer that has been optimized to provide services to other computers
over a network. Servers usually have powerful processors, lots of memory and large hard
drives.
Mainframe. In the early days of computing, mainframes were huge computers that
could fill an entire room or even a whole floor. As the size of computers has diminished
while the power has increased, the term mainframe has fallen out of use in favor of enterprise
server. You'll still hear the term used, particularly in large companies to describe the huge
machines processing millions of transactions every day.
Minicomputer. Another term rarely used anymore, minicomputers fall in between
microcomputers (PCs) and mainframes (enterprise servers). Minicomputers are normally
referred to as mid-range servers now.
Supercomputer. This type of computer usually costs hundreds of thousands or even
millions of dollars. Although some supercomputers are single computer systems, most are
comprised of multiple high performance computers working in parallel as a single system.
The best known supercomputers are built by Cray Supercomputers.
Wearable. The latest trend in computing is wearable computers. Essentially, common
computer applications (e-mail, database, multimedia, calendar/scheduler) are integrated into
watches, cell phones, visors and even clothing!

Vocabulary

versatility эксплуатационная гибкость, универсальность


integrate интегрировать, объединять в одно целое Syn: unite
workstation рабочая станция
capability возможность; способность; производительность
enhanced улучшенный, расширенный, усовершенствованный
diminish снижаться, убывать, уменьшать, уменьшаться
Syn: decrease, lessen; ( о цене и т.п.) reduce
fall out of use выйти из употребления
comprise включать, заключать в себе
digitize оцифровывать, преобразовывать в цифровую форму
convert преобразовывать, конвертировать
handwriting recognition распознавание рукописного текста
layout схема размещения

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keyboard layout раскладка клавиатуры; схема расположения клавиш на
клавиатуре

1. Put 7-10 questions to the text.


2. Find in the text the equivalents to the following words and phrases :

производительность компьютера
плотно интегрированный
время автономной работы, период автономности
преобразовать рукописный текст
усовершенствованные характеристики
разработка компьютерных игр
носимый микрокомпьютер

3. Define each type of computers. Use the following expressions:

take out of production снимать с производства


become obsolete устаревать
be no longer in use
fall into disuse
go out of use
fall out of use выходить из употребления [обихода]
to come into service / use входить в употребление
come to stay войти в употребление, укорениться, утвердиться;

4. Retell the text.

5. Different meanings of the phrasal verbs are given. Translate the following
phrasal verbs and construct your own sentences:

set up
 If you set something up, you create or arrange it.
 If you set up a temporary structure, you place it or build it somewhere.

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 If you set up a device or piece of machinery, you do the things that are necessary for it
to be able to start working.
 If you set up home or set up shop, you buy a house or business of your own and start
living or working there.
set to, set about
 Begin doing something vigorously.
set out, set off
 When you set out, you start a journey.

6. Render the following text.


Главным загрязнителем окружающей среды в Великобритании оказалася
суперкомпьютер национального метеоцентра.
По иронии судьбы, суперкомпьютер, использующийся Метеоцентром
Великобритании для составления прогнозов погоды и определения изменений климата,
оказался одним из самых крупных загрязнителей окружающей среды.
Как сообщает Вебпланета со ссылкой на газету The Daily Mail,
суперкомпьютером британские синоптики обзавелись в мае этого года. Он занимает
такую же площадь, как и пара футбольных полей, и, когда к 2011 году развернется в
полную мощность, сможет выполнять 1000 миллиардов операций в секунду.
За несколько месяцев, прошедших с запуска, суперкомпьютер-синоптик
подвергается нападкам во второй раз. Он уже ухитрился напророчить британцам
жаркое лето, а те вместо желанного солнца получили традиционные дожди.
Эта громадина, стоимостью в 30 млн фунтов, мощнее ста тысяч обычных
компьютеров. Но и энергии она потребляет соответственно: вместо суперкомпьютера к
электросети запросто можно было бы подключить небольшой городок.
Однако потребление энергии напрямую связано с выбросами в атмосферу
углекислоты. Согласно опубликованным недавно расчётам, здание Метеоцентра за год
выбрасывает в атмосферу 12 000 тонн углекислого газа, то есть является одним из
наиболее вредных зданий в стране. 75% от этих тонн лежат на совести компьютера-
метеоролога.
Представители организации "Друзья Земли" успели усмотреть иронию в том, что
компьютер, призванный предупреждать изменения климата, вносит столь активный
вклад в это самое изменение.

16
Однако метеорологи считают, что пользы от него куда больше, чем вреда. Отказ
от использования суперкомпьютера в прогнозировании погоды и изучении изменений
климата они сравнивают с возвратом в средневековье.

Extended activities:

1. Describe your own computer. Use the following expressions:

entry-level простой, начального уровня, для начинающих

Entry-level is used to describe basic low-cost versions of products such as cars or computers
that are suitable for people who have no previous experience or knowledge of them.
Entry-level jobs are suitable for people who do not have previous experience or qualifications
in a particular area of work.

low-end низкопроизводительный
high end высокопроизводительный, профессиональный

2. What kind of user do you rank yourself with? Use the following expressions:

advanced user
power user подготовленный [опытный] пользователь
superuser привилегированный пользователь, имеющий доступ
ко всем ресурсам системы; системный администраор
end user конечный пользователь
high-rez разбирающийся в технике человек
low-rez не разбирающийся в технике человек
naive user начинающий пользователь, новичок
lamer неумный пользователь; ламер (жарг)
luser неумелый пользователь

17
Unit 3
Laptops vs Desktops

In a way, the skyrocketing popularity of laptop computers is ironic. They're


completely portable, and they use less power and make less noise than desktop models. But,
they're often a little slower and have less graphics and sound processing power, although
these differences can be too small for most users to notice.
Laptops are also more expensive than desktops. The price gap is closing, though –-
laptop prices are falling faster than desktop prices, and laptop PCs actually outsold desktop
models for the first time in May of 2005.
How can all the equipment found in a desktop tower fit into such a small package?
And how can laptops be efficient enough to run on battery power alone?
Overall, laptop and desktop computers are very similar. They have the same basic
hardware, software and operating systems. The primary difference is how their components
fit together.
A desktop computer includes a motherboard, video card, hard drive and other
components in a large case. The monitor, keyboard, and other peripherals connect wirelessly
or with cables. Whether the case sits vertically or horizontally, it has lots of space for add-in
cards, cables and air circulation.
A laptop, however, is much smaller and lighter than even the most compact PC tower.
Its screen is an integrated part of the unit, as is its keyboard. Instead of a spacious case with
lots of room for air circulation, a laptop uses a small, flat design in which all the pieces fit
together snugly.
Because of this fundamental design difference and because of a laptop's inherent
portability, components have to:
 Fit into a compact space
 Conserve power
 Produce less heat than desktop components

Often, these differences make the components more expensive, which can contribute
to higher laptop prices.
In the following sections, we'll examine how laptops handle these differences.
The microprocessor, or CPU, works with the operating system to control the
computer. It essentially acts as the computer's brain. The CPU produces a lot of heat, so a
desktop computer uses circulating air, a fan and a heat sink to draw heat off of the
18
processor -- to cool off. Since a laptop has far less room for each of these cooling methods,
its CPU usually:
 Runs at a lower voltage and clock speed -- This reduces heat output and power
consumption but slows the processor down. Most laptops also run at a higher voltage and
clock speed when plugged in, and at lower settings when using the battery.
 Mounts to the motherboard without using pins -- Pins and sockets take up a lot of
room in desktop PCs. Some motherboard processors mount directly to the motherboard
without the use of a socket. Others use balls instead of pins. These designs save space, but
in some cases mean that the processor cannot be removed from the motherboard for
replacement or upgrading.
 Has a sleep or slow-down mode -- The computer and the operating system work
together to reduce the CPU speed when the computer is not in use or when the processor
does not need to run as quickly.

Laptops usually have small fans, heat sinks to help dissipate the heat from the CPU.
Some higher end laptop models reduce heat even further with liquid coolant kept in
channels alongside the heat pipe. Also, most laptop CPUs are near the edge of the unit. This
allows the fan to move the heat directly to the outside instead of across other components.
A laptop's memory can make up for some of the reduced performance that comes from
a slower processor. Some laptops have cache memory on or very near the CPU, allowing it
to access data more quickly. Some also have larger busses, allowing data to move between
the processor, motherboard and memory more quickly.
Like a desktop, a laptop has an internal hard disk drive, which stores the operating
system, applications and data files. However, laptops generally have less disk space than
desktops. A laptop hard drive is also physically smaller than that of a desktop. In addition,
most laptop hard drives spin more slowly than desktop hard drives, reducing both heat and
power consumption.
Desktop computers have multiple bays for installing additional drives, such as CD and
DVD ROM drives. However, space in a laptop is in much shorter supply. Many laptops use
a modular design, allowing a variety of drives to fit in the same bay. These drives come in
three different designations:
 Hot swappable - The computer can stay on while changing the drive.
 Warm swappable - The computer can stay on while changing the drive, but the
corresponding bus (the path the drive uses to send data to the CPU) must be inactive.
 Cold swappable - The computer must be off during the swap.

19
A graphics processing unit (GPU) is a microprocessor that handles the calculations
necessary for 3-D graphics rendering. Like a CPU, a GPU produces a lot of heat. Most
laptops have graphics capability built into the motherboard or have smaller graphics cards
with a GPU designed specifically for laptop use. Laptops frequently share memory between
the CPU and the GPU, saving space and reducing power consumption.
Many people don't notice a laptop's reduced graphics performance. Laptops have
plenty of processing power for Web surfing and productivity applications. However, they
may struggle with the latest 3-D games. A few specialty laptops, designed for gaming
enthusiasts, include more powerful GPUs and additional video memory.
A laptop displays its graphics on a liquid crystal display (LCD) screen. Most screens
measure between 12 and 17 inches, and the size of the screen affects the overall size of the
laptop.
Most laptops also have sound cards or integrated sound processing on the
motherboard as well as small, built-in speakers. However, there is generally not enough
space inside a laptop for a top-of-the-line sound card or a high-quality speaker. Gaming
enthusiasts and audiophiles can supplement their laptops' sound capabilities with external
sound controllers, which use USB or FireWire ports to connect to the laptop.
Laptops and desktops both run on electricity. However, unlike a desktop computer, a
laptop is portable and can run on batteries alone.
LiIon batteries are the current standard for laptop computers. They are light and have
long life spans. They can be charged randomly, and won't overheat if overcharged. They are
also thinner than any other battery available for laptops, making them ideal for the new
ultra-thin notebooks. LiIon batteries can last for anything from about 950 up to 1200
charges. Many laptops with LiIon batteries claim to have a 5-hour battery life, but this
measurement can vary greatly depending on how the computer is used.
Many people build custom PCs for themselves or customers. These home-made
computers, called whiteboxes, represent a significant portion of the computer market. Some
people also modify their computers for cosmetics or performance. This is called modding.
But what about building or modding a laptop?
A modded or homemade laptop is called a whitebook. Whitebooks represent about 5
percent of the notebook market right now, and this number is slowly rising. The industry has
done a pretty good job of keeping end users out of laptops. They've made it difficult to open,
modify and get parts for a laptop. In addition, opening the laptop chassis voids the
manufacturer's warranty in most cases.

20
It is still difficult to find parts to build a laptop from the ground up, but vendors like
ASUS and ECS allow some customers to order blank laptop shells. They are especially open
to resellers who build whitebooks and sell them to customers. In addition, people can mod
or upgrade what came with the shell. Companies like TechStyle have made a business of it.

A laptop shell consists of:

 Chassis
 Motherboard
 Optical drive
 Display
 Keyboard
 Graphics Card

This means that anyone wanting to build a whitebook must find:

 Microprocessor
 RAM
 Wireless card

At this point, there are no real standards for the form factor (shape and design) of
laptop parts. Processors designed for laptops are available for sale, but finding a
motherboard for those chips is a different story. Hard drives are pretty standard, but other
parts may take some digging.
In 1979, William Moggridge of Grid Systems Corporation created the first functioning
portable computer: The Grid Compass Computer 1109. NASA bought a handful of them at
$800 apiece for use in the space program.
Other companies, like Gavilan Computer and Apple, introduced other portable
computers in the following years. The first commercially viable machine, however, was
the IBM PC Convertible, introduced in 1986.
Weighing in at a hefty 12 lbs (5.4 kg), the PC Convertible sold for $3,500. It was the
first portable computer with the clamshell design used in today's laptops. The success of the
PC Convertible was the catalyst for competitors like Compaq and Toshiba to switch to the
clamshell design in their portable computers. And so began the era of the laptop computer.

Vocabulary

21
processing power производительность (системы), вычислительная мощность
graphics processing обработка графических данных
sound power акустическая мощность
equipment аппаратура, оборудование, оснащение
cabinet, chassis, system unit системный блок
cabinet, chassis, enclosure,
housing, package, case корпус
tower башня, вертикальный корпус, одна из модификаций корпуса
add-in, built-in, embedded,
integrated встроенный, дополнительный
power мощность
produce heat нагревать
overheat перегрев, перегревать(ся)
cool = cool down; cool off охлаждаться, остывать
voltage электрическое напряжение
high voltage высокое напряжение
low voltage низкое напряжение
clock speed тактовая частота; измеряется в мегагерцах
power consumption потребляемая мощность
setting установка; регулирование; регулировка; настройка
settings установочные параметры, параметры настройки
mount устанавливать; монтировать, собирать
mounting монтаж, сборка; установка
plug in подключать, встраивать
pin контакт, штырёк
ball шаровой элемент; шар
socket гнездо, сокет, разъём
sleep mode режим ожидания
run проход, прогон (программы)
make up (for) компенсировать
performance производительность, быстродействие, эффективность
bus шина
application приложение, прикладная программа
productivity application рабочее приложение (в отличие от "игрушки")
22
memory module модуль памяти, модуль запоминающего устройства
spin (spun, spun), rotate крутить(ся), вращаться
bay отсек для установки встраиваемых [дисковых] накопителей
modular design блочная конструкция; модульная конструкция
hot swapping "горячая" замена, замена во время работы (без выключения
электропитания)
warm swapping "теплая" замена
capability возможность; способность; производительность;
характеристика
GPU
( Graphics Processing Unit) графический процессор
rendering визуализация; предоставление (помощи и т. п.); перевод,
изложение; интерпретация
controller контроллер микросхема
FireWire стандарт высокопроизводительной последовательной шины
IEEE 1394
speaker динамик ПК, акустическая колонка
LiIon batteries литиум ионная
power supply ( PS) источник [блок] питания
life span срок службы; долговечность, жизненный отрезок
charge заряд, заряжать
overcharge перезаряжать, перегружать
overcharge of battery избыточный заряд аккумуляторной батареи
recharge подзаряжать
whitebook, whitebox немарочная сборка( о компьютере)
modding (mod),
modification модификация
void делать недействительным, уничтожать, аннулировать
clam-shell складной (о конструкции корпуса компьютера)

1. Answer the following questions:

How can laptops be efficient enough to run on battery power alone?


What is the primary difference between laptops and desktops?
What contribute to higher laptop prices?
23
What distinguishes the laptop CPU?
How can laptop's memory make up for some of the reduced CPU performance?

2. Find in the text the equivalents to the following words and phrases :

ценовой разрыв сокращается


продажи портативных компьютеров фактически превысили продажи настольных
радикальное отличие состоит в способе сборки
соединять при помощи проводов и беспроводным способом
встроенный экран
работать с более низким напряжением и тактовой частотой
замедлять работу процессора
работать от сети
работать на батарейках
вскрытие корпуса приводит к аннулированию гарантии

3. Match the terms to the definitions:

Terms Definitions

Hardware a printed circuit board into which other boards can be plugged

Software a combination of shape and design

operating system a disk made from a magnetic material used a storage device

motherboard the programs and routines which allow a computer to operate; it usually
consists of a group of programs which coordinate the software and
hardware of a computer system

hard disk units connected to the CPU

peripherals the physical units that make up a computer system

Clock a type of memory that is used in high-performance systems, inserted


between the processor and memory

cache memory an electronic device, generally a stable oscillator, that generates a


repetitive series of pulses

form factor programs and instructions executed by the computer

4. Make up a plan and retell the text.


24
5. Different meanings of the phrasal verbs are given. Translate the following
phrasal verbs and construct your own sentences:
fit in
 If you manage to fit a person or task in, you manage to find time to deal with them.
 If you fit in as part of a group, you seem to belong there because you are similar to the
other people in it. Be socially compatible with other members of a group.
fit in, fit into
 Be in harmony with other elements in a situation. Constitute part of a situation or
larger structure.
fit out, fit up
 If you fit someone or something out, or you fit them up, you provide them with
equipment and other things that they need.
make out
 If you try to make something out, you try to understand it or decide whether or not it
is true.
make up
 The people or things that make up something are the members or parts that form that
thing.
 Be reconciled after a quarrel.
make up for
 To make up for a bad experience or the loss of something means to make the situation
better or make the person involved happier. Syn: compensate

6. Render the following text.


Нужно ли торопиться и менять настольный компьютер на ноутбук?
Действительно ли ноутбуки вытесняют настольные компьютеры? Попробуем
разобраться, чем хороши и плохи более современные решения.
Ни для кого не секрет, что появившиеся сравнительно недавно ноутбуки заметно
потеснили настольные компьютеры. Попробуем разобраться, каковы преимущества и
недостатки более современных решений.
Главное, что отличает ноутбук от настольного компьютера, – его мобильность.
Небольшой вес и размер позволяют носить его с собой, взять в другой город. Нет
необходимости подсоединять к ноутбуку внешние устройства; благодаря аккумулятору

25
он может функционировать в условиях отсутствия электросети. Кроме того, обычно он
имеет встроенный Wi-Fi, что позволяет подключаться к беспроводному Интернету.
В то же время ноутбук стоит гораздо дороже десктопа. Кроме того, ноутбук
обычно имеет ограничения по мощности, и даже самый лучший из них уступает в
мощности качественным настольным компьютерам. В десктопе можно
модернизировать те или иные составляющие, в то время как для ноутбука эта
возможность не всегда существует. В отдельных случаях возникают сложности,
связанные с совместимостью разных операционных систем. Из-за того, что лэптоп
очень небольшой по размеру, на его клавиатуре меньше клавиш, чем в настольном
компьютере, и пользоваться ею не так удобно.

Extended Activities

Expressing your Opinion

Useful expressions:
focus on, discuss, examine, consider,
view, take up рассматривать, изучать
express, give, offer, pass, state an opinion выражать мнение
form an opinion about составить мнение о
have a high opinion of быть высокого мнения
have a low opinion of быть низкого мнения
have no settled opinions не иметь определенных взглядов
have no opinion of не иметь мнения о (ком-л., чем-л.)
in my opinion по моему мнению, по-моему
conflicting opinion противоречивое мнение
considered opinion обоснованное мнение
groundless, baseless opinion необоснованное мнение
opposing opinion противоположное мнение
an opinion about, on мнение по поводу
rate, value судить о ценности, значимости

1. PC notebook sales outpace desktop sales. Will notebooks displace


desktops from the personal computer market? State your opinion.

26
Unit 4
Notebooks vs Netbooks vs Ultra-mobile PCs

In early 2008, the mobile computer landscape was dominated by laptop computers.
There were a few alternatives to traditional laptops -- tablet PCs, advanced PDAs and even a
few smartphones could perform many basic computing tasks. But the laptop computer set the
standard for mobile computing -- some companies offered laptops that were nearly as
powerful as their desktop counterparts.
A year later, the traditional laptop faces some competition in the mobile computing
market. It can be confusing for consumers -- there's a host of new terms and categories to take
into consideration when shopping for a mobile computer. There are laptops, notebooks,
netbooks and ultra-mobile PCs. But what's the difference? Are the terms interchangeable? Are
they well-defined?
The answer to these questions depends upon whom you ask. One person may call a
particular PC a netbook while another insists it's a notebook. There's no universal definition
upon which you can rely.
There are, however, some general guidelines we can use. Laptop computers, notebooks
and netbooks use the same basic form factor -- the main differentiator is size. That form factor
is a computer with two main parts: a screen and a keyboard attached by hinges. In general,
netbook computers are smaller and lighter than notebook computers, which in turn are smaller
and lighter than laptops. But there are no specific size or weight classes for computers. So, for
example, if the computer has an 11-inch (27.9 centimeter) screen, is it a netbook or a
notebook? That's where people disagree.
Let's start with laptops and notebooks. Some people use the terms interchangeably
because many of the laptops on the market are smaller and lighter than their predecessors. As
laptop technology evolves, manufacturers are able to pack more power into a smaller package.
The notebook format is becoming the norm.
But there are still some laptops that are too large to be considered notebooks. The
Lenovo ThinkPad W700ds has a 17-inch (43.2-centimeter) main screen and a retractable 10-
inch (25.4-centimeter) secondary screen. It weighs 11 pounds (about 5 kilograms) and is 2.1
inches (5.3 centimeters) thick. Gaming laptops can also be on the large side -- Toshiba's
Qosmio X305 weighs 9 pounds and has a 17-inch (43.2-centimeter) screen. While these
computers are portable, you probably don't want to lug them around all day long.

27
Notebook computers are lighter than the laptops we looked at in the previous section.
They usually have screens ranging from 12 to 17 inches (30.5 to 43.2 centimeters) and weigh
around 5 to 6 pounds (2.3 to 2.7 kilograms). Ideally, a notebook computer has the same
processing power and features as larger laptop computers. Many manufacturers charge a
premium price for the convenience of a small computer that packs a big punch.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X300 is a notebook computer. It has a 13.3-inch (33.8
centimeter) screen and weighs only 3.2 pounds (1.5 kilograms), making it a lightweight in the
notebook category. When closed, it measures only .9 inches (2.3 centimeters) thick. It also has
many of the features you'd find in a typical laptop computer: a WiFi card, a Bluetooth
antenna, a dual-core processor, 1 gigabyte (GB) of RAM and a 64-GB solid-state hard drive.
It also has a DVD drive and an integrated Web camera. It comes with the Windows Vista
operating system.
Netbook computers are relative newcomers to the computer market. The general
definition for a netbook computer is that they are smaller, less powerful and less expensive
than notebook computers.
Netbooks and cloud computing go hand-in-hand. A cloud computing network is a
collection of servers that provides data storage and processing power over the Internet.
Ideally, a cloud computing service eliminates the need for an expensive, powerful personal
computer. The machines on the Internet do all the hard work for you.
When they first began to get attention in early 2008, netbooks seemed to contradict the
popular philosophy in the computer market. For many years, the prevailing strategy for
computer consumers was to find the fastest, most powerful computer in their price range. But
consumers are beginning to understand that they don't necessarily need a bleeding-edge
computer for most of the tasks they perform. And as the Web takes a more prevalent role in
computing, the processing requirements for consumer computers become less demanding.
Though people disagree on specific metrics for netbooks, in general they have screens
smaller than 12 inches (30.5 centimeters) and weigh only one or two pounds (.5 to .9
kilograms). Typically they cost between $300 and $600. An example is the Asus EEE PC 4G.
It weighs two pounds (.9 kilograms) and has a seven-inch (17.8 centimeter) screen. The
processor is an Intel Celeron M 353/630 megahertz chip and it has 512 megabytes of RAM. It
comes with a 4 GB solid-state hard drive and costs around $400.
That leaves us with the ultra-mobile PC (UMPC). Technically, the term applies
specifically to a Microsoft product. It's a tablet computer -- imagine a computer screen
without a keyboard. The interface for most UMPCs is a touchscreen with a stylus and an array

28
of physical keys set along the sides of the screen. These tablets tend to be light like netbooks
and feature small screens in the 4- to 7-inch (10.2- to 17.8-centimeter) range.
Some UPMC models have a full QWERTY keyboard that you can slide out from under
the screen. Others rely exclusively on the touchscreen interface. Most run on the Windows
Vista operating system. While UMPCs are more portable than notebooks, they are more
expensive than netbooks.
Samsung's Q1UP-XP Ultra Mobile PC is a good example. It has a seven-inch (17.8-
centimeter) LCD touchscreen display and weighs just two pounds (.9 kilograms). It has a split
QWERTY keyboard with keys on either side of the screen. It's also WiFi and Bluetooth
compatible. The computer has a microphone and can serve as a voice over Internet protocol
(VOIP) device. The price tag for the Q1UP-XP at the time of this writing is $1,299.
But some people use the term UMPC to describe all small computer devices, including
netbooks. Others use it to differentiate pricey mobile computers from inexpensive netbooks.
For example, while Apple calls its MacBook Air product a notebook, others say it doesn't fit
the notebook category. The Air is thin enough to fit inside a standard manila envelope and
features a 13.3-inch (33.8-centimeter) LED backlit display. But its processor is less powerful
than other MacBook models. It has limited storage space and only a few ports. The Air also
costs a pretty penny: the starting price is $1,799.
The Air's design, processing power and price make it tricky to categorize. That's why
some journalists use the term UMPC to describe devices that are portable but are more
powerful and expensive than netbooks. Using this terminology, a netbook is small,
inexpensive and has modest processing power. A UMPC is small, more expensive and
generally has a better processor than a netbook.
New products will blur the lines further between netbooks, notebooks and UPMCs. At
CES 2009, Asus showed off the Eee T91 and T101H computers. These devices are a cross
between tablets and netbooks. They feature screens mounted on a pivot -- you can turn the
screen around and fold it back over the keyboard. A touchscreen interface allows you to use
the netbook as a tablet PC. These products will hit the market in 2009. At the time of this
article, Asus has not made an official announcement regarding the price of these products.
Smartphones also have the potential to make the mobile computing landscape more
confusing. As smartphones become more powerful, they begin to fill the same niche as
netbooks. In general, smartphones range in price from around $199 to more than $900.
They're very portable and multifunctional. Companies that design applications for
smartphones may incorporate more cloud computing strategies in their products in the near
future.
29
At the same time, some netbook manufacturers are partnering with cell phone carriers to
include cellular technology in their products. Some netbooks can access 3G, EDGE and other
cellular networks for data transfers. While data transfers using these protocols tend to be
slower than WiFi, the infrastructure for cellular networks has a stronger foundation than WiFi
networks.
One thing is for certain: mobility is important. People want to be able to access
applications and data any time and anywhere. They may want a device that has its own
spacious hard drive or a netbook they can use to log into a remote data storage service -- or
they may not know what they want.
While netbooks accounted for a significant percentage of computer sales during the
2008 holiday season, the return rate on netbooks is relatively high. That may be due to
consumers misunderstanding the purpose of netbooks. The devices aren't as powerful as
notebooks, laptops and desktop computers. They also tend to have smaller keyboards and
some people have trouble typing during an extended computing session. And people who
choose netbooks running on Linux may become frustrated with an unfamiliar operating
system (OS).
Despite the return rates, the popularity of netbooks and other portable computing
devices continues to grow. The convenience of these devices coupled with tough economic
times may mean the days of the super-powerful and expensive desktop PC are numbered.

Vocabulary

counterpart эквивалент; аналог; прототип


interchangeable заменяемый, сменный, равнозначный
well-defined чёткий, определённый
hinge шарнир
evolve эволюционировать, развиваться
retractable выдвижной
charge a price назначить цену
bleeding-edge новейший, передовой
VoIP передача голоса по IP-протоколу
backlit display дисплей с задней подсветкой экрана
blur the lines стирать грань
access доступ

30
rate of return уровень доходности, доходность, рентабельность
log in зарегистр ироваться, войти в систему
remote дистанционный, удаленный

1. Put 7-10 questions to the text.


2. Find in the text the equivalents to the following words and phrases :

современные КПК
вычислительная задача
принимать во внимание
взаимозаменяемые термины
технология развивается
выдвижной вспомогательный экран
экраны в диапазоне 12-17 дюймов
назначить цену
противоречить
доминирующая стратегия
новейший компьютер
термин применяется по отношению к продукции Майкрософт

3. Find in the text the definitions to the terms laptop, notebook, netbook, UMPC,
and tablet PC. Do you agree or disagree with the above-mentioned definitions?
Discuss it with a partner.

4. Make up a plan and retell the text.

5. Render the following text.

Нетбук — это отличное решение, если вам часто нужен компьютер под рукой, но
нет желания постоянно носить с собой громоздкий и большой ноутбук. Согласитесь,
что в вашей сумке всегда найдётся место для устройства размерами даже меньше листа
А4 и весом до от 1 до 1,5 кг. Да и средняя цена нетбука в 8−15 тыс. рублей гораздо
ниже цены хорошего ноутбука, стоимость которого только начинается от 27 тыс.
рублей.

31
Клавиатура устройства хоть и меньше стандартных размеров, но это дело
привычки, и спустя несколько дней работы на нетбуке вы сможете так же спокойно
набирать тексты как и делали это на стандартной клавиатуре.
Небольшой тачпад — минус не только нетбуков, но и стандартных ноутбуков.
Подключите внешнюю мышку — работать станет удобнее, да и весит она немного
чтобы брать её с собой.
Ещё одно неудобство, как может показаться сначала — это отсутствие
встроенного привода CD/DVD-ROM в нетбуках. Но зато в них есть 2−3 USB порта для
подключения флешек или внешних жёстких дисков, так что с хранением информации
проблем быть не должно.
Из всего вышесказанного, можно сделать вывод, что нетбук идеально подойдёт
для путешествий и использования вне дома или офиса в качестве второго компьютера.
Он портативен, обладает маленькими весом и размерами, а также небольшой ценой.
Нетбук удобно использовать для серфинга в Интернете, общения в ICQ и Skype,
работой с текстом и таблицами. Просмотр фильмов и прослушивание музыки также
можно осуществлять на нетбуке, а с помощью VGA- выхода выводить изображение на
внешний проектор или монитор. Нетбук будет универсальным помощником, как
студенту, так и часто путешествующему бизнесмену, выполняя все обычные задачи,
которые требуются от компьютера.

Extended Activities

1. Which computer will dominate the market? State your own opinion.

2. Compare different types of portable computers you are familiar with.

Comparing and Contrasting


A consideration or estimate of the similarities or dissimilarities between two devices

compare to ставить наравне, уподоблять


compare with соответствовать (требованиям, стандартам) ;
выдерживать сравнение с (чем-л., кем-л.)
beyond compare
beyond (all )comparison вне (всякого) сравнения

32
bear comparison with
stand comparison with выдержать сравнение с
There is no comparison between them. Их невозможно сравнивать.
contrast (n) ['kɔntrɑːst] контраст; полярность; противоположность
contrast (v) [kən'trɑːst] противопоставлять, сравнивать
by contrast with smth по контрасту с чем-л.
present a contrast являть собой противоположность
in contrast to / with smth в противоположность чему-л.; по сравнению с чем-л.

33
Section 2
Computer Basics

Unit 1
Motherboard

The base of operations for the brains of a computer is the motherboard. The
motherboard serves as a literal foundation for many of the other elements inside your
computer. It's a large printed circuit board. The motherboard provides the connections and
sockets that let other components communicate with each other. Motherboards come in
different shapes and sizes -- a motherboard in a laptop computer might not look like one from
a desktop PC.
The computer brain is a microprocessor called the central processing unit (CPU). The
CPU is a chip containing millions of tiny transistors. It's the CPU's job to perform the
calculations necessary to make the computer work -- the transistors in the CPU manipulate the
data. You can think of a CPU as the decision maker.
Another critical component in computers is memory. The two most important kinds of
memory are read-only memory (ROM) and random access memory (RAM). Computers can
read data stored in ROM, but can't write new data to it. With RAM, computers can read from
and write to that memory. Without computer memory, every calculation on a computer would
be stateless. That means there'd be no way to preserve information from one moment to the
next and every process would start on a clean slate. That's not useful if you want to create
complex programs.
Many desktop PCs have the capacity for additional RAM. The user simply has to open
the computer and plug RAM chips into the appropriate sockets on the motherboard. But other
computers are sealed systems -- you aren't meant to open them and make changes so you're
pretty much stuck with what you've got.
A chip called the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) works closely with the CPU. BIOS
is a specific kind of ROM. If you think of the CPU as the brain of the computer, then you
might consider BIOS to be the spine. It's the job of BIOS to handle interactions between the
software running on a computer and the machine's hardware components.
The motherboard, CPU, ROM, RAM and BIOS handle most of the heavy lifting for
computer processes. They're in charge of allocating resources to applications so that they run

34
smoothly. They also accept input from devices like keyboards, mice and other computer
accessories.
So what else is inside your computer?
 Power supplies and batteries
 Drives
 Modems and Wi-Fi cards
 Sound and graphics cards
 Cooling systems

The power supply component provides a supply of electricity throughout the rest of the
computer. When you plug your computer into a power socket, electricity flows from the cord
into a shielded box containing a transformer. The transformer's job is to convert the incoming
electricity into the proper voltage for each part of the machine that needs electricity. If you're
using a laptop, some of that power goes to the laptop's battery to charge it. When unplugged, a
laptop has to rely on the charge inside the battery for its power needs.
Computers have a small battery inside them that's always on, even when you power
down the rest of the computer. This battery helps preserve data stored in a special chip in
charge of maintaining information about your computer's hardware. It also powers a clock,
which is why your computer should keep time accurately even if you turn it off or unplug it.
The drives in a computer are the devices that let you store and recall data and
applications. Most computers have a hard drive -- either a series of thin platters that store
information using magnetic recordings or a solid state hard drive with no moving parts. In
either case, the hard drive allows you to store information and applications directly to your
computer.
CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drives allow you to use media storage devices like compact
discs or DVDs with your computer.
Modems are machines that let computers communicate with other computing systems.
Modems are closely related to wireless cards, which are radio transceivers that can send and
receive data through a specific frequency of radio waves.
Sound and graphics cards are pretty self-explanatory. They give your computer the
ability to display graphics or play sounds and music. Not all cards are the same -- some
support more software formats than others. Graphics cards in particular come in a wide
variety of specs.

Understanding PC Buses
35
Think of a bus as the electronic highway on which data travels within a computer,
from one component to another. Basically, it's the conduit used by your entire system to
communicate with your CPU. A bus is a collection of wires and connectors through which
the data is transmitted. When used in reference to personal computers, the term bus usually
refers to what is commonly called the system bus. This bus is considered the first bus on the
electronic highway and it connects the CPU to the main memory (RAM) on the
motherboard. All buses consist of two parts -- an address bus and a data bus.
The data bus transfers actual data whereas the address bus transfers information about
the data and where it should go. The address bus is used to identify particular locations
(addresses) in main memory. The width of the address bus (that is, the number of wires)
determines how many unique memory locations can be addressed. Modern PCs and Macs
have as many as 36 address lines, which enables them theoretically to access 64 GB of main
memory. However, the actual amount of memory that can be accessed is usually much less
than this theoretical limit due to chipset and motherboard limitations.
The size of a bus, known as its width, is important because it determines how much
data can be transmitted at one time. The bus size actually indicates the number of wires in
the bus. For example, a 32-bit bus has 32 wires or connectors that transmit 32 bits
simultaneously (referred to as  in parallel). It would be considered "32-bits wide." A 16-bit
bus has 16 wires or connectors that can transmit 16 bits of data in parallel. You would say it
is "16-bits wide."

Vocabulary

printed circuit board печатная плата


plug подключать, вставлять в разъём
socket гнездо, (проф) сокет
BIOS БИОС, базовая система ввода / вывода
power supply (PS) источник питания, блок питания
drive дисковод
Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) стандарт Wi-Fi на беспроводную связь
cord (эл) шнур, кабель
shielded защищённый
charge заряжать
power (n) мощность, энергия

36
power (v) снабжать энергией; питать (электро)энергией
frequency = f частота
transceiver устройство для подключения хост-устройства к
средствам передачи данных, напр. хост-компьютера
к локальной сети, трансивер
bus шина
system bus системная шина
address bus шина адреса, адресная шина
data bus шина данных

Basic Terminology

Modem Short for modulator and demodulator. A device that can convert a digital bit
stream into an analog signal suitable for transmission over some analog
communication channel (modulation), and can convert incoming analog
signals back into digital signals (demodulation). Modems are used to connect
digital devices across analog transmission lines.

Use the following expressions to describe power supplies and batteries:

mains сеть электроснабжения, питающая сеть


mains-operated, line-operated работающий от сети, с питанием от сети
run on batteries работать на батарейках
run on electricity
operate on electricity работать от сети
charge (up) a battery зарядить батарею
recharge a battery перезарядить батарею
discharge / run down a battery разряжать аккумулятор
the battery is dead / flat батарея села
power off, power down, switch off выключить
power on, power up, switch on включить

1. Put 7-10 questions to the text.


2. Find in the text the equivalents to the following words and phrases :

37
выполнять вычисления
обрабатывать данные
без запоминания состояния
начать все сначала, начать с нуля
герметизированная система
распределять ресурсы
не требующий объяснений
передавать данные

3. Define the following terms: motherboard, transistor, printed circuit board, BIOS,
modem, bus, system bus, data bus, address bus.
4. Translate the text.
5. Translate the following sentences:
a. Материнские платы можно классифицировать по форм-фактору.
b. Форм-фактор материнской платы — стандарт, определяющий размеры
материнской платы для персонального компьютера, места ее крепления к
корпусу; расположение на ней интерфейсов шин, портов ввода/вывода,
сокета центрального процессора и слотов для оперативной памяти, а
также тип разъема для подключения блока питания.
c. Спецификация форм-фактора определяет обязательные и опциональные
компоненты.
d. Материнская плата совместима со стандартизированным оборудованием
(периферией, картами расширения) других производителей.
e. Наиболее известными производителями материнских плат на
российском рынке в настоящее время являются фирмы Asus, Gigabyte,
Intel, Elitegroup, MSI.
f. Ранее большой известностью пользовались платы фирм Abit и Epox, но
сейчас доля их на российском рынке невелика.
g. Из российских производителей материнских плат можно упомянуть
только компанию Формоза, которая производила платы, используя
компоненты фирм Lucky Star и Albatron.
h. Материнская плата – основная плата в компьютере, связывающая все
электронные компоненты ПК.
i. Материнская плата отвечает за обмен данными между компонентами
компьютера.
38
j. Основа материнской плата – набор микросхем, который задает ее
основные характеристики.
k. Шина – системы электрических каналов, представляющая собой
проводник или набор проводников.
l. Проводники связывают процессор со всеми элементами компьютера.

39
Unit 2
Microprocessor

A microprocessor -- also known as a CPU or central processing unit -- is a complete


computation engine that is fabricated on a single chip. The first microprocessor was the Intel
4004, introduced in 1971.
What is a chip? A chip is also called an integrated circuit. Generally it is a small, thin
piece of silicon onto which the transistors making up the microprocessor have been etched. A
chip might be as large as an inch on a side and can contain tens of millions of transistors.
Simpler processors might consist of a few thousand transistors etched onto a chip just a few
millimeters square.

Based on the instructions, a microprocessor does three basic things:

 Using its ALU (Arithmetic/Logic Unit), a microprocessor can perform mathematical


operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Modern
microprocessors contain complete floating point processors that can perform
extremely sophisticated operations on large floating point numbers.
 A microprocessor can move data from one memory location to another.
 A microprocessor can make decisions and jump to a new set of instructions based on
those decisions.

Clock speed is a measure of how quickly a computer completes basic computations and
operations. It is measured as a frequency in hertz, and most commonly refers to the speed of
the computer's CPU, or Central Processing Unit. Since the frequency most clock speed
measures is very high, the terms megahertz and gigahertz are used. A megahertz is one-
million cycles per second, while a gigahertz is one-billion cycles per second. So a computer
with a clock speed of 800MHz is running 800,000,000 cycles per second, while a 2.4GHz
computer is running 2,400,000,000 cycles per second.
A teraflop is a computing term used to define the number of floating point operations a
computer processor can perform per second. Used computing performance, floating-point
operations per second or FLOPS determine how many floating point mathematical operations
can be handled by a computer's processor. The largest computers in the world use chips that
work in teraflops, trillions of operations per second. The teraflop computers are typically
found in research facilities both educational and military.

40
Dual-processor, Dual-core, and Multi-core: Keeping it straight

Dual-processor (DP) systems are those that contains two separate physical computer
processors in the same chassis. In dual-processor systems, the two processors can either be
located on the same motherboard or on separate boards.  In a dual-core configuration, an
integrated circuit (IC) contains two complete computer processors. Usually, the two
identical processors and their caches and cache controllers are manufactured so they reside
side-by-side on the same die, each with its own path to the system front-side bus. Multi-core
is somewhat of an expansion to dual-core technology and allows for more than two separate
processors.

Taking Advantage of Dual-core Technology

A dual-core processor has many advantages especially for those looking to boost their
system's  multitasking computing power. Dual-core processors provide two complete
execution cores instead of one, each with an independent interface to the frontside bus.
Since each core has its own cache, the operating system has sufficient resources to handle
intensive tasks in parallel, which provides a noticeable improvement to multitasking.

Complete optimization for the dual-core processor requires both the operating system
and applications running on the computer to support a technology called thread-level
parallelism, or TLP. Thread-level parallelism is the part of the OS or application that runs
multiple threads simultaneously, where threads refer to the part of a program that can
execute independently of other parts.

Even without a multithread-enabled application, you will still see benefits of dual-core
processors if you are running an OS that supports TLP. For example, if you have Microsoft
Windows XP (which supports multithreading), you could have your Internet browser open
along with a virus scanner running in the background, while using Windows Media Player
to stream your favorite radio station and the dual-core processor will handle the multiple
threads of these programs running simultaneously with an increase in performance and
efficiency.

41
Today Windows XP and hundreds of applications already support multithread
technology, especially applications that are used for editing and creating music files, videos
and graphics because types of programs need to perform operations in parallel.

64-bit processor

Sixty-four-bit processors have been with us since 1992, and in the 21st century they
have started to become mainstream. Both Intel and AMD have introduced 64-bit chips, and
the Mac G5 sports a 64-bit processor. Sixty-four-bit processors have 64-bit ALUs, 64-bit
registers, 64-bit buses and so on.

One reason why the world needs 64-bit processors is because of their enlarged address
spaces. Thirty-two-bit chips are often constrained to a maximum of 2 GB or 4 GB of RAM
access. That sounds like a lot, given that most home computers currently use only 256 MB
to 512 MB of RAM. However, a 4-GB limit can be a severe problem for server machines
and machines running large databases. And even home machines will start bumping up
against the 2 GB or 4 GB limit pretty soon if current trends continue. A 64-bit chip has none
of these constraints because a 64-bit RAM address space is essentially infinite for the
foreseeable future -- 2^64 bytes of RAM is something on the order of a billion gigabytes of
RAM.

Unfortunately, most benefits of a 64-bit CPU will go unnoticed without the key
components of a 64-bit operating system and 64-bit software and drivers which are able to
take advantage of 64-bit processor features.

Benefits of 64-bit processors would be seen with more demanding applications such
as video encoding, scientific research, searching massive databases; where tasks being able
to load massive amounts of data into the system's memory.

Servers can definitely benefit from 64 bits, but what about normal users? Beyond the
RAM solution, it is not clear that a 64-bit chip offers "normal users" any real, tangible
benefits at the moment. People doing video editing and people doing photographic editing
on very large images benefit from this kind of computing power. High-end games will also
benefit, once they are re-coded to take advantage of 64-bit features.

But the average user who is reading e-mail, browsing the Web and editing Word
documents is not really using the processor in that way. When making the transition from
32-bit to 64-bit desktop PCs, users won't actually see Web browsers and word processing
programs run faster. Additionally for the average home computer user, 32-bit is more than
adequate computing power.
42
Vocabulary

clock speed тактовая частота


FLOPS (Floating-Point Operations per Second) [число]
операций с плавающей точкой в секунду; единица
измерения быстродействия процессора
address spaces адресное пространство, диапазон адресов
enlarged расширенный, увеличенный
constrain заставлять, принуждать; обязывать
сдерживать, заключать в какие-л. пределы
Syn: compel , force , oblige
constrain smb. to do smth. заставлять кого-л. делать что-л.
currently теперь, в настоящее время; ныне
take advantage воспользоваться, использовать в своих интересах
take advantage of the opportunity воспользоваться случаем
tangible ясный; ощутимый, заметный; отчетливый, реальный
transition переход
die кристалл микросхемы
core ядро микропроцессора
front-side bus системная шина, шина процессора, шина типа FSB
TLP параллелизм на уровне потоков [команд]
thread поток

Basic Terminology

clock speed the operating speed of a computer or its microprocessor,


expressed in cycles per second (megahertz)

multiprocessing 1) Refers to a computer system's ability to support more than


one process (program) at the same time. UNIX is one of the
most widely used multiprocessing systems.
(2) Refers to the utilization of multiple CPUs in a single
computer system. This is also called parallel processing.

43
multitasking The ability to execute more than one task at the same time, a
task being a program. The terms multitasking and
multiprocessing are often used interchangeably, although
multiprocessing implies that more than one CPU is involved.

multithreading The ability of an operating system to execute different parts of a


program, called threads, simultaneously.

1. Answer the following questions:

What does CPU stand for?


What unit of frequency is used to measure the processor speed?
Who will benefit from the transition to 64-bit processor?
What is the main advantage of the 64-bit processors?
What are the main advantages of Dual-core Technology?

2. Find in the text the equivalents to the following words and phrases :

перемещать данные
набор команд
измерять быстродействие компьютера
увеличить производительность многозадачного режима
производительность компьютера, вычислительный ресурс
поддерживать параллелизм на уровне потоков
поддерживать многопотоковый режим
увеличенное адресное пространство

3. Match the terms to the definitions:

Terms Definitions

processor a set of conductors that that carry signals between different parts of a
computer

Chip information processed by a computer

Bus a systems program that controls a peripheral device

44
Data the main electronic circuit board

application the principal operating part of computer

motherboard computer program designed to be used for a particular purpose

multitasking The ability of an operating system to execute different parts of a program

Driver an electronic integrated circuit in a small package

multithreading the ability to execute more than one task at the same time, a task being a
program

4. Fill in the gaps with following terms: RAM, ROM, dual-core, dual-processor,
multi-core, server, chip, application, address spaces.

a. Both Intel and AMD have introduced 64-bit….


b. One reason why the world needs 64-bit processors is because of their enlarged… .
c. Thirty-two-bit chips are often constrained to a maximum of 2 GB or 4 GB of …
access.
d. Benefits of 64-bit processors would be seen with more demanding … .
e. …. can definitely benefit from 64 bits.
f. In … systems, the two processors can either be located on the same motherboard or on
separate boards.
g. In a … configuration, an integrated circuit (IC) contains two complete computer
processors.
h. … is somewhat of an expansion to dual-core technology
i. … processors provide two complete execution cores instead of one.

5. Translate the text.

6. Translate the following sentences.

a. Быстродействие компьютера - характеристика компьютера, определяемая


скоростью работы процессора; пропускной способностью шины данных или
скоростью обмена с внешними накопителями; частотой смены изображения на
экране дисплея и т.п.
b. Центральный процессор производит вычисления, выполняет команды и
осуществляет обмен информацией между остальными частями компьютера.

45
c. Когда вы вводите команду с вашей клавиатуры, центральный процессор
обрабатывает команду и запрашивает данные, которые будут скопированы с
запоминающего устройства.
d. Фактически двухядерный процессор представляет собой два процессора,
объединенных в одном чипе.
e. В отличие от одноядерного, двухядерный процессор может работать с
многопоточными приложениями, его операционная система умеет распределять
программные потоки отдельно по каждому ядру. Это, в свою очередь,
увеличивает производительность без роста потребления энергии.
f. Основное преимущество процессоров Athlon 64 – 64-разрядная архитектура.
g. Корпорация Intel, признанный лидер микропроцессорной отрасли, приступила к
разработке 64-разрядных архитектур в 1991 году, а первые системы на базе 64-
разрядного процессоры Itanium появились на рынке в 2001-м.
h. Отсутствие должной совместимости с 32-разрядными процессорами стало одной
из причин того, что процессоры Itanium не получили пока широкого
распространения.
i. Преимущества компьютера на базе 64-разрядного процессора: возможность
использования большого объема памяти; способность обрабатывать большие
числа с плавающей точкой.

7. Render the following text.


Производители процессоров делают ставку на мобильные устройства

Судя по новостям, поступающим из Барселоны, где проходит выставка WMC


2009, производители процессоров, сражаясь со снижением спроса, делают ставку на
мобильные устройства, такие как нетбуки и смартфоны.
В четвертом квартале глобальные поставки процессоров для персональных
компьютеров снизились более чем на 11%. В то же время продажи нетбуков, как
ожидают аналитики, более чем удвоятся в этом году и составят около 35 млн единиц.
Нетбуки — сравнительно маломощные, легкие и недорогие ноутбуки для интернет-
серфинга «на бегу» — остаются единственным светлым пятном для индустрии,
переживающей непростые времена.
В текущем году корпорация «Интел» планирует продать на 50% больше
процессоров Atom для нетбуков и других мобильных интернет-устройств, чем в 2008
году. В четвертом квартале выручка «Интел» от продаж Atom, которые предназначены
46
прежде всего для новых и быстро растущих рынков, выросла на 50% — до $300 млн. В
целом продажи компании упали на 23% и составили $82 млрд.
Американский производитель Freescale Semiconductor, который начал поставлять
процессоры для нетбуков в январе, в следующем квартале планирует расширить свое
предложение благодаря процессорам для устройств с операционной системой Google
Android. Эта частная компания, отколовшаяся от корпорации Motorola в 2004 году,
будет также сотрудничать с поставщиками беспроводных технологий Wavecom и
Option, чтобы нетбуки высокого ценового сегмента могли работать со связью третьего
поколения. Freescale прогнозирует, что в 2009 году объем продаж нетбуков во всем
мире удвоится и составит 30 млн единиц. По мнению представителей компании,
ориентироваться следует на непрофессиональных молодых пользователей на развитых
рынках.
По мере того как функциональные границы между портативными компьютерами
и всё более изощренными мобильными телефонами начинают размываться, целый ряд
компаний надеется использовать рост рынка смартфонов. Как ожидается, этот сегмент
рынка высоких технологий вырастет на 10-20% в текущем году. В связи с этим
тайваньская корпорация Acer, третий в мире бренд персональных компьютеров,
объявила о выходе на рынок смартфонов. Acer представила свои первые восемь
моделей в Барселоне и планирует ворваться в пятерку крупнейших поставщиков
смартфонов в течение пяти лет.
Однако многие аналитики отмечают, что этот сектор уже переполнен и новым
игрокам будет трудно взломать рынок. И хотя для ведущего мирового производителя
камерофонов Nokia это не проблема, компания предпочла прекратить препирательства
со своим давним противником Qualcomm ради снижения издержек. Nokia объявила о
том, что будет использовать процессоры Qualcomm в своих 3G-телефонах. В течение
многих лет компании ссорились из-за права интеллектуальной

47
Unit 3
Computer Memory

Computers happen to operate using the base-2 number system, also known as the
binary number system (just like the base-10 number system is known as the decimal number
system).
So computers use binary numbers, and therefore use binary digits in place of decimal
digits. The word bit is a shortening of the words "Binary digIT." Whereas decimal digits have
10 possible values ranging from 0 to 9, bits have only two possible values: 0 and 1. Therefore,
a binary number is composed of only 0s and 1s, like this: 1011.
Bits are rarely seen alone in computers. They are almost always bundled together into 8-
bit collections, and these collections are called bytes. Why are there 8 bits in a byte? The 8-bit
byte is something that people settled on through trial and error over the past 50 years.
With 8 bits in a byte, you can represent 256 values ranging from 0 to 255.

The term memory identifies data storage that comes in the form of chips, and the word
storage is used for memory that exists on disks. Moreover, the term memory is usually used
as a shorthand for physical memory, which refers to the actual chips capable of holding data.
Some computers also use virtual memory, which expands physical memory onto a hard disk.
From the moment you turn your computer on until the time you shut it down, your CPU
is constantly using memory. Let's take a look at a typical computer session:
 You turn the computer on.
 The computer loads data from read-only memory (ROM) and performs a
power-on self-test (POST) to make sure all the major components are functioning properly.
As part of this test, the memory controller checks all of the memory addresses with a quick
read/write operation to ensure that there are no errors in the memory chips. Read/write
means that data is written to a bit and then read from that bit.
 The computer loads the basic input/output system (BIOS) from ROM. The
BIOS provides the most basic information about storage devices, boot sequence, security,
Plug and Play capability and a few other items.
 The computer loads the operating system (OS) from the hard drive into the
system's RAM. Generally, the critical parts of the operating system are maintained in RAM
as long as the computer is on. This allows the CPU to have immediate access to the
operating system, which enhances the performance and functionality of the overall system.

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 When you open an application, it is loaded into RAM. To conserve RAM
usage, many applications load only the essential parts of the program initially and then load
other pieces as needed.
 After an application is loaded, any files that are opened for use in that
application are loaded into RAM.
 When you save a file and close the application, the file is written to the
specified storage device, and then it and the application are purged from RAM.

There are several different types of memory:


RAM is an acronym for random access memory, a type of computer memory that can
be accessed randomly; that is, any byte of memory can be accessed without touching the
preceding bytes. RAM is the most common type of memory found in computers and other
devices, such as printers.
There are two basic types of RAM: dynamic RAM (DRAM) and static RAM (SRAM).
The two types differ in the technology they use to hold data, dynamic RAM being the
more common type. Dynamic RAM needs to be refreshed thousands of times per second.
Static RAM does not need to be refreshed, which makes it faster; but it is also more
expensive than dynamic RAM. Both types of RAM are volatile, meaning that they lose their
contents when the power is turned off. In common usage, the term RAM is synonymous with
main memory, the memory available to programs.
In contrast, ROM (read-only memory) refers to special memory used to store
programs that boot the computer and perform diagnostics. Most personal computers have a
small amount of ROM (a few thousand bytes). In fact, both types of memory (ROM and
RAM) allow random access. To be precise, therefore, RAM should be referred to as
read/write RAM and ROM as read-only RAM. ROM is referred to as being nonvolatile.
PROM (programmable read-only memory): A PROM is a memory chip on which
you can store a program. But once the PROM has been used, you cannot wipe it clean and
use it to store something else. Like ROMs, PROMs are non-volatile. PROMs are
manufactured as blank chips on which data can be written with a special device called a
PROM programmer.
EPROM (erasable programmable read-only memory): An EPROM is a special
type of PROM that can be erased by exposing it to ultraviolet light.
EEPROM (electrically erasable programmable read-only memory): An EEPROM
is a special type of PROM that can be erased by exposing it to an electrical charge.

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Flash memory is a special type of EEPROM that can be erased and reprogrammed in
blocks instead of one byte at a time. Flash memory is non-volatile, which means that it does
not need power to maintain the information stored in the chip. In addition, flash memory
offers fast read access times and better kinetic shock resistance than hard disks. These
characteristics explain the popularity of flash memory for applications such as storage on
battery-powered devices. Another allure of flash memory is that when packaged in a
"memory card", it is enormously durable, being able to withstand intense pressure, extremes
of temperature and immersion in water.
Many modern PCs have their BIOS stored on a flash memory chip so that it can easily
be updated if necessary. Such a BIOS is sometimes called a flash BIOS. Flash memory is
also popular in modems because it enables the modem manufacturer to support new
protocols as they become standardized.
Firmware is programming that is inserted into programmable read-only memory, thus
becoming a permanent part of a computing device. Firmware is created and tested like
software. When ready, it can be distributed like other software and, using a special user
interface, installed in the programmable read-only memory by the user. Firmware is
sometimes distributed for printers, modems, and other computer devices.
Cache is a special high-speed storage mechanism. It can be either a reserved section
of main memory or an independent high-speed storage device. Two types of caching are
commonly used in personal computers: memory caching and disk caching.
A memory cache, sometimes called a cache store or RAM cache, is a portion of
memory made of high-speed static RAM (SRAM) instead of the slower and cheaper
dynamic RAM (DRAM) used for main memory. Memory caching is effective because most
programs access the same data or instructions over and over. By keeping as much of this
information as possible in SRAM, the computer avoids accessing the slower DRAM.
Some memory caches are built into the architecture of microprocessors. Such internal
caches are often called Level 1 (L1) caches. Most modern PCs also come with external
cache memory, called Level 2 (L2) caches. These caches sit between the CPU and the
DRAM. Like L1 caches, L2 caches are composed of SRAM but they are much larger.
Some microprocessors have two levels of cache built right into the chip. In this case,
the motherboard cache -- the cache that exists between the microprocessor and main system
memory -- becomes level 3, or L3 cache.
Disk caching works under the same principle as memory caching, but instead of using
high-speed SRAM, a disk cache uses conventional main memory. The most recently
accessed data from the disk is stored in a memory buffer. When a program needs to access
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data from the disk, it first checks the disk cache to see if the data is there. Disk caching can
dramatically improve the performance of applications, because accessing a byte of data in
RAM can be thousands of times faster than accessing a byte on a hard disk.
When data is found in the cache, it is called a cache hit, if not, it is called a cache
miss and the computer must wait for a round trip from the larger, slower memory area. The
effectiveness of a cache is judged by its hit rate. Many cache systems use a technique
known as smart caching, in which the system can recognize certain types of frequently
used data. The strategies for determining which information should be kept in the cache
constitute some of the more interesting problems in computer science.
There are a lot of subsystems in a computer; you can put cache between many of them
to improve performance. Here's an example. We have the microprocessor (the fastest thing
in the computer). Then there's the L1 cache that caches the L2 cache that caches the main
memory which can be used (and is often used) as a cache for even slower peripherals like
hard disks and CD-ROMs. The hard disks are also used to cache an even slower medium --
your Internet connection.
Virtual memory is an imaginary memory area supported by some operating systems in
conjunction with the hardware. You can think of virtual memory as an alternate set of
memory addresses. Programs use these virtual addresses rather than real addresses to store
instructions and data. When the program is actually executed, the virtual addresses are
converted into real memory addresses.
Often, that amount of RAM is not enough to run all of the programs that most users
expect to run at once. With virtual memory, the computer can look for areas of RAM that
have not been used recently and copy them onto the hard disk. This frees up space in RAM to
load the new application. Because it does this automatically, you don't even know it is
happening, and it makes your computer feel like is has unlimited RAM space even though it
has only 32 megabytes installed. Because hard-disk space is so much cheaper than RAM
chips, virtual memory also provides a nice economic benefit.
The area of the hard disk that stores the RAM image is called a page file. It holds pages
of RAM on the hard disk, and the operating system moves data back and forth between the
page file and RAM. (On a Windows machine, page files have a .SWP extension.)
Of course, the read/write speed of a hard drive is much slower than RAM, and the
technology of a hard drive is not geared toward accessing small pieces of data at a time. If
your system has to rely too heavily on virtual memory, you will notice a significant
performance drop. The key is to have enough RAM to handle everything you tend to work on
simultaneously. Then, the only time you "feel" the slowness of virtual memory is in the slight
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pause that occurs when you change tasks. When you have enough RAM for your needs,
virtual memory works beautifully. When you don't, the operating system has to constantly
swap information back and forth between RAM and the hard disk. This is called thrashing,
and it can make your computer feel incredibly slow.

Vocabulary

constantly непрерывно, непрестанно, бесконечно, все время, постоянно


load загрузка, загрузить например, программу в ОЗУ, данные в
регистр; вставить, поместить например, дискету в дисковод
POST внутренний начальный тест, самотестирование при
включении питания
boot sequence последовательность начальной загрузки
boot загрузка, начальная загрузка (системы), самозагрузка
загружать; выполнять начальную загрузку
maintain поддерживать, обслуживать
maintenance поддержка, эксплуатация, техническое обслуживание
functionality функциональность, набор функциональных возможностей
enriched functionality
high functionality расширенные функциональные возможности
operational functionality эксплуатационные возможности
multifunction многофункциональный
conserve сохранять, сберегать
purge удалять (ненужную информацию)
Syn: delete, erase, remove
random случайный; произвольный; нерегулярный
randomly случайно, наугад, произвольно
preceding предшествующий
refresh регенерировать, обновлять, восстанавливать
volatile непостоянный, временный (об информации, записываемой в
память, но не сохраняемой при завершении приложения)
энергозависимый, не сохраняющий информацию при
выключении (электро-)питания (о ЗУ)
nonvolatile энергонезависимый

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ROM постоянное запоминающее устройство, ПЗУ
RAM оперативная память, оперативное запоминающе
устройство, ОЗУ
PROM (Programmable Read-Only Memory) программируемое
постоянное запоминающее устройство, ППЗУ; вид памяти,
в которую запись может быть произведена только один раз
с помощью специального устройства, программатора
EPROM (Erasable [Electrically] Programmable Read-Only Memory)
стираемое программируемое постоянное запоминающее
устройство, СППЗУ, перепрограммируемая память тип
микросхем перепрограммируемой постоянной памяти с
ультрафиолетовым стиранием
EEPROM = E2PROM (Electrically [Electrical] Erasable Programmable Read-Only
Memory) электрически стираемое программируемое
постоянное запоминающее устройство, ЭСППЗУ,
электрически стираемая память
be exposed to подвергаться воздействию; Syn: be subjected to
be unaffected to не подвергаться воздействию
resistant устойчивый, невосприимчивый
firmware встроенное ПО, записанное в ППЗУ/ПЗУ ПО
insert вставка, вставить
install устанавливать, инсталлировать
avoid избегать, аннулировать, отменять, делать недействительным
compose формировать; компоновать
cache hit удачное [результативное] обращение в кэш
cache miss неудачное обращение к кэшу, отсутствие нужных данных
hit rate частота успешных обращений (к кэш-памяти), коэффициент
совпадений (попаданий) данных
virtual memory виртуальная память способ расширения объёма адресуемой
физической памяти за счет разбиения её на страницы ( page)
фиксированного размера и организации выгрузки
неиспользуемых страниц в буферную область на диске и
загрузки их с диска при запросе
conjunction связывание, соединение
performance drop падение производительности
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handle обрабатывать; оперировать, манипулировать
swap переставлять, менять местами; подкачивать
swap file файл подкачки
swapping подкачка, свопинг в системах с виртуальной памятью -
передача сегмента или страницы данных/программы с диска
в ОЗУ ( swapping in) или в обратном направлении ( swapping
out)
thrashing пробуксовка в системах с виртуальной памятью - снижение
эффективности процессора из-за чрезмерно большого
количества запросов на подкачку страниц
shock resistance ударопрочность
withstand, withstood устоять, выдержать; противостоять; не поддаваться
withstand overload выдерживать перегрузки
withstand pressure выдерживать давление
extreme экстремальное значение, экстремальный
immersion погружение

1. Answer the following questions:

What is binary notation?


What does ROM, ROM stand for?
Why do both types of RAM refer to volatile memory?
What is the main difference between DRAM and SRAM?
What is the main function of ROM?
What are the benefits of flash memory?
What makes memory caching be very effective?
What is smart caching?
When does a performance drop occur?
What is thrashing?

2. Find in the text the equivalents to the following words and phrases :

хранить данные
включать компьютер
54
выключать компьютер
загружать данные
выполнять начальную загрузку
стирать под воздействием ультрафиолета
встраивать в архитектуру микропроцессора

3. Define the following terms: BIOS, POST, ROM, RAM, cache, virtual memory.

4. Fill in the gaps with following terms: CPU, RAM, ROM, virtual memory, POST.
a. Some computers also use.…, which expands physical memory onto a hard
disk.
b. The computer loads data from ….. and performs …. to make sure all the
major components are functioning properly.
c. The computer loads the basic input/output system (BIOS) from …..
d. The computer loads the operating system (OS) from the hard drive into the
system's …..
e. Generally, the critical parts of the operating system are maintained in …. as
long as the computer is on. This allows the …. to have immediate access to the operating
system, which enhances the performance and functionality of the overall system.
f. When you open an application, it is loaded into …. When you save a file and
close the application, the file is written to the specified storage device, and then it and the
application are purged from …..

5. The verb refer has different meanings. Construct your own sentences with the
verb refer.

 If you refer to a particular subject or person, you talk about them or mention
them.
In his speech, he referred to a recent trip to Canada.
 If a word refers to a particular thing, situation, or idea, it describes it in some way.
The term electronics refers to electrically-induced action.
 If you refer to a book or other source of information, you look at it in order to find
something out.
He referred briefly to his notebook.

55
 If you refer someone to a source of information, you tell them the place where they
will find the information which they need or which you think will interest them.
Mr Bryan also referred me to a book by the American journalist Anthony Scaduto.

6. Translate the text.

7. Translate the following sentences.

a. Виpтуальная память - использование жесткого диска как pасшиpение


опеpативной памяти для повышения ее объема.
b. Виртуальная Память создается из-за недостатка Оперативной Памяти.
c. ЭСППЗУ может меняться путем стирания электрическим способом.
d. ЭСППЗУ обеспечивает энергонезависимую память.
e. Компьютеры, содержащие микросхемы ЭСППЗУ, имеют специальное
аппаратное обеспечение для стирания и перезаписи ЭСППЗУ.
f.Кэш позволяет ускорить обращение процессора к ОЗУ за счет предварительной
записи временно хранимых данных.
g. Обращения в кэш улучшают производительность компьютера, т.к. ЦП
может получить быстрый доступ к данным кэш.
h. БИОС отвечает за тестирование и начальную загрузку системы.
i.ПЗУ представляет собой полупроводниковую память, из которой можно читать,
но в которую нельзя записывать.
j.ОЗУ представляет собой рабочую память компьютера и определяет размер и
число программ, которые могут выполняться одновременно, а также количество
данных, которые могут быть немедленно обработаны.
k. ROM BIOS является наиболее общим примеров встроенного ПО.
l.В отличие от ОЗУ, постоянная память остается неизменной при отключении
электропитания.

56
Section 3
Input Devices

Input device refers to any device that transfers data, programs, or signals into a
processor system. Such devices provide the human-computer interface, the keyboard being
the most common example. Current devices include pointing devices, data collection
terminals, speech recognition units, magnetic card readers, and image capturing devices.
Pointing device is a generic term for any device (e.g., a graphics tablet, mouse, stylus,
pointing stick, or trackball) used to control the movement of a cursor on a computer screen.
Data collection terminal refers to a terminal at which a person can enter data into a
computer-based system or receive data from one.

Input (n) the process of entering data into a processing system, or the data that is
entered
Input (v) enter data

Unit 1
Computer Keyboards

A keyboard's primary function is to act as an input device. Using a keyboard, a person


can type a document, use keystroke shortcuts, access menus, play games and perform a
variety of other tasks. Keyboards can have different keys depending on the manufacturer,
the operating system they're designed for, and whether they are attached to a desktop
computer or part of a laptop. But for the most part, these keys, also called keycaps, are the
same size and shape from keyboard to keyboard. They're also placed at a similar distance
from one another in a similar pattern, no matter what language or alphabet the keys
represent.

Most keyboards have between 80 and 110 keys, including:

 Typing keys
 A numeric keypad
 Function keys
 Control keys

57
The typing keys include the letters of the alphabet, generally laid out in the same
pattern used for typewriters. This layout is known as QWERTY for its first six letters.

Keyboards can also use a variety of other typing key arrangements. The most widely
known is Dvorak, named for its creator, August Dvorak. The Dvorak layout places all of
the vowels on the left side of the keyboard and the most common consonants on the right.
The most commonly used letters are all found along the home row. The home row is the
main row where you place your fingers when you begin typing. People who prefer the
Dvorak layout say it increases their typing speed and reduces fatigue. Other layouts include
ABCDE, XPeRT, QWERTZ and AZERTY. Each is named for the first keys in the
pattern. The QWERTZ and AZERTY arrangements are commonly used in Europe.

The numeric keypad is a more recent addition to the computer keyboard. As the use of
computers in business environments increased, so did the need for speedy data entry. Since
a large part of the data was numbers, a set of 17 keys, arranged in the same configuration
found on adding machines and calculators, was added to the keyboard.

In 1986, IBM further extended the basic keyboard with the addition of function and
control keys. Applications and operating systems can assign specific commands to the
function keys. Control keys provide cursor and screen control. Four arrow keys arranged in
an inverted T formation between the typing keys and numeric keypad move the cursor on
the screen in small increments.

Other common control keys include:

 Home
 End
 Insert
 Delete
 Page Up
 Page Down
 Control (Ctrl)
 Alternate (Alt)
 Escape (Esc)

The Windows keyboard adds some extra control keys: two Windows or Start keys,
and an Application key. Apple keyboards, on the other hand, have Command (also known

58
as "Apple") keys. A keyboard developed for Linux users features Linux-specific hot keys,
including one marked with "Tux" the penguin -- the Linux logo/mascot.

A keyboard is a lot like a miniature computer. It has its own processor and circuitry
that carries information to and from that processor. A large part of this circuitry makes up
the key matrix.

The key matrix is a grid of circuits underneath the keys. When you press a key, it
presses a switch, completing the circuit and allowing a tiny amount of current to flow
through. The mechanical action of the switch causes some vibration, called bounce, which
the processor filters out. If you press and hold a key, the processor recognizes it as the
equivalent of pressing a key repeatedly.

As you type, the processor in the keyboard analyzes the key matrix and determines
what characters to send to the computer. It maintains these characters in its memory buffer
and then sends the data.

Many keyboards connect to the computer through a cable with a PS/2 or USB
(Universal Serial Bus) connector. Laptops use internal connectors. Regardless of which type
of connector is used, the cable must carry power to the keyboard, and it must carry signals
from the keyboard back to the computer.

Wireless keyboards, on the other hand, connect to the computer through infrared (IR),
radio frequency (RF) or Bluetooth connections. IR and RF connections are similar to what
you'd find in a remote control. Regardless of which sort of signal they use, wireless
keyboards require a receiver, either built in or plugged in to the USB port, to communicate
with the computer. Since they don't have a physical connection to the computer, wireless
keyboards have an AC power connection or use batteries for power.

Whether it's through a cable or wireless, the signal from the keyboard is monitored by
the computer's keyboard controller. This is an integrated circuit (IC) that processes all of the
data that comes from the keyboard and forwards it to the operating system. When the
operating system (OS) is notified that there is data from the keyboard, it checks to see if the
keyboard data is a system level command. A good example of this is Ctrl-Alt-Delete on a
Windows computer, which reboots the system. Then, the OS passes the keyboard data on to
the current application.

The application determines whether the keyboard data is a command, like Alt-f, which
opens the File menu in a Windows application. If the data is not a command, the application
accepts it as content, which can be anything from typing a document to entering a URL to

59
performing a calculation. If the current application does not accept keyboard data, it simply
ignores the information. This whole process, from pressing the key to entering content into
an application, happens almost instantaneously.

Vocabulary

keystroke нажатие клавиши


keyboard shortcut клавишная комбинация быстрого вызова
keycap таст, клавишевый колпачок
numeric keypad цифровая клавиатура
function keys функциональные клавиши
control keys клавиши управления
layout схема размещения
vowel гласный звук
consonant согласный звук
fatigue усталость, утомление
feel fatigue чувствовать усталость
increment увеличение, приращение, инкремент
mascot талисман; эмблема на передней части капота
key matrix клавиатурная матрица
grid сетка; решётка
completed circuit замкнутая цепь; установленное соединение
current электрический ток; текущий, данный
bounce возврат, отскок
ac (power )supply питание от сети переменного тока
alternating current ( AC, a.c.) переменный ток
direct current ( DC) постоянный ток

1. Answer the following questions:

What types of keyboards do you know?


What is a layout?
What is the advantage of Dvorak layout?
60
How does the keyboard operate?
List all types of the keys.

2. Describe wireless keyboards. Use the following verbs:

встраивать add-in , built-in, embed


подключать attach, plug, plug in connect, hook,
включать switch on, turn on
выключать key off, key out, switch off, turn off, uncouple
переключать change over, switch, key

3. Find in the text the equivalents to the following words and phrases :

подсоединять к компьютеру
схема размещения клавиш
условия бизнеса, бизнес-среда, деловая среда
обеспечивать дополнительные возможности базовой клавиатуры
часть схемы составляет клавиатурная матриц
замыкать схему
обрабатывать данные

4. Fill in the gaps with following terms: character, current, key, processor, data
matrix, bounce, circuitry, computer, switch.

a. A keyboard is a lot like a miniature ... . It has its own processor and … that carries
information to and from that processor. A large part of this circuitry makes up the… .

b. The … is a grid of circuits underneath the…. When you press a key, it presses a …,
completing the circuit and allowing a tiny amount of …to flow through. The
mechanical action of the … causes some vibration, called …, which the processor
filters out. If you press and hold a key, the … recognizes it as the equivalent of
pressing a key repeatedly.

c. As you type, the … in the keyboard analyzes the key matrix and determines what …
to send to the computer. It maintains these characters in its memory buffer and then
sends the… .

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5. Make up a plan and retell the text.

6. Render the text.

На выставке CES в Лас-Вегасе компания Asustek Computer представила целый ряд


продуктов с миниатюрными экранами: клавиатуру со встроенными в нее компьютером
и сенсорным экраном с диагональю 5 дюймов и новую версию ноутбука M50 с
дополнительным сенсорным экраном, который имеет диагональ 4,3 дюйма и
расположен непосредственно под клавиатурой на месте привычной сенсорной панели.
Клавиатуру Eee Keyboard можно подключать к любому устройству отображения,
начиная от монитора и заканчивая жидкокристаллическим телевизором или цифровым
проектором. На случай, если большого экрана под рукой все же не окажется,
клавиатура снабжена собственным экраном с диагональю 5 дюймов, который
располагается в правой части устройства.
Согласно задумке разработчиков, любой внешний экран или проектор с помощью
клавиатуры Eee Keyboard легко можно превратить в Internet-монитор. Таким образом,
для того чтобы иметь возможность комфортного обращения к Internet фактически из
любого помещения, пользователю достаточно носить с собой только клавиатуру массой
всего 950 г.
Устройство, работающее под управлением операционной системы Windows XP
Home, оборудовано процессором Intel Atom с тактовой частотой 1,6 МГц, оперативной
памятью DDR2 DRAM емкостью 1 Гбайт и встроенным твердотельным накопителем
объемом 16 или 32 Гбайт, предназначенным для хранения данных.
Разработчики оснастили клавиатуру целым рядом беспроводных интерфейсов,
включая Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.0 и Ultra Wideband HDMI (high definition
multimedia interface), и широким набором портов, в том числе USB 2.0, VGA, HDMI, а
также разъемами для подключения наушников и микрофона.

Extended Activities

1. Describe the main trends in the keyboard market.

62
Unit 2
Computer Mice

Mice first broke onto the public stage with the introduction of the Apple Macintosh in
1984, and since then they have helped to completely redefine the way we use computers.

Every day of your computing life, you reach out for your mouse whenever you want to
move your cursor or activate something. Your mouse senses your motion and your clicks and
sends them to the computer so it can respond appropriately.

Developed by Agilent Technologies and introduced to the world in late 1999, the optical
mouse actually uses a tiny camera to take thousands of pictures every second.

Able to work on almost any surface without a mouse pad, most optical mice use a small,
red light-emitting diode (LED) that bounces light off that surface onto a sensor. In addition to
LEDs, a recent innovation are laser-based optical mice that detect more surface details
compared to LED technology. This results in the ability to use a laser-based optical mouse on
even more surfaces than an LED mouse.

Optical mice have several benefits over track-ball mice:

 No moving parts means less wear and a lower chance of failure.


 There's no way for dirt to get inside the mouse and interfere with the tracking
sensors.
 Increased tracking resolution means a smoother response.
 They don't require a special surface, such as a mouse pad.

A number of factors affect the accuracy of an optical mouse. One of the most important
aspects is resolution. The resolution is the number of pixels per inch that the optical sensor
and focusing lens "see" when you move the mouse. Resolution is expressed as dots per inch
(dpi). The higher the resolution, the more sensitive the mouse is and the less you need to
move it to obtain a response.

Most mice have a resolution of 400 or 800 dpi. However, mice designed for playing
electronic games can offer as much as 1600 dpi resolution. Some gaming mice also allow you
to increase the dpi on the fly to make the mouse less sensitive in situations when you need to
make smaller, slower movements.

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Historically, corded mice have been more responsive than wireless mice. This fact is
changing, however, with the advent of improvements in wireless technologies and optical
sensors. Other factors that affect quality include:

 Size of the optical sensor -- larger is generally better, assuming the other
mouse components can handle the larger size. Sizes range from 16 x 16 pixels to 30 x
30 pixels.
 Refresh rate -- it is how often the sensor samples images as you move the
mouse. Faster is generally better, assuming the other mouse components can process
them. Rates range from 1500 to 6000 samples per second.
 Image processing rate -- is a combination of the size of the optical sensor
and the refresh rate. Again, faster is better and rates range from 0.486 to 5.8 megapixels
per second.
 Maximum speed -- is the maximum speed that you can move the mouse and
obtain accurate tracking. Faster is better and rates range from 16 to 40 inches per
second.
Most wireless mice use radio frequency (RF) technology to communicate information
to your computer. Being radio-based, RF devices require two main components: a transmitter
and a receiver.
The transmitter is housed in the mouse. It sends an electromagnetic (radio) signal that
encodes the information about the mouse's movements and the buttons you click.
 The receiver, which is connected to your computer, accepts the signal,
decodes it and passes it on to the mouse driver software and your computer's operating
system.
 The receiver can be a separate device that plugs into your computer, a special
card that you place in an expansion slot, or a built-in component.

Unlike infrared technology, which is commonly used for short-range wireless


communications such as television remote controls, RF devices do not need a clear line of
sight between the transmitter (mouse) and receiver. Just like other types of devices that use
radio waves to communicate, a wireless mouse signal can pass through barriers such as a desk
or your monitor.

RF technology provides a number of additional benefits for wireless mice. These


include:

 RF transmitters require low power and can run on batteries


 RF components are inexpensive
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 RF components are light weight

As with most mice on the market today, wireless mice use optical sensor technology
rather than the earlier track-ball system. Optical technology improves accuracy and lets you
use the wireless mouse on almost any surface -- an important feature when you're not tied to
your computer by a cord.

In order for the transmitter in the mouse to communicate with its receiver, they must be
paired. This means that both devices are operating at the same frequency on the same channel
using a common identification code. A channel is simply a specific frequency and code. The
purpose of pairing is to filter out interference from other sources and RF devices.

Pairing methods vary, depending on the mouse manufacturer. Some devices come pre-
paired.

Vocabulary

light-emitting diode светодиод, светоизлучающий диод, СИД


wear износ
failure отказ, выход из строя, неисправность
resolution разрешение, разрешающая способность
refresh rate частота обновления (регенерации)
sample пример, образец; отсчет, выборка, замер
замерять, производить выборку
image processing обработка изображений
(RF) technology радиочастотная технология
transmitter отправитель, передатчик, трансмиттер
receiver приёмник, получатель, ресивер
line of sight прямая видимость, линия визирования, линия прямой
видимости
accuracy точность погрешность, с которой выполняется
измерение или вычисление
interference вмешательство, интерференция; взаимные помехи
tracking слежение (за действиями, процессами, данными) ;
отслеживание

65
1. Answer the following questions:

When did the first mouse make its appearance?


When was the optical mouse introduced?
What is the advantage of the laser-based optical mouse?
List the benefits of optical mice over track-ball mice.
What is resolution?
What affects the accuracy of an optical mouse?
Describe RF technology.
What does RF stand for?

2. Find in the text the equivalents to the following words and phrases :

разрабатывать
внедрять
отражать свет от поверхности
износ и выход из строя
служить помехой
более восприимчивый
передавать информацию
передатчик вмонтирован в мышь
встроенный компонент

3. Fill in the gaps with the following terms: resolution, tracking, accuracy, sensor,
rate:

a. LED bounces light off that surface onto a … .


b. Increased tracking … means a smoother response.
c. A number of factors affect the … of an optical mouse.
d. The … is the number of pixels per inch that the optical sensor and focusing lens "see"
when you move the mouse.
e. Image processing … is a combination of the size of the optical … and the refresh … .
f. Maximum speed is the maximum speed that you can move the mouse and obtain
accurate… .

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4. Make up a plan and retell the text.

5. Render the following text.

Компания Logitech представила компьютерные мыши, которые значительно


расширяют возможности их использования. Благодаря технологии Logitech Darkfield
Laser Tracking с мышью можно работать практически на любой поверхности, включая
стекло и глянцевые покрытия. Данная технология используется в моделях Logitech
Performance Mouse MX и Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX, что позволяет выбрать для себя
оптимальный вариант - полноразмерную мышь или компактную мышь для ноутбука.
Исследования Logitech показали, что у 40 % пользователей дома имеется какая-
либо стеклянная поверхность. В сочетании с ростом популярности ноутбуков это
значит, что люди перемещаются по дому и сталкиваются с самыми разными типами
поверхностей (например, гранит или лакированное дерево), представляющими для
обычных мышей и их систем слежения определенную проблему.
Обычные технологии лазерного слежения основаны на способности датчика
мыши отслеживать свойства текстуры поверхности. Чем неоднороднее поверхность,
тем проще датчику выявлять ориентиры, которые можно использовать для точного
измерения движения. Тем не менее, такие глянцевые поверхности, как, например,
стекло, отличаются гладкостью и отсутствием деталей, которые позволили бы датчику
обычной лазерной мыши нормально работать.
Для работы на стекле (не менее 4 мм в толщину) в технологии Logitech Darkfield
используются методы, позволяющие выявлять микроскопические частицы и царапины
на поверхности, что устраняет необходимость в отслеживании самой поверхности.
Аналогично тому, как человеческий глаз воспринимает ясное ночное небо, датчик
мыши «видит» чистые участки стекла как темный фон, на котором присутствуют яркие
точки — пыль. При этом датчик воспринимает движение этих точек, отслеживая
движения мыши.
Гибкая система зарядки полноразмерной мыши Logitech Performance Mouse MX
позволяет подзаряжать мышь через компьютер или настенную розетку даже во время
ее использования. Четыре настраиваемые боковых кнопки повышают эффективность
работы, позволяя быстро вызывать самые необходимые функции, например,
переключение приложений или масштабирование. Помимо этого, динамическая

67
боковая прокрутка, впервые реализованная в мыши Logitech, упрощает навигацию в
интернете.
Ожидается, что мышь Logitech Performance Mouse MX поступит в продажу в
США и Европе по рекомендуемой розничной цене в 99,99 евро.

Extended Aсtivities

1. Transform square into rectangle. What actions will you perform? Use the
following verbs:

put, position the cursor наводить курсор


press нажимать
release отпускать
hold down удерживать
move двигать
stretch тянуть
grab захватывать
drag перетаскивать

68
Unit 3
Image capture

A digital camera takes photos electronically and converts them into digital data (binary
codes made up of Is and Os). It doesn't use the film found in a normal camera; instead it has a
special light-sensitive silicon chip.
Conventional cameras depend entirely on chemical and mechanical processes -- you
don't even need electricity to operate them. All digital cameras have a built-in computer, and
all of them record images electronically.
Photographs are stored in the camera's memory before being sent to the computer. Some
cameras can be also connected to a printer or a TV set, to make viewing images easier.
Since film still provides better picture quality, digital cameras have not completely
replaced conventional cameras. But, as digital imaging technology has improved, digital
cameras have rapidly become more popular.
A camcorder, or digital video camera, records moving pictures and converts them
into digital data that can be stored and edited by a computer with special video editing
software.
Digital video cameras are used by home users to create their own movies, or by
professionals in computer art and video conferencing.
They are also used to send live video images via the Internet. Then they are called Web
cameras or webcams.
Scanners have become an important part of the home office over the last few years.
Scanners are great for archiving old photographs in a digital format that will never fade,
converting print documents into digital word processing files that can be edited and even
compiling and organizing business cards. At their core, scanners haven't changed much over
the years, but they've become much more refined devices, capable of crisp and accurate
reproductions.
Scanner technology is everywhere and used in many ways:
 Flatbed scanners, also called desktop scanners, are the most versatile and commonly
used scanners. Flatbed and photo scanners used to be separate devices, with the latter being
much smaller and offering higher resolution and color depth to handle photographs. However,
specifications for flatbed scanners have increased while the cost has stayed the same, and
most new photo scanners are simply high-resolution flatbeds.

69
 Sheet-fed scanners are similar to flatbed scanners except the document is moved and
the scan head is immobile. Sheet-fed scanners are small models that feed a document or
photograph through the thin, compact body of the scanner to capture an image. These are less
popular than they were a decade ago, but they're still around. Sheet-fed scanners are more
portable, but they don't usually have the same resolution or versatility of the full-size flatbed
scanners.
 Handheld scanners use the same basic technology as a flatbed scanner, but rely on
the user to move them instead of a motorized belt. This type of scanner typically does not
provide good image quality. However, it can be useful for quickly capturing text.
 Drum scanners are used by the publishing industry to capture incredibly detailed
images.
 Film scanners are specialized scanners that can accommodate strip film or slides.
Generally, film scanners have very high optical resolution, such as 2,400dpi or greater.
 Speaking of portability, pen scanners have become more prevalent in recent years.
These scanners can either scan text one line at a time or, in some of the newer models, scan
entire documents or images in a single pass. They're extremely easy to carry around, but you
need a steady hand to capture an accurate image.

Scanners vary in resolution and sharpness. Most flatbed scanners have a true hardware
resolution of at least 300x300 dots per inch (dpi).
Sharpness depends mainly on the quality of the optics used to make the lens and the
brightness of the light source.
Another term used when talking about scanners is bit depth, also called color depth.
This simply refers to the number of colors that the scanner is capable of reproducing. Each
pixel requires 24 bits to create standard true color and virtually all scanners on the market
support this. Many of them offer bit depths of 36 bits (12 bits per primary color). They still
only output in 24-bit color, but perform internal processing to select the best possible choice
out of the colors available in the increased palette. More sophisticated scanners have 14 bits
per color, or 42-bit color depth. Extended color depth is generally more important for
photographic scanning or graphic arts work. There are many opinions about whether there is a
noticeable difference in quality between 24-, 30-, 36-, and 42-bit scanners.
Scanning the document is only one part of the process. For the scanned image to be
useful, it must be transferred to your computer. The connections used by scanners:
 Universal Serial Bus (USB) - USB scanners combine good speed, ease of use and
affordability in a single package.
70
 FireWire - Usually found on higher-end scanners, FireWire connections are faster
than USB and SCSI. FireWire is ideal for scanning high-resolution images.
On your computer, you need software, called a driver, that knows how to communicate
with the scanner. Most scanners speak a common language, TWAIN. The TWAIN driver acts
as an interpreter between any application that supports the TWAIN standard and the scanner.
This means that the application does not need to know the specific details of the scanner in
order to access it directly. For example, you can choose to acquire an image from the scanner
from within Adobe Photoshop because Photoshop supports the TWAIN standard.
In addition to the driver, most scanners come with other software. Typically, a scanning
utility and some type of image editing application are included.
A lot of scanners include OCR software. OCR allows you to scan in words from a
document and convert them into computer-based text. It uses an averaging process to
determine what the shape of a character is and match it to the correct letter or number. OCR
software is now readily available for many low cost scanners giving good recognition rates.
One thing to keep in mind with scanners is that creating high-resolution scans consumes
a lot of resources, including hard drive space. If you're going to be scanning numerous full-
size images, make sure you've got a computer with the power and the space to handle them.

Did You Know?


TWAIN is not an acronym. It actually comes from the phrase "Never the twain shall
meet" because the driver is the go-between for the software and the scanner. Because
computer people feel a need to make an acronym out of every term, TWAIN is known as
Technology Without An Interesting Name!

Vocabulary

image capture ввод (захват) изображений


convert преобразовывать, конвертировать
video editing видеомонтаж
flatbed scanner планшетный сканер
sheet-fed scanner постраничный сканер
handheld scanner ручной сканер тип портативного сканера,
перемещение которого над сканируемой областью
производится пользователем

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drum scanner барабанный сканер
sharpness резкость
bit depth битовая глубина

1. Answer the following questions:

What does a digital camera do?


What does a camcorder do?
What are the main types of scanners?
How do the scanners vary?
What is TWAIN?
What is OCR software?

2. Find in the text the equivalents to the following words and phrases :

преобразовывать в цифровые данные


изображение
редактирование видеоданных
универсальный
стационарный
с высоким разрешением

3. Match the terms to the definitions:

Terms Definitions

OCR An external peripheral interface standard for communication between a


computer and external peripherals over low-cost cable using serial
transmission.

image capture A process in which a machine scans, recognizes, and encodes information
printer or typed.

Scanner A high speed, general purpose serial bus supporting a chain of up to 63


devices. IT is also known as IEEE1393 and, on computers, produced by
Sony as iLink.

USB A device that can capture an image and convert it into a unique set of

72
electrical signals.

Firewire A standard for interfacing between a scanner or digital camera and a


graphics program.

TWAIN The process of obtaining a digital image from a vision sensor. The
conversion process is often accompanied with image compression.

flatbed scanner A device in which the sheet to be scanned is placed flat into the bed of
the device.

4. Make up a plan and retell the text.

5. Translate the following text.

a. Примером автоматизированного ввода информации  могут служить сканеры


штрих-кодов и другие системы оптического распознавания символов. Одно из
преимуществ устройств автоматизированного ввода данных состоит в том, что
при их использовании исключаются некоторые ошибки, неизбежные при вводе
информации с клавиатуры. Сканер штрих-кодов делает менее чем одну ошибку
на 10000 операций, в то время как обученный наборщик ошибается один раз при
вводе каждых 1000 строк.
b. Основные виды автоматизированного ввода информации – системы
распознавания магнитных знаков, системы оптического распознавания
символов, системы ввода информации на базе светового пера, сканеры, системы
распознавания речи, сенсорные датчики и устройства видеозахвата.
Системы распознавания магнитных знаков (Magnetic Inc Character
Recognition, MICR) используются в основном в банковской сфере. В нижней
части обычного банковского чека находится код, нанесенный специальными
магнитными чернилами. В коде содержится номер банка, номер расчетного
счета и номер чека. Система считывает информацию, преобразовывает ее в
цифровую форму и передает в банк для обработки.
Системы оптического распознавания символов (Optical Character
Recognition, OCR) преобразуют специальным образом нанесенную на носитель
информацию в цифровую форму. Наиболее широко используемые устройства
этого типа – сканеры штрих-кодов (bar-code scanners), которые применяются
в кассовых терминалах магазинов. Эти системы используются также в

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больницах, библиотеках, на военных объектах, складах продукции и в
компаниях по перевозке грузов.
c. Сканеры (scanners) преобразуют в цифровую форму графическую информацию
(рисунки, чертежи и пр.) и большие объемы текстовой информации.
d. Системы распознавания речи (voice input devices) преобразуют в цифровую
форму произносимые пользователем слова. Существует два режима работы
подобных устройств. В режиме управления (command mode) вы произносите
команды (такие как "открыть документ", "запустить программу" и т.д.), которые
выполняются компьютером. В режиме диктовки (dictation mode) можно
надиктовать компьютеру любой текст. К сожалению, точность распознавания
речи таких систем оставляет желать лучшего. Человеческий голос имеет
множество оттенков, на точность распознавания может повлиять интонация,
громкость речь, окружающий шум, даже банальный насморк. Тем не менее,
работа над совершенствованием этих устройств ввода информации
продолжается и, несомненно, у них большое будущее.
e. Сенсорные датчики (sensors) – это устройства для ввода в компьютер
пространственной информации. Например, корпорация General Motors
использует сенсоры в своих легковых автомобилях для передачи в бортовой
компьютер машины данных об окружающем пространстве и маршруте.
Сенсорные датчики также нашли применение в системах виртуальной
реальности, игровых приставках и симуляторах.
f. Устройства видеозахвата (video capture devices) представляют собой
небольшие цифровые видеокамеры, соединенные с компьютером. Устройства
видеозахвата применяются в основном в системах видеоконференций, которые
получают все большее распространение.

6. Render the following text.

Новый 3D-сканер, мгновенно создающий 3D-модели


Компания ZScanner показала на выставке SIGGRAPH новый трехмерный сканер
ZScanner 700. Небольшое устройство помещается в руке и может создавать трехмерные
модели в реальном времени.
Во время сканирования создаваемая модель сразу же отображается на экране,
благодаря чему можно увидеть ее недостатки и повернуть реальный объект должным
образом или же приблизить к требуемому месту сканер. При этом сканирование
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происходит в рамках одной сессии, без прерываний. Благодаря этому можно получать
более точные модели, которые требуют значительно меньше времени на пост-
обработку.
Данные, полученные в результате сканирования, автоматически сохраняются в
виде файла .stl, который можно импортировать в пакет для 3D-моделирования или же
вывести на печать.
ZScanner 700 может использоваться в самых разных областях, в том числе для
создании дизайна упаковок; для ведения архивных описей; для создания 3D-моделей
для анимации и игр на основе макетов; для исторических исследований памятников
архитектуры и музейных экспонатов и т.д.

Extended Activities

1. Describe your own scanner. Use the new terms from the text.
2. What scanner is the ideal one for general-purpose use and for the
enlarging and editing photographs. State your opinion.
3. Can we perceive the difference between 36-bit and 42-bit scanners? State
your opinion.

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Section 4
Output devices

Output device refers to any device that converts the electrical signals representing
information within a compter into a form that can exist outside the computer. Printers and
visual displays are the most common types of output device for interfacing to people, but
voice is becoming increasingly available. Sound card is a plug-in module that adds sound
input and output capabilities to a computer.

output(n) the result of data processing activity when it is presented external to the
system
output (v) produce a result or signal

Unit 1
Computer monitor

Often referred to as a display screen, a video display terminal (VDT), visual display
unit (VDU) or the monitor is the component of your computer system that displays the
messages and data being processed and utilized by the computer's CPU.
Most desktop displays use liquid crystal display (LCD) or cathode ray tube (CRT)
technology, while nearly all portable computing devices such as laptops incorporate LCD
technology. Because of their slimmer design and lower energy consumption, monitors using
LCD technology (also called flat panel or flat screen displays) replaced CRT on most
desktops.
Liquid crystal display technology works by blocking light. Specifically, an LCD is
made of two pieces of polarized glass (also called substrate) that contain a liquid crystal
material between them. A backlight creates light that passes through the first substrate. At the
same time, electrical current cause the liquid crystal molecules to align to allow varying levels
of light to pass through to the second substrate and create the colors and images that you see.
Most LCD displays use active matrix technology. It is called TFT LCD and stands for
thin-film transistor liquid-crystal display.
Resolution refers to the number of individual dots of color, known as pixels, contained
on a display. Resolution is expressed by identifying the number of pixels on the horizontal
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axis (rows) and the number on the vertical axis (columns), such as 800x600. Resolution is
affected by a number of factors, including the size of the screen.
Unlike CRT monitors, LCD monitors display information well at only the resolution
they are designed for, which is known as the native resolution. Digital displays address each
individual pixel using a fixed matrix of horizontal and vertical dots. If you change the
resolution settings, the LCD scales the image and the quality suffers. Native resolutions are
typically:
 17 inch = 1024x768
 19 inch = 1280x1024
 20 inch = 1600x1200

Two measures describe the size of your display: the aspect ratio and the screen size.
Historically, computer displays, like most televisions, have had an aspect ratio of 4:3. This
means that the ratio of the width of the display screen to the height is 4 to 3.
For widescreen LCD monitors, the aspect ratio is 16:9 (or sometimes 16:10 or 15:9).
Widescreen LCD displays are useful for viewing DVD movies in widescreen format, playing
games and displaying multiple windows side by side. High definition television (HDTV) also
uses a widescreen aspect ratio.
Screen sizes are normally measured in inches from one corner to the corner diagonally
across from it. This diagonal measuring system actually came about because the early
television manufacturers wanted to make the screen size of their TVs sound more impressive.
Interestingly, the way in which the screen size is measured for CRT and LCD monitors
is different. For CRT monitors, screen size is measured diagonally from outside edges of the
display casing. In other words, the exterior casing is included in the measurement.
For LCD monitors, screen size is measured diagonally from the inside of the beveled
edge. The measurement does not include the casing as indicated in the image below.
Because of the differences in how CRT and LCD monitors are measured, a 17-inch
LCD display is comparable to a 19-inch CRT display. For a more accurate representation of a
CRT's size, find out its viewable screen size. This is the measurement of a CRT display
without its outside casing.
Popular screen sizes are 15, 17, 19 and 21 inches. Notebook screen sizes are smaller,
typically ranging from 12 to 17 inches. As technologies improve in both desktop and
notebook displays, even larger screen sizes are becoming available. For professional
applications, such as medical imaging or public information displays, some LCD monitors are
40 inches or larger.
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Obviously, the size of the display directly affects resolution. The same pixel resolution
is sharper on a smaller monitor and fuzzier on a larger monitor because the same number of
pixels is spread out over a larger number of inches. An image on a 21-inch monitor with an
800x600 resolution will not appear nearly as sharp as it would on a 15-inch display at
800x600.
The combination of the display modes supported by your graphics adapter and the color
capability of your monitor determine how many colors it displays. For example, a display that
operates in SuperVGA (SVGA) mode can display up to 16,777,216 (usually rounded to 16.8
million) colors because it can process a 24-bit-long description of a pixel. The number of bits
used to describe a pixel is known as its bit depth.
With a 24-bit bit depth, eight bits are dedicated to each of the three additive primary
colors -- red, green and blue. This bit depth is also called true color because it can produce the
10,000,000 colors discernible to the human eye, while a 16-bit display is only capable of
producing 65,536 colors. Displays jumped from 16-bit color to 24-bit color because working
in eight-bit increments makes things a whole lot easier for developers and programmers.
Simply put, color bit depth refers to the number of bits used to describe the color of a
single pixel. The bit depth determines the number of colors that can be displayed at one time.
To create a single colored pixel, an LCD display uses three subpixels with red, green
and blue filters. Through the careful control and variation of the voltage applied, the intensity
of each subpixel can range over 256 shades. Combining the subpixels produces a possible
palette of 16.8 million colors (256 shades of red x 256 shades of green x 256 shades of blue).
When you look at an LCD monitor from an angle, the image can look dimmer or even
disappear. Colors can also be misrepresented. To compensate for this problem, LCD monitor
makers have designed wider viewing angles. (Do not confuse this with a widescreen display,
which means the display is physically wider.) Manufacturers give a measure of viewing angle
in degrees (a greater number of degrees is better). In general, look for between 120 and 170
degrees. Because manufacturers measure viewing angles differently, the best way to evaluate
it is to test the display yourself. Check the angle from the top and bottom as well as the sides,
bearing in mind how you will typically use the display.
Brightness or luminance is a measurement of the amount of light the LCD monitor
produces. It is given in nits or one candelas per square meter (cd/m2). One nit is equal to on
cd/m2. Typical brightness ratings range from 250 to 350 cd/m2 for monitors that perform
general-purpose tasks. For displaying movies, a brighter luminance rating such as 500 cd/m2
is desirable.

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The contrast ratio rates the degree of difference of an LCD monitor's ability to
produce bright whites and the dark blacks. The figure is usually expressed as a ratio, for
example, 500:1. Typically, contrast ratios range from 450:1 to 600:1, and they can be rated as
high as 1000:1. Ratios more than 600:1, however, provide little improvement over lower
ratios.
The contrast ratio indicates how fast the monitor's pixels can change colors. Faster is
better because it reduces the ghosting effect when an image moves, leaving a faint trial in
such applications as videos or games.
Adjustability. Unlike CRT monitors, LCD monitors have much more flexibility for
positioning the screen the way you want it. LCD monitors can swivel, tilt up and down, and
even rotate from landscape (with the horizontal plane longer than the vertical plane) to
portrait mode (with the vertical plane longer than the horizontal plane). In addition, because
they are lightweight and thin, most LCD monitors have built-in brackets for wall or arm
mounting.

Displays with touch-screen technology let you input information or navigate


applications by touching the surface of the display.

Vocabulary

substrate основа, подложка


backlight заднее освещение; подсветка
TFT LCD жидкокристаллический дисплей на тонкоплёночных
транзисторах
pixel пиксел, минимальный элемент изображения
aspect ratio коэффициент пропорциональности, соотношение
размеров [сторон]; формат экрана (изображения)
discernible видимый, различимый; видный, заметный
color bit depth битовая глубина (число битов, используемое для
описания цвета каждого пиксела изображения)
viewing angle угол обзора
contrast ratio степень контрастности, контрастность
response time время отклика
adjustability регулируемость; возможность настройки,
возможность точной настройки
bezel фальш-панель
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ghosting появление ореола (на изображении)

Basic Terminology

Bezel - This is the metal or plastic frame surrounding the display screen. On LCD displays,
the bezel is typically very narrow.
Ghosting - An effect of slower response times that cause blurring of images on an LCD
monitor, it's also known as latency. The effect is caused by voltage temporarily leaking from
energized elements to neighboring, non-energized elements on the display.
Native resolution - This actual measurement of an LCD display, in pixels, is given in
horizontal by vertical order.
Response time - The speed at which the monitor's pixels can change colors is called response
time. It is measured in milliseconds (ms).
Viewing angle - It's the degree of angle at which you can view the screen from the sides
(horizontal angle) and top/bottom (vertical angle) and continue to see clearly defined images
and accurate colors.

1. Answer the following questions:

What is the LCD technology?


What measures describe the size of your display?
What is the differences in how CRT and LCD monitors are measured?
How does the size of the display affect resolution?
Explain the calculations made to obtain a palette of 16.8 million colors.
What is a color bit depth, viewing angle, brightness, and contrast ratio?

2. Give the synonyms to the terms computer monitor and LCD.


3. Find in the text the equivalents to the following words and phrases:

потребление энергии
заднее освещение; подсветка
(электрический) ток
параметры настройки
по диагонали

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скос; скошенный край

4. Define the following terms: resolution, aspect ratio, color bit depth, viewing angle,
brightness or luminance, contrast ratio, ghosting.

5. Fill in the gaps with following terms: bit, native resolution, pixel, resolution.

a. …refers to the number of individual dots of color, known as pixels, contained on a


display.
b. LCD monitors display information well at only the resolution they are designed for,
which is known as the … .
c. Digital displays address each individual … using a fixed matrix of horizontal and
vertical dots
d. Color bit depth refers to the number of … used to describe the color of a single pixel.
e. The contrast ratio indicates how fast the monitor's … can change colors.
f. The speed at which the monitor's … can change colors is called response time.

6. Make up a plan and retell the text.

7. Translate the following sentences.

a. Органический светодиод (OLED - organic light-emitting diode)


перспективное устройство для плоских дисплеев. По сравнению с ЖК-дисплеями
потребляет меньше электроэнергии, имеет меньшие габариты и вес, более широкий
угол обзора, отсутствует необходимость в подсветке экрана.
b. IMOD: плоский экран без подсветки. Компания Qualcomm объявила о
завершении разработки новой технологии формирования изображения IMOD Display
System, призванной, по мнению создателей, прийти на смену современным ЖК-
экранам. В ее основе лежит идея формирования цветного изображения методом
интерференции световых волн, точно так же, как это происходит в природе, например,
в крыльях бабочки или в хвостовых перьях павлина.
c. Согласно заявлению разработчиков, IMOD-экраны практически не
требуют подсветки, максимально используя окружающий свет. Подсветка необходима
только в условиях крайне низкой освещенности или полного отсутствия таковой.

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d. Новая технология применима для создания плоских экранов практически
для любых устройств: от мобильных телефонов до широкоформатных мониторов.

8. Render the following text.

LG делает ставку на формат 16:9

Рынок мониторов снова переживает «эпоху перемен». Не успел завершиться


переход на широкий формат, как возникла новая проблема: за каким соотношением
сторон будущее — 16:10 или 16:9? Вопрос не праздный, учитывая тенденцию
массового внедрения Full HD-устройств и меньшую себестоимость матриц 16:9 по
сравнению с конкурентным форматом. В то же время распространено мнение, что при
работе с компьютерными приложениями мониторы с соотношением сторон 16:9 менее
удобны, чем 16:10.
Ведущие производители мониторов ищут выход из сложившейся ситуации,
предлагая модели обоих типов, а также обеспечивая возможность поворота монитора
на 90 градусов, чтобы предоставить пользователю удобство работы в различных
ситуациях.
На конференции, посвященной выходу новых линеек мониторов, компания LG
Electronics подтвердила тенденцию перехода на формат 16:9, предложив 7 новых
линеек мониторов, в том числе новые устройства со SMART-функциями,
направленными на повышение эргономики.
Увеличение доли мониторов 16:9, по мнению LG, вызвано распространением HD-
контента (вещание, игры) и появлением устройств, поддерживающих этот формат
(видеокамеры, приставки).
В нынешнем году мониторы с соотношением сторон 16:9 составляют 55% всей
линейки мониторов LG. Компания планирует выпустить 8 серий таких мониторов,
которые включают 48 моделей.
SMART-технологии стали дополнением к FUN-функциям, представленными
компанией LG в прошлом году. Новые технологии SMART включают 4 основных
компонента. Функция автояркости (Auto Bright) обеспечивает автоматическую
регулировку яркости в зависимости от внешнего освещения. Режим кино (Cinema
Mode) облегчает просмотр видеороликов на онлайн-сервисах — в момент начала
проигрывания видеоролика вся остальная поверхность экрана частично затемняется. В
число SMART-компонент также входит таймер, который напоминает о необходимости

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делать перерывы в работе, и бесконтактный сенсор для управления настройками
монитора.

Extended Activities
1. Compare CRT and LCD monitors.
2. Describe new monitor technologies.

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Unit 2
Printers Types

The main printer categories are: - laser printers, ink-jets, dot-matrix, multifunctional,
etc. Normally home computer users will use ink-jets as they are relatively cheap but superior
in quality to dot-matrix. Laser printers are more expensive and more commonly found in the
offices.
Ink-jets(bubble-jets) printers spray ionized tiny drops of ink onto a page to create an
image.  Almost all ink-jets offer a color option as a standard, in varying degrees of
resolution. Ink-jet printers are capable of producing high quality print which almost matches
the quality of a laser printer. A standard ink-jet printer has a resolution of 300 dots per inch,
although newer models have improved on that.  As a rule color link-jet printers can also be
used as a regular black and white printer.
Laser printers operate by shining a laser beam to produce an image on a drum. The
drum is then rolled through toner, and the electrically charged portions of the drum pick up
ink. Finally, using a combination of heat and pressure, the ink on the drum is transferred onto
the page. Laser printers produce output at a great speed and with a very high resolution. In
terms of speed and image quality they are preferred by experts. Color laser printers use the
same toner-based printing process as black and white laser printers, except that they combine
four different toner colors.  Color laser printers can also be used as a regular black and white
laser printer.
LED/LCD printers  are types of electro photographic printers that are identical to laser
printers in most ways. Both LCD (liquid crystal display) and LED (light-emitting diode)
printers use a light source instead of a laser to create an image on a drum. In most contexts,
"laser printer" covers LCD and LED printers as well.  The print process is almost identical,
but LED printers use Light Emitting Diodes to charge the drum, and the other uses Liquid
Crystals. These printers produce a very high quality text and graphics print out.
Impact (Dot-matrix) printers use a set of closely spaced pins to print letters or other
characters on a page. These printers actually impact the page to print a character, much like a
typewriter. Dot-matrix printers vary in terms of speed and the number of pins they have. They
can run at a speed anywhere between 50 and 500 cps (characters per second). The number of
pins, which can vary between 9 to 24, determines the quality of the print job.  Dot matrix
printers are commonly used for printing invoices, purchase orders, shipping forms, labels, and
other multi-part forms.

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Solid Ink printers are page printers that use solid wax ink sticks in a "phase-change"
process.  Solid-ink printers offer better color consistency than do most technologies, with
little variation caused by changes in temperature, humidity, or type of paper. Solid ink
machines have better reliability, because they have fewer components in comparison, for
example with color laser printers .
Plotters are large-scale printers that are very accurate at reproducing line drawings.
They are commonly used for technical drawings.
Digital Photo printers Many middle range printers are now able to print photo quality
images. Photo print heads allow a greater resolution to be achieved to improve photo image
quality. Photo ink jet printers expand their range by adding additional ink colors, usually light
cyan and light magenta.
Network printer is a printer that provides output  capabilities to all network users.
Multifunction printers: combine top-quality color ink-jet or laser printing with faxing,
color copying and color scanning telephoning - all in one space-saving machine.
EZ CD/DVD Printers: provide a low cost way to create professional printed CD-Rs
and DVD-Rs. Instead of writing on the CD or applying labels, you can print directly on the
CD surface. With high speed capabilities, a full color image can be printed directly on the top
surface of your CDs in less than 1 minute.
3D Printers. The ZPrinter 310 System creates physical models directly  from computer-
aided design system  (“CAD”) and other digital data in hours instead of days. The printer is
fast, versatile and simple, allowing engineers to produce a range of concept models and
functional test parts quickly and inexpensively. The system is ideal for an office environment
or educational institution, providing product developers easy access to a 3D Printer.

The Controller: The page description language


The primary printer languages these days are Hewlett Packard's Printer Command
Language (PCL) and Adobe's Postscript. Both of these languages describe the page in
vector form -- that is, as mathematical values of geometric shapes, rather than as a series of
dots (a bitmap image). The printer itself takes the vector images and converts them into a
bitmap page. With this system, the printer can receive elaborate, complex pages, featuring any
sort of font or image. Also, since the printer creates the bitmap image itself, it can use its
maximum printer resolution.
Some printers use a graphical device interface (GDI) format instead of a standard
PCL. In this system, the host computer creates the dot array itself, so the controller doesn't
have to process anything -- it just sends the dot instructions on to the laser.
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But in most laser printers, the controller must organize all of the data it receives from
the host computer. This includes all of the commands that tell the printer what to do -- what
paper to use, how to format the page, how to handle the font, etc. For the controller to work
with this data, it has to get it in the right order.

Vocabulary

ink-jet printer струйный принтер


laser printer лазерный принтер
laser beam лазерный луч
dot-matrix printer матричный принтер
pin игла [печатающей головки] матричного принтера
solid ink printer принтер с твёрдым [термопластичным] красителем
plotter плоттер, графопостроитель
line drawing чертёж в виде линий
technical drawing технический чертёж
flatbed plotter планшетный графопостроитель
drum plotter барабанный графопостроитель
cps (characters per second); [число] символов (знаков) в
секунду, единица измерения скорости печати
матричных принтеров
ppm (pages per minute); [число] страниц в минуту, единица
измерения скорости печати лазерных и струйных
принтеров
1. Put 7-10 questions to the text.
2. Answer the following questions:
What unit is used to measure the image quality?
What unit is used to measure the printing speed?

3. Find in the text the equivalents to the following words and phrases:
струйные принтеры превосходят по качеству матричные
обычно встречаются
сопоставимы по качеству
совершенствовать
более надежный
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4. Define the following terms: ink-jets(bubble-jets) printers, laser printer,
LED/LCD printer, impact (dot-matrix) printer, solid ink printer, plotter,
digital photo printer, network printer, multifunction printer, EZ CD/DVD
Printers, 3D Printers.
5. Compare all types of above-mentioned printers in terms of cost, speed,
noise, output quality.
6. Render the following text.

Компания 3D Systems Corporation объявила о намерении выпустить "объемный"


принтер InVision LD 3-D. Он создан израильской фирмой Solidimension Ltd, но
распространяться будет под брендом 3D Systems. Ориентировочная стоимость
принтера US$22900, что, по мнению фирмы, является очень "доступной" ценой.
Новинка способна печатать сложные геометрические фигуры, созданные в программе
3-D CAD, собирая их из тонких слоев VisiJet LD100, формируемых в монолитную
конструкцию. Процесс не является вредным и вполне может проводиться в офисе, а
изделия получаются сухими, чистыми и не требуют дополнительной обработки.
Очевидно, что в первую очередь такой принтер предназначен для моделирования. Он
также может эффективно использоваться в ВУЗах для изучения инженерного дела.

Extended Activities

1. Describe draws and drawbacks of your printer.


2. When choosing a type of printer, you first must determine your printing
needs. When comparing printers, consider the real cost of use, not just the
purchase prise.
a. If you expect to print color documents or photographs what printer will
most likely be the best choice? State your opinion.
b. If you expect to print double-sided documents what printer will most
likely be the best choice? State your opinion.
c. If you expect to print black and white documents, manuals or business
cards and brochures in large quantities what printer will most likely be
the best choice? State your opinion.

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d. If you expect to print color documents, manuals or business cards and
brochures in large quantities what printer will most likely be the best
choice? State your opinion.

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Section 5
Secondary Storage Devices

Unit 1
Hard Disks

Nearly every desktop computer and server in use today contains one or more hard-
disk drives. Every mainframe and supercomputer is normally connected to hundreds of
them. These billions of hard disks do one thing well - they store changing digital
information in a relatively permanent form. They give computers the ability to remember
things when the power goes out.
Hard disks were invented in the 1950s. They started as large disks up to 20 inches in
diameter holding just a few megabytes. They were originally called "fixed disks" or
"Winchesters" (a code name used for a popular IBM product). They later became known as
"hard disks" to distinguish them from "floppy disks." Hard disks have a hard platter that
holds the magnetic medium, as opposed to the flexible plastic film found in tapes and
floppies.

There are two ways to measure the performance of a hard disk:


 Data rate - The data rate is the number of bytes per second that the drive can
deliver to the CPU. Rates between 5 and 40 megabytes per second are common.
 Seek time - The seek time is the amount of time between when the CPU
requests a file and when the first byte of the file is sent to the CPU. Times between 10 and
20 milliseconds are common.
The other important parameter is the capacity of the drive, which is the number of
bytes it can hold.
Data is stored onto the disk in the form of files. A file is simply a named collection of
bytes. No matter what it contains, however, a file is simply a string of bytes. When a
program running on the computer requests a file, the hard disk retrieves its bytes and sends
them to the CPU one at a time.
Data is stored on the surface of a platter in tracks. Tracks are concentric circles, and
sectors are pie-shaped wedges on a track.

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A sector contains a fixed number of bytes -- for example, 256 or 512. Either at the
drive or the operating system level, sectors are often grouped together into clusters.
The process of low-level formatting a drive establishes the tracks and sectors on the
platter. The starting and ending points of each sector are written onto the platter. This
process prepares the drive to hold blocks of bytes. High-level formatting then writes the
file-storage structures, like the file-allocation table, into the sectors. This process prepares
the drive to hold files.
The read/write heads do not touch the platters in the drive. When the platters spin up,
they rotate at anywhere between 3,600 rpm and 7,200 rpm.
To the head, the platter seems to be moving at about 150 mph, and a very thin cushion
of air forms between the head and the platter so that the head "flies" over the platter. If even
the smallest bit of dust makes its way onto the platter, the flight is disrupted and the head
"crashes" into the platter, scratching it. The crash, of course, sprays a lot more dust and
debris onto the platter and then it's all over.
The other thing that can cause a squealing sound is the bearings in the drive motor.
That is another common way for a drive to fail.
Hard disks are amazingly reliable these days, with "Mean Time Between Failures"
(MTBF) of 500,000 to 1,000,000 hours. That means that, on average, a drive fails after the
specified number of hours, with half of the drives lasting more than that and half lasting
less. 500,000 hours is about 57 years. Clearly, not all drives last 57 years, so frequent
backups are important.
Hard disks are electromechanical devices and their working life is finite. Media faults,
mechanical wear and electronic failures can all cause problems that render drive contents
inaccessible. This is unacceptable for any organization, so tactics are often implemented to
protect against failure. One of the most common data protection tactics is arranging groups
of disks into arrays. This is known as a RAID.
RAID implementations typically offer two benefits; data redundancy and enhanced
performance. Redundancy is achieved by copying data to two or more disks -- when a fault
occurs on one hard disk, duplicate data on another can be used instead. In many cases, file
contents are also spanned (or striped) across multiple hard disks. This improves
performance because the various parts of a file can be accessed on multiple disks
simultaneously -- rather than waiting for a complete file to be accessed from a single disk.
RAID can be implemented in a variety of schemes, each with its own designation: RAID-0
-- RAID-6.

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It is also possible to mix RAID levels in order to obtain greater benefits.
Combinations are typically denoted with two digits. For example, RAID-50 is a
combination of RAID-5 and RAID-0, sometimes noted as RAID-5+0. As another example,
RAID-10 is actually RAID-1 and RAID-0 implemented together, RAID-1+0.
The word "disk defrag" is typically used to refer to the Microsoft Windows utility
called Disk Defragmenter. It is designed to solve a problem that occurs because of the way
hard disks store data.
You know three key facts about hard disks:
 Hard disks store data in chunks called sectors. Each sector holds a fixed
amount of data, like 512 bytes.
 The hard disk has a small arm that can move from ring to ring on the surface
of the disk. To reach a particular sector, the hard disk moves the arm to the right ring and
waits for the sector to spin into position.
 Hard disks are slow in computer terms. Compared to the speed of the
processor and its memory, the time it takes for the arm to move and for a sector to spin into
place is an eon.
Because of fact #3, you want to minimize arm movement as much as possible, and
you want data stored in sequential segments on the disk.
So let's imagine that you install a new application onto an empty hard disk. Because
the disk is empty, the computer can store the files of the application into sequential sectors
on sequential rings. This is an efficient way to place data on a hard disk.
As you use a disk, however, this efficient technique becomes harder for a disk. What
happens is that the disk fills up. Then you erase files to reclaim space. These files that you
delete are scattered all over the surface of the disk. When you load a new application or a
large file onto the disk, it ends up being stored in hundreds or thousands of these scattered
pockets of space. Now when the computer tries to load the scattered pieces, the disk's arm
has to move all over the surface and it takes forever.
The idea behind the disk defragmenter is to move all the files around so that every file
is stored on sequential sectors on sequential rings of the disk. In addition, a good
defragmenter may also try to optimize things even more, for example by placing all
applications "close" to the operating system on the disk to minimize movement when an
application loads. When done well on older disks, defragmenting can significantly increase
the speed of file loading. On a new disk that has never filled up or had any significant
number of file deletions, it will have almost no effect because everything is stored
sequentially already.
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As you might imagine, the process of individually picking up and moving thousands
of files on a relatively slow hard disk is not a quick process -- it normally takes hours.
Starting with Windows 98, the defragmenter places the data on the hard drive in the
same sequence Windows uses it. The Windows defragmenter also knows what programs
you run the most often, and places those on the disk so the computer can access it the
fastest possible time.

Vocabulary

data rate скорость передачи данных


seek time время поиска
capacity вместимость, ёмкость, объём
cluster кластер
low-level formatting низкоуровневое форматирование
high-level formatting высокоуровневое форматировани

1. Put 7-10 questions to the text.

2. Find in the text the equivalents to the following words and phrases:
битовая строка
файловое запоминающее устройство
таблица размещения файлов
диск выходить из строя
резервная копия
дефект носителей информации
механический износ
отказ аппаратных средств

3. Define the following terms: date rate, seek time, low-level formatting, high-level
formatting, RAID, Disk Defragmenter.
4. Fill in the gaps with following terms: defragmenter, defragmentation,
defragmenting.
a. The Microsoft Windows utility called Disk … .

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b. The idea behind the disk … is to move all the files around so that every file is stored
on sequential sectors on sequential rings of the disk.
c. … can significantly increase the speed of file loading.
d. Starting with Windows 98, the … places the data on the hard drive in the same
sequence Windows uses it.

5. Make up a plan and retell the text.

6. Translate the following texts:


a. Жесткий диск для ноутбука (HDD) - это устройство для долгого хранения
информации. Он представляет собой одну или несколько стеклянных или
алюминиевых пластин, на которые нанесён магнитный слой, двигатель, который
вращает пластины и блок магнитных головок. Всё это герметично упаковано в
металлический корпус. В отличие от оперативной памяти, которая теряет всю
сохраненную в ней информацию при выключении ноутбука, жёсткий диск
хранит информацию постоянно. К тому же, жёсткие диски имеют гораздо
больший объем, нежели оперативная память. В современных ноутбуках
используются жесткие диски форматом 2,5 дюйма, с частотой вращения
шпинделя от 4200 rpm (оборотов в минуту) на ноутбуках с процессорами
Pentium I - II - III, до 5400 и 7200 rpm на ноутбуках последнего поколения.
Объем памяти жесткого диска измеряется в гигабайтах. Для ноутбуков
продаются жёсткие диски различных объемов: от 10 Gb до 100 Gb. Компания
Seagate представила жёсткий диск, который имеет на сегодняшний момент
самую большую ёмкость - 120 Gb. Скорость вращения шпинделя составляет
5400 rpm. Фирма заявила, что этот 120-ти гигабайтный винчестер потребляет
столько же энергии, как и обычный диск со скоростью вращения шпинделя 4500
rpm. К тому же, этот жёсткий диск практически бесшумен в работе, благодаря
специальным моторам Seagate SoftSonic.

b. Твердотельный жесткий диск (Solid State Disk – SSD) разрабатывался с целью


заменить жесткий диск - весьма хрупкую деталь в переносных компьютерах.
Для производства SSD используют обычные модули флэш-памяти. Таким
образом, SSD состоит из массива флэш-микросхем и контроллера. К
преимуществам использования SSD вместо обычных HDD относятся:
улучшенные показатели скорости чтения/записи и практически нулевое время
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для поиска нужной информации. Также к преимуществам SSD относится малый
вес и на порядок меньшее энергопотребление, что особо важно при
использовании в мобильных устройствах. Кроме того, эксперты говорят о
большей надежности SSD. Хотя этот посыл является спорным. Единственное,
что можно констатировать совершенно точно – SSD-диски выигрывают у HDD в
надежности из-за отсутствия движущихся частей. У SSD существуют и
недостатки. В первую очередь – это цена. К примеру, диск на 64 Гб стоит в
данный момент около $700. Вторая проблема состоит в небольшом объеме
хранимой информации. С развитием мультимедиа, рынок требует все более
вместительных устройств хранения данных. Сейчас емкость обычных IDE-
дисков уже достигла 1 Тб (1024 Мб). Такие объемы пока немыслимы для SSD.
Поэтому основная сфера применения дисков SSD – это бизнес-устройства, где
важна производительность и надежность, а не объем, позволяющий хранить
музыку и фильмы.

7. Render the following text.

Монополизация рынка

К настоящему времени производителей как жестких дисков, так и ключевых


компонентов для них (магнитных пластин, головок и двигателей) можно в буквальном
смысле пересчитать по пальцам. При этом в последнее время явно прослеживается
тенденция к дальнейшему сокращению их числа.
В конце 2002 года Hitachi приобрела подразделение IBM по разработке и выпуску
жестких дисков; в результате слияния появилась новая компания Hitachi Global Storage
Technologies (Hitachi GST). Однако помимо этого широко известного события
произошли получившие значительно меньший общественный резонанс слияния и
поглощения. Так, в июле минувшего года Western Digital поглотила компанию Read-
Rite, специализирующуюся на изготовлении магнитных головок для жестких дисков.
Спустя месяц стало известно о том, что Nidec, которая специализировалась на
производстве двигателей для жестких дисков, приобрела работавшую в этом же
сегменте компанию Sankyo Seiki Manufacturing.
Таким образом, производственные мощности по выпуску жестких дисков и
наиболее важных компонентов для их создания сегодня сосредоточены всего в
нескольких крупных компаниях. Очевидно, что сложившееся положение вряд ли
претерпит существенные изменения в ближайшем будущем, поскольку появление

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новых игроков на данном рынке крайне маловероятно: для поддержания
конкурентоспособности продукции новому производителю понадобятся поистине
гигантские инвестиции в развитие технологической базы и в разработку новых
решений.

Extended Activities

1. Compare HDDs and SSDs. Will SSDs dominate the market? State your opinion.

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Unit 2
Optical Disсs

An optical disc is an electronic data storage medium that can be written to and read
using a low-powered laser beam. Originally developed in the late 1960s, the first optical
disc, created by James T. Russell, stored data as micron-wide dots of light and dark.
However, the technology didn't appear in the marketplace until Philips and Sony came out
with the compact disc (CD) in 1982. Since then, there has been a constant succession of
optical disc formats, first in CD formats, followed by a number of DVD formats.
Optical disc offers a number of advantages over magnetic storage media. An optical
disc holds much more data. The greater control and focus possible with laser beams (in
comparison to tiny magnetic heads) means that more data can be written into a smaller
space. Storage capacity increases with each new generation of optical media. Optical discs
are inexpensive to manufacture and data stored on them is relatively impervious to most
environmental threats, such as power surges, or magnetic disturbances.
First-generation optical discs
A Compact Disc or CD is an optical disc used to store digital data, originally
developed for storing digital audio. The CD remains the standard physical medium for
commercial audio recordings as of 2007. Compact Disc technology was later adapted for use
as a data storage device, known as a CD-ROM, and to include record-once and re-writable
media (CD-R and CD-RW). CD-ROMs and CD-Rs remain widely used technologies in the
personal-computer industry.
Second-generation optical discs
DVD is an optical disc technology with a 4.7 gigabyte storage capacity on a single-
sided, one-layered disk, which is enough for a 133-minute movie. DVDs can be single- or
double-sided, and can have two layers on each side; a double-sided, two-layered DVD will
hold up to 17 gigabytes of video, audio, or other information. This compares to 650
megabytes of storage for a CD-ROM disk.
DVD uses the MPEG-2 file and compression standard.
The MPEG standards are an evolving set of standards for video and audio
compression developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG).
DVD-Video is a standard for storing video content on DVD media.
DVD-Audio is a CD-replacement format. DVD-Audio is a format for delivering high-
fidelity audio content on a DVD. Compared with the CD format, the much higher capacity

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DVD format enables far higher audio quality. Despite DVD-Audio’s superior technical
specifications, there is a debate as to whether or not the resulting audio enhancements are
distinguishable to typical human ears.
Third-generation optical discs
Major third-generation optical discs are designed for holding high-definition video,
enabled by the use of short-wavelength visible light lasers (blue-violet for BluRay and HD-
DVD, the most common formats so far).
Blu-ray is a new optical disc standard based on the use of a blue laser rather than the
red laser of DVD players. The standard was developed collaboratively by Hitachi, LG,
Matsushita (Panasonic), Pioneer, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, and Thomson. Toshiba
and NEC are among the companies promoting a competitive optical format, HD-DVD.
The blue laser has a 405 nanometer (nm) wavelength that can focus more tightly than
the red lasers used for writable DVD. As a consequence, a Blu-ray disc can store much
more data in the same 12 centimeter space. Like the rewritable DVD formats, Blu-ray uses
phase change technology to enable repeated writing to the disc.
Blu-ray's storage capacity is enough to store a continuous backup copy of most
people's hard drives on a single disc. The first products have a 27 gigabyte (GB) single-
sided capacity, 50 GB on dual-layer discs. Data streams at 36 megabytes per second. Single-
sided Blu-ray discs can store up to 13 hours of standard video data, compared to single-
sided DVD's 133 minutes.
Blu-ray disc players (BDPs) are available from a number of manufacturers, including
Panasonic, Pioneer, Samsung and Sony. Sony's Playstation 3 also has a Blu-ray drive
installed.

Will Blu-ray replace DVDs? Yes, that's the expectation. The Blu-ray format has
received broad support from the major movie studios as a successor to today's DVD format.
In fact, seven of the eight major movie studios (Disney, Fox, Warner, Paramount, Sony,
Lionsgate and MGM) are supporting the Blu-ray format. Many studios have also announced
that they will begin releasing new feature films on Blu-ray Disc day-and-date with DVD.
HD-DVD (high-density DVD) is a high capacity optical storage medium. A single-
layer HD-DVD provides up to 15 gigabytes (GB) of storage capacity and the double-layer
disc offers up to 30 GB. A standard single-sided, single-layer DVD offers 4.7 GB storage
capacity.
A double-layer HD-DVD can contain up to 48 hours of standard-definition television
programming. The data transfer rate of an HD-DVD drive is approximately 36 megabits per

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second (Mbps) -- more than sufficient to accommodate digital TV signals which are
transmitted at 24 Mbps.
HD-DVD and Blu-ray are the two formats most often predicted to replace
conventional DVD. A higher-capacity holographic storage medium called HVD
(holographic versatile disc) is expected to reach the consumer market in 2008.

HD DVD/ Blu ray comparison

Blu-ray has a higher disc capacity per layer (25 GB vs 15 GB). However the majority
(over 80%) of Blu-ray titles are in 25 GB single layer format while almost all (over 90%)
HD DVD movies are in 30 GB dual layer format.
In terms of audio/video compression, HD DVD and Blu-ray are similar on the surface:
both support MPEG-2, VC-1, and H.264 for video compression. Virtualy every HD DVD
released uses an advanced codec (VC-1 or H.264) for video compression, reducing the
required space for equivalent quality video. In terms of audio, there are many differences.
With HD DVD support for the new Dolby Digital Plus audio codec is mandatory for HD
DVD players, but optional for Blu-ray players. Furthermore HD DVD requires players must
be able to decode the new lossless audio codec Dolby True HD, but this is optional for Blu-
ray players.

The name Blu-ray is derived from the underlying technology,


which utilizes a blue-violet laser to read and write data. The name is a
combination of "Blue" (blue-violet laser) and "Ray" (optical ray).
According to the Blu-ray Disc Association the spelling of "Blu-ray" is
not a mistake, the character "e" was intentionally left out so the term
could be registered as a trademark.

Vocabulary

medium носитель (информации)


low-powered маломощный
laser beam лазерный луч
micron микрон; одна миллионная часть метра
impervious невосприимчивый

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environmental threat экологическая опасность
power surge скачок напряжения
magnetic disturbance магнитное возмущение
high fidelity 1) высокое качество аудио/видеоаппаратуры
2) стандарт Hi-Fi
wavelength длина волны
enhancement модернизация; совершенствование; расширение
promote 1) способствовать; содействовать; поддерживать
2) активизировать; стимулировать
single-sided (SS) односторонний
single-layer однослойный
1. Put 7-10 questions to the text.
2. Find in the text the equivalents to the following words and phrases.

маломощный лазерный луч


относительно невосприммчвый
воздействие окружающей среды
скачок напряжения
магнитные помехи
развивающийся комплекс стандартов
различимый на слух

3. Define the following formats: CD, CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD, DVD-
Video, DVD-Audio, HD DVD, Blu-ray.

4. Describe three generations of optical discs.

5. Different meanings of the phrasal verb come out are given. Find the
synonyms and construct your own sentences:

come out
 When a new product such as a book or record comes out, it becomes available to the
public.
 If a fact comes out, it becomes known to people.

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 If you come out for something, you declare that you support it. If you come out
against something, you declare that you do not support it.

6. Translate the following text into English:

До недавних пор новое поколение оптических дисков было представлено двумя


конкурирующими технологиями — Blu-ray (разработанная компанией Sony в
сотрудничестве с несколькими другими фирмами) и HD DVD (созданная Toshiba). Но
после того как в текущем году Toshiba отказалась от своего детища, стандартом
оптических дисков для высококачественного видео стал Blu-ray. Каковы особенности и
преимущества этого формата? При том же диаметре, что и у CD/DVD, носитель Blu-ray
позволяет записать 25 Гбайт информации на один слой, а на двухслойных дисках
можно хранить до 50 Гбайт. Но технология не лишена некоторых недостатков. Дело в
том, что для создания Blu-ray-оборудования (дисков и приводов) приходится
полностью модернизировать производственные линии, а значит — инвестировать
деньги. Это влечет за собой высокую стоимость как приводов, так и дисков, и
сдерживает их популярность. Так, привод для ПК, позволяющий считывать диски Blu-
ray, стоит от 5 тыс. руб. и выше, а цена однослойного диска данного формата
составляет минимум 500 руб. (двухслойного — около 1300 руб.).
Существует две разновидности дисков Blu-ray. Первая называется BD-R (Blu-ray Disk
Recordable) и представляет собой одноразовые записываемые диски. Вторая — BD-RW
(Blu-ray Disk ReWritable). По аналогии с предыдущими поколениями оптических
носителей это перезаписываемый диск. Для носителей Blu-ray максимальная скорость
работы составляет 12x (54 Мбайт/с).

7. Render the following text.

К 18 февраля весь интернет знал, что война форматов видео высокой четкости
закончилась и победил в этой войне формат Blu-ray, разработанный японской
корпорацией Sony. Об этом сообщили почти все издания, пишущие о бизнесе либо
высоких технологиях.
Молчали только в другой японской компании, Toshiba. Именно там создали HD DVD,
главного конкурента Blu-ray. Предполагается, что Toshiba объявит о прекращении
поддержки своего формата если не в ближайшие дни, то хотя бы в ближайшие недели.
Спусковым крючком для сообщений о том, что Toshiba сложит оружие, стало
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заявление сети супермаркетов Wal-Mart. Там решили, что к июню прекратят продавать
диски HD DVD и перейдут на эксклюзивную поддержку Blu-ray.
Незадолго до этого о поддержке Blu-ray заявил крупнейший интернет-прокат
видеофильмов в США, компания Netflix. Диски с фильмами можно заказать в Netflix по
почте, и если раньше пользователь мог выбрать HD DVD или Blu-ray, то теперь остался
только формат Sony.
Кроме того, несколько торговых сетей (меньших, чем Wal-Mart, но все равно крупных)
объявили о том, что начинают высвобождать полки под Blu-ray за счет дисков с HD
DVD.
Наконец, 18 февраля компания Blue Ray Technologies, штампующая диски разных
форматов, объявила о закрытии линий по производству HD DVD. По словам
основателя BRT, он не собирается ждать, когда Toshiba официально объявит о своем
поражении.
Когда историки будут анализировать потерю форматом HD DVD своей доли рынка,
они не найдут просчетов ни в технических характеристиках носителей, ни в стоимости
приводов. Более того, у HD DVD плееры дешевле. Просто Blu-ray оказался везде - в
ноутбуках Sony и приставках Sony PlayStation, в коробках с самыми последними
фильмами, на полках магазинов.
Со стороны Toshiba внятных комментариев происходящему не поступает, однако
сообщения о конце войны форматы поддерживаются тем фактом, что японская
компания не выступает с гневным опровержением. Как удалось узнать BBC News,
никакого решения Toshiba пока не приняла.
По данным издания The Inquirer, в Toshiba пока обсуждают три возможности. Во-
первых, компания может перестать продавать записывающие устройства и выпускать
только плееры, чтобы смягчить процесс умирания формата. Во-вторых, можно
попытаться сохранить позиции на европейском рынке, уйдя с рынков США и Японии,
где война проиграна. В-третьих, можно полностью уйти из бизнеса, связанного с HD
DVD.
Как пишет The Wall Street Journal, решение Toshiba уйти с рынка освободит от
обязательств Paramount Pictures и Universal Pictures, которые эксклюзивно
поддерживают формат HD DVD. Именно этим компаниям такая свобода особенно
необходима после того, как в начале января на сторону Blu-ray переметнулась студия
Warner Bros.
Война форматов длится уже более двух лет. За это время производители и инвесторы
довольно серьезно вымотались. Кроме того, оба вида плееров вплотную подошли к
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рубежу, который отделяет дорогую новинку от обычного бытового прибора.
Если противостояние продолжится в будущем, потребителям придется потратиться
либо на два плеера, либо на гибридный проигрыватель. Вдобавок из-за поддержки
разными студиями разных форматов видеотека может представлять из себя смесь из
дисков HD DVD и Blu-ray.
Даже акционеры Toshiba не желают такого развития событий. Возможно, именно
поэтому при первых слухах о проигрыше HD DVD акции Toshiba выросли в цене более
чем на шесть процентов. Видимо, инвесторы считают, что прекращение войны сделает
компанию дороже.

Extended Activities

1. Which optical format will dominate the market? State your opinion.

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Section 6
Supplementary Materials

Text 1
UMPC, MID, Netbook, Nettop

Most of the users are still puzzled when it comes to spotting the differences between the
UPMCs and MIDs, as these two concepts seem to share a whole bunch of features. Dan
Monahan, Intel's Global Internet Segment Manager of Ultra Mobility explains that there are
essential differences between the two families of devices.

UMPC
 Business-class device for enterprise users
 Runs a "heavy" OS like Vista
 Optimized for office-use applications like Excel, Word, etc.

Unlike the consumer-minded MID, a UMPC is designed primarily as a business device


or one for power users. Instead of running a stripped-down operating system, a UMPC usually
gets powered by a more powerful operating system like Windows Vista. You get an
experience that is a lot closer to what you’d get on a regular computer, whether it be a desktop
or a laptop.
The form factor of a UMPC is virtually identical to a MID. You usually get a
touchscreen display that is between four and seven inches across the diagonal, and depending
on the design, you may get a QWERTY keyboard of some kind. Some units will have the
display slide upwards to reveal the keyboard, while others opt for an on-screen virtual
keyboard. The specs are definitely heavier than most MIDs and you usually get pre-installed
productivity tools like Word, Excel, and Outlook.
Because of the heavier specs and more powerful operating system, your typical UMPC
will cost a fair bit more than the average MID. You can expect to spend anywhere from $500
to $1000 for most UMPCs, though it’s not out of the ordinary to find some that are even more
expensive.

MID

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 Consumer-class lifestyle device
 Runs a 'lightweight" OS with quick startup like Linux
 Optimized for things like media playback and web surfing

In essence, a mobile Internet device is designed solely for a single purpose: letting you
surf the web on the go. Most of the MIDs on the market are being targeted squarely at the
consumer market, so they typically get equipped with lower-end specs and a stripped-down
operating system. The idea is that it can be lightweight and efficient, so you’ll usually find
MIDs powered by Linux or some other OS.
A mobile Internet device is optimized for web surfing, but they’ll usually throw in some
multimedia functionality, letting you watch movies, play music, and possibly take a few
pictures too. Storage is usually pretty scarce and most MIDs don’t get displays much bigger
than seven inches or so. Depending on the design, the MID may be equipped with a
touchscreen, a QWERTY thumbboard, or both.
Because these MIDs are for consumers, manufacturers usually try to keep the price
below the $500 threshold, though you’ll find a few units that break this glass ceiling.
The borderline seems to be at least made out of lace, since these two types of devices
are usually overlapping. Moreover, should an user need web browsing and multimedia
rendering capabilities, they would choose a mid-range mobile phone, a much cheaper solution
as compared to a sub-notebook.
At the same time, business and corporate users need more than Word and Excel to get
their jobs done. The fact that this sector also needs Internet access and multimedia capabilities
goes without saying.

Netbooks
Simply put, a netbook is a much leaner notebook that's optimized for simplicity,
affordability and is a very Internet-centric device. That aptly describes what the ASUS Eee
PC and OLPC devices are designed for and as such, they can be categorized as first
generation netbooks. The next generation netbooks however will be powered by the Intel
Atom processor, more specifically the Diamondville. At 1.6GHz core clock (with 512KB L2
cache) and running off a 533MHz FSB, it is quite similar to a Pentium M (Banias) processor
in performance as per Intel's findings.
To get a better understanding how netbooks fit into the existing mix of mobility
solutions, here's a table to better align yourselves on MID, UMPC, netbooks and notebooks.

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MID, UMPC, Netbooks and Notebooks Compared

Categorizati
Mainstrea
on / Key MID / UMPC Netbook
m Notebook
Identifiers

Full Internet A Platform at


More than
Requirements Experience in Your New Affordable
Basic Usage
Pocket Price Points

MID:
Office
Key Usage Infotainment Internet-
Productivity &
Models UMPC: Work on-the- centric
Multitasking
go

MID: 4.5" - 6" Below 10 12-inch or


Screen Size
UMPC: 5" - 7" inches Larger

MID: Win XP,


Operating Linux Linux, Windows-
System UMPC: Win Vista, Win Windows-based based
XP, Linux

MID: Intel Intel Atom /


Hardware Intel Core 2
Centrino Atom UMPC: Celeron / Core 2
Platform Duo processor
Intel Atom processors Duo processors

US$450 - US$250 - US$500 and


Price-point
US$600 US$350 above

As noted in the key usage model scenario, the traditional notebook is best suited
for no compromise usage experience and content creation whilst the netbook is designed
more towards a content consumption model off the Internet and your local devices.

While in the current day's usage context, the netbook made popular by ASUS Eee PC
and others in the same segment like Kohjinsha still seem limited due to these devices not
being either pocketable like a smartphone nor a full fledged powerhouse notebook. However,
they are great companions in terms of travel and on-the-go usage for a full keyboard equipped

105
Internet experience. With the next generation netbooks using Intel Atom, they are probably
going to be even more appealing in physical attributes and spur even more adopters and thus
drive the price down further in future. In mature markets of the developed word, the netbook
could lend itself as a secondary or tertiary PC for some members of the family. In the
emerging markets of the developing world, the netbook could in fact be the first system
adopted by families thanks to the low cost and simplicity of use. Similar to the netbook, a
more niche market could be the nettop, which is a desktop equivalent of the netbook.
The critical difference between a netbook and a MID/UMPC is that the former takes on
a laptop-like form factor. The display flips up to reveal a standard QWERTY keyboard. Some
people prefer this shape over the other two, simply because it is more familiar (but it’s usually
bigger).
Like a MID or UMPC, a netbook is meant to a supplementary device. For this reason,
you’ll usually get stripped down specs. Most netbooks will come powered either by Windows
XP or Linux; if you get into Vista and Tablet territory, it’s hard to categorize those smaller
laptops as netbooks anymore.

Text 2
The Future of PCs

EUVL Chipmaking
Silicon microprocessors have been the heart of the computing world for more than 40
years. In that time, microprocessor manufacturers have crammed more and more electronic
devices onto microprocessors. In accordance with Moore's Law, the number of electronic
devices put on a microprocessor has doubled every 18 months. Moore's Law is named after
Intel founder Gordon Moore, who predicted in 1965 that microprocessors would double in
complexity every two years. Many have predicted that Moore's Law will soon reach its end
because of the physical limitations of silicon microprocessors.
The current process used to pack more and more transistors onto a chip is called deep-
ultraviolet lithography (DUVL), which is a photography-like technique that focuses light
through lenses to carve circuit patterns on silicon wafers. DUVL will begin to reach its limit
around 2005. At that time, chipmakers will have to look to other technologies to cram more
transistors onto silicon to create more powerful chips. Many are already looking at extreme-
ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) as a way to extend the life of silicon at least until the end of

106
the decade. EUVL uses mirrors instead of lenses to focus the light, which allows light with
shorter wavelengths to accurately focus on the silicon wafer. To learn more about EUVL, see
How EUV Chipmaking Works.

DNA and Quantum


Beyond EUVL, researchers have been looking at alternatives to the traditional
microprocessor design. Two of the more interesting emerging technologies are DNA
computers and quantum computers.
DNA computers have the potential to take computing to new levels, picking up where
Moore's Law leaves off. There are several advantages to using DNA instead of silicon:
 As long as there are cellular organisms, there will be a supply of DNA.
 The large supply of DNA makes it a cheap resource.
 Unlike traditional microprocessors, which are made using toxic materials, DNA
biochips can be made cleanly.
DNA computers are many times smaller than today's computers.

DNA's key advantage is that it will make computers smaller, while at the same time
increasing storage capacity, than any computer that has come before. One pound of DNA has
the capacity to store more information than all the electronic computers ever built. The
computing power of a teardrop-sized DNA computer, using the DNA logic gates, will be
more powerful than the world's most powerful supercomputer. More than 10-trillion DNA
molecules can fit into an area no larger than 1 cubic centimeter (.06 inch 3). With this small
amount of DNA, a computer would be able to hold 10 terabytes (TB) of data and perform 10-
trillion calculations at a time. By adding more DNA, more calculations could be performed.
Unlike conventional computers, DNA computers could perform calculations
simultaneously. Conventional computers operate linearly, taking on tasks one at a time. It is
parallel computing that will allow DNA to solve complex mathematical problems in hours --
problems that might take electrical computers hundreds of years to complete. You can learn
more about DNA computing in How DNA Computers Will Work.
Today's computers work by manipulating bits that exist in one of two states: 0 or 1.
Quantum computers aren't limited to two states; they encode information as quantum bits, or
qubits. A qubit can be a 1 or a 0, or it can exist in a superposition that is simultaneously 1
and 0 or somewhere in between. Qubits represent atoms that are working together to serve as
computer memory and a microprocessor. Because a quantum computer can contain these
multiple states simultaneously, it has the potential to be millions of times more powerful than
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today's most powerful supercomputers. A 30-qubit quantum computer would equal the
processing power of a c
Conventional computer capable of running at 10 teraops, or trillions of operations per
second. Today's fastest supercomputers have achieved speeds of about 2 teraops.

Text 3
Overclocking

To overclock - to run a microprocessor faster than the speed for which it has been tested
and approved.
Factors that favor your ability to successfully "upgrade by resetting" include (in addition
to having an Intel microprocessor): having a well-designed motherboard with a fast enough
bus and having a fan or other cooling device that will keep your system cool enough.
What Is CPU Overclocking?
While the words CPU and microprocessor are used interchangeably, in the world of
personal computers (PC), a microprocessor is actually a silicon chip that contains a CPU. The
three basic characteristics that differentiate microprocessors are the following:
 Instruction set: The set of instructions that the microprocessor can execute.
 Bandwidth: The number of bits processed in a single instruction.
 Clock speed: Given in megahertz (MHz), the clock speed determines how many
instructions per second the processor can execute.

Basically overclocking means to run a microprocessor faster than the clock speed for
which it has been tested and approved. Overclocking is a popular technique for getting a little
performance boost from your system, without purchasing any additional hardware. Because of
the performance boost overclocking, is very popular among hardcore 3D gamers. 
Most times overclocking will result in a performance boost of 10 percent or less.
An overclocked CPU will have an increased heat output, which means you have to look
at additional cooling methods to ensure proper cooling of an overclocked CPU. Standard heat
sinks and fans will generally not support an overclocked system. Additionally, you also have
to have some understanding of the different types of system memory. Even though your CPU
can be overclocked, it doesn't mean your RAM modules will support the higher speeds.
The most common methods of overclocking your CPU is to either raise the multiplier or
raise the FSB (frontside bus). To understand overclocking, you have to understand the basics

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of CPU speeds. The speed of a CPU is measured in Megahertz (MHz) or Gigahertz (GHz).
This represents the number of clock cycles that can be performed per second. The more clock
cycles your CPU can do, the faster it processes information.
The formula for processor speed is:  frontside bus x multiplier = processor speed.
The frontside bus connects the CPU to the main memory on the motherboard —
basically, it's the conduit used by your entire system to communicate with your CPU.
One caution with raising the FBS is that is can affect other system components. When
you change the multiplier on a CPU, it will change only the CPU speed. If you change the
FSB you are changing the speed at which all components of your system communicate with
the CPU.
Overclocking comes with many risks, such as overheating, so you should become
familiar with all the pros and cons before you attempt it. Additionally, overclocking isn't
supported by the major chip manufacturers which means overclocking your CPU will void
your warranty. Overclocking can also decrease the lifespan of the CPU, cause failure in
critical components and may even result in some data corruption. You  may also notice an
increase in unexplainable crashes and freezes.

Text 4
Speech Recognition

Today, when we call most large companies, a person doesn't usually answer the phone.
Instead, an automated voice recording answers and instructs you to press buttons to move
through option menus. Many companies have moved beyond requiring you to press buttons,
though. Often you can just speak certain words (again, as instructed by a recording) to get
what you need. The system that makes this possible is a type of speech recognition program
-- an automated phone system.
You can also use speech recognition software in homes and businesses. A range of
software products allows users to dictate to their computer and have their words converted to
text in a word processing or e-mail document. You can access function commands, such as
opening files and accessing menus, with voice instructions. Some programs are for specific
business settings, such as medical or legal transcription.
Current programs fall into two categories:
Small-vocabularies/many users. These systems are ideal for automated telephone
answering. The users can speak with a great deal of variation in accent and speech patterns,

109
and the system will still understand them most of the time. However, usage is limited to a
small number of predetermined commands and inputs, such as basic menu options or
numbers.
Large-vocabularies/limited users. These systems work best in a business environment
where a small number of users will work with the program. While these systems work with a
good degree of accuracy (85 percent or higher with an expert user) and have vocabularies in
the tens of thousands, you must train them to work best with a small number of primary users.
The accuracy rate will fall drastically with any other user.
Speech recognition systems made more than 10 years ago also faced a choice between
discrete and continuous speech. It is much easier for the program to understand words when
we speak them separately, with a distinct pause between each one. However, most users
prefer to speak in a normal, conversational speed. Almost all modern systems are capable of
understanding continuous speech.
Speech to Data
To convert speech to on-screen text or a computer command, a computer has to go
through several complex steps. When you speak, you create vibrations in the air. The analog-
to-digital converter (ADC) translates this analog wave into digital data that the computer can
understand. To do this, it samples, or digitizes, the sound by taking precise measurements of
the wave at frequent intervals. The system filters the digitized sound to remove unwanted
noise, and sometimes to separate it into different bands of frequency. It also normalizes the
sound, or adjusts it to a constant volume level. It may also have to be temporally aligned.
People don't always speak at the same speed, so the sound must be adjusted to match the
speed of the template sound samples already stored in the system's memory.
Next the signal is divided into small segments as short as a few hundredths of a second,
or even thousandths. The program then matches these segments to known phonemes in the
appropriate language. A phoneme is the smallest element of a language -- a representation of
the sounds we make and put together to form meaningful expressions. There are roughly 40
phonemes in the English language (different linguists have different opinions on the exact
number), while other languages have more or fewer phonemes.
The next step seems simple, but it is actually the most difficult to accomplish and is the
focus of most speech recognition research. The program examines phonemes in the context of
the other phonemes around them and compares them to a large library of known words,
phrases and sentences. The program then determines what the user was probably saying and
either outputs it as text or issues a computer command.
Speech Recognition: Weaknesses and Flaws
110
No speech recognition system is 100 percent perfect; several factors can reduce
accuracy. Some of these factors are issues that continue to improve as the technology
improves. Others can be lessened -- if not completely corrected -- by the user.
The program needs to "hear" the words spoken distinctly, and any extra noise
introduced into the sound will interfere with this. The noise can come from a number of
sources, including loud background noise in an office environment. Users should work in a
quiet room with a quality microphone positioned as close to their mouths as possible. Low-
quality sound cards, which provide the input for the microphone to send the signal to the
computer, often do not have enough shielding from the electrical signals produced by other
computer components. They can introduce hum or hiss into the signal.
Overlapping speech. Current systems have difficulty separating simultaneous speech
from multiple users. If you try to employ recognition technology in conversations or meetings
where people frequently interrupt each other or talk over one another, you're likely to get
extremely poor results.
Intensive use of computer power. Running the statistical models needed for speech
recognition requires the computer's processor to do a lot of heavy work. One reason for this is
the need to remember each stage of the word-recognition search in case the system needs to
backtrack to come up with the right word. The fastest personal computers in use today can
still have difficulties with complicated commands or phrases, slowing down the response time
significantly. The vocabularies needed by the programs also take up a large amount of hard
drive space. Fortunately, disk storage and processor speed are areas of rapid advancement --
the computers in use 10 years from now will benefit from an exponential increase in both
factors.
The potential problems with using speech recognition were on public display recently in
a Windows Vista demonstration. While the system performed flawlessly at opening programs
and accessing documents, when it came to transcribing text, it wasn't very accurate. The
problems likely stemmed from the background noise and echo present in the large auditorium
with an audience where the demo took place. A video of the incident soon spread across the
Internet, hurting the reputations of Windows Vista and speech recognition in general.

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Text 5

SSD - Solid State Drive

A Hard Drive Alternative Based on Flash Memory

One of the big items in the world of computers from the 2007 CES show in Las Vegas
is the SSD or Solid State Drive. This is actually technology that has been around for many
years, but only now is it actually set to become something that consumer may actually get to
use within the next year. This article takes a look at exactly what is a solid state drive and how
it may benefit consumers, especially with their portable computing.
Solid state is an electrical term that refers to electronic circuitry that is built entirely out
of semiconductors. The term was originally used to define those electronics such as a
transistor radio that used semiconductors rather than vacuum tubes in its construction. Most
all electronics that we have today are built around semiconductors and chips. In terms of a
SSD, it refers to the fact that the primary storage medium is through semiconductors rather
than a magnetic media such as a hard drive.
Now, you might say that this type of storage already exists in the form of flash memory
drives that plug into the USB port. This is partially true as solid state drives and USB flash
drives both use the same type of non-volatile memory chips that retain their information even
when they have no power. The difference is in the form factor and capacity of the drives.
While a flash drive is designed to be external to the computer system, an SSD is designed to
reside inside the computer in place of a more traditional hard drive.
So how exactly do they do this? Well, an SSD on the outside looks almost no different
than a traditional hard drive. This design is to allow the SSD drive to put in a notebook or
desktop computer in place of a hard drive. To do this, it needs to have the standard dimension
as a 1.8, 2.5 or 3.5-inch hard drive. It also will use either the ATA or SATA drive interfaces
so that there is a compatible interface.
Solid state drives have several advantages over the magnetic hard drives. The majority
of this comes from the fact that the drive does not have any moving parts. While a traditional
drive has drive motors to spin up the magnetic platters and the drive heads, all the storage on a
solid state drive is handled by flash memory chips. This provides three distinct advantages:
 Less Power Usage
 Faster Data Access
 Higher Reliability

112
The power usage is a key role for the use of solid state drives in portable computers.
Because there is no power draw for the motors, the drive uses far less energy than the regular
hard drive. Now, the industry has taken steps to address this with drive spin downs and the
development of hybrid hard drives, but both of these still use more power. The solid state
drive will consistently draw less power then the traditional and hybrid hard drive.
Faster data access will make a number of people happy. Since the drive doesn't have to
spin up the drive platter or move drive heads, the data can be read from the drive near
instantly. In a recent demo of two similar equipped notebook computers, Fujitsu was able to
demonstrate a roughly 20% speed increase in the booting of Windows XP on a SSD over a
standard hard drive.
Reliability is also a key factor for portable drives. Hard drive platters are very fragile
and sensitive materials. Even small jarring movements from an impact can cause the drive to
be completely unreadable. Since the SSD stores all its data in memory chips, there are fewer
moving parts to be damaged in any sort of impact.
As with most computer technologies, the primary limiting factor of using the solid state
drives in notebook and desktop computers is cost. These drives have actually been available
for some time now, but the cost of the drives is roughly the same as the entire notebook they
could be installed into. This is gradually changing as the number of companies producing the
drives and the capacity for producing the flash memory chips grows. Drives announced at the
2007 CES were priced at less than half of the drives of the same capacity from the previous
year.
The other problem affecting the adoption of the solid state drives is capacity. Current
hard drive technology can allow for over 200GB of data in a small 2.5-inch notebook hard
drive. Most SSD drives announced at the 2007 CES show are of the 64GB capacity. This
means that not only are the drives much more expensive than a traditional hard drive, they
only hold a fraction of the data.

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USB Flash Drive

All of this is set to change soon though. Several companies that specialize in flash
memory have announced upcoming products that look to push the capacities of the solid state
drives to be closer to that of a normal hard drive but at even lower prices than the current
SSDs. This will have a huge impact for notebook data storage.

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A Universal Serial Bus (USB) flash drive is a portable memory chip and circuit board
contained in a small plastic case about the size of a thumb, giving rise to the name
ThumbDrive®. Also called a memory stick, the tiny drive sports a removable cap under which
is a USB connector. The chip inside the USB flash drive does not require power to retain data,
so batteries are not needed. The drive gets power from the computer, making the USB flash
drive a popular choice for transferring files between computers.
Flash drives hit the market in 2000 with capacities of eight Megabytes (MB), several
times greater than the 1.44 MB floppy disks still used at the time. Today the USB flash dive
has become so popular and ubiquitous that models with modest capacities of 128–256 MBs
are often given away in sales promotions, imprinted for advertising and branding purposes. A
four Gigabyte (GB) USB flash drive can cost as little as $10 US Dollars (USD).
Models with the highest storage capacity at any given time are more expensive than
buying an equivalent hard drive. As of winter 2008, a 64 GB USB flash drive sells for just
under $200 USD, while an internal 1.5 Terabyte (TB) hard drive can cost under $150 USD.
One Terabyte is equal to 1,000 Gigabytes, so that’s a 1,500 GB hard drive versus a 64 GB
memory stick.
However, the draw of the USB flash drive isn’t capacity alone, but convenience and
portability. All modern computers feature one or more USB ports and on-board device drivers
for recognizing memory sticks, making the USB flash drive universally accepted. It is also
formatted in FAT or FAT32, understood by all modern operating systems from Microsoft®
Windows® to Apple® Macintosh® and Linux®. Since USB is a plug-and-play standard, the
USB flash drive can be plugged into a booted computer and recognized, then removed
without need of a reboot.
In some cases, it might be convenient to boot from the memory stick itself. BIOS
settings on modern motherboards will allow booting from a USB device. You can make a
thumb drive bootable by installing appropriate software on it, freely available online. You can
also install a portable version of an operating system (OS) on a USB flash drive and boot into
it, trying it out without having to install it on your computer. A bootable memory stick is
termed a Live USB drive.
Special software programs can also be installed on and run from thumb drives. These
programs will not store program information in system files on the hard drive like regular
software does, making the programs totally portable. Carry an email client with you on a USB
flash drive to use from anyone’s computer, a Web browser with your bookmarks, or a favorite
game.

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Chips used in memory sticks have a discrete number of read/write cycles after which the
chip will fail. People who use a USB flash drive to archive copies of important files or to
occasionally transfer files probably don't have to worry. If the memory stick is used
frequently for running software or is otherwise engaged in regular duty, you could see failure
within ten years.
Part of what makes the USB flash drive so convenient is also a security risk: the drive is
so tiny it is easily lost or misplaced. Information Technology (IT) techs might carry a USB
flash drive loaded with networking tools on a lanyard or wrist strap to keep it handy. If
security is a concern, consider an encryption program to encode the data on your memory
stick. You can buy a USB flash drive with pre-installed security software, or use one of many
encryption tools available online.
A USB flash drive weighs next to nothing and is all but impervious to the standard
kinds of abuses that might befall a small item like this. It isn’t likely to be effected by being
dropped or exposed to extreme temperatures. There are even reports of thumb drives
surviving the washer and dryer with no apparent harm done and no data lost. While not wise
to count on this, it does speak to the product’s general durability.
Memory sticks are available everywhere electronics are sold. Buying a USB flash drive
with pre-loaded software typically costs more than purchasing a blank drive and dressing it up
yourself.

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Different Types of Memory Cards

Memory cards are a popular storage medium for many of today's consumer electronics
devices, including digital cameras, cellphones, handheld computers and other small electronic
devices. Flash memory is nonvolatile, that is the memory card will not lose its data when
removed from the device, and the cards can also be erased or reformatted and reused.
NAND Flash architecture is one of two flash technologies (the other being NOR) used
in memory cards such as the CompactFlash cards. It is also used in USB Flash drives, MP3
players, and provides the image storage for digital cameras.
There are a few major types of memory cards that can be used in common electronics,
such as a digital camera. Each of these types of memory cards are different sizes and, as the
technology progresses further, we see that over time the cards have become smaller in
physical size but grow larger in logical size.

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Common Types of Memory Cards

PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association)


CompactFlash (CF), Secure Digital Card (SD card)
MiniSD Card
MicroSD
MultiMediaCard (MMC)
Sony Memory Sticks

Memory cards are quite sturdy and you can expect cards to be capable of working
through more than one million data write/read/erase cycles. The card itself has its weakest
point at its socket connectors, which are used when you remove and reinsert the memory card
into a device. You can expect a memory card to be capable of withstanding around 10,000
insertions. These numbers, of course, will differ slightly between manufacturers.

Like with any consumer electronic or device, proper care is required by the users to
meet the lifespan of the device. You should avoid applying too much pressure on your
memory cards, and never drop or bend the card either. When the correct memory card is being
used in a device, it will fit into the slot only in one direction and it will easily slide and click
into place. You should never have to apply any amount of pressure to make the card fit.
Memory cards should also be kept away from electrostatic sources and should never be
introduced to direct sunlight or extreme ranges of temperatures.

What is a 'smart card'?


A small electronic device about the size of a credit card that contains electronic
memory, and possibly an embedded integrated circuit (IC). Smart cards containing an IC are
sometimes called Integrated Circuit Cards (ICCs).
A smart card resembles a credit card in size and shape, but inside it is completely
different. First of all, it has an inside -- a normal credit card is a simple piece of plastic. The
inside of a smart card usually contains an embedded microprocessor. The microprocessor is
under a gold contact pad on one side of the card. Think of the microprocessor as replacing the
usual magnetic stripe on a credit card or debit card.
Smart cards are much more popular in Europe than in the United States. In Europe, the
health insurance and banking industries use smart cards extensively. Every German citizen
has a smart card for health insurance.

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Magnetic stripe technology remains in wide use in the United States. However, the data
on the stripe can easily be read, written, deleted or changed with off-the-shelf equipment.
Therefore, the stripe is really not the best place to store sensitive information. To protect the
consumer, businesses in the U.S. have invested in extensive online mainframe-based
computer networks for verification and processing. In Europe, such an infrastructure did not
develop -- instead, the card carries the intelligence.
The microprocessor on the smart card is there for security. The host computer and card
reader actually "talk" to the microprocessor. The microprocessor enforces access to the data
on the card. If the host computer read and wrote the smart card's random access memory
(RAM), it would be no different than a diskette.
Smarts cards may have up to 8 kilobytes of RAM, 346 kilobytes of ROM, 256 kilobytes
of programmable ROM, and a 16-bit microprocessor. The smart card uses a serial interface
and receives its power from external sources like a card reader. The processor uses a limited
instruction set for applications such as cryptography.

The most common smart card applications are:

 Credit cards
 Electronic cash
 Computer security systems
 Wireless communication
 Loyalty systems (like frequent flyer points)
 Banking
 Satellite TV
 Government identification

Smart cards can be used with a smart-card reader attachment to a personal computer to
authenticate a user. Web browsers also can use smart card technology to supplement Secure
Sockets Layer (SSL) for improved security of Internet transactions. Visa's Smart Card FAQ
shows how online purchases work using a smart card and a PC equipped with a smart-card
reader. Smart-card readers can also be found in mobile phones and vending machines.

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