banner unit 2

In this unit we have three main goals:

Even in ancient times humans tried to "automate" computation using things such as a language to count things and the abacus to record numbers and facilitate computation. The Greeks used surprisingly sophiticated computational devices based on gears to aid in navigation. In the 1800s attempts were made to perform calculations using mechnical devices. But it's only since the industrial revolution and the development of electronic technology that extremely powerful and fast automated information manipulation became feasible. How was this capability actually implemented, and what kinds of processes and tasks have been affected by it? To answer this question you'll learn about the "Turing Machine," a theoretical device that paved the way for modern thinking about computational processes, and the components of an algorithm, the logical construct that every computer program employs. You'll learn about the several "generations" of computers that made use of Turning Machine theory and algorithms, and the evolving semiconductor technology that makes possible the tiny but powerful computers we use today that derive from the Turing Machine.

With the development of the internet in the 1990s the interconnection of computers on a vast scale was made possible and practical, providing information transmission and sharing benefits that would have seemed impossible just a few decades ago. But the internet, because of its interconnection capabilties, has also expanded the scope of malicious behavior possible by persons of devious intent. You'll learn in this unit about the means to protect computers from intrusion and harm in today's world, actions that any computer user or organization must be aware of and take to preserve the integrity of their computers and private information.


ornament  Required reading and viewing in Contemporary Computing, 4th edition
Learn about each topic by reading the page in the workbook. Each underlined page number below is an active hyperlink to a video mini-lecture or other web learning resource; each hyperlink leads to required viewing.
Click here to download a printable Unit 2 Summary Form (USF) for optional (ungraded) note-taking use.
  1. A quick history of computers (in one image!)  50
  2. A working demonstration of a Turing Machine  51, 52
  3. Mainframes and "batch" processing  53
  4. Evolving computer "architectures"  54
  5. Late 1960s: Mainframe go "online"  55
  6. 1970-90s: Minicomputers proliferate  56
  7. 1990s: Networked PCs and servers 57        
  8. 2000s: Many mainframes replaced!  58
  9. Now: cloud computing  59
  10. Early office automation  60
  11. Office automation - Part 1  61
  12. Office automation - Part 2  62    
  13. Office automation - Part 3  63
  14. Supercomputers  64    
  15. Weather and nuclear reaction modeling  65
  16. Computer mapping and geoprocessing  66
  17. Embedded computers  67
  18. "Fly by wire" aircraft operation  68
  19. Satellite solar panel positioning  69
  20. Downloading: avoiding viruses and malware  71
  21. Exercise 2 question content for note-taking  72-77    (Download and print these to use to keep notes of your responses; this can help you be more productive in repeating the exercise to achieve 100%!) 
  22. Projects:
    (You must view and read ALL PROJECTS even though all may not be assigned in a given term!)
ornament  Required assignments in Contemporary Computing, 4th edition
Repeatable online Exercise 2
Access the exercise system at this link; the first time, you will have to create a free account for yourself and establish your own password.
Projects 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3 are required
(and one more Unit 2 project of your choice can be done for extra credit)



(C) 2018 James Janossy - All rights reserved - last updated 1:40 AM  April 16, 2018