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1.1 Computing from Inception to Today

  • Early computers were used predominantly by engineers and scientists to handle large amounts of data. Key companies in the evolution of computing include IBM, Hewlett Packard, Xerox, Apple, and Microsoft.
  • With the invention of the microprocessor, computers became available to the average consumer.
  • Computing technology has increased efficiencies, decreased errors, opened new opportunities, and enhanced business–customer relationships.
  • Key technologies in computing include mobile devices, digital imaging, and machine learning.
  • Advances in technology are applicable to nearly every industry. The rapid pace of technological change has distinct career implications.

1.2 Computer Hardware and Networks

  • Hardware components that make up a computer are the motherboard, CPU, microprocessor, and memory, as well as the keyboard, mouse, and other peripheral devices.
  • Computers process and store data through the information processing cycle.
  • Networks are connections of two or more computer systems, such as LANs and WANs. Routers, switches, and firewalls are basic components of networks.

1.3 The Internet, Cloud Computing, and the Internet of Things

  • The internet was initially rooted in government and military applications.
  • Advances in technology such as HTML, URL, and DNS made the internet more accessible to the average user.
  • Programs such as Zoom, Google Docs, and X (Twitter) foster new types of interactions between businesses and their customers.
  • Through sites such as eBay and Amazon, e-commerce has become an efficient way to purchase products and services, not just from companies but also from individuals.
  • Cloud computing refers to storing IT resources on a virtual server rather than on the actual computers where the resources are used.
  • The use of cloud computing in the workplace has increased productivity and saved money for many businesses.
  • Cloud computing enables individuals to access a wide variety of resources such as media files, documents, and photos without the need for computers with massive storage capacities.
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) connects the physical to the virtual; with simple changes to product designs, many products can be connected to the internet.

1.4 Safety, Security, Privacy, and the Ethical Use of Technology

  • Computer safety and security are paramount considerations for a company’s effective operations.
  • Privacy in the digital world has become a major focus of corporate efforts to maintain the trust of employees, the public, and stakeholders.
  • Common security issues include data and identity theft, cybercrime, phishing, and hacking.
  • Measures that prevent computer security breaches include encryption, firewalls, password management, data erasure, and data masking.

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