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Unit 6 COMPUTERS HISTORY OF COMPUTING Pretext exercises 6.1. Read the words and try to guess their meaning. Mechanical era analytical microprocessors machines personal individuals form laptops netbooks smartphones market analysts. 6.2. Read the following words and notice their pronunciation. refer [rI`fW] abacus [`xbqk...



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Pretext exercises

6.1. Read the words and try to guess their meaning.

Mechanical, era, analytical,   microprocessors, machines, personal, individuals, form,  laptops, netbooks, smartphones, market,  analysts.

6.2. Read the following words and notice their pronunciation.













Memorize the following words and expressions


изначально; сначала

data processing

обработка данных

to refer (to)

иметь отношение, относиться

vacuum tube


ламповая вычислительная машина


абак (в мн.ч. abaci) древнейшее счётное устройство

transistor(ized) computer

вычислительная машина на транзисторах

slide rule

логарифмическая линейка


прыжок, скачок (прям. и перен.)

Analytical Engine

Аналитическая машина (механический компьютер               Ч. Бэббиджа)

domestic appliances

бытовая техника

punched card


in conjunction with

в сочетании с

landmark point

веха,         поворотный пункт


устарелый; вышедший из употребления


понемногу, постепенно

6.3. Read the text.

History of ComputING

Originally, the term “computer” referred to a person who performed numerical calculations (a human computer) often with the aid of a mechanical calculating device. Examples of early mechanical computing devices included the abacus, the slide rule, etc. In 1623 Wilhelm Schickard built the first mechanical calculator and thus became the father of the computing era.

However, none of those devices fit the modern definition of a computer because they could not be programmed. In 1801, Joseph-Marie Jacquard developed a loom in which the pattern being woven was controlled by punched cards. The series of cards could be changed without changing the mechanical design of the loom. This was a landmark point in programmability. In 1837, Charles Babbage was the first to design a fully programmable mechanical computer that he called “The Analytical Engine”. In 1890, the United States Census Bureau used punch cards and sorting machines designed by Herman Hollerith to handle the flood of data from the decennial census mandated by the Constitution. Hollerith’s company eventually became the core of IBM. IBM developed punch card technology into a powerful tool for business data processing and produced an extensive line of specialized unit record equipment.

More powerful and flexible computing devices were constructed in the 1930s and 1940s, gradually adding the key features that are seen in modern computers. Vacuum tube computers were in use throughout the 1950s, but were largely replaced in the 1960s by transistor computers, which were smaller, faster, and cheaper, used less power and were more reliable. By the 1970s, the adoption of integrated circuit technology and the creation of microprocessors such as the Intel 4004 caused another leap in size, speed, cost and reliability. By the 1980s, computers had become sufficiently small and cheap to replace simple mechanical controls in domestic appliances such as washing machines. Around the same time, computers became widely accessible for personal use by individuals in the form of personal computers. In conjunction with the widespread growth of the Internet since the 1990s,   personal computers are becoming as common as the television and the telephone and almost all modern electronic devices contain a computer of some kind.

The future of computers seems to be in Cheap Laptops and small netbooks or handheld smartphones. It is predicted by many market analysts that personal desktop computers will soon be as obsolete as the room-sized computers first built back in the 1940’s.

6.4. Read the following statements and decide if they are true (T) or false (F).

  1.  Originally, the term “computer” referred to a person which (that) performed numerical calculations.  
  2.  Joseph Marie Jacquard made an improvement to the transistor computer.
  3.  In 1837, Charles Babbage conceptualized and designed a fully programmable mechanical computer that he called “The Analytical Brain”.

4. In 1890, punch cards and sorting machines were used to handle the flood of data from the decennial census mandated by the Constitution.

5. Vacuum tube computers were in use throughout the 1950s, but were largely replaced in the 1960s by transistor computers.

6.5. Answer the questions to the text.

  1.  What were the examples of early mechanical computing devices?
  2.  What device was the first of a number of mechanical calculators?
  3.  Why was Jacquard loom an important step in the development of computers?
  4.  What year “The Analytical Engine” was designed?
  5.  What technologies had begun to appear by the end of the 19th century?
  6.  What was the first name of IBM?
  7.  What caused another leap in size, speed, cost and reliability by the 1970s?
  8.   Why are personal computers becoming as common as the television and the telephone?

Text B


Pretext exercises

6.6. Read the following words and expressions and try to guess their meaning.

Minimal, typical, desktop computer, processor, personal computer, central, program,  microprocessor, cable, to install,  optical,  system,  CD, installation, demonstrations, problem, video card, graphics card, graphics adapter, visual display unit, sound card, electromagnetic radiation,   monitor, typical computer,  network card,  modem,  router,  printer, scanner,  web cam, speakers,  microphone, gaming devices, joystick, laptop computer, laptop, notebook,  mobility,  interface, hardware, parallel and serial ports, battery,  operation.

6.7. Read the following words and notice their pronunciation.  





















                   Memorize the following words and expressions




только для чтения; неизменяемый

computer case

корпус компьютера

to render

воспроизводить; передавать

power supply (PS)

источник питания, блок питания

visual display unit

дисплей; монитор

heat sink


external = EXT




card reader

устройство чтения

(н-р, смарт-карт)

primary circuit

первичная цепь

to facilitate 

содействовать; способствовать

central processing unit

центральный процессор


быстро, без задержки


машинная команда


вывод; розетка

plug into

соединять с помощью штепселя или штекера


аппаратное обеспечение, хардвер, "железо"

operating system, operational system (OS)

операционная система (ОС)


интерфейс; часть программы, взаимодействующая с пользователем



6.8. Read the text.




Hardware of a modern Personal Computer:

1 – monitor;

2 – motherboard;

3 – CPU (microprocessor);

4 – RAM memory

5 – expansion cards;

6 – power supply;

7 – optical disc drive;

8 – hard disk

9 – keyboard;

10 – mouse.

A minimal setup of a typical contemporary desktop computer would be: a computer case with power supply (usually sold together), a motherboard, a processor with a heat sink and a fan (usually sold together); at least one memory card, a mass storage, a keyboard and a mouse for input, a monitor for output.

The motherboard (or mainboard) is the primary circuit board within a personal computer. It connects everything together. The central processing unit, or CPU, is that part of a computer which executes software program instructions. Nearly all PCs contain a type of CPU known as a microprocessor. The microprocessor is often plugged into the motherboard using one of many different types of a socket.

The mass storage is connected to the motherboard with cables and can be installed in the computer case or in a separate case. The mass storage can be: a hard disk, a floppy drive or a Zip drive (both with removable media), an optical drive (CD or DVD, removable, usually read-only). The operating system (e.g.: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Linux or many others) can be located on either of these, but typically it’s on one of the hard disks. A live CD is also possible, but it is very slow and is usually used for installation of the OS, demonstrations, or problem solving.

The memory card(s) and video card are mounted directly onto the motherboard in expansion slots. The video card – otherwise called a graphics card, graphics adapter or video adapter – processes and renders the graphics output from the computer to the computer display, also called the visual display unit (VDU), and is an essential part of the modern computer.

The keyboard and the mouse are external and connected to the back plate of the motherboard. The monitor is also connected to the back plate, not (usually) directly to the motherboard, but to a connector in the graphics card.

A typical computer also has a network card, a modem and possibly a router. Common additions connected on the outside (peripherals) are: a printer, a scanner, a web cam, speakers, a microphone, a headset, a card reader, gaming devices, such as a joystick.

Nowadays laptop computers or simply laptops (also called notebooks) are in wide use. They are small personal computers designed for mobility. Usually all of the interface hardware needed to operate the laptop, such as parallel and serial ports, graphics card, sound channel, etc., is built-in to a single unit. They contain batteries to facilitate operation without a readily available electrical outlet.

Notes to the text

mass storage

внешняя память большого объёма, массовая память; накопитель (информации)

software program

программа, реализованная программно (в отличие от реализованной аппаратно)


гнездо; (соединительная) панель; розетка (гнездовая часть разъёмного соединения);  проф. сокет

Zip drive

zip-дисковод (дисковод для специальных дисков емкостью 100 мегабайт и более)

removable media

съёмный носитель, сменный носитель (CD, DV, гибкие диски, флэш)


1) подключенный к источнику (электро)питания 2) реальный, живой (напр. звук)

expansion slot

гнездо для платы расширения (интерфейсных  карт, сетевых адаптеров и т. д.)

back plate

задняя панель


маршрутизатор (устройство для соединения сетей, использующих разные архитектуры и протоколы)

6.9. Match the English terms with their definitions.

1. monitor

a. an output device which changes output data into printed form

2. primary storage   (RAM)

b. an input device like a typewriter for entering characters

3. secondary storage
(a hard disk)

c. an input device used in computer games for controlling the cursor or some other symbol in its movement around a screen

4. keyboard

d. random access memory: this is memory which can be read and written to

5. mouse

e. an input device which reads images on paper using a photoelectric cell and produces
a co
mputer graphic file as output

6. joystick

f. a fixed disk inside a computer which may not be removed

7. printer

g. the screen of a computer terminal or PC

8. scanner

h. a device used to point at a location on a
mputer screen

6.10. Use the expressions from the box and complete the following sentences.

mass storage          notebooks                 central processing unit              video card optical drive         microprocessor           visual display unit                  motherboard

  1.  The … is the primary circuit board within a personal computer.
  2.  The … … … is that part of a computer which executes software program instructions.
  3.  Nearly all PCs contain a type of CPU known as a … .
  4.  The … … can be: a hard disk, a floppy drive or a Zip drive, an … … (CD or DVD, removable, usually read-only).
  5.  The … … processes and renders the graphics output from the computer to the computer display, also called the … … ….
  6.  Nowadays laptop computers or simply laptops (also called …) are in wide use.
    1.  Translate the following sentences. Give the Russian equivalents of the words in bold.

  1.  Hardware means the different types of equipment a computer consists of.
  2.  A computer’s hardware comprises a central processing unit (CPU) which is the heart and brain of the computer.
  3.  Input and output devices capable of putting information into a computer and getting it out of it are types of peripheral equipment. Peripherals are the units connected to the CPU: input devices, output devices and storage devices.
  4.  The simplest and most common type of input device is a keyboard, containing a typewriter keyboard.
  5.  A laser printer is a kind of output device to print information.
  6.  Software means the programs needed to operate computer equipment.
  7.  These programs are on disks, the hard disks inside the computer, or floppy disks, or on CD-ROMs, that is, Compact Disk Read Only Memory, which you can put on or store a large amount of information. A disk is a storage device made of flat circular plates with magnetizable surfaces. A hard disk is a disk made from a solid magnetic material and used as a storage device. A floppy disk (also called diskette) is a disk made of flexible plastic material upon which data are stored on magnetic tracks. Tracks are areas marked on the surface of a disk. A disk drive is the electronic mechanism that actually reads what is on a disk. In hard disks, the disk and the drive are built into a single unit.
  8.  A word processor is a computer used to write documents, letters and reports, or the software that is used for this purpose.
  9.  Databases are programs, which allow you to store, look at or change a large quantity of information quickly and easily.
  10.  Graphics are pictures and symbols a computer program can produce.
  11.  An extra copy on a floppy disk is called a back-up copy, a copy of data or software, usually kept in case the original disk is damaged or destroyed.
  12.  A bug possible in a computer operation, also a virus is a software problem or error in a program. Debugging means correcting program errors or bugs.
  13.  People send e-mail (electronic mail) messages with the help of the Internet, a system that lets computers connect by telephone lines.
  14.  A laptop is a portable computer weighing about 204-kg.
  15.  With a device called the mouse you can do a number of things by clicking on different icons.
  16.   A mouse is a small input device, on the top of which there are one or more buttons for communicating with the computer.
  17.  Clicking is a basic mouse action to place a cursor to close a window, etc.
  18.  An icon is a small picture representing an object, process or function.




6.12. Translate the following sentences.

  1.  I am interested in giving you effective training.
  2.  He suggested setting up a program committee for this symposium.
  3.  There are good reasons for making a compromise.
  4.  The process of editing this book will take some time.
  5.  Designing and manufacturing of minicomputers were started under the international cooperation.
  6.  I remember seeing Dr. White at the last conference.
  7.  The only solution of the problem is storing medical knowledge in a computer.
  8.  Some people insist on including this question in the conference program.
  9.  These facts were taken into account in estimating the results.
  10.  He improved his report by changing the end.

  1.  Translate the following sentences. What parts of speech are –ing forms: noun, adjective, participle or gerund?

  1.  In 1952, a major computing company took a decision to get out of the business of making mainframe computers.
  2.  The following year they reversed their decision.
  3.  The first IBM PC was developed using existing available electrical components.
  4.  When IBM were looking for an operation system, they went initially to Digital Research, who were market leaders in command-based operating systems.
  5.  The basic job of computers is the processing of information.
  6.  Today’s personal computers are known to be used for different purposes: for testing new theories or models, in book-keeping, accounting and management.
  7.  Most traditional communications media including telephone, music, film, and television are reshaped or redefined by the Internet, giving birth to new services such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and IPTV.
  8.  Newspaper, book and other print publishing are adapting to Web site technology.
  9.  Electronic mail (e-mail) is only the starting point of using computer communication services.
  10.  Computer will offer you training programs in accounting, foreign languages and many other fields.
  11.  A functioning computer system combines hardware elements with software elements.
  12.  The defining feature of modern computers which distinguishes them from all other machines is that they can be programmed.


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