Have you ever thought about how much computers have been integrated into our lives? Personally speaking there is not a day that goes by that I don't sit down in front of a computer for something. Computers play a large role In the way that businesses are run, the days of type writers and filing cabinets are a thing of the past. We can access Information about almost anything on the Internet, such as banking records, Insurance Information, shopping, technical assistance the possibilities are almost limitless. Looking at the history of computers they really haven't been around that long.

Frederic Golden writer for Time magazine tells us this on the history of computers If you look at most history books, they'll tell you MENACE (for Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) was the first true all-purpose electronic computer. Unveiled In 1946 in a blaze of publicity, it was a monstrous 30-ton machine, as big as two semis and filled with enough vacuum tubes (19,000), switches (6,000) and blinking lights to require an army of attendants. Capable of adding 5,000 numbers In a second, a then unheard of feat, It could compute the trajectory of an artillery shell well before It landed.

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This machine was a remarkable achievement for its time but it doses not even begin to compare to the average personal computer that people have in their homes today. In its short 57 year span of history computer technology has increased at an unprecedented rate. Businesses are very dependent on computers, email, printing, data storage, internet access, data analyst are just a few of the thing that people take for granted In everyday business. Email has revolutionized the way we communicate and has become one of the most critical systems In business today. Servers are the back bone f almost every business.

They handle many of the things that are essential for people to do their jobs. From email to file storage, printing and databases, these are just a few of the jobs that they perform. The complexity of what is going on behind the seen is unimaginable to the common person doing their job. Your basic end users have no idea about how much work that is involved to maintain the systems that they use every day. Computer networking is an area that I find to be very interesting. The ability to access information on a server thousands of miles from where you are amazes me.

For instance, Joe Smith Is traveling to England and he wants to access his work email while he Is there. He arrives at his hotel, turns on his notebook and plugs It Into a phone line, signs on to the Internet and gets his mall. To the user this seems Like something simple but what Is going on In the back ground Is far more complex than he can ever imagine. I was watching the news a few months ago, and there was a high speed connection thousands of miles away. We have gone from a machine that performs simple calculations to a machine that enables a doctor to perform surgery on patient thousands of miles away in 57 years.

Where will we be heading in the next 50 years? What you would think to be science fiction is becoming reality, Ascribe Higher Education News Service, Cot 8, 2003 wrote this article on DNA research at Purdue University "They have precisely placed strands of DNA on a silicon chip and then stretched out the strands so that their encoded information might be read more clearly, two steps critical to possibly using DNA for future electronic devices and computers. " The possibilities for the future are exciting when you reflect on how far we have come already. We are Just beginning to scratch the surface of our potential with computers.

Computers play an important part in our society; from our personal life to large corporations they are integrated into our lives. Some of the most basic and common tasks that we perform today such as driving cars or even turning on a light is made possible by computers. The advancements we've made over the last 57 years have been substantial, but what we will accomplish in the future will be even more amazing.