As computer and networking technology have advanced over the past few decades, the cost of the increasingly sophisticated technology hasfallen dramatically. Those falling prices are partially responsible for the rising prominence of connectivity solutions in the business world and in personal lives.
In the 1970sand 1980s, PC’s like the one shown in picture were considered the best available at the time, and they cost several thousand U.S. dollars. Online services existed, but they wereexpensive. Only big businesses and the wealthy could afford them at the cost of 25 U.S. dollars or more per hour of access. PC veterans can still remember the announcement of the Prodigybargain rates of only 9.95 U.S. dollars an hour for online access. The available speeds were 1200 or 2400 baud, which would be considered unusable by the current user.
Today, auser can buy a computer system in the United States for less than 1,000 U.S. dollars that is capable of doing much more. Such a machine can also operate better and faster than themainframe version of 20 years ago, which cost 500,000 U.S. dollars. Internet access at speeds equivalent to T1 is available through digital subscriber line (DSL) or cable modemservice for 30 to 40 U.S. dollars per month, and prices are continually decreasing. Basic Internet access at 56 kbps can be obtained for much less, even free, if additional advertising onthe screen can be tolerated.
Hands on Activity!
TASK 1: Read the text again and find the concepts in bold. Then, surf the Internet in order to find information to define theseconcepts. Compare your results with your classmates. How accurate were your results?
TASK 2: Search the Internet and find at least 5 websites devoted to IT or Computer Sciences.