The Advancement of Computers

Computers are one of the most important inventions ever. If computers had
not been invented, technology would not be developed to its current state.
Since the computers invention, society has changed drastically. Computer
technology is so helpful, that it is even used to create newer, better
computer equipment. Almost everything today is linked in some way, to
computers.
Before computers were invented, very little was known about outer space.
With the technology we have now, we are learning new things everyday.
Computers are used to follow the paths of asteroids and predict their future
movements. On 6 December 1997, a mile-wide asteroid was discovered by
astronomer Jim Scotti, a member in the University of Arizona\'s Spacewatch
group. He used a 77-year-old telescope along with an electric camera that
caught the asteroid on film. He then used a computer specially programmed
to look for objects moving against the background of fixed stars. The
computer worked so well that Scotti described the asteroid as "sticking out
like a sore thumb" (Jaroff 68). His information was relayed to Brian
Marsden, a Harvard

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astronomer, to determine the course of the asteroid. After many
calculations, Marsden\'s computer showed the rock would pass Earth
approximately 600,000 miles away. This may not seem important, but if an
asteroid was on a line with Earth, the computer would show us and enable us
to deflect the projectile with nuclear power (Jaroff 69). Thus, computers
can even help save lives.
In "Spies in the Sky", Bill Sweetman writes about the use of satellites and
computers for spying on other countries. On 20 December 1996, three
computer operated satellites were released into orbit for use against Iraq.
Each one costs 800,000,000 dollars or more, most of which is spent on the
computer equipment needed to control them. When the radar data is received
from the satellite dish, it has low resolution and lacks clarity. Computer
texturing and imaging clear the pictures and even show objects that may be
hidden beneath sand, soil, or snow. When resolution was questioned by
critics, the American government produced a readable spy photo of a Russian
car\'s license plate (42-48).
Computers have also made communications easier than ever. Today, e-mail is
beginning to replace the ordinary post office and telephone as a way to keep
in touch. E-mail provides the best of both worlds; it is instantaneous and
free. Before e-mail, one would have to send a letter that

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would take days to arrive, or they would have to use the telephone, which
would cost money if the call was long distance. The Internet saves
businesses money because they do not have to send out catalogs to thousands
of customers (Internet World 48-51).
Automobiles have undergone several changes since computers were put in
them. Computers provide options like cruise control, traction control,
power steering, anti-lock brakes, and the use of fuel-injected engines. The
other options are nice, but fuel-injection is a vast improvement over the
older, caurberated engines. Fuel-injected engines give a car more power,
better gas mileage, and burn gasoline cleaner (Sherman 61-63). With the
help of computers, automobiles run faster, longer, and are safer to the
environment.
In the article, "The Big Bank Theory", Joshua Cooper Ramo writes that in
the not so distant future, the world\'s money system could have a major
change. It is possible in the next ten years that cash, credit cards, ATM
cards, ID cards, insurance cards, all information pertaining to one\'s
medical needs and the amount of money in your possession could all be on a
single electronic card(Time 50-51). Conceivably, this idea would make
things simpler than the current way of spending. Digital cash has many
advantages. Money could be sent over e-mail using a string of digits,

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ending the need to balance a checkbook every month. Also, one could program
the money to be spent only on certain things. Only places with the same
encoded number as the consumer would allow people to spend their money
there. One other good thing about digital money would be it would continue
to collect interest up until the moment it is spent, instead of the instant
it leaves the bank. Perhaps the best feature of digital money is it could
end all money-based crime. Because the