As the demand for technology and technology itself continues to excel throughout history, so does user’s wants and needs. The user’s lifestyle pertaining to computers may revolve around publishing documents, creating presentations, media management, networking on the internet, and much more. In correlation with their wants and needs, there’s the need to be able to have access to storage of the data being produced. Storage is also referred to as ‘memory’, as it can be any type of hardware that’s functionality includes, storing data, maintaining downloaded files along with extracting files as well. This can be performed through both permanent and temporary storage along with being internal to a device, or external.
As the spectrum of technology storage is a wide-range and continues to grow, benefits of storage included today are:
Storage media is the hardware in which information is physically stored. This differs from the storage device which is usually the docking bay for the storage medium. One example of a storage device would be your CD/DVD drive in which you place your disks when inserting them into your computer or your USB flash drive reader. Storage media would be the actual CD/DVD disk itself or the memory within your computer known as RAM (Random Access Memory). Storage media can be internal or external meaning that it can be either hard-wired to the computer (ex. hard drive) or it can be a separate physical storage facility thats meant to be more mobile, (ex USB Flash Drive). Internal storage media is usually faster since it is hard-wired to the desktop or laptop and does not requires any extra space outside of the computer. On the other hand, external media is very mobile, can be transferred from one computer to another rather quickly, and is easily secured in a safe place separate from your main working station.
On top of this the Non-Volatility of these storage medias have made them very valuable. Normally when a computer is shut down, any unsaved information is wiped clean from the RAM. Or if the information isn’t being used, while the computer is still on, the RAM may delete it to make room for processes being recalled more frequently. Storage media on the other hand, saves data despite the computer being powered down and can only be deleted by the user. From this, storage media such as flash drives and data CD’s are more commonly used for the user’s wants and needs.
Storage Technology usually comes in three forms; magnetic, optic, and solid state. Some common magnetic storage systems are hard drives, floppy disks, and cassette tapes. Though cassette tapes don’t work with computers, they use the same technology. This type of technology stores binary code using polar alignments on the magnetic medium and can change those alignments as needed when information is altered, deleted, or rewritten. The magnet does this by converting the binary code from 1’s and 0’s to positive and negative charges, respectively, which are recorded on an iron oxide film inside the media. Optics use laser beams which rely on marking the media. In this case, lasers burn in lines of data which represent the binary code it is converting. “Rewritable” media has also become a popular choice for those who want to reuse the same disk. Rewritable media relies on changing the reflectivity of the media instead of scarring it. When the binary number 1 is recognized, the laser alters the reflection of the discs surface in certain spots. Data is then separated by the pits in between reflectivity which represent the binary number 0 so that 1’s alter the reflection and 0’s leave the reflection of the media as is. This creates a “bouncing-wave” like appearance on the surface of the disk called an Amplified Spontaneous Emission or ASE for short. Solid State Drives, or SSD’s as they are called, do not contain any moving parts such as lasers or magnetic heads. They operate electronically by storing the binary code as electrons which are either trapped or not trapped inside the flash memory cells within the unit. These types of media tend to be faster than the other two since they rely on electrical polarity within a cell instead of electronic motors to be read or rewritten. This also makes them more resistant to shock, allows them to run more quietly, and reduces the latency of the media. Typical storage media of this kind are “jump” drives or “thumb” drives, but some computers use this technology in their hardware as well.
Hard disks have many circular pieces called platters inside them. These platters have two sides are made up of tracks, sectors, and clusters. A cluster is a group of sectors, and a sector divides tracks into pie shaped sections. Each cluster, sector, and track is numbered in order to help the computer quickly locate where specific stored data is. For example, data can be saved to side 2, sector 1, track 5. A track can be compared to the grooves on a music record, because there are physical indents where the data is actually stored. Data is read and written by a read/write head, also commonly referred to as a “head.” Each platter has a head. When data is to be stored on a hard disk, the heads will align with the same track on every platter, and write the data across each one. There are a few measurements you can take to see how well a hard disk preforms. The most important measurement is calculating seek time. Seek time will tell you how long it takes for a head to move from one track to another. The quicker the seek time the better because that would mean data can be reached faster.
When thinking of storage systems, one could presume that all of your data in one folder is located next to each other within the hard drive. This is false when talking about random access. With random access your information can be pulled from any location on the disk. Meaning, your one folder could have its data scattered about the physical hard drive. The benefit of this type of storage is that you could access data in any order. Think of it as your CD player, your favorite song ends and you want to hear it again just hit back and you instantly hear it again. It’s fast and nearly instantaneous, unlike sequential. You could think of sequential access like a cassette within a cassette player. When a song finishes and you want to listen to it again, you must rewind the cassette, or if you want to skip a song you must fast forward the tape.
This is used with magnetic tape drives which, are used for backup purposes. Even though in random access media devices may seem like data could be misplaced or somehow lost in the sea of data. When created, every file is given a unique name by the computer system, other wise called addressable media, in order to keep tabs on all the data.
Random access and sequential access of data are two separate ways a computer can access data. Random access is the ability to access data in any given location within the hard drive, quickly and efficiently. Most computers use random access today, because it saves the user time, as well as avoids confusion.
Sequential access requires data being accessed in a sequence. Examples of sequential access would be: data on a disk file, or magnetic tape data storage. This can be useful to some users, if they are purposely attempting to process a sequence of data elements in order. However, this can also be time consuming for users who are trying to find a certain file on a disk or tape, which requires skimming through all of the data in a sequence. An example of a comparison between random access and sequential access would be the A-Z method. Sequential access would inquire the user to go through letters A-Z to achieve the goal of meeting point” Z”; whereas with random access, the user is able to jump directly to point “Z”.
The storage medium is a part of the storage system where the actual data is stored, such as on a DVD or a memory card. This medium can then be put into a storage device like a DVD player or phone to read this data. You usually find these two parts to be separate pieces, making the storage medium removable. Some storage devices can be found inside of the system unit, while others are plugged into an external port. There are letters on the storage device that go along with this that helps the unit to identify them. These letters or words describe where these are and what they are used for. For example, when you plug in a USB into the USB port on the computer, while viewing this USB in “My Computer” you will see a letter next to it verifying what it is used for in the system unit. Storage devices contain primary and secondary memory. Primary memory is volatile memory, which means that when the device is shut off, the information is lost. Secondary is the exact opposite, being non-volatile in that the memory remains even if the computer is turned off. The problem with these devices is you must be cautious with how they are treated, especially if they have important information. Misplacing or mistreating can result in a loss of important data that could be impossible to get back depending on the circumstances.
Every computer contains one, if not two, hard drives. There are internal and external hard drives. The internal hard drive is located inside the system unit, and the external hard drive is connected to the computer for extra storage. It is vital that an owner of a computer purchases an external hard drive to backup his or her computer in case it crashed. An external hard drive is extremely convenient to store information; however, one must be cautious of the possibility of “hard drive theft” because it is easy for someone to access a random, external hard drive into their own computer. Many people today use a finger print or password to access to their hard drive because of this reason. Without a hard drive, one could not store the countless amount of information contained to a computer. The hard drive holds a port to connect to the motherboard. There are a wide range of capacity for hard drives, depending on the computer owner’s preference. Magnetic hard drives and solid-state hard drives are two common hard drives used for computers. A magnetic hard drive is the term computer users mean when they say hard drive, and solid-state hard drives cause flash memory technology. Without hard drives, many information and data would be lost and forgotten.
Hard drives are used as primary storage units to store most data and computer programs to operate on a computer. The two types of hard drives available for purchase are: internal hard drives, and external hard drives. There are many things to consider if you are a consumer seeking these storage devices. The internal hard drive, which can be included in the computer before purchase, is directly connected to the motherboard, (A.K.A the brain of the computer), as well as other components inside the tower or casing of the computer/laptop. An external hard drive is commonly used among users who are either portably transporting data/programs from device to device, or seeking extra storage space for their files. External hard drives can be very small, and convenient for traveling with data. There are multiple different options to explore while considering a hard drive: speed, consistency, and durability. The types of hard drives offered include either of the following: magnetic storage, optical storage, and electrons which use flash memory media.
A hard drive interface (or hard disk interface) refers to “the logical and physical means by which the hard disk connects to the PC.” For over a decade, the most common hard drive interface was by a wide margin AT Attachment/ATA, also known as Parallel ATA or PATA. ATA is still used in modern PCs, but it is not as significant as the more modern interface, Serial ATA, or SATA. The more modern SATA uses smaller cables, is more reliable, and possesses greater bandwidth than the now-obsolete PATA. SATA and ATA are not compatible, but there exist adapters to connect ATA interfaces with SATA drives (or SATA interfaces with ATA drives). Another common interface is SCSI (or Small Computer System Interface), which is especially useful for multitasking where multiple hard drives are used, such as in a workplace environment. Essentially, the difference between these three interfaces can be summarized as follows:
Cloud storage, also referred to as “The Cloud”, is simply the use of a remote storage device that is accessed by means of the internet. Cloud storage has seen a massive increase in popularity over the last few years, and the industry for it has grown substantially to the point where there are now hundreds of companies that offer a variety of cloud storage services. More specifically, some cloud services focus only on digital pictures or email messages, while other systems store all kinds of digital data. Some services, like Google Drive, allow users to save their files in one of many massive data centers Google operates where, for instance, multiple users can collaborate on projects by having access to the same file.
As the cloud’s popularity is growing, more and more businesses are transferring over to its storage capabilities. Many businesses are using the application as a back up program for their software and documents. By scheduling a set time for the computer to automatically transfer documents over, businesses can be sure that their information lies safely in the hands of the Internet without having to spend the tedious amount of time and cost of backing it up manually.
Though the different applications of the cloud do sometimes have a monthly fee to pay, it is a small price to pay for the time and convenience it lends you. By utilizing these applications, anybody is able to access their documents anywhere worldwide. An individual is no longer tied down to just one electronic device in one set area, but can instead revise a version of a document on their laptop and then pull it up at work for a presentation the next day. This is just one example of the hundreds of ways that the application can be used conveniently to meet your day-to-day needs. The cloud is connecting electronic devices all across the globe and making every day processes just a little bit easier.
Despite of the fact, that a Cloud storage term has appeared in use quite recently, people and businesses actuality use online storages for a long time. For example saving copies of letters on mail server or retrieving network configuration files from TFTP server. These days Cloud storage term should be considered is one of many other Cloud computing services. It could be provided as separate product – “Storage-as-a-Service”, and also be a part of others, for example: Infrastructure-as-a-service, Platform-as-a-service or Software-as-a-service.
As was mentioned above, the rapidly growing popularity is primarily due to quite low cost for a service itself (Storage-as-a-Service) when users pay only for the volume of data they stored, and if we are talking about the Infrastructure or Platform services which are great opportunity for business to reduce an IT expenses as well. With all advantages are given by online storing, there are few things users should be aware deciding entrust the care of their data to the provider. It might be as purely technical concerns (reliable internet connectivity, provider’s backup algorithm, disaster recovery, security of access, etc.) and legal aspects as well (ownership of data, jurisdiction, rights to audit).
Disk access time is a measurement that calculates the amount of time it takes before for a drive to read and write data. Disk access time involves three major steps: seek time, rotational delay (or rotational latency), data movement time. Seek time is the amount of time it takes for the head to move to the disk to prepare for reading. Rotational delay is the delay that occurs when waiting for the disk to begin rotating. Data movement time involves the movement of data from the disk to memory of the computer or the movement of data from the memory of the computer to the disk. Maximum rotational latency is the time it takes for the disk to perform a full rotation excluding any acceleration time. There are two types of ways in which a disk rotates: constant linear velocity and constant angular velocity. Constant linear velocity occurs when the rotational speed of the disk is dependent upon the location of the head. Constant angular velocity occurs when the disk is spun at the same speed regardless of the location of the head, like vinyl records. Certain low-noise disks utilize a slower disk access time to reduce noise created by the hard drive. Slower rotational speeds and seek speeds are purposefully installed to make sure that audible clicks and crunching sounds don’t interfere with recordings.
Flash memory is a type of storage device that uses electronic memory. Flash memory comes in a variety of ways and is known as a solid state storage device, meaning “there are not moving parts – everything is electronic instead of mechanical.” Flash memory is used in many different devices, such as, computers, digital cameras, and mobile phones. Flash memory is a type of EEPROM chip. EEPROM stands for Electronically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory. Inside of a flash memory chip is a grid of columns and rows with a cell. There are two transistors at each intersection and a thin oxide layer separates them. One transistor is known as a floating gate and the other one is known as the control gate. An electrical charge comes through the columns to the floating gate, which is called tunneling. The electrical charge causes the floating gate transistor to act like an electron gun. When the electrons get trapped on the other side of the thin oxide layer, closer to the control gate transistor, they act like a barrier between the two transistors. A cell sensor monitors the level of the charge. If the flow is above the 50% threshold, it has a value of 1 and if it is less, the value changes to 0. This is how information/data is being read on the flash memory device. Nowadays, flash memory has become the “dominant memory type wherever a system requires a significant amount of non-volatile, solid state storage.” 
Embedded memory is becoming an increasingly popular type of flash memory due to its small, convenient size. In today’s society these types of memory can be found in phones, cameras, gaming devices, and even handheld devices like a GPS. In July 2013, Samsung announced that they developed the world’s fastest embedded memory. These new products will be available in the 16, 32, and 64 GB sizes and feature an interface speed of 400 MB/s. This will increase user’s abilities to multitask and perform tasks such as file transferring, browsing, and gaming. It also decreases the amount of time it takes to boot and load applications. This is a key factor in mobile devices where the physical space for additional storage or memory is limited. Memory cards are being used less and less when manufacturing mobile devices and smartphones. One limitation of the chip is the amount of memory it could store. The larger the chip, the more expensive the device is going to cost. Something else to consider is the problem that arises if the device breaks. Any valuable information that was stored on it is virtually irretrievable. That is one advantage of having a removable memory as discussed below.
If you want a fast and easy method of storing various types of media, you can’t get much better than a flash memory card. Most modern portable devices contain a flash memory card because of its versatility and ease of use; cellphones, mp3 players, and digital cameras are but just a few examples of products that benefit from flash memory cards. However, just like how not all electronic devices can use the same type of battery, not all flash memory cards are compatible with every electronic portable device.
That’s why it’s always important to read your user manual for instructions on the right card to purchase if you ever need a replacement.
Although the devices themselves can only use a specific flash memory card model, most modern desktop and notebook computers come with a flash memory card reader. The reader typically supports a number of different cards so you’re able to organize and transfer the data from card to computer. If you aren’t one of the fortunate few to have this reader built in to your computer, external models are sold at most stores that sell computer components and they’re inexpensive.
Although a general-purpose flash memory card is used for most applications, there are other special memory cards that are made only for one unique purpose. For example, a professional compact flash memory card is designed for professional photographers for improved speed, quality, and storage capacities, taking telling a story through a picture to the next level. Also, special gaming flash memory cards are used for all game consoles, like Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation, to hold saved game data. Other special flash memory cards include HD memory cards for capturing high-definition videos; netbook memory cards to expand the storage of a netbook computer; and Wi-Fi enabled flash memory cards used to wirelessly upload photos from a camera.
The USB storage device is one that has been growing rapidly in popularity. It is a very user friendly form of storage. To save information to a USB flash drive, one simply must plug in the USB drive into the USB port (usually on the side or back of the computer), click the “save as” option on their project, then select the drive on their computer which represents the USB. Then one can eject the USB and take the saved information anywhere they need. USBs are quickly advancing as well. There are now ways that you can create an entire mobile computer, a fingerprint enabled secure file, and secure the use of your computer all with the use of a single USB flash drive. These new advances are sure to be hot on the market. USBs are high in demand right now, not just because of their technical abilities but also because of how you can choose a USB to fit into any lifestyle or match any personality. There are thousands of custom USBs available in stores and online. These range in colors, sizes, amounts of memory, and even shapes. USB flash drives are something that will definitely be here to stay for a while longer, even with the ever emerging cloud.
USB flash drives are also very secure ways to store information. Since they are not connected to the Internet, they cannot be hacked, and some can be encrypted to prevent unauthorized access. The one down side to this use is the possibility of the flash drive being lost or stolen, but with proper precautions and organization, this can be avoided. Flash drives also preserve data and documents in a non-volatile state. As some specialized computers (such as theatre control boards) are prone to crashes and glitches, saving information on a flash drives prevents is from being corrupted or lost in the event of a system crash or other glitch. In simpler systems, flash drives can be used as the central storage point for a computer. While this may be inefficient on most machines, those that are single use and do not require large amounts of memory can benefit from this, as the system is flexible, and more memory space can be added as needed. However, the primary benefit of flash drives remains the mobility. Flash drives are an inexpensive and more secure alternative to the cloud and other means of Internet storage.
USB drives are the perfect devices for transporting data and files. They are easy to use and their portability makes them incredibly convenient. In addition to storing files, they can also be used to run portable apps. Certain applications can be turned into portable versions of themselves. You can have access to various software applications to use on any computer. Free programs exist to convert applications to portable ones to, in essence, create a portable PC on a thumb drive. USB drives range in storage capacity from 2 GB to 4 TB. With 4 TB of storage in such a portable size, the limits to their use are virtually endless.
USB drives can be password protected, or some can even be secured using biometric features, like a finger print. There are some concern related to USB drive security. They can contain large amounts of information, and given their portability, they can be used for transporting files secretly. Anyone with access can simply plug a USB drive into a computer, copy files onto it, and remove them from the premises. USB drives carry an additional security risk in that they can contain malware that can be automatically launched using AutoPlay (which can be disabled) as soon as they are plugged in.
SSDs serve the same purpose as HDDs: they store data and files for long-term use. The difference is that SSDs use a type of memory called “flash memory,” which is similar to RAM—but unlike RAM, which clears its data whenever the computer powers down, the data on an SSD persists even when it loses power. SSDs use a grid of electrical cells to quickly send and receive data. These grids are separated into sections called “pages,” and these pages are where data is stored. Pages are clumped together to form “blocks.” SSDs are called “solid-state” because they have no moving parts. SSD’s are much faster than traditional hard disks (especially during random reads/writes) as they do not rely on mechanics to locate data (which becomes slow when data is located at different ends of a hard drive).
However, as with flash memory, SSD’s can last only a finite amount of writes. As an SSD is used, the electrical charges within each of its data cells must be periodically reset. Unfortunately, the electrical resistance of each cell increases slightly with every reset, which increases the voltage necessary to write into that cell. Eventually, the required voltage becomes so high that the particular cell becomes impossible to write to. While SSD’s include extra capacity (which cannot be seen by the user) solely to replace cells which become damaged this way, after a lot of writes (usually over 150 TB), the drive will fail. However the volumes of writes (reading alone isn’t affected) required to do so is far out of the reach for most users.
The main drawback of a SSD as compared to a HDD is price; SSD’s cost significantly more than a HDD, but the price difference is rapidly falling, and more and more computers now include a SSD by default.
Remote storage is there to expand the disk space without hard disks and isn’t connected to the computer directly but accessed through internet. That way you can access your files wherever you are, whenever you want, on your laptop or Smartphone or even a different computer. This is the basic concept of cloud storage. When you need to access a file, you open the file as usual but if the data isn’t on your local volume, Remote Storage retrieves the information from a media library. When data is removed from a file, the logical size of the file remains but the physical size is reduce.
Being much faster and reliable than storage devices like CDs, DVDs, hard disks, and flash drives, an online remote storage provides protection against system errors like viruses, and enables one to recover lost data from any potential system crashes. Being critical to not only businesses, but home computer users as well, an online storage provides low-cost and easily accessible security for data management and storage. To assure maximum security, many online companies automatically backup systems on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, to an “electronic vault.” Also, unlike CDs or DVDs, using remote storage diminishes its vulnerability to damage and data loss. Living in today’s high-tech society, the online remote storage system is definitely a very essential, yet affordable tool to assure that the countless amounts of data being saved on devices is still remediable after a computer failure.
The floppy disk drive was invented at IBM by Alan Shugart in 1967. The first floppy drives used an 8-inch disk that was later called a “diskette” as it got smaller, which evolved into the 5.25-inch disk that was used on the first IBM Personal Computer in August 1981. The 5.25-inch disks were dubbed “floppy” because the diskette packaging was a very flexible plastic envelope, unlike the rigid case used to hold today’s 3.5-inch diskettes.
The floppy disk is an archaic physical external storage device that is now obsolete. There might be some banks that still use this storage medium, but any business or person who is considered computer literate does not use this system to store information. The down sides to floppy disks are that they are not compatible with any device that is contemporary, their security is non-existent, and the storage capacity is low – usually with a maximum of 1.44MB. The last version of a floppy disk was released in 1987 by IBM.
Holographic storage utilizes photo-sensitive media and innovative laser beam technology as a means of computer storage. This new storage method has the ability to store 1,000 DVD’s into this 4 square inch storage device. This is unlike previous methods of data recording, such as magnetic and optical hard drives, which involve a rotating disk or simple 2D lasers. Instead, holographic storage begins with a single laser that is split into two separate parts — the signal beam (carries data), and the reference beam (reconstructs hologram when prompted). A spatial light modulator is used to encode data for the signal beam, followed by a conversion of electronic data into binary code. It is then arranged into a specific pattern of dark and light pixels (representing zeros and ones), consisting of >1 million bits each. The signal and reference beams intersect, and a holographic image is created through a 3D refraction that is etched into the media. Advantages include a safe, fast, reliable, and portable system of storage. Disadvantages include expense, limited capacity, and recording fails. UV rays can also erase the data, which makes this method unstable in the long-term. Since the concept is still in its infancy, however, problems are expected to diminish greatly over time.
Storage area networks are clusters of high performance computers used to transfer huge amounts of data. SANs are also used for distributed processing applications requiring fast local network performance and designed specifically for data management. SANs move storage resources off the common user network and into an independent network. What this does is allow each server too access any shared storage extremely quickly, as if it was already attached to the server. Typically, a SAN is assembled using three components: cabling, host bus adaptors, and switches.
What makes a good storage area network? A SAN definitely needs to be indestructible and have a built-in protection against any potential harmful failure. If a SAN is vulnerable to failures and is unable to recover lost data, an enterprise may even go out of business! Secondly, a vast amount of storage capacity is another essential to a valuable storage network; since the number of devices connected to one host system may increase by time, the organization’s storage and processing also needs to expand accordingly. A big advantage of using a good storage area network is the fact that even if all of one’s system servers crash, the SAN remains online and provides disaster recovery.
NAS is a type of dedicated file storage device typically connected by a wired networking connection, therefore only providing local area network users with storage. NAS supports file transfers, in which it will back up any data that appears in the form of files, such as email boxes, web content, remote system backups. The main advantage of a network attached storage is that network storage is no longer limited to the amount the computing device can hold. NAS devices typically look very box-like, without a keyboard or display. NAS products come in levels of capable storage space, drive capacity and drive scalability, often placed into one of 3 categories: Desktop NAS, devices aimed at small businesses and home users; Mid-market NAS, devices capable of running several hundred terabytes but not clustering; Enterprise NAS, devices that can store huge amounts of files, including virtual images, and being able to NAS cluster.
Both systems of storage serve different purposes for their clients. The main difference between SAN storage and NAS storage is the way that the systems interact with the network. A NAS network will behave in a way that makes it similar to any other network component. In contrast, the storage devices of a SAN network are found in a separate network but connected to the main one. Overall though, both systems are used for storage and over time the performance offered by both is becoming harder to distinguish. For example a SAN uses Fibre Channel interconnects while NAS makes Ethernet and TCP/IP connects, but now many SAN systems are switching over to those connection routes NAS systems use.
An optical disc is a flat, circular disc that stores data and is made out of a very strong plastic called polycarbonate substrate. This helps to protect the disc with many layers of coating. Data on these discs are read optically, which means that they store data using laser beams. Data can be stored on one or both sides of the disc. The track, which is a single spiral around the disc, spins from inside the center track (or groove) to the outermost track for the data to be read. Most people today have already switched from VHS movies to DVD movies, and now to Blu-ray DVDs. The advancement in technology has made viewing and burning capabilities for DVDs and CDs much more beneficial. These optical discs do not degrade, like VHS and magnetic media do. Optical discs are used in our every day lives for storage, backing up, photos, movies, music, and much more.
Read only discs are molded and stamped to show the data so that it can only be read (and not over written). This happens with most CDs for music and software, and DVDs for movies. A recordable or rewritable optical disc with a CD or DVD uses a laser to represent the data. An example of this would be burning a CD for music, or an iMovie project to a DVD. There is a complex process that takes place when writing the data on the optical disc. To mold or stamp the discs, bumps (called pits) are formed on the disc’s surface. The places that are not changed on the optical discs are called lands. Switching from a pit to a land represents a 1 (like discussed in the system unit). CD discs use infrared lasers, DVDs use red lasers, and Blu-ray discs use blue-violet lasers. These different types of lasers are used to store different amounts of data at a more compact size.
Optical drives are the machines that read the discs of CDs, DVDs, and BD drives. Many households have switched to Blu-ray DVD players. However, users are upset because only BD discs can be played on BD drives which is considered a hassle to some. These drives are also used to burn data on the discs.
Optical disks were invented in 1958 by David Paul Gregg, he patented them. James T. Russell was then the first person to have made a recording audio digitally to an optical disk. Later Sony and Phillips research physicists made the CD’s we know today that can store large amounts of data. For this first generation of CD’s they could hold up to 75 minutes of audio with 650Mb of storage. The purpose of the first generation was only for audio and computer software. They were capable of making a CD video but the VHS cassette was more popular at the time and it cost too much to produce them. These CD’s were read with an infrared laser. Later the second generation could store even more data and was used for video. They were read with a visible laser light which allowed the lands a pits to be smaller thus creating more space to for more data. They allowed 4.7 GB of storage on a standard single disc. The third generations are being developed to create even more storage available, like a Blu-ray disc. The Blu-ray disc use blue-violet lasers. There is even a fourth generation to be discovered that could hold up to one terabyte of storage.
Read-only optical discs include CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, and BD-ROM discs. These are CDs or DVDs that come with something already prerecorded on them and they cannot be cleared. This is because the pits that are molded into the surface of the disc are permanent. There are also read-only discs for video games and different software.
Recordable optical discs are also sometimes referred to as write-once discs. This means that these can be written to but the discs cannot be reused or erased. These include CD-R, DVD-R, DVD+R, and BD-R discs. The difference between the DVD-R and the DVD+R is the standard being used. There is also a DVD-R DL and a DVD+R DL, which indicates whether or not it is dual layer. Using DVD+R will allow you to instantly eject the DVD without having to wait for the finalized version. It also allows you to record some of the DVD on a personal computer and some of it on the TV. Another feature is that is it 100% compatible with all DVD players. Recordable CDs are often used for backing up files, making music CDs, or sending large files to other people. BD-R discs are used for even larger back ups that need even more storage and they are used for high-definition multimedia files.
Rewritable optical discs include CD-RW, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, and BD-RE discs. These can be written on and then erased and rewritten on. To rewrite on these types of discs they use phase change technology. So basically the rewriteable disc is coated with a metal alloy compound. They then use heating and cooling to write on the disc without making it permanent. These are used for backing up files but they are more convenient than recordable optical discs because they can be used multiple times.
Compact Disc (CD) is used to store video, audio, and data in different formats classified in the Rainbow Books. It includes formats like CD-ROM (Compact Disc Read-Only Memory), CD-R (Compact Disc- Recordable), CD-RW (Compact Disc-ReWritable), VCD (Video Compact Disc), photo CD, and Enhanced Music CD. Compact Disc comes in standard 12 cm (120mm) or 8 cm (80mm) in diameter. The most popular is the 12 cm type with a 74- or 80-minute audio capacity and a 650 or 700 MB (737,280,000 bytes) data capacity. The 8 cm type is used in electronic devices like portable compressed digital audio players or data storage products like miniature CD recorders. CD-Rs were invented by Philips and Sony and together with CD-ROM there were about 30 billion CDs sold worldwide in 2004. The high-capacity recordable CDs can hold 90 or 99 min of audio on a 12 cm disc and 30 minutes of audio on a smaller disc (8 cm). The ability to write beyond the manufacturer’s declared capacity on a CD-R or CD-RW disc is called oversizing or overburning. However, Overburning might affect product warranties and result in lost data so it is not recommended. However, it might affect product warranties and result in lost data so it is not recommended. These days, more and more compact discs are being replaced by flash drives or downloading.
The newest form of optical disk is the Blu-ray disk (BD), which was officially announced on February 19, 2002, and was first available to consumers on April 10, 2003. Blu-ray gets its name from the blue laser that reads it (as opposed to the red laser that reads DVDs). BDs have more storage capability than its predecessor and also has a variety of new functions that DVDs did not have, such as the following: record high-definition television without losing quality, record one program while watching another at the same time, automatically search for an empty space on the disc to avoid recording over a program, and access the Web to download subtitles and other features. The way BDs achieve this is by having smaller pits, so more data can be stored, and having a laser with a shorter wavelength, a blue laser, that can read more precisely. DVDs could not fit more information because a red laser is not precise enough to read pits that are packed together as close as the pits on a BD. Pits on a DVD could be a minimum of 0.4 microns, while BDs pit minimum is 0.15 microns. Also, the track pitch on BDs has been reduced from 0.74 microns to 0.32 microns. Because of all these improvements, a BD can hold more than 25 GB of information, which is five times the amount that a DVD can hold.
Compact Discs (CDs) and Digital Video Discs (DVDs) both store their data externally on a disk. Unfortunately, as we all have experienced, these disks often times get scratched, making the CD or DVD skip, or sometimes not work at all. Depending on where the scratch is located, the disc may or may not be able to be repaired. It seems scratches on the top, shiny part of the disc are harder to repair than if the scratch is on the lower plastic part of the disc. Although some companies are developing scratch resistant discs, their efforts may be in vain due to technology moving fast past these forms of storage. For those people still utilizing CDs and DVDs, scratches on them can be annoying and frustrating. There are a few simple remedies consumers can try to repair their discs and attempt to get more life out of them. The first step is to clean the disc with a mild soap and water. This can help by removing any finger prints that may be hindering the disks’ functionality. Users then want to dry the disc with lint free cloth, as even the smallest fibers can scratch and damage the disc further. After the disc is dry, the user can then apply toothpaste to it, smoothing it out in a straight direction from the disc’s center. After this, the disc should be rewashed to remove any excess paste. If this procedure is successful, the toothpaste will fill in the scratches so the disc can again be played with little or no skipping. Often times, scratches to these discs are too severe for this method to help. If that is the case, companies advise consumers to discard the disc altogether. Luckily, as technology continues to advance, the reliance on these forms of storage is decreasing, and with it, the annoyance and frustration that comes from their malfunctioning.
While Optical Discs may be excellent media of storage, their necessity has now come into question with the ever advancing of technology. Floppy disks used to be what everyone used to store information and that soon became obsolete. As the cycle of technology inevitably catches up to optical discs, they may no longer be as useful as before. First, there’s the rise of technologies that no longer make use of optical discs because of the size. Most tablets and laptops no longer having optical drives because they take up space and may make the device less portable. Next is the fact that there are many more storage options that have become available that are much more convenient. Cloud storage has been on the rise as well as regular flash drives have had an increase in storage capacity as compared to optical discs. Then there’s the fact that many media companies have moved to a disc free environment. Streaming services have made renting CDs and DVDs obsolete. Gamers no longer buy physical discs but rather just download a digital copy. Even music has moved to a streaming service that makes buying physical albums and LPs more of a novelty. Finally, there is the fact that consumers want what’s convenient and optical discs are no longer as convenient as they used to be. However which way you look at it, the advancement of technology will eventually make anything obsolete. The future holds many possibilities for other forms of storage and that too will eventually become obsolete.
A smart card is a credit card-sized piece of plastic that contains computer circuitry, like a processor, memory, and storage. Smart cards can only store low amounts of data, around 8 kilobytes of RAM or 346 kilobytes of ROM. The processor is actually a microprocessor, and it is situated under a gold contact pad on one side of the card. The processor in the card has the capability to encrypt the data so that only authorized access is allowed. The purpose of a smart card is to store sensitive data securely, usually identification or digital cash. Unlike a credit card where all of the information on it can be read easily and identity theft is more common, the smart card cannot be physically read and it puts up a difficult fight against a hacker trying to access the data. To make it even more secure, some smart cards actually store biometric data to even further ensure that only the correct user can use it. A smart card is used by sliding it through, placing it in, or placing it in front of a smart card reader. This allows for the smart card reader to interact with the smart card by transferring the data on the card. An example of this is having a smart card reader on a locked door. The authorized user, a government official, places their smart card in front of the smart card reader on the door and the data on the card would be read by the reader. Once the reader acknowledges that the government official is allowed in, the reader would unlock the door and the official could walk in. All in all, the smart card is a great new technology that is making transactions and equipment safer.
Major companies and organizations require large computer systems that can store their massive amounts of data. The amount of data that the world needs to store is growing at a phenomenal rate, predicted to increase by half in 2014 alone. Regulations have been put in place by the government to make companies keep data and information about clients and customers. This information is stored in the same types of hardware that everyday consumers would use but on a much larger scale. Many hard drives are connected and used together to increase the amount of data that can be saved. A leader in the industry, IBM, is currently at work on the largest storage server ever with an incredible 120 petabytes of space. This server is going to be comprised of over 200,000 standard hard drives connected in a large warehouse.
Some companies may also use a system called RAID, or redundant arrays of independent disks. This method uses two or more hard drives which contain redundant copies of the same data in order to process and access it faster. This can be done one of two ways. The first method, disk striping, actually separates and spreads the files out over multiple hard drives while the second method, disk mirroring, has an exact duplicate of the information on the first.
Keyboards are one of the many different types of input devices, and one of the most common. Most, if not all, keyboards are set up in an alphanumeric key arrangement, also referred to as a qwerty keyboard. There are a few different ways a keyboard can connect to a computer, either wired or wireless, via USB or Bluetooth respectively. For the most part all keyboards are similar to one another, some may have extra keys for games and others may have a numerical keypad built into the board itself.
While not all computing devices have keyboards they do have supplements, such as a on screen touch keyboard. Many phones used to have a slide out keyboard for those who prefer an actual physical keyboard. But technology has moved toward touch screen phones which don’t require the slide out keyboard. Examples include the Apple iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy. Furthermore, you can purchase physical keyboards to connect into tablets. All of these additional keyboards that you could add to devices are most likely membrane keyboards. Membrane keyboards are the cheapest and most common types of keyboards. The other growing type of keyboards are mechanical keyboards. When you type on a membrane keyboard you complete a circuit which produces the data on screen, which generally makes little to no sound and gives no tactile feedback. For many gamers and avid typist, they would use a mechanical keyboard, which has the point of contact directly beneath the each key. This gives a better tactile feedback along with a faster typing speed, but generally cost much more than membrane keyboards.
The keyboard is one of the most important parts of a computer!
Different Types of Keyboards
The purpose of all keyboards is to input data, however, there are as many different types of keyboards as there are variations of devices that need one. At first, there was only one design for a keyboard, but just as all other technology has progressed with time, so has the keyboard. The “original” keyboard, known as the standard keyboard, is the QWERTY keyboard, which is probably the most familiar to people. This keyboard has an average 105 keys, and while minor changes have been made to the design, its overall format has stayed the same.
Due to the stress put on the wrist and hand muscles from typing, the ergonomic keyboard was invented. This keyboard has the keys split so that the angle of the user’s wrist is in a more comfortable and less-straining position. By improving posture, the Ergonomic Keyboard is supposed to prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It comes either as one separate board with pre-angled keys, or as two separate boards so the user can angle them any way he/she prefers.
The other types of keyboards that have come along have been produced to fit very specific uses. For example, a gaming keyboard, as the name suggests, is made specifically for gamers and has special designs such as built-in joysticks. Another example is the internet keyboard, which have “hot keys” related directly to browsing the internet. These hot keys include bookmarks list, e-mail inbox, Google search, and YouTube.
Lastly, there are keyboards made simply to be more convenient for the consumer. These include the wireless keyboard, which connects to a computer via Bluetooth, the compact keyboard, made for laptops and other portable devices, and the virtual (or touch screen) keyboard which is found mostly on mobile devices and tablets. The last one is the most recently developed and will most likely come to be the only type of keyboard in the future.
The History of Keyboards
The first keyboards were called QWERTY keyboards named after the six letters in sequential order on the top left hand side of the keyboard. Surprisingly, the keyboard was actually designed to make typing as slow and difficult as possible. This is due to the fact that the very first design of the first typing machine developed by a man named Christopher Latham Scholes back in 1873 was originally set up in alphabetical order. After some time, it was typical for keys to get jammed together due to fast typing. This prompted Scholes to redesign the machine with the letters most commonly used as far away from each other as possible to avoid jamming. By making the user slow down, his new design became a success. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that a couple by the name of Bob and Joan Crozier came up with the idea that there was a need to integrate computer technology into business. At that time, there were only large mainframe computers available. The couple came up with a device that had keyboard switches, which led to more understanding about the growing need for such a device. By the 1970’s, the first keyboards were born. They had to be put together one switch at a time which was a lengthy process. Later in this decade, the first ever personal computers were developed. The keyboard was not attached to these computers so they required an IBM electric typewriter to be attached. By the 1980’s, IBM launched its first personal computers with their famous model M keyboards attached. This model came with some problems as it was criticized for its Enter and Shift keys being too small. IBM came up with keyboard expanders to fit the keyboard and enlarge the keys. By the 1990’s, Membrane switches became available to replace individual keys. This was also the decade that the laptop computer became available, making Membrane Switches to increase in popularity. The last decade has seen advancement in the design of the keyboard with the release of ergonomic keyboards that lessen the chance for a user to be injured due to overuse. Today, the modern keyboard faces extinction as the use of touch screen devices and voice recognition are taking the center stage of computer input.
Point and Clicks
Pointing devices are inputs that connect to a desktop or laptop and are used to move an on-screen pointer, usually an arrow, to allow the user to select objects on the screen. The most common of these is the “mouse” which derives its name from its size, shape, and “tail”, or thin wire, which connects it to the computer. It’s usually connected via a USB port and it often rests next to the keyboard for easy access. Recently, laser “mice” have become popular due their added mobility as these connect via Bluetooth or other wireless connection and and no longer need their “tails” for support to the system. Older mice have a ball at their base and use this to move the pointer on screen as the user’s hand moves the mouse across the desktop surface. Once the pointer is over the desired icon, link, or image, etc. the mouse is used to interact with it by clicking one of the two buttons on it’s surface. A wheel may also be found on some and is commonly used to scroll up or down a page or zoom in and out of a window. Optical mice use a laser on the bottom which track movement with light instead of a ball. Three dimensional mice may also be used to interact with three dimensional programs. These programs tend to recognize more complex movements and the mouse may be lifted to simulate flying or angled to simulate a visual tilt within the program.
Instead of using a mouse for a computer many systems allow there to be used a pen or stylus. The pens input could be drawing, writing, or tapping on the screen. The stylus often is just a piece of plastic and is just used to touch the screen and that’s it. The stylus could detect the amount of pressure that is applied to the screen that would allow you to have a more exact input. The stylus have a smooth rounded tip so it would not harm the screen it is used with, and could contain buttons so it could be similar to a mouse in that way and complete those type of functions. The stylus is used in a way similar to using pen and paper. It is used in areas like photography, graphic design, animation, industrial design, and healthcare. There are even certain gestures that a pen can read to complete a task. Such as flicking the pen up could delete something, or print, or copy. The pens are beneficial for people with long nails, or are wearing gloves; nothing more annoying than having to take off gloves in the winter to have to use a touch screen device.The Galaxy Note 3 has a pen stylus that it comes with. This phone allows the user to use the screen to its fullest since the screen is so large, the phone embraces being able to use two hands while doing something on the phone.
Touch screens are electronic visual displays which allow a user to interact with programs by using simple touch-based movements. Through the use of a special stylus/pen and/ or one or multiple fingers, the user can interact with the content being displayed in multiple ways allowing actions such as scrolling, zooming, rotating, dragging, and dropping items to be handled with ease without the need for a pointer or mouse. Because the touch screen interface can be used with practically any PC software and is useful in a variety of applications, mobile phones, tablets, desktops, laptops, and surface computers have taken advantage of this technology. It can be found in museums, consumer kiosks, newsrooms, automated teller machines (ATMs), medical field, etc. There are many touch screen technologies that have different methods of sensing touch, such as resistive, surface acoustic wave (SAW), capacitive, infrared grid, infrared acrylic projection, optical imaging, dispersive signal, and acoustic pulse recognition. They can recognize multiple inputs allowing for more than one person to operate the device at the same time as well as verify and pinpoint multiple objects that are place on them or near. Systems that use a stylus can recognize the differences in pressure applied to the screen and may even contain buttons to aid in “right-clicking” on an object. The stylus is one of the most popular accessories in the touch-screen age.
A popular security option, which is now becoming standard on laptops and certain external hard drives, is fingerprint scanners. Small “touch screens” are placed adjacent to keyboards (or in the case of hard drives, on top of the hard drive) to prompt users to use their finger print as a means of secure login. Until recently, such hardware was expensive and unreliable. This means of input has been adapted by certain companies to increase security measures and provide peace of mind to clients (often in the case of physical cloud security). This technology was science fiction until recently and it has caught on in government use all the way down to the individual.
Other Pointing Devices
Examples of other pointing devices can be seen in gaming. A popular pointing device in video games is the joystick. Joysticks are moved by hand to point to an on-screen object, such as a character, and then a button or buttons are pressed to execute an action, for example jumping. Gamepads are also examples of pointing devices, performing similar functions to the joystick but held fully in hand instead. Another example of a pointing gaming device is a proprietary controller, such as the Wii remote. These devices are motion sensitive and require the controller to point into a sensor, which will move accordingly with an on-screen pointer. A trackball is a pointing device consisting of a ball in a socket, similar to an upside-down mouse, that the user rolls with the thumb, fingers, or palm. Trackballs are commonly seen on CAD workstations for ease of use. Control buttons and wheels are pointing devices commonly found on handheld gaming devices or portable digital media players. For instance, on an ipod, the user can spin the wheel to scroll though songs, and then click on the desired track. Touch pads are generally rectangular pads that a user can slide a thumb or fingertips across. Tapping the touch pad executes the same action clicking a mouse would. Touch pads are typically found on laptops and notebook computers.
Specialized Pointing Devices
Depending on the device and applications being used, pointing devices can become quite specialized. Theater lighting boards have several different ways to input information due to the vast amount of equipment they can control. These can vary from joysticks to the more common control wheels. These wheels tell the lighting fixture to cycle between colors, change effects, and move on at x/y axis graph displayed on a screen. Besides lighting boards, flight simulators can have numerous input devices, most of which are customized to do a certain task. A number of manufacturers build throttle quadrants and aircraft yokes for use in home simulators. These devices can be set up in minutes, and mimic the movements of the actual aircraft controls. Airlines and colleges take this a step further, using immersive simulator that enclose the operator and mimic the movements of an aircraft in flight. In these simulators, the entire enclosure is one large input device, with each button and knob controlling some function. In addition, and instructor has a workstation where they can input commands and load scenarios to test the person flying the simulator. The full motion simulators used by airlines to train flight crews are perhaps the most complicated computer input devices.
A Saitek control yoke is being used to control the aircraft in the simulator.
This type of enclosed simulator is fairly common in flight schools, and collegiate aviation programs.
This is the flight deck of a full motion simulator, used by airlines for testing and emergency training.
A scanner is a device that copies a picture in digital form. After capturing the image, the data is transferred to the computer. People use scanners to store their hand held pictures in their computer, and one might scan a document for business, school, etc. The two main types of scanners are flatbed and portable scanners. A flatbed scanner is the most common type of scanner, and it is designed to scan flat objects. A portable scanner is designed for travel purposes.
A sheet fed scanner is much like the flatbed scanner, only this may now be immobile and be used in stores to scan items on shelves. Optical scanners capture the image of a usually flat object and transfer it to a computer, much like flatbed scanners. In order to produce a better quality image, as most people strive for in their printing, you need a higher resolution scanner. The resolution of a scanner is measured in dots per 12-inches, which makes sense because the more dots you have, the more color that shows up, producing higher quality scans. Along with the resolution of a scanner comes the quality, which can be edited and improved once the image is scanned. If the user wants an extremely detailed scan, the drum scanner is a great tool to make this possible. It uses a photomultiplier tube to scan on a glass cylinder and send light rays in three beams, making light and color change and producing greatly detailed images. There are even apps on our phone that we can personally scan documents to have on-the-go. The problem with this, however, is privacy issues and the crisis of having your phone or any other device stolen which has scanned any personal information. While scanners are a tremendous help especially in businesses, it is important users be aware of the risks and use with caution.
Although digital cameras are considered standard today, many individuals still have negatives from their days of using a film camera. This traditional film can easily be digitized using a specialized film scanner. Increasing the resolution will allow for higher quality reproductions of the images. 
Readers are designed to read the coding of different products. Readers are also called a “price scanner.” It is usually a hand held device that captures the barcode on a certain tag, sticker, or twitter/facebook code. UPC (Universal Product Code) and ISBN (International Standard Book Number) are the two most famous barcodes. Barcodes are essential for efficiency in different businesses.
An example of a barcode scanner
Barcodes use lines to represent the numbers 0-9. They can be quite long, signifying a long string of numbers. These unique number combinations represent a variety information. Barcode readers interpret the bars in the code using reflected light or imaging technology. Once the bars are interpreted, the information that is tied to the number can be retrieved. The scanners can be stationary, like those found in stores, or portable, like those used by delivery services to scan packages.
QR codes, otherwise known as quick response codes, are pattern display bar codes read by an imaging device, that enable a user to automatically scan and open to an encoded hyperlink by using their “smart device”. QR reader applications on devices enable the user to access the hyperlink. The hyperlink opens up to a URL on the user’s device, displaying an image, or website. QR codes are often used by companies to allow the most efficient, least expensive way of advertisement for their product, company, event, website, etc. These codes enable a potential customer or user to access their information with convenience. QR codes are also used in other aspects to identify time tracking, item identification product tracking, as well as document management.
QR Codes are an expansion on traditional barcodes. Traditional barcodes are one dimensional, while QR codes are two-dimensional. Storing data both horizontally and vertically allows for a significant increase in combinations of information.
“QR Code” is a type of matrix bar code originally created in 1994 by the Toyota Automobile Company. They were used during the manufacturing process in place of traditional bar code labels, which offer significantly less room to store data and were frequently damaged. Since the rise of smartphones (and downloadable QR scanning applications), they have experienced unprecedented growth in popularity and success from advertising/marketing, and have in a sense revolutionized these industries. QRCs save businesses money by offering an affordable and personalized way to promote their goods or services. Perhaps most importantly, however, they have given customers everywhere an entirely new way in which to access information, both quickly and conveniently.
RFID codes, otherwise known as the Universal Product Code, in which the barcode is replaced by radio frequency identification tags, which allows communication between network systems that can track certain data or information. RFID codes are commonly used in our economy today in multiple different ways. In similarity to QR codes, RFID codes also allow a user efficiency time-wise as well as convenience-wise. Ways that RFID codes are used in our society consist of the following: inventory tracking, ticketing applications, mobile payments, as well as border security.
Almost every American owns a digital camera to save their memories! Digital cameras are used to take a picture, and these pictures are usually stored in a memory card. When purchasing a camera, it is important to know how many mega pixels the camera contains.For example, the higher the mega pixels, better the quality the picture will turn out. However, usually, the higher the mega pixels, the more expensive the camera will cost. People enjoy cameras because the pictures are almost immediately accessible.
Today, digital cameras are often found integrated into various mobile devices. When it comes to smartphones, the camera is often one of the most marketed features of the device. For instance, when shopping for a smartphone online, a website will often have an image that compares a picture taken by various competitor’s phones. The reason these cameras on smartphones are marketed to this extent is because they offer so many advantages to an average everyday consumer. A camera with the capability of snapping nice pictures allows someone to easily share daily activities to social media, scan barcodes at the grocery store, provide post-accident evidence for insurance, and so much more.
While a digital camera can snap still images, a digital video camera can record videos. Although portable digital camcorders are slowly becoming unpopular in the market, other types of these cameras are used every day. For example, these cameras are often used by buildings for surveillance, television networks for broadcasting, and companies for video conferences. However, each type of camera used in these situations are different. Cameras used for security purposes are usually able to operate remotely, and are often found to be smaller than other cameras so that they are more inconspicuous. Television networks use expensive professional cameras which have many different function and are very high performance. Cameras used for video conferencing are often webcam cameras. These cameras are small, usually portable, and can be integrated with a laptop. Overall, the digital video camera is a useful tool in today’s society.
One of the main appeals of digital cameras is the instant gratification of seeing the image immediately upon taking it. The instant gratification comes at a small price, however, because there is a slight delay between the pressing of the button and the actual taking of the photograph.
Biometrics are objective, measurable, biological traits that can be used to identify somebody. Biometric identification is becoming more and more common, and individuals can be recognized by a computer based on everything from their eyes to their fingerprints, from their voice to their face, from their unique body odor to the shape of their ear. Some uses of biometrics include fingerprint scanners to protect sensitive information stored in databases at places like nuclear power plants, biometric identification at borders and on passports, identification at nightclubs to ensure people who have been banned can’t enter, and even at public schools to have stronger records of attendance and library book borrowing. While biometric authentication is incredibly useful, there can also, obviously, be strong privacy concerns if their use is becoming too common. However, an organization called the Biometrics Institute is seeking to not only advance the use of biometrics but also ensure that all privacy concerns are addressed as this kind of technology becomes more and more common, with a set list of privacy guidelines that should be met whenever and wherever biometric identification is being employed.
Audio input is when audio data is put into a computer. Usually the audio that people put into computers is voice or music. Voice input is when words are spoken into a microphone on the computer and they are translated into the digital form via the microphone. Many people will use a sound recorder software to store the voice in a file. One thing that is becoming better known is speech recognition systems. An example of speech recognition being used is when you call a company and an automated voice recording answers and you speak to them and answer their questions and the computer is able to recognize what you are saying and take you where you need to go. Many phones have speech recognition software that allows the user to speak their text message or anything else into their phone and the phone can type the text for them. However these programs are not perfect and they usually require the speaker to talk slowly and clearly. One new technology that is being developed has to do with computers picking up noises the hard drive is making and detecting if there are any problems. One way to input music into a computer is to input it from a CD. They also have keyboards that can be plugged into the computer and the sound can be inputted into the computer. With that technology they can also show the sheet music that was played.
There are many different ways in which speech recognition systems work. One type of system is a speaker-independent speech recognition software which works no matter the user. Another type of system is a speaker-dependent system in which uses training to analyze a specific users voice. The system is then able to adjust to nuances in a persons voice and fine-tune the speech recognition. Another system is voice-recognition systems which are very similar to speaker-dependent systems in that they are dependent upon the speaker, but instead, they mostly focus on who is speaking rather than what they are saying. These types of systems are primarily used in personal security systems. Speech-recognition software is used to ease the users use of the computer and allow users the freedom of not having to use a keyboard or mouse to navigate through a computer system. Speech-recognition software can be used to perform many tasks including opening applications, making calls, calculating the amount of teaspoons in a cup, and even finding the nearest Chipotle. Today, the use of speech recognition systems are greatly advancing due to their incorporation in mobile devices such as Apple’s Siri and Windows Cortana. Also, speech recognition software has been included within the makings of cars due to regulations that require drivers to use hands-free devices to avoid distraction from the road.
Speech detection and speech analysis are being used in robotics and automatic translation, access control systems and education, but not only a human speech is a subject of recognition. The created sound recognition software has a great scientific and practical value. A broken window, dolphin’s talks, faulty machinery unit, even flowing blood could be recognize due the sounds they make. Growing sound libraries and improving electronic equipment allows actively apply sound recognition technologies in areas such as industrial automation, home improvement, animal bioacoustics, medical bioacoustics and others. People use speech recognition to let computers understand them and use computers for sound recognition to better understand the world.
Audio Output is exactly how it sounds. These are the sounds heard while working on a computer, that incorporates voice, music, and other audio sounds. The most common type of audio output device are speakers. These are used to hear video games, music from iTunes  or YouTube, TV shows on Netflix, Web conferencing, and other types of programs. Most computers have the capability to add additional speakers for better sound quality. The speakers are usually included when the computer is bought. Other speakers vary in a broad span of prices. A subwoofer can be added to amplify the computer’s audio output. Subwoofer’s have low-pitched audio frequencies known as bass and are intended to strengthen the low frequency range of loudspeakers covering higher frequency bands. They can be installed in automobiles and computers. For portable laptops and mobile devices, the speakers are built into the device. Some desktop computers have speakers permanently installed to the monitor. A unique example of audio output is a treadmill. Some treadmills have the ability to play music from an iPod or MP3 dock, which makes working out more enjoyable. With our rapidly growing and expanding market, recently many car companies have included headphone jacks, dock connections, or USB ports to connect an iPod or mobile device. These connections make it easier for the driver to listen to their own music from their iPod, instead of the radio or CD’s. Headphones can be used as audio outputs as well, instead of using speakers. Using headphones helps users not to disturb others around them (in a library or school).
Display Device Characteristics
There are many different characteristics of display devices. These include display colors, monitor styles, resolutions, video compatibilities, and the extra abilities these devices may have. Most devices today have color displays but there are a few which still follow a monochromatic color scheme. The Nook eReader is one of these devices. There is also a difference in the type of monitor in the way it is illuminated. The older style devices such as the large, clunky, heavy tv’s and computer screens are lot with cathode-ray tubes (CRT) and because the tubes take up so much room, the devices needed to be much larger. Today most of our devices are flat-panel displays. These displays use a chemical or gas reaction between two thin clear pieces of material to create their display; this is why they are able to be much thinner and lighter than CRT devices.
Buyer beware, when buying a new device keep in mind that the monitors are measured diagonally. So that new 7″ tablet you are looking at on Amazon is 7″ diagonally from corner to corner. If you expect the 7″ to be the width, you will be sorely disappointed by the smaller device you receive. Keep in mind also that resolution is important. The more information that can be shown in less space, the clearer the image and higher the resolution will be.
Video is input through a video card which holds the GPU inside of it. The video card is used to translate the video information into an image that will appear on the monitor of your device. It uses a fairly large amount of RAM to do so. There are many ways of connecting video devices to computers, and one of those actually allows the addition of extra monitors to an existing computer allowing for double the screen space.
Other interesting features of display devices include the ability to hold a charge (temporarily) on their own and become known as wireless, display images in 2D or 3D format, become much more mobile and even wearable (such as a virtual reality simulator headset), as well as register commands based on touch and motion (e.g. iPhone, iPad, Android phone, and most other “smart” devices today).
While your computer has many talents and uses, sometimes it might seem as if there’s not enough of it to go around. Let’s say that there’s a hilarious cat video on Youtube that you’d like to share among thirty of your best friends but there’s not enough room for them all to huddle close before your glowing monitor. Instead of splitting the viewing party up in groups, you can use a data projector. A data projector lets you display what’s on your computer monitor onto a wall or projection screen. The image is blown up so all your friends can now laugh in unison as the Youtube cat extends its paws in surprise. Even if you didn’t know the name for it, chances are very high that you’ve encountered a data projector sometime in your life, especially if you attend public school. They can transfer data from computer to projection screen either with a cord or through a wireless connection. For those of you who like to share on the go, there are even portable projectors called pico projectors that can provide a lesser quality but more accessible presentation.
Flat Display Devices
Flat display devices have become increasingly popular over the years because of their slim design and accessibility. Monitors today must be able to provide full color and gray scale, high efficiency and brightness, the ability to display full-motion video, wide viewing angle, and a wide range of operating conditions. Consumers today want these devices to be thin and light weight, be insensitive to magnetic fields, and not produce any x-rays. All of these attributes are not possible with the cathode ray tubes that are generally found in older televisions or monitors. There are electroluminescent displays, plasma display panels, vacuum fluorescent displays, and field-emission displays all being sold today. The first are used in industries and medical fields because of how durable they are under many temperatures. Plasma displays are usually used in televisions. Vacuum fluorescent displays are used for low information displays like on appliances or small electronics. Liquid-Crystal Displays (LCDS)are the most commonly manufactured displays at this time.
Without even realizing it, we are constantly surrounded by items containing an LCD since they are much thinner and lighter than other displays. Laptop computers, digital clocks, microwave ovens, watches, and many other everyday items all have an LCD. A liquid crystal display works by blocking light as it uses charged liquid crystals that are located between two glass sheets to light up the appropriate pixels using a backlight provided by fluorescent lamps. Conveniently, LCD panels typically already contain those lamps at the rear of the display, hence the term backlight. However, to preserve more energy, today’s new technology has invented light emitting diode displays (LEDs), which are now replacing the fluorescent lamps that were previously used.
LEDs are another flat-panel technology seen in many objects around us like alarm clocks, Christmas lights, and car headlights, etc. An advantage of an LED over an LCD is that they are a lot thinner, have brighter images, color, and quality than an LCD, or even Plasma. Also, since an LED does not require backlighting from fluorescent bulbs, which have a relatively short lifespan, it tends to have a much longer lifespan. As fluorescent lamps burn out more quickly, LEDs are better to use for applications that require turning on and off frequently. Another benefit of LED monitors is the fact that they consume much less power compared to LCDs; LEDs actually consume almost half as much power than an LCD consumes!
A new flat-panel display technology is the interferometric modulator display. This display uses a reflective membrane and a thin-film stack, which sit on a transparent substrate, to reflect external light onto the display. The device uses the interference of light wavelengths to create the different colors necessary for color images. This new display technology is meant to be used for portable devices and new mobile phones. The reason for this is because the display consumes a very little amount of power. By only using external light, the device would not need to continually backlight the display. In fact, the only time the display would need to consume power is when changing the image. This allows for the image to stay open without losing any power for the device, something we all have to deal with everyday on our mobile phones. Another plus for the IMOD display is that the images will stay clear even when in direct sunlight, because it is actually using that sunlight for the image. This is definitely an advantage for anyone who has noticed how hard it is to use a portable device or mobile phone outside when it is sunny. The IMOD display technology is a very energy efficient technology that needs to be utilized in mobile phones and portable devices to help consumers with their issue over battery consumption.
Video Adapters, Interfaces, and Ports
The graphics processing unit (GPU) is the chip devoted to rendering images on a display device. Devices either have a video card or an integrated graphics component built directly into the motherboard or the CPU. The GPU is located in the video card or the graphics component of the computing device. This is what determines the quality of the image that can be shown on a monitor. Video cards will usually contain a fan to cool the card. Video cards will either have a memory chip or they are designed to use a portion of the computer’s regular RAM as video RAM instead. Video cards contain between 256 MB and 2 GB of video RAM. The three most common types of interfaces used to connect a monitor to a computer are VGA (Video Graphics Array), DVI (Digital Visual Interface), and HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface). These are the ports that can be found on a computer to connect it another device, such as a TV screen or a projector. Today, HDMI is used widely amongst major electronic companies like Toshiba, Sony, and Panasonic. This allows for high quality connection and single-cable capability to be used to interconnect devices not matter who manufactured the computer.
Virtual/Augmented Reality Devices
One of the recent advancements is that of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality devices. These devices display information by immersion rather than by just displaying it on a screen. First, the distinction between Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality is that the former completely immerses the user in a different “virtual” environment while the latter adds or displays information to the current and existing environment. So while virtual reality brings you into a theatre, augmented reality brings the movie to your wall. Both of these are implemented through various devices. There are head-mounted displays. These are displays that are usually worn by the user and are seen through in order to experience either virtual or augmented reality. Those that do virtual reality usually cover the eyes so that the user is completely blocked out of the real world and can be fully immersed in virtual reality. Those that make use of augmented reality are usually see through since the objects are displayed in the real world environment. Then there are hand-held displays which usually only do augmented reality. These usually make use of the devices camera and screen in order to show virtual objects in the real world.
Printers today can be divided into two main categories: impact printers and nonimpact printers. Impact printers (known as dot matrix printers) are the traditional printers that actually strike the paper with ink. Their primary uses are for the production of business forms like packing slips and receipts. On the other side are nonimpact printers. These printers do not touch the paper like impact printers, and there are two common types: laser and inkjet. Laser printers use ink powder or toner and inkjet printers use liquid ink, which both create the images with dots (similar to pixels on a monitor). These dots make up the print resolution, which is known as the dpi (dots per inch). The higher the resolution the sharper the image. General ranges for a dot matrix printer are 60-90 dpi, an inkjet 300-720 dpi, and a laser printer 600-2400 dpi. With that, color printers and black-and-white printers are two standards found in either the home or office setting. Typically for home-use color printers are more common than offices, which will use black-and-white printers due to costs (unless the company needs color for specific materials and products like reports or brochures).
Advantages of laser printers include higher resolutions of the image, faster printing speed, and no smearing. However laser printers are more expensive than inkjet printers, which many people use because they are lower in cost yet still produce high quality images and remain relatively fast in operation. Besides these two types, the advantages of impact printers are their low printing cost per page, their ability to print on multi-part forms and their reliability. However these printers are much louder as well as slower than inkjet and laser printers.
Personal printers and network printers are distinguishable by their connection to either a single computer or a home/office network. Network printers allow multiple computers to print from the same printer, which is why they are a standard in the business setting. Typically personal printers have a rate of 20 to 35 ppm (pages per minute) whereas network printers can print from 30 to 65 ppm.
Printers can connect via USB, wired or wireless networks, or connections from other devices such as memory cards or cameras. It is not uncommon to see printers that have multiple capabilities like copying, scanning and faxing. These inkjet or laser printers are known as multifunction devices and they can come in color or black-and-white options.
Why choose laser printer over any other printer? Well, Laser Printers are known to be good for their speed, precision and economy. Since it uses a laser, it can print one page at a time so it’s known to be significantly faster than the ink-jet printers. Although they are more expensive than ink-jet, they seem to be more cost-efficient considering ink is more expensive than toner powder, which is used for laser printers. Laser printers are more reliable with their prints because ink-jet printers tend to leave ink smears. Static electricity is the primary principle in making the printer work, which is an electrical charge built up on an insulated object. It uses objects with opposite static electricity forcing the fields to cling together.
Laser printers can work in either black-and-white or in color. To print on a page, a piece of paper must be first be inserted into the loading tray of the printer. A laser beam electrically charges the drum in the necessary locations that the microprocessor in the computer has decoded based on the image being printed. The ink used is a fine powdered ink known as toner, which is applied while the paper rolls over the drum. The paper finally goes through a fusing unit which permanently binds the toner to the paper.
Ink jet printers:
Why choose Ink-jet printers? Well, ink-jet printers create pictures by spraying ink from the printhead onto the page. Depending on the printer there’s different sized ink droplets, nozzles and electrical charges for more precise printing. They are typically slower than laser printers because of the back and forth motion of the ink tray. Ink-jet printers have grown in popularity and performance while dropping significantly in price. These dots are thinner than a strand of hair and when different colors combined together to create photo-quality images.
Though almost every household has some sort of either ink jet printer or laser printer, there are also numerous special purpose printers out there that are made to perform a specific task. Many companies invest in these products to improve time and cost efficiency. Some examples of these printers are photo printers, bar code, label and postage printers, portable and integrated printers, and 3D printers.
-Photo printers, as the name quite obviously gives it away, are used for the purpose of printing merely pictures. Often times, people invest in these printers because they produce a better quality picture than just a typical everyday printer would. They also have certain capabilities and apps that one would not just find on any printer.
-Businesses are also often found using bar code, label, and postage printers for their products. Every sellable item needs a product label, and having a printer that is designed just for that saves both time and money. They are also useful for the electronic postage capabilities, saving companies time on the mass amount of envelops that they send out on a daily basis.
-If you are an on the go businessman or woman, a portable or integrated printer is the way to go. With so much travel and back and forth, it is easy to pull out these commutable printers and print the documents or images you need on the fly.
-Finally, possibly the newest and most up and coming printer is the 3D printer. This useful tool can be utilized for printing models and samples. It prints using plastic, and literally produces a finalized 3D prototype of what you want.
With technology rapidly improving, more and more products are being designed for the purpose of cost and time efficiency. Depending on what you do on an every day basis, it may be a very wise choice to invest in one of these printers to save you valuable time and money in the long run.
3D printers use virtual designs created in advanced programs such as CAD (Computer Aided Design) or scanned using a 3D scanner to print out physical models and parts. In order to do this, the software must “slice” the model into thousands of layers that the printer lays down one at at time. There are various kinds of manufacturing methods, such as FDM where material is melted into layers or SLS printing where powdered material is sintered into layers. 3D printing has many applications, especially in design. Even manufacturers now use the printers to create rapid prototypes for research. This saves companies both money and time since changes only need to be made the design file on the computer.
There are different 3d printing methods that were developed to build 3D structures and objects. Some of them are very popular nowadays, others have been dominated by competitors. Most of popular types of 3d printers are:
– Fused deposition modeling (FDM) – 3D printing machines that use FDM Technology build objects layer by layer from the very bottom up by heating and extruding thermoplastic filament.
– Stereolithography (SLA) – SLA 3D printers work with excess of liquid plastic that after some time hardens and forms into solid object.
– Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) – Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is a technique that uses laser as power source to form solid 3D objects. The main difference between SLS and SLA is that it uses powdered material in the vat instead of liquid resin as stereolithography does.
– Selective laser melting (SLM) – Selective laser melting (SLM) is a technique that also uses 3D CAD data as a source and forms 3D object by means of a high-power laser beam that fuses and melts metallic powders together.
– Electronic Beam Melting (EBM) – The same as SLM, this 3d printing method is a powder bed fusion technique. While SLM uses high-power laser beam as its power source, EBM uses an electron beam instead, which is the main difference between these two methods. The rest of the processes is pretty similar.
– Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM) – During the LOM process, layers of adhesive-coated paper, plastic or metal laminates are fused together using heat and pressure and then cut to shape with a computer controlled laser or knife. 
A machine-readable code that represents data as a set of bars.
Output devices connected to computers that provide audio output.
A type of display device that projects images onto a display screen using a technology similar to the one used with conventional TVs.
A display device that projects all computer output to a wall or projection screen.
A flat, rectangular input device that is used in conjunction with a stylus to transfer drawings, sketches, and anything written on the device to a computer.
The ability of a device to identify handwritten characters.
A personal audio output device used by an individual so only he or she can hear the sound
An output device that sprays droplets of ink to produce images on paper.
An input device containing numerous keys that can be used to input letters, numbers, and other symbols.
An output device that uses toner powder and technology similar to that of a photocopier to produce images on paper.
liquid crystal display (LCD)
A type of flat-panel display that uses charged liquid crystals to display images.
A display device for a desktop computer.
A common pointing device that the user slides along a flat surface to move a pointer around the screen and clicks its buttons to make selections.
multifunction device (MFD)
A device that offers multiple functions (such as printing, scanning, and faxing) in a single unit.
optical character recognition (OCR)
The ability of a computer to recognize scanned text characters and convert them to electronic form as text, not images.
organic light emitting diode (OLED) display
A type of flat-panel display that uses emissive organic material to display brighter and sharper images. See organic light emitting diode (OLED) display
An output device designed for printing digital photographs.
The smallest colorable area in an electronic image, such as a scanned image, a digital photograph, or an image displayed on a display screen.
An input device that moves an on-screen pointer, such as an arrow, to allow the user to select objects on the screen.
An output device that produces output on paper.
radio frequency identification (RFID)
A technology used to store and transmit data located in RFID tags.
An input device that reads printed text and graphics and transfers them to a computer in digital form.
speech recognition system
A system, consisting of appropriate hardware and software, used to recognize voice input, such as dictation or audio computer commands.
An input device that is used to write electronically on the display screen.
A small rectangular-shaped input device, often found on notebook and netbook computers, that is touched with the finger or thumb to control an on-screen pointer and make selections.
A display device that is touched with the finger to issue commands or otherwise provide input to the connected device.
The vocabulary may or may not be listed above.
What am i?
1. The smallest area of an image in which makes up a whole image.
2. Two of the most familiar_____are UPC and ISBN.
3. A device that is designed to convert physical form to data.
4. With a typical ____________ the sounds are broken into digit representation of Phonemes.
5. An output device that uses toner powder and technology similar to that of a photocopier to produce images on paper.
6. The device that shares the information on a screen.
7. The ability of a device to identify handwritten characters.
8. A personal audio output device heard by an individual.
9. A display device that projects all computer output to a wall or projection screen.
10. An input device that moves an on-screen pointer, such as an arrow, to allow the user to select objects on the screen.
3. Scanner and Camera
4. Speech Recognition System
5. Laser Printer
7. Handwriting Recognition
9. Data Projector
10. Pointing Device
[General referenced 1]
System software can be separated into two different categories, utility programs and operating systems. Operating systems are the foundation of your computer and almost every electronic device. The OS boots up the computer and makes sure everything is operational. The OS is also what runs your cell phone and most of your electronic devices. The OS is, for the most part, the GUI (graphical user interface) that shows you all of your applications, and without the OS you cannot use the computer. There are many different types of OS’s which are discussed later. Utility programs perform a very specific task, to either enhance or manage your computer. For example your virus protection program, like Norton, is an example of a utility program along with the install/uninstall program that comes standard with Windows.
Systems Software vs Application Software
The operating system is a type of system software kernel that sits between computer hardware and end user. Systems Software are applications that are designed specifically for running the hardware on a personal computer and are used to maintain a platform for Application Software to be used. This means that systems software is designed to communicate with the internal parts of your computer such as the hard drive, RAM, ROM, cache, microprocessors, etc. so that the user doesn’t have to. It contains all of the drivers necessary for this type of communication and, in the simplest sense, it is the interface between the user and the hardware. The Operating System (OS) is not only one of the most important systems software on a computer, but is also the most frequently used. It is the software that runs in the background and brings the separate physical parts of the computer together in order to provide the seamless stream of activity that a user experiences. Some of its responsibilities include the transfer of data between the memory and disks (on the hard drive) as well as providing the information needed to display icons, text, cursors and other visible necessities on the display screen. This display is called the graphical user interface (GUI) and is entirely the result of the OS on the computer. This can be compared by viewing the differences between the Ubuntu OS and the Mac Snow Leopard OS. The icons between the two are positioned differently and they look different too. The Mac OS and GUI tends to have a more three dimensional aspect to it where Windows tends to appear more flat. It should also be remembered that the operating system conducts itself independently of both the user and any application software being used. This means that it is not directly dependent on the user or other programs in order to operate. Some other systems software would include BIOS and other device firmware. These help the user interact with other utilities such as diagnostic tools, language translators, data communication programs, as well as data management programs. 
Application Software are the most common programs that run in the foreground of the computer. They tend to perform useful tasks which are not associated with computer maintenance, system boot-up, or hardware communication. Application software is directly reliant on the Systems Software to communicate to the physical components of the computer and cannot operate without it. If you were to visualize this, the Application Software would operate on top of the Systems Software and would be the most visible to the user while the Systems Software would remain in the background unnoticed. The Systems Software would then communicate to the Hardware on its behalf and deliver any information to it from the Application Software. In turn, any information needed from the Hardware would pass through the Systems Software to the Application Software. Application Software are the most familiar forms of software and come in a variety of types. Most often they can be accessed through the graphical user interface of the operating system being used by double-clicking on an icon. Some of the most popular examples include word processors, spreadsheets, photo-editing programs, database programs, and accounting programs to name a few. This list is by no means the extent to which application software may be used and many more programs are being created constantly to help individuals with daily activities. 
A computer would not be able to function correctly without an operating system. An operating system is a software program that empowers the computer hardware to communicate and operate with the computer software. An operating system is one of the most important parts of a computer. The operating system is able to do basic tasks as well as complex tasks. An operating system can be classified as a multiuser, multiprocessing, multitasking, multithreading, and real time. The operating system makes sure that different programs, and users running at the same time, do not interfere with one another. The owner or owners of a computer interacts with the operating system through a set of commands. All application programs need an operating system. Also, operating systems optimizes one’s computer performance. Most of the work that is involved in the operating system is unnoticed because it does the work behind the scenes. This system is in charge of managing one’s network connections. Considering all the new technology out, operating systems must be uploaded in order to support the new technology being uploaded to computers. All in all, the operating system is the core of all computers.
Operating system architecture
Multitasking and Multithreading
Multitasking is a computer’s ability to seemingly run multiple tasks or processes at the same time. For example, you might have an Internet browser open to read this page while also having a word processor open to take notes and a media player open to stream music. In reality, however, the computer is not actually able to process multiple tasks simultaneously; rather, it switches between them at incredibly quick speeds to give the appearance of working on them simultaneously. CPUs have become faster over time, which allows computers to increasingly run more applications at the same time and switch between them more quickly and seamlessly. If computers could not do this, a user would have to painstakingly close an application any time he or she wanted to do anything in another application.
Continuity is a new form of multitasking. Continuity was a new feature that came together with Apple’s iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. It lets you seamlessly move between your compatible Apple devices or use them all simultaneously. Continuity includes features such as Handoff, Phone Calling, Instant Hotspot, and SMS. Handoff is a feature wherein you can start work from one device then continue on another. For example, you may be working on a document on your Mac but then suddenly you have to leave the desktop. With Handoff, you can simply continue your work on the iPad while you are away from the desktop. Phone Calling is simply phone calls on your computer or tablet when they are connected to your phone through the same Wi-Fi network. This allows for instant responses to calls without having the need to use your phone. Instant Hotspot is where your iPhone can provide internet access to your other devices. Finally, SMS allows you to send and receive text messages to and from your computer or tablet. This allows for you to seamlessly answer messages without even lifting your phone. Continuity is basically taking the concept of multitasking and simplifying it by using multiple devices instead of using multiple CPUS.
Multithreading, on the other hand, is a computer’s ability to perform multiple operations within a given task at seemingly the same time. Again, the processor is not actually able to do multiple things simultaneously, but it is able to switch between different actions so quickly that, for all intents and purposes as far as the user is concerned, it is doing them simultaneously. As programs work on behalf of the initial request for that thread and are interrupted by other requests, the status of work on behalf of that thread is kept track of until the work is completed
Functions of the Operating System
Some of the primary functions of the operating system include creating an interface for the user and the computer to interact, booting up the computer, configuring devices, managing network connections, and managing the jobs of the computer.
A process is a program in execution. A process needs certain resources, including CPU time, memory, files, and I/O devices, to accomplish its task. The Operating System is responsible for process creation/deletion , process suspension/resumption, and provision of mechanisms for process communication.
Memory management is the process of controlling and coordinating computer memory, assigning portions called blocks to various running programs to optimize overall system performance. The Operating System is responsible for maintaining bookkeeping information, mapping processes to memory locations, and allocating memory space as required.
In order for computers and users to interact, some sort of user interface must be provided. User interfaces can be based on text, such as the original DOS that was used in the 1980s and 1990s, or it can be based on graphics. Most personal computers and mobile devices today use a graphical user interface, also known as GUI, which uses visuals such as icons, desktops, pointers, and menus for users to utilize. Basic forms of graphical user interface include the use of checkboxes, lists, and other fundamental forms of input. Examples of graphical user interfaces include Windows, Mac OS, and many other modern operating systems. The user interface (“UI”) refers to the part of an operating system, program, or device that allows a user to enter and receive information. 
Booting the Computer
Another function of the operating system involves booting up the computer. This process occurs when the CPU (if it’s in a multi-core processor, one is designated) which contains the bootstrap processor (BSP) initiates the basic input/output system (BIOS) which contains a set of instructions that tell the computer how to boot up. The BIOS chip tells the computer to look for the boot loader. The boot loader’s job is to initiate the operating system. It does this by finding the kernel, which contains the operating system, and loading it into the memory. The BIOS also performs a power-on self-test (POST). The POST ensures that all the functions and components of the computer are properly working before startup.
Buffering and Spooling
The part of the operating system used mostly with printers is buffering. This part can be in the RAM (Random Access Memory) or the hard drive. This area is meant to hold the input and the output during their way out of the system. Although many people are familiar with buffering having to do with loading while streaming videos and music, it can also be referred to as a temporary form of memory. While a buffer is doing its job, the CPU can change data before relocating to any other devices. When items are placed into a buffer waiting to be regained, this is called spooling. Along with buffers being used with printers, spooling often refers to print spooling. Many college campuses have print spooling, which enables one printer to have multiple print jobs sent to it at one time. These multiple documents can be sent all from the same computer or more than one. While this spooling occurs, there is a print queue that all documents waiting can be stored until they are printed. Spooling is a very useful tool because while one device may not run as fast, it provides documents with a waiting area in the meantime.
DOS (Disk Operating System) was the dominant operating system for microcomputers in the 1980s and the early 1990s. The first version of DOS was developed for IBM. DOS is a rather simple operating system but it does not utilize a graphical user interface and it does not support modern processors, which is why it is no longer used. Some computers can still run the DOS commands but the user needs to know how to input the commands using the Command Prompt window.
This non-graphical operating system was originally written by Tim Paterson and was introduced in August 1981. The last DOS system to be released was the MS-DOS 6.22 in 1994. The DOS system used a command line, instead of a GUI (graphical user interface), to allow the user to navigate, open files, and perform other functions. Today, people use a mouse to navigate the computer and carry out commands, but with the DOS there was a command-line interface which had specific commands put in a prompt, which then brought up whatever file or program was prompted. Later, software programs with menu-based or icon-based interfaces were created for convenience. While the DOS systems are not used anymore, the command shell, now called the Windows command line, is still used today. It is expected that as these operating systems gain market share, DOS will eventually disappear. In the meantime, Caldera, Inc. markets a version of DOS called DR-OpenDOSthat extends MS-DOS in significant ways.
A Command Line Interface Page
Windows is a series of operating systems that is designed by Microsoft. The first two versions of the Windows operating system, introduced in 1985 and 1987 respectively, were primitive. Windows 1.0 had only basic functions such as MS Paint and a word processor and Windows 2.0 had very rudimentary versions of Word and Excel. Windows did not become popular until its third release in 1990. Windows 3.0 had enhanced graphics, the ability to “multi-task”, and (for the first time) virtual memory. This version was so popular that it stayed on the market for eleven years. The next big improvement came with Windows 95, which expanded from 16-bit to 32-bit (short for binary digit). Windows 2000 was known for its increase in plug-in devices that were congruent with the operating system. Windows XP, or Windows 2001, included a comprehensive help center to allow users to utilize different types of media and was designed mostly for user ease and convenience. The main feature of Windows Vista is the Instant Search at the bottom of the start menu. Then Windows 7 came out and the improvements were mainly to make it faster and easier to use. The most recent version of Windows is Windows 10. Windows 10 came out late July 2015. The new Windows will allow you do to more than one thing at once. It also allows for a new way to search and there is a way to open the Windows store from your home page.. Windows is the most commonly used operating system and is used on about 90% of all personal computers.
Screenshot of Microsoft Windows 1.0
A Presentation of Windows 8
Apple Corporation’s registered operating system is called Mac OS. There are many different branches stemming from the Mac OS X family. It was primarily based off of UNIX because of its standard interface and graphics look. Mac OS X Snow Leopard was the primary operating system, followed by the making of Mac OS X Mountain Lion, which is the newest and greatest version of Mac Operating Systems. Mac OS has capabilities of multithreading and multitasking. It also has a 64-bit processor that runs with applications used with 64-bit software. The many great features of Mac OS X creates an easy working environment for students, teachers, and parents to easily access many files. Mac OS is also known for its great graphic features that are popular to artsy users. The Launchpad and Mission Control with the bird’s-eye view of the Dashboard and desktop make opening applications easier for users. Apple launched a new operating system in 2014 titled OS X Yosemite, which features a redesigned interface as well as multiple ways for users to perform activities across their Apple devices. In 2015 El Capitan was released, followed by Sierra in 2016 and High Sierra in 2017.
UNIX was trademarked in 1969 by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs as a multitasking, and multi-user computer operating system. UNIX can support systems ranging from microcomputers to mainframes, along with various devices. Because UNIX is used for an assortment of categories of computers, this is a great advantage. However, it is more expensive than most operating systems, and is very difficult to maintain upgrades. UNIX is widely known for its simplicity and ease while working on the computer, therefore different companies use a spin off of UNIX as their operating system, like Mac OS X.
UNIX has just celebrated their 40th anniversary of being a business Unix combines the worldwide single Unix specification with X/open company’s XPG4, IEEE’s POSIX standards and ISO C. Single UNIX Specification defines this product in four parts specification, product, trademark, and technology allowing it to still be successful even though it was separated from AT&T and found its own angle. It allowed for one open consensus specification that is the requirement for the UNIX systems. UNIX was one of the first operating systems to be written in a high-level programming language and could possibly be installed on any computer. This high-level programming language was also developed by Dennis Ritchie at the Bell Labs, which allows a more flexible language to be used in various applications thus being very beneficial for businesses. It being inexpensive allowed for many people to be a big fan of UNIX and actually many universities use it for that reason. It never really took off in the home computer business but for workstations it tends to be the number one choice. The source language was open so if anyone got a hold of it they could change it to fit their own needs the best.
Linux is an open- source, portable, multi-user (multiple users can access system resources like memory/ ram/ application programs at same time), multiprogramming, operating system that was first released by Linus Torvalds in October 1991. It is very similar to other operating systems, such as Windows and OS X and a source is available to the public, to which users can download Linux via the Internet and have the capability to run another operating system on their PC or Mac. No other company has done this before. The system has primary three components: Kernel (the core part of Linux), system library (special functions or programs), and system utility (responsible to do specialized, individual level tasks). Linux is one of the leading operating system on servers, mainframe computers and supercomputers. > Linux is used on a lot of popular electronic devices, such as mobile phones, tablet computers, network routers, facility automation controls, televisions and video game consoles. The system is widely used by local and national governments. The US Navy’s newest warship that is armed with missiles and robot guns is powered by Linux, Spain is using Linux in education, and China uses Linux to achieve technology independence. Collaborators of Linux are continually making improvements to the system.
Chrome OS is an open-source operating system created by Google to create a better computing experience for people who spend most of their time on the web. [General referenced 1]On June 15, 2011, Chrome OS was launched to the public with the first Chromebooks, notebooks using the Chrome OS, created by Samsung and Acer. Today, Chromebooks are created by a number of other computer companies including HP, Toshiba, Asus, and Dell. The main reason the Chrome OS differs from other operating systems is that it allows for user data and applications to reside in the cloud, taking up less space on the computer hardware. By not storing files and data on the system it allows the Chromebooks to boot up faster. Which in return helps prevent viruses; making it an overall more secure and efficient laptop. Because of this, many Chromebooks only contain the same amount of memory and RAM as the average smartphone, Google, however, supplies each user with one-hundred gigabytes of Google Drive cloud storage for up to two years.
There are many things one should consider when purchasing a computer. One of the biggest factors one should be aware of is what operating system the computer uses. Different operating systems have different features to suit the user’s needs. If one is looking into a smaller laptop computer, they might consider a Google Chromebook, which uses Chrome OS. It is a good idea to look into the pros and cons of a computer’s operating system before making a purchase. Like all operating systems, Chrome OS has both advantages and disadvantages. One positive feature is that Chrome OS is based on Linux, which is virtually virus free, which means users will be safer from threats. Another great feature is its ability for fast boot times, generally loading in just under ten seconds. It also allows for different users to configure it differently according to their needs, and saves each person’s data separately, creating privacy for each user. One of the cons of this operating system is that it does not allow installation of new apps. Users must use web-based apps instead, which they can get in the Chrome Web store. Another feature that the Chromebook is lacking is a user friendly printing option. In order to print something, one must have a Cloud Print Ready Printer. It lacks the convenience to simply plug it in to an existing printer and print, which could become an annoyance. Another feature that may seem inconvenient is that Chromebooks require internet access to do most of its work. Users that have tasks such as editing video or making movies may find that a Chromebook is not for them. It seems there are advantages and disadvantages for Chrome OS, and one should take them into consideration when deciding which operating system will suit their needs best.
There are many different operating systems for mobile phones and devices but most six stand out as being most used. These are Android, Asha, Blackberry, iOS, Windows Phone, and Windows RT.
One of the most widely used mobile OS these days is Android. Android Inc was founded in Palo Alto of California, U.S. by Andy Rubin, Rich miner, Nick sears and Chris White in 2003. Later Android Inc. was acquired by Google in 2005. It is a Linux based operating system that is designed primarily for touch screen mobile devices such as smart phones and tablet computers. The operating system has developed a lot in the last 15 years starting from black and white phones to recent smart phones or mini computers. After original release there have been number of updates in the original version of Android. The android is a powerful operating system and supports a large number of applications in Smartphones. These applications are more comfortable and advanced for the users. The hardware that supports android software is based on ARM architecture platform. The android is an open source operating system which means that it’s free and any one can use it. The android has millions of apps available that can help you managing your life in one way or another and it is available at low cost market making android very popular to its consumers. Android’s worldwide market rose significantly and now reaches 87.9% of the global smartphone market share as of 2017.
Asha is used by Nokia phones. These smartphones are on the lower end when it comes to software and component capability. Because of the low capability, Nokia smartphones are usually the cheapest which makes them able to compete with higher end smartphones.
Blackberry’s operating system is called BlackBerry 10. This is a closed source operating system for smartphone and tablet devices. The newest operating system developed by Blackberry for tablet devices is BlackBerry Tablet OS.
The BlackBerry operating system has all of the same features a smart phone does: email access, web browsing, phone calls, play music and video, and send and receive text messages. Most models are not touch screen, with the exception of the Storm and the Torch. Instead of a touch screen, a trackball or track pad is the hardware used for navigation. Because there is no touch screen, the operating system does not require that much battery life to process so the phone stays on longer than others.  The BlackBerry also has multiple buttons (similar to the image on the right) including a BlackBerry button, back button, call and end button, 1 or 2 convenience keys, and a full keyboard. The BlackBerry button is designed for easy integration, such as sharing a photo via email. This system is geared toward communications rather than games and apps. It features an email software that “pushes” email directly to the user’s phone, which saves battery and provides the most current information. One drawback to this type of smart phone is how limited the customization is. Only the wallpaper and the function of a few buttons can be changed. It also does not feature “widgets” or a wide selection of apps like the android phones do. Overall this operating system is easy for productivity, but falls behind its competitors in a wide selection of applications.
iOS is Apple’s operating system for Apple’s iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and second-generation Apple TVs. This operating system is closed source and not until iOS 2.0 were third party applications offically supported. Prior to this update, jailbreaking was the only way to allow third party applications access to a user’s iOS device. As of September 2015, iOS is in its 9th iteration. It was introduced at Apple’s product convention in the fall of 2015 in conjunction with the new iPad. iOS is known for a colorful graphics, and an easy to understand user interface. This being said, it was created as an OS for mobile devices, and thus was designed primarily for consuming content as opposed to creating content. As Apple’s new iPad is designed for both consuming and creating content, iOS needed to be upgraded accordingly. The latest version includes the ability to split screen multi task on to applications at the same time, similar to a laptop. In addition, it includes new built application as well as upgrades to existing applications. Apple Maps now includes public transportation, and more apps can integrate with the cloud. Siri, a “personal assistant” has also been upgraded to do more tasks, and to integrate with additional apps, such as Pictures. Finally, there are new multi touch gestures built in to the system. These assist the user in typing, editing projects, taking notes, emailing and other tasks typically associated with a laptop computer. Generally, iOS 9 is built to create content rather than simply consuming.
Windows Phone is developed by Microsoft as a closed source operating system for mobile phones. It allows users to access Microsoft SkyDrive, Office, Xbox, and other Microsoft programs remotely. Windows Phone devices are made mostly by Nokia, HTC, Samsung, and Huawei. On April 14, 2014, Microsoft released its newest mobile operating system, Phone 8.1. The new operating system contained new features including Cortana, a personal assistant similar to Apple’s Siri. The OS also featured upgrades in security, performance, and boot time.
Windows RT was also developed by Microsoft but was designed for mobile devices and tablets. This close sourced operating system closely resembled Windows 8, an OS developed by Microsoft for desktop computers and laptops. Windows RT was discontinued in 2015.
There was one OS that used to tower above all the rest, before recently falling completely out of the race thanks to increasingly competitive and more simplistic operating systems. The name of this OS is Symbian, and between 2000-10 it ruled supreme thanks to its partnership with Nokia, a company that excelled in moving large units of inexpensive cellphones. The Symbian company had risen from the ashes of a failing PDA company named Psion, changing its focus to mobile OS development with funding from entities such as Motorola and Ericsson, while the largest funding share always came from Nokia. Unfortunately, between the more complex code (which contributed to development periods that were unthinkable in comparison to what Windows and Mac were developing) and Nokia changing their allegiance to Windows, Symbian said its final goodbye in mid-2013. Any individuals or companies still attached to the Symbian OS will be offered support for a few more years, but they will need to consider their options now instead of waiting for the last minute. Luckily, as can be seen from the plethora of options above, Symbian users can surely pick an OS that is the closest to the quality programming to which they had grown attached.
Mobile Device Systems
Below are three very popular mobile phone/device providers today. They are Windows, Android, and Apple. The three use different operating systems.
Windows is full of change. Most people have used Windows on their personal computers, but did you know it is also integrated into our GPS systems, ATMs, and even robots? Windows mobile devices include things called tiles which are icons for different things stored in the device itself. Related tiles can be put together in hubs. Windows devices also offer integration with windows office software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.). They also include integration with Xbox Live. 
Android: Android was created by a group of 30+ mobile technology companies and is based on the Linux operating system. These devices offer the ability to multitask with a split thing (doing two things on the same screen verses switching between tasks). The screen will contain multiple applications that can be bought and downloaded (some for free) from the Android Market. Android software will update regularly and is intended to fix any potential bugs, as well as loading any new features.
iOS (Apple): This system is based on Apple’s Mac OS X. Similar to the apps of the android system, apple products also contain apps but they are downloaded and purchased from the App Store. There are over 900,000 apps currently available. These devices are also synced to your iTunes account allowing you to upload your music to their devices as well. Some things that are specific to these devices are their Safari web browser, FaceTime, and the ability to track your device through the “Find my iPhone” app. 
In general, the utility program is defined as special software written to take care of the operating system maintenance and management to keep the performance of a computer system at the appropriate level. The utility programs could be a part of operating system or a product of third party developers. Whether you want to install programs or move file to a different folder, search for a document or set the connection to the network, you are using the utility program tools. Another important improvement the utilities can help you with is your hard drive performance. Disc check, disc clean up and disc defragmentation programs alone with a files compression utility will let you keep your storage organized and reduce the time of the searching, retrieving and displaying information you requested. The last but not least task the utility programs are being applied for is the operating system and your data protection. The backup and recovery programs let us be sure that we will not lose all data in case of system malfunctions and will be able to return back to restore point, when the system was working properly, while the antivirus, antispyware and firewalls – utility programs – will protect the computer from data theft.
File Management Program
They organize files and are available for the user to access them. There are 6 important concepts that the file management programs have. To start off, it has a navigation system that gives the user access to the file hierarchy and be able to find their work. The actions to proceed are using the “up” and “down” to navigate through the folders and “go to” to reach their data. Another function is the operations functions which allow the user to interact with the files. The common functions along with this are as follows: open, save, close, copy, move, delete, rename, new and share. The user would obviously be concerned about the security of their files. With this being said, the files can be blocked with a login procedure which will only give people that know the username and password access to the file. To keep your file program organized, it is necessary to maintain the storage on the program in which you should delete any unneeded files. For the conveyance to the user, there is a communications function in which there are links available in order to send out a file to a given location. Lastly, there’s a search function in which you can find a particular file you are looking for.
Specifically, the Search Tool is very useful for the user. As explained previously, it will find a particular file by simply using the file’s name. There are programs that will search the data by key words but it seems to be more beneficial to know the username instead of the program searching all the documents for key words, which may lead to a longer search than intended.  Also, a file can be searched based on other reasons, including if it is kept in a certain folder, if it has certain characters in its file name, if it has metadata tags, or if it is a specific type of file. If you do not know, a metadata tag includes information about the file, like its author, artist, or keyword. The program being used can set this automatically or it can be manually set to fit your needs. Also, the types of files that can be searched are documents, spreadsheets, videos, or songs. These search tools can be integrated into the operating systems that your computer is designed to run, or you can download them off the Internet for free or at a low charge. Some Internet based search tools, called desktop search tools, can find certain Web pages, messages sent over the Internet, or certain e-mails. A few of the websites that provide these services are Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Other search tools that you can download off the Internet serve specific purposes, like finding duplicate files on your hard drive. This can come in handy when your computer’s hard drive storage is running high. In conclusion, the search tool utility program provides you with great accessibility to your files and documents when you don’t have time to spare. 
Diagnostic and Disc Management Programs
With technology playing such an important role in our everyday life, it is important to make sure that it is maintaining itself and running properly. Instead of having to go through and check every aspect of the computer ourselves, computers come with built in diagnostic management program and disc management programs. Diagnostic management programs deal with making sure that everything on the system is working the way it should be, while disc management systems programs worry about the hard drive operating correctly. Most computers come with the basics of this software already built in, however some people prefer to go outside of what they already have and purchase more protection and security for their computer. These programs keep your computer running quickly, optimally, and effectively on a daily basis.
Uninstall and Cleanup Utilities
You would think that once a program or application is deleted, no trace of it would be left behind; however, this is very often not the case. In many instances, traces of that file, program, or application are still left embedded into your hard drive. In order to fully get rid of them, people often use something called uninstall utilities. These programs go through your hard drive and remove any unneeded space, memory, or left over remnants from that application that once existed. Many computers come with this option already installed, which makes keeping your computer updated and up to speed an easy task. Clean up utilities are very similar to uninstall utilities; however, instead of going through and deleting old applications and programs, they go through and clean up your computer by deleting temporary files.
File Compression Programs
File compression programs are designed to reduce the size of files, which allows the user more storage space. For Windows users, these compressed files usually have the .zip or .zipx file extension. The most popular programs are Winrar, Winzip and 7-Zip. For Mac users, these files usually have the .sit or .sitx format. Programs that are commonly used are RAR Expander, StuffIt Expander and MacZip. Some programs have the option of encrypting the zipped files, meaning that a password is required to open the file. This can help those who want to protect their files for themselves or specific users who are granted access. Overall using file compression programs is an efficient way to free up storage space for other computer tasks. The gzip program is a popular file compression program that compresses and decompresses files using Lempel-Ziv coding (LZ77). 
Backup and Recovery Utilities
Over time one might experience the unfortunate event of a power outage or some other event that leads to the corruption of important system files. For example a storm can cut the power in an instant, which turns off the computer in an unsafe manner thereby leading to the corruption of the operating system and possibly even hardware. The system now is damaged, and this is an important reason why backing up is necessary. Businesses understand this, so it is extremely unlikely for a one to not backup its data on a regular basis because the possibility of losing just a segment can be catastrophic. The Windows Backup program (Windows) and Time Machine program (Mac) are included with their respective operating systems, but software programs exist that can be used for free or a price.
Antivirus, Antispyware, Firewalls, and Other Security Programs
Malware consists of viruses, trojans, worms, spyware and other forms that disrupt computer operation. As mentioned, malware can infect computers in many ways, whereas the affected suffers while the infector gains. To protect against these threats, it is highly recommended to take advantage of the utility programs offered by the operating system as well as software programs. Popular antivirus programs for Windows include AVG, Norton 360, McAfee, Kaspersky and Microsoft Security Essentials. A firewall is used to monitor network ports by controlling inbound and outbound traffic to the network. Its primary purpose is to defend the computer from malware and hackers, but it can also interfere with programs that must access the Internet. It will also not remove malware if it has infected the computer; it only blocks the malware from entering. Spyware is software that tracks personal information unknowingly from the user, which can lead to serious problems. It is important to know the software one is downloading and to understand its license agreement and privacy statement (to see if unwanted software is included).
Review: Key Terms
Android: A Linux-based operating system designed for mobile phones and developed by the Open Handset Alliance, which is a group of companies led by Google.
application software: Programs that enable users to perform specific tasks on a computer, such as writing a letter or playing a game.
BlackBerry OS: The operating system designed for BlackBerry devices.
command line interface: A user interface that requires the user to communicate instructions to the computer via typed commands.
buffer: An area in RAM or on the hard drive designated to hold input and output on their way in and out of the system.
device driver: A program that enables an operating system to communicate with a specific hardware device; often referred to simply as a driver.
file compression program: A program that reduces the size of files, typically to be stored or transmitted more efficiently.
graphical user interface (GUI): A graphically based interface that allows a user to communicate instructions to the computer easily.
kernel: The essential portion, or core, of an operating system.
Linux: An open source operating system that is available without charge over the Internet and is increasingly being used with mobile devices, personal computers, servers, mainframes, and supercomputers.
mobile operating system: A type of operating system used with mobile phones and other mobile devices.
server operating system: A type of operating system designed to be installed on a network server.
Symbian OS: An operating system historically used with mobile phones, primarily outside North America.
system software: Programs, such as the operating system, that control the operation of a computer and its devices, as well as enable application software to run on the computer.
utility program: A type of software that performs a specific task, usually related to managing or maintaining a computer system.
virtual memory: A memory-management technique that uses hard drive space as additional RAM.
Windows: The primary personal computer operating system developed by Microsoft Corporation; the most recent version is Windows 7, with Windows 8 expected to be released in 2012.
Windows Embedded: A family of operating systems based on Windows that is designed for nonpersonal computer devices, such as cash registers and consumer electronic devices.
Windows Phone: The version of Windows designed for mobile phones; the current version is Windows Phone 7.
Windows Server: The version of Windows designed for server use; the current version is Windows Server 2008 R2.
1. A computer’s __________ is a collection of programs that manage and coordinate the activities taking place within the computer and it is the most critical piece of software installed on the computer.
2. _______ refers to the ability of an operating system to have more than one programs open at one time.
3. A _______ is an area in RAM or on the hard drive designed to hold input and output on their way in or out of the system.
4. The process of placing items in a buffer so they can be retrieved by the appropriate device when needed is called _______.
5. The older DOS operating system and some versions of the UNIX and Linux operating systems use a __________, although versions of UNIX and Linux are available with GUIs.
6. Operating systems used with personal computers are typically referred to as __________ and they are designed to be installed on a single computer.
7. There have been many different versions of ________ over the years; the next few sections chronicle the main developments of this operating system.
8._________ is an operating system developed by Linus Torvalds in 1992 when he was a student at the University of Helsinki in Finland.
9. The mobile operating system designed for Apple mobile phone and mobile devices, such as the iPhone and the iPod Touch, is _______.
10. Creating a _________ means making a duplicate copy of important files so that when a problem occurs, you can restore those files using the backup copy to avoid data loss.
11. Linux is an operating system developed by Linus Torvalds in 1991 when he was a student at the University of Helsinki.
Answer Key for Review Questions
- operating system
- command line interface
- personal operating systems
Application Software is a single or group of programs that allow access for specific tasks to be performed. Users of a computer should familiarize themselves with the variety of applications that are available. The purpose of computer applications is that it can greatly simplify a task for a user. Ways applications can help are to create and modify word processing, spreadsheets, databases, presentations, along with graphics and multimedia.
Installed vs. Web-based
There are two different types of application software: installed software and web-based software. Installed software must first be installed to the computer before it can be used. When you purchase an installed software, the company can either send you a physical copy of the software, usually in the form of a CD, or you might also have the option of downloading the software from the companies webpage. Web-based software is software that remains on the internet which you can use at an on-demand basis. Web-based software is also referred to as Software as a Service or Cloudware. Some web-based softwares include Google Docs, Dropbox, Prezi, and many others.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Web-based Software (advantages)
- Global access
- Able to run regardless of what operating system the computer has
- Back-ups/Updates are managed
- Web-based (disadvantages)
- Higher chance of lost data
- Slower productivity
- More expensive overtime
- Installed Software (advantages)
- Data secured
- Internet not required
- More control
- Installed Software (disadvantages)
- Limited access
- Must be installed on each computer
- Possible large upfront costs
Creating Application Software
With the ease of access to data, internet, and software becoming more popular on devices such as iPads, tablets, smartphones, etc. applications are not only being utilized, but first, they must be created. In order to simplify the process of creating and establishing an application, one must learn computer coding.
The two most popular software marketplaces as of right now are that of Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. In order to create apps for the App Store, one must have a Mac computer to run the programming tools. One must then pay Apple to sign us as a developer in order to download those tools. The programming language used in those apps is called Objective-C. To create apps for the Play Store, one must have either a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer. The software development kit is free to download and you will need to know the programming language called Java.
After an application software program is developed, the author has what is called ownership rights. These rights specify exactly how the program can and cannot be used. For example, ownership rights allow the author to decide on whether or not the program can be sold, shared, or distributed. The ownership rights vary depending on the type of software. Types of software include commercial, shareware, freeware, and public domain. Commercial software is software that is created and then sold for profit. For example, Microsoft Office Suite is commercial software. Shareware is another type of software that can make profit, however, shareware is initially free and then requests payment after a certain amount of time. For example, a computer game might have a ten day free trial, but after the trial is over the developer will ask for a payment. This payment would allow the gamer to play the computer game on a regular basis. Freeware is a type of software that is available for no charge by the developer. An example of freeware would be Internet Explorer and most other web browsers. Public domain software is similar to freeware, but should not be confused. While freeware is copyrighted, public domain software isn’t. Because public domain software isn’t copyrighted, people are able to copy, modify, and distribute the software.
A ‘software suite, also known as application suite or productivity suite, is a group of related programs that interact together and are purchased together. The most well-known example is Microsoft Office, which includes Excel (spreadsheets), Word (documents), PowerPoint (slideshow), and Outlook (email). There are two primary benefits of software suites:
- It makes it easier for the user to work on multiple related projects at once. Someone can, for example, make a spreadsheet in Excel and then bring it into Word, keeping all of the formatting intact much more easily than if they used an unrelated spreadsheet program and text editing program.
- Purchasing the entire Office suite is much cheaper than purchasing Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook separately. However, a user may not need all of the programs in a given suite, so buying the entire suite when only one or two programs are needed is not an ideal purchase; If not all of the programs are needed, then it would be more prudent to individually purchase the programs which are needed.
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Constructing a Word Processing Script
When constructing a word document there are a few things to keep in mind; character formatting, paragraph formatting, and page formatting. These three basic functions lay the foundation for most of the customization that is needed to create many word documents.
Character formatting changes the appearance of individual characters and relates to the size, font, color, and overall style of the letters or numbers being used. Character formatting also involves underlining, italicizing, and making bold those characters being used. This is great for making a word stand out or for underlining book titles.
Paragraph formatting adjusts the spacing, alignment, and indentation of the paragraphs being formed. Spacing refers to the amount of lines left blank in between the lines being processed. A good example of this is double-spacing which is commonly used in an educational setting where a student has to write a paper for a specific instructor. Commonly double-spacing is used so that the instructor can make corrections to the document without having to mark over the actual words on the paper. Alignment refers to the way the paragraph is positioned in regards to the left and right margins. A left alignment is most commonly used when creating a word document and this setting aligns the words being formed to be flush with the left margin. A center alignment is usually used for titling a paper.
Page formatting refers to the width of the margins, the size of the paper being used, and the orientation of the page. The standard margin is 1.25 inches on both the left and right but these can be customized to suit need and preference. The paper size options reflect what can be used in the printer, and the orientation indicates whether the document will use the traditional or landscape positioning on that paper. Traditional orientation is 8.5 inches wide by 11 inches tall whereas landscape is the exact opposite at 11 inches wide by 8.5 inches tall.
Word Processing Tools
Some of the basic tools that are employed in word processing programs that help to make the application more user friendly are tables, graphics, and templates. These tools allow for minimal effort and excellent results when adding features like these to a word document.
Tables are used for organizing information and are composed of rows and columns in which data is placed. This is great for comparing and contrasting information as it’s condensed and presented in a straight forward fashion. Tables can also be used for laying out entire documents, such as a resume, where information is sectioned off from one another. In this example, the entire report is formulated to a table instead of a small section as mentioned earlier.
Graphics are pictures, drawings, clip art, or other images that can be inserted into a document from other programs or from stored data on a computer. This makes for easy illustrations where a picture, or pictures, would suffice better than words or tables to highlight a point. Graphics tools also allow the user to manipulate the images that have been imported by changing the color, contrast, brightness, and size of the image, among other things. The customization process of these images in a word processor provide for an easy and quick avenue of explanation concerning the topics at hand.
Another useful tool are Templates. These are preprogrammed arrangements of ideas and/or illustrations that are known to serve a purpose and are already organized for the user to interact with. Most often this means “filling in the blanks” and some common templates that should be recognized are resumes, business cards, identification cards, fax cover sheets, memos, invoices, and newsletters to name a few.
Along with templates, some documents are required to look differently depending on the use; as a result of this we change the format of our documents. Any change in format in a document is a change in the overall appearance. Examples of formatting documents can range from MLA to APA format, requiring different sized margins, fonts, etc. In order to do this, Word has tabs that make navigating around your document easy and efficient. Word includes a Help Center convenient for users to receive assistance whether it is live online help or offline. In this Help Center, tools such as where and how contents are organized are listed in a user-friendly manner. While Word processing is simply creating, editing, saving, and printing, the creation and edition are made easy by Word for a variety of end results in the overall appearance of documents. In the time of typewriters, the “carriage return” was used when a line of text needed to move to the next line to continue. With present day Word, this is done automatically and is a process called Word Wrapping. Other tools that Word offers which were not available are the ability to contain various fonts, edit proportions, and spacing is also made more efficient.
What is a Spreadsheet
A spreadsheet is a group of values and other data organized into rows and columns similar to the ruled paper worksheets traditionally used by bookkeepers and accountants. The spreadsheet software is mandatory to create computerized spreadsheets. Microsoft Excel is a form of a spreadsheet. Spreadsheets can support keeping track of data, support in quickly formulating subtotals, populating visual graphs and charts and essentially is a working tool that can easily be shared. A worksheet is the single spreadsheet document. A workbook allows multiple worksheets to be saved together in a single spreadsheet file. Worksheets are divided into rows and columns. The intersection of a row is called a cell. One must enter content into the active cell, or current cell; it has a border around it to make it be easily identified. Data is entered directly into worksheet cells by clicking a cell to make it the active cell. Labels, constant values, formulas, and functions are the data that is entered into a cell. Before one enters a formula or function into a cell, one must begin with some type of mathematical symbol, usually the equal sign (=). Spreadsheets are used to organize and calculate data. There is a maximum number of rows and columns in a spreadsheet which varies depending on the version of software you have. It is essential to know how to use spreadsheets for school, work, sports, or anything that requires data!
Tables, Graphics, and Templates
Tables, graphics, and templates are all available to a user with application software, such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and PowerPoint. Tables are ways a user can organize data and information at their convenience. According to Microsoft Word, there are now many different available options for users who are looking for various kinds of tables. These different options include the following: the Graphic Grid, Insert Table, Draw Table, insert a new or existing Excel Spreadsheet table, and Quick Tables. The concept of using tables for data input is relatively simple. In order for a user to insert a table, the user must first open Microsoft Word. Once they have done this, they must click the “table” button to customize the table to achieve their needs. The overall format for a table consists of a large (or small) grid that can be altered by the amount of information the user has, ex. four columns five rows. Next, the user must insert the table into the word document by selecting “insert table” from the dropdown menu. Microsoft Excel contains pivot tables that are tables that include data from a spreadsheet with columns and rows that can be specifically selected.
Graphics in Microsoft Word are pictures, or clip art that are able to be inserted into a Microsoft Word document, Excel Spreadsheet, PowerPoint slide, or any other Office application. the most common graphic used in Excel is graphs. You can create graphs based on data taken from your spreadsheet. Graphics are inserted into these Office Applications to enhance the information presented in a Word Document, Excel worksheet, or PowerPoint slide. A user can insert their own picture through their office documents; add clip art, shapes, SmartArt, screenshot, or Word Art.
Templates are pre-constructed document layouts whose primary use is to assist a user in creating a specific type of document in a convenient amount of time. The different options of templates vary, but a few of the following are common ones used every day: agendas, brochures, calendars, flyers, fax covers, and many more. Templates are used to save a user time, and confusion in creating their document.
How to use a Spreadsheet
When using a spreadsheet application, the user can use various concepts to compute the data entered into the cells in the spreadsheet. These different concepts are provided within the program. Some very common concepts that are utilized are charts, functions, formulas, and cell referencing.
A chart can be created as its own object or embedded within the sheet itself. This is helpful when a user needs to analyze data or represent changing data. Some form of charts are: lines graphs, scatter plot charts, bar charts, Venn diagram charts, and the list goes on.
A chart generated using Excel.
A function is a pre-programmed mathematical formula to allow the user to make calculations based on the data input. The functions under spreadsheets are there to perform a simple calculation by using a certain value, called arguments. If the user wishes to create his own formula, Visual Basic can be used to write a formula and then the spreadsheet program can input the values into the newly written formula, reporting the data back into the sheet.There are many different reasons to have functions on spreadsheets. One would be for arithmetic functions to process numerical data. The next would be statistical functions that use analysis tools and averaging tools. This would be useful for finding the average of the numbers in a certain row/column on a spreadsheet. The next function is date that processes and converts dates. This function could be used to put the sequential dates in order on the spreadsheet. The next function is logic functions that process logic data. An example of logic data would be an AND/OR function. If there was something that needed to be marked yes if it is above 5 and marked no if it is below 5 then that would be a logic function. The last one is financial functions that process monetary data. They all must start with an equal sign, the name of the function, parenthesis opening and closing. In the function a comma or semicolon is used as the delimiter, depending on what settings are there in the spreadsheet would depend on which one to use. An example would be =SUM(A1:A4), this function would find the sum in those cells. Some of the most common functions are SUM, AVERAGE, IF, COUNT, MAX and MIN.
A function being edited using VB in Excel.
A formula identifies the calculation needed to place the result in the cell it is contained within. This means a cell has two display components; the formula itself and the resulting value. Typically, a formula consists of five expressions: value, references, arithmetic operations, relation operations, and functions. By using these expressions, formulas can help to make tables, solve math problems, calculate a mortgage, figure out accounting tasks, and many other business-related tasks that use to be done tediously on paper.
A formula always starts with an equals sign (=), followed by a constant, a function or a reference, then followed by an operator, and then followed by another constant, function or reference. A constant is a value that never changes; this includes numbers, dates, titles and other text input. References represent a certain cell, such as “A2”. An operator is usually a math symbol, such as “+” or “*” which tells the computer how to compute (add or multiply, respectively) the given constants or functions given in the formula. It is good to be careful that one knows the difference between a constant and a reference. If the constant “30” is input into cell A3, and the formula says “=30+2”, then if A3’s value changes, the expression of the formula will not change unless the formula itself changes. If one wishes to have a formula that returns the value of a cell, then the formula should read “=A3+2”. Another thing to note is that the operators will follow the basic “rules” of calculation. For example, the formula “=3+2*4” will add 3 to product of 2 and 4, rather than add 3 and 2, then multiply the sum times 4. (Parenthesis can be used to change the order: (3+2)*4 would add first, then multiply.) Operators are not always arithmetic, they can also be comparison, text concatenation, and reference operators. Comparison includes greater than, lesser than, greater than or equal to, and lesser than or equal to. To connect two values into one value, a text concatenation (the “and” sign i.e. “&”) is used. The signs used as reference operators are the following: a colon is used to reference two cells and all the cells between them (i.e. B1:B10); a comma is used to combine multiple references into one reference (i.e. B1:B10,C1:C10); and a space is used as an intersection operator.
Using a formula in Excel.
Cell referencing refers to the ability to utilize a cell or range of cells in a spreadsheet and is commonly used to create formulas to calculate data. Formulas can retrieve data from one cell in the worksheet, different areas of the worksheet, or different cells throughout an entire workbook. There are two ways of doing this: relative and absolute cell referencing. A relative cell reference will adjust as the formula is copied from another cell while an absolute will not adjust. An example of this would be “=D2+F2” which is row 2 to row 3 which will equal “D3+F3”. It is also important to note that a user can reference both the same sheet and other sheets in a book using this concept.
One the most powerful features available in the Microsoft Office spreadsheet program Excel, is pivot tables. Pivot tables allow you to manipulate large amounts of raw data. It makes it easy to analyze the data in different ways, with a simple click and drag. Vast quantities of data can be summarized in a variety of ways. Calculations can be performed by row or column. Data can be filtered or sorted automatically by any or all of the fields. Excel can even recommend a basic layout of a pivot table based on the type of data selected. A wizard is available to assist in the creation of the table. An important thing to remember when using pivot tables, is that any time the original data source is modified, the data must be refreshed in the pivot.
Once the pivot table has been created and the data has been analyzed in a meaningful way, it can then be represented graphically using pivot charts. All the basic chart types available in Excel are available in the pivot chart menu. Much like the pivot tables they are built on, they can also be manipulated with ease. They can be filtered to display only the relevant information form the main data source. They can also be added to and refreshed very easily.
A database is an organized collection of facts and information such as text and numbers, and often can hold still images, sounds and videos or film clips. It is organizing data in such a way that a computer program can quickly select desired pieces of information. A database can also be referred to as an electronic filing system. For example, libraries, rather than have a file cabinet, provide access to academic databases for use in scholarly projects. Regular PC databases are organized by fields, records, tables, and files. A field (column) is a single piece of information like last name, address, phone number, and such. A record (row) is a one complete set of fields. A table is a collection of records. Lastly, a file is a collection of related tables. A database file is created first, then tables that can be created in either datasheet or design view. There are different kinds of databases, such as active, cloud, deductive, distributed, graph, hypertext, etc. For example, in hypertext database, any object can be linked to another object; this is useful for organizing a lot of information. A DBMS is database management software that allows the definition, creation, querying, update, and administration of databases. Common database management software is Microsoft Access. Since many databases store confidential and important information, they require passwords and other security features in order to access the information.
Queries and Reports
Queries and reports are used to retrieve information from databases. A query is almost like a search tool for the user of the database to find specific information like an item, number, name, etc. Like other documents made, a query has to be made and saved as well, for users to be able to come back and search it again. A query contains criteria that must be met for a record or row to be shown in the ending results of the specific query. Queries can also be made to show multiple columns or rows at a single time, instead of just one row or column. For example, a customer insists on buying a set of glasses for under $20 at Crate and Barrel. The employee can then inquire “glasses under $20” and be able to tell the customer which kind to specifically look at. A report is used when acquiring a formal output. This can be a company logo or graphic with a page column heading. These can be created with the “Report Wizard button” on the “Create tab” from the Ribbon. Reports are mostly used with database tables or queries. Databases can be used more efficiently for customers shopping via the Internet. Today, online shopping is the newest sensation. For example, a specific dress can be found on Lord and Taylor’s  website for women, prior to going to the store by typing in the search bar. Examples of popular databases used are Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Access, Oracle, MySQL, and IBM DB2.
Deciding Which Database to Use
How does one know which kind of database to use? To someone not familiar with this kind of thing, it could be a situation where one does not even know where to begin. Something one must first consider is what they will be using the database for. Database Managing Systems can be broken up into two categories; server databases or desktop databases. Desktop databases are typically geared toward a single user, whereas server databases must accommodate multi-users and large amounts of data. Some familiar types of Desktop DB are Microsoft Access, Fox Pro, File Manager, or Paradox. Desktop DB’s are fit for storing less complex data and are less expensive then server DB’s, typically around one hundred dollars. They are also very user friendly and have web functionality that allows the user to publish data on the web. Server databases on the other hand are equipped to store and manage much larger amounts of data and allow for many users to have access to that data at the same time. Some popular Server DB’s are Microsoft SQL, Oracle or IBM DB2. Due to their complex functionality, these data bases are much more expensive, ranging in the thousands and up. Server DB’s are equipped with Application Programmer Interfaces (API’s) that allow for custom programming and applications. They are extremely powerful, being able to accommodate cluster servers and multiple high speed processors. They are also able to adapt well to the constant addition of users and data. After evaluating these two types of databases, one should have a better idea of which one will best suit their needs.
The database is one of the most essential parts of a business process. The ability to access and to operate data is a necessary condition for the running company. Permanent data loss puts the business in serious danger. According to some researchers, about a half of the companies affected by disasters and major loss of corporate data, have not been able to continue their activities. There are few most common reasons for database destruction: equipment failures, physical impact on the hardware of the database, errors of authorized users, database or operating system bugs and errors in application programs, intentional acts unauthorized users or programs. The primary protection tools such the user’s identification, the granting of different rights of access to database objects e.g. reading, adding, deleting, and changing along with data and programs encryption can provide the acceptable security level. Note, that the security model, based on the basic mechanisms of authorization and authentication does not solve problems such as stolen user IDs and passwords or malicious actions of some users with the authority.
 It is important to understand best practices when ensuring database security. The first thing to do is to develop a plan, enforce a regulation, and adopt a checklist to use as the backbone of security standards. One should always report suspicious behavior immediately, to help minimize risk of attack.
Intro to Presentation Software
Everyone has different styles of learning. Some people are more visual learners meaning they prefer to learn through graphs and charts, while others are auditory learners meaning they prefer to learn through spoken presentations and lectures. Yet, no matter your learning style, there is one type of software that has been repeatedly proven to be a great method of sharing key information in an organized and relatively entertaining fashion. The successful software in question is presentation software. Presentation software allows the user to create slides which they can piece together into a slideshow. It is a great way to organize and refine large amounts of information into the most important aspects because each slide has limited space and there is often time restraint when giving a presentation. Whether you’re presenting information to a classroom or to a boardroom, the method of organizing information in a fluid manner remains the same. To add entertainment value, there are many variables within each example of software that can be manipulated, from text size and color to slide transitions and transition noises. Expert presentation software users can add photos and music to their presentations. Two of the most widely used examples of presentation software today are Microsoft Powerpoint and Prezi.
Presentation graphics is a type of software that allows users to create stylized audio and visual aids (sound effects, animation, etc.) typically for slideshows, reports, and public informational speeches. Presentation graphics incorporates tools for inserting various types of drawings, text and background schemes in a wide variety of fonts, colors, and patterns. Most systems can also import specific data from a spreadsheet application to generate customized charts and graphs. Presentation programs can be divided into two categories — business graphics software and general multimedia authoring tools. Though some products are blended, the layout of business presentation software emphasizes fast learning and ease of use, while multimedia software offers a more sophisticated presentation that will likely require a higher level of technological understanding. Popular presentation software, such as Microsoft’s Powerpoint or Apple’s Keynote, may be purchased independently or as part of an office suite. Universally compatible products include Adobe Persuasion, Corel Presentations, Harvard Graphics, and Lotus Freelance Graphics. Free products include Google Slides, Prezi, PowToon, and Academic Presenter. All presentation platforms function similarly and provide nearly identical capabilities just with different visual layouts. Upon completion, the file(s) are usually saved to a computer, external storage device, or the cloud. During a presentation, users are able to view miniature images of slides on a device’s screen, and edit or direct their layout as they are simultaneously projected onto a larger screen or LCD projection panel for others to view. 
Powerpoint is a Microsoft Office software used to present information and work as a visual aide. Powerpoint makes it easy to organize and present information in a visually appealing way such as charts, pictures, tables, video clips, and sounds. The various designs and color themes that come are built in the software and are ready to use. The slides themselves come with several options of pre-loaded layouts, using features such as bullet points, pictures, captions, and titles. These are easy to drag and drop to make rearranging very easy. The idea of a digital visual is to help a presenter engage their audience and display their ideas in a more simple form. This also helps the presenter engage their audience. One feature that comes in handy is the ability to print the slides so either the presenter or audience can be informed ahead of time of what to expect. Meaning, there is a preview feature that allows the user to already know what topic is coming next. Powerpoint also has a notes feature in which you can input notes you may need for your presentation. The notes feature also allows you to print out the notes page with the slide show on it which is known as notes view. You can also adjust the size of the slide on the notes view so that all of your notes fit on the page and looks presentable. If all of your notes do not fit on the notes page provided, it will spill over to the next page. If you know their is a lot of wording, you can make a duplicate slide and hide it in the presentation, so you will have more room for your notes! Teachers, employers, and computer users all over the world have now become accustomed to using Powerpoint as their “go-to” visual aide. The image on the right shows a presenter using a Powerpoint as a visual aide.
The PowerPoint presentation graphics program provides the user with several assortment tools and operations for creating and editing slides. With those tools, one is able to add new or delete old slides that are previewed in the slide thumbnail tab area, usually found on the left side of the screen. One is also able to switch to the slide outline tab, which contains only the title and the main text included in the slide. If desired, using the Insert tab, the user can perform additional operations like exporting images, along with adding formatted tables, shapes, symbols, charts, and much more to better express their message. Additionally, to customize the PowerPoint to make it even more dynamic and presentable, text can be animated, and a unique transition can be added to the slides. With animation, text can be set to appear in a specific way in the slide during a slide show. Tons of special effects are provided for the user, including animations to make the text to fly, dissolve, fly, float, or bounce in. Similarly, one is also able to apply special effects to specific slides to transition from one slide to another in a specific manner.
Additionally, Microsoft PowerPoint allows recorded narration to be played back as the slideshow is being presented, along with speaker notes. Furthermore, most presentation graphics programs also allow the user to print those speaker notes for the targeted audience’s convenience.
Inside Scoop on New Presentation Software
There are hundreds of ways we present information on a daily basis. Whether it is through verbal speech, pamphlets, posters, commercials, flyers, power points, etc. we are constantly presenting information and being presented to. Technologically, there are still many ways to present information to an audience. The convenient part is that the user do not just have to use programs like PowerPoint and Microsoft Word. One does not even have to use products that cost money because there are several new and innovative free ways to present that will surely grab the attention of your audience.
Prezi is one of those free presentation methods. It is Internet based, and similar to PowerPoint. However, it is much more user friendly, as well as interactive. PowerPoint seems to have a set order you have to follow. It goes slide to slide in a single order. With Prezi, if you decide you want to go in a different order or go back to something 6 slides back you simply zoom out a little and click the slide you wanted to return to. Prezi slides are set in a “path” and as you present, the presentation will zoom in and out of each slide which are all present on one master screen. This is much different from PowerPoint’s single slide screens. Prezi has the ability to integrate many different forms of information into your presentation. You can upload YouTube videos, PDFs, Excel spreadsheets, photos, music, and voice overs. You can also time your slides and have them move to the next one automatically like in PowerPoint. However, these things are input through a much simpler process. Instead of all the clicks you have to do in PowerPoint to insert things such as a YouTube video, Prezi has a button labeled “Insert YouTube video” and once you click it, it asks for the video URL. After you enter that, it automatically uploads it to your presentation. There you can resize it and place it wherever you would like. The ability to see where one idea came from and how it is physically moving to the next idea makes Prezi a much more innovative presentation method. It can be used for entertainment, educational work, teaching, and even in the business world. It comes with many templates as well at the ability to create your own presentation from scratch.
Prezi also offers many interesting things PowerPoint does not: it has the ability to share the presentation via email, collaborate on a presentation with multiple people, give several people access to the editing of a single presentation, and a free mobile app. The app is free and allows you to present, create, and edit presentations on the go with or without Internet. It is a very useful program and definitely something to check out! 
Graphic software has a variety of application programs and has a wide range of different uses. Graphics software uses photo editing programs that are used to manipulate pixels from images from pictures. A useful program would be Adobe Paint Shop, which can be used to edit, change, and alter pictures however you would like them to be. Another category for creating images would be vector images which are bit-mapped images created by a digital camera and is able to be altered and the images are able to re-scale to any size with no loss of detail. Also, each object in a given picture can be layered over another which allows an individual to take out one specific object if they do not like how it overlaps or covers another object in the picture. Graphs, tables, diagrams, charts, and images usually present the information on a drawing program. This makes drawing programs most appealing to small businesses trying to advertise their product in a larger variety by creating business cards, stylish logos, and more advertising methods. Also, marketing professionals use drawing programs to create intriguing web pages, corporate images, and other business-related necessities. Drawing programs are used by architects, shipbuilders, aerospace engineers, home-designers, prosthetic engineers, landscapers, and construction managers because of the scale-to-size and fixed-point accuracy of such programs. Other common features of a drawing software program are batch conversion, text-to-speech conversion, auto-indexing, layout retention, and the ability to print. Newer programs that are being created come with unique features like TWAIN, which can be used by a Macintosh to allow image hardware devices to communicate with image processing software. Popular drawing program software in use today is computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, MS Paint, and GNU image manipulation program (GIMP). All of these types of software can be used by the public or by businesses. As well as the programs, the graphics side of them is able to create images in 3-D modeling, as well as create animations which can be made through Photoshop. In able to add video or audio there is programs with multimedia content which the software is able to play and editing audio and video along with any editing. Overall, graphic software is really useful for personal, business and education purposes, whether it’s for creating a college or providing information with addition affect for the audience.
Audio Capture and Editing Software
Audio capture and audio editing software is used to create and edit audio files. There are many different programs associated with these two types of programs. Some programs are designed to extract audio from CDs (ripping software) while others capture sound through input devices like a microphone, a transducer that converts sound into an electrical signal. Some programs are able to record sound and also edit that sound, or it can open a certain type of sound file, which enables the user to edit any piece in various ways. The extent to which the user can edit the sound depends on the complexity of the software. One program can only allow very basic functions like cutting and pasting while another program can add effects and modify every bit of the wavelength. This is an example of the distinction found between free programs and others deemed professional; however, that is not to say that just because a program is free it must be of a lower quality. Audacity is a free program that includes both audio capturing and editing elements.
One professional audio editing program that does cost money is Pro Tools, created by Avid Technology. This software works similar to a multi-track recorded and mixer, but has a wide array of digital features. One such feature that is commonly used in the software is MIDI, which stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. A MIDI device can link up to sixteen channels of information that allows electronic instruments and computers to communicate with each other. Through MIDI input, digital sounds and samples can be inputted into Pro Tools and can then be mixed and edited to the desired output.
Video Editing and DVD Authoring Software
The widespread availability of digital cameras and now phones with built-in camera devices combined with the massive popularity of sites like YouTube has led many to use video editing programs. These programs enable the user to modify their clips extensively, and like audio capture and editing software there are both consumer and professional offerings. DVD authoring is a process that many video editing programs include. More specifically it oversees the layout of the DVD: what clips will be used and how they will be played along with customization of the menu. After authoring the DVD via the program the user must burn it to an actual DVD for playback. This can be done using utilities included by Windows or Mac or by dedicated software.
For large and expensive projects, editors need advanced software that has a multitude of features and can handle the scale of such projects. One professional video editing program is Final Cut Pro, created by Apple. This software has advanced tools and capabilities to edit and create videos and clips. The most recent version, Final Cut Pro X, has new features that make video editing easier and more efficient such as a new dynamic editing interface, new multichannel audio editing capabilities, more precise inline clipping tools, and a streamlined interface that helps to keep media organized. Professionals can use this software to create complex movies ready for the big screen.
A standard film-editing program on Mac is iMovie. It is a standard free program, tailored toward light editing for simple movies. Apple markets it as an editing program for home movies . It is a simple ti use system, in incorporates file from the Internet, iTunes, iPhoto, garage band, and other online and Mac programs. While it is not at advanced as Final Cut Pro, it does do a good job editing movies. Mac has also added and iOS compatible version of the program for use on its mobile devices. This version is compatible with both the iPads, and iPhone product lines. However, iMovie’s capabilities are limited, as mobile devices lack the memory and processing power for extend editing of projects. Another feature built into iMovie is the ability to share directly to Internet websites. These include Facebook, twitter, and YouTube. In addition, there is a quick feature for emailing movies.
Once edited movies are formatted and finalized, Apple runs its own video player known as QuickTime. This is a standard program, similar to Windows Media Player, and is compatible with both Macs and PC’s. Film editors like QuickTime as it is more reliable and has fewer bugs that Media Player, and it is less likely to corrupt video files.
[[File:QuickTime 7 Icon.png|thumb|QuickTime 7 Icon]
Living in the technologically advanced country that we do now, it is relatively understandable to say that, at some point or in another life, we have all heard some form of music or audio played off of an electronic device. Today, for most of us, these devices are things such as CDs, radios, iPods, phones, DVDs, and many more. These are all things that would be considered media players. They were designed with the purpose of playing audio or videos in mind. Today, many of these players are free and are programs that most of us have probably used at some point or another (such as iTunes or Windows Media Player). One thing it is important to keep in mind when using these is that although illegally downloading things may be easy, it definitely does not make it right. It is essential that we all keep the copyright laws in mind when downloading any type of audio or video.
Graphics, Multimedia, and the Web
Today, it is rare to find a company that does not use some form of multimedia or graphics on their businesses web page. This is just one example of how important multimedia and graphics have become to the World Wide Web. Open up your browser and instantaneously you’ll see some form of graphics spread across the front page. Whether it’s a banner, GIF, logo, demonstration, or picture, I can pretty much guarantee you that it’s there. These graphics are nice because they easily add color and animation to the page, and make being there just a little bit more interesting for the user.
Other Types Of Application Software
There are many types of application softwares. Every type of application software is made to serve a function or to help, for example software for business’ or education. Desktop publishing refers to using a personal computer to manipulate text and images to create attractive documents as if they were created by a professional printer. Similar to this, personal publishing softwares are used to create documents for personal use, such as invitations, flyers, or calendars. Very common types of application software include education and entertainment. Entertainment software includes games, simulations, and other programs that provide amusement. Educational software can be found on personal computers, but a popular trend is to combine the hardware and software into a single product. For example, Leapfrog is well-known for their child look-alike laptops used for teaching. Software such as OneNote and Notebook are examples of note taking software. These softwares are generally used by students and business people to take notes during lectures or meetings. Because of this, note taking software normally supports typed and handwritten input. Engineers and architects make use of design software such as CAD (computer-aided design). CAD plays an important role in the design of finished products and other fields such as art, advertising, or law.
- Application Software
- Software designed to carry out specific tasks 
- Copyrighted software that is distributed on the honor system; consumers should either pay for it or uninstall it after the trial period for ethicality 
- Copyrighted software that may be used free of charge 
- Public Domain Software
- Software that is not copyrighted and may be used without restriction 
- Open Source Software
- Software programs made up of source code which is made available to the public. i.e. Wikibook 
- Web-Based Software
- Software that is delivered on demand via the Web; also referred to as Software as Service (SaaS) or cloudware.
- Word Processing
- Using a computer and word processing software to create, edit, save, and print written documents, such as letters, contracts, and manuscripts 
- A document containing a group of values and other data organized into rows and columns; also called a worksheet in a spreadsheet program 
- A collection of related data that is stored in a manner enabling information to be retrieved as needed; a collection of related tables 
- Presentation graphics
- An image, such as a graph or drawn object, designed to visually enhance a presentation
- Graphics Software
- Application software used to create or modify images
- One of the features found in the recent Microsoft Office applications that uses tabs to organize groups of related commands 
Visual Aid Software
There is software that enables a user to access software even if they have a disability of some type. The same software can simply allow a user to access programs on their computer without visual interferences. An example of this would be f.lux. F.lux is a program that removes the blue tint from a users screen in order to prevent headaches and the light interfering with circadian sleep rhythms . These applications are particularly useful when reading or writing word documents in a dark room.
1. A _____ is a collection of worksheets saved in a single spreadsheet file.
2. A _____ is a collection of related data that is stored in a manner enabling information to be retrieved as needed.
3. With a(n) _____ program, the source code for the program is made available to the public and so can be modified by others.
4. True or False. Changing the font size in a document is an example of a formatting operation.
5. A _____ is a collection of related fields in a database. Also called a row.
6. Software that is not copyrighted and may be used without restriction is _____.
7. True or False. Software can be installed on both personal computers and servers.
8. The location at the intersection of a row and column on a worksheet into which data can be typed is a _____.
9. True or False. Microsoft Office is one example of a software suite.
10. Copyrighted software that is distributed on the honor system; consumer should either pay for it or uninstall it after the trial period is _____.
1. Workbook 2. Database 3. Open Source 4. True 5. Record 6. Public Domain Software 7. True 8. Cell 9. True 10. Shareware
There are many different types of network applications. First and foremost is the internet, the largest network of networks in the world. Second, there are our phones, the oldest of which is POTS (plain old telephone service), which one day could be replaced by the newer technology, mobile phones. Mobile phones have been around for a few years now, and are beginning to replace home phone lines. Mobile phones can be separated into two groups, cellular phones and satellite phones. Cell phones work by communicating with cell towers in order to function. There are some dual mode phones which allow you to make phone calls through a WIFI signal, and switch to cell signal when out of WIFI range. Satellite phones work by communicating with satellites in space, this is primarily used with the military, where cell tower coverage is nearly impossible in some locations. While satellite phones can be used in rural and mountainous areas, the drawback to them is when there is a storm or heavy clouds, you can lose your signal. Satellites are also used with a GPS(global positioning system). GPS functions by relaying data between your device and the 24 satellites in space. They work similarly to sonar waves. The signal leaves the satellite, and depending on how long it takes to get to you will determine your exact location.
In addition to tracking subjects, satellites and networks are beginning to play a larger part in the field of search and rescue (SAR). Most ocean going boats and all airplanes carry some kind of emergency beacon on board. Aircraft carry an emergency location transmitter (ELT) and boats carry an emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB). Before the mid 2000’s these devices transmitted on 121.5 mhz, the international emergency frequency, which was monitored by SAR satellites. However, in 2009 , SAR satellites stopped monitoring 121.5 beacons in favor of the newer 406 mhz beacons. These devices guide SAR team to the site of a crash, but the signal is also embedded with data. This data includes the name of the owner of the beacon, the aircraft or vessel identification, and a precise GPS location. These capabilities are also being used on personal locator beacons (PLB). These devices are small enough to carry in a pocket, but powerful enough to send an emergency signal to a satellite. Hikers can use these if they are going to a remote area. The use of a satellite network allows for very precise tracking of these devices, and can bring rescue team to the site within two hours.
Computer networks consist of two or more computers or hardware devices linked together to enable connections between shared hardware, software, and data. A combination of networks that consist of telephone networks and computer networks are also becoming more commonly used in this generation.
The data is able to be passed along to other networks due to networked computing devices along data connections. A datagram, segment, or block is a unit of communication over a digital network, commonly known as a packet. The data breaks down into smaller units of data when needed. Once the data travels along the data connections, the pieces of data are reassembled into the original data chunk. Data is structured differently, depending on the protocol enforcing the data.
The structure of a packet consists of a header and a payload. The header consists of titles regarding transmission-related information. The payload, however, consists of the actual data the packet is carrying.
Computer networks range from small private networks, to large computer networks. The Internet, or the World Wide Web, is the largest computer network, consisting of a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet. Via hyperlinks, a user of the Internet can access images, text, videos, etc.
Monitoring Systems are another form of networking applications. These systems specialize in locating a specific person, vehicle or device rather than pulling up geographical information like a GPS does. However, most monitoring systems use GPS in locating their targets. Radio Frequency Identification (or RFID) for example, can be used to locate a person or animal with an RFID chip embedded inside of it. Most commonly recognized for its ability to track pets that have the chip implanted, RFID has also moved into the human medical field. In fact, some breast implants in the United Kingdom have been chipped so that a physician can read information about the implant years after the surgery has been completed. While this is the social reasoning for this type of chipping, it seems that medical records housed on inexpensive servers would suit this purpose just fine. The fact remains that RFID chips, which are about the size of a grain of rice, operate using a small silicon chip and a copper antenna which emit personal information about its owner. This information is then picked up by electronic networks feeding back information about the product, the person carrying it, and its location to the network. It is currently being used to track cattle and Alzheimer’s patients as well as merchandise produced by manufacturers. Other monitoring systems include vehicle tracking software such as the famous OnStar. This type of networking application has been expanded so that employers can spy on employees using company vehicles. With a simple installation, the latest vehicle tracking applications can feed information about the geographic location of a company vehicle, the speed of the vehicle, and even “hard breaking” events. Mobile phones aren’t omitted either. Since most of the current mobile phones have stand alone GPS systems a person can track the movements of the individuals under their plan as well as their own phone if it is stolen.
Multimedia networking has exploded as well. This type of networking offers digital multimedia content such as movies, music, and recorded t.v. shows to be viewed over a phone, p.c., or television. While most devices already have the required capabilities built in, some devices need may need a receiver. Placeshifting is common with this type of network which will allow an individual to download content from one place and view it in another, i.e. from a t.v. to a mobile phone. Similarly, VideoConferencing allows people to interact remotely from separate locations. Instead of streaming a movie in real time, a person can stream a video feed from a relative or business part who might be across the globe. They can then interact and speak as they normally would while viewing the mannerisms of others in real time. Also, through the use of videoconferencing Telemedicine has been used to diagnose and treat patients who are unable to access a doctor in person because of their poverty level, geographical area, or physical condition. Physicians, with the assistance of a member on site with the patient, use videoconferencing to conduct tests such as simple ear and throat checkups to procedures as complex as actual surgery in some cases.
One relatively new use of networking is telesurgery, or remote surgery. As the name implies, this is surgery that takes place over distances: that is, the surgeon is not actually in the same room as the patient. A surgeon controls robotic arms that in turn perform surgery on the patient. Some advantages of this kind of procedure are that it mitigates the potential effect of a surgeon’s hands shaking, the surgeon’s arms rest comfortably throughout the entire procedure, and the surgeon can specify a task that (s)he wishes to have performed and ensure it is safe before the robotic arms actually carry it out. Initially, there was just computer-assisted surgery, where the surgeon sat only a few meters away, but now longer-distance telesurgery has been developed: the first telesurgical procedure was known as Operation Lindbergh and involved a New York doctor performing on a French patient across the Atlantic. Telesurgery still isn’t especially widespread, but in time, it may see such uses as performing on astronauts in long-term space travel, performing on soldiers on or near battlefields, or working alongside or training surgeons in remote, developing countries. Time will tell how useful these kinds of procedures turn out to be, but they are definitely an example of a networking technology that would have been unthinkable just a few decades ago.
Networks can contain many different characteristics that define how they function as well as their capabilities. These characteristics include certain factors such as topology, scalability or size, architecture, and media.
Network topology is how different nodes in a network are connected to each other and how they communicate. The five most common topologies are mesh topology, star topology, bus topology, ring topology, and tree topology. In a mesh topology, devices are connected with many excessive interconnections between network mode. In a star topology, the devices are connected to a central computer, and the nodes communicate across the network by passing data through the hub, which is the central computer. In a bus topology, it connects all devices on a local-area network called LAN. Bus networks are not very pricey, and they are easy to install. In a ring topology, it consists of a local area network whose topology is a ring. The messages travel around the ring. In a tree topology, it is considered a “hybrid” topology that combines characteristics of the bus and star topologies.
Network architecture is the layout of the network. The hardware, software, communication protocols, and mode of transmission in the network architecture. Two main types of network architectures are server-based, or client-server networks, and peer-to-peer (P2P) networks. Server-based networks consist of clients and servers. Servers are powerful computers that are able to transfer data and information among personal computers within the local network or even to other computers across the Internet. Some server-based networks can be designed for certain purposes such as to connect all computers within a given area to a printer (print server) or to even contain data such as documents or other types of files (file server). A peer-to-peer network is a network that doesn’t utilize a central server. Instead, each computer (or peer) within a peer-to-peer network allows itself to use some of its resources to share with the entire network. For example, computers can give some of their processing power or bandwidth and share it with the network participants. The network architecture plays an essential role in today’s society; therefore, one should be aware of the network architecture, and the different types of network topologies as well.
Network sizes are defined by a few three-letter acronyms: PANs, LANs, MANs, and WANs. Personal Area Networks (PANs) are networks that connect an individual’s devices, such as bluetooth headsets and speakers. Local Area Networks (LANs) are networks that are used within larger areas such as corporate buildings but can also be used in hospitals or even college campuses. Some people, however, prefer to title networks on a college campuses and hospitals as Campus Area Networks (CANs) if they contain more than one LANs interconnected. A Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) is used to connect computers within cities. Lastly, a Wide Area Network (WAN) is a network that contains numerous LANs and is able to connect computers across continents. The largest Wide Area Network is the Internet. Some people use other terms such as Global Area Network (GAN) which is a single network with connection points across the globe, usually used to connect large corporation, or Solar System Area Network (SSAN), which is numerous GANs, combined to connect planets within a single solar system. This technology, however, is not yet available.
Network media is the actual path which the signals travel to and from different components. These paths can either be physical wires, wired media, or radio signals, wireless media.
Wired Networking Media
The wire used for networking media is called cable. The most common types of wired media include twisted-pair, coaxial, and fiber-optic cable.
Twisted-pair cable is exactly what it sounds like: two wires twisted together. This design works because it creates an electrical current that flows through the wire, which creates a circular magnetic field around the wire that increases performance. Having the wires twisted, as opposed to being adjacent, helps there to be no crosstalk (the noise/interference sometimes generated by the wires). There are two sub-types of twisted-pair cable: unshielded twisted pair (UTP) and shielded twisted pair (STP). Twisted-pair cable is most used for LANs such as telephone communication.
Coaxial cable is made of three components: the inside wire, the insulation, and the outside shield. The inside wire is made of two conducting elements, mainly copper and covering this is the layer of flexible insulation. A second layer of woven (braided) copper or metallic foil that acts as a second wire and as a shield that reduces that amount of outside interference. Lastly, there is a cable jacket to cover the second wire.
Fiber-optic cable is made of hundreds of clear glass or plastic fiber strands that are the size of a human hair. Data is transferred by light pulses at speeds of billions of bits per second. This is the newest and fasted type of cable, and while it is the most expensive, it is starting to replace the other types because its high-speed advantages are considered to be worth it. They provide higher bandwith and can transmit data over longer distances than wired cables. They are also less susceptible to interference and doesn’t require special shielding to avoid it. Also, since fiber-optic cables use light to transmit information, they lessen the need for signal boosters; light can travel longer distances without losing strength.
Wireless Networking Media
Along with wired networks, there are also wireless networks. Wireless networks are networks that use radio signals to transmit data through the air in order for two or more devices to communicate, rather than physical cables. This gives people the opportunity to use e-mail or browse the internet from almost any location, provided there is a wireless network available. Many devices today are able to use this technology such as PCs, laptops, mobile devices, servers and printers. Wireless networks can be found almost everywhere including the home and public locations such as libraries, restaurants, coffeehouses and airports. Many people needing Internet access on the go will commonly take advantage of wireless hotspots. A wireless hotspot is a small range area with a usable connection that allows access to the internet.
There are also different types of wireless networks. Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANS) are networks that give access to the Internet to a small local area such as a college or library. Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPANS) allow connectivity of devices in smaller ranges, typically around 30 feet. This includes Infra Red technology which may be in a television remote, or Bluetooth. A Wireless Metropolitan Area Network (WMANS) allows for the connection of many networks in a metropolitan area such as in high-rises or big buildings. Wireless Wide Area Networks (WWANS) are networks that spread over much larger areas such as cities or countries and are available through the use satellite systems or antenna sites.
Wired Vs. Wireless Networking Media
While the world may be going towards a wireless route when it comes to networking, is it really the best direction when it comes to connectivity? Let’s break it down to the benefits and disadvantages of each type of network media.
The benefits of having wired connection are that it it’s secure, reliable, and fast. They are also very much cheaper than having wireless connections. Another perk, especially for businesses or enterprises, is that wired connections can be controlled. This has security and productivity benefits. Disadvantages of wired connection are the sacrifice of space and portability or mobility, as well as actual physical safety and maintenance.
The benefits of having wireless connection are the actual lack of cables. This gives freedom to use personal as well as office devices and actual physical freedom. Another thing is that it just looks a lot neater than a bunch of wires. Disadvantages though are in terms of security, slower speeds, and sometimes unreliable coverage.
The best combination would probably to have a sort of system with some wired connections and some wireless connections. Having a mixed environment may be just enough to balance out the disadvantages and take advantage of the benefits of having both types of networking media.
Types of Cables
There are different types of cables. The cables that connect a computer, or network or computers, to a server or router or modem are called ethernet cables. The evolution of ethernet cables started when it became apparent that coaxial cables were not able to keep up with the demands of ever-growing and evolving networks. The cables are listed in categories or “Cat” for short. The Cat 1 cables were primarily used for telephone modems and had a data transfer rate of up to 1Mbps. Cat 2,3,and 4 can all support computer networks and telephone traffic, and have maximum capacities of 4Mbps, 10Mbps, and 16Mbps respectively. When these cables are taken out of their casing, they look very similar. The same wires are present in all types of Cat cables; however, the number of wraps per inch increase in each version of Cat cables, therefore decreasing the amount of electromagnetic interference in the signal being transfered. The introduction to Cat 5 revolutionized networking because Cat 5 became the standard and it was classed as “ethernet” which means that it has the capability for high speed and high capacity data transfers (of 10Mbps – 100Mbps), as well as the ability regulate the transfers in order to prevent simultaneous transfers which would cancel out. After Cat 5, Cat 5e was introduced. The “e” stands for “enhanced”. The Cat 5e “gigabit” cable – in theory – had the capacity for 1000Mbps (1 gigabit) transfer rates. This was accomplished by wrapping the strands of wire tighter, therefore cutting down on “crosstalk” or interference that caused disruptions in the data transfer. Later, Cat 6 was introduced which added a physical separator inbetween stands of wire in the cable which lowered interference more yet and has transfer capacities of 1000Mbps (1 gigabit per second). Since 2013, Cat 7,8, and 8.1 have been introduced, but are only practical in a small amount of industrial settings.
Network Architecture & Network Topologies
Network architecture is the layout of the network. The hardware, software, communication protocols, and mode of transmission consists in the network architecture. The network architecture plays an essential role in today’s society; therefore, one should be aware of the network architecture, and the different types of network topologies as well. Network topology is how different nodes in a network are connected to each other and how they communicate. The five most common topologies are mesh topology, star topology, bus topology, ring topology, and tree topology. In a mesh topology, devices are connected with many excessive interconnections between network mode. In a star topology, the devices are connected to a central computer, and the nodes communicate across the network by passing data through the hub, which is the central computer. In a bus topology, it connects all devices on a local-are network called LAN. Bus networks are not very pricey, and they are easy to install. In a ring topology, it consists of a local area network whose topology is a ring. The messages travel around the ring. In a tree topology, it is considered a “hybrid” topology that combines characteristics of the bus and star topologies.
Data Transmission Characteristics
Data transmission is the actual transfer of data through a channel. The types of channels are copper wires, optical fibers, wireless communication channels, storage media and computer buses. This data transfers through a signal, either electrical, radio wave, microwave, or infrared. Data can be transferred by analog transmission using analog and digital signals. The modem is able to receive the digital data and change that digital data and process it. The data transmitted can be from a keyboard, which is the data source. The data transmitted can also be analog though like from a cell phone that can be digitized using source coding. Source coding are computer instructions that are read and interpreted by the computer.
Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transmitted in a certain amount of time. Bandwidth is also referred to as throughput. The most common measure of bandwidth is bits per second (bps), but it is also measures in Kbps, which is thousands of bits per second; Mbps, which is millions of bits per second; or Gbps, which is billions of bits per second. Bandwidth is the capacity of the connection. A network medium with a higher bandwidth will allow more data to pass through in a certain amount of time. So the greater the capacity, the better the performance will be. This isn’t always true though because performance depends on other things too. Text data requires the least amount of bandwidth and video data requires the most.
Analog vs. Digital Signals
Analog and digital signals are used to transmit information, usually through electric signals. Analog signal is a continuous signal and has constant fluctuations where a digital signal is discrete time signals generated by digital modulation. Analog signals are denoted by sine waves that are smooth and continues whereas digital signals are square waves that are stepping and discrete. Analog signals would be things like human voices in the air and analog electronic devices (AM and FM radio, old telephones). Digital signals have only two levels of voltage: high and low. It is an electrical signal that is converted into a pattern of bits. It has a discrete value at each sampling point. Each sample is defined with a series of bits that are either 0s or 1s. Digital signals are for things like computers, CDs, DVDs, and other digital electronic devices. Analog signal processing can be done in real time and consumes less bandwidth whereas there is no guarantee that digital signal processing can be done in real time and consumes more bandwidth to carry out the same information. The advantages of digital signal are that the recording does not degrade over time and groups of numbers can often be compressed by finding patterns in them.
Transmission Type and Timing
For the transfer of data and networking media, there can be two ways to send information. Serial transmission is data sent in a single path, one bit at a time. An example of this would be a classroom of students lining up single file at the door and exiting one by one. The advantages of serial transmission is that the only use one line so it is less expensive, for the line at least, compared to parallel transmission which uses multiple lines. Disadvantages would be the cost of total transmission. Serial transmission is also not as fast since the bits are transferred sequentially. Parallel transmission is data sent one byte at a time, but each bit in the byte takes a separate route. This is a more efficient way of sending or receiving data. For instance, parallel transmission can be identified as students walking through a large hallway in a school to get to their specific classrooms. This way, there is more space involved, in order for the data to be received more efficiently. However, most networking media usually use serial transmission.
Synchronous, Asynchronous, and isochronous transmission are three different ways that serial transmission is transferred. Synchronous transmission is ordered into groups and blocks of data that are transferred one after the other. Advantages of synchronous transmission is that is faster but the disadvantages are buffering and making sure the sender and receiver have the same clock frequency. Asynchronous transmission is not used as much as synchronous because it is sent when it is ready. The data is not synchronized which makes the end result less efficient.The advantages of Asynchronous transmission is that this method is cheaper only if the line are shorter since the idle time would be low. Each character that is sent will not be messed up in the process since they are all separate. There can be different bit rates for the signal, and transmission can start as soon as possible. Disadvantages of Asynchronous would be it is less efficient and slower because of the gaps between bits. Isochronous transmission sends the data all at once.
Data can also travel in mainly three distinct ways. Simplex transmission is when the data is traveling in only one direction. Half-duplex transmission sends the data in either direction, but data can be sent only in one direction at a time. Full-duplex transmission sends the data back and forth in either direction and can be simultaneous.
Data is delivered by using circuit switching, which is a specific path between a sender and a receiver. A telephone system is an example of circuit switching because the path is dedicated to only those two people for the time being. Once they are off the phone, the path is free to use by whomever else. Sending data over the Internet is called packet switching. The messages sent are detached in “packets.” While traveling through the Internet, the packets contain all information going from the sender to the receiver. Once the transmission is complete, the packets are put back together to create the correct message.
Characteristics include the physical transfer of data, or a digital bit stream or a digitized analog signal, through a point-to-point communication channels (copper wires, optical fibers, storage media and computer buses). Data is represented as an electromagnetic signal, such as an electrical voltage, radiowave, microwave, or infrared signal. Its messages are symbolized in one of two ways. The first, known as baseband transmission, is completed by a sequence of pulses using a line code. The second, passband transmission, utilizes a specified set of continuously varying waveforms, created using a digital modulation method. Regardless of which technique is used, the receiver must synchronize itself with the transmitter. There are two distinct types of transmission — Asynchronous and synchronous. In asynchronous, the two devices are relatively close to each other in speed. This means that if only small bursts of data are sent at a time, its synchronization will be successful as long as the receiver is able to synchronize with the immediate beginning of the data burst. In synchronous transmission, a significantly larger amount of data is sent in each block, which either contains, is preceded, or accompanied by signaling, thus permitting co-synchronization of the devices. The majority of all network backbone traffic today is synchronous.
Communications Protocols and Networking Standards
The definition and usage of TCP/IP
Communications protocol and networking standards are necessary in order to determine how devices on a network communicate and what requirements are needed in order for hardware and software manufacturers to develop computing products that function with other products. Techopedia, an online source of computing devices, explains communication protocol as “formal descriptions of digital message formats and rules. They are required to exchange messages in or between computing systems and are required in telecommunications.” Protocol deals with issues concerning packet size, transmission speed, packet sequence controls, routing, and address formatting. These are just some of the many things that protocol and standards deal with in computing devices. Some popular protocols include File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), and Post Office Protocol (POP3).
There’s little argument that the most popular communications protocol being used today is TCP/IP. The protocol that’s used for transferring data over the Internet, TCP/IP is actually a combination of two protocols. The TCP part of the equation stands for Transmission Control Protocol and it is culpable for data delivery. IP stands for Internet Protocol and it provides routing information and addresses. There are several reasons for the continued popularity of TCP/IP. One of these reasons is the flexibility of the dual protocols, as the core has been able to remain largely the same over 25 years, even with the immense growth of internet popularity. Another reason is the routing design, as TCP/IP is designed specifically to facilitate the routing of information over a network of arbitrary complexity. Pretty much all operating systems have built in support for the TCP/IP protocols so that is also a big factor in their popularity.
One potential controversy related to IP’s in particular was the scare when the Internet had run out of Internet addresses. The original IP version, called IPv4, had used up all the potential number combinations so no new folks would have been able to connect to the internet… that is, until IPv6 came out. It uses 128 bit addresses, versus the mere 32 bits of IPv4, ensuring that it will be another long time to go until we risk running out of internet addresses again.
Ethernet (802.3) is the most widely used standard for wired networks. It is typically used in local area networking (LAN) with twisted-pair, coaxial, or fiber-optic cabling. There are many standards of Ethernet and each of those standards reaches a maximum speed. Terabit Ethernet standard is the most current standard that is being developed and improved. It will be used to deliver video, digital X-rays, and other digital medical images. In order for a device to be connected to an Ethernet network, the device needs to have an Ethernet port built into the device or added with an expansion card. Power over Ethernet (PoE) allows for electrical power to be set along in the cables of an Ethernet network. This is what allows security cameras to get electrical power while also maintaining a network connection.
Wi-Fi Standards (801.11)
Wi-Fi, which uses the IEEE standard 802.11, is a very popular wireless networking technology that uses radio waves to provide wireless Internet connection to devices. It is perhaps the biggest theme that today’s technological generation revolves around. With the continuous evolving technology, almost every single mobile device now requires an Internet access, or a wireless network standard like Wi-Fi. Due to this, Wi-Fi hardware is built into virtually all portable computers, mobile devices, and even other portable products like printers, digital cameras, gaming consoles, etc. Consequently, the popularity of a Wi-Fi network in houses, businesses, and public hotspots—airports, hotels, coffee shops—has grown steadily. Supporting “roaming,” devices connected to a Wi-Fi network are able to move from one access point to another, as long it is inside or around the actual building or area. The speed and strength of a Wi-Fi network depends on various factors like the Wi-Fi standard or the hardware being used. For example, the most widely used Wi-Fi standards today are 802.11g and 802.11n. The 801.11n, the newest Wi-Fi standard, is in fact currently the fastest standard today, which is able to transfer data five times as fast as the 802.11g standard.
However, even though Wi-Fi seems like the next best technological invention after computers and the Internet, it does have some minor disadvantages that limit the ultimate use of it. For example, Wi-Fi networks have a limited range; one will lose the connection to a network if they move out of the range of that network, usually 300 ft. away from the actual router. They would then have to connect to the next available Wi-Fi connection. Another limitation of Wi-Fi is that many businesses may be physically too large for a conventional Wi-Fi network to cover the entire area. However, there are special networking connections known as WiMAX or Fixed WiMAX, that provide Internet access for a longer radius, stretching from 2 to 6 miles. Using multiple WiMAX towers, similar to cell phone towers, it is even possible to provide coverage to an entire city or any geographical area!
It is no secret that the technology used for mobile phones has vastly evolved over the years. What started out as basically a mobile brick has quickly transformed into a compact, highly productive, and speedy cellular communication device. However, many people are unaware of the generational breakdown of these devices. When the first generation mobile phone was released decades ago in the 1980s, it was produced with only the purpose of voice communication in mind. It was not until the second generation came out years later, around the 1990s, that we started to see both data and voice combined into one device. This generation is best known for its access to both Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) which greatly work to enhance speed and communication up to 14.4 Kbps. When the third generation came along in the 2000s, we saw companies start to use packet switching and access speeds as fast as 2 Mbps. This brings us to where we are today. Cellular companies across the globe are starting to utilize 4g technology and offer outstanding speeds of up to 20 Mbps. Though 20 Mbps is a lot faster than 3G’s speeds, which can be as low as 3.8 Mbps, it is not at the specified 100 Mbps that fourth generation phones are supposed to require. Fourth generation phones are using the LTE, Long Term Evolution, technology or the WiMAX technology, both of which allows for more capacity and faster speeds across the mobile network. These two technologies are incompatible to each other and it depends on which mobile phone provider that you are using. Currently, Sprint is using 4G WiMAX, while Verizon and AT&T are using 4G LTE. This is a necessity in today’s world as more and more people buy mobile smart phones and demand a very high amount of data to be transferred to and from their phones. These technologies use OFDM, orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing, instead of TDMA, time division multiple access, or CDMA, code division multiple access. This change in technologies is what the mobile phone market accepts as a difference between the third generation and fourth generation of phones because OFDM is significantly faster and more efficient, even though it is not as fast as the original specification. Another plus for the fourth generation phones is that they can still access broadband Internet content that many consumers vie for. Hopefully in the near future, technology companies can actually provide mobile phone consumers with a phone that will reach speeds up to 100 Mbps. With technology constantly evolving and expanding, where will it take us next? Into what technological wonders is fifth generation technology going to bring us?
Wi-Fi is one of the most popular networking standards that uses wireless LANs. Certain devices come Wi-Fi enabled and some can be hooked up within the wireless network. One of the most popular devices being used today is the wireless printer. Not any printer can be used, however. Special printers nowadays have the Wi-Fi transceivers built into them to locate the available networks. The major advantage is that multiple computers can print to a printer in any location that you want. Another great advantage is that you can avoid the painful cable clutter that comes with all of the devices you could hook up to the computer. It takes much less time for a computer to connect to the printer through Wi-Fi then it does to download the software and connect it manually with a USB cord. One thing to consider though is how windows and doors might affect the strength of the signal. Security is something to think about as well. Some printers contain a WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) encryption that allows only special computers to connect if they activate the similar feature. Believe it or not, these types of printers are actually reasonably priced compared to some of the other types of electronics out there on the market.
Network adapters or “Network Interface Cards,” (NICs) are used to connect a computer to a high-speed network. Most recently manufactured motherboards have them already built in. Otherwise, a NIC may be installed onto an open PCI expansion slot on the motherboard.
Modems are able to convert your computer’s digital data to analog data that can be sent over telephone service lines and converts incoming analog data to digital data that the computer can work with. The better quality modems are able to do the work directly on the card. They are known to be faster and more efficient than a cheaper modem, go figure!
The term modem is short for modulator/demodulator. Modems are used to connect with internet services providers. They transfer data between the internet service provider and the computer. There are a few different types of modems available. Analog modems can be used with dial-up connections. Digital subscriber line or DSL and cable modems are used with high speed broadband connections. Integrated services digital network, or ISDN modems are used for even higher speed connections. 
Wireless routers have changed drastically in recent years. Once just a simple tool to broadcast the internet into a home or an office, today many wireless routers have additional functions and capabilities. They can offer multiple frequencies to help avoid interference. They can be setup to allow guest access to the network. Some even allow for the advanced security setup with enhanced features like parental control to limit access to certain websites. Another convenient feature is the addition of storage to the device. Some routers allow connection of external storage devices, while others have storage built in. Many routers also have mobile apps designed to control them. In the age of tablets and smartphones, the ability to control your network settings via a mobile device is key.
Hardware for Connecting Devices and Networks
There are different configurations used in connecting devices to a network as well as connecting networks to other networks. An example of a configuration for a home network is a star topology where there is one central device that provides a connection for other devices. This central device, or hub, is not as efficient regarding the availability of bandwidth between the devices, specifically computers, that are connected to the hub. More exactly, the hub can lead to unnecessary traffic build-up because it repeats everything it receives to other devices. This may or may not be an issue depending on the size of the network. A small network will not have much issue with using a hub for a central device, but for other, larger networks a different device may be more practical.
A switch is more suitable for larger networks. Like hubs, switches allow devices to communicate with each other. However switches contain ports that are designated for individual devices, which allows for a more efficient allocation of bandwidth for the devices as a whole.
Routers are used to connect different networks together.  Because they maintain configuration information in a storage known as a routing table, routers can filter incoming or outgoing traffic.Wireless access points are devices that allow a device access to the network. This, along with a switch, can be found in wireless routers. These routers connect both wired and wireless devices to a network, which then connects that network to the Internet. Another device is a bridge, which simply joins two LAN segments. An example of this would be connecting a game console to a home network.
Repeaters, Range Extenders, and Antennas
Network repeaters regenerate incoming electrical, wireless or optical signals. Today, most data transmissions rely on Ethernet or Wi-Fi, both of which can only span a limited distance before the quality of the signal degrades. The goal of the repeater is to help preserve a tolerable signal over long distance while examples like Ethernet or Wi-Fi have trouble to. While repeaters are available for both wired and wireless networks, repeaters for wireless networks are referred to as range extenders. Range extenders are commonly found in homes in order to eliminate “dead zones”, or areas where the normal network doesn’t offer coverage. A range extender will typically wirelessly connect to the network, then repeat the wireless signal. One of the most reliable and popular ways of increasing the range of a network is through the use of an antenna. Antennas are highly effective because of their ability to convert radio-frequency into alternating current, or vice-versa. The most common type of antenna is the dish antenna, which is used for satellite communications. An example of antennas being used can be seen on an everyday home rooftop, where dish-like antennas are often used for television signal 
Analog signal: A type of signal where the data is represented by continuous waves.
Bluetooth: A networking standard for very short-range wireless connections; the devices are automatically connected once they get within the allowable range.
Bus Network: A network consisting of a central cable to which all network devices are attached.
Coaxial Cable: A networking cable consisting of a center wire inside a grounded, cylindrical shield, capable of sending data at high speeds.
Ethernet (802.3): A widely used wired LAN networking standard.
Extranet: An intranet that is at least partially accessible to authorized outsiders.
Fiber-Optic Cable: A networking cable that utilizes hundreds of thin transparent fibers over which lasers transmit data as light.
Intranet: A private network that is set up similar to the Internet and is accessed via a Web browser.
Local Area Network (LAN): A network that connects devices located in a small geographical area, such as within a building.
Mesh Network: A network in which there are multiple connections between the devices on the network so that messages can take any of several possible paths.
Modem: A device that enables a computer to communicate over analog networking media, such as connecting to the Internet via telephone lines.
Private Area Network (PAN): A computer network for interconnecting devices centered on an individual persons work space.
Parallel Transmission: A type of data transmission in which bytes of data are transmitted at one time, with the bits in each byte taking a separate path.
Router: A device that connects multiple networks together; routes packets to their next location in order to efficiently reach their destination.
Serial Transmission: A type of data transmission in which the bits in a byte travel down the same path one after the other.
Virtual Private Network (VPN): A private, secure path over the Internet that provides authorized users a secure means of accessing a private network via the Internet.
Wide Area Network: a computer network in which the computers connected may be far apart, generally having a radius of half a mile or more.
Wireless Network: A network in which computers and other devices are connected to the network without physical cables; data is typically sent via radio waves.
1.) Third generation computers became smaller and more reliable than earlier computer generations, incorporating multiple transistors and electronic circuits on a singles tiny silicon chip by utilizing ______________.
2.) A small business needs a computer that can act as a server for a number of PCs and handle a number of users running different applications. The class of computer best suited to its needs would be a(n) __________.
3.) Programs designed to perform specific tasks or applications, such as computing bank-account interest, preparing bills, or creating letters, are contained in ____________.
4.) An example of system software is __________________.
5.) PC-compatible and Mac are the two major personal computer ____________.
6.) The purpose of a computer network is to allow computers to _____________.
7.) Computers and the traditional devices that we use every day- such as the telephone, TV, and home entertainment system- have begun to merge into single units with multiple capabilities; this trend is referred to as ____________.
8.) Having a basic understanding of computers and their uses is called _______________.
9.) The four main computer operations are input, output, storage, and _________.
10.) A mobile device based on a mobile phone that can be used to access the Web and e-mail wirelessly, as well as other capabilities such as taking digital photos, is often referred to as a(n) ___________.
Answers 1.) Integrated Circuits 2.) Midrange Server 3.) Application Software 4.) Windows, Osx, and Linux 5.) Platforms 6.) Communicate with each other, share software, and share hardware 7.) Convergence 8.) Computer Literacy 9.) Processing 10.) Smartphone 
Evolution of the Internet
The internet has changed dramatically since its first incarnation. In 1969 the U.S. department of defense created ARPANET. The original concept of this project was to connect researchers located in different places to be able to communicate and collaborate from far distances. The fear of nuclear attack was very prevalent at this time, so the team also wanted to make a network that could still operate after a nuclear attack. Therefore creating many different fail safes, and alternative routes for packet sending was necessary. As this project grew, more and more people gained access to the internet and began shaping it to what we know today. As we have described before, everyone who uses the internet is called an internet user. For these users to obtain access to the internet, you must go through an ISP (internet service provider.) Side note, while the internet is not owned by any one company or government, it is most assuredly not free. It costs money to build, run, and maintain the servers that bring you the funny cat videos.
Internet 2 is an amalgamation of different leaders in the field of academia, technology, industry, and government that formed together in order to collaborate on pioneering and innovative ideas that help advance education and research. They test new network applications and technologies using high-performance networks. Contrary to popular opinion, Internet 2 is not a gathering of minds who intend to replace the current Internet but congregate to ensure that the future Internet will be capable of operating with today’s engineering. Internet 2 is currently being upgraded to 8.8 terabytes! This will aide in the ability to offer advanced telemedicine and long distance learning opportunities across connected countries through its network.
The World Wide Web
The World Wide Web is different than the Internet. The Internet started out being used more by private industries and people such as scientists, schools, and the government. The public had not used it for the most part because it was complex and you had to have a computer in order to access it, which not everyone did. In 1989 Tim Berners-Lee came up with the World Wide Web and thought it would be a good way to organize information and take place of the Internet. Although the Internet still stayed around, and still is today, the World Wide Web was a great tool for researches at the time. The World Wide Web is not owned by one single business or person, but the webpages are. The Web consists of things such as HTML, URL, and HTTP. HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language and is used for formatting documents on the Web. URL is the Uniform Resource Locator which most of us are familiar with when typing in addresses to websites. And lastly, HTTP is Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. This is what lets people click on hyperlinks and be redirected to that specific location. The World Wide Web has changed the way schools teach, businesses run, and average people have been able to access organized information. Pictures and documents are now easier to access and research and recreational websites can now be found in one place.
Using the Internet
Getting Set Up To Use The Internet
Almost every household has access to the internet; therefore, it is important to know how to have access to the world wide web. There are five basic steps to set up an internet connection which consist of the following:
- One must connect the hardware. Different hardware and software contain directions in setting up. Use the directions to set up these systems.
- The internet needs a wireless connection or an Ethernet cable before it can go online. Therefore, the computer owner must make this connection.
- The computer owner must connect to the default IP address. The IP address usually consists of eight numbers, and it is broken up occasionally by periods.
- It is the internet’s server’s responsibility to show the computer owner how to actually establish the connection. One must then set up a name and password for security purposes.
- Save the settings, and the internet light will turn green to indicate one is online.
Different Internet Connections
There are many different kinds of internet connections. A few of these connections consist of wireless, broadband, and dial-up. Wireless is a router or a network that connects to a hot spot. A broadband is connected directly to a broadband modern, and one needs a user name and password to connect. A dial-up is used remotely via a telephone line. Different types of internet connections come with their own pros and cons and it is important to choose one that will work well with your lifestyle and your wallet.
Dial-up connection requires a phone line to function. Because of this, people cannot be using the phone and the internet at the same time. When connecting to the internet via dial-up, the computer tries to connect through the phone line and causes dial-tones and many numerous sounds to emit from the modem. Dial-up is also the slowest form of internet connection and has a maximum speed of 56 kilobits per second. It is also the most archaic type of internet connection and only about 3% of Americans are still using it.
Wi-fi hotspots are another form of internet connection in which a wireless access point, such as a router, has a direct connection to the internet and allows people to connect wirelessly through the use of wi-fi. Although they aren’t used very much at home, wi-fi hotspots are often used at locations such as restaurants, hotels, and airports. Many restaurants such offer free wi-fi to entice customers, while others have a fee for using their internet.
Broadband over Fiber
A new technology called broadband over fiber (BoF) is a direct connection option for internet access. Internet service providers are starting to adopt this new technology and sell it for a fee. For example, Verizon’s version of broadband over fiber is called fiber-optic service (FiOS). FiOS, in particular, is able to provide services such as telephone, television, and internet. BoF is advertised on Verizon’s FiOS webpage as a network that, “provides bandwidth to meet today’s digital demands and the possibilities of tomorrow.” This statement is probably used because BoF’s data transfer speeds are much faster than other services. In fact, with fiber-optic cabling, data transfer can travel at the speed of light. One drawback of BoF is that it is very expensive. In order to create a fiber-optic network, you must invest a lot of money in constructing an essential infrastructure. Another negative with broadband over fiber is that the cables are very sensitive. This means that cables can not be installed on telephone poles or underground. Cables must be installed above ground, usually in piping, so that the cables are protected from bending and shifting. BoF is practical and efficient for small networks due to less complex construction of infrastructure. This being said, the United States probably won’t have nation wide BoF networks.
Selecting an ISP
There are many different Internet Service Providers, some of the most popular include Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, and Time Warner Cable. When you choose an ISP, there are many factors to take into consideration. Some of those factors include price, type of internet connection you want, speed, customer support, types of devices you use, and cancelation policies.
Some internet service providers, such as Verizon and Google, are now starting to offer fiber-
optic internet connections. Fiber-optics allows unsurpassed connection speeds, both upload,
and download. Fiber-optic internet connections employ Fiber-optic cables that transfer large
amounts of data through hundreds of stands of glass or plastic which employ an entirely light
based, optical technology. The technology has existed for many years, but many may have begun
to hear that it has become more commonly available over the recent years. After implementing
fiber-optics in commercial internet service packages, Internet Service Providers are now able
to confidently boast connection speeds exceeding 100gigabits per second, speeds that are
much more desirable to many households as well as businesses.
Fiber optic networks are, to
no surprise, very expensive. Massive internet service providers such as Comcast, AT&T, and
COX may not be ready to spend hundreds of millions, and even billions on city wide fiber-
optic networks, thus making the transition to fiber-optics before the technology a long one.
Google alone spent over 80 million dollars to reach 150,000 households with their fiber-optic
connections. Only a small handful of cities currently have the luxury of a fiber-optic connection,
and it may take some years before the technology is available to a majority of households.
Searching the Internet
Search sites are websites that are specifically created to help search the Internet. Examples would include, “Google,” “Bing,” “Yahoo! Search,” and “Ask.com.” There are also many other not as well known search sites. Search sites generally use a search engine, which is a program for the retrieval of data from a database or network. A search engine includes a spider, which goes to every page on every Web site that wants to be searchable and reads it. Then there is a program that creates an index from the pages that have been read. Then a program that receives your search request and compares it to the index, then gives you results. Most search sites today are designed for keyword searches, which is when you type in keywords describing what you are searching for. A directory search is the other kind of search hat some sites allow and it uses lists of categories instead of a search box. Many search sites will also contain tools that can be used to find information. Many sites try to present their results as clearly as possible. They will also tend to make suggestions about things that are similar to what you searched that may help you find what you are looking for.
When it comes to search sites, there are a few that almost everyone is familiar with. The common phrase, “Google It,” is an indication that Google has become a household name when it comes to search engines. Google boasts an astounding 1,100,000,000 monthly visitors. With numbers like that, it is easy to see why Google has become the household name for search engines. However, few are as familiar with some of the other search sites that are available today that provide the same kind of service that Google does. One of these lesser known search sites is Duck Duck Go. One of this sites great features is that it does not share any of its clients data with other search sites which makes for less advertisement pop ups and stronger privacy for the user. This has appealed to more and more users after information surfaced that the U.S. has direct access to the servers of major search engine companies allowing the U.S. government to gain knowledge of exactly what people are searching for. This information inspired the founder of Duck Duck Go, Gabriel Weinberg, to start this company in 2008, to ensure the rights and privacy of its users. Gabriel Weinberg was quoted as saying, “Search data is arguably the most personal data people are entering into anything. You’re typing in your problems, your desires. It’s not the same as things you post publicly on social networks.” Duck Duck Go has is a great alternative to larger search engines and for users who really value their privacy.
Searching for particular information can be fun but also can be very frustrating. Here are few different search strategies which can help to find the information needed, such as simple, complex, phrase, natural language and default Boolean Logic searching. Simple searching is the easiest method of using a search tool. The user can type one or more key words (spelling counts) in the search box then click on the search button. Complex searching is using Boolean Logic to improve search efficiency. The words such as AND, OR, and NOT are entered between keywords to refine the search. In phrase searching, a user should enclose quotation marks when searching for specific phrase. Most search engines like Google, Bing, and such recognize this protocol. Natural Language searching is allowing a user to type a sentence or question just the way he/she might like and the search tool will try to determine key words and locate pages based on these words. Default Boolean Logic searching allows a user to type key words as in simple search. Search tool, depends on its default, will use OR or NOT. If a user is tired of typing, she/he can click on the microphone icon in the Google app or Chrome’s search box to search by voice.
Beyond Browsing and Email
Instant Messaging and Text Messaging
Communication is quite possibly the most important tool that humans can hone. While e-mails are a fast and environmentally-friendly method of Internet-based communication, there are two types of messaging that are faster and easier. These two types of messaging are: instant messaging and text messaging. Instant messaging, also referred to as chat, allows you to type out a message on your keyboard and then press ‘enter’ to have it sent immediately to the other party. Unlike emails, where you have to wait for the other person to be around at their computer to read the message, and THAT is assuming your email didn’t get lost because of a faulty spam filter, IM’s create a connection that is almost as good as being in the same room with the friend. To instant message a friend, you typically both need the same IM client, of which there are many free varieties such as AIM, MSN, YIM, and Skype.
Text messaging, which is also called SMS (Short Message Service), used to be the most popular means of speedy communication though it has been on the decline. Text messaging allows users to send fast and typically short notes with their cellular phones. While text messaging used to be quite expensive, majority of cellular plans sold today include unlimited texting. Text messages, like emails, need to be waited for and can sometimes not make it to the right place without a glitch. Instant messengers, however, tend to have a better track record.
Online Shopping: Amazon and More
Online shopping is so convenient for many who are on the go. There are no hours of operation to abide by, no lines to wait in, and consumers do not even have to leave the comfort of their own home to get what they want. There are some downsides of online shopping, such as not being able to try on clothes to see if it is the right size. The largest online retailer is Amazon.com. Shoppers seems to go-to website for all online shopping needs. The retailer started as an online book store, but now offers purses, electronics, movies, music, and even sports equipment, just to name a few. Sellers can create accounts fairly easy and try to sell their goods. Buyers need to be the cautious ones and look into the reviews to see who they are buying from. One advantage of shopping with Amazon is that they have an A-Z guarantee that helps the buyers resolve conflict with the sellers. Amazon expanded their services to include areas such as Amazon Art, Amazon Instant Video, Amazon Prime, Amazon Local, Amazon Wireless, Amazon Fresh, and Amapedia. One controversy that comes up with Amazon.com, as well as online shopping, is that consumers are not paying their true county sales tax. Instead they are paying the sales tax that Amazon collects.To challenge Amazon, Google has decided to start to expand its e-commerce role. Google wants to compete with amazon and their ability to sell merchandise around the world. Google is allowing consumers to search for something and Google would tell them if there is somewhere nearby to purchase that item. It is a great retaliation against amazon. They would charge $95 a year or $10 a month, or pay $4.99 per order. Google is also offering overnight shipping.
Online Banking has become increasingly popular in this tech-savvy generation. Most banks now allow transactions to be done online through their website or through phone apps. While some people question the security of making transactions online, the biggest advantage is that online banking is very convenient. People can set up accounts through a few simple steps, can make transactions between different accounts they have, transfer money, make payments on credit cards, and more. Some only-online banks have formed and are gaining popularity because they have less fees and thus are cheaper. Some banks try to offer deals with higher yield to make online banking more appealing. Lastly, it is handy to have 24/7 access to speedy transactions, which traditional banks cannot offer. Online banking did have a shaky start, but now it is growing quickly. According the Bankrate website, 65% of consumers use online banking.
In the last few years, online banking has become increasingly mainstream. For some, it is the new norm, as having to make daily or weekly trips to the bank can be both unpleasant and inefficient. For the most part, online banking is advantageous — and though the pros certainly outweigh the cons, no system is flawless.
First, an obvious pro is convenience. An ability to pay the majority of bills online, whether it is through a checking, savings, money market account, etc. is something that is necessary in our fast-paced, demanding world. Many creditors offer an automatic plans to ensure customers are not charged penalties if they forget to pay a bill. In addition, there is also mobile capability. Most banks feature mobile-friendly websites that allow customers to bank on-the-go. The applications banks offer are typically free, and are being implemented with new features all the time in an effort to expand availability to smartphone users. Lastly, the ease of navigation is comparable to that of any other website. To prevent or assist with issues, most banks have 24-hour live customer service or e-mail customer service.
The most significant con to online banking is security, with computer hacking and identity theft being such widespread problems. Despite the best security measures, there is always risk that someone, somewhere will be able to gain access to your bank account and/or sensitive information. Another concern is transaction issues. There are some aspects of banking that should be done behind a teller’s desk instead of a monitor or screen. Depositing cash, certain types of international deals, and similar difficulties may be challenging to address or solve via the internet. Another, less threatening issue for those who frequently make impulse purchases or budget poorly is a lack of money management, as instant access to a balance can precipitate irresponsibility. 
Besides texting, instant messaging, and online shopping, there are hundreds of other things you can use the Web for. One of the main things people use it for today is social media. Things from Facebook and Twitter to email and online newspapers are all forms of social media, or sites used to share information to groups of people over the Internet. The problem with the huge explosion that has been the beginning of the social media era is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to believe information posted online. The Internet has evolved so much that now we are able to even perform video and telephone functions through it. Sites like Skype are taking advantage of this technology. According to the FCC (Federal Communications Commision) the technology used by Skype, Vonage, and other similar Companies is called VoIP. They define this technology as one “that allows you to make voice calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line”. Essentially, performing telephone functions through the Internet is VoIP. Social Media has seemingly encompassed the younger generations of today; while it has been slower to catch on with the older generations, it is something that has been increasing over time.Skype had recently acquired a newer company called Qik and plans on dominating the new way for people to communicate using mobile video messaging. Skype Qik is supposed to be very simple, and it is exactly like texting but all video. A person can send a Qik video to anyone and they do not even have to have the app. These conversations are asynchronous and Skype Qik is a great idea for communication since things like facetime have been a big trend. The thing with facetime though is that someone has to answer the phone and both people need to use it at the same time; with Skype Qik people have the ability to have that type of video interaction but at no specific time. Skype Qik was developed by Microsoft,a dn is available on a PC or Mac, and for the iPhone, Android, or Windows phone.
Another popular social media app is Snapchat. This app allows people to send pictures, videos, and texts, just like other apps, but the catch is that once the picture/video/text is opened, it disappears after the set amount of time and cannot be see again. Snapchat has many features which make Snapchat photos and videos more fun and interesting than on other apps. Such features include filters, different text fonts, and the ability to draw on the pictures/videos with different colors. In addition to these original features, Snapchat has added a feature called “My Story” where users can create a chain or video of multiple pictures and videos combined. This story is not sent to one specific person, rather any of the user’s friends can see it; the set time in this feature determines how long the picture shows in the “slide show” and the story is available for only twenty-four hours. The latest feature is “geolocation” which can give you the time, weather, miles per hour, or other site-specific filters based on your location.
RSS and Podcasts
First invented by Netscape, Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is an online tool designed to quickly distribute new articles and other content when it is changed or added to. The reason for its invention was because it was an easy way for Netscape to share headlines and stories from other sites, and automatically add it to their own. To help people keep updated on their favorite websites, RSS uses an XML code that constantly scans a website and then broadcasts those updates to all the subscribers through its RSS feed. Subscribing to an RSS feed—usually for free—is fairly simple, as all one has to do is sign up with a feed aggregator, which will store all of one’s RSS subscriptions, and then click the subscribe link on the associated Web page. Finally, its feed content will automatically be added to their browser feed list, similar to the Favorites Feed list in Internet Explorer. For better accessibility for today’s evolving generation, RSS feeds can also be delivered to mobile phones and maybe even directly to televisions sometime in the future.
Another simple way to gather useful information from the Web is a Podcast, which is simply a recorded audio or video file that can be downloaded from the Web. Derived from the combination of the words “broadcasting” and “iPod,” podcasting is a form of audio broadcasting, which can be listened on one’s iPod. However, this is not a limitation since podcasts also be listened to on computers via the Windows Media Player or iTunes, or smartphones. The difference between podcasting and simply downloading and listening to music online is the fact that with podcasting, files come to you through syndication, instead of the other way around. Much like the blogs and websites mentioned previously, podcasts can be subscribed to in order to download new podcasts whenever they become available.
Online testing is becoming a new alternative for taking tests in this technology-based world that we live in nowadays. Online tests can be used for both objective tests, like multiple choice or true/false, or performance-based tests, like a concussion test. The state of Washington started using online testing in the spring of 2010 to administer tests of math and science for grades 3-8. This testing format creates more options for a teacher’s curriculum. Usually, one or two days are necessary to complete a test in class, but with an online test, no class days are taken up. This allows for the teacher to either go more in-depth on topics, allow for more Q&A during class room time to make sure his or her students understand the material, more time to prepare for an online test day, or it allows for more material to be covered. All of these options are great for the education system because students gain more knowledge from their tuition. One problem with online testing is security. How would a teacher know if the right student is taking the test, if the student is looking online or using another person to help them? To overcome this obstacle, technology companies are creating devices like the Securexam Remote Proctor system that takes a 360-degree image of the room and uploads it to a server where the teacher of the class can view it. All in all, online testing is the wave of the future for the education system with testing.
Blogs, Wikis, and Other Types of Online Writing
A blog is a Web page that contains short, frequent updated entries in chronological order, typically as a means of expression or communication. Blogs can be written by anyone, including ordinary people, celebrities, or even experts of certain fields. As blogs become more and more popular, commercial advertising begins to be commonly seen on more of the popular blogs. Some of the most popular blogs are websites that offer information or helpful tips to their readers. For example, as of October 2014, the top three most popular blogs are: Huffington Post, TMZ, Business insider. Another form of online writing, most often used for education purposes, is the wiki. Wikis are a way of creating and editing collaborative Web pages quickly and easily. Unlike a blog, wikis are meant to be edited by anyone, not just the owner of the typed information. One of the largest wikis is Wikipedia(Wikibooks is an example of a wiki too). While wikis are helpful and collaborative, erroneous information can be added intentionally. As a result, it is recommended to be careful when fully trusting a wiki page. Another type of online writing is an e-portfolio. An electronic portfolio is a collection of an individual’s work accessible through a website. Today. e-portfolios are commonly linked to student-related information, such as resumes, papers, or projects.
Everywhere you look, young people are using smartphones, notebook computers, iPads, etc. Often, they are not just using these devices for school research, homework, or studying. Young people can be seen playing games on computing devices as young as 3 years old. Online gaming is a rapid habit that is starting from a very young age. Often, the habit carries into the young adult years for many individuals. Nowadays, there are whole web sites whose sole purpose is hosting games that can be played online. Online games can be played alone or with other individuals who are also online. The games that are designed to be played by multiple players are called online multiplayer games. Some examples of online multiplayer games are Doom, EverQuest, Final Fantasy, City of Heroes, and World of Warcraft. Also, gaming devices, such as, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii, are deigned to be Internet-enabled so they can be connected to the Internet to play with other players. Online gaming has also been associated with Internet addiction. An article about online gaming addiction in The Kernel, states that often individuals are playing online games 12 hours a day. The article explains that individuals that develop online gaming addiction lose jobs and loved ones, have withdrawal symptoms, and develop migraines and back problems. The article states that it is a very real problem and will potentially continue to grow in the population as the Internet becomes more readily available to more and more people.
Video calls have played a major part in science fiction for decades. They were a major part of the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, and many other films and TV shows of that genre. Now, video chatting capabilities are found as standard on most desktops, and mobile devices. On of the most well known programs, and the program that pioneered video chatting, is Microsoft’s Skype. In recent years, Skype has been joined by Apple’s Facetime, and a video chat program embedded in Google Hangouts. Skype is compatible with Microsoft, Mac, and Linux computers, and there is and app for mobile devices. Facetime however, is only available on Apple devices, although the company has promised to make it compatible with other devices at some point. Google Hangouts, being a part of Google online app suite, is available as long as the user is able to access the Internet. There are other free source programs, but these three are the most common and the most trusted by security programs. Some free source options that now have become very popular is Facebook’s Messenger App and WhatsApp; these are both available for download on most smartphones. Video chatting was touted as a futuristic ideal, but in recent years, this has not held true. Video chatting use has decline in favor of texting and online testing apps. These may be the future as opposed to video chatting.
Censorship and Privacy
Censorship is the control of the information distributed within a society and has been a sense of dictatorships throughout time. It’s the suppression of offensive expressions that are used for when people want to provoke their personal political or values to another group. Typically now censorship is filtered by the government to control the information that is given to the public. Censorship by the government is typically unconstitutional because of the freedom of speech and is highly fought against in the First Amendment. However, other countries routenly censor information and have strict rules against their citizens posting information which the authorities do not like, for example China and North Korea. On another note, when individuals in US are on strike or boycott an event they are protected by the First Amendment which can be dangerous but they are still known to be protected. Some private censorship campaigns are best countered by groups and individuals speaking out and organizing in defense of the threatened expression.
Fighting Internet Censorship
Internet users who live in countries where the government tries to block or inhibit Internet use can still sometimes access material that is supposed to be forbidden. One way to do this is via a proxy, where Internet connectivity is routed through another server. If, for example, Facebook is blocked, an Internet user can use connect to a proxy server that, in turn, connects to Facebook, giving the user access to Facebook without directly connecting to it. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) can also be used to bypass such laws; however, different providers provide different layers of security (some do not log any information, some providers encrypt whatever is sent etc), and it is generally better to pay for one than try to use a free VPN. There is also a browser dedicated specifically to Internet activity known as TOR for “The Onion Router”, which proves multiple layers of encryption, like layers of an onion, as the data people are submitting or accessing is routed through multiple different ‘nodes’ and encrypted in between each one. The idea is that this will provide total anonymity, so that people cannot be tied to their access of or posts on certain websites. While it is sometimes given a negative connotation as a tool only for criminals, TOR is actually incredibly useful for people in countries whose governments are trying to oppress their citizens’ freedoms of speech and press. In short, while it is not easy or necessarily safe for people in these nations to access everything they should be able to access on the Internet, it is possible, and there are some means of circumventing government censorship of the Internet, which is not always holeproof.
Web Browsing Privacy
Privacy is of great importance to all users of the Internet. According to Wikipedia, internet privacy involves the right or mandate of personal privacy concerning the sorting, repurposing, provision to third-parties, and displaying of information pertaining to oneself via the Internet. This has been a subject of concern for decades. For example, one article that addresses the potential implications of privacy and computer dates back to 1965. While it is certain that privacy can be infringed, a simple awareness of how exactly certain processes, like using a search engine, interact with a user can be help deal with some of these concerns.
When one uses a search engine, such as Google, small files known as cookies are created to help identify preferences for the user. This enables a more accurate and quicker response when beginning a new session. To put this into context, cookies can help retrieve information like what was in a shopping cart for a previous session. However, third-party cookies can be more of an issue to some. Companies use these cookies to target advertisements towards users depending on their browsing patterns. Using the Internet Options in Internet Explorer (for Windows) can help one decide what types of cookies can be allowed as well as delete all cookies off the hard drive.
A more serious threat to internet privacy is spyware, which refers to any software that is installed without knowledge of the user that obtains information about that user through an Internet connection. The degree to which these programs can cause harm range from simple annoyances (e.g. setting a homepage to something else) to full-scale threats on system integrity (e.g. rewriting the Windows registry to restrict the user from changing the homepage back to its original state).
Adware, while related to spyware, is less harmful. Adware is usually installed alongside other software, and this leads to advertisements that appear on-screen. This can be installed without prior knowledge during the installation of another program by not reading the licensing agreements that came with the program. Therefore it is important to read carefully the agreement to ensure unwanted software is kept away from the computer.
In order to prevent personal information from being compromised and to keep your computer and internet running smoothly there are several precautions that should be taken to ensure that your web browsing experience is a safe and private one. Perhaps the easiest method to do this is by activating private browsing on your internet browser application. Once turned on the browser can not save any files or data to your local machine, including cookies, cache, and history. If you are using regular browsing, these files can still be deleted through your browser or another application. Disposing of these files ensures that online sites cannot track your activity on the web. You can also use programs to ensure that you are not being targeted for certain advertisements because of your browsing history, a common occurrence in the modern marketing age. To be very anonymous on the internet, a Tor network can be setup that encrypts the data you are sending so that your IP address is not compromised. Another similar method is proxies, which are intermediates that receive and deliver information requested. This keeps your personal computer information private as the server is technically the one making the request, not you.
It is extremely important to always make sure that any important or confidential information being shared over the Internet is being done in a private and confidential way. One of the unfortunate downfalls to everything being done electronically today is that we lose a sense of privacy. Things are much easier to attain on the Internet, and sadly there are hackers out there who spend their time trying to break into and gain access to this confidential information. If you are going to send important information electronically, it is necessary that you send it in an encrypted message. Encrypted messages make it so that others cannot hack into your e-mails and read what you are saying.
One of the more recent controversies with privacy in e-mailing has to do with Google mail. Google has come out saying that they should be able to read the information sent by any of its Gmail users. People find issue with this because they are gaining personal and confidential information that individuals do not want out there. The purpose of sending a specific email to a specific individual is so that it can be done in privacy, with the hopes that only that recipient will receive it. However, today this is unfortunately not the case, and if you are going to send mail electronically, one needs to proceed with caution.
Mobile Phone:A phone such as a cellular, or satellite phone that uses a wireless network.
Cell Phone:A mobile phone that communicates via a cellular network.
Satellite Phone:A mobile phone that communicates via satellite technology.
Dual-Mode Phone:A mobile phone that can be used with more than one communications network, such as with both a cellular and Wi-Fi network.
Global Position System (GPS:A system that uses satellites and a receiver to determine the exact geographic location of the receiver.
Videoconferencing:The use of computers, video cameras, microphones, and networking technologies to conduct face-to-face meetings over a network.
Telecommuting:The use of computers and networking technology to enable an individual to work from a remote location.
Telesurgery:A form of robot-assisted surgery in which the doctor’s physical location is different from the patient’s physical location and the doctor controls the robot remotely over the Internet or another network.
Telemedicine:The use of networking technology from the location of the doctor to provide medical information and services to the patient in a different location.
Wireless Network:A network in which computers and other devices are connected to the network without physical cables; data is typically sent via radio waves.
Star Network:A network that uses a host device connected directly to several other devices.
Bus Network:A network consistent of a central cable to which all network devices are attached.
Mesh Network:A network in which there are multiple connections between the devices on the network so that messages can take any of several possible paths.
Personal Area Networks (PANs):A network that connects an individuals’s personal devices that are located close together.
Local Area Networks (LANs):A network that connects devices located in a small geographical area, such as within a building.
Wide Area Networks (WANs):A network that connects devices located in a large geographical area.
Intranet:A private network that is set up similar to the Internet and is accessed via a Web browser.
Extranet:An intranet that is at least partially accessible to authorized outsiders.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs):A private, secure path over the Internet that provides authorized users a secure means of accessing a private network via the Internet.
Analog Signal:A type of signal where the data is represented by continuous waves.
Digital Signal:A type of signal where the data is represented by 0s and 1s.
Serial Transmission:A type of data transmission in which the bits in a byte travel down the same path one after the other.
Parallel Transmission:A type of data transmission in which bytes of data are transmitted at one time, with the bits in each byte taking a separate path.
Twisted-Pair Cable:A networking cable consisting of wire strands twisted in sets of two and bound into a cable.
Coaxial Cable:A networking cable consisting of a center wire inside a grounded, cylindrical shield, capable of sending data at high speeds.
Fiber Optic:A networking cable that utilizes hundreds of thin transparent glass fibers over which lasers transmit data as light.
Cellular Radio:A form of broadcast radio designed for use with cellular telephones that broadcasts using antennas located inside honeycomb-shaped cells.
Microwave Station:An earth-based device that sends and receives high-frequency, high-speed radio signals.
Communications Satellite:An earth-orbiting device that relays communications signals over long distances
Infrared (IR) Transmissions:A wireless networking medium that sends data as infrared light waves.
TCP/IP:A networking protocol that uses packet switching to facilitate the transmission of messages; the protocol used with th Internet.
Ethernet:A widely used wired LAN networking standard.
Wi-Fi:A facility allowing computers, smartphones, or other devices to connect to the Internet or communicate with one another wirelessly within a particular area.
WiMax:An emerging wireless networking standard that is faster and has a greater range than Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi Direct:A standard for connecting Wi-Fi devices directly, without using a router or an access point
Bluetooth:A networking standard for very short-ranged wireless connections; the devices are automatically connected once they get within the allowable range.
Ultra Wideband (UWB):A networking standard for very short-range wireless connections among multimedia devices.
WirelessHD:An emerging wireless networking specification designed for connecting home consumer devices.
Wireless USB:A wireless version of USB designed to connect peripheral devices.
TransferJet:A networking standard for very short=range wireless connections between devices; devices need to touch in order to communicate.
Network Adapter:A network interface, such as an expansion card or external network adapter.
Network Interface Card (NIC):An expansion card through which a computer can connect to a network.
Modem:A device that enables a computer to communicate over analog networking media, such as connecting to the Internet via telephone lines.
Switch:A device used to connect multiple devices on a single (typically wired) network; forwards packets to only the intended recipient.
Router:A device that connects multiple networks together; routes packets to their next location in order to efficiently reach their destination.
Wireless Access Point (WAP):A device on a wireless network that connects wireless devices to that network.
Wireless Router:A router with a built-in wireless access point; most often used to connect wireless devices to a network and an Internet connection and often contains a built-in switch.
Bridge:A device used to bridge or connect two LANs; most often used to connect wired devices wirelessly to a network.
Repeater:A device on a network that receives a signal and retransmits it.
Range Extenders:A repeater for a wireless network.
Antennas:A device used for receiving or sending radio signals; often used to increase the range of a network.
TOR: “The Onion Router” a browser dedicated specifically to Internet activity which proves multiple layers of encryption, like layers of an onion, as the data people are submitting or accessing is routed through multiple different ‘nodes’ and encrypted in between each one.
A Firewall is a type of security system that creates a wall that checks all incoming and outgoing messages to ensure only authorized traffic goes through. There are many different forms of this application such as Norton and Windows Security Essentials. Another way to protect your information is through encryption. Encryption basically scrambles and makes any message sent unreadable to anyone who does not have a key. The key is then used to decrypt the scrambled message into the original format. Whenever you go to a website that has an ‘S’ after the HTTP that means it is a secure web page, meaning the entire web page is encrypted. Therefore, people hacking to your web browser cannot get you credit card number or SSN. One question that arises is, “Can’t you just make every website a secure web page?”. The simple answer is money, a site owner needs to pay someone to encrypt the site. Then to send the data takes up more bandwidth, and slows down traffic in general. Cheaper web hosts may provide secure security features and backup services but have limitations. Another form of protection is a VPN (Virtual Private Network). A VPN creates a link between the user and some other destination. In order to access the VPN you will need a username and password, in order to keep it more secure and to block out hackers.
Firewalls can work in a number of ways, but a couple types of firewalls are more widely used over others. The two most common firewalls are packet-filtering and proxy.
- A packet-filter simply examines each packet to determine whether it is safe or not. After examining a packet, the filter will either allow in or block out the packet depending on if it’s safe or not.
- Packet-filters are common among routers, switches, wireless access points, etc.
- A disadvantage of using a packet-filter firewall is that some packets that are safe may be blocked by accident. This means that it is possible that parts of information could be missing due to a packet being blocked.
- Most Secure – direct connections are limited by packets being sent from one computer to the proxy, and then mirrored over to the computer on the receiving end.
- More secure decisions are able to be made in Application settings through strong analysis.
- A disadvantage of a proxy firewall is that it can slow down the transfer speed of packets. Although decrease in speed or functionality is a disadvantage, it is important to remember key advantages.
- While using a proxy firewall it is difficult for someone to figure out the location of where packets were sent from.
The Internet was created as an open system for the free exchange of information. Due to the openness of an ideology, the Internet provides to “bad guys” the significantly greater opportunities for the penetration into information systems. Firewalls make it possible to filter incoming and outgoing traffic that flows through your system. The Firewall uses one or more sets of rules to check the network packets as they enter or exit through a network connection, it either allows the traffic through or blocks it. The Firewall could be applied for protection a single host as well as to protect the entire network. A computer Firewall may be built-in into the Operation System or installed separately. The network Firewalls are the more complicated systems, combined hardware and software. These days, there is no single, the universally accepted classification of firewalls. But according to the methods of deploying it is possible to identify three following types of them.
Filtering routers are the routers or a servers running on a program configured to filter incoming and outgoing packets. The Packet filtering is carried out on the basis of information contained in TCP- and IP-packet headers.
Firewalls based on Session layer gateways. This class of routers is a repeater TCP-connection. Gateway receives a request from authorized client for specific services and after validation of the requested session establishes a connection to the destination.
Firewalls based on Application layer gateways. In order to protect a number of vulnerabilities inherent filtering routers, firewalls should be used by applications to filter connections with services such as Telnet and FTP. This application is called proxy-service. This gateway eliminates the direct interaction between the client and authorized external host. The gateway filters all incoming and outgoing packets at the application layer. Application Layer Gateways are good for protection; since the interaction with the outside world is realized through a small number of authorized applications, fully control all incoming and outgoing traffic. Note that application-level gateways require a separate application for each network service.These categories can be considered as the basic components of real firewalls. However, these components reflect the key features that distinguish firewalls from each other.
Biometric Access Systems identify an individual based on their fingerprint, iris, or facial features or other unique physiological characteristic. Keystroke Dynamics recognize an individual’s personal typing pattern to authenticate the user as s/he types a username or password. Biometric readers allow access based on the persons physical characteristics. Fingerprint readers and retinal scanners isolate an unchangeable property in an individual in order to identify them and offer high security based on these measures. They are typically used to control access to high risk facilities such as government property, prisons, and corporate headquarters. Fingerprint scanners have also been equipped into laptops in order to offer a higher standard of protection in securing personal files. In the same way, a person can download face recognition software onto their laptop as well. Because biometrics are entirely unique to the user, they are extremely accurate. In the same way no two people will have the same fingerprint, a persons facial features and iris’ are as equally unique. In fact, the odds of another person having the same features as another is about 1 in 10^78 power.
See [Wikipedia:Firewall (Networking)]
Identification Systems are a type of Access Control System that reassures whoever wants to access your system has authorization. Along with this, Authentication Systems makes sure the person is who they say they are. Possessed Knowledge Access Systems use passwords using information only the user should know. Downsides to this system would be the ability to forget this information or for it to be found out by someone who should not know. Cognitive Authentication Systems require users to think of their answers to certain personal questions such as their first pet, where they were born, where they have been on vacation, etc. The disadvantages to this system are the same as Possessed Knowledge Access Systems; with a lapse of time a person is more likely to forget their answer to a security question, especially if it had multiple answers. Lastly, Possessed Object Access Systems are a way to identify you with a physical object such as a keycard or badge. Access Control Systems link up to different types of readers that have the ability to hold data and retrieve it when needed. Some may even have function buttons that let them collect different data used for timing and attendance purposes. Identification Systems are a great tool to ensure the safety and privacy of users and are useful for everyday computers and accounts, business accounts, and much more.
Many WI-FI connections are unfortunately left unsecured. This allows for any individual with a WI-FI compatible device to potentially piggy back the network. Once an individual is connected to a network, most devices connected to that network become available for a skilled hacker to
view. This leaves an opening for many possible risks, especially if that network has a high traffic of sensitive information or data. Some war driving software exists which allows a user, usually with a portable device, to identify
many unsecured networks in a short amount of time. This gives a hacker to identify a large number of potential targets. Cyber-Crime has become increasingly prevalent over the years. Hackers are notorious for the various crimes they commit. Using malicious software, a skilled hacker is capable of stealing credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and other personal information, some of which make it possible for them to even steal identities. Using a program such as a keylogger, a hacker can monitor keystrokes without the individual knowing, allowing them to acquire sensitive information such as a credit card number, social security number, bank account, or password. A skilled hacker with an understanding of web design can create a phishing website and acquire account information from unsuspecting website visitors.
Public Hotspot Safety
Public hotspots are public networks, usually found within buildings such as restaurants, airports, and hospitals that allow a free or fee-based wi-fi connection to nearby users. Because these hotspots are public, it is beneficial to take certain precautionary measures when using them. Some of these safety measure include, disabling your computer automatic wi-fi connection feature. Many modern computers will automatically connect to any available wi-fi networks and it is important to be aware of this. Also, using a firewall can protect connections from working in the opposite direction. Instead of your computer connecting to the wi-fi, there is a chance that other softwares or devices that are perhaps malicious will try to access your computer through the network. Also, you should avoid viewing or inputting personal information while using a public hotspot. Avoid online shopping which requires a credit card as well as using passwords which can link to sensitive accounts. If you are viewing and inputting personal information then try using a virtual private network through the public hotspot which will avoid others from accessing your data. Other precautions include turning off file sharing, using antivirus software, and watching to see if others are trying to look at your computer screen within the public area.
Malware is a term for unwanted software that gets installed on a user’s computer and performs malicious tasks. It can be as simple as pop-up windows containing advertising, otherwise known as Adware, or it can cause significant damage in the form of a Virus. A Virus is a program that can replicate itself and spread to other computers by inserting its own code, wreaking havoc along the way. There are different types of computer viruses that can cause different kinds of damages to a computer. Another form of Malware is Spyware. Spyware can track a computer user’s web browsing habits, obtain private information, and transmit that information to advertisers without the user’s knowledge.
Unfortunately, without adequate protection, it is rather easy for a user to inadvertently allow malware installation. It can be as simple as clicking the wrong box in a pop-up window on a website. Protection from malware is available through various security software programs. When first purchasing a computer, it may have security programs already installed or you will automatically receive notifications on your computer to purchase spyware for an additional fee. Some are even available for free download,. Often times, if a computer is already infected, it can block anti-malware apps. One of the benefits of Malwarebytes is that it can be installed even a PC already has malicious programs on it.
Botnets and Computer Viruses
A botnet is a large group of computers that are ran on multiple bots that have been taken over; botnets are a serious threat to computer users because of their devious ways of taking over computers. At the time, computer owners did not know their computers were being altered. Botnets are commonly used for DDoS attacks, click-fraud, phishing campaigns, key logging,and host malicious web sites. There are warning signs a computer user should be aware of if he or she’s computer is apart of a botnet. For example, the computer will be extremely slow, one will receive emails accusing he or she of spam, and the computer user will have email messages in his or her’s outbox that was never sent. botnets can be controlled by using command and control software. Also, a malware is any type of deleterious software. A computer virus is a common type of malware that ruins computers. A virus can attach itself to programs so when the program runs, the virus will also run. There are many harmful effects that could come with a computer virus. For example, a virus could delete important data, send out fake emails, and could possibly delete the information that contains on the hard drive. Therefore, it is important for a computer user to buy an anti virus system for his or her’s computer to avoid these terrible malfunctions that are very common in computers. If a computer does becomes infected, you are able to remove it with antivirus softwares. It is not impossible to remove viruses, but it is beneficial to have the software before the problem occurs.
Although computer viruses in the past were sometimes designed to create confusion and mischief, more recent viruses have been designed to inflict much more serious damage. The perpetrators of creating such viruses are more often working for foreign governments or intelligence agencies. In recent years there have been several viruses that have become well known due to the large amount of damage they caused. One such virus was called Conficker Virus and affected Windows-based Pc’s in 2009. This worm crawled through millions of computers which created an immense botnet that was able to steal financial information and data. The virus is still affecting computers today. Another well known virus was called agent.btz and occurred in 2008. This virus spread through infected thumb drives and was found on Pentagon computers. It was believed to be the work of foreign spies, and lead to the creation of U.S. Cyber Command, an agency created to battle cyber war. PoisonIvy, another computer virus launched in 2005, allowed the attacker to control the infected user’s computer. This malware is known as remote access Trojan. It allows the hacker complete control of a computer. Once control is gained, the hacker could manipulate files and even get access to the computers speaker and webcam. PoisonIvy affected both defense and chemical industries in the West. Computer viruses are a serious threat. With the world relying on computers for everything from personal use to national defense, it is vital that computers be safeguarded against viruses. The next section goes on to describe security software.
Data, Program or Website Alteration
Alteration attacks could take many different forms and occur when someone makes unauthorized modifications to code or data, attacking its integrity. Alteration attacks have a range of consequences such as altering, destroying, suppressing, or stealing output, usually to conceal unauthorized transactions. For example, students are changing grades, employees are altering or deleting corporate data as well as hackers changing social networking accounts and posting statuses on victim’s behalf. Many politicians like French President Nicolas Sarkozy whose Facebook page was hacked in 2011 are under website alteration attack. Alteration attacks can happen to anyone even the Government. In 1996 U.S. Central Intelligent Agency’s website was altered by Swedish hacker and in 1998 😉 The New York Times’ website was hacked. Although people may feel helpless against these attacks, victims of sabotage have the law on their side. A person who knowingly, willfully and without authorization creates, alters or deletes any data, information, image, program, signal or sound contained in any computer, system or network which, if done on a written or printed document or instrument is guilty of forgery. In 2012, the IC3 (receives, develops, and refers criminal complaints of cybercrime) received and processed 289,874 complaints, averaging more than 24,000 complaints per month. Also, unverified losses reported to IC3 rose 8.3 percent over the previous year.
Security software (also called as antivirus) is a program that runs alongside other programs on a computer to try and prevent viruses from penetrating into the system. If security software does not prevent the virus with its defensive properties, then it can detect a virus and detect the user. Most viruses can be removed by security software, but if there is one that cannot be removed, the software will “corner” the virus so that it cannot ruin any other areas in the computer system. Viruses are a big problem for every computer that uses the internet, no matter what type of activity is done on the internet. Viruses can be used for theft, corruption of data, destruction of data, or system failure. The way to get security software is to download it digitally or through a DVD-ROM. According to the Anti-Virus Software website, the top ten anti-virus softwares are the following, respectively: McAfee, BullGuard, Trend Micro, Kaspersky, Norton by Symantec, BitDefender, ESET, ZoneAlarm, ParetoLogic, and VIPRE. These softwares provide web browsing protection, protection against Phishing scams, and parental control in addition to the basic anti-virus features. The way to choose the best anti-virus software is to check out all of the details and features to determine what extra characteristics are really necessary and what price range is suitable for personal circumstances. When purchasing a new computer,
you will, most likely, automatically be offered security software that comes with your computer. The computer software is usually has a free trial, so you will have to pay for it eventually.
If you do not want to use the suggested/trial security software, you do not have to.  Remember that Windows 8 onwards includes its own built-in anti-virus called as Windows Defender which provides similar features and is free. It is automatically enabled if you do not install any other antivirus.
Online Theft and Fraud
Identity theft is when someone identity in order to gain access to their bank accounts and possibly rent apartments or take out loans in that persons name. They then use their credit cards to make purchases. It usually begins when someone gets the name, address, and social security of someone from thrown a discarded document, usually mail. They can also get people’s information form the Internet. Identity theft is typically grouped into two subcategories. One is true name identity theft and that is when the thief uses another person’s information to open new accounts. The other kind is account takeover, which is when the thief uses someone else’s personal information to gain access to their existing accounts. There are different techniques such as skimming and social engineering.
- Skimming is when the thief uses a device that reads and stores credit and debit card numbers and stores them for later retrieval by the thief.
- Social engineering is when you pretend to work at a place (say at a telecommunication company or bank) and ask people for their information.
- Thieves rummage through garbage, trash in business, public dumps to get what they are looking which is someone’s personal information.
Some good indicators that your account identity has been stolen are if there are withdrawals that you can’t explain, not getting bills in the mail, refused checks, IRS contacting you, bills received that you are not aware of, and if your health plan will not cover you. All of these are big indicators that your identity has been stolen. It is important to be aware of bank transactions to be cautious of these thieves. There are certain types of Identity theft as well. Tax related would be one of them. If a Social Security number is stolen that can be used to get a tax refund or job. If you get paid by someone you do not know or find more than one tax return those would be big indicators that someone stole from you. Contacting the right people immediately would be the first thing to do in any situation dealing with identity theft. The IRS can help if a Social Security number has been stolen and they can protect the account. Children can also have their Social Security number stolen so it is important to keep that information private and on file.
Scammers use email or text messages to trick you into giving them your personal information. They may try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could gain access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day—and they’re often successful. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reported that people lost $30 million to phishing schemes in one year. But there are several things you can do to protect yourself. Scammers often update their tactics, but there are some signs that will help you recognize a phishing email or text message. Phishing emails and text messages may look like they’re from a company you know or trust. They may look like they’re from a bank, a credit card company, a social networking site, an online payment website or app, or an online store.
Phishing emails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. They may
• say they’ve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts • claim there’s a problem with your account or your payment information • say you must confirm some personal information • include a fake invoice • want you to click on a link to make a payment • say you’re eligible to register for a government refund • offer a coupon for free stuff
If you get an email or a text message that asks you to click on a link or open an attachment, answer this question:
Do I have an account with the company or know the person that contacted me?
If the answer is “No,” it could be a phishing scam. If you see them, report the message and then delete it.
If the answer is “Yes,” contact the company using a phone number or website you know is real. Not the information in the email. Attachments and links can install harmful malware.
If you think a scammer has your information, like your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number, go to IdentityTheft.gov. There you’ll see the specific steps to take based on the information that you lost.
If you think you clicked on a link or opened an attachment that downloaded harmful software, update your computer’s security software. Then run a scan.
If you got a phishing email or text message, report it. The information you give can help fight the scammers.
Step 1. If you got a phishing email, forward it to the FTC at [email protected] and to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at [email protected] If you got a phishing text message, forward it to SPAM (7726).
Step 2. Report the phishing attack to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
Pharming, Drive-by Pharming, and Online Auction Fraud
Many people today are victims of identity theft. Another type of fraud or scam is called Pharming. Pharming is usually a fraudulent domain name intended to redirect a website’s traffic to another “trick” website. Pharming can be conducted either by changing the hosts file on a victim’s computer, or by the exploitation of a vulnerability in DNS server software. Sometimes this happens via email. The hacker gets ahold of the user’s email address and sends the code or website to the specific user. Once the user receives and opens the email, the hacker can receive the user’s information. Pharming usually happens most often with DNS servers at a company with a common and well-known Web site. The hacker can change IP addresses intended for the company URL. Then the company URL is routed to the “poisoned” URL, which then takes over the Web server. This method of pharming is useful to the hacker because the “poisoned” Web site is usually made to look exactly like the company Web site. Once the user logs in, the hacker captures the username and password for the first time. The user receives a login message error and is then returned to the original company Web site.
Drive-by Pharming is a little more recent. This method is used by logging into the user’s personal routers by using a common password that a script within a website can run. When it is accessed, the information on the router can be modified to suite the hacker.
Online auction fraud happens when a payment online goes to the seller, but the item is never delivered. For instance, if a buyer wants to make a bid online and buy tickets to a show or a concert, the buyer pays the seller for the tickets, and the seller never sends them. Many people are scammed each year and need to be careful with who they are trusting over the Internet.
Ransomware are programs that are designed to encrypt a user’s PC and demand payment for the access of the files. Often these come into the user’s PC through means described earlier in this article. The user will be forced to pay the ransom demanded by the program author (generally) though a virtual currency like Bitcoin which makes it hard for police to track the criminal.
Unfortunately the hopes of recovery in such cases are slim; not for many ransomwares have a free decryptor been released. Bleeping Computer is the best place to go for help if you have been infected by one.
The problem is especially acute for corporates: many have paid over $50,000 to restore vital information affected by the ransomware. 
The best way to protect against ransomwares is to take frequent backups; that way, if you do get infected, you can easily restore from your backups.
Protecting Against Online Theft and Fraud
Protecting Against Identity Theft
Just as the Internet is always evolving for good, there are also constantly scheming e-criminals hoping to take advantage of those who aren’t careful with their online identities. Identity Theft is one of the scariest things that can happen to a person, especially if they don’t have a strong friend or family base to help convince the proper authorities of their true identity. There is not one universal way to protect yourself from identity theft; instead, there are a number of steps you should take to keep yourself fully protected. The first thing you can do is be responsible with your bank accounts and credit cards. If you’re checking your balance every day, you will be quick to see if there are any suspicious discrepancies occurring. It is essential to download your bank’s mobile application, so you can get alerts on all of your transactions.  The next important step to protect against identity theft seems simple but can be easily overlooked: do not give out your personal information on the internet. This includes phone numbers, addresses, or anything else that hackers could potentially trace back to something you hold valuable. Some individuals can be targeted by thieves through fake emails and text messages who urge them to give up their information. You can protect yourself from identity theft is being wary of your mail. It is very easy for an e-criminal to send you a destructive link in an email that looks like it came from one of your friends, where one small click will lead you into a world of pain. Just follow these few rules and you will be doing fine online. One of the most easiest ways to protect yourself is to create a long, strong password. Creating a difficult password will prevent thieves from hacking into your personal information.
Avoiding Phishing E-mails
Due to the advantage taken of today’s improving technology, phishing has emerged as one of the most damaging forms of identity theft. Using very convincing and persistent language, e-criminals are able to trick millions of users into revealing confidential information over the Internet. As mentioned earlier, to lure people in to clicking an attached link, e-criminals tend to steal the identity of a legitimate and well-known company to write a very “important-sounding” e-mail, solely for the purpose of tricking the reader into thinking the contents of the e-mail really are significant. Nonetheless, however urgent the e-mail may seem, it is actually designed to steal your money! A typical phishing e-mail will usually consist of: spelling errors, links, threats to make the content seem urgent, and a popular company name to sound reliable. If examined carefully, some phishing expeditions may be fairly easy to spot, due to the poor spelling and grammar used, making it obvious that the message is not from a legitimate company. The link in the e-mail is used by the cybercriminals to install malicious software on your computer, ultimately enabling them to steal personal and sensitive information off of your computer. The e-mail could also even ask you to provide personal information, such as your bank account number, credit card number, or your Social Security Number; this should automatically be a red flag for the recipients because an authentic business would never request such information in any way other than in person. Therefore, if one is alert and careful about the content they receive in an e-mail, they can ultimately help protect their identity and their money, even if the e-mail seemed rather urgent.
The act of a phisher setting up a Web site that appears to look like the legitimate business is an act called Web site spoofing. Phishing emails can be sent to a wide group of people or can be personalized and sent to one person. This more targeted trend of phishing is called spear phishing because it targets a specific individual. A phisher may gather personal information from a networking site and send an email to a particular individual in order to convince the recipient that personal login information or account information is needed. Phishers may also do something that is called typosquatting, which is setting up spoofed Websites with addresses slightly different from legitimate sites in the hopes that a user would supply login information via the spoofed site when they arrive. Another form of online threats include pharming. Pharming is another type of scam that uses spoofing. With pharming, the criminal reroutes traffic intended for a commonly used Web site to a spoofed Web site set up by the pharmer. The pharmer makes changes to the DNS server. The DNS server is the computer that translates URLs in to the needed IP addresses to display the Web page corresponding to a URL. A pharmer will usually target company DNS servers. Lastly, online action fraud can also be a concern for Internet users. This threat occurs when an online auction buyer pays for merchandise that never is delivered.
One way of protecting yourself from online thefts or frauds is by looking for a digital certificate when browsing the Web or looking through e-mails. A digital certificate is granted by Certificate Authorities, which prove to the person that the website they are accessing is secure. A digital certificate binds the owner of a website to a specific pair of electronic keys, one being public and the other private. This allows the owner of the certificate to encrypt their files and e-mails and provides the user with the knowledge that their actually is an owner to the website that they are on. A digital certificate tracks who sends an email and who receives an email. This can protect users from giving away their credit card numbers to unprotected websites that try to scam people of their money. A digital certificate can either be an SSL or EV (Extended Version) SSL. The SSL digital certificate is the ordinary certificate that still requires an application and verification process while the EV SSL requires a more in-depth verification process. For users, an EV SSL digital certificate indicates that it is more secure than just an SSL digital certificate, while both of them are considered to be safe. This can be represented by the fact that when you enter an EV SSL webpage, the address bar turns green and for an SSL webpage it doesn’t change color at all. A digital certificate, in general, is definitely a good security advisor for users on the Internet.
The Safety of Using PayPal
Internet users have to be very cautious of the information they put on the internet. PayPal seems to be a popular e-commerce business that many people use and willing give their private information to. Is this payment processor to be trusted? PayPal makes the lives of everyday internet consumers much easier. Its secure server stores your credit card information so payment over the internet is more efficient. Not much effort has to be put in by the individuals that use this payment processor. Other accounts require a vast amount of paper work to be signed beforehand. One drawback to using PayPal is that there is a long list of rules the users must abide by, and if a user breaks any of these rules their money could be locked for up to six months while under investigation. An interesting feature that was added to PayPal in 2006 was an additional security option. Instead of only entering a login id and password, PayPal users can choose to type a six-digit number code in as well. This lowers the risk of malware bots trying to hack into the account. There is a fee associated with this added security measure. Users might be discouraged to protect their accounts because of this additional fee. They should still take caution when it comes to entering personal information into PayPal. Users should also be cautious when placing orders online using PayPal because they’re at a greater risk for their credit card information to be stolen.
The Safety of Digitally Storing Cards
New forms of paying have appeared or rather a new way of paying thanks to companies like Google and Apple. Apple Pay and Android Pay are ways of paying wherein the user puts their credit cards or debit cards into their phones and can then use their phones or smartwatches to use their credit cards instead of bringing the physical cards with them. You can also use in app purchases by using your fingerprint on the latest Apple phone. With the phone’s it uses biometrics to make sure the owner is using Apple Pay and with smartwatches they use passcodes. But the real question is this new way of paying secure? Apple claims that it is so. In fact, they claim that it is actually more secure and that they will never upload the details on your cards to their servers. In fact, if your smartphone or smartwatch was ever stolen, you have the ability to revoke the information on your smartphone or smartwatch. Also Apple creates a Unique Device Account Number in order to protect your purchases when making transactions. However, there are those who do believe that this may not be safe. The best way to not have to deal with the risk is to not use Apple Pay. There are also applications like Snapchat and Venmo in which you can send money using your credit card information. This is a fast way to receive money but can be risky. A thief can login to your account and steal your information. All in all, it is not safe to store any personal information 
Basic Home Network Security
Many people have wireless networks in their homes, but they may not necessarily keep these networks as safe as they can or should. If somebody else accesses your network without your knowledge or consent, then they may do things on that network that you do not desire, they can use up your allotted data usage, and, most concerning, they may be able to get your personal information. Therefore, people with wireless home networks should take precautions to keep them secure. First, networks should always have some sort of a password to keep them safe; a network should never, ever be left unsecured, because then absolutely anybody within range can go on it. Typing any password at all is better than nothing, since it’ll deter people from mooching, but—as is always the case—it is not wise to go with a predictable password such as the network name, ‘password’, ‘Internet’, etc. Something that is meaningless on the surface level but has a deeper meaning for you is a better way to go; for example, the first letters of words in an individual phrase that only you will remember. Also, to add yet another layer of security, you can make it so that your network is not available to other users by default but instead they must know the network name; this way, for a hacker to gain access, they would have to guess both the ID of the network and the password, which is highly unlikely. With these incredibly simple steps, one can make their network incredibly secure compared to one that has absolutely no measures preventing access from anybody within a certain physical proximity.
This is a new way of bullying especially for the amount of social networks and how it has influenced our society today. Unfortunately, it happens 24 hours of the day and anything can be posted or distributed anonymously in which it could be difficult to track where the bullying is coming from. And as everyone is informed these days, once something is on the internet, there is no way to permanently delete the comment after it has been sent. It happens when individuals are bullied through electronic technology. For example, you can cyber bully over text message, emails, rumors send through any type of social networks. There’s no way to prevent an individual from making a comment that could be known as the start of cyber bullying, but simply ignoring or reporting the comment to either a parent, friend or any type of guidance person could benefit you most in not having the bullying continue. To elaborate, you can simply block the individual that had started the commenting and keep any type of evidence of the bullying for future documents in case it gets worse. A last important note is to recognize the signs of attitudes if a student were to be cyber bullied; some reactions are abusing drugs and alcohol, skip school, receive poor grades and have lower self-esteem.
Activity: Delete Cyberbullying – Preventing Cyberbullying
Cyberstalking is the use of the internet, email, or other electronic communications to stalk another person. This occurs when there is a continuous pattern of malicious or threatening activity from an individual. Cyberstalking is considered the most dangerous form of harassment over the internet and is punishable by law. Depending on the state, punishments can range from misdemeanors to felonies. Victims of cyberstalking can be targeted by strangers online who find personal information somewhere on the web or by more personal colleagues or individuals who know the person they are targeting well. Unfortunately, cyberstalking can move beyond the computer and become a problem in the real world if the stalker discovers or knows how to find the individual personally. This is a very serious issue and should be brought to law enforcement agencies or even the FBI. It is important to not give away any personal information that can be used to stalk you and to ensure that you trust anyone or anywhere that you may be giving personal information to online. The best solution to stop cyberstalking is to not respond at all or to change the information on what ever resource the cyber stalker is using to harass you.
Along with the lifespan and constant evolution of the Internet came the controversial issue of online pornography. Though pornography has unfortunately been around on paper for centuries, electronic access has made it much easier, quicker, and more convenient for any individual to get ahold of it at any given time. With this online access comes a much bigger and more controversial issue. It has introduced people, especially children, to new and substantial safety issues.
Though child pornography is banned and illegal, there is a considerable amount of it being circulated and passed throughout the Internet. With the link that has been made between this horrible content and child molestation, it is reasonable to be concerned about the spike that this will bring. Not only does it encourage sick people to do horrible things, but the computer also gives them an outlet to meet and dishonestly introduce themselves to children. It is unfortunate that today we have to be concerned about what could come from our children talking to people on the Internet; however, it is important that we voice these risks and make sure that parents take every precaution possible to keep their children from ever experiencing these horrific possibilities. 
Protecting Against Cyberbullying, Cyberstalking, and Other Personal Safety Concerns
Safety Tips for Adults
While it may seem unnecessary to state, the Internet is accessed by not only those with good intentions but also those who can pose a threat in a variety of ways. It is important to be aware of this fact because it is quite easy to forget how vast of an entity the Internet is and countless masses who use it daily. This makes for the task of safeguarding information from those who mean harm an important responsibility. Some of the ways one can prevent cyberbullying, cyberstalking and other issues are by using names that are gender-neutral. This hides the identity of the user, and this is important for female users because unfortunately they are more likely to be targets compared to male users. Also, one should not give phone numbers, addresses and other personal information to strangers for obvious reasons. A way to prevent cyber bullying is to not be a cyber bully yourself. Bullying people online is not only unethical but it will increase the number of users targeting you.
Safety Tips for Children and Teens
Monitoring how children and teenagers use the Internet through the computer, smartphone, game console, etc. is the most important step in protecting them. It is recommended to place certain restrictions on how they use the Internet so that they do not access certain sites that might make them more susceptible to dangerous individuals or certain sites (e.g. adult sites). There are certain softwares parents can download to monitor what their children are doing online. There are also softwares to block inappropriate websites which is more common to find in children’s schools. It is also important for older teens to understand the potential ramifications, including not only personal but also legal issues, that can arise from sending explicit messages or pictures via text messaging. Although teenagers may think that they have deleted text message or a picture, someone can still obtain the image.
Using Your Computer In A Safe Way
One of the best ways to stay safe online is to make sure you have your computers operating system and antivirus / anti-malware software update and set scanning schedules however the most important part of protection is user awareness. A recent blog post from Antivirus Talk details a list of good computer rules. Remember the majority of the time the user has allowed a virus onto the system. 
- Always run antivirus software (at least the built-in Windows Defender)
- Don’t go To Websites You don’t Know
- Don’t open Emails if you don’t know where they are from
- Use A different password for everything
- Keep your system up-to-date
- Don’t install unknown programs
- Don’t send/give out your passwords
- Lock your computer when you are not by it in a public area
- Don’t leave your computer in your car or lying around
By just following these rules you have the best chance of a safe journey online.
Network and Internet Security Legislation
New legislation is frequently introduced to address new types of computer crimes. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to keep pace with the rate at which the technology changes. Along with this, there are both domestic and international jurisdictional issues because many computer crimes affect people in geographical areas other than one in which the computer criminal is located. Regardless, computer crime legislation continues to be proposed and computer crimes are being prosecuted. Some of the most important and impactful laws follow:
Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1984- Makes it a crime to break into computers owned by the federal government.
Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998- Makes it a federal crime to knowingly use someone else’s means of identification, Social Security number, or credit card, to commit any unlawful activity.
Homeland Security Act(2002)- Includes provisions to combat cyberterrorism.
One of the most famous cases of a cyber crime happened quite recently, the criminals charged in 2013. Five cyber criminals were responsible for a hack that targeted companies more than $300 million. They did this by stealing usernames and passwords, personal identification information, credit card and debit card numbers through secure computer networks. The criminals were sentenced up to 20 years in prison, depending on the amount stolen and involvement with the hacking group.
- antivirus software:Software used to detect and eliminate computer viruses and other types of malware.
- biometric access system: An access control system that uses one unique physical characteristic of an individual (such as a fingerprint, face, or voice) to authenticate that individual.
- bot: A program/service that does tasks which would be tedious to do do manually. However, it can also be used for criminal activities, like for DDoS purposes.
- botnet: A group of bots that are controlled by one individual.
- computer crime: Any illegal act involving a computer.
- computer sabotage: An act of malicious destruction to a computer or computer resource.
- computer virus: A software program installed without the user’s knowledge and designed to alter the way a computer operates or to cause harm to the computer system.
- computer worm: A malicious program designed to spread rapidly to a large number of computers by sending copies of itself to other computers.
- cyberbullying: Children or teenagers bullying other children or teenagers via the Internet.
- cyberstalking: Repeated threats or harassing behavior between adults carried out via e-mail or another Internet communications method.
- denial of service (DDoS) attack: An act of sabotage that attempts to flood a network server or a Web server with so much activity that it is unable to function.
- digital certificate: A group of electronic data that can be used to verify the identity of a person or organization; includes a key pair that can be used for encryption and digital signatures.
- digital signature: A unique digital code that can be attached to a file or an e-mail message to verify the identity of the sender and guarantee the file or message has not been changed since it was signed.
- dot con: A fraud or scam carried out through the Internet.
- encryption: A method of scrambling the contents of an e-mail message or a file to make it unreadable if an unauthorized user intercepts it.
- firewall: A collection of hardware and/or software intended to protect a computer or computer network from unauthorized access.
- hacking: Using a computer to break into another computer system. (I bet you need this for class.)
- identity theft: Using someone else’s identity to purchase goods or services, obtain new credit cards or bank loans, or otherwise illegally masquerade as that individual.
- malware: Any type of malicious software.
- online auction fraud: When an item purchased through an online auction is never delivered after payment, or the item is not as specified by the seller.
- password: A secret combination of characters used to gain access to a computer, computer network, or other resource.
- pharming: The use of spoofed domain names to obtain personal information in order to use that information in fraudulent activities.
- phishing: The use of spoofed e-mail messages to gain credit card numbers and other personal data to be used for fraudulent purposes.
- possessed knowledge access system: An access control system that uses information only the individual should know to identify that individual.
- possessed object access system: An access control system that uses a physical object an individual has in his or her possession to identify that individual.
- private key encryption:A type of encryption that uses a single key to encrypt and decrypt the file or message.
- public key encryption: A type of encryption that uses key pairs to encrypt and decrypt the file or message.
- secure Web page: A Web page that uses encryption to protect information transmitted via that Web page.
- security software: Software, typically a suite of programs, used to protect your computer against a variety of threats.
- spear phishing: A personalized phishing scheme targeted at an individual.
- Trojan horse: A malicious program that masquerades as something else.
- two-factor authentication: Using two different methods to authenticate a user.
- unauthorized access: Gaining access to a computer, network, file, or other resource without permission.
- unauthorized use“: Using a computer resource for unapproved activities.
- virtual private network (VPN):A private, secure path over the Internet that provides authorized users a secure means of accessing a private network via the Internet.
- war driving:Driving around an area with a Wi-Fi-enabled computer or mobile device to find a Wi-Fi network to access and use without authorization.
- Wi-Fi piggybacking:Accessing an unsecured Wi-Fi network from your current location without authorization.
Choose the correct option
1. Which of the following is an example of something used to gain access to a possessed object access system? 
2. The most common type of possessed knowledge, comprising secret words or character combinations associated with an individual, are:
a. security keys
Fill in the blanks
3. Driving around looking for a Wi-Fi network to access is referred to as ________.
4. _______ access control systems use some type of unique physical characteristic of a person to authenticate that individual.
5. A(n) ____________ can be used at a Wi-Fi hotspot to create a secure path over the Internet.
6. A(n)____________ can be added to a file or an e-mail message to verify the identity of the sender and guarantee the file or message has not been changed.
7. ______________ identifies an individual based on their fingerprint, iris, or facial features or other unique physiological characteristic.
8. This type of theft/fraud is often targeted to social media sites because it is easier to find personal information on people.
True or false?
9. A computer virus can only be transferred to another computer via a storage medium.
10. An access control system that uses passwords is a possessed knowledge access system.
11. Using a password that is two characters long is an example of two-factor authentication.
12. Secure web pages use encryption to securely transfer data sent via those pages.
13. A virtual private link can be used at a Wi-Fi hotspot to create a secure path over the Internet.
- War Driving
- Virtual Private Network or VPN
- Digital Signature
- Biometric Access System
- Spear Phishing
Whether you know it or not, you have seen multimedia and you should be semi familiar with it. Multimedia is exactly what is sounds like, multi (many) media (pictures, video, etc.). If you go to humble bundle.com you will see an excellent assortment of multimedia. You have a countdown, which is your animation, you have images of the games you can get. When you click on an image you will get an expansion showing you a description and an embedded YouTube video. Now that you understand the basics you can see all of the different uses of multimedia in your favorite websites. While this sounds great and having multimedia will make any site better, remember too much of anything is not good.
What Is It?
Multimedia refers to the literal combination of multiple types of media. Web-based multimedia, however, is a term used to describe the multimedia (sound, video, or animation, text and images) found within web pages. Similar to others, web-based multimedia pages display information requested by the user through hyperlinks. Multimedia web sites are interactive, often containing elements with which the visitor directly works. Examples of this would be playing or pausing a video clip or game, and controlling a 3D object. At one point, web-based multimedia was strictly limited as both computers and internet services were too slow to support it. Over time, the significant increase in computer and broadband connection speeds have Web-based multimedia possible, and the success of Web-based multimedia is growing rapidly. The vast majority of sites today feature some form of multimedia. For instance, it is often used in advertisements, as regular site content (TV shows and photos posted by TV networks or podcasts), informational videos of available products offered by companies, or as “user- generated content”, such as videos uploaded to YouTube or pictures uploaded to Flickr. 
Web Based Multimedia Applications come in a wide variety and can be found all over the Internet. A website that contains more than one type of media is considered to be multimedia. Sites that contain sound, video, animation, and/or images alongside text fall into this category. Typically, these sites use multiple applications such as these to convey certain information to the viewer of the web page. Manufacturers might use photos and PDF based user’s manuals to transfer key points of interest about their products to the viewers. In other cases, multimedia can be used as a teaching tool where visitors learn through instructional videos or a news site might use podcasts and television footage to update their readers through their websites. Images and sound are also employed by many musicians when visiting their sites alongside the text-based dates of their tour. Entertainment also plays a large factor in web based multimedia applications. With the rise of Internet video streaming, people can now watch their favorite t.v. shows when they have the free time to do so, and from anywhere there is an Internet connection. Websites like Netflix and Hulu use sound, video, and often thumbnail photo icons alongside their descriptive text of the shows available. Some things to keep in mind concerning these multimedia applications are Internet connection speed and bandwidth. Most of these video streaming websites; whether news, sports, or t.v. shows, etc. require a minimum broadband connection speed of 500Kbs for standard definition viewing. The minimum speed requirement increases as the definition increases and vice versa. Bandwidth plays an important role as well since some service providers put a cap on the amount of information that can be processed. Most “smart” phone service providers set a cap of 1Gb or 2Gb a month and charge additional fees if this ceiling is ignored. Considering that a standard definition, one hour t.v. show can be close to 200Mb, it is wise to pay attention to the bandwidth being consumed as this can rapidly add up.
There are many advantages that web-based multimedia can offer. One of the biggest benefits of web-based multimedia is that it can address many different types of learning styles. For example, when being taught how to make a paper airplane, someone may prefer written instructions, while someone else may prefer picture instructions. Multimedia can offer picture instructions with captions in order to meet both people’s learning styles. Another advantage of web-based multimedia is that it can make information more enjoyable and interesting to a user. Text-only information can get very boring, but multimedia could be implemented in order to spice up a web-page. For example, when learning where countries lay on a map, a simple picture might not portray the information in an enjoyable fashion. With multimedia, an interactive map could be created and used instead of a picture. An interactive map may be a more enjoyable way for a user to learn the material due to the fact that they must engage with the multimedia. Along with web-based multimedia’s advantages come disadvantages. One disadvantage of web-based multimedia is that it can be very costly and time consuming. Websites that use multimedia generally take more time and skill to develop than a text-based website. Businesses often hire someone to create and arrange multimedia on their webpages.
Augmented Virtual Reality
Augmented Virtual Reality is the augmenting or adding-on of certain computer-generated elements to the real world usually through a display. Augmented Virtual Reality can be applied to many different types of technologies and industries and is currently growing within e-commerce. Some companies, such as IKEA are using the technology of Augmented Virtual Reality to give consumers a better view of how furniture will look in their home. Other uses include the application of Augmented Reality within the automobile industry. Certain manufacturers are utilizing the technology within windshields. This is known as Head-Up-Display and is used to allow drivers to see their MPH, fuel gage, and many other information that you would need while driving, without forcing them to take their eyes off the road. Another use of Augmented Virtual Reality is with Google Glass. Google Glass allows users to have all the features of a phone within a display on their glasses and with the use of voice commands. Also, some developments are being made to incorporate Augmented Virtual Reality within the medical field. Although Augmented Virtual Reality is a recent development, it is being used more and more within many devices and will possibly be a social normality within a few years.
The Five Multimedia Elements
Text, image, audio, video, and animation are the five multimedia elements. The first multimedia element is text. Text is the most common multimedia element. The text expresses the information the developer is trying to get across to their viewers. Even though pictures grab the viewers’ attention, the text is a good idea to include, as well, just in case the picture does not load. The second multimedia element is an image. An image catches the viewers’ attention much more quickly than just plain, old text. Almost every multimedia application contains images. The most common images are JPEGS and PNGs. Also, Photoshop and Paint.NET create high tech visual effects which are common with images. The third multimedia element is audio. Most of the time, audio files are deployed using plug-in media players. A few audio formats include RealAudio, MIDI, Wave, WMA, and MP3. The developer will compress the format to shorten the time. Before the file is downloaded, one can stream the audio. The fourth multimedia element is video. The web is the most common place where videos are seen concerning multimedia elements. A few digital video formats are Flash, MPEG, AVI, WMV, and QuickTime. Streaming digital videos can increase the speed of the playback. Developers use videos to hold on to the viewers’ attention. The fifth multimedia website is animation. Animation draws in the younger crowd. adobe flash is the most common tool for creating these animations. Animations are the most creative and fun multimedia element! 
Serif vs. Sans-Serif Fonts & Font Choice
All fonts, or typefaces, are either serif or sans-serif. “Serif” is Latin for “with feet,” while “sans-serif” is Latin for “without feet”, and that is the difference: serif fonts have small lines, or serifs, at the bottom of the letters, as if the letters have feet. Sans-serif fonts lack these “feet.” Times New Roman is the most common and easily recognizable serif font, while the most common and recognizable sans-serif fonts are Arial, Helvetica, and Comic Sans MS. There is some disagreement about whether serif fonts are easier to read than sans-serif ones, or vice versa, but in general, serif fonts are preferred for large bodies of text, especially on physical, printed materials, while sans-serif fonts are preferred for smaller things, such as headlines, and electronic messages. Even past the question of whether to use a serif vs a sans-serif font, one should be careful about which specific font one is using. Different typefaces carry different connotations. A potentially more formal font, such as Times New Roman, would not be suited to something more informal like an invitation to a young child’s birthday party; likewise, an informal font like Comic Sans would be very inappropriate for formal messages. When choosing a font, consider the purpose of the message and the audience.
Video provides a powerful impact in a multimedia program. It starts with continuous event and breaks it up to frames, whereas an animation starts with frames. Video formats are made up of container and codec(s). The container describes the structure of the file like where the various pieces are stored, how they are interleaved, and which codecs are used by which pieces. A codec is a way of compressing the file to decrease file size, while maintaining quality. Some of the most common video file formats are Audio-Video Interleave (.avi), Flash Video Format (.flv), Moving Picture Experts Group 2 (.mp2), Moving Picture Experts Group 4 (.mp4), QuickTime (.mov), and Windows Media Video (.wmv). In multimedia applications, the digital video is gaining popularity because the video clips can be edited easily, it can be stored like any other files in the computer and the quality of the video can still be maintained, and the video can be transferred within a computer network which allows non-linear editing in any part of the video. Just like in audio, in streaming video the traveling information is a stream of data from a server. In 2006, people watched more than a million streaming videos a day on YouTube.
JPEG, GIF, and PNG Formatting
GIF and PNG are two different formats which images are available in. GIF simply means Graphics Interchange Format and is typically used for animations and sometimes single images as well. The images are compressed or made smaller; they are using what is called loss-less data compression. This compression makes it so that the image does not lose quality even if it is compressed due to its ability to have uniformed color with well-defined edges. A GIF is not the best quality format for images because of its limit of colors, which is one of the reasons that PNG was created. PNG are Portable Network Graphics. Their ability to compress is higher quality and allows for alpha transparency, which is basically creating the image with a background so that it looks transparent either partially or fully. They can store more color depth but also take up more space than GIFs in some cases. In cases where this does not apply it is because their ability to have better compression in 8-bit data ends up being smaller than GIFs. PNGs are unlike GIFs because they do not support animations, and are a single-image based format. These formats are used in many Web pages today and are both arguably as important.
The Joint Photographic Experts Group committee created the file format that is otherwise known as JPEG. JPEG is a technique and file format used to compress color images, digital photos, and other digital graphics. Many users who store photographs on their computer will recognize the JPEG file extension recognized as “.jpeg”, or “jpg”. The file size of a selected image can be optimized for different uses, otherwise known as editing a photo to the desired sizes. The file format does so by using a type of compression of the image known as “lossy compression”. The definition of lossy compression is defined as the ability for the image to decrease in file size, taking away a slight decrease in image quality. JPEG files are widely used by consumers as a way to save photos on their computer to view at their desire. However, a user may have interest in sharing these images through e-mail, or a website. As considering using a JPEG file on a website or through email, a user must consider the file size in comparison to the amount of quality of the image. For instance, if a user is interested in posting a photograph on a website of theirs, they must consider file size and formatting. Also, with e-mail, a user must consider the quality of the image they will be sending. The higher the quality of the image being sent, the larger the file size must be. If a user is sending this file over their cellular phone, it may require the use of more data to send a larger file size.
There are many different types of audio files, and the each have their of distinct advantages. The most ubiquitous audio file is the MP3. MP3’s have become the standard audio files on most devices and on most websites. The advantage of MP3 file over different formats is their small size. MP3 files can be compressed, as they do not contain the inaudible sections of an audio track. While this results in good quality audio, while taking up a small amount of space, in certain situation, audio quality can suffer. The compression of MP3 file can distort vocal sounds, and can result in a ‘tinny’ sound. Because, some computers, primarily Windows-based PC’s use WAV files to store audio files. These files are uncompressed, so they take up a large amount of space, but they are of better quality than most MP3 files. As most desktop PC’s have room to spare, better audio quality is substitutes for more space used. Another file type common on windows computers is WMA. This format is optimized for use by Windows Media Player. Is primary advantage is that is copyright protected, but it can only be used on Windows Media Player. Another common audio file is DCT. This type of file is encrypted, and used for medical applications where patient confidentiality is needed.
Multimedia Web Design
Basic Design Principles
The main thing about designing a website is that the whole point is to create a site that is interesting and will bring customers or people to look at it. Not only that, but you have to keep it interesting; people don’t want to see the same things on a website at all times. It needs to be updated and changed as time passes. Another important thing to remember is that many people aren’t that tech savvy. It is important to keep the website somewhat simplistic. Confusing websites draw people away. It is important to make sure your webpages load quickly, which can be done by choosing multimedia elements carefully and to modify them as necessary, like optimizing photos to make them run as efficient as possible. Nowadays another important thing to consider when creating a website is whether or not people are going to be able to view it from other devices such as their phones, their tablets, or whatever else. It may be beneficial to also create a mobile version of the site. Its important to look at what browser people can use for this website. Some sites have certain features that can only be accessed by certain browsers, it is important to make sure to use features that work well on all common browsers. It would also be beneficial to use features that don’t require plug-ins. When people visit a site they are not going to want to have to install something just to go on the site or to access something on the site. It is also important to look at the size of the page content. You want to be sure that your information can be seen on all computer screens.
Web site design can be extremely time consuming and costly. Successful businesses and agencies typically have both the time and the money to have intricate web sites designed. However, for a company just starting out, those things may not be available yet. Fortunately, there are many sites today that offer free website design. Some great sites that offer this are Wix.com, Weebly.com, Yola.com and Moonfruit.com. This could be a great way for a brand new company or organization to be able to get their name out on the web and begin getting some recognition. These free sites make it easy for one who may not know much about web design, as they typically offer easy to use templates and offer step by step instruction along the way to guide one through the design process. Although the web design site is free, users will first have to purchase a domain name. These are available at companies such as GoDaddy, Register.com, Domaine.com and Dyn.com. After purchasing a domain name, it is time for the user to begin filling his site with content. The user has a great deal of freedom in customizing his site to contain the elements desired. Many of the sites mentioned earlier also provide tutorials to help get the site up and running. After the design of the website is complete, the creator can now publish it and get ready for some recognition. It is important for the creator to update the website often and to market the site as much as possible. For any organization or company that may be just getting off its feet, deciding to use a free site to do its web design might be a good option, and with so many sites offering this service, it seems silly not to.
Using Flow Charts, Page Layouts, and Storyboards
When talking about website design, a flowchart is used to show how different web pages relate to each other. A flowchart is basically a map of the website. There can be links between the lines of the flowchart to take you where you want to go. When designing a website, you can make it as simple or as complicated as you want. Oftentimes, the flowchart is designed in the early stages of the website because it provides a good building ground for the website. Page layout is used in the designing of a website. Typically people create two page layouts; one for the home page and one for all the other pages. This is when you design where you want the different logos, like the home page button, and its when you decide how visually exciting you want your website. While it’s important to make it visually interesting, it is also important to keep it simple so that it does not get too confusing. Storyboards are also something commonly used in website design. Storyboards are a series of pictures that depict what is going to happen on each screen. They are typically used when creating something animated.
How to Start a Storyboard
There are a few steps to take to make a great storyboard for a web site design. It is important to bring your ideas even if you think they are not that good. Next you need to draw them out on paper; One paper is faster and you can always toss it away if it doesn’t look the way you want. Additionally it is good to use paper because on paper anyone can add to the design and you do not have to have a lot of experience making web sites. After drawing it out next is to find a focus from those drawings to make sure that each part of the website is completed. Following, take notes to see if there is anything that needs to be added. After that take the drawings that are completed and put them in a mind map to see the website more visually. Then critique the storyboard and make adjustments to the design. It is also important that other people look at it as well so you can various opinions on the storyboard. When the storyboard is all finished make sure that the navigation, site structure, and content are done well. For navigation it is important to have everything at least a click away, at the maximum it should be 3. For site structure check if it is too complex and that there are visuals, glossary, table of contents, and or an index. The content should be understandable, creative, and flow together. Google.com
While creating a Web site, it is important not to overlook small details. The structure of the site is the most significant part for easy navigation. Headlines and main menus need to be organized in a way that is understandable for users. Many experts and Internet users agree that it should only take up to three mouse clicks to return to the main page and to search more easily. Different forms that are used in Web sites include search boxes, drop-down menus, site maps, text-based hyperlinks, navigation bars, and menu tabs. Images can also be another hyperlink to transfer to another page on the site. It is crucial that the Web site has the same links in the same location as the previous page. Things would get confusing if the user had to look over each navigation button every time they entered a new area on the site. Long Web pages should be separated into shorter, more concise pages to avoid loading and scrolling. On many Websites today users will see “Back to Top” to navigate back to the top of the page, mostly on long Web pages. Most importantly, a link to the Home Page should be listed on every Web page according to the Web site.
Device Compatibility and Assistive Technology should be taken into consideration while creating a multimedia Web site. As our society grows with more ways to reach the Internet than just the computer, Web site creators need to be aware of the fact that the public is using their Web sites on Smartphones, Tablets, iPads, and much more. The layout may be different on these smaller devices than would a desktop computer. Sites are now creating multiple ways to work with any form of technology. With stricter disability laws being put into place, we have started to think about different ways to inform the physically disabled via the Internet on Web sites. Braille display  and screen readers  are just some of the newly advanced technology that can be used. Alternative text  can be used, which is a text description for a web page image. These text descriptions of images are valuable for vision impaired users of the web site.
Refreshable Braille Displays are an electronic device, connected to a computer via a serial or USB cable, which uses small metal or plastic pins that move up and down to display braille characters so a blind person can read what is displayed visually on the computer. The “refreshable” quality means that the braille display is constantly changing as the user scrolls the mouse around the web page or document. The user can move the mouse around by through either the command keys or cursor routing keys located on the device, or through Windows and screen reader commands. Typically screen reading software, or just a screen reader, is used in conjunction with a digital braille display to give the ultimate experience for people with vision loss. A screen reader translates information on a web site into electronic text, which is sent to a speech synthesizer (so output is heard audibly) or to the refreshable braille display. The only thing that the screen reader cannot read is graphics; this is why it is important to include descriptions of pictures and “hover-over” captions when designing a web page to be sensitive to those with vision disabilities. While some may only need the speech synthesizer, most prefer to have the refreshable braille display because it provides direct access to information and thus increases efficiency in completing tasks; allows the user to check spelling, grammar, and formatting of their own input and is quiet, so it can be used anywhere without it be being disturbing to others. Refreshable Braille Displays come in 40, 70, and 80 character displays and can range from $3,500 to $15,000 depending on the character display.
Creating a Web Site using HTML, XML, XHTML, CSSs
HTML or Hypertext Markup Language is mostly used to create webpages. HTML is a code made up of small pieces called tags. Tags are small pieces of the HTML code that give commands to the computer on how to format whatever it is linked to. tags begin with a less than symbol (<), then the command is written, then closed with a greater than symbol (>). That is the beginning tag. Next the text it applies to is inserted. Then, the tag is ended with a less than symbol (<), followed by a common slash (/), then the same command code as it began with, then a greater than symbol (>). So, your basic code will look something like this: Applied Text Here .
There are so many different things you can do with HTML. You can highlight text(even in different colors), you can make text different colors, you can (Hover Mouse Here), as well as bold face or italicize text. These are just some of the basic modifications that can be created by using HTML formatting.There are even ways to insert images as well hyperlinks. Here I have inserted A Link to Our Wikibook Homepage and even the pictures you see to the right. The possibilities are almost endless when using HTML.
The biggest problem with HTML is that most people do not want to take the time to sit down and learn all of the little codes and specifications. It is very useful when trying to organize webpages once it is mastered. HTML allows users the ability to manage where images, videos, animations, and text formatting are all located. It is a very powerful and useful design tool and something that seems to be somewhat overlooked and taken for granted.
The newest version of HTML is HTML5, which is being created to replace both HTML and XHTML. HTML5 is designed to be simpler and many things have changed or added to the coding for HTML5. The DOCTYPE and character encoding declarations have both changed to be simpler to code. Along with new declarations have come new elements for semantics, controls, graphics, and multimedia because more and more websites are becoming more complex with more information being packed into a website. Some of the new semantic elements include