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Ex. 17. Answer the questions.

1. What technical innovations resulted in the development of microcomputers?

2. What was the first desktop computer designed for personal use?

3. Can you describe the Altair 8800? Try to do it. Give at least eight characteristic features.

4. Why was the commercial application of the Altair limited?

5. What was one of the first pre-assembled, mass-produced personal computers?

6. What was the Apple II initially used for and when did its popularity greatly increase?

7. What can you say about the IBM PC? Say six sentences.

8. When was the first portable, IBM-compatible computer introduced?

9. What does compatibility with the IBM PC mean?

10. What is the difference between IBM-compatibles and IBM-clones?

11. What computer was the first to incorporate the graphical user interface?

12. What are the advantages of the GUI?


Ex. 18. If you think a statement is false, change it to make it true. (TIP: You should replace only one word in each sentence.) Go back to the text if necessary.

1. Two technical innovations in the field of physics led to creating microcomputers.

2. The IC and the microprocessor permitted the miniaturization of laptops.

3. The first desktop computer called the Altair was designed specially for military use.

4. The Altair was developed by a large firm named Micro Instrumentation Telemetry Systems in 1975.

5. The Altair used a 16-bit Intel 8080 microprocessor, had 256 bytes of RAM.

6. The computer kit contained a box, a CPU board with 256 bytes of memory, and a back panel.

7. The Altair was not a revolutionary invention but it encouraged computer experts to take the previous step.

8. The Apple II computer was developed by the Apple Computer, Inc founded by Stephen Jobs and Steven Wozniak.

9. The monitor of the Apple II supported relatively high-quantity color graphics.

10. Personal computers were far more expensive than mainframes and many individuals, small businesses and schools could afford to buy them.

11. The IBM Corporation introduced the IBM-compatible сomputer in 1981.

12. The accounting system for the IBM PC was developed by Bill Gates and Paul Allen.

13. The first portable computers resembled washing machines when they were closed.

14. Unlike the Lisa, the Macintosh incorporated a graphical user interface.

15. The Macintosh GUI combined icons (pictures that represent files or programs) with doors (boxes that each contain an open file or program).


Ex. 19. Translate the phrases in the box.

a) business use i) floppy-disk drive b) CD-ROM players and digital sound systems j) GUI c) CPU k) high-capacity CD-ROMs d) computer hobbyists l) memory capacity e) computer memory circuits m) microprocessor f) desktop computer n) palm-sized computers g) electronic spreadsheet o) processing speed and power h) electronics expert

Use the required phrases to complete each sentence.

1. Thanks to the integrated circuit, the size of ___ was reduced.

2. The ___ enabled the computer engineers to minimize the size of the CPU.

3. The Altair 8800 was the first ___ designed specially for personal use.

4. The Altair was popular among ___.

5. It took an ___ many hours to assemble the computer.

6. The Apple II had a monitor, its own keyboard, power supply, a ___ and eight slots for peripheral devices.

7. The Apple II used 8-bit microprocessors and had rather limited ___.

8. Daniel Bricklin wrote an accounting program called VisiCalc – the first ___.

9. Intel Corporation's 16-bit 8088 microprocessor was selected as the ___ for the IBM PC.

10. The Lisa was a personal computer designed for ___ that incorporated a mouse to select commands and control an on-screen cursor.

11. The ___ enables users to input commands by clicking on pictures, words, or icons with a pointing device called a mouse.

12. The development of microprocessors that contained increasing numbers of circuits resulted in increases in the ___ of PCs.

13. By 1990, various kinds of portable computers such as laptops, notebook computers, and ___ had been developed.

14. Multimedia PCs equipped with ___ allowed users to handle animated images and sound.

15. Animated images and sound as well as text and still images were stored on ___.



Ex. 20. Read and translate TEXT B, using a dictionary. Give a suitable title to each part of the text. Write a summary of the text. Make use of the phrases given in UNIT TWO.


Part I

Until the late 1970s, the computer was a massive machine that was affordable to big businesses and government agencies but not to the general public. Computers were too bulky and expensive for personal use, and most people were afraid of them. As technology advanced, this was changed by a group of engineers and entrepreneurs, who tried to find ways to make the computer attractive to more people. Although these innovators of computer technology were very different from each other, they had a common enthusiasm for technical innovation and the capability to foresee the potential of computers.

Much of this activity was centered in the Silicon Valley in northern California (See Fgure 1) where the first computer-related company had located in 1955. That company attracted thousands of related businesses, and the area became known as the technological capital of the world. Between 1981 and 1986, more than 1000 new technology-oriented businesses started there. At the busiest times, five or more new companies were established in a single week. The Silicon Valley attracted many risk-takers and gave them an opportunity to work in an atmosphere of creativity. Many of them have been rewarded greatly with fame and fortune, others failed. Some failure is inevitable in an environment as competitive as the Silicon Valley.


Figure 1

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