COMM 202 Lecture Notes

COMM 202 Lecture Notes - COMM 202 Lecture 1 Introduction to...

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Unformatted text preview: COMM 202 Lecture 1 August 27, 2008 Introduction to Communication Technology • Why bother studying technology? • What makes it interesting? • Examples of not knowing jack: o “Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.” – Popular Mechanics (1949) o “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” - Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation (1977) o “640k ought to be enough memory for everybody.” – on amount of memory, attributed to Bill Gates (1981) • Key Themes and Questions: o History: How has communication technology evolved? o Vision: How is technology good and evil? o Impact: How has technology changed human experience? o Language: Technical vocabulary and fundamentals Evolution of Communication Technology • How has communication technology evolved? • What are features retained from earlier technology, what are distinct features? • In the evolution, what is the concept of “bandwidth,” and how has it changed? • Bandwidth o Capacity of a communication technology to transmit information. o How much information can be transmitted over a given period of time. (e.g. words per minute) • Evolution: Alphabet as an early technology o ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ o Consequences from using the alphabet technology: ( EXAM QUESTION) Information can be stored and distributed more widely. Information becomes a commodity. Information becomes a “thing” separable from the person knowing it. Literacy is Power. o What is the alphabet’s bandwidth like? Low- can only transmit as fast as one can • Evolution: Alphabet on steroids- the printing press o Evolution feature: Fusion of past technologies o Printing Press (invented in mid 15 th century) Developed from combining other existing technologies. Paper- brought from China in 12 th century Oil based inks- around since 10 th century Wine press- around since people like to get drunk faster o Printing Press key feature: movable type o Printing press increases bandwidth. Producing the information (first copy) costs as much as copying by hand. Reproducing the information is much cheaper faster Illustrate an important principle about the economics of information. • 1 st copy is very expensive to make, but the subsequent copes are not. o So were the first printed books a market success? No because of… • Low level of awareness • Low literacy rates • Difficulties in physical distribution • Next Evolution: Telegraph • Close cousin of the telegraph: telephone • Part of bandwidth problem solved o Distance becomes less relevant o Information can travel almost instantaneously between two points connected by wires o So bandwidth increases to the extent that time needed to transmit information drops o Bandwidth = amount of information transmitted/time needed for transmission • But…other bandwidth problems arise....
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This note was uploaded on 11/17/2008 for the course COMM 202 taught by Professor Thomas during the Fall '06 term at USC.

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COMM 202 Lecture Notes - COMM 202 Lecture 1 Introduction to...

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