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202MidtermOneReview - 1 COMM 202 EXAM 1 REVIEW Spring 2009...

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COMM 202 EXAM 1 REVIEW Spring 2009 1. What did Gutenberg invent in the 15 th century and what is the significance of his invention? a. Gutenberg's contribution was the printing press, which combined (paper, wine press, oil based ink) those technologies by creating a movable typeface, allowing for rearrange able type. With one set of letters, you could print virtually anything. Bandwidth increases significantly. Where earlier presses could reproduce a single page using block printing, now a single press could publish many different pages. The amount of time it took to produce a single work was still slow, but reproduction increased dramatically. 2. What is the definition of bandwidth? a. Bandwidth is the capacity of a communication technology to transmit information. Capacity is measured as information/time. (words/minute, for example) 3. What is the significance of the alphabet as a communication technology? a. It marks the transformation from a predominately oral culture to a written culture. Where oral culture required a public gathering, written culture makes it possible to communicate without direct interaction. i. Composed of a reasonable number of symbols ii. Anyone who knows the language can read iii. Information can be stored and transported iv. Knowledge becomes a “thing” v. Information becomes a commodity 4. What is the difference between analog and digital? Bits vs. atoms? a. The transformation from analog to digital created a second and important step in the evolution of communication technologies. b. Digital clock jumps from one second to the next while analog time was fluid. As a technology, analog is the process of taking an audio or video signal (in most cases, the human voice) and translating it into electronic pulses. Digital technology breaks your voice (or television) signal into binary code—a series of 1s and 0s—transfers it to the other end where another device (phone, modem or TV) takes all the numbers and reassembles them into the original signal. c. Form of atoms: newspapers, magazines, and books i. Bits are cheap and get cheaper to more you use. Atoms, such as what constitutes the physical attributes of a newspaper, cost money and won't be getting cheaper. Bits transfer information at nearly the speed of sound. Atoms in the newspaper get transferred at a mind numbingly slow speed that requires a calendar to time. 1
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ii. The point is that while the atoms were not worth that much, the bits were almost priceless.
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