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Information Processing Acquire information as data Encode data Store data Transmit data Modify data Output data – recreate information People do this really well!
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Information Processing So why not just use people? – Slow? – Error prone? – noise gets introduced into the signals? Information “Knowledge” Modified Information
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Information Processing So why not just use people? – Slow? – Error prone? – noise gets introduced into the signals? Information “Knowledge” Modified Information
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Information Processing • But… – People can store data – People can modify data – People can transmit data – People can modify data… However, throughout history humans have developed systems to augment their capabilities.. – Mechanical systems “amplify” and improve on natural capabilities..
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Information Processing Information storage and copying – The invention of the alphabet The invention of writing – information (knowledge) storage by scribes hand writing and copying text.
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Information Processing Information retrieval – Reading stored information
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Information Processing Information Creation and Modification: – Writing a book – Editing a document – Performing arithmetic – …
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Information Processing Information transfer – Written documents – Speech – Body language – …
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Automating the Processes The printing press – Gutenberg (1452) – Most of the components had existed for over 200 years – he added the concept of movable type. An information revolution in society –as significant as the arrival of computers .
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Automating the Processes • Automatic arithmetic? – A memory system – the abacus (500BC)
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Early Mechanical Computers It is customary to trace the first computer to Charles Babbage – 1792 – 1871 www.fourmilab.ch/babbage Difference Engine – to calculate mathematical tables – only partially completed – working difference engine built by the London Science Museum in 2000, using machining tolerances of 1832 !
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Analytical engine Never finished – mechanical – steam-powered – digital – general purpose – punch cards – “mill” and “store” – sequential control – branching and looping
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Automating the Processes 1940 – electronics had reached a stage where the mechanical structures of the analytical engine could be replaced.
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