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CH01_Introduction - Chapter One Introduction to...

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Chapter One Introduction to Applications of Computers in Agriculture Goals In most endeavors it is essential to have a clear direction and goals. Success can only be measured in relation to a clearly stated achievement standard, and having a goal provides such a standard. From one point of view, the goal of this book is to provide an accessible, brief, and useful manual to learn about computers. The book attempts to teach both technical aspects of using computers, as well as social and economic issues related to computer use. An analogy with cars can be illustrative of this point, and very pertinent, because the impact of computers is comparable to that of cars. Although you may think that your knowledge about cars is pretty much limited to driving, you actually know a lot about how cars function and how they have affected society. Many aspects of our lives and our society are determined by the way cars work and by the ways in which we have chosen to regulate and organize the use of cars. The same can be said about computers. Cars can be essential tools to get your work done, they can be simply a means of transportation, or they can be a source of pride and a means of aesthetic expression. People have to work hard to afford cars, and in general we spend a significant amount of time maintaining and organizing the use of cars. For many people, the same is true about computers. Every driver has developed a set of automatic behaviors to handle a car; we have driving skills that have become automatic reflexes but that were probably daunting when we first tried to learn them. Cars can also cause damage and can be used to hurt people. Again, unfortunately, the same can be said about computers. By learning more about computers, we will acquire more marketable skills, we will be able to fully use the resources available to Instructional goals: To give a basic understanding of what computers are, how they function, and what impacts they have on society. To give hands-on training on the most commonly used applications. To help students make full use of computer resources. To give an introduction to the use of computers in agriculture.
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Chapter One 1-2 us, and we will be less susceptible to the misuse of computers by others. Finally, we will be savvy “consumers” of computers. W HY S TUDY C OMPUTERS ? Obviously, we have many reasons to study computers, but I want to give you some common questions that you should be able to answer by using this book. These questions should be relevant to college students, particularly to freshmen and sophomores. “What computer should I buy? What software will be most efficient to prepare a report? How can I use computers to communicate better? What types of computers will I have to use in my job? How can I tell if I’m getting a good deal for a scanner? How do I know what to buy if I want to set up a wireless network? How do I connect my laptop to the wireless networks on campus?” C OMPUTER AND I NFORMATION L ITERACY Following the analogy with cars, you can think of this book as your driver’s
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CH01_Introduction - Chapter One Introduction to...

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