A Computerized World


Since the first computer was made in the late fifties, the technology has
developed extremely. Computers which took the place of a living-room then, are
now being made in creditcard-formats. More and more areas are being taken over
by the computer.

As computers are capable of handling large amounts of data in a very short
time, they are well suited for wordprocessing. I guess that it won’t be long
till all the paper-archives are replaced by magnetic tapes and diskettes. A
diskette can contain much more data than a written page, and it takes less
place It is possible to get the Norwegian telephone book on just one diskette.

In near future, a new area will be taken over by computers, namely maps.
Different routes are stored on one single compact-disk. Imagine, simply insert
the CD into the CD-driver in your car, and tell the computer where to go. The
rest will be done automatically. This will be a safer, faster, and more
comfortable way to travel.

Another new area, called "virtual reality" is currently being tested. This is a
way to simulate reality on a monitor. In order to feel this so-called reality
you have to wear special electronic glasses and an electronic suit. Fastened to
the suit are sensors, which send information to the main computer. This
computer works with the data and displays them on the electronic spectacles.
This is a technique which use three-dimentional views, therefore the scenery
seems incredibly realistic. If you want to be a boxer, simply change the
scenery on the main computer, and you are in the ring.

Today, many kids have got video games. You could say these games are the
present’s answer to ludo and monopoly. In a way, it is a great advantage that
the kids are being presented to computors at an early age, because they will
definitely have to use them later, when they start to work. In the future there
will be few occupations which won’t use computors, one way or another. But the
videogames are often being presented as something negative, which hinder the
kids from doing homework and other more useful activities. This partially true,
if they do much of it. But generally, I think the young people’s contact with
computers is positive.

In Norway today, it is getting more common to have a computer at home. You can
use a personal computer to keep household-budgets or other economics. It is
also possible to get in touch with your bank and transwer money while you’re in
your sitting-room.

It is possible to contact other databases and gather information from them. The
use of computers has lead to other criminal actions. "Hacking" is one of them.
A "hacker" steals and manipulates information from other databases. These
crimes can be very harmful. In The USA, hackers have managed to break into
NASA’s database.

The computer-programmes, the software, are extremely high priced, sometimes
they are even more expensive than the hardware. Therefore it is not unusual to
make copies of these programmes. This is strictly illegal, but nobody seems to
care, because it is difficult to control it. Software producers loose BILLIONS
of dollars each year because of this.

Many methods have been invented to prevent this, but since the "hackers" often
are more intelligent than those who make the software, I doubt that there will
ever be a successfull way to hinder this.