Understanding Computers

Third Age Trust

Course Tutor: Allan Fowkes

Fifty years ago the word "computer" meant nothing to the average person. Today the computer affects our lives in many ways. Computers control our cars, give us money at the cash machine, book our holidays and pay our salaries.

Fifty years ago you could count the computers in the whole world on the fingers of one hand. Today there are as many computers in the world as there are people.

This course will not help you to use your computer. Local evening classes are full of Computer Literacy courses which will give you "hands on" computer training. This course aims to explain how computers work, and how they have achieved such phenomenal growth in such a short time. This course is about understanding computers and understanding the IT revolution in which we all live.

The course will outline development of the three threads, which came together during the Second World War, to make computers possible. We will look at the short and exciting history of computers. We will look at control applications, the "virtual" world and the Internet. We are still in the middle of the computer revolution. We can expect more computing power for our money every year for some time to come. Hopefully understanding the reasons for this revolution will give us views on where computers will take us in the next decade or two.