|Computers in Plain Language
|"Buy one for your associates then borrow it back."
Jay C. Wood
Copyright (c) 1985 by Jay C. Wood
This is a 47 page booklet that I wrote while in graduate school. I was constantly being asked by
my fellow students to explain this or that about computer hardware and software. One day, a
second grade school teacher asked me some technical question and I told her to wait till I had
written my book about the subject. That started me thinking about writing just such a book.
By the next week, I had the first draft (actually about the third or fourth since I usually edit as I
go) and took it to class. I gave it to her with the instructions that I needed it back the next week.
When we met at the next class session, she sheepishly explained that she couldn't give it back to
me because she had passed it on to another student. By the time I did get my first draft back, the
English teachers had put an awful lot of red ink on my pages. One interesting thing is that they
might have corrected my language but not the technical details about computers.
One of my professors was so impressed with "Computers In Plain Language" that he ordered his
Doctoral students to buy a copy so he wouldn't have to spend class time explaining basic
concepts. Also, at the time, I was moonlighting at a secretarial school teaching computers. They
adopted it as their text book for the first class in computers. It replaced a big thick text book
which was mostly about main frame computers, something none of the students would ever see
much less use as a typewriter.
There have been twenty plus years of advancements in computers and computing. The Internet
was then only linking a few mainframe computers and not the millions and millions of personal
computers of today. Does "Computers In Plain Language" need updating? The highest tech
device I talked about in the second edition was a laser printer and only because they had just
entered the market. I covered the five major computer components, what it takes to call
something a computer (Input, Output, CPU, Memory, Power Supply). I also introduced the
major software programs (Operating Systems, Word Processors, Spread Sheets, Data Bases,
Communications). Yes it could use another 47 or more pages added to it but the original 47
pages are still true. That much about computers and computing has not changed.
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