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Read the texts A-G.

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  1. Ex. 9: Compare the two texts as to the morphological transformations. Give your translation.

Answer the questions:


Which computers

1. are the smallest?

2. are widespread models?

3. can fulfill several tasks simultaneously?

4. are the most expensive?

5. may be used separately or joined to a network?

6. were called at first microcomputers?


Занесите свои ответы в таблицу. В задании один текст лишний.





A supercomputer is extremely powerful. It can be used for very complex tasks, such as computer modeling of weather systems. These computers are extremely expensive, and are generally used by educational or scientific institutions, rather than individual ones.



A mainframe is a powerful computer which is capable of processing large amounts of data, often enabling many people to use it, and carry out many tasks, at the same time. A network of smaller computers or terminals is used to access the files and programs on the mainframe. Mainframes are therefore described as multi-user, multitasking machines.



A smaller computer in a network connected to a mainframe, or other more powerful computer, is often called a workstation. A workstation may also be a relatively powerful computer, usually with good graphic capabilities, that may be either attached to a network or used as a standalone machine.



A small computer designed to be used to by an individual, for example at home or in an office, is sometimes called a PC, or personal computer. This kind of machine used to be called a microcomputer.



Another type of personal computer is a desktop or desktop computer. This is a very common model, which as the name suggests fits on a desk. Many users have desktop computers either at home, at work or in educational institutions. A desktop is not designed to be portable, which means it does not have an independent power supply, and is too big and heavy to be carried easily.



A laptop is smaller than a desktop. Laptops are portable and can use batteries. As the name suggests, a laptop is small and light enough to fit on the user’s lap. A notebook is like a laptop, but is smaller.



A handheld computer, sometimes called a palmtop, a PDA (personal digital assistant), or a pocket computer, is small enough to be held in the user’s hand.



Text II: Computers in the modern world


Almost everything in the modern world is done with the help of computers. Today, computers are used more and more extensively, because they are far more efficient than human beings. They have much better memories and can store great amount of information and they can do calculations very quickly. No man alive can do 500,000 sums in a second, but a modern computer can.

They can control machines, work out tomorrow’s weather, play chess, write poetry or compose music. They help students to find a book or article in many subjects. They can translate articles from foreign languages and make up many lists of information which are needed in a modern library.

Computers influence our life and our language. Today even a 5 years old child knows that a mouse is not only a type of small animal that has long front teeth, but also an input device, on top of which there are one or more buttons for communicating with the computer. But the only language computers can understand directly is called machine code. It consists of the binary code (1s and 0s). Machine code as means of communication is very difficult to write, so you need a special program to understand this language.

Basic languages, in which the program is similar to the machine code version, are known as low-level languages. To make the program easier to write and to overcome the problem of intercommunication between different types of machines, higher-level languages were developed such as BASIC, COBOL, FORTRAN, Pascal, Ada, C, Java and others. A higher-level language is a problem oriented programming language, whereas a low-level language is machine oriented. At present there is a tendency towards an even higher level of programming languages, which might be called specification languages, and an increasing use of software development tools. Scientists report to be already working on artificial intelligence and the next generation of computers will be able to understand human languages.

Another great achievement of the computer world is the Internet. It is a magnificent global network with millions of people and computers connected together. There they exchange an immeasurable amount of information, e-mails, news, resources and ideas. With a few touches of a keyboard a person can get access to materials in almost everywhere. The web is one of the best resources for the up-to-date information. It is a hypertext-based system by which you can navigate through the Internet. Hypertext is the text that contains links to other documents. A special program known as browser can help you to find news, pictures, virtual museums, electronic magazines and print Web pages. You can also click on keyboard or buttons that take you to other pages or other Web sites. This is possible because browsers understand hypertext markup language or code, a set of commands to indicate how a web page is formatted and displayed.

The Internet allows Video conferencing programs and television for home communications, shopping, banking and other interactive services. For example, e-commerce offers convenience to the buyers. They can visit the World Wide Web sites 24 hours a day and seven days a week to compare prices and make purchases, without having to leave their homes or offices. In some cases, consumers can immediately obtain a product or service, such as an electronic book, a music file, or computer software by downloading it over the Internet.

For long-distance or worldwide communications, computers are usually connected into a wide area network to form a single integrated network. Networks can be linked together by telephone lines or fibre-optic cables. Modern telecommunication systems use fibre-optic cables which require little physical space. They are safe as they don’t carry electricity, and they avoid electromagnetic interference.

Network on different continents can also be connected via satellites. Computers are connected by means of a modem to ordinary telephone lines or fibre-optic cables, which are linked to a dish aerial. Communication satellites receive and send signals on a transcontinental scale.

We interact with computers by entering instructions and data into them. After the information has been processed, we can see the result on the visual display unit or the monitor. The picture and the characters we see on the screen are made up of picture elements which are called pixels. The total number of pixels the display is divided in (both horizontally and vertically) is known as resolution. Sharp image and high resolution are obtained with large number of pixels, and when the number of pixels is small, the resolution is low. Thus, pixel density affects the quality of the image. The cathode ray tube of the monitor is similar to that of TV set. An electron beam inside the tube scans the screen and turns on or off the pixels that make up the image. In a color monitor the screen surface is coated with substances called phosphor materials are – one each for red, green and blue. A beam of electrons causes phosphor materials to give coloured light from which the picture is formed. Colour monitors are capable to display many different colours at the same time. Portable computers use a flat liquid-crystal display (LCD) instead of a picture tube.




Exercise 1: Answers the following questions:

1.Why are computers used more and more extensively?

2. What can computers do?

3. Is the machine code the only language computers can understand directly?

4. What programming languages can you name?

5. Is the Internet a magnificent global network with millions of people and computers connected together?

6. How does the Internet work?

7. What services can be used in the Internet?

8. Can you interact with computers? How?

9. What is a pixel?

10. What is resolution?


Exercise 2: Match the two halves of the phrases:


machine a resolution
programming b device
high c network
an input d tube
artificial e formulas
global f code
mathematical g density
electron h beam
pixel i intelligence
cathode ray j language



Exercise 3: Choose the answers to the following questions:


  1. Are the computers far more efficient than human beings?

a) Yes, they are;

b) No, they are not;

c) I don’t know;

d) Aren’t they?


  1. What is a computer mouse?

a) a type of small animal that has long front teeth;

b) an input device;

c) traditional letterpress;

d) raised printing elements.


  1. What is a machine code?

a) a special type of printing;

b) embroidered artwork;

c) the only language computers can understand directly;

d) foreign language.



  1. What is the Internet?

a) an application program;

b) an indirect printing technology;

c) a magnificent global network;

d) computer software.


  1. What is a pixel?

a) the result of a visual display;

b) the smallest unit of an image on a computer screen;

c) the screen resolution;

d) the screen printing.


Exercise 4: Fill in the gaps with an appropriate word or phrase from the box:

Desktop, clicking, Internet, modem, dialog box, mouse, icon, resolution, software, binary system.


1. A …….. is a small input device, on top of which there are one or more buttons for communicating with the computer.

2. .……….. means the programs needed to operate computer equipment.

3. People send e-mail messages with the help of the ……. .

4. An …….. is a small picture representing an object, process or function.

5. ………. is a basic mouse action to place a cursor to close a window.

6. A ………is an electronic device that converts signals to enable a computer to be connected to an ordinary telephone line.

7. The main operating system’s background screen is called the ………. .

8. The ………. ……….. is a system that only uses two digits (0 and 1).

9. A ………. ………. is a message window with different options for the user to choose, with a text box and some command buttons inside it.

10. ……… is the amount of details that you can see on a television or computer screen, or in a photograph.


Exercise 5: Find the definition of the following terms:

Computer A A system in which information is represented using combinations of the numbers 0 and 1, used especially in computers.
Information B Something that is easy to carry or move, so that you can use it in different places.
Mouse C The smallest unit of an image on a computer screen.
Peripherals D A machine that stores programs and information in electronic form and can be used for a variety of processes, such as writing, calculating, and communicating on the Internet.
Portable E The activity or job of writing and developing computer programs.
Programming F A piece of equipment that you can connect to a computer.
Binary code G Knowledge or facts about someone or something.
Pixel H A small object that you move in order to do things on a computer screen.


Exercise 6: Find in the Text II the English equivalents of the following Russian expressions:


1. иностранный язык

2. влиять на нашу жизнь

3. бинарный код

4. человек

5. совместимость между разными типами машин

6. пользователь

7. данные

8. спутник

9. обрабатывать информацию

10. достигать, получать

11. понятный

12. сходный

13. преобразовывать

14. покрывать поверхность

15. вещество


Exercise 7: How do you spell it? Write the continuous form (-ing) of these verbs in the correct list:

Come, dance decide, dig, forget, have, help, laugh, listen, lie, live, make, play, put rob, start, stop, swim, tie, wear, win, work, write
+ -ing -nn, -tt, etc. e → -ing ie → -ying
cry - crying begin - beginning arrive - arriving die - dying



Exercise 8: Put the verbs in brackets in appropriate form of continuous tense:

1. This computer (to use) the latest software.

2. The programmer (to develop) the system which can translate articles from foreign magazines by computer.

3. - What’s the use of the Internet?

-Look! With a few touches of a keyboard I (to get) access to materials in almost everywhere.

4. - What is he doing?

- He (to make) purchases in the Internet-shop.

5. Just now I (to download) an electronic book over the Internet.

6. At this moment the computer (to use) hundreds of mathematical formulas to convert the bits of data into precise shapes and colours.

7. - What’s the matter with you now?

- Oh, my new portable computer (not to switch on).

8. Do you happen to know that at this moment an electron beam inside the tube (to scan) the screen and (to turn) on or off the pixels that make up the image?


Exercise 9: Find the words with opposite meaning

(Найдите к словам из колонки А антонимы из колонки В):

1.native a.output
2.portable b.upload
3. input c.separation
4.similar d.spiritual
5.switch on e.foreign
6.possible f.plural
7. known g.different
8.single h.constant
9.physical i.high-level
10.connection j.impossible
11.low-level k.unknown
12.download l.turn off


Exercise 10: Read and decide: what’s the occupation of the speakers in the dialogues?:


Speaker 1:Is it possible to recreate human intelligence with computer?

Speaker 2:The question ofartificial intelligence is very complicated, but it’s very interesting. I’m sure, we’ll have all this by 2020.

Speaker 1:Really?! What must be done to achieve that?

Speaker 2:We need to match the speed and memory capacity of the human brain and, of course, the right hardware. We also need to capture the complexity and richness of human intelligence.

Speaker 1:Is it difficult?

Speaker 2:Yes, it’s quite difficult. But we’ll do it by reverse engineering of the human brain.

Speaker 1:What do you mean?

Speaker 2:Well, we’ll explore the human brain from the inside and find out how it works, how it’s connected, how it’s wired up.

Speaker 1:That sounds great. But is it possible?

Speaker 2:Now we can see inside the brain with brain scanning. And by 2030 we’ll have another instrument for exploring the brain. We’ll be able to sent tiny scanning robots along blood vessels to map the brain from the inside.

Speaker 1:That’s fantastic. And what will it give?

Speaker 2: This will give us all the data on how the brain is connected and all the features which enable it to perform.

Speaker 1:As I understand, after receiving such data you will know how the brain works and you’ll be able to recreate its operation using the powerful computers.

Speaker 2:You are absolutely right.




Speaker 1:How long has your site been up?

Speaker 2: Just a couple of months. It’s brand new.

Speaker 1:What’s your site all about?

Speaker 2:It’s called the Movie Shrine, and it’s just a site with movie reviews, strange things I’ve noticed about certain films, and lots of links to other movie sites

Speaker 1:Why did you dedicate your site to this subject?

Speaker 2:I decided to make a site about movies because I’ve been a huge movie fan for a long time. Right now, films are my biggest hobby.

Speaker 1:What makes you site special?

Speaker 2:I guess my site is just a little less formal than the most of the film sites on the Internet. It’s for people who like movies of all kinds and for fans of all types

Speaker 1:How did you create your site?

Speaker 2:I created the site using Netscape Composer.

Speaker 1:What was the most difficult part?

Oh, the design. Just working out how the site would look and how the pages would link up.

Speaker 1:How did you get your domain name?

Speaker 2:I got a free domain name from www.donainzero.com.

Speaker 1:Have you registered your site on a search engine?

Speaker 2:Not yet.

Speaker 1:Have you included links to other sites?

Speaker 2:I included many links to other sites. That may be the best thing about my site, the huge number of links. I’m also in a lot of Yahoo! Clubs and I’ve linked to them too.

Speaker 1:What do you intend to do next with your site?

Speaker 2:I’m going to update the Movie Journal section and I’d like to build in new links.

Grammar review:

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