Computers have been applied in most fields these days in science, business, education, medicine, industries etc.
Computers can be used as an aid to students’ learning. The computer is a patient teacher and allows you to learn at your own place.
COMPUTER-ASSISTED INSTRUCTION (CAI)
is the term used to describe the process of people learning through the aid of a computer. The actual instruction may take various form. It can be text to be read, Exercise to be completed, problems to be solved or questions to be answered.
Medicine: Medical records of patient can be stored for later retrieval. Thus the medical histories of parents can be traced easily for appropriate treatment used for diagnosing and treating disease.
Computer-aided machines also help doctors provide fast and efficient health care e.g. a device called a CAT scanner take close-up pictures of body organs. CAT means computer Aided Tomography.
BUSINESS: In most business organizations secretaries use word processing to write letters, memos, and reports. A word processing program makes correction and editing of documents quickly and easily given you a neat and readable output. Computers are used to send electronic mails. Electronic mail is the sending of messages electronically by computer.
INDUSTRY: In some companies employees master their jobs with the aid of computer based training programs. Many of these training programs use simulation techniques e.g. if you are employed as a production manager you are expected to make readable decisions. If you make the decision the computer will tell you if you make mistake, you will see the result on the screen. This helps to avoid anything harmful, actually happening. You then learn from your error.
Some oil companies use simulation techniques to help new workers learn safety procedures. Working with oil and natural gas pipelines can be very dangerous. These lines are under tremendous pressure. A worker’s error in judgment can trigger an explosion that will injure many people. Having workers practice their decision making on a computer lets them see the results of their choices without endangering anyone.
Computers serve a broad range of manufacturing purposes. They are used to monitor the temperature and pressure of production process e.g. in a chemical plant computer may be connected to regulating devices. If the temperature or pressure rises or falls too much, the computer instantly signals the regulating device. The device then makes the needed adjustment automatically.
Robots are used in manufacturing processes. A robot is a computer-controlled mechanical device. Certain manufacturing jobs such as automobile assembly-line work involved doing the same tasks over and over e.g. tightening bolts which could be boring but a robot does not care.
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) helps engineers and architects to spend less time in drawing and calculating and more time designing. Changes can easily be made on the designs without starting all over again.
Computers are also used in supermarkets. A customer brings her purchase; each item is passed over an optical scanner which reads the Universal product Code that is printed on each item. The code tells the computer what item has been purchased. The item’s price which is stored in the computer’s memory is flashed on the screen for the customer to see. Once you have run all the purchases over the scanner, the computer almost instantly displays the cost. The check out process is much faster than it used to be. Apart from speeding up check-outs it keeps track of inventory. In some supermarkets in Japan, Robots operate the parking of the items purchased, greet customers entering the store and announces special sales.
Computers are used in banks to process checks, keep track of customers ‘ accounts, processing deposits and withdrawals, loan, interest and transfer funds from one account or bank to another.
Computers are also used in the home for games, plan family menu, keep family budget etc. As sophisticated as a computer is it is still a tool. Its usefulness depends on the situation and on the user.