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English for computer users

Student's Book

Santiago Remacha Esteras




The Pitt Building, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RP, United Kingdom


The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 2RU, United Kingdom 40 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011-4211, USA 10 Stamford Road, Oakleigh, Melbourne 3166, Australia

© Cambridge University Press 1996

This book is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 1996 Third printing 1997

Printed in the United Kingdom at the University Press, Cambridge

ISBN 0 521 45980 X Student's Book ISBN 0 521 45981 8 Teacher's Book ISBN 0521 459826 Cassette


Map of the book w
Thanks and Acknowledgements viш
Section 1 Computers today 1
Unit 1 Computer applications 2

Unit 2 Configuration 7

Unit 3 Inside the system 11

Unit 4 -Szfo and bytes 17

Unit 5 Buying a computer 21
Section 2 Input/output devices 26
Unite 6 Type and click! 27

Unit 7 Capture у our favourite image 32

Unit 8 Viewing the output 36

Units 9 Choosing a printer 40

Unit 10 I/O devices for the disabled 45
Section 3 Storage devices 50
Unit 11 Floppies 51

Unit 12 Hard drives 56

Unit 13 Optical breakthrough 60
Section 4 Basic software 65
Unit 14 Operating systems 66

Unit 15 The Graphical User Interface 70

Unit 16 A walk through word processing 74

Unit 17 Spreadsheets 80

Unit 18 Databases 83
Section 5 Creative software 88
Unit 19 Graphics and design 89

Unit 20 Desktop publishing 94

Unit 21 Multimedia 98
Section 6 Programming 102
Unit 22 Program design 103

Unit 23 Languages 109

Unit 24 The PostScript revolution 112

Unit 25 Jobs in computing 116
Section 7 Computers tomorrow 120
Unit 26 Electronic communications 121

Unit 27 LANs and WANs 127

Unit 28 New technologies 132
Notes for Student A 137
Notes for Student В 141
Glossary 145
Acronyms and abbreviations 151
Trademarks 153

Map of the book




Section 1

1 Computer applications

Using computers at work

What can computers do?



2 Configuration

Types of computer systems

What is a computer?

3 Inside the system

Describing a computer


What's inside a microcomputer? Main memory: RAM and ROM

4 Bits and bytes

Units of memory: bits, bytes, KB, MB, GB; binary system Bits for pictures

5 Buying a computer

Buying a computer in a shop

Computers for particular work situations

Section 2 Input/output

6 Type and click!

Different input devices

About the keyboard Point and click! (the mouse)


7 Capture your favourite image

Types of scanners

What does a scanner do? Facts and opinions in advertisements

8 Viewing the output

Health and safety

The monitor

9 Choosing a printer

Ink-jet printers

Types of printers Adverts for printers

10 I/O devices for the disabled

Adaptive technology for the blind

Computers for the disabled

Section 3 Storage

11 Floppies

Buying disks

Types of disks Technical details


12 Hard drives

Disk fragmentation

When buying a hard disk . . . (drive mechanisms)

1 3 Optical breakthrough

What's a CD-ROM?

Optical disks: pros and cons






How are/were computers used in your school?

Specific computer applications

Present simple passive Data + 3rd person singular verb

Word fields: computers in education, banks, sports, airports, medicine, factories, entertainment

Basic terminology: hardware, software, peripherals, input/ output devices, central processing unit

Your ideal computer system

Contextual reference Defining relative clauses

Acronyms and abbreviations: CPU, ALU, RAM, ROM, bit, SIMMs


Prefixes: dm-, hexadeci-, kilo-, mega-,

giga-, mini-, micro-, In-, tn-, mono-, multi-

Role play: buying a computer

Recommending a computer to a friend

Vocabulary tree: terminology

Describing and identifying input devices

Describing a joystick

for + -ing which + verb which/that is used + to + inf.

Word field: input devices Symbols and special keys Mouse actions: click, drag

Comparatives and superlatives

Word building: suffixes Persuasive words in advertisements

Describing your computer screen

Explaining tables

Instructions and advice: imperative, should, ought to

Monitors: resolution, pixels, display, hertz, VGA, LCD, CRT, phosphors

Describing the printer you would like to use

The pros and cons of the printer you use

Discourse cohesion: reference signals and linking devices Comparison: revision

Types of printers: daisywheel, dot-matrk, ink-jet, thermal and laser printers, photosetters

Discussing devices for computer users with vision and mobility limitations

A letter asking for information about I/O equipment for disabled workers

Noun phrases; modifiers

Braille, speech synthesizers, Morse code, optical head pointer, voice recognition

How to protect your disks

Instructions with must/must not

Floppies: track, sector,format, magnetic, read /write heads, directory, DD/HD

Suffixes: -ic, -ism, -ize, -liable, -er

Completing a hard disk advertisement

Hard disks: access time, data transfer rate, password, fragmentation, removable cartridge

Choosing the most suitable storage devices for specific purposes

Completing a table with relevant information about optical disks

Discourse cohesion: reference signals and connectors and modifiers

Acronyms and abbreviations: laser, ms, WORM, CD-ROM, EOD




Section 4 Basic

14 Operating systems

System utilities (screen saver, virus detectors, etc.)

Operating systems



15 The Graphical User Interface

Microsoft Windows operating systems


1 6 A walk through word processing

The 'Cut and Paste' technique

Word-processing facilities Writing tools: spell checker, online thesaurus, grammar


17 Spreadsheets

Spreadsheet programs

18 Databases

Mail merging

Basic features of database


Section 5

19 Graphics and design

A basic tool palette

Computer graphics



20 Desktop publishing

Fonts, a necessary part of DTP

What is 'desktop publishing?

2 1 Multimedia

A multimedia system Software: revision

Multimedia magic!

Section 6 Programming

22 Program design

Steps in producing a program

Programming languages Flowcharts

23 Languages

С language

A short description of BASIC

24 The PostScript revolution

The PostScript language (gap dictation)

What is PostScript?

25 Jobs in computing

A job interview

Job advertisements

Section 7 Computers

26 Electronic communications

Videotex systems

Channels of communication Hackers!


27 LANs and WANs

A computer network

Network configurations WANs and worldwide


28 New technologies

How a pen computer works

New products






What's the function of the operating system?

Answering a quiz

System software Basic DOS commands Acronyms and abbreviations: OS, MS-DOS, IBM

A summary

Ways of reducing sentences

GUIs: windows, icons, pull-down menus, pointer, user-friendly

Comparing word processors

Describing the process of moving text

Sequencers:/»/, now, next, finally

WP programs: edit, format, search, replace, indent, WYSIWYG, clipboard

Visual representations versus spreadsheets

Producing an invoice with a spreadsheet program

Spreadsheets: cell, column, row, formula, invoice, expenses

Writing a standard letter to clients


Databases: field, record, file, sort, update

Describing 2D and 3D


Gerunds (-ing nouns)

Graphics: patterns, primitives, attributes, dithering, zoom, rotation, scaling, rendering

Exchanging information about computers for newspapers

A letter to a newspaper

Affixation, conversion, compounding

DTP packages: layout application, 'imagesetter, service bureau, font software designer, import

A leaflet advertising multimedia products

Conditional clauses

Multimedia PC: built-in sound, stereo speaker, sound card, animation, full-motion video

Making a flowchart

Infinitive constructions

Programming: compiler, debug, flowchart Prefixes and suffixes

Sharing information about computer languages

Describing С language

The passive


Personal experience with

The past simple

Forming new words with script


Discussing personal qualities and professional skills

Letter applying for a job

Far, since and ago Past simple and present perfect

Jobs: programmer, DTP operator, computer operator

Discussing computer crime (hacking, software piracy)

The past simple: revision

Data communication services: fax, BBS, e-mail, modem Prefixes: tele-, auto-, inter-, trans-

Describing two networks connected via satellite

Descriptions of network connections

Prepositional phrases of 'reference'

Networks: local area network, node, transceiver, protocol, token, gateway

Discussing the advantages and limitations of pen computers

Making predictions

will + infinitive The future continuous The future perfect may /might /could + inf.

New technologies: electronic publishing, virtual reality, video teleconferencing



The author would especially like to express his gratitude to Мй Paz, Marina and Violeta, without whose support this

book would not have been possible.

My special thanks to Will Capel for his invaluable comments and advice.

Thanks are also due to the following for their comments on the first draft of the book: Anna Maria Bergamini;

Michel Chariot at IUT, Cergy-Pontoise, France; Max Gallo at Insearch, University of Technology, Sydney,

Australia; Magda Hayek; Gisella Lange, Milan, Italy; Terry Wynne at the Fachochschule fur Technik, Esslingen,


Angel Benedi for his help and generous advice on technical aspects.

Mary Margaret Michel, Ma Antonia Quinones, Filar Gallego, Manuel Vazquez,

Enrique Artal andj. Antonio Martinez for their ideas and suggestions.

The Department of Mathematics (Zaragoza University).

Vincente Casanova, Tony Galvez, and the staff of Campus Informatico, S.A. for their materials and technical


Students and teachers of Institute Pilar Lorengar, Zaragoza: Javier Latorre, Javier Jimenez and Elena Marco, who

advised me on computer-related topics.

Brigit Viney for editing the typescript.

Joanne Currie for designing the book, Andy Robinson for producing it and Amanda Ogden for researching the

photographs. Thanks also to Peter Ducker for his design assistance.


The author and publishers are grateful to the authors, publishers and others who have given permission for the use of copyright material identified in the text. It has not been possible to identify the sources of all the material used and in such cases the publishers would welcome information from copyright owners, (p = page; t = top; с = centre; b = bottom; 1 = left; r = right)

pp 31 and 122-3 reprinted from Your First Computer by Alan Simpson, by permission of SYBEX Inc. ISBN number 0-89588-752-5, Copyright 1992 SYBEX Inc. All rights reserved; p 35 adapted advertisement for Туры Scanner by permission of Caere Corporation; pp 46-7 adapted extract from 'Computers for the disabled' by Joseph J. Lazzaro, reprinted with permission from the June 1993 issue of BTTE Magazine © by McGraw-Hill Inc. New York NY All rights reserved; pp 75, 77, 94—5 and Unit 8 on the cassette reprinted (or reproduced) from Understanding Computers by Nathan ShedroffJ. Sterling Hutto and Ken Fromm, by permission of SYBEX Inc. ISBN number 0-7821-1284-X, Copyright 1993, SYBEX Inc. All rights reserved; p 93 extract from Introduction to Computer Graphics by permission of Hewlett-Packard Limited; p 99 sections 2 and 3 adapted from 'Upgrading to multimedia' courtesy of PC Upgrade Vol 2, No 2,June 1993;p 132 text 1 taken from an article in BYTEMagazine and p 133 text 2 taken from'Electronic publishing' by Andy Reinhardt, both reprinted with permission from the August 1993 and September 1993 issues respectively of BYTE Magazine © McGraw-Hill Inc. New York NY All rights reserved. For permission to reproduce photographs and computer screens:

p 2 tl Barclays Bank pic; p 2 tr John Birdsall; p 2 bl Art Directors; p 2 br Pascal Rondeau/Allsport; p 5 Paul Scheult/Eyc Ubiquitous; p 7 Graham Portlock; p 12 Digital Equipment Corporation; p 15 Taheshi Takahara/ Science Photo Eibrary; p 21 t Byte Computer Superstore Ltd; p 21 bl, br Apple Computer UK Ltd; p 21 1 Digital Equipment Corporation; p 23 r Amstrad pic; p 241 Compaq Computer Limited; p 24 r Apple Computer UK Ltd; p 35 Caere Corporation; p 42 Hewlett-Packard Limited; p 45 tl Hank Morgan/Science Photo Library; p 45 tr Action for Disability, Newcastle-upon-Tyne/Simon Eraser/Science Photo Library; p 45 cjacky Chapman/ Financial Times; p 45 bl Don Kryminec/Science Photo Library; p 45 br The Computability Centre; p 46 1 The Computability Centre; p 46 r Adam Hart-Davis/Science Photo Library; p 47 Chariot Magazine/Output UK; p 51 Paul Seheult/Eye Ubiquitous; p 56 ESS, a subsidiary of Integrated Technology (Europe) Ltd; p 58 screen from SUM Tune-Up by permission of Symantec Corporation; p 60 t Last Resort Picture Library; p 60 b Graham Portlock; p 63 Manning/Times Newspapers; p 67 t Microsoft Corporation; p 67 b Apple Computer UK Ltd; p 68 t IBM United Kingdom Limited; p 68 с AT&T (UK) Ltd; p 68 b Digital Equipment Corporation; p 70 the computer screen is reproduced by kind permission of Apple Computer Inc., Copyright Apple Computer Inc., All rights reserved; pp 72, 74, 76, 77, 78, 80 and 82 screen shots reprinted with permission from Microsoft Corporation; p 94 screen shot of Adobe ® PageMaker ® reproduced with the permission of Adobe Systems Europe Ltd; p 98 Microsoft Corporation; p 99 Graham Portlock; p 110 Microsoft Corporation; pp 117 and 119 Graham Portlock; pp 121 British Telecom/Scope Communications; p 122 IJohn Birdsall; p 122 r Philippe Plailly/Eurelios/Science Photo Library; p 123 1 The Electronic Frontier Ltd (Tel: 01734 810600); p 123 tr Paul Sehcult/Eye Ubiquitous; p 123 br screen from Teletext on ITV and Channel Four by permission of Teletext Ltd; p 125 screen from New Prestel Ltd; p 130 b Nottinghamshire Country Council Leisure Services, photograph by John Birdsall; p 132 tl Philips Communications & Processing Services Ltd; p 132 tr NASA/Science Photo Library; p 132 b University of Sunderland; p 134 Amstrad pic; p 135 Apple Computer UK Ltd; p 136 cartoon by Patrick Blower. Thanks also to Sibelius Software, Cambridge for the use of their premises and equipment for the photograph on P99.

Illustrations by Oxford Illustrators, Paul Collicut and Amanda MacPhail. Facsimile artwork by Kevin McGeoghegan. Cover design by Meta Union Design Limited.


Computers today

Unit page

  1. Computer applications 2

2 Configuration 7

3 Inside the system 11

4 Bits and bytes 17

5 Buying a computer 21

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