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An introduction to computers and computer systems
An introduction to computers and computer systems

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1 Pervasive computing

You’ll begin by thinking about to what extent computers impact on your day-to-day life.

Activity 1

Before you go any further, think back to what you did yesterday and spend a few minutes making a brief list of any computers you interacted with.

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By now, you should be thinking of computers as more than the typical machine equipped with a monitor, keyboard, and so on. Your mobile phone is a computer that supports making phone calls, as well as many other functions. Your TV is a computer specialised for the display of audio and video programmes. Usually these programmes are broadcast, but perhaps your TV is a Smart TV and connected directly to the internet to stream programmes. You might think that not so different from the idea of a ‘typical computer’.

If you went out, did you pay for any purchases with a cashless card? Or use a swipe card to enter a building or access a service.

If you stayed in, did you cook something in your microwave oven? Or wash clothes in your washing machine?

All the machines listed above are controlled by computers. There are computers all around us as we saw earlier in this course, they are embedded computers, and integrated into this world around us. In that sense, they are pervasive computers. They pervade everything we do.

Next you’ll look some more at these pervasive computers.