Use of Computers in Agriculture

Technological advances have brought about drastic changes in farming and animal husbandry resulting in a tremendous increase in production capacity. The most common use of computers has been in replacing human effort and intervention in traditional farming machinery and other equipment. In addition, even the support functions for farming such as delivery of machinery, fertilizers and production of raw products have been successfully automated. But all these are just the labor-saving, basic uses that have been around even before the turn of the century. If computers have changed the ways of farming, then the Internet has only doubled that pace of change.

Applications of Computing Technologies in Agriculture

In today’s times, agriculture is not just about crop production or livestock farming and associated activities. The challenges brought forth by ecological factors affecting the environment need to be a major consideration for any kind of farming activity. Farmers need to preempt environmental impact due to climate change and this is where modern technology comes to the rescue. In a nutshell, the uses of computers in agriculture include:

– There are software which help in the prediction of weather conditions and estimation of agricultural production.
– Computers are used for record-keeping of information related to costs involved in production, transport, agricultural processes, and in the estimation and calculation of profit and/or loss.
– The Internet aids communication among farmers and between farmers and agriculture experts. This leads to an exchange of knowledge and serves as guidance for farmers to improve production and earn profits.
– Thanks to the use of software technology, farming practices have evolved into those requiring less effort and leading to greater output. Mechanization has reduced human/animal effort and increased the speed and quality of production.

Farmland Assessment
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are being used for developing ranking systems that evaluate land and provide a site assessment to aid what is now known as precision agriculture. These hi-tech, interactive systems provide information based on a variety of factors such as soil conditions, drainage and slope conditions, soil pH and nutrient status, etc. Prior to the use of these systems, farmers were often in the dark about soil output, and unpredictable weather conditions affecting crop quality and profitability. Precision agriculture provides farmers with control by predicting vital information including fertilizer application and problems with drainage, insects, and weeds. Most government websites provide this kind of information free of cost, covering agricultural land masses across the United States. Global Positioning System (GPS) based technologies also help to monitor irrigation, field mapping, soil sampling, tractor guidance and crop scouting. This kind of technology equips farmers with enough information to increase crop yield in a manner that is consistent with the best environmental practices for sustainable agriculture.

Autonomous Farm Equipment and Tractors
Automated farm equipment, needless to say, scores over human controlled equipment in terms of consistency and reliability. Engine and machine functions such as transmission and hydraulic power output are controlled using microchips built into the equipment. Guidance technology is already being widely used in self-propelled equipment to aid crop seeding and fertilizer application. Automated feeding systems, computerized milk collection and milking machines have been around since the late 20th century, resulting in better economic yield for the dairy industry as well as livestock production. Automated tractors are probably not far away.

Farm Software
With regard to livestock farming, ready-made computer applications are available to track animals, storing and evaluating information such as age, health records, milk production, offspring productivity, and reproductive cycle status. This is often called herd recording. Similarly, most farm accounting software and other computer applications in agriculture provide services for record keeping, simulation of prediction-based models using that data, and revenue and productivity estimation. Most farm software vendors provide you with an option to customize their applications to the specific needs of your farm or ranch.

Internet Forums, Social Networking and Online Knowledge Bases
Any business in the world that you can think of, has benefited from the advent and global reach of the Internet and related communication technologies (mobile computing, e-commerce, etc.). Agriculture is no different. Imagine using the power of the Internet to connect with farmers, agriculturists and agricultural scientists and other experts spread across the globe. There are several forums and social networking sites on the Internet where farmers can connect with other farmers and farming experts and exchange know-how. In addition, there are several learning repositories that provide information on a wide variety of agricultural topics. These avenues serve to reduce the rural digital divide, influence public policies, foster partnerships and connect all stakeholders across the agricultural value chain. For instance, a farmer can easily seek out and connect with an agricultural entrepreneur and begin the exchange of ideas or business proposals. Information such as price review for grain and livestock, pest information, real-time weather information (precipitation, temperature, humidity, solar radiation, wind speed, soil moisture and soil temperature) in any part of the world is literally available at one’s fingertips.

E-agriculture
An emerging field of agricultural practices, e-agriculture focuses on coming up with innovative ways and best practices to use the existing information and communication technologies (ICTs) for sustainable agricultural development and food safety standards, particularly in rural areas. E-agriculture encompasses other related technological fields such as agricultural informatics, agricultural development and business. It aims to deploy all available technologies (computers, mobile computing, satellite systems, smart cards) for the empowerment of farmers and strengthening of partnerships across the food value chain.

The uses of computers in agriculture do have some real constraints such as, the lack of hardware and software infrastructure, training and skills, and research priorities. However, once these are overcome, the use of computers goes past automation and software application. In fact, it could be instrumental in bridging the digital divide and bringing prosperity to agriculturists not only in the United States, but also in other developing and emerging economies around the world.

Use of Computers in Business

The Information Technology (IT) revolution that brought in computers has gone through a variety of stages. The prominent introduction being in the 1960s, when big companies had to store large amounts of data. The revolution of computers initially was used for complex data bases only. However, people realized the many uses that computers had to offer to everyone for daily use. Two major breakthroughs were the introduction of PCs and Mac computers, which of course greatly facilitated businesses and working people in several ways. Apart from that, hardware such as scanners, CDs, floppy drives, and printers, have facilitated the operations of offices in a big way.

All-in-one Device
Earlier, before computers were introduced in businesses, there were multiple devices in offices such as fax machines, typewriters, telefax equipment, stenography equipment, and filing cabinets that were used extensively. Computers successfully replaced all these office tools. The entire office became ‘dematerialized’, which also resulted in the optimum use of the available space.

Accounting and Finance
A computer is a clever accountant. There are countless accounting software that can cleverly record entries and plan finances. These financial software basically increase the accuracy and efficiency of the accounting process. There are also several Internet banking facilities that have come into use in recent times. Such facilities enable people to conduct transactions from their offices, saving them a journey to the bank.

Communication
The Internet and the concept of emails has benefited businesses immensely, as information, letters, graphics, applications, and almost any sort of communication can be transmitted from person to person, at distant locations, in a matter of seconds. The Internet also helps in communication to the masses. Stock investors, Forex traders, media companies, financial planners, and company owners rely heavily on electronic communication for instant transfer of information.

Technical Software
Technical software are used by countless people worldwide, such as engineers, architects, logistics personnel, etc. These software are user-friendly, accurate, convenient, and fast. A multitude of things can now be done and created with the help of computers, like designs, graphics, blueprints, program codes, etc.

Documents/Presentations
In today’s world, it is easy to prepare documents and create presentations. Decades ago, these would take weeks, if not days, to be completed. Due to everything being computerized, important documents and presentations can be completed in a matter of hours, acting as a catalyst for various business processes.

Research
Gone are the days when one needed to go to a library and search through shelves of books to get some information. Nowadays, when an organization needs some information, it’s available at the click of a button. It also allows business to get updated information about competitors, suppliers, customers, and the like, which obviously helps in the better running of any business organization.

Storage
Unlike olden times, information and data storage now takes up hardly any place. Gone are the days when offices needed large storerooms in order to store hundreds of files of important data. Computers and servers have allowed us the luxury of storing much more data in much less space.

Computers are something we take for granted nowadays. Little do we realize how this device has made life so much easier, both on the personal and professional front.

Uses Of Computers in Sports

Uses of computers in sports
In Or Out?
Research is being conducted over “smart” soccer balls that are fitted with a microchip, and alert the referee via headset when the ball crosses a line. Such application of computer technology has all but eliminated human error from the decision-making process.
Computers define modern lifestyle better than perhaps any other device. They are used as entertainment hubs, knowledge stores, relationship portals, and what not. They are irreplaceable components of the hectic daily grind.

Computers have brought about a revolutionary leap in various sectors; sports, and sports science is no exception. The entry of computers into the world of sports changed it radically and permanently. Ask a modern coach to train his team without showing them video demonstrations, or a fan to lay off his team’s website for a couple of days, and you would be deserving of the punch that you would undoubtedly receive.

Computers are used by coaches to compile databases, compare and analyze their own as well as their opponents’ performance, by fans to keep in touch with their beloved team, and by independent agencies to create virtual likenesses of real players, or for security.

Here are some ways in which computers are employed in sports.

Computers in Sports
Statistics Database
The primary purpose of artificial memory is to store tons of information. These include meticulously arranged records of each and every season of the particular league, records of the best individual performers, team form, etc.

These databases are particularly useful to managers while scouting for new recruits. Statistics represent the effective output of an individual or a team, and, as the old adage goes, numbers never lie. These little nuggets of 1’s and 0’s tell how a player performs in particular conditions, how a team fares with or without a particular player, how it has improved or worsened over a season, etc. Without the advent of computers, goodbye ‘moneyball’, goodbye ‘replacing one player with three’, and maybe goodbye 20 wins in a row (sorry Oakland fans)!

Simulation
Simulators are particularly useful in motorsports. The more a driver/rider gets acclimatized to a particular machine off the track, the more chances he has of making the most on it. Teams spend millions on the most realistic simulator, and not without due cause.
Performance Analysis
Bio-mechanics allow a player to closely scrutinize his workout regimen and his playing style, and make changes to increase performance. Golf swings, pitching, hitting, and sprinting are just a few of the many disciplines which can be massively improved through bio-mechanics.

Performance analysis through bio-mechanics not only fine-tunes an athlete’s performance, but also makes him/her fitter and more resistant to injuries. It can reveal minute abnormalities in the physique before they balloon into serious injuries, and experts can then recommend changes to minimize the risk.

Bio-mechanics also facilitate the life-like imitations of real players in video games. Every nook and cranny of the athlete’s face is scanned, the tiniest action recorded, and is then analyzed and imitated through their virtual selves.

Official Team Websites
Websites of sports teams and sports news networks are among the most visited sites on the Internet. Fans like to keep in touch with their teams even when not using their season tickets, or even if they live thousands of miles away from their favorite team. They need constant updates on the next game, reports about the last game, and every little snippet of the latest transfer rumors.

Sports websites are also home to fantasy leagues, which is a multi-billion-dollar industry. More than 30 million people play fantasy leagues in the US and Canada; the Fantasy Sports Trade Association estimated that 32 million people played fantasy leagues in the US and Canada in 2010! Sports websites are also leading avenues of online sports merchandise sales.

Equipment Design
Computer-aided manufacturing technology has massively improved the standard of equipment and protective gear, and has made contact and risky sports much safer. Crucial equipment such as helmets, balls, bats, skates, or hoops can be made safer, sturdier, and more comfortable through computer technology. Like in bio-mechanical studies regarding players, equipment is also tested extensively before being made available to sportspersons, and is being constantly bettered by sports goods manufacturers.
Telemetry
The word telemetry literally means ‘measurement from distance’. Computers can provide instant information on any piece of action in a game. It can tell us the speed of the latest pitch, the reaction times of sprinters or swimmers, or miscellaneous technical data, like distance covered by a hit or throw.
Telemetry is especially important in sophisticated motorsports, where the balance of the race may shift in favor of the team who is able to analyze the accurately delivered telemetry about their car’s engine performance, acceleration, braking, etc.
Pattern Recognition
This important branch serves a dual purpose. On the playing field, advanced video technology and software can be used to identify weak links in the opponent’s game―individual or team. If a pitcher has a mystery ball up his sleeve, pattern recognition programs will catch up on that; if a soccer team employs a particular formation, pattern recognition can identify weak links in the seemingly impenetrable strategy. However, conveying the results to the players and milking the opponent’s weaknesses depends on the ingenuity and pedigree of the coach.

The other purpose served by pattern recognition technology is stadium security. Cameras at strategic vantage points scan the entire stadium, and if the behavior of any particular fan sets off the alarm bells in the software, major disasters can be averted.

Vital Decisions
Computer technology is widely used in sports such as tennis, cricket, and football to determine ‘line calls’. Hawk-Eye technology, which traces the path or trajectory of a moving object―a ball, in this case―and accurately determines whether the object has crossed a specific line or mark, is a staple in major tennis tournaments and most cricket tournaments. Such technologies eliminate human error in making vital decisions, and unerringly deliver the correct verdict.
Computers have become an irreplaceable component of sports, and have improved countless aspects of sports and athletes to no end.

Role of Computers in Education

Computers have changed the way we work, be it any profession. Therefore, it is only natural that the role of computers in education has been given a lot of importance in the recent years. Computers play a vital role in every field. They aid industrial processes, find applications in medicine; they are the reason why software industries developed and flourished and they play an important role in education. This is also why the education system has made computer education a part of school curriculum. Considering the use of computer technology is almost every sphere of life, it is important for everyone to have at least the basic knowledge of using computers. Let’s look at what role computer technology plays in the education sector.
Computers in Education
Computer technology has had a deep impact on the education sector. Thanks to computers, imparting education has become easier and much more interesting than before. Owing to memory capacities of computers, large chunks of data can be stored in them. They enable quick processing of data with very less or no chances of errors in processing. Networked computers aid quick communication and enable web access. Storing documents on computers in the form of soft copies instead of hard ones, helps save paper.
The advantages of computers in education primarily include:
– Storage of information
– Quick data processing
– Audio-visual aids in teaching
– Better presentation of information
– Access to the Internet
– Quick communication between students, teachers and parents

Computer teaching and interactive learning play a key role in education. Computer technology is integrated into the modern education system.

Computers – A Brilliant Aid in Teaching
Students find it easier to refer to the Internet than searching for information in fat books. The process of learning has gone beyond learning from prescribed textbooks. Internet is a much larger and easier-to-access storehouse of information. When it comes to storing retrieved information, it is easier done on computers than maintaining hand-written notes.
Computers Gave Impetus to Distance Education
Online education has revolutionized the education industry. Computer technology has made the dream of distance learning a reality. Education is no longer limited to classrooms. It has reached far and wide, thanks to computers. Physically distant locations have come closer due to Internet accessibility. So, even if students and teachers are not in the same premises, they can very well communicate with one another. There are many online educational courses, whereby students are not required to attend classes or be physically present for lectures. They can learn from the comfort of their homes and adjust timings as per their convenience.
Computers Improve Presentation of Information
Computers facilitate effective presentation of information. Presentation software like PowerPoint and animation software like Flash among others can be of great help to teachers while delivering lectures. Computers facilitate audio-visual representation of information, thus making the process of learning interactive and interesting. Computer-aided teaching adds a fun element to education. Teachers hardly use chalk and board today. They bring presentations on a flash drive, plug it in to a computer in the classroom, and the teaching begins. There’s color, there’s sound, there’s movement – the same old information comes forth in a different way and learning becomes fun. The otherwise not-so-interesting lessons become interesting due to audio-visual effects. Due to the visual aid, difficult subjects can be explained in better ways. Things become easier to follow, thanks to the use of computers in education.
Computers Enable Internet Access
Internet has information on literally everything and computer technology enables easy access to it. Internet can play an important role in education. As it is an enormous information base, it can be harnessed for retrieval of information on a variety of subjects. The Internet can be used to refer to information on different subjects. Both teachers and students benefit from it. Teachers can refer to it for additional information and references on the topics to be taught. Students can refer to web sources for additional information on subjects of their interest. The Internet helps teachers set test papers, frame questions for home assignments and decide project topics. And not just academics, teachers can use web sources for ideas on sports competitions, extracurricular activities, picnics, parties and more.
Computers Allow Efficient Data Storage
Computer hard drives and storage devices are an excellent way to store data. Computers enable storage of data in the electronic format, thereby saving paper. Memory capacities of computer storage devices are in gigabytes. This enables them to store huge chunks of data. Moreover, these devices are compact. They occupy very less space, yet store large amounts of data. Both teachers and students benefit from the use of computer technology. Presentations, notes and test papers can be stored and transferred easily over computer storage devices. Similarly, students can submit homework and assignments as soft copies. The process becomes paperless, thus saving paper. Plus, the electronic format makes data storage more durable. Electronically erasable memory devices can be used repeatedly. They offer robust storage of data and reliable data retrieval.
This was about the role of computers in education. But we know, it’s not just the education sector which computers have impacted. They are of great use in every field. Today, a life without computers is unimaginable. This underlines the importance of computer education. Knowledge of computers can propel one’s career in the right direction. Computers are a part of almost every industry today. They are no longer limited any specific field. They are used in networking, for information access and data storage and also in the processing and presentation of information. Computers should be introduced early in education. It won’t be an overstatement to say that computer education is as fundamental as learning English. Yes, it is.

Importance of Computers in Medicine

Computers play a key role in almost every sphere of life. They facilitate storage of huge amounts of data, they enable speedy processing of information and they possess an inbuilt intelligence, which if supplemented with human intellect, can work wonders. Owing to their intelligence and speed, computers function on a level close to that of the human brain. They can hence be employed in different fields like engineering, data processing and storage, planning and scheduling, networking, education as well as health and medicine. You might want to take a look at the various uses of computers, before looking at the importance of computers in medicine.
Computers in the Medical Field
Right from efficient data storage and easy access and sharing of information, to conducting medical tests and simulating complex surgical procedures, computers have an important role to play in the medical field. It can be put under four main categories that include:
– Data Storage
– Surgical Procedures
– Diagnostic Tests
– Knowledge Sharing
As in any other field, the importance of computer technology in medicine cannot be ignored.
Storage of Patient Data and Health Information
▸ Computers are an excellent means for storage of patient-related data. Hospitals employ computer systems to maintain patient records.
▸ It is often necessary to maintain detailed records of the medical history of patients. Doctors often require information about a patient’s family history, physical ailments in the family (if any), already diagnosed diseases and prescribed medicines. This information can be stored in a computer database.
▸ Computers can keep track of prescriptions and billing information. They can be used to store information about the medicines prescribed to a patient as well as those, which cannot be prescribed to him/her (ones which the patient is allergic to).
▸ Computers enable an efficient storage of huge amounts of medical data. Medicine comprises a vast information base. Computer storage can serve as the best means of housing this information.
▸ Medical journals, research and diagnosis papers, important medical documents and reference books can best be stored in an electronic format.
Computers in Surgical Procedures
▸ Computer software is used for diagnosis of diseases. It can be used for the examination of internal organs of the body. Advanced computer-based systems are used to examine organs of the body.
▸ Some of the complex surgeries can be performed with the help of computers. Computer-assisted Surgery (CAS) is a fast-advancing field in medicine, which combines medical expertise with computer intelligence to give faster and more accurate results in surgical procedures. In CAS, a model of the patient is created, then analyzed prior to surgery. The surgical procedure is simulated on the virtual image of the patient.
▸ The surgery can then be performed by a surgical robot, as programmed by a medical professional or the robot may only assist doctors while they do the actual surgery.
▸ In both cases, computer intelligence is at work, thus underlining the uses of computers in medicine.
Computer Technology in Diagnostic Tests
▸ The different types of monitoring equipment in hospitals are often based on computer programming.
▸ Medical imaging deals with techniques to create images of the human body for medical purposes. Many of the modern methods of scanning and imaging are largely based on computer technology. We have been able to implement many of the advanced medical imaging techniques, thanks to developments in computer science.
▸ Magnetic resonance imaging employs computer software. Computed tomography makes use of digital geometry processing techniques to obtain 3-D images. Sophisticated computers and infrared cameras are used for obtaining high-resolution images. Computers are widely used for the generation of 3-D images.
▸ Many of the modern-day medical equipment have small, programmed computers. Many of the medical appliances of today work on pre-programmed instructions. The circuitry and logic in most of the medical equipment is basically a computer.
▸ The functioning of hospital-bed beeping systems, emergency alarm systems, X-ray machines and several such medical appliances is based on computer logic.
Communication and Knowledge Sharing
▸Computer technology eases the communication between medical practitioners and patients. Sharing of knowledge pertaining to research and updates in the medical field, can happen with greater efficiency, owing to computer technology.
▸ Computer networking enables quicker communication. Computers and the Internet have proven to be a boon in all spheres of life. In the field of medicine, computers allow faster communication between a patient and a doctor.
▸ Doctors can collaborate better over the Internet. Today, it is possible to obtain experts’ opinions within seconds by means of the Internet. Medical professionals sitting on opposite sides of the globe can communicate within minutes with the help of the Internet. It is due to computer networking technology that network communication has become easy.
▸ Medical practitioners can discuss medical issues in medical forums, they can blog, write articles, and contribute to medical journals available online.
▸ Updates in the medical field, advancements in medicine, information about new methods of treatment, etc. can reach the common man within minutes, thanks to the Internet and easy access to computers.
▸ Doctors can exchange images and messages in seconds and derive conclusions speedily. They can seek advice and share knowledge in a convenient manner over the Internet.
The importance of computers cannot be stressed enough. Computers have given a new dimension to every field, and medicine is no exception.

History of Macintosh Computers

Apple Inc., a famous name in the computer industry, refers to a company that develops and markets personal computers with the brand name Macintosh. Macintosh is better known as Mac. The Macintosh 128K, released on January 24, 1984, was a commercial success. It was the first personal computer which came with a mouse and a graphical user interface. With the passing years, Apple Inc. evolved and today, it is a business giant in the field of computers.

History

Jef Raskin, a human computer interface expert from America, was an Apple employee who came up with the idea of building an affordable and easy-to-use computer. In 1979, Raskin started planning for building a team that would bring his idea into reality. He soon formed a team of Bill Atkinson, a Lisa team member, Burrell Smith, a service technician and others. Soon, they started working on Raskin’s idea. The first Macintosh board that their team developed had a 64 KB RAM, used a Motorola microprocessor and featured a black and white bitmap display.

By the end of 1980, Smith, one of the team members of the first Macintosh team, created a board that ran on a higher speed, featured a higher-capacity RAM and supported a wider display. Steve Jobs, impressed by this design, began to take interest in this project. His ideas have highly influenced the design of the final Macintosh. Jobs resigned from Apple in 1985.

The following years witnessed the development of desktop publishing and other applications such as Macromedia FreeHand, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator, which helped in the expansion of the desktop publishing market. It was also during these years that the shortfalls of Mac were exposed to the users. It did not have a hard disk drive and had little memory. In 1986, Apple came up with Macintosh Plus. It supported some excellent features like the parallel SCSI interface, a megabyte of expandable RAM, and support for attachment of peripheral devices. The MacPlus was produced until 1990, making it the longest-lived Macintosh.

In 1987, Apple brought about HyperCard and MultiFinder, which endowed Macintosh with multitasking features. After Macintosh II, Macintosh SE was released. The Macintosh SE supported the Snow White language and the Apple desktop bus mouse and keyboard.

Claris, a computer software company formed as a spin-off from Apple Computer in 1987, brought the Pro series to the market. Their line of products included the MacPoint Pro, MacDraw Pro and others. By the early 1990s, Claris had become immensely popular. Claris released ClarisWorks, which later came to be known as AppleWorks.

In 1991, Macintosh came up with System 7, a 32-bit rewrite of their operating system. They soon introduced Macintosh Quadra 700 and 900, both using the Motorola 68040 processor. They also established the Apple Industrial Design Group to work on further developments in their operating system. The year 1991 witnessed the creation of the PowerBook Range by Apple. In the following year, Apple started selling their low-end Mac, Performa. In 1994, they started using the RISC PowerPC architecture developed by the alliance of Apple Computer, IBM, and Motorola. Their new product line was a huge success.

Apple has always had to face fierce competition from Intel and Microsoft. After the return of Steve Jobs, Apple had a ‘no looking back’ period. They introduced an all-in-one Macintosh and called it iMac. It was a great success. In 1999, they came up with iBook, their first laptop computer. The Mac Mini launched in 2005, is the least expensive Mac till today. Mac OS 9 evolved to Mac OS X that was based on Unix. Mac OS X came up in 2000. The MAC OS remains to be one of the most popular operating systems till date.

The glorious history of Macintosh computers convinces us of their bright future.