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Специальности: Программист
Лекция 4:

Buying a computer

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3.1. Read the text


The proliferation1Proliferation - распространение of touch screens in electronic devices over the past two or three years has been so rapid that you may have found yourself trying to press an on-screen button or icon when sitting at your computer only to realize that it is not a touch screen. Many mobile phones now have touch-screen interfaces, as do satellite-navigation systems and portable games consoles.

So the touch screen could be on the verge of becoming a standard part of computer interfaces, just as the mouse did in the 1980s. Many people thought that would never happen: surely switching between keyboard and mouse would slow people down and make them less productive? In fact, mouse-driven interfaces can be far more efficient, at least for some tasks. The same seems likely to be true of touch-screen interfaces. The touch screen will probably not replace the mouse and keyboard, but will end up being used for some tasks.

Today countless supermarket checkouts2Checkout – касса в магазине самообслуживания, restaurant tills3Till – кассовый аппарат, automated-teller machines4Automated teller machine (ATM) - банкомат, airport check-in kiosks5Check-in kiosk – стойка регистрации, museum information-booths6Information booth – справочное бюро and voting kiosks use touch screens. In these situations, touch screens have many advantages over other input methods. That they do not allow rapid typing does not matter; it is more important that they are hard-wearing, weatherproof and simple to use.

But breaking into the consumer market was a different matter entirely. Some personal digital assistants had touch screens. But the PDA market has been overshadowed by the rise of advanced mobile phones that offer similar functions, combined with communications. Furthermore, early PDAs did not make elegant use of the touch-screen interface. When there was a touch interaction, it wasn't beautiful.

That is why the iPhone matters: its use of the touch screen is seamless7Seamless - безупречный, intuitive and visually appealing. When scrolling quickly through lists, for example, the lists keep moving, apparently under their own momentum. On-screen objects behave in physically realistic ways.

Until recently, the computing power and graphics capabilities of desktop computers, let alone hand-held devices, were not good enough for elegant touch-screen interfaces to work. And even if they had been sufficient, the public might not have been ready for such interfaces. In the 1990s people were still getting used to Windows 95. But right now the public is ready—even the most lay person can use a mouse.

Another factor that has held back touch screens is a lack of support for the technology in operating systems. This is a particular problem for multi-touch interfaces. Modern operating systems, driven by keyboards and mice, are unable to cope with a system that is, in effect, like connecting several mice at once. Instead, they are based on the idea of a single cursor that glides from one place to another. In developing touch screens, it's necessary to create a separate operating system because Windows and Linux really don't understand more than a single point.

Microsoft is also developing gestures, and Apple has already introduced several of its own on its multi-touch enabled laptops, such as two-fingered dragging to scroll, and three-fingered flicking8Flicking - щелканье to go forward or back a page in a web browser. The danger is that a plethora9Plethora - изобилие of different standards will emerge, and that particular gestures will mean different things to different devices. Ultimately, however, some common rules will probably emerge, as happened with mouse-based interfaces. Double-clicking didn't used to be universal, but now it is accepted as the standard way to open a program or document on most computers.

What will be done with multi-touch and pressure-sensitive screens is still unclear. A lot of the applications have yet to be developed that really take advantage of this technology. But touch screens seem likely to become more widespread in desktop PCs, laptops and mobile phones. Despite the iPhone's success, it may prove to be PCs, rather than hand-helds, that benefit the most from touch-screen technology. That is because touch screens, like mice, are best suited to manipulating information, rather than inputting it in the first place—an area in which keyboards remain unchallenged. PCs with keyboards and touch screens (not to mention mice or trackpads too) could offer the most flexibility, letting users choose the appropriate input method for each task.

Technology Quarterly 4 September 2008

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Сауле Бельгинова
Сауле Бельгинова
Альмира Мукашева
Альмира Мукашева

Здравствуйте, мне не совсем понятно сколько нужно оплатить за курс, квитанцию получила, а какую сумму нужно указать и оплатить