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THE IMPACT OF COMPUTERS Computer technology not only has solved problems but also has created some including a certain amount of culture shock as individuals attempt to deal with the new technology A major role of computer science has been to alleviate such problems mainly by making computer systems cheaper faster more reliable easier to use Computers are forever present in the workplace Word processors-computer software packages that simplify the creational and modification of documents-have largely replaced the typewriter Electronic mail has made it easy to send messages worldwide via computer communication networks Office automation has become the term for linking workstations printers database system and other tools by means of a local-area network An eventual goal of office automation has been termed the paperless office Although such changes ultimately make office work much more efficient they have not been without cost in terms of purchasing and frequently upgrading the necessary hardware and software and of training workers to use the new technology Computer integrated manufacturing is a relatively new technology arising from the application of many computer science sub disciplines to support the manufacturing enterprise The technology of CIM emphasizes that all aspects of manufacturing should be not only computerized as much as possible but also linked together via a computer communication network into an integrated whole In short CIM has the potential to enable manufacturers to build cheaper higher-quality products and thus improve their competitiveness Making a telephone call no longer should conjure up visions of operators connecting cables by hand or even of electrical signals causing relays to click into place and effect connections during dialing The telephone system now is just a multilevel computer network with software switches in the network nodes to route calls get through much more quickly and reliably than they did in the past A disadvantage is the potential for dramatic and widespread failures for as has happened The downside of this technology is the potential
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