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Computers have come a long way very fast since there start in the 1940s In the beginning they were mainly used for keeping financial records by banks and insurance companies and for mathematical computations by engineers and the US Military However exciting new applications have developed rapidly in the last few years Two of these areas is Computer Graphics and sound Computer graphics is the ability of the computer to display store and transmit visual information in the form of pictures Currently there are two main uses for this new ability One is in the creation of Movies and the other in Computer Games Computer visual information is also increasingly being used in other computer applications such as photographic storage and the Internet Computers can also store transmit and play back sound When a picture or a sound is stored on a computer it said to be digitized There are two main ways of digitizing a picture One is by vector graphics Here the information in the picture is stored as mathematical equations Engineering drawing applications such as CAD computer assisted device use this method The other method is by bit mapped graphics Here the computer actually keeps track of every point in the picture and its description Paint programs use this technique Drawing programs are usually vector mapped programs and paint programs are usually bit mapped Computer sound is handled in two different ways The sound can be described digitally and stored as an image wave format of the actual sound or it can be translated in to what is called midi format This is chiefly for music In a piano for instance the information for what key to hit for how long ad at what intensity is stored and retrieved This is kind of like the way and old player piano worked Computer graphic applications in the beginning were developed on large computes
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