Thursday, 21 March 2013

ICT 001

The word "computer" is, you'd think, quite a new word. That's not so though and I was quite surprised that the word actually comes from the early 1600s. Originally a computer was a person that was employed to do mathematics, literally "one who computers".

It wasn't a particularly interesting job - can you imagine doing Maths lessons all day everyday?

More recent computers have their routes in World War II, Can you imagine any reasons for this being the case?

Reasons for the change were two-fold: because of the need for male bodies on the front there were less people to work as computers and computers were required in order to process the massive amounts of data produced in weapons development and for decryption.

We've talked about data and information above and it's perhaps worth looking at this a little more.

The following is some data:

8950 4e47 0d0a 1a0a 0000 000d 4948 4452
0000 0208 0000 000d 0804 0000 0111 a06e
e400 0000 0467 414d 4100 00b1 8f0b fc61
0500 0000 0262 4b47 4400 ff87 8fcc bf00
0000 0970 4859 7300 000b 1300 000b 1301
009a 9c18 0000 0007 7449 4d45 07dd 0314
1406 1f3a d2be 9600 0000 1d69 5458 7443
6f6d 6d65 6e74 0000 0000 0043 7265 6174
6564 2077 6974 6820 4749 4d50 642e 6507
0000 0372 4944 4154 68de ed5a db92 2b21
0884 54fe ff97 7b1f 36f1 820d a2c9 4c72
f68c 55d9 b546 0790 c1e6 a22a cf06 51f1
1b9c e75a 4654 d0fc a4fc 7dce d1c2 c170
ba89 081e 5346 8628 7d2d 8c9e 7fb5 1344
9bb9 4c60 75fa 4b0d 0f61 f160 50fb 6846
5b11 e0f4 0cd5 5b37 a592 e0a4 857c b6aa
7eab 4375 f540 9eb6 8cd0 0923 cd5a fb59
4c4f 18b4 d5ea 8d2d 510c 374e b5d7 7bfb
ae2f 0f52 368d 55e3 978d 0df3 4f34 a506
36c3 096f 041d 4e48 4101 6e90 163d eabb
da00 c138 2b32 ef76 f60c e9ca f88d 6e05
0c26 0e3a ca6d 410b 6efd 9aab 3668 8624
2d75 97aa 8583 d0ad 6695 d88f 5035 de27
f6a1 c60b d47e 8bff fd97 c400 5cbf 2320
1cd0 c17e bf78 b862 a351 6b64 d3a0 2a5c
d8df f87f 3061 b628 7c0d 788e be09 c4b9
c2f1 3d30 1ecb dbe2 3034 46d7 6dd7 c166
c8e0 c53c 7801 f57a 3ce6 c86a 1554 7393
7673 96d6 63ce eb9f 1434 a478 9fc1 ae3a
c216 c89e c88d 2118 d609 8d88 8b0e 5cc6
519f a676 a8ae 213f 245d fa81 7871 b53f
eb0a c4dd b938 d91c ac2b 8863 362f f282
41b6 d839 6471 6aa4 288b 9126 8b4d 31a0
7324 8f2f 2fc2 846e e232 b061 2a38 c50c
f025 f883 20f4 3e9e b61f 9b64 bf19 9ccd
8d1a 238c a117 0bb9 b820 70f7 ae90 f0cc
0bc4 6c00 c592 0fb6 e776 0d25 8b25 62ea
56d9 5861 07bb ea33 4d94 5532 c591 5153
3522 42d1 adf6 5419 7020 d89d f1a7 e400
284e 04ee ffbe 1511 f682 68bc 40fb 1844
3059 038a 7d28 55bd d2aa 2d9c 0856 3b5a
76b9 6d79 a0d6 45d1 f57b a17b a966 de79
e65f e3f7 79ff 5905 575a 5c8d 31aa 1d55
3adf ce55 2a89 0648 0117 2fb4 a302 836d
d8db 0f3b 7371 289f ab7d 34a7 c002 20e1
3283 bf96 46ce 0293 ac2f 3c2f f53c 96b2
5f6d f46a 90b3 3ea6 6348 bd0b 729e b7da
8fe9 f37e 665c a63c 30a5 e995 34bc 67b3
e8d4 264a d6cd 82d6 b1e3 4a72 ae16 0cd9
3f2f 8d75 1847 917c 7689 15cf 0298 0bf5
5fd5 63b6 72ac 876a bbcd 3cbd 71f0 cc54
e6f5 6f1d e25c 1b25 e729 e46a edde 4d8f
7a5e dc1e 8756 6934 3833 f0f2 fe91 9792
2742 e559 777b fd29 45fd cfef a834 e524
718b 4519 8f36 f76f 3388 d8f5 6348 00ce
8a6f f3f1 ff28 403b 72db e647 30a4 a778
a31c 6a6e 23bc 0a82 ea1b b3f9 92f9 0343
efae 02a6 7267 92fb d7e0 1b22 071c 2242
9c23 d8fb 0126 f799 a653 bfa0 d3fa adaf
3efd f07a 55de 7fba 8c4d da1a cef6 ae04
ad4a 8f84 af5f 7dce ec85 af7e bc20 c7af
d769 725d baa9 512c 417b 66ad d1bb 07d8
3836 4676 e99e 9184 5c89 ced5 ce4c 0be3
6817 e155 b1b7 b4fb f51d ae76 b5af 8a71
4ff4 df63 fb01 ad79 31fa 7b1b d4d0 0000
0000 4945 4e44 ae42 6082

Can you tell what that means? I'll help you and display it in another way:


Getting an idea? Let me help a little more and show you it again:

There's a shortcut to giving meaning to the data. If you copy and paste the line starting with "data:image/png;base64," into a new tab on your browser the browser should be clever enough to produce the image above this paragraph. It's a very long line of text though isn't it? One way to select a long line of text is to click on it three times with your mouse, you'll need to click quite quickly!

(This is an interesting trick in itself. Generally if you click twice while your mouse is over some text you'll select a word, click once more and you'll select the whole block of text.)

From the gobbledygook of a long line of mixed up characters your computer has produced some information.

This illustrates an important part of ICT: Data with some context or Meaning produces Information!

As an experiment, take that long line and copy it into a text editor like notepad and change a letter or 2 and see what happens when you paste it into a new tab of your browser.

If you're very, very lucky then nothing will change significantly... if not then you'll see something like this:

This is your browser telling you that the image is broken and illustrates another important thing about ICT. If you put Garbage In then you'll get Garbage Out (GIGO). I guess it's a little like giving someone a puzzle which can't be solved no matter how long you spend on it because the instructions you give them are wrong.

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