February 9, 1996 |
Fifty years ago, in a drab room at the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Electrical Engineering, a team of engineers and scientists unveiled the world's first fully-functioning general purpose electronic computer, the ENIAC. Spanning 80 feet, weighing 30 tons, and covered with flashing lights, this massive machine did not prompt anyone to imagine laptop computers or the World Wide Web. It did, however, usher in the age of information technology that has reshaped our world.
November 12, 1987 |
Junior Dawn Scueder, 16, barely made it through geometry last year. But this year, she's making top marks in a computer science class. Dawn and about 75 other below-average students have found that a special computer science program at Cardinal Dougherty High School helps lead them through mathematical mazes. "It's my best subject," said Dawn, who lives in Kensington. "It's the only one I do well in. I understand it more. It's not complicated. " By using basic programming to create games and problem solvers, math teacher Harry Flanagan inspires slow learners to learn those often elusive math skills in his new "Computer Problem Solving" course.
July 27, 1986 |
You may not find as many people who can embroider initials on a shirt, a handkerchief or a towel today as in the past, but computers have stepped in to save the day. "One of the nice things about computer embroidery is that everything you do is uniform," Jeanne Piraino said recently. She is one of the owners of Mainline Design & Monogramming, 3715 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square. And that uniformity doesn't mean you can't have variety. Piraino said she has computer tapes for 100 stock designs and for several kinds of lettering.
July 18, 1996 |
Right from the get-go, strange stuff happens in The Frighteners. In the spooky old house where Peter Jackson's movie begins, shapes scuttle under rugs and protrude ominously from beneath flocked wallpaper. Before this roller-coaster combo of horror, mystery and supernatural farce is over, Elvis has levitated, specters have whooshed through the air, and the Grim Reaper - a cowled phantom wielding a scythe and hurdling over buildings and cars - has ripped the hearts from unsuspecting citizens.
October 10, 1994 |
If you use a computer at work, you are part of the Industrial "Evolution. " So says Stanley M. Rose, who tracks changes in jobs for the U.S. Labor Department's Dictionary of Occupational Titles. Over time, some job titles go the way of lamplighters and trolley-car conductors. That is, they disappear. But more common, Rose says, are occupations that change because of a new tool or new technology. And these days, the technology is likely to involve a computer. Rose's own occupation is a case in point.
January 5, 1992 |
I saw a vacation route-planning computer program advertised and wonder if it works. Where can I find out about them? D.B., Philadelphia The programs you've seen advertised allow computer users planning car trips to punch in their starting point, destination and average speed. Then the programs calculate routes and travel time. They display charts showing routes and cities along the way, as well as mileage and direction information. By making a printout of the chart, you get a fairly detailed route guide.
August 17, 1986 |
A nuclear power plant is running amok. Radioactive water and steam are beginning to escape, and 10,000 people in the immediate vicinity will soon be in danger if the right moves aren't made immediately to shut the plant down. Question: Who would be more likely to make the correct decisions and avert a catastrophe, a human technician or a computer? A woman with a history of diabetes, heart problems and kidney failure lies comatose in a hospital intensive-care unit after an automobile accident.
November 14, 1994 |
Q: I went looking for a computer, then got attracted by the looks and low price of an all-in-one package the salesman called a "PWP. " What do you think of them? A: Personal word processors are, in effect, dedicated computer systems for writers who're wary of technology. Selling for between $400 and $600, these glorified typewriters pack a monochrome display screen, separate computer style keyboard, random access memory and 3.5-inch disc drive for file storage and a printer that turns out excellent looking, letter quality work.
March 27, 1988 |
The fried-chicken bucket and paper clips were the first to go. They were followed by adding machine tapes, back-straining docket books and tons and tons of paper. All fell victim to computers in Montgomery County. They were replaced by a high-tech system that has landed the county a reputation as the nation's premier court-record keeper. As the decade-long automation project nears completion, county officials boast that their computer not only provides instant accounts of almost everything that happens in the Norristown courthouse, but is a money-making venture as well.
February 19, 1995 |
With the word retool on every good hiring director's lips, people being interviewed for jobs can expect a serious grilling on everything from spreadsheet cells to ASCII text. Jobless Pennsylvanians with computer phobia can get a push down the information superhighway - and a boost in their job prospects - from a free, 172-hour computer literacy course given by the Berkeley Education & Training Center. "We know what software's happening and what's not," said Ron Spangler, spokesman for the company.