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Tech Tools

Tech Tools

Date: Feb 20 2003


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

Over the past 10 years or so, the workplace has become filled with more and more technical gadgets. It’s now almost impossible to think about working without a computer. Soon, it will be rare to have anything connected by wires. Computers will be everywhere, all connected by the wireless internet.
To better understand the technologies commonly in use in the U.S. and the language associated with technology, check out the rest of this lesson.


1. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.

The first distinction regarding computers is their actual hardware configuration. There are two basic types of computers: Desktops and Laptops (which are also known as Notebooks). A third form of computer which has just become available is a tablet computer, which allows the user to write on the screen with digital ink.
The second computer distinction is operating system. The three most popular OS’s are: Microsoft Windows, Apple OSX and Linux. Windows is by far the most widespread OS in the world.
Apple makes the most beautifully designed hardware. The original iMac[/def] was the first computer that made computers look cool and the new Powerbook is one of the best designed objects in history.
Personal Digital Assistants are becoming ubiquitous around the world. The newest PDAs feature everything from wireless web access to calendars to cameras to phones. The most popular PDAs are the Palm Pilot, Sony Clie, PocketPC, RIM Blackberry, Compaq iPaq and Danger HipTop.
There are millions and millions of different kinds of software. You can find software to do anything you want to do on a computer. The most popular software for office use is Microsoft Office. Nearly every office in the U.S. has MS Office programs like Word, Excel and Powerpoint.
Another office application that’s become overwhelmingly popular is Instant Messaging. Instant Messaging allows people to chat privately with each other through their computers, phones and/or PDAs. IM’ing is popular for social reasons, but many companies also use it to conduct actual business. Services by AOL, Yahoo!, and MSN are used every day by millions of users.
Other tech tools of note include: Wi-Fi wireless internet, which is a way to stay connected to the internet without a modem or a phone line; Bluetooth, which is a way tech devices communicate with each other wirelessly; iPod by Apple, which is the most popular mp3 player on the market; and web services, which are services provided by companies over the web.



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There are lots of different tech tools that I haven’t mentioned. I certainly can’t list them all. I’ve tried to focus on the most used technologies on the market. Hopefully, it helps you understand which are essential for you to know about.
I think technology is a lot of fun. I hope you think so too!
Have a great week,


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