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Text 5.





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When a Computer Error Is a Fatal Mistake.

Task 1. Fill in the gaps in the text choosing the correct answers given below.

Life without computers has become ...1.... . They are designed to look after so many boring but essential things that we have become dependent on them. But ...2... the demands placed on computers grow, so does the number of incidents involving computer errors. It is only a matter of time before a computer-made catastrophe occurs. As early as 1889, a word entered the language that was to become all too familiar to computer scientists: a "bug", meaning a mistake

For decades bugs and "debugging" were taken to be part of every computer engineer's ...3... . Of course, more often than not errors are ...4... annoying, but sometimes they can come close to causing tragedies. On the Piccadilly line in London's Underground a driver who 1 was going south along a track got confused while moving his empty train through a cross-over point. He started to head north straight at a south bound train full of people. The computerized signalling system ...5... to warn him of im­pending disaster and it was only his quick human reactions that prevented a crash.

 

1. a) elementary b) unimaginable c) tireless d) trivial

2. a) however b) no sooner c) in the meantime d) as

3. a) job b) tragedy c) necessity d) action

4. a) not b) not only c) just d) absolutely

5. a) managed b) signalled c) failed d) succeeded

Task 2. Choose the best answer to each question on the basis of what is stated or implied in the text.

1. Which of the following is not true?

a) Try as you might, you can hardly manage without computers in modern world.

b) No matter how boring computers might be, their demands grow.

c) Sooner or later, the number of incidents involving computer errors is expected to increase.

d) In the course of time computers are supposed to do more and more demanding job.

2. In the faraway year of 1889 the word "bug":

a) appeared in the language.

b) was used by mistake.

c) and "computer" were synonyms to computer scien­tists and entered their language and life.

d) familiarized computer scientists with "de-bugging".

3. What kept the catastrophe in the subway from happen­ing?

a) The driver's prompt actions.

b) The computerized signaling actions.

c) Humane reactions.

d) Signals of the driver.

4. What title could you give to the story?

a) When a computer error is a fatal mistake.

b) Growing demands on computer errors.

c) Annoying bugs.

d) De-bugging in London Underground.

5. The word impending means:

a) crashed.

b) reasonable.

c) looking forward.

d) approaching, going to happen.

 

 

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