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Alphabet pronunciation

1. Which letters rhyme with A?

2. Which letters rhyme with B?

3. Which letters start with the sound [ e ]?

These letters are commonly confused. Make sure you know them.


B. Someone is querying some invoices. Give them the information on the list below.

e.g. invoice number thirteen, dated December the seventeenth nineteen eighty seven, is for five hundred and twenty six pounds, seventeen pence


Invoice № Date Amount
December 17th 1987 £ 526.17
12th July 1999 £ 214.95
Aug. 30th 2004 $ 1,387.86
21.11.07 € 2,406.05

Section B Language Focus. To be. There is / are

I. Put the following sentences into interrogative and negative forms:

a) Computer technology is a fast growing discipline.

b) They were in the computer class last Monday.

II. Insert the correct personal forms of the verb to be:

1. I … specialized in integrated sensor systems but my friend … fond of intelligent systems.

2. Mathematics … my favourite subject but the knowledge of computers … very important today.

3. In a year my brother … a programmer.

4. Programs … not hardware as they have no electrical or mechanical components.

5. In 1956 transistors … invented.

III. Ask as many special questions as you can:

1. All the operations of the ALU are under the direction of the control unit.

2. A fourth-generation language is a software facility designed to speed up application development.

3. Many of Babbage’s ideas were the basis for building today’s computers.

IV. Explain the function of the verb to be in the following sentences. Translate the sentences into Russian:

1. Second generation computers were smaller than first generation ones.

2. The adding machine was built by B. Pascal in 1642.

3. Modern computers are of three types: analog, digital and hybrid.

4. They were working in the computer centre all the evening yesterday.

5. The program is still under development.

6. The students are to work in the computer class every Monday.

7. The goal of my graduation paper is to create a simple network for a small business.

V. Change the following sentences into interrogative and negative forms:

1. There are four computer classes at our faculty.

3. There was a minicomputer on the desk of my friend.

VI. Fill in is, are:

1. There … many laboratories in our University.

2. … there any printer in the computer room?

3. There … three general types of a computer: analog, digital and hybrid.

4. There … something on the screen.

5. … there any interesting article about the central processor?

6. There … a lot of educational opportunities for those who are interested in pursuing computer careers.

VII. Form the sentences using:

1. there is/are … (a colour monitor, some operators, 15 terminals, a computer centre, a laser printer);

2. there was/were … (an interesting lecture, computer companies, few computers, ink-jet printer, video terminals).

VIII. Translate the following sentences into Russian:

1. There are many input devices of different types.

2. There are two main categories of hardware: processors and peripherals.

3. There is no better way to understand computer than through interacting with one.

4. There are keyboards with different number of keys nowadays.

5. There are two types of software: system and applications.

6. There is a long history of research at IBM on the theory of databases.

7.There are a number of (there are is a lot of) different types of terminals.

Section C Reading

I. A modern computer has a long history of development. Do you happen to know who is considered to be the father of the computer? Scan paragraph 4 to prove your idea.

II. Study the following words and word combinations and make sure you know their translations. Use a specialized dictionary in case of any difficulties.

binary numbers

to devise

to subtract

to multiply

methods of difference

punched card

automatic loom

III. Symbols for 4 main arithmetic operations are well-known to everyone. Match the notions with their symbols.

1. + a. subtraction
2. ‑ b. multiplication
3. ÷ c. addition
4. × d. division

IV. State the type of word-building of the following words and translate them into Russian.

necessarily, mathematician, calculator, automatically, to displace, successor, indifference

V. Read the text attentively and name the main stages in the development of computing devices.

5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Binary code The idea that number systems do not necessarily have to be based on 10 is not a recent one. Gotffried Leibniz, working in the 1600s, developed theories of logic and binary numbers. A century later, George Boole, a British mathematician, devised a branch of logic that is still applied to binary systems in computing.   Calculators The principle of the abacus was first translated into a mechanical calculator in 1642 by the great French scientist Blaise Pascal. Numbers were fed into his machine by turning dials similar to those on a telephone, and the result appeared in a window. The machine added or subtracted numbers with total accuracy, but was a financial flop. In 1694, Gottfried Leibniz in Germany improved the mechanical calculator so that it could also multiply and divide. He devised a way of making it automatically perform repeated additions or subtractions. Mechanical calculators then advanced rapidly over the following two centuries, until they were gradually displaced by much faster electronic calculators from the late 1950s and on. Mechanical computers Early calculators only did arithmetic; unlike a computer they could not store results and they could not be given instructions. However, the idea that such a machine could be built occurred to the British inventor Charles Babbage. The idea came to his mind in 1833, an idea which earned him the title of ‘father of the computer’. Babbage at that time was working on a machine called the Difference Engine capable of accurate calculation of logarithms using the method of differences. He wanted to make a successor that could be programmed to perform different kinds of calculations and that could store results. The machine was called the Analytic Engine. It was to be given instructions on punched cards like those used in automatic looms. But it was not completed.



VI. Main idea
Which statement or statements best express the main idea of the text? Why did you eliminate the other choices?

 1. It wasCharles Babbage who built the first computer.

 2.The idea of a mechanical calculator came to Pascal’s mind spontaneously.

 3. Computers as we know them today have gone through many stages.

 4. Computers have had a very short history.

VII. Understanding the passage
Decide whether the following statements are true or false (T/F) by referring to the information in the text. Then make the necessary changes so that the false statements become true.


                                      1. Gottfried Leibniz, an English mathematician, developed a theory of binary numbers. 2. Mechanical calculator that could add and subtract numbers was devised in the 17th century by Blaise Pascal. 3. The first mechanical calculator performed operations with high precision but was a complete failure in terms of money. 4. In 1694 Pascal improved his invention by making it automatic. 5. Early calculators couldn’t store the results of the performed operations and couldn’t be given instructions. 6. The machine, the Analytic Engine, invented by Charles Babbage was given instructions on punched cards. 7. Babbage never realized his desires, but his ideas were the basis for building today’s computers.

VIII. Locating information
Find the passages in the text where the following ideas are expressed. Give the line reference.

…… 1. The first mechanical calculator could perform only two arithmetic operations.

…… 2. Some branches of logic devised even several centuries ago are still used in modern computing.

…… 3. A successor of the Difference Engine was supposed to be programmed and to store information.

…… 4. Pascal used a telephone principle to feed numbers into his machine.

…… 5. In the 17th century Gottfried Leibniz perfected the mechanical calculator by adding two more arithmetic operations.


IX. Contextual reference
Look back at the text and find out what the words in bold typeface refer to.

1. … is not a recent one 2. … similar to those on a telephone 3.… of making it automatically perform 4. … came to his mind 5… it was not completed (1. 2) ………………………… (1. 9) ………………………… (1. 15) ………………………… (1. 23) ………………………… (l. 35) …………………………

X. Understanding words
Refer back to the text and find synonyms for the following words.

1. to use 2. alike 3. to perfect 4. to invent 5. to finish (l. 5) ……………………….. (l. 9) ……………………….. (l. 13) ……………………….. (l. 14) ……………………….. (l. 35) ………………………..

Now refer back to the text and find antonyms for the following words.

6. old 7. different 8. success 9. slowly 10. predecessor, forerunner (l. 2) ……………………….. (l. 9) ……………………….. (l. 12) ……………………….. (l. 16) ……………………….. (l. 29) ………………………..

XI. Word forms
Choose the appropriate word to complete the sentences. Make sure you use the correct form.


1. calculation, calculate, calculating, calculated, calculator, calculable, calculus

a. A computer can do many kinds of … quickly and accurately.

b. … is a branch of mathematics for making … without the use of a … machine.

c. A computer can … numbers much faster than a manual … .

d. Some problems aren’t … without logarithm tables.


2. necessity, necessitate, necessary, necessarily, necessities, need, needed

a. Because it is expensive to set up a computer department it is … to budget well for the basic … of the installations.

b. A good programmer isn’t … going to be a good system analyst.

c. Students’ lack of understanding of the basic concepts in computer science may … the instructor to restructure the course.

3. addition, add, added, additional, additionally, additive

a. Many terminals can be … to a basic system if the need arises.

b. … and subtraction are two basic mathematical operations.

c. When buying a system there is often no … charge for the programs.


4. accuracy, accurate, accurately

a. A computer is always … in its results if well prepared.

b. … is one of the advantages of using computers in research or in statistical analysis.

c. Computers can produce results quickly and … .


XII. Content review
a. Match the following words in column A with the statements in
column B.

  A B
  1. theory 2. calculator a. a wooden frame with small balls used for counting
3. abacus b. a mathematical function
4. telephone c. a general idea about some fact
5. logarithm d. a piece of equipment for making calls
    e. an electronic machine for doing calculations

b. Use the information in the text to complete the following table.

Time Event
  the 1600s    
  the 1700s    
  Blaise Pascal produced a mechanical machine …  
  Charles Babbage was working on the Difference Engine …  

XIII. Using a dictionary translate paragraph 4 into Russian.

Unit 2
History of Computers


Section A Dealing with numbers

A. How should these population figures be spoken?

Europe 498,414,000
Greece 10,041,000
France 55,971,000
Ireland 3,522,000
Italy 57, 531,000


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