Topic: The Future of Computers
Author: Joan Mbutu
Age: 14 Years
Level: Form 1
Institution: Gatitu Secondary School - Gatundu
Year: Feb, 2018
Marks Awarded: 8/10
As computers continue to evolve, we engage to discover more interesting and intelligent things about them. This evolution was started by Charles Babbage who was nicknamed as the father of computing and who also invented the analytical engine which was the first modern digital and programmable computer. Scientists there before struggled to invent computers to be used in future generations starting from the first ever manual computer; The Abacus.
Future computers will therefore process faster, mimic human actions and have high accuracy of almost 100% as compared to first, second, third and fourth generation computers.
Future computers will be able to understand natural languages. They will be able to communicate more easily than other generations of computers due to their ability of being artificially intelligent.
These computers will also be used at home, supermarkets, hospitals, banks and in law enforcement agencies to generate information more easily, control industrial processes, stock control activities, monitor busy towns and burglar related activities.
Alas! The computers will need human professionals in order to programme them in doing various tasks or activities such as including things that humans do, for example; preparing tea, preparing all kinds of foods and doing house chores. Due to their artificial intelligence abilities, they will require minimal supervision from humans to do their job.
They will play a capital role in assisting scientists with research work, analysis of numbers (statistics) and probability issues. Imagine in a situation where computers will predict more accurately and precisely on stock exchange, weather patterns, traffic jams, national budget and economic issues. Perhaps a robot sitting with World Bank officials and panelists to discuss whether Kenya qualifies to be granted a loan, or not; more interesting will be a situation where computers will predict your net worth in a few years to come by analyzing all the parameters at place or doing an analysis on your body and recommend the next disease that you will most likely be ailing from.
There will be a big difference from the computers we are used to, a computer whose memory will not be volatile, whose hard disk will carry information in form of petabytes, zettabytes or 'zettaqubytes' wherever. The word ‘bits’ will be placed somewhere safe in the national museum and instead ‘qubits’ will be the order of the day. Humans will have an easy work of ordering computers around with natural languages as they reprogramme themselves.
The word quantum computers is nothing new in the world since research to these intelligent computers is now at an advanced stage. They are being inducted for use in both commercially viable startups and experimental processes and very soon, they will rock our computer shops all over the world.
When that day comes, I will be seated in a hotel room which will be equipped with automatic sensors and I will be tempted to order a cup of coffee that will mysteriously appear on my table within seconds accompanied by arrowroots meal and dessert fully prepared by the robotic computer. It will be a high time then to sit and remember where we have come from, since the vacuum tubes and thermionic valves era, then transistors, integrated circuits and very large scale integrated without having to fear whether Al-shabab and other terror gangs will detonate a bomb next to my door because robot X detected them and eliminated them without my knowledge. The future of computers will be very interesting indeed.
Edited by Maurice Nyamoti
Definition of system documentation
System documentation is written text or a collection of documents that accompanies computer system. It either explains how it operates or how to use it, and may mean different things to people in different roles.
It is intended to promote effective and informed use of the system; It includes not only what decisions were made, but also why they were made, and provides information that will be useful for future development and implementation of the same statistical activity or a similar or redesigned activity.
Documentation may be intended for various target audiences, such as management, technical staff, planners of other quarters, and users. It should be readily accessible, up to date, timely as to ensure relevance, and comprehensible to its main audience. It can be multimedia format (e.g. hard copy, electronic format and visual presentation). Care must be taken to preserve the integrity of the documents.
Purpose of System Documentation
Software engineers are usually responsible for producing most of this documentation although professional technical writers may assist with the final polishing of externally released information.
Documentation produced during a software project normally falls into two classes:
Guidelines for creating a system documentation.
Users of a system are not all the same. The producer of documentation must structure it to cater for different user tasks and different levels of expertise and experience. It is particularly important to distinguish between end-users and system administrators:
System documentation includes all of the documents describing the system itself from the requirements specification to the final acceptance test plan. Documents describing the design, implementation and testing of a system are essential if the program is to be understood and maintained. Like user documentation, it is important that system documentation is structured, with overviews leading the reader into more formal and detailed descriptions of each aspect of the system.
Standards and quality assessment are essential if good documentation is to be produced but document quality is fundamentally dependent on the writer’s ability to construct clear and concise technical prose. In short, good documentation requires good writing.
Stage 6: System Implementation.
System implementation is the process of delivering the system for use in day to day operating environment for the users to start using it. The areas to be addressed during system implementation include
1. File Conversion
This is the process of converting, modifying or changing data file formats e.g. a new system may require a change in file formats i.e. from manual to computerized
The factors to consider at this point are?
User manuals should be created to make staff training more easier and faster. A system can fail in the implementation stage if the staff is not trained properly to use it leading to the company losing revenue.
3. Changeover strategies
System changeover is the process of putting the new information system in place and retiring the old system.
There are four types of changeover strategies namely:
i. Direct changeover
ii. Parallel Changeover
iii. Phased implementation
iv. Pilot running
i. Direct changeover (plunge)
Direct changeover is also called straight changeover. The old system is stopped completely, and the new system is started. All of the data that used to be input into the old system, now goes into the new one.
ii. Parallel Changeover
The parallel operation changeover method requires that both the old and the new information systems operate fully for a specified period. When users, management, and the IT group are satisfied that the new system operates correctly, the old system is terminate.
iii. Phased implementation
The new system is introduced in phases (stages, or steps), gradually replacing parts of the old system until eventually, the new system has taken over.
iv. Pilot running
The pilot operation changeover method involves implementing the complete new system at a selected location of the company. The group that uses the new system first is called the pilot site. The old system continues to operate for the entire organization including the pilot site. After the system proves successful at the pilot site, it is implemented in the rest of the organization, usually using direct cutover method. Pilot operation is combination of parallel operation and direct cutover methods.
Security Control Measures (Risk Management)
The system implementers must make sure that the security features built in the system are properly configured during the implementation stage.
Risk management is the process that allows IT managers to balance the operational and economic costs of protective measures and achieve gains in mission capability by protecting the IT systems and data that support their organizations’ missions. Risk management is an iterative process that can be performed during each major phase of the SDLC
Stage 7: System maintenance and review
The last phase of the SDLC process includes three tasks:
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