THE IMPACT OF COMPUTERS ON OUR SOCIETY By Dr A. Yusuf University of Ilorin, Ilorin Being a paper presented at the closing ceremony of the 1st computer training and issuance of certificate by Ascetic Computer Centre on the 15th September 2007 Introduction At this closing ceremony of the 1st computer training and issuance of certificate by Ascetic Computer Centre, let us lift our eyes toward the challenges that await us in the years to come. It is our great good fortune, as organisers, that time and chance have put us not only at the edge of a chapter in the lives of these graduands, but on the edge of a bright new prospect in their affairs —a moment that will define their course, and their character, for many years to come. Guided by the ancient vision of a promised future, let us set our sights upon a set of graduands of new promise. However, our march to this new future seemed less certain than it did yesterday. We must vow to set a clear course to renew our generation.
We should thank the organisers for their vision towards the creation of new Nigerians who will appreciate problems, exhilarated by challenges, and strengthened by achievements, Nigerians with better employment opportunities, who will be job creators. Computer is gaining vast popularity globally in recent years. Its use, which extended information-processing capabilities, are influencing
organizations of all types and sizes bringing about changes in institutional goals, relations and operations. A large percentage of the activities in any institution or organisation comprise the processing of communicating information in the production and distribution processes. In the developing countries, computers are becoming part of everyday activities because of the kind of information they generate and their speed of delivery (Award 1988).
What is a Computer A computer is an electronic device, which accepts and processes data by following a set of instructions (PROGRAM) to produce an accurate and efficient result (INFORMATION). Since the ultimate aim of computer is to produce information, the art if computing is often referred to as information processing. The values of the computer lie solely on its high speed (due to its electronic nature), ability to store large amount of data, the unfailing accuracy and precision. These account for its supremacy over manual computation. The computer industry began in the late forties with a very small initial investment, and has been increasing both in strength and importance. When one looks back with analytical mind, we can conclude that computer technology keeps on advancing with remarkable increase in speed, accuracy and reliability. Computing in whatever field, science, business, and industry is reaching directly or indirectly into various aspects of our society thereby, without loss of generality has shrunk the world into such a compactness that no part can afford to lack behind or live in isolation. The advent of electronic computer was hailed by the world as a great revolution, like any industrial revolution, it promised to free man from simple routine jobs of repetitive nature by providing computing power. The first to have exploited this facility was the search for scientific enquiries. This was not unconnected with the fact that the designers of these systems were scientists themselves. Several problems have been eluding satisfactory solutions, though numerical methods of solutions exist but involved a very huge accomplished. Not only did computer make reliable solutions possible it equally opened new application methods or areas. To quote but a few are the optimization techniques of Operations Research (OR), the awe-stricken field of space research, the molecular restructuring in Biochemistry etc. It would have been tedious inexhaustible, incomplete and inaccurate to list all the
possible applications of computer. There is no limit tot he uses and applications of computer; hence there is hardly...
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