YOU run the risk of taking much for granted when you have a clear understanding of how computers work. It becomes easy to simplify everyday concepts and observations, when you apply that knowledge to human interaction. When modern computers are connected together, they do several things that we might easily recognise in ourselves. They typically have knowledge of their own identity, and they scan for other computers on the network to communicate with them. These computers discover each other’s presence, and after exchanging messages with each other, are ready to do some useful work for you.
The average person probably does not care how it happens, only that when it happens, things just seem to work. The result: you can login, connect to a server, print documents, or surf the web. In our own lives, a similar process takes place.
When you communicate with colleagues, do you appreciate the subtle yet sophisticated protocol that is established?
(1) Everyone gets a chance to speak;
(2) When you speak, the others listen;
(3) When asked a question, you respond;
(4) If there is background noise, you speak louder;
(5) You politely yield, to avoid hogging the conversation;
(6) Authority figures get to answer many questions;
(7) Excessively talkative people spoil the experience!
Things get more interesting when you are in a multi-lingual crowd. Deciding on a common language becomes necessary to ensure effective communication. In many ways, information and communication technology (ICT) is based on simple concepts that we generally understand and even take for granted.
Remember this the next time you use your smartphone, tablet computer, or laptop to connect to another computer. Someone else may have spent many hours figuring out how to make it happen, so that you barely notice!
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