Match the terms in Table A with the statements in Table B. B Free Software Foundation
b Free Software Foundation
с Source code
d Open Source
e A distribution
i A type of software development where
any programmer can develop or fix bugs in the software
ii The original systems program from which compiled programs are generated
iii A complete operating system kit with the utilities and applications you need to make it do useful things
iv A standard distributed windowing system on which people implement graphical interfaces
v An organisation of volunteers dedicated to making good software that anyone could use without paying
vi The core of an operating system that handles memory allocation, talks to hardware devices, and makes sure everything keeps running
2 Mark the following statements as True or False:
a Linux was created in the 1980s,
b Minix was created by a university student,
с Linux is based on Unix,
d Minix is based on Unix,
e Linux runs on more types of computer than any other operating system.
I. Find the answers to thesequestions in the following text.
1. What developments are driving the development of completely new interfaces?
2. What has inspired a whole cottage industry to develop to improve today's graphical user interface?
3. In what way have XML-based formats changed the user interface?
4. What type of computers are certain to benefit from speech technology?
5. Name a process where a mouse is particularly useful and a process where it is not so useful.
6. What facilities are multimodal interfaces likely to offer in the future?
7. What type of input device will be used to give vision to the user interface?
8. What development has led to an interest in intelligent agents?
9. List ways in which intelligent agents can be used.
Cheaper and more powerful personal computers are making it possible to perform processor-intensive tasks on the desktop. Break-throughs in technology, such as speech recognition, are enabling new ways of interacting with computers. And the convergence of personal computers and consumer electronics devices is broadening the base of computer users and placing a new emphasis on ease of use. Together, these developments will drive the industry in the next few years to build the first completely new interfaces since SRI International and Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center did their pioneering research into graphical user interfaces (GUIs) in the 1970s.
True, it's unlikely that you'll be ready to toss out the keyboard and mouse any time soon. Indeed, a whole cottage industry -inspired by the hyperlinked design of the World Wide Web - has sprung up to improve today's graphical user interface. Companies are developing products that organize information graphically in more intuitive ways. XML-based formats enable users to view content, including local and network files, within a single browser interface. But it is the more dramatic innovations such as speech recognition that are poised to shake up interface design.
Speech will become a major component of user interfaces, and applications will be completely redesigned to incorporate speech input. Palm-size and handheld PCs, with their cramped keyboards and basic handwriting recognition, will benefit from speech technology.
Though speech recognition may never be a complete replacement for other input devices, future interfaces will offer a combination of input types, a concept known as multimodal input. A mouse is a very efficient device for desktop navigation, for example, but not for changing the style of a paragraph. By using both a mouse and speech input, a user can first point to the appropriate paragraph and then say to the computer, 'Make that bold.' Of course, multimodal interfaces will involve more than just traditional input devices and speech recognition. Eventually, most PCs will also have handwriting recognition, text to speech (TTS), the ability to recognize faces or gestures, and even the ability to observe their surroundings.
At The Intelligent Room, a project of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Artificial Intelligence Lab, researchers have given sight to PCs running Microsoft Windows through the use of video cameras. 'Up to now, the PC hasn't cared about the world around it,' said Rodney A. Brooks, the Director of MIT's Artificial Intelligence Lab. 'When you combine computer vision with speech understanding, it liberates the user from having to sit in front of a keyboard and screen.'
It's no secret that the amount of information - both on the Internet and within intranets - at the fingertips of computer users has been expanding rapidly. This information onslaught has led to an interest in intelligent agents, software assistants that perform tasks such as retrieving and delivering information and automating repetitive tasks. Agents will make computing significantly easier. They can be used as Web browsers, help-desks, and shopping assistants. Combined with the ability to look and listen, intelligent agents will bring personal computers one step closer to behaving more like humans. This is not an accident. Researchers have long noted that users have a tendency to treat their personal computers as though they were human. By making computers more 'social,' they hope to also make them easier to use.
As these technologies enter mainstream applications, they will have a marked impact on the way we work with personal computers. Soon, the question will be not 'what does software look like' but 'how does it behave?'
II. Re-read the text to find the answers to these questions.