Chapter 1

Computers pervade many of our everyday activities. We use a computer when we withdraw money from an ATM, make purchases with a credit card, and check our voicemail. In the world around us, computers assist people in guiding airplanes, designing cars, stocking store shelves, and maintaining school records. We use computers to communicate with e-mail, to find information through the World Wide Web, and to type papers. We may hear people blame the computer for errors, delays, or foolishness.

In much of our contact with computers, we simply may follow directions or accept whatever we encounter. However, from time to time, we also may wonder how all of this technology works (bold font added).