Учебное пособие состоит из двух частей и англо-русского словаря. Материалом для пособия послужило американское издание для изучающих компьютер P. Norton "Introduction to Computers"

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PC As an Entertainment Center

Except for the occasional beep, computers were once silent machines. And they were not much to look at, with their black-and-white screens displaying nothing but rows of text. But the increasing demand for multimedia has made color, graphics, animation, full-motion video, and stereo sound important capabilities for nearly every new computer and many software applications.
With the introduction of sound cards in the late 1980s, computers could play recorded sounds and music (from an application or a compact disk) and even synthesize sounds. Thanks to recent innovations in computer audio, sound has become an integral part of everyday computing, and computers have become an integral part of the audio industry.
The same is true with graphics and video. The PCs of a decade ago could barely display menus, let alone graphics with millions of colors, animation, and video. As video technologies have improved, however, users expect their computers to function like a television. The advent of graphically rich programs, multimedia events, the Internet, and DVD has made the PC a video-on-demand resource. For a growing number of users, the PC is part of the home entertainment system or is replacing some home entertainment components entirely. Here are just a few examples of entertainment options that you can access with a typical multimedia PC:
Music on CD. If your PC includes a CD-ROM drive, a sound card, and speakers, you can play music from any audio compact disk. Most multimedia PCs include simple audio-playback software that lets you start, stop, pause, and random-play songs from a CD. Many audio-playback programs let you create favorites lists and log your CDs to identify artists and tracks.
Movies on DVD. Many newer model multimedia PCs include DVD drives rather than CD-ROM drives. DVD drives can play audio compact disks just like CD-ROM drives but can also play digital video disks. You can watch full-length movies with stereophonic sound at your PC.
Watch Television. If your PC has a television tuner card (a special video card that can accept a broadcast signal through television antennae or cable), you can use your PC as a television. Special services like WebTV enable users to access program listings, set reminders to tune in, and more.
Listen to Radio. Around the world, hundreds of radio stations are now Webcasting their programs over the Internet. Multimedia players, such as Windows Media Player, RealPlayer G2, and others, enable you to tune into traditional broadcast stations and dozens of net radio outlets, which distribute their audio exclusively over the World Wide Web. Most of these stations broadcast live, in real time, on the Internet. Some also provide prerecorded programming. Formats include music of all kinds, news and sports, talk, call-in, and more.
Watch Streaming Video and Audio. With an Internet connection and a player like RealPlayer G2, you can tune into The Weather Channel, CNN, and other cable television channels without connecting cable TV or an antenna to your PC. These services use streaming audio and video technology to transmit programming to your PC so it plays smoothly. For best results, you need a fast PC and a broadband Internet connection, such as a cable modem or an ISDN line.
Enjoy Recorded Music Over the Internet. Using technologies like RealPlayer, LiquidAudio, and others, you can listen to prerecorded music over your Internet connection. Using newer multimedia file-compression technologies like MP3 or a2b, you can download songs to your computer and listen to them any time. If you have a CD-ROM drive that records compact disks or a portable MP3 player (such as Diamond Multimedia's Rio player), you can take your recordings with you anywhere.

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