Since the first computer was made in the late fifties, the technology
developed extremely. Computers which took the place of a living-room then, are
now being made in creditcard-formats. More and more areas are being taken over
by the computer. As computers are capable of handling large amounts of data in a
very short time, they are well suited for wordprocessing. I guess that it won't
be long till all the paper-archives are replaced by magnetic tapes and
diskettes. A diskette can contain much more data than a written page, and it
takes less place It is possible to get the Norwegian telephone book on just one
diskette. In near future, a new area will be taken over by computers, namely
maps. Different routes are stored on one single compact-disk. Imagine, simply
insert the CD into the CD-driver in your car, and tell the computer where to go.
The rest will be done automatically. This will be a safer, faster, and more
comfortable way to travel. Another new area, called "virtual reality"
is currently being tested. This is a way to simulate reality on a monitor. In
order to feel this so-called reality you have to wear special electronic glasses
and an electronic suit. Fastened to the suit are sensors, which send information
to the main computer. This computer works with the data and displays them on the
electronic spectacles. This is a technique which use three-dimentional views,
therefore the scenery seems incredibly realistic. If you want to be a boxer,
simply change the scenery on the main computer, and you are in the ring. Today,
many kids have got video games. You could say these games are the present's
answer to ludo and monopoly. In a way, it is a great advantage that the kids are
being presented to computors at an early age, because they will definitely have
to use them later, when they start to work. In the future there will be few
occupations which won't use computors, one way or another. But the videogames
are often being presented as something negative, which hinder the kids from
doing homework and other more useful activities. This partially true, if they do
much of it. But generally, I think the young people's contact with computers is
positive. In Norway today, it is getting more common to have a computer at home.
You can use a personal computer to keep household-budgets or other economics. It
is also possible to get in touch with your bank and transwer money while you're
in your sitting-room. It is possible to contact other databases and gather
information from them. The use of computers has lead to other criminal actions.
"Hacking" is one of them. A "hacker" steals and manipulates
information from other databases. These crimes can be very harmful. In The USA,
hackers have managed to break into NASA's database. The computer-programmes, the
software, are extremely high priced, sometimes they are even more expensive than
the hardware. Therefore it is not unusual to make copies of these programmes.
This is strictly illegal, but nobody seems to care, because it is difficult to
control it. Software producers loose BILLIONS of dollars each year because of
this. Many methods have been invented to prevent this, but since the
"hackers" often are more intelligent than those who make the software,
I doubt that there will ever be a successfull way to hinder this.