Work in pairs and discuss the questions.

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Work in pairs and discuss the questions.

1) What role does computer play in your everyday life?

2) Do you think it will be the same in ten years’ time?

22. Put the items in the box into one of the following categories:

a) Gadgets that will never be invented in your lifetime

b) Gadget you’ve got

c) Gadgets you would like to have

d) Gadgets you will never need

Mobile phone link-up to Internet heli-bike TV games console (e.g. Playstation) miniature TV screens in wrap-around sunglasses palmtop computer relaxation cocoon external memory boost for your brain electronic shoe-shine fully programmable housework robot CD Walkman voice-operated car transparent bodysuit for safer sunbathing wrist phone with visual display unit language microchip implanted directly in the brain automotive ice-cream maker ergonomic office chair with inbuilt massage function

Compare your answers with a partner and add another two items to each category.

Work in pairs. On a web page there are some FAQ (frequently asked questions) about the project called «One Laptop per Child». Can you answer them?

1) What is «one laptop for child»?

2) How can a laptop be produced for only $100?

3) How will the laptops be distributed?

4) Why laptops?

5) What are the specifications of the chosen design?

Now match these FAQ to the appropriate answers on the web page.

1.A project set up by Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the MIT Media Lab, in January 2005 with the aim of designing, producing and distributing $100 laptops to children in the poorest countries in the world.

2.They are portable and so can be taken from school to home. An essential feature of the project is that the children should own the computers, and be able to do whatever they want with them. The chosen design is very robust and can be powered in a number of ways, including wind-up, so can be used even in homes without electricity.

3.The major saving is in the dual-mode display. It uses cheaper technology than is usually used in laptops, and has an innovative black and white mode that can be used in bright sunshine. The software is cutting edge but slimmed down. Computers nowadays can typically do the same function in lots of different ways; this laptop will do everything well, but in one way only. It runs a modified version of Linux, and all the software is open source. Not only will this cut costs, but mean that the owners will be able to modify the software to their needs.

4.It has a 500MHz processor and 128MB of DRAM, with 500MB of Flash memory. It doesn’t have a hard disk, but it has four USB ports. It will be able to do everything that a more expensive laptop can do except store large amounts of data. Probably the most important feature is that the machines are capable of forming a wireless peer-to-peer mesh network. Children will be able to communicate with each other via an ad hoc local area network, sharing information and collaborating on projects.

5.They will be sold to governments, who will then give them out to schoolchildren, in the same way that they might give out textbooks. Governments in countries such as India, China, Brazil and Thailand are expected to order huge quantities of the laptops. When enough orders have been received and paid for in advance, manufacturing will begin.

Now read the other FAQ and choose the correct answer according to the information you’ve read.

1) Who will own the laptop?

a) Government , who will lend them to schoolchildren.

b) Schools, that will use them in class.

c) Children.

2) How have manufacturing costs been reduced?

a) By using older versions of software.

b) By using a cheap display panel.

c) By reducing the number of functions the machine can perform.

3) What advantage of using open source software is mentioned?

a) It is simpler and easier to use.

b) It uses less memory.

c) It can be modified by the uses.

4) What can the laptop not do?

a) Connect wirelessly with other computers.

b) Store a lot of information.

c) Connect to peripherals using USB.

5) When is the manufacturing of the laptops due to start?

a) When the first orders have been received.

b) As soon as the design has been finalized.

c) When sufficient orders have been paid for in advance.

Work in groups of two or three and think of the advantages of the laptop project initiated by Nicolas Negroponte and its essential features. Report the general idea of the group to the class.

Work in small groups and discuss the issues.

1) What differs a laptop from a typical modern computer?

2) What technology and software does it use?

3) Compose a list of its technical specification, advantages and the most important characteristics.

Make a report or a presentation for your local Education Department where you persuade them to participate in the (same or similar) project.

29. Rearrange Dialogue A to make it sound logically correct. There are two participants in the conversation: a salesperson in a computer shop and a buyer in the shop Steve. Sentence a) is the first one in the conversation.


Steve is interested in buying a laptop computer and is asking a salesperson about Wi-Fi technology

a) What’s this Wi-Fi thing that’s mentioned in your brochure here?

b) Well, Wi-Fi gives you the freedom to check your e-mails or surf the Web when you’re away from home or out of the office. That’s the main advantage.

c) A what?

d) Well, it’s based on the same technology as cordless phones – not mobile phones, I mean the one’s most people have at home these days, you know. Anyway, your laptop can be fitted with a modem, a special antenna and a software which can send and receive signals the short distance to connect with the hotspot, and then the equipment in the hotel lobby or airport or whatever is wired up to a regular phone line, so you’re connected.

e) I see. And how many of these hotspots are there about?

f) Well, not exactly anywhere. You have to be 100 metres of a Wi-Fi Hotspot.

g) And what would I want that for, exactly?

h) A Wi-Fi Hotspot. That’s just the name for a place where the equipment that can communicate with your computer and connect it to the Internet. You find them in places like airports, hotel lobbies, cafes – even some telephone boxes. But you can’t connect unless you’re fairly close to one.

i) And how much extra would it cost?

j) Oh, Wi-Fi technology? Well, basically it’s a system that allows you to connect to the internet without cables.

k) So, you mean I can log on to my Internet account from anywhere? Sounds good!

l) Oh, about 100 or so. Worth it, though, don’t you think?

m) Hmm. So, how does it work, then, this Wi-Fi business?

n) Well, a bit too expensive, for me, actually.

o) A few thousand in our country. I’d say it’s still early days. I haven’t really caught on yet, you know. But it will!

30. Choose the best answer the question on Dialogue A:

Why doesn’t Steve select Wi-Fi?

a) It’s too expensive.

b) He doesn’t think it’s really useful.

c) He doesn’t understand what it’s for.

Read Text B. This is a summary of Dialogue A. Complete the summary with the correct word.

Text B

Wi-Fi technology gives you the freedom of accessing the Internet and your mail account without the need for a (1) … to connect. You can connect using Wi-Fi whenever there is a Wi-Fi access points, also known as (2) …. With (3) … of (4)… throughout the country, there’s sure to one close to you wherever you can be. At the moment you can find them in airports, hotel (5) …, cafes and public telephone boxes. Wi-Fi is based on the same technology as (6) … phones. If you are within (7) … meters of an access point, a special antenna on your computer can connect you to the (8) … equipment and then to the Internet at broadband speeds. Your laptop can be updated for Wi-Fi capability for as little as $ (9) ….

Act out Dialogue A or compose a similar one. Invent any details you like while discussing a purchase in a computer shop.

Discuss the following questions in groups of three or four and then report back to the class on what you’ve learnt about your partners. Try to compose «a portrait of your group» depicting your computer and Internet habits.

1) Are you computer-literate?

2) What are your computer skills?

3) Are you computer or Internet-addicted?

4) What do you use the Internet for?

5) What social nets are you in?

6) What are your relations with Facebook, Twiter etc.?

7) What effects will the Internet have on our lives?

8) Will computers outsmart us?

9) Are video games a new art form or are they polluting our minds?


Text 1


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