The Age of Computer: BoSEM Class 10 Additional English answers

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Get here the notes, questions, answers, textbook solutions, summary, extras, and PDF of BSEM or BoSEM (Manipur Board) Class 10 Additional English prose “The Age of Computer” by Norma D. Mullen and P. Charles Brown. However, the provided notes should only be treated as references, and the students are encouraged to make changes to them as they feel appropriate.

a man using computer, illustrating the chapter The age of computer


Computers have a long history that dates all the way back to 3500 BC, when people first began using crude calculators like the abacus. People tried to improve calculations over time, which resulted in the development of logarithm tables and calculus. The first machine that could actually calculate was created in the 1820s using gear wheels. The “Analytical Engine,” a machine that was intended to replace the need for people to perform the calculations, was then created by Charles Babbage in 1830.

The computer age really got started in the 20th century. During World War II, there were many technological advances and plenty of resources available, which aided in the creation of computers. The first digital computer was created in 1944 by Professor Howard Aiken and some IBM employees. Two years later, in 1946, two engineers at the University of Pennsylvania created the first digital vacuum tube computer, known as ENIAC. It was a significant advancement in the development of computers when John von Newmann had the idea to store computer instructions in the computer’s memory.

Over time, computers have kept developing and getting better. Following the release of the first generation of hoover tube-based computers in 1950, the second generation of transistor-based computers appeared in 1960. This was more dependable and quicker. The third generation of computers, which were smaller and more dependable and were run by integrated circuits, appeared in 1965. In comparison to the third generation of computers, the fourth generation had even smaller integrated circuits on a single chip and was 50 times faster.

People at the time believed that because technology was advancing so quickly, computers would be obsolete by 1990. The Atlantic Ocean crossing would reportedly only take a few seconds if transportation technology had developed at the same rate as computers.

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A. Complete the following statements :

1. Our train tickets are often reserved by _____

2. _____ are also often diagnosed with the help of computers.

3. The first calculating device used was the _____

4. There is evidence that abacus was used as far back as _____ B.C.

5. Leibnitz was a German _____

6. The first generation of computers, which used vacuum tubes _____

7. _____ computers are 50 times faster than third-generation computers.

8. Today’s computers will most be _____

9. The second generation computer could perform work _____

10. Automatic computers may broadly be classified as Analog and _____


1. computers

2. Diseases, 

3. abacus

4. 3500

5. mathematician

6. came out in 1950

7. fourth-generation

8. obsolete by 1990

9. ten times faster

10. Digital

B. Answer the following questions in one phrase or sentence each :

1. What is a computer?

Answer: A computer is an electronic device for processing and storing data.

2. Who designed ‘The Analytical Engine?

Answer: Charles Babbage designed ‘The Analytical Engine’.

3. In which year was the first digital computer completed?

Answer: The first digital computer was completed in 1944.

4. Who developed the idea of keeping instruction for the computer inside the computer’s memory?

Answer: John von Newmann developed the idea of keeping instructions inside the computer’s memory.

5. When did the third generation computer appear on the market ?

Answer: The third-generation computer appeared on the market in 1965.

6. Draw a comparison of the speed of 3rd generation computers and 4th generation computers.

Answer: The 4th generation computers are 50 times faster than 3rd generation computers.

7. When can today’s computer be obsolete?

Answer: According to the essay, today’s computers will most certainly be obsolete by 1990.

8. What do the following abbreviations stand for?

(i) IBM (ii) FNIAC (iii) ROM (iv) RAM (v) RISC (vi) www (vii) ATM (viii) CAL

Answers: (i) IBM: International Business Machines

(ii) RISC: Reduced Instruction Set Computing

(iii) FNIAC: First National Institute of Aerospace Computer

(iv) ROM: Read Only Memory

(v) RAM: Random Access Memory

(vi) www: World Wide Web

(vii) ATM: Automated Teller Machine

(viii) CAL: Computer Assisted Learning

(i) What are the two factors for the sudden growth of computers?

Answer: The rapid technological improvements from the early 1900s, and the availability of vast sums of money for computer development as a result of World War II are the two factors for the sudden growth of computers.


Answer the following questions in about 100 words each :

1. Trace the history of the development of computer generations.

Answer: The history of computer development can be traced back to the beginning of the 20th century, when rapid technological advancements and substantial funding for computer development during World War II led to the creation of the first digital computer in 1944. In 1946, the first digital computer utilising vacuum tubes (ENIAC) was created. In 1950, the first generation of vacuum tube-based computers was introduced. Using transistors, the second generation of computers was made smaller, quicker, and more reliable. 1965 marked the introduction of the third generation of computers, which used tiny integrated circuits to make them more compact and reliable. In the 1980s, the fourth generation of integrated circuit-based computers was introduced. These computers of the fourth generation were 50 times faster than those of the third generation and could execute approximately 1 million instructions per second.

2. Write a brief account of the various uses of computers.

Answer: Computers have become an important part of our daily lives and are being used in different areas of our daily lives. They are extensively used in the business sector for data processing, record keeping, and communication. The medical field utilizes computers for storing patient information, conducting virtual surgeries, and creating digital medical records. Computers also play a vital role in the education sector by providing online education, creating educational resources and simulations, and helping with research. In the entertainment industry, computers are used for video game development, movie production, and music production. They also serve as a tool for scientific research, aiding in simulations, analysis, and data processing. Additionally, computers are used in various government agencies and military organizations for information processing, data storage, and communication.

3. Describe the systems of calculation used before the introduction of actual computers.

Answer: Before the introduction of actual computers, people used manual systems of calculation. The earliest system of calculation was using the ten fingers of a person’s hands, which is why counting is still done in tens and multiples of tens. Later on, the abacus, a bead frame in which the beads were moved from left to right, was invented and was used until the 16th century. During the 17th and 18th centuries, people tried to find easier ways of calculating and as a result, J. Napier developed a mechanical way of multiplying and dividing, which led to the creation of the modern slide rule. Henry Briggs used Napier’s ideas to produce logarithm tables which are still used today. The first real calculating machine was invented in 1820 and was based on a series of ten-tooth gear wheels.

4. Relate how a computer is a boon/gift of modern technology.

Answer: A computer is a boon of modern technology that has revolutionized the way we live and work. With the advent of computers, tasks that once took hours or even days to complete can now be done in mere minutes. They have greatly improved communication and made access to information faster and more efficient. The ability to store, process, and retrieve large amounts of data has made it easier for businesses to manage their operations, leading to increased productivity and profitability. In the field of education, computers have made learning more interactive and accessible to a wider range of students. In the medical industry, computers have improved the accuracy and speed of diagnoses, leading to better patient outcomes. Overall, computers have greatly improved our lives and continue to shape the future in countless ways.

5. Describe the role of computers as a source of entertainment as well as amusement.

Answer: In the modern era, computers have developed into a source of amusement. Computers have created new opportunities for users to enjoy themselves thanks to the internet and various multimedia technologies. People use computers to amuse themselves in a variety of ways, including online gaming, streaming video and music, social media, and instant messaging. Aside from that, computers can be used to create, edit, and share digital content like images, videos, and music. They can also be used to play interactive games and simulations. Computers have become an essential part of people’s lives due to their versatility as a source of entertainment, giving them many opportunities to unwind and relax after a long day.

6. Describe the process of the operation of a computer.

Answer: The operation of a computer involves a series of steps that can be broadly categorised into input, processing, output and storage. The input step involves receiving data or instructions through various devices such as keyboard, mouse, scanner, or microphone. The processing step involves performing mathematical and logical operations on the received data, as instructed by software programs. The output step involves presenting the processed information to the user through displays, speakers or printers. The storage step involves saving the processed information for future use in computer memory or storage devices like hard disk drives or flash drives. These four steps form the basic cycle of computer operation and they are repeated continuously to perform tasks efficiently. The overall process is guided and controlled by the computer’s central processing unit (CPU) and its accompanying components.

Extra/additional questions and answers/solutions

1: When was the first computing device used?

Answer: The first computing device used was the ten fingers of a person’s hands.

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15: What is a chip?

Answer: A chip is a square or rectangular piece of silicon upon which several layers of an integrated circuit are etched or imprinted and encapsulated in plastic, ceramic and metal.

16: How much faster are fourth-generation computers compared to third-generation computers?

Answer: Fourth-generation computers are 50 times faster than third-generation computers and can complete approximately 1,000,000 instructions per second.

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