Small Computer Systems Term Paper

Pages: 15 (4808 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Education - Computers

Small Computer Systems

Proposed Research Plan: Current and Future Trends in Small, Communicating Computer Systems

The topic or problem to be addressed.

Computers continue to get smaller and the evolution of processing speeds is following Moore's Law. It is reasonable to assume that at some point in the foreseeable future, the desktop computer may simply become a thing of the past. Increasingly, mobile communications devices are being used to develop informal "networks" of friends, co-workers and family members. As a result, the use of small, communicating computer systems, mostly in wireless configurations, is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to older (i.e., a few years) computer systems that do not provide the same level of flexibility and functionality for a company's growing information technology needs today. Identifying current and future trends in this environment, then, assumes a new level of importance for companies seeking to maximize their return on their scarce it resources, as well as for consumers who are seeking to identify the most appropriate wireless tool for their needs today.

The initial search domains.

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To develop a better understanding of the key OS design issues associated with the small, communicating computer systems that are driven by the requirements of the application domains, the initial search will extend to scholarly online databases such as EBSCO and Questia, as well as university and public libraries; however, in view of how rapidly the industry change, additional material may be located in the popular press, but will be secondary to the peer-reviewed and scholarly sources described above. The focus of the research process will be to identify peer-reviewed articles that were published within the last 5 years, particularly for the Annotated Bibliography relevant articles that remain timely that are older than this will also be reviewed and considered for inclusion in the final project.

The key words and concepts to be used in your initial searches.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Small Computer Systems Assignment

Beyond the obvious searches for material on "application domain" and "operating sytems," "small computing systems," "communicating computing systems," and so forth, additional searches will be conducted to identify sources concerning "design" and "design issues," "wireless," "information technology needs," "mobile telephony," and others that emerge during the research process.

Current and Future Trends in Small, Communicating Computer Systems

Annotated Bibliography

Arkin, H. (1991). Choosing the Right Operating System for Your PC. The CPA Journal,

This was a fairly dated source, but the author provides a comprehensive overview of operating systems and their typical applications. Even at this point in time, the marketplace was being inundated with new offerings, and the author makes two points: "more options can bring confusion and make for tougher choices" (p. 46), and, "Just for the record, there is no one, all encompassing operating system.... There is no one OS that could possibly satisfy every company's needs, and there is no stock answer for which OS will not only be the best for you, but will also be around in the future" (Arkin, 1991, p. 47)." (Arkin, 1991, p. 46). This article was a good starting point for the research process.

Cohen, D. (2001, February 1). Virtually Flirting with Love's New Language; Text Messaging on Mobile Phones Is Creating a New Language as Users Ignore Traditional Spelling and Grammar. David Cohen Charts the Rise of the SMS Culture and Asks: '1 dA Wil Nglsh B. ritN Llk This?' Daily Telegraph, 07.

The author makes the point that the overnight popularity of text messaging has been attributed to the introduction of pay-as-you-go mobile phones:

Teenagers were the first heavy users, texting each other in the classroom instead of passing around paper notes." This article turned out to be more valuable than initially thought, since it led to the identification of a shift in the social order that had not occurred to the researcher previously. "e-mail is cut down even further by the mini-missives of a text message. We are composing a new chapter in our vocabulary, thereby opening up a new channel of playful, frank and 24-hour communication." This was an excellent resource for this study.

Finn, S., & Inman, J.G. (2004). Digital Unity and Digital Divide: Surveying Alumni to Study Effects of a Campus Laptop Initiative. Journal of Research on Technology in Education 36(3), 297.

These authors surveyed the effects of an information technology initiative on undergraduates at a Western Pennsylvania college; as part of the initiative, all first-year students were provided with a wireless lap-top computer and Internet access. Not surprisingly, the researchers found that the undergraduates were using these devices extensively for academic applications (as well as some that were unrelated), but all of which tended to facilitate communications and improve student productivity. This article seemed to reinforce the perception that there is a distinct trend for universities today to incorporate wireless network applications as an integral part of their approach to educational services delivery, but this preponderance of reports in the peer-reviewed literature may be the result of more academicians writing about their experiences than their private sector counterparts who may not be so inclined to share their success stores with their competition; however, the article "Emerging Technologies" seems to support the notion that a good deal of this technology is being directed at younger students who may be more apt to embrace it than their faculty counterparts. Given its relative recentness and on-point theme, this essay was an excellent resource for this study.

Mckay, J.P. (2002, January). Hype or Hope?: 3G Technology Is on the Horizon -- the Distant Horizon. Black Enterprise, 32(6), 40.

This author provides a good overview of the interim technologies that were emerging over the past few years. Mckay reports that third-generation wireless networks, also known as 3G evolved from first-generation analog cellular networks and offer business and consumer users unparalleled experiences compared with what has been possible before. Featuring data speeds of up to 2 Mbps, 3G will allow subscribers send and receive e-mails with attachments, download songs, purchase goods and services, and even trade pictures over mobile devices. The author also reports on 2.5 and some of the devices currently in use at this point in time. A good addition to the study.

Mckimmy, Paul B. (2003). Wireless Mobile Instructional Labs: Issues and Opportunities. International Journal of Instructional Media, 30(1), 111.

Although this article was targeted to network applications in academic settings, the author provides a comprehensive overview of general wireless networking considerations and the supporting technology. This was a good resource for this study.

Current and Future Trends in Small, Communicating Computer Systems


More and more people are using small, communicating computer systems to stay in touch with their offices, family and friends; companies are using these devices to improve their worker productivity and schools are increasingly requiring students to use them. As a result, industry leaders such as Sprint have responded in kind by developing increasingly sophisticated mobile telephones, hand-held computing devices, and other electronic gadgets that scarcely resemble the telephones of just a few years ago. This expansion of user-friendly applications can be directly attributed to the emergence of more powerful operating systems in the 1990s. According to Howard Arkin (1991), "The advanced technology of today's personal computers has given software developers the opportunity to expand the options available in operating systems (OS), the main nerve system of software applications" (p. 47). As a result, today's devices are capable of Internet access, text messaging, video conferencing and much more, and the applications continue to expand. This paper provides a discussion of the application domains that are typically associated with the small, communicating computer systems class, and how this OS design has been impacted by the requirements of these application domains. A summary of the research is provided in the conclusion.

Application domains typically associated with the small, communicating computer systems class.

According to McNutt, "Computers (including mobile, wireless computers) are the representatives of the newest class of machines. Examples of this kind of system include Internet applications, tablet computers, set-top boxes, cell phones, and personal digital assistants (PDAs). These machines are built as a small, portable, communicating computer, yet they should support many of the same kind of applications as desktop or notebook computers" (p. 21). The term "ubiquitous computing" has been credited to a researcher at Xerox PARC near Stanford University, Marc Weiser, (MacDonald, 1997).

In fact, Weiser (1998) has identified three distinct "waves" of computing; the first being mainframes, the second being networked PCs, and a third, yet to come, in which digital technology has become so finely integrated into everyday activities that it will be virtually indiscernible (Finn & Inman, 2004). While this sounds like so much magic (and it would appear to be so to someone from even say, the 19th century), this is clearly the trend for the future. The particular requirements that influence the small, communicating computer domain today, though, are discussed further below.

Particular requirements of this application domain.

According to Vance (2002), "The growing popularity of mobile devices (such as laptops, PDAs, etc.) has driven demand for wireless connectivity" (p. 36). One… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Small Computer Systems" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Small Computer Systems.  (2005, March 11).  Retrieved October 17, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Small Computer Systems."  11 March 2005.  Web.  17 October 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Small Computer Systems."  March 11, 2005.  Accessed October 17, 2021.