Many aspects of our lives are affected by information technology - home life, leisure, shopping, banking, work.
Home and leisure
A large proportion of the machines we take for granted at home are controlled by microprocessorsmicroprocessor: A chip containing thousands of components which can remember information, perform logic operations, and process programs; the central processing unit of a computer., including:
- microwave ovens
- washing machine
- central heating boilers
Activities we do in our leisure time are increasingly dependent on information technology, such as:
- watching digitaldigital: A signal that carries information as a series of 'on' and 'off' pulses. or satellite TV
- watching videos and DVDsDigital Versatile Disc (DVD):used to store data, eg a movie
- playing computer games
- listening to music on CD [Compact Disc (CD): used to store data, eg music CD ] and MP3 players
- browsing the InternetInternet: a global network connecting millions of computers
Online bookings are growing as fast as online shopping. Theatre, cinemas, concerts, air tickets, train tickets, hotels and package holidays are all available on the webweb: includes all of the web pages accessible via the Internet, often at cheaper prices than buying them from high street shops. Bookings can be made across the world by Internet connectionInternet connection: a computer's or another internet-enabled device's connection to the Internet.
- instantly find out availability
- book out of office hours
- pay and receive confirmation (via emailemail: electronic mail - a message written or typed on a computer and sent electronically rather than by post) immediately
- lower prices - access to a greater number of retailers increases competition and prices fall
- risk buying from a websitewebsite: a web page or group of web pages hosted on one web server and viewed in a web browser setup to scam money out of customers, ie the tickets never come
- even when buying from genuine websites, the tickets may not arrive in the post in time (where confirmation email cannot be used).
- websites may not be able to cope with high demand (making them inaccessible)
The larger stores offer customers loyalty cards. When the customer shops at the store they're awarded a set number of points depending on how much they spend. The loyalty card stores their points. One point is commonly worth 1p with a point awarded for each pound spent.
Points can be converted into vouchers that provide discounts on products or services.
Each customers' loyalty card has a unique card number linked to a database [database: a structured collection of records or data stored in a computer system ] which stores information about them (provided by the customer when they signed up) and their purchases.
How do they work?
Swiping a loyalty card is an example of data capture. Every time the customer visits the shop the card is swiped, reading the unique number. This…