As it was mentioned above, PC has a lot of applications, however, there are some major categories of applications: home and hobby, word processing, professional, educational, small business and engineering and scientific.

Home and hobby. PC enjoys great popularity among experimenters and hobbyists. All hobbyists need not to be engineers or programmers. There are many games that use the full capabilities of a computer to provide many hours of exciting leisure-time adventure. The list of other home and hobby applications of PCs is almost endless, including: personal finance, planning, investment analyses, telephone answering and dialing, home security, home environment and climate control, appliance control, calendar management, maintenance of address and mailing lists and what not.

Word processing. At home or at work, applications software, called a word processing program, enables you to correct mistakes in spelling or grammar or modify any document in any manner you wish before printing it.

Professional. The category of professional includes persons making extensive use of word processing, whose occupations are particularly suited to the desk-top use of PCs. Examples of other occupations are lawyers, architects, engineers, educators and all levels of managers. Applications programs that are popular with persons in these occupations include statistical analysis, graphics and computer modeling. The electronic worksheet is, by far, the computer modeling program most widely used by professionals. It can be used for scheduling, planning, and the examination of "what if" situations.

Educational. PCs are having and will continue to have a profound influence upon the classroom, affecting both the learner and the teacher. Microcomputers are making their way into classrooms to an ever-increasing extent, giving impetus to the design of programmed learning materials that can meet the demands of student and teacher.

Two important types of uses for personal computers in education are computer-managed instruction (CMI), and computer-assisted instruction (CAI). CMI software is used to assist the instructor in the management of all classroom-related activities, such as record keeping, work assignments, testing, and grading. Applications of CAI include mathematics, reading, typing, computer literacy, programming languages, and simulations of real-world situations.

Answer the following questions:

1. What is a personal computer? 2. What are the four main characteristics of a PC? 3. What does the term "microprocessor-based" mean? 4. What are the typical word sizes of a PC? 5. How is input carried out in personal computers? 6. What principle storage devices do PC use? 7. What kind of a system is a PC? 8. What differs personal computers from large computer systems? 9. What are the main spheres of PC application? 10. What other home and hobby applications, except computer games, can you name? 11. What is "a word processing program"? 12. What changes in the typed text can you make using a display? 13. How can computers be used in education?

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