Necessity is the mother of invention. The saying holds true for computers also because computers were invented as a result of man’s search for a fast and accurate calculating device The earliest device that qualifies as a digital computer is the abacus also known as soroban’. This device permits the users to represent numbers by the position of beads on the rack. Although abacus was invented around 600 BC, it is interesting to note that it is still used in the Far East and its users can calculate at an amazing speed. The first mechanical adding machine was invented by Blaise Pascal in 1642 Keyboard machine and concept of punched cards came up around 1880 Business machines and calculators made their appearance in Europe and America towards the end of the nineteenth century. Charles Babbage, a 19 century Professor at Cambridge University, is considered to be the father of modem digital computers. In 1842, he came out with the idea of Analytical Engine which was automatic and capable of performing the basic arithmetic function of any mathematical problem at an average speed of 60 additions per minute.
Now there is new trend coming up in ail Govemment departments around the world. In the next few years it may well transform not only the way public services are delivered but also the relationship between government and citizens. After e-commerce and e-business, the next revolution may be e- government, The Economist recently reported that the municipality of Phoenix, Arizona allows its citizens to renew escaping the their car registrations, pay traffic huge endless fines replace lost identity cards etc., online thus queues in a grubby municipal office.
The municipality is happy because saves five dollars a transaction versus the $6.60 across the counter. In Chile people routinely submit their income tax returns over the Internet which has increased transparency, reduced drastically the time taken and the number of errors and litigation with the tax department. Both tax payers and the revenue department are happier. As in many private companies. the purchasing and buying of Singapore’s government departments is now on the web and cost benefits come through more competitive bidding, hence easy access to global suppliers and time is saved by online processing of orders and lower stocks. Suppliers find tenders and purchase orders on site and they can post their catalogues bid for contracts, submit invoices and check their payment status over the net. computer revolution has directed at shrinking distance and time – spreading technological opportunities far and wide.
The dot com world has reduced our needs to a dot, now everything is al our finger tips, If you want to talk to your old school friend or make a business contact. just send your message by E mail, check out for new fashion trends, or latest movie gossips, you name it and you have them all in the www.com world. You can even register your bio-data on web-sites where you can search for a job or find a suitable match al through the Internet. Still there seems to be some lacunae in the cyber communication. So digital money has come up wherein you can do payments on line with smart cards Internet industry, entrepreneurs and e-business operators can’t get by with a promising product alone Which business model makes sense?
Who can execute most effectively? There are the key factors comprising the twin pillars of success in today’s new Internet economy. While climbing the ladder to success we do have to come across failures. While the growth of computers are going on there is a silent parasite growing along with it – the hacker.
Many are still sceptical of the real impact because so few Indians have Computers. This is because of active Cable TV and Internet kiosks. Although India has only 4 million computers and 22 milion telephones, it has 34 million houses with cable T.V. and these are increasing tremendously. In the nen 2 to 3 years most cable houses will have access to the Internet. This is why investment banks estimate that more than 30 million Indians will have Internet access by 2004. But then hopefully we will also be able to obtain ration cards and railway tickets from every PCO and so there will be a reason for the masses to visit the net Thus, e-governance in India may not be a dream. Ironically the most digitally literate people in society today are either over 55 or under 18. So people must be giving out laptop computers as retirement presents.
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