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Information Technology

What is Information Technology

Information Technology (IT) is the application of computers and internet to store, retrieve,
transmit, and manipulate information, often in the context of a business or other enterprise. IT is
considered a subset of information and communications technology (ICT) and has evolved
according to the needs.

It is worthwhile noting that the term IT is commonly used as a synonym for computers and
computer networks, but it also encompasses other information distribution technologies such as
television and telephones. Several industries are associated with information technology, including
computer hardware, software, electronics, semiconductors, internet, telecom equipment,
engineering, healthcare, e-commerce, and computer services.

Thanks to the continuous development of computers, the original computing systems became
minicomputers and later personal computers took the lead. Nowadays, mobile phones are
dethroning the personal computer and computing is evolving faster to become disembodied more
like a cloud, becoming accessible more easily whenever needed. Information technology has
transformed people and companies and has allowed digital technology to influence society and
economy alike. It has, in this sense, shaped societies and adapted itself to people's needs.

History

Humans were the first "computers". Then, machines were invented to carry out the computational
tasks. Now these machines have given way to new form of information technology. Information has
become disembodied accessible from anywhere through cloud technology. Recent advances in IT is
the consequence of the development in computing systems.

Humans have been storing, retrieving, manipulating, and communicating information since the
Sumerians in Mesopotamia developed writing in about 3000 BC, but the term information
technology in its modern sense first appeared in a 1958 article published in the Harvard Business
Review; authors Harold J. Leavitt and Thomas L. Whisler commented that "the new technology
does not yet have a single established name. We shall call it information technology (IT)." Their
definition consists of three categories: techniques for processing, the application of statistical and
mathematical methods to decision-making, and the simulation of higher-order thinking through
computer programs.

Wireless networking

Wireless (WiFi) networks are just like fixed LANs but instead of using cables, devices are
linked by radio waves.

Each computer in a wireless network requires a wireless network interface card (NIC). These
can be built in or you can use plug-in adaptors. These allow each component in the network
to communicate with a wireless access point (AP) to create a wireless local area network
(WLAN). The AP operates like a router in a fixed LAN. It also provides a bridge which plugs
into the hub of a fixed LAN allowing both fixed and wireless users to talk to each other. If
your LAN is connected to the Internet, the WLAN can also use it. If not, you can connect the
WLAN to the Internet via an ADSL or cable modem.

What are the advantages of a wireless network? You don't need cabling. In older buildings,
it can be expensive to install cables and access points. With WiFi, one access point can cover
an entire floor or even a building. You can work anywhere within range of the access point.
On a sunny day, you could work outside. You can make any room in the house your study.
There are now WiFi hotspots in hotels, libraries and airports so you can link to a network
away from home or your office.

There are disadvantages. Fixed LANs can run at 1000 Mbps. Wireless networks are much
slower and the further you are from an access point, the slower the rate. Although there are
savings on the cost of cabling, wireless NICs are more expensive than the wired versions.
Then there is the problem of interference, if a neighbour is using the same channel, and
security. Other users may be able to intercept your data. Encryption programs like Wired
Equivalent Privacy (WEP) can help.