The Petersons Home ICT Devices

The Petersons have a limited amount of equipment in their homes and all the items are unsuitable for the family. Here is a conclusion as to why the devices are unsuitable, and how the situation could be improved.

The family is equipt with a Pentium II computer with a 32mb of ram, a 2Gb hard drive and a 2mb graphics card. This is very unsuitable for this busy family as the computer would be extremely slow and has very little space to install new programs and save the documents the family would need. This is a very old type of computer, and would not be able to run some of the latest software. A faster, and more update computer, such as a Pentium 4 Processor would be much more appropriate for this family.

With the computer is a 14-inch monitor capable of 640 x 480 screen resolutions, which is also inappropriate for the likes of this family. A 14-inch screen is very small and most of the more dated computer monitors are less able to adjust. With a low and small screen could cause health problems for the family, such as neck and back pains. The low screen resolutions would be a problem when trying to run newer software, which needs a higher resolution. A more suitable choice would be a larger, and higher resolution screen, and possibly flat screen too.

The computer has a black and white dot matrix printer, which is very unsuitable for members of the family who wish to print documents in colour. Dot matrix printers produce a low quality print too, the document may seem unclear and patchy compared to a laser colour printer, which would be more advisable for the families needs.

The computer only has a 28k modem that is not capable of sending faxes. The most obvious disadvantage to this is that the family cannot send faxes form the home office. However, with a 28k modem, the computer would also have ridiculously slow Internet connection. Most computers on sale at the moment have a modem included in the package, however they can be bought. The standard modem is 56k, which would provide fast access to the Internet.

Windows 95, and Office 95 are both very dated versions and desperately need to be updated. The setup would be slow and unable to cope with large quantities of data and the users would be restricted on what software they could use. Office 95 would have a very limited amount of programs available, and would not satisfy all the day-to-day needs of a family. Most new computers come with Windows XP, which would mean a fast setup and more programs available for the family to use.

The family only have floppy disks as a backup for the computer, which is an unwise choice. If the computer fails, and the disks cannot be located or the disk does not work, it is sure that the data will be lost. However, a larger problem would be fitting large files onto a floppy disk, which has on a 1.4k capacity, which would not be enough for the likes of graphics files, or picture files that are very large. Also, if there is a large amount of data to be stored, one would have to use many disks to store all the information, this may make the data hard to locate. A more ideal solution would be to store the information on re-writable disks, which store a large amount of data. However, this would also mean the family would need to invest in a CD-ROM drive, which now comes free in addition with all computers sold.

With no gaming equipment the family would be unable to play games to their full satisfaction, or in some cases, the game may not run at all. This would mean that the computer could not be used as a gaming machine. There is a lot of gaming equipment available at the moment, but the most popular is a Joystick, which is useful for the majority of games.

Many games and programs that are on the market have sound features for added effect. Of course with no speakers attached to the computer, no sound can be heard. This is a problem for interactive programs, where instructions are given verbally. Also, watching DVD’s, or listening to music form CD’s or MP3’s is impossible. With no speakers, you also cannot use recording equipment such as microphones, as there will be no feedback. All modern computers now come with a speaker sound system, sometimes including sub-woofer, but they can also be sold separately.

The family have access to a standard TV with no digital capacity and an analogue satellite receiver. This means that the family can only pick up some satellite and analogue stations that are broadcasted. The digital channels would not be available on the television or via the satellite, as they have no digital capacity. The family could invest in a digital decoder or a new television with digital capacity. If the family bought a digital decoder, then they would not be able to interact with some of the features available on the channels, however with a new television, or a digital channel receiver, the family would be able to interact.

There is an old hifi which has no CD player, or mini disc player, which is not suitable for this family. Most music on sale at the moment is sold on CD; therefore it may be hard to get hold of music on cassette or record. Cassettes and records produce a low quality of sound, and are not as reliable as a CD. More and more records are now becoming available on mini discs, which are compact, and can store a lot of music, and record music easily, also providing quality sound. All good stereo systems come complete with a CD player, and some with minidisk players, along with tape players and radios.

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