Adventure of the Mind; Data Processing, Control, Design
<v Speaker>[bird song] [intro music]
<v John Hertzler>The title says, data processing, control and design. Now these three applications, data processing, control and design are the three ways a computer can be used. Now, if you understand that you're a long way in understanding what a computer can do for you. Let me show you what I mean. And pay attention, there is going to be a test. [music plays]. Now, in the first application called data processing, the computer stores, a huge amount of numbers or names that can then do some calculations with them and spit them out in any form you need it that way. Things like thousands of automobile registrations and license numbers can be easily stored and made available if you've got a bank account. The teller can see if you've got enough to cover a check just by punching in your name or account number. Even if you go to a different branch, they'll never say who was that guy, no matter how crazy your hat looks. Data processing also describes applications where lots of information is required to put together computer-generatedletters and print out mailing labels for things like school fundraising drives, garage owner Mike Cunningham uses a computer to keep track of his parts inventory.
<v Mike Cunningham>I make money working on automobiles, you know, and I don't really have the time to do a lot of paperwork or run around and look for parts that I run out of. So a computer shortens the time, really helps out so I can spend more time doing other things. So what we do is take a list of all the parts that I use on the job and type the part numbers in the machine. The program asks me questions that I already know and then all I have to do is just answer it. It also stores information on parts expenses, which we need to know about, the machine knows, how many parts we have each time. Here, let me show you. Here's the parts for those numbers, how much they cost and over here, how many I've got. See, I had six gears before the job. Now they ask me which part I would like to change from the inventory. And I type in 5038 then they ask me how many I used on the job and I type in one. See, now I've only got five years left and it warns me to reorder.
<v John Hertzler>OK, what about your customers? Can you supply them with information about their car repairs? <v Mike Cunningham>Here, let me show you, Mrs. Hazan, a pretty regular customer. Let's find out about her car. OK, here's her name and address. She had a car and a couple of months ago for repairs and paid that off. But down here, you see she still has a balance due for the most recent repairs. <v John Hertzler>What if she says this isn't what I owe you? I mean, can you check it on the computer? <v Mike Cunningham>Yeah. Remember, I put in this job as I finish it. I can handle [inaudible] made in the same format as a job form. I got a question for you were you gonna wear that silly hat when I was racing? <v John Hertzler>Sorry mate, this hat goes where I go. <v John Hertzler>The second way computers are used are as controllers, for instance, to keep you comfortable and save energy, a controlled computer can sense temperature time of day and maybe how much power is used and then can control a heating and cooling system. Not too practical in a convertible, but a lot of buildings like hospitals can benefit from computer controlled temperature systems. Also, hospitals can help the paralyzed and immobile patients by using computers that recognize spoken words. But patients select from a list made up of categories like bed, TV, lights and says TV and picks a function from a list such as on. But control computers can sense and run a lot of different things at a small airport. I saw a controller application that talks back to you.
<v John Hertzler>There must be hundreds of these little airports around the country. <v Pilot>There are hundreds like this, and they do have problems. For one thing, they don't have control towers or weather reporting capabilities. This imposes a burden on the pilot. <v John Hertzler>Well, the pilots must have equipment in their planes to tell them about the weather right, when they go up. <v Pilot>What you need is something at this airport. <v John Hertzler>But on the ground, you mean <v Pilot>right here on the ground that can radio up to the plane and tell them how the weather is here. Here. I'll show you what I mean about this equipment. This is a wind direction indicator and a wind speed indicator, both of which are very important to you when landing a plane, but also there's a barometer here at ground level which measures the air pressure. There's an altimeter in the plane that you set when you find out what the ground pressure is so that you can get an accurate reading of your altitude. We've got these weather sensors wired up to a very interesting group of devices located in the main building over there. Let's take a look.
<v John Hertzler>What are we going to see here? <v Pilot>Here we have a small microprocessor that's hooked up to the sensors that we saw outside. You can see on the screen here a display of the difference in wind speed over a period of time. So if you had called an hour ago to find out what the wind speed was here, by the time you got here, it would have changed drastically. The display of the changes is really a secondary function of the machine. Let me show you what's really neat about this thing. Come on. <v John Hertzler>Where are we going? <v Pilot>I'll give you a hint. Put on your hat. <v John Hertzler>And you never did tell me where we were going? <v Pilot>Nowhere. <v John Hertzler>You're taking me up in a plane to nowhere. <v Pilot>I'm taking you off to show you what that computer down there can do when it's hooked up to a voice synthesizer and a radio transmitter. Listen. <v Computer>Frederick, Maryland, automated weather observed at one seven five zero Wind, one one eight zero six, altimeter two seven seven [inaudible].
<v Pilot>OK, that's the current ground conditions radioed up here by the computer. There's a small piece of electronics that puts the information in audible form and then a regular radio broadcast it to claims in the vicinity of this airport. <v John Hertzler>How did it choose the correct runway for our landing? <v Pilot>Well, the computer calculates the wind direction and then compares it to what it knows to be the right direction for landing. Then it tells us the correct runway. Let's listen again. <v Computer>Frederick, Maryland, automated weather observed at 1752, wind [inaudible] runway [inaudible]. <v John Hertzler>And why wasn't this done before? <v Pilot>Well, until now, computers were so expensive we couldn't afford to have them in small airports. Now the computers are the cheapest part of the whole setup. <v John Hertzler>There's a third way a computer can be used, and that's to design or develop things. You can see how valuable it would be to run a computer simulation on structures before they are built, like bridges or large dams. But design doesn't mean just designing and trying out structures. It also means using the computer to model situations. Computer modeling helped a biology class predict the different effects various amounts of alcohol consumption would have on each student's blood level and behavior. At the same school. I spoke with the faculty member involved in selecting the best way to solve a problem that concerned everyone in school.
<v Faculty member>It's out in the afternoon. There's a heavy flow of traffic out of the parking lot. Traffic speeds past an elementary school, creating quite a safety hazard because they're trying to make a light at the intersection. The light is very short because the main city traffic flow is quite heavy as compared to the traffic that the school's located on. And backups occur from students who didn't make the light. <v John Hertzler>So how can the computer help you with this? <v Faculty member>Well We're going to use the computer to design a system by which we'll install a traffic light at the school intersection. We'll time the light in such a manner that it will bunch up the school traffic and inject, so to speak, platoons of traffic so that when the platoon reaches the intersection, the light will turn green and the traffic can flow through uninhibited. <v John Hertzler>Oh so this is a control application of the computer. <v Faculty member>Not at all. A control application of the computer would be if the computer itself was controlling the light. Rather, we're using the computer to design the parameters by which the light will cause the effect that we're after.
<v John Hertzler>Have you found a solution to the problem yet? <v Faculty member>Yeah, we found a set of timing light sequences that'll work. Here the cars are coming out of the parking lot when a school light turns green. The lights time to allow a set number of cars to exit. So that is a group they'll all make to light up at the main street. <v John Hertzler>This doesn't seem so difficult. Why do you need a computer? <v Faculty member>The scene is quite a complex situation here. We have traffic flow on a main street that is synchronized with city lights. The mathematics of the situation would be very difficult to put on paper. So rather than doing that, we can try sets of numbers that we feel will work and look at them on the screen rather than having to install the light and cause dangerous situations on the road, we can let the computer show us in advance what will happen. <v John Hertzler>OK, now that you know all about data processing, control and design, I want you to pick which application is right for these uses. Number one, let's say you have a small record collection that you want to keep track of, like which songs are on which albums and who sings them. But maybe that would be more trouble and expense than it's worth to keep track of by a computer. But what if you're a radio station disc jockey and you have the daily task of putting together programs of golden oldies from the music library of the station. Remember which category is the one that handles and sorts tons of data? That's right, data processing. Ok question number two, let's say you are a beginning music student studying musical composition and you used a computer that was programmed to allow you to design a piece of music and then play it back for you. [sound plays] What's the category?
- Adventure of the Mind
- Data Processing, Control, Design
- Producing Organization
- International Instructional Television Cooperative, Inc.
- Children's Television International
- Contributing Organization
- The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- This episode focuses on the three major computer applications: data processing, control, and design. The host explains each concept and gives examples of what each application can be used for. Data processing allows the computer to store and compute a large amount of data. A garage owner talks about how he uses a computer in order to keep track of his parts inventory. Control computers are used to control other equipment, like air conditioning units. An airport uses a control unit to tell pilots about weather conditions. Computers can be used in design to model different situations. A high school uses a computer in order to compute the optimal timing of a stop light to minimize traffic around the school. Finally, the host quizzes the viewers on which application is optimal for different scenarios. This episode focuses on the three major computer applications: data processing, control, and design. The host explains each concept and gives examples of what each application can be used for. Data processing allows the computer to store and compute a large amount of data. A garage owner talks about how he uses a computer in order to keep track of his parts inventory. Control computers are used to control other equipment, like air conditioning units. An airport uses a control unit to tell pilots about weather conditions. Computers can be used in design to model different situations. A high school uses a computer in order to compute the optimal timing of a stoplight to minimize traffic around the school. Finally, the host quizzes the viewers on which application is optimal for different scenarios.
- Series Description
- "This program is part of the six-part series on personal computing, Adventure of the Mind. Adventure of the Mind is designed to prepare the high school student in a non-threatening way for living in the computerized environment of the future. By presenting the computer in contexts that are familiar and serve peoples' needs, the series attempts to motivate the student to think of ways their own interests and needs may be aided by computers. "'Data Processing, Control, Design' is designed to enable the high school student to discriminate between the three major areas of the computer applications: data processing, control and design. The host, John Hertzler, takes the viewers along as he visits people and places using each category of computer application. He closes the program with a quiz asking the viewers to select the proper category for given examples."--1979 Peabody Awards entry form.
- Broadcast Date
- Asset type
- Media type
- Moving Image
Producing Organization: International Instructional Television Cooperative, Inc.
Producing Organization: Children's Television International
Producing Organization: WCNY
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the
University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-ab9b7b9dc87 (Filename)
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- Chicago: “Adventure of the Mind; Data Processing, Control, Design,” 1979-12-17, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 27, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-3775t3h01p.
- MLA: “Adventure of the Mind; Data Processing, Control, Design.” 1979-12-17. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 27, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-3775t3h01p>.
- APA: Adventure of the Mind; Data Processing, Control, Design. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-3775t3h01p