Living With Computers

Ergonomics is the study of the physical relationships between humans and their
tools, such as computers. Office chairs should be adjustable in height and should have
lower-back support and arm rests. Desks that allow proper keyboard height and special
ergonomic keyboards have been developed to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, a type of
repetitive stress injury. To avoid damaging your eyes, avoid starring at the screen for long
periods, position yourself from the monitor between two and five feet from your eyes,
make sure no bright lights reflect off your screen, and use a monitor that has a relatively
large screen without noticeable flicker. The computer industry has become known the fast
pace rate of obsolescence, with both hardware and software being replaced every couple
of years. Some of the leading toxic wastes coming form homes and offices are heavy
metals used extensively in batteries, such as cadmium. Although some experts
recommend leaving computers on all the time, this practice was shown to consume
unnecessary amounts of electricity. One response has been the development of energy
star equipment, which conserves electricity even when left on.
Our legal system is gradually developing a code of laws to provide a legal
framework for working with computers and on the Internet. The most prevalent breach of
law in cyberspace is software piracy, the illegal copying or use of a program. Copyright
laws relevant to computers and software are covered by the Copyright Act of 1976 and
the Software Piracy and counterfeiting Amendment of 1983. Instead of building copy
protection into their programs, most software developers discourage privacy among
organizations by offering site licenses and network versions. Software viruses are
parasitic programs that can replicate themselves, infect computers, and destroy data.
Users can protect their data and software by using an anti-virus program. Hardware is
sometimes stolen for the value of the data stored on it rather that for the value of the
machine itself. Government, legal professionals, and computing professionals continue to
debate computer-related ethical questions and attempt to develop laws that protect the
freedoms of computer users while limiting immoral or illegal use of computers. Few
actual laws, however, have been created or enforced to requiring computer users to let
their own sense of ethics guide them. Practices such as excessive e-mailing, sharing
objectionable or illegal material, and theft of intellectual property all create ethical
questions for everyday computer users.
It is my opinion that if we are to live comfortably with computers, we must first
use common sense to realize that everything we do has a cause and effect. We must take
on the responsibility as humans to utilize technology to change the World for the better,
because if we don’t, the misuse of technology will eventually be the downfall of

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