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Exercise 1.

Read the following text and then choose from the list A-J given below the best phrase to
fill each of the numbered spaces. Type one letter (A-J) in the space after the question number in the
list below the passage. Each correct phrase may only be used once. Some of the suggested answers
do not fit at all. The exercise begins with an example (0).
The History of @
The universal symbol of Internet era communications, the @ sign used in e-mail addresses
(0)___J____, is actually a 500-year-old invention of Italian merchants, a Rome academic has
revealed. Giorgio Stabile, a science professor at La Sapienza University, claims (1)_______ of the
symbol's use, as an indication of a measure of weight or volume. He says the sign represents an
amphora, a measure of capacity based on the terracotta jars used (2)_______ in the ancient
Mediterranean world.
The professor unearthed the ancient symbol in the course of research for a visual history of the 20th
century, (3)_______. The first known instance of its use, he says, occurred in a letter written by a
Florentine merchant on May 4, 1536. He says the sign made its way along trade routes to northern
Europe, where it came (4)_______, its contemporary accountancy meaning.
Professor Stabile believes that Italian banks may possess even earlier documents bearing the
symbol lying forgotten in their archives. 'The oldest example could be of great value. It could be
used for publicity purposes and (5)_______,' he says. The race is on between the mercantile world
and the banking world (6)_______.
A to describe the now omnipresent squiggle
B to represent 'at the price of'
C to see who has the oldest documentation of @
D to transport grain and liquid
E to save space and work
F to be published by the Treccani Encyclopedia
G to learn how popular it has become
H to have stumbled on the earliest known example
I to enhance the prestige of the institution that owned it
J to signify the word 'at'
Exercise 2. Read the sentences and decide which word from the list below matches what is
described in the sentence. Fill in the blanks with one of the words from the list. You will not need to
use all the words.
attachments, crash, cyberspace, document, dot-com, download, file, (the) Internet, network, online, providers, reboot, signal, spam, software, state-of-the-art, surfing, text (verb), text message,
voicemail, websites
1. Computers have a tendency to suddenly stop working when you're in the middle of an important
job.
2. Emails that you send sometimes get lost in an imaginary place where electronic messages go
when they travel from one computer to another.
3. It was possible to make a lot of money by setting up a purely internet-based company in the
nineties.
4. Some people like to spend all day looking for information on the internet.
5. Every time you access your email account, you find that you have a lot of unwanted email
messages, especially emails that advertise something.
6. You can't send an e-mail unless you are connected to the Internet.
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7. Sometimes it can be difficult or impossible to open files or documents that are sent with an
email.
8. Computers are cheaper now than they used to be, but the computer programs you need to operate
them can be quite expensive.
9. It can often take a long time to receive and store information or programs from the Internet.
10. We have a number of computers that are connected to each other so that they can share
information at college that cost us almost 150,000.
11. There are several good places on the internet where you can find out about accommodation in
my city.
12. One of the best things about mobile phones is that you can send written messages to your
friends using the phone.
13. If you are unable to answer your phone, your friends can leave a message on your system that
records telephone calls so that you can listen to them later.
14. One disadvantage of mobile phones is that in some areas the series of sound waves that carry
information is very weak.
15. There are so many companies offering mobile phone and internet services that it can be difficult
to choose one.
Exercise 3. Read the following magazine article about e-mail and answer the questions below.
When e-mail becomes e-nough
The first person I came across who'd got the measure of e-mail was an American friend who was
high up in a big corporation. Some years ago, when this method of communication first seeped into
business life from academia, his company in New York and its satellites across the globe were
among the first to get it. In the world's great seats of learning, e-mail had for some years allowed
researchers to share vital new jokes. And if there was cutting-edge wit to be had, there was no way
my friend's corporation would be without it.
One evening in New York, he was late for a drink we'd arranged. 'Sorry,' he said, 'I've been away
and had to deal with 998 e-mails in my queue.' 'Wow,' I said, 'I'm really surprised you made it
before midnight.'
'It doesn't really take that long,' he explained, 'if you simply delete them all.'
True to form, he had developed a strategy before most of us had even heard of e-mail. If any
information he was sent was sufficiently vital, his lack of response would ensure the sender rang
him up. If the sender wasn't important enough to have his private number, the communication
couldn't be sufficiently important. My friend is now even more senior in the same company, so the
strategy must work, although these days, I don't tend to send him many e-mails.
Almost every week now, there seems to be another report suggesting that we are all being driven
crazy by the torment of e-mail. But if this is the case, it's only because we haven't developed the
same discrimination in dealing with e-mail as we do with post. Have you ever mistaken an
important letter for a piece of unsolicited advertising and thrown it out? Of course you haven't. This
is because of the obliging stupidity of 99 per cent of advertisers, who just can't help making their
mailshots look like the junk mail that they are. Junk e-mail looks equally unnecessary to read. Why
anyone would feel the slightest compulsion to open the sort of thing entitled
'SPECIALOFFER@junk.com' I cannot begin to understand. Even viruses, those sneaky messages
that contain a bug which can corrupt your whole computer system, come helpfully labelled with
packaging that shrieks 'danger, do not open'.
Handling e-mail is an art. Firstly, you junk anything with an exclamation mark or a string of capital
letters, or from any address you don't recognise or feel confident about. Secondly, while I can't
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quite support my American friend's radical policy, e-mails don't all have to be answered. Because emailing is so easy, there's a tendency for correspondence to carry on for ever, but it is permissible to
end a strand of discussion by simply not discussing it any longer - or to accept a point of
information sent by a colleague without acknowledging it.
Thirdly, a reply e-mail doesn't have to be the same length as the original. We all have e-mail
buddies who send long, chatty e-mails, which are nice to receive, but who then expect an equally
long reply. Tough. The charm of e-mail can lie in the simple, suspended sentence, with total
disregard for the formalities of the letter sent by post. You are perfectly within the bounds of
politeness in responding to a marathon e-mail with a terse one-liner, like: 'How distressing. I'm sure
it will clear up.'
Decide which answer to each question best fits with the passage, and write the answer.
1. According to the writer, why did the company he mentions decide to adopt the e-mail system?
A. so that employees could contact academics more easily
B. to avoid missing out on any amusing novelty
C. because it had been tried and tested in universities
D. to cope with the vast amount of correspondence they received
2. The 'strategy' referred to in the first sentence of the third paragraph is a way of:
A. ensuring that important matters are dealt with.
B. prioritising which messages to respond to.
C. limiting e-mail correspondence to urgent matters.
D. encouraging a more efficient use of e-mail.
3. According to the writer, what is causing the 'torment of e-mail' (first sentence of the fifth
paragraph) described in reports?
A. the persistence of advertisers
B. problems caused by computer viruses
C. the attitude of those receiving e-mails
D. lessons learnt from dealing with junk mail
4. In the sixth paragraph, which of the following pieces of advice is given?
A. Forget about e-mails which you do not intend to acknowledge.
B. Use e-mail as a way of avoiding unnecessary conversations.
C. Be prepared to break off overlong e-mail communications.
D. Read your e-mails even if you're not going to answer them.
5. According to the writer, what advantage does e-mail correspondence have over the traditional
letter? D It does not have the same time-consuming conventions.
A. It is more convenient to send.
B. It causes fewer misunderstandings.
C. It can be written in a less conversational style.
D. It does not have the same time-consuming conventions.
Exercise 4. Read the following magazine article about mobile phones and answer the questions
below.
Menace or Convenience: the lure of the mobile phone
A friend of mine was a penniless student at university in 1985 when she started to go out with a
man who lived in an oil-rich eastern state. To all her friends he seemed like the possessor of
boundless riches, not least because he gave her a mobile telephone so that he could contact her at
any point of her day directly from his home country. Although virtually none of us had ever seen a
mobile telephone before, the overriding reaction was, 'What a waste of money ringing all that way'
as opposed to, 'Wow, that's brilliant'. From their earliest incarnations, these telephones have never
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had the capacity to thrill us in the way that other new bits of technology can. Sighs of contempt,
rather than envy, would be breathed in all the first-class train carriages where mobiles started
ringing in the late 1980s.
By the mid 1990s, the mobile was no longer the preserve of image-conscious businessmen.
Suddenly, it seemed, every petty criminal could be seen organising their dodgy deals as they
shouted into stolen ones in the street. It was at this point that I bought a mobile. I had been sneering
for years, but I reasoned that as everyone now had one, surely no-one would be offended or irritated
by mine, as long as I used it exclusively in the back of taxis or other places where I could avoid
intruding on people's mental privacy.
But I immediately grew to depend on it and constantly checked that I had it, in the way that
habitual smokers are said to keep checking for their cigarettes. And it affected my behaviour.
Without the means of ringing ahead to say I was going to be late, for example, would I have set off
for my business appointment with so little time to spare? I began to understand how those
inexperienced walkers come to call out the Mountain Rescue Team from the top of some perilous
peak. Without the false sense of security the phone in their pocket provided, they wouldn't have
gone up there in the first place.
What's more, after a while, I realised that once it has got a hold on you, all telephone calls are
urgent in exact proportion to the availability of a mobile to announce them. Because our modern
lives have so much capacity for urgency, the mobile is turning into an enemy rather than a
helpmate. It is enabling us to dash from one activity to another in the mistaken belief that we can
still be in touch - with work, with other family members. Yet, although we are constantly on
standby, we are not in a position to be fully engaged with anything else. No mental commitment to
the task in hand is possible when the mobile can ring at any moment with another demand for our
attention, no matter how legitimate. In this way, I began to feel persecuted rather than liberated.
And mobiles may be even more sinister than any of us could have dreamt. When activated, it
seems, they serve as miniature tracking devices which, unknown to their owners, reveal their
whereabouts at any given time, even if no calls are made or received. In a recent murder trial, the
police showed that the suspect travelled to and from the murder scene, despite his having denied
this, through using the computer records of his mobile's whereabouts.
But what has really put me off my phone is a conversation I had with a terrifyingly important man one of the most conspicuously successful in Britain. He had been to dinner the night before with
two other such figures. 'Do you know,' he said, 'they sat there taking calls all through dinner.' What
a let down. In my book, importance is denoted not by a ringing mobile, but rather by the ability to
build up the kind of efficient and trustworthy support team that ensures you never need to take an
urgent call in public. One suspects, moreover, that it is the very existence of the mobile phone that
prevents effective delegation in such situations, that it represents a menace rather than a
convenience.
Decide which answer to each question best fits with the passage.
1. According to the writer, how did people react when the first mobile phones were introduced in
the 1980s?
A. They were rather suspicious of them.
B. They saw how useful they might be.
C. They realised how popular they would be.
D. They were generally unimpressed by them.
2. Why did the writer eventually decide to buy a mobile phone?
A. She accepted that one was needed for her work.
B. She realised they had become widely accepted.
C. She had seen how to use one effectively.
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D. She had got used to the idea of them.


3. What immediate change did the mobile phone make to her life?
A. It tended to make her less reliable.
B. It caused her to do irrational things.
C. It led her into dangerous situations.
D. It forced her to make better use of her time.
4. Why did she eventually come to resent her mobile phone?
A. It allowed her employers to monitor her movements.
B. It prevented her from concentrating on what she was doing.
C. It allowed people to make unreasonable demands on her.
D. It meant that her work was invading her free time.
5. The writer tells us the anecdote about the important man to show that mobile phones: A are
essential in modern business.
A. are essential in modern business.
B. are a nuisance in social situations.
C. may lead to less efficient management.
D. may lead to a loss of business confidentiality.
Exercise 5. At the computer
1. Without the right software I'm afraid you can't ......... that particular program.
(a) reach
(c) obtain
(b) access
(d) find
2. The aim of the office manager is to ......... enough room on the building plans so that each
employee can have space for a personal computer.
(a) arrange (c) allocate
(b) accord
(d) organize
3. Remember that before you leave your workstation, always ......... your computer.
(a) shut out (c) shut in
(b) shut up (d) shut down
4. It's quite easy if you want to find folders and files on the computer, all you do is click here and it
immediately starts ..........
(a) seeking (c) looking
(b) searching (d) checking
5. I have tried and tried again and again and no matter what I do it still shows "error" I just
can't ......... what's wrong.
(a) look out
(c) figure out
(b) check out
(d) bring out
6. I spent hours writing that report and checking all the information was correct and then without
thinking I pressed the ......... button.
(a) 'destroy' (c) 'deface'
(b) 'delete' (d) 'deny'
7. It's a really clever piece of software because it enables you to ......... on your screen all the
information in columns.
(a) illustrate
(c) display
(b) depict
(d) delineate
8. Unfortunately this program is not ......... with the operating system on my computer.
(a) amicable
(c) adaptable
(b) compatible
(d) amenable
9. When you see that particular symbol on the screen, you have to take that as a ......... that
something is wrong.
(a) indicating
(c) briefing
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(b) checking
(d) warning
10. With this program you can always check your spelling and grammar and if you don't want to
accept what it shows, you simply press ..........
(a) 'ignore'
(c) 'leave'
(b) 'quit'
(d) 'forget'
Exercise 6. Computer terms

Across
2. device used to control the movements and direction of a model airplane, a video-game character,
etc.
7. a covered bundle of wires that carries electronic messages
10. a small device for controlling computer functions
11. Compact Disc - Read Only Memory, (in computers) a disk that holds up to 600k of
information, but the information usu. cannot be changed
12. a device attached to a computer, used for making paper copies of material produced on the
computer
13. a place on the outside of a computer where you plug in a cable that connects the computer to
other devices, such as a printer
14. an electronic device that stores and allows changes in information through the use of
instructions (programs) to do various types of tasks, like word processing and accounting
15. a computer diskette
16. machines, esp. computer equipment
Down
1. disk, a thin flat circular plate
3. in a computer, a set of instructions that lets a person perform certain tasks, such as word
processing, adding numbers, or reading information on the Internet; software is not part of the
machine itself
4. an arrow, black line or other sign on a computer screen that shows where you are writing.
5. a screen, as on a television or computer, that displays information
6. the surface on which a film or television show is seen
8. a small, portable computer
9. a row or rows of keys (on a piano, computer, etc.)
13. a set of coded instructions telling a computer how to process information

Exercise 7. Fill in the blank spaces with words and expressions from the list below.
balance sheets, Internet, nowadays, simulated, equipment, computerized, ATM cards, computers,
traffic jams, emergence, calculation, personal computer, manual systems, simulators, applications,
computer-controlled, virtual, system, multimedia, designed
__________ (1) are used everywhere in the world in every field of life. There are many computer
__________ (2) to consider. Computers can perform any kind of __________ (3) in no time,
whereas a human being would need months and years to do the same calculations. __________ (4)
computers are used in almost every aspect of life.
Banking: Before the apparition of computers, __________ (5) that required very complicated and
hard work were commonplace, but now, with the __________ (6) of computer technology,
everything has become neat and systematic. Every bank is now using a computerized __________
(7) because it is very fast and user friendly. __________ (8) are used everywhere across the globe
now which let us bank any time we want. PC banking (Personal Computer banking) lets us inquire
on our __________ (10), request transfers between accounts and pay bills electronically, among
other things.
Traffic control: Without the help of __________ (11) traffic systems, large urban areas would be
impenetrable mazes. Computerized traffic lights are __________ (12) in such a way that they
constantly adjust to the flow of traffic, thus avoiding __________ (13) and interminable lines.
Cameras, radars and other similar pieces of __________ (14) reduce the possibility of reckless
driving, making roads safer.
__________ (15), animations, graphics and charts are used to teach students various subjects, from
languages to pure sciences in the most captivating way possible. Students can also access the
__________ (16) for online help and courses for more information.
__________ (17) reality allows users to interact with a computer __________ (18) environment,
advanced systems including tactile information, impacting in medical, engineering, art and gaming
applications. __________ (19) are used to train F1 and aircraft pilots using __________ (20)
applications that imitate real-life situations in an easier, less expensive way.