(redirected from computer literacy)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Computerclick for a larger image
Fig. 23 Computer. The main items of hardware.


an electronic/electromechanical device which accepts alphabetical and numerical data in a predefined form, stores and processes this data according to the instructions contained in a COMPUTER PROGRAM, and presents the analysed data in an organized form. Fig. 23 shows the main items of computer HARDWARE, with input devices like KEYBOARDS, and magnetic tape readers; the CPU (central processing unit) which manipulates data; DISK DRIVES which provide additional data storage capacity; and output devices like PRINTERS and VISUAL DISPLAY UNITS. The figure shows how a number of computers may be linked in a LOCAL AREA NETWORK, in this case to process customer orders, maintain the sales LEDGER and issue INVOICES.

Big ‘mainframe’ computers are used to handle large databases. For example, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in Swansea holds over 60 million records on its mainframe computer. Increasingly, however, with the development of faster, more powerful and more cost-effective microprocessors the mainframe computer has been replaced by the desktop ‘personal computer’ (PC) in routine office data-processing operations (DOWNSIZING), with PCs being linked together in LOCAL AREA NETWORKS, enabling them to share data. A further development has been the introduction of small portable computers typified by the ‘notebook’ personal computer which can be carried in a briefcase.

Computers have dramatically improved the productivity of DATA PROCESSING in business, facilitating the keeping of ACCOUNTING ledger records like sales ledger, purchases ledger and payroll and personal records by small numbers of clerical staff. In addition, software packages like SPREADSHEETS and WORD PROCESSORS have improved the presentation and analysis of management information, helping to improve decision-making. See FLEXIBLE MANUFACTURING SYSTEM, PRODUCTION LINE, ELECTRONIC MAIL SYSTEM, COMPUTER-AIDED DESIGN, COMPUTER-AIDED MANUFACTURING, INFORMATION MANAGEMENT, BULLETIN BOARD, MODEM, INTERNET.


an electronic/electromechanical device that accepts alphabetical and numerical data in a predetermined form, stores and processes this data according to instructions contained in a computer program, and presents the analysed data. Computers have dramatically improved the productivity of data processing in commerce and business; for example, computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing systems have improved the speed and cost with which new components or products can be assigned and subsequently scheduled for production;

computer-aided distribution and stock control systems such as ELECTRONIC POINT OF SALE (EPOS) have helped to minimize stockholdings and have improved customer services; computers have rapidly taken over the manual tasks of keeping accounting records such as company sales and payroll. Computers have also played a prominent role in speeding up the response of commodity and financial markets to changing demand and supply conditions by processing and reporting transactions quickly.

In recent years computers have underpinned the rapid expansion of E-COMMERCE using the INTERNET. See STOCK EXCHANGE, AUTOMATION, MASS PRODUCTION.

References in periodicals archive ?
In conjunction with UNESCO, Mayes and Burgess (2010) list the subsequent functions of computer literacy in distance education students as:
This may probably be due to lack of the basic computer literacy skills that can enable them to access needed e-information resources.
Chaired by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum, the "Educate a Child, Build the Nation" initiative aims to boost educational development in the UAE through computer literacy.
Harpreet Singh, President- JRE Group of Institutions, said, "Through this computer literacy drive, we at JRE are not only implementing a social responsibility but also opening up avenues for local students here by getting to them the best possible resources and faculty.
It is also ironic that despite various technological advancements, Filipinos are falling behind when it comes to computer literacy.
Sharjah A charity association has organised English language and computer literacy courses for inmates at reformatory and penal correctional institutions in Sharjah.
Computer literacy would help the staff overcome many of their problems, the acting director hoped, revealing another 75-day management course for provincial government employees was also ongoing.
LearnKey, an e-learning company, also installed a computer literacy program on each laptop to help students who lack technology and computer skills.
Maria Calleros, project coordinator for Pueblo Y Salud, said its most recent computer literacy course -- taught to mostly women between the ages of 30 and 40 -- had good results.
Computer Literacy courses are offered by many colleges and universities and are often taken by students from various academic majors.
Danese says she wants them to use skills like creative writing and computer literacy that they don't have a chance to apply in dance class.
She is a member of the New York Library Association's Ethnic Services Round Table and has worked on creating computer literacy programs and a Web site of online resources for adult computer literacy education for non-English speakers.

Full browser ?