(redirected from ALU)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, 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with the development of faster, more powerful and more cost-effective microprocessors the mainframe computer has been replaced by the desktop ‘personal computer’ (PC) in routine office data-processing operations (DOWNSIZING), with PCs being linked together in LOCAL AREA NETWORKS, enabling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.

Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson


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.

Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Matthew and Bernadette Alu. She is from Afikpo in Ebonyi State and attended Bishop Lasbrey Girls secondary school, as well as Ikenegbu primary school in Owerri, Imo State.
The prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, had told the judge that Section 15(3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, which Obi and Alu were convicted of violating, prescribed a maximum prison term of 14 years for an offender.
The human face to that is widespread hunger and poverty of ordinary Filipinos," ALU vice-president Luis Corral said.
Accordingly, ALU is at the forefront of incorporating doctrine from Field Manual (FM) 3-0, Operations, into all professional military education curricula.
"Ms Machel, Mandela's widow, said the programme aims at creating better leaders."ALU is a groundbreaking Pan-African institution that combines knowledge, skills, leadership and workplace experience.
The exonization event of many transposable elements, including Alu, leads to new exon creation by providing novel splicing sites [12].
"There is this big stigma that you don't talk about loss," Amber Alu, 30, added.
She was promptly appointed head of the ALU's women's committee and said she was "proud to represent my country in such an important
"We used to even take her with us while visiting Alu's grave on Fridays.
DuoSplit Alu products are said to be compatible with the use of refrigerant gases R410A and R407C.
Prof Andrea Alu, from the University of Texas at Austin, said if you want to make an object transparent at all angles and over broad bandwidths, their cloak is a good solution.
LGS Innovations, an independent subsidiary of Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU)(Paris: ALU) dedicated solely to serving the US Federal Government, announced on Tuesday the appointment of Rich Martin as chief information officer of the company.