(redirected from Computer Systems)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
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with the development of faster, more powerful and more cost-effective microprocessors the mainframe computer has been replaced by the desktop ‘personal computer’ (PC) in routine office data-processing operations (DOWNSIZING), with PCs being linked together in LOCAL AREA NETWORKS, enabling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 ?
Current IHMC projects include an airplane-cockpit display that shows critical information in a visually intuitive format rather than on standard gauges; software that enables people to construct maps of what's known about various topics, for use in teaching, business, and Web site design; and a computer system that identifies people's daily behavior patterns as they go about their jobs and simulates ways to organize those practices more effectively.
Fuel computers are a notable exception to the image of computer systems requiring complicated installations and high cost.
"To design the kits to be as useful as possible, we had to anticipate all the different computer systems that could be fielded in the near future," Brady added.
With most organizations' technology budgets barely increasing in 2002 after falling in 2001, IBM said its goal is to save organizations money by decreasing the number of people needed to manage and repair complex computer systems.
The most vulnerable computer systems are those connected by so-called permanent connections to the Internet.
"If only mitigation in the rest of the insurance world could be as successful," Hartwig said, noting it takes decades to "turn over" housing stock, or build new storm-resistant houses or retrofit existing ones; whereas computer systems are changed much more frequently as new technology is developed.
John Gilligan, the Air Force CIO and one of the fiercest advocates of stronger safety standards in government, says that 80 percent of successful penetrations of federal computer systems can be attributed to software full of bugs, trapdoors, and "Easter eggs"--programming errors and quirks inserted into the code (see box) that could leave software vulnerable to hackers.
The development of a unified computer system for salespeople will signify the first step in a series of preparatory measures the duo will take prior to the planned merger, they said.
Although many state and federal laws define terms, such as "unauthorized access to a computer system" and "computer sabotage," neither Title 18 nor any of the state penal codes provide a definition for the term computer crime.
that these computer systems operate correctly and that the data provided by these computer systems is accurate.
Initial experiments, involving two different execution environments, four distin ct applications, and five computer systems have been successful,
The World Bridge offers web users a search engine written with Vertical Computer Systems Inc.'s proprietary Emily Markup Language Executive and a unique set of XML-based software communication tools that enable advanced platform interoperability.

Full browser ?