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Fig. 23 Computer. The main items of hardware.

computer

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with the development of faster, more powerful and more cost-effective microprocessors the mainframe computer has been replaced by the desktop ‘personal computer’ (PC) in routine office data-processing operations (DOWNSIZING), with PCs being linked together in LOCAL AREA NETWORKS,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

computer

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 ?
GAAP should also be used to compute gain or loss upon the disposition of an asset.
Scalable shared data storage, equally accessible by all nodes in the cluster, is an obvious vehicle to provide the requisite data storage and access services to compute cluster clients.
Eben Upton of the Raspberry Pi Foundation said, The idea for the Compute Module came about from our observations of how a substantial number of industrial and commercial equipment designers were incorporating a Raspberry Pi into their end system.
To minimize taxpayer compliance burdens, taxpayers should be permitted to elect to compute the amount of depreciation to be capitalized based on the amount of depreciation allowed in computing regular tax, rather than the amount allowed in computing ACE.
Customers are provided with an option to opt for the BT Cloud Compute to deploy scalable, pay-as-you-go services from a self-service online portal or can choose BT Private Compute, which delivers IT infrastructure services by consolidating and simplifying those services onto a single platform.
448(d)(5) temporary regulations as a way to compute bad-debt experience, but was replaced in the amended temporary regulations with the generally less favorable six-year moving-average method (which requires a taxpayer to use total sales versus year-end accounts receivable in determining its uncollectible experience).
If a computer program to compute interest on federal taxes is available, presumably it will automatically make interest calculations using the rates and method prescribed for the interest period involved.
Today's approach to manageability involves separate solutions for compute, storage and network resources, each based on different standards.
Heller and his collaborators have now used this kind of semiclassical technique to compute the ultraviolet absorption spectrum of benzophenone, accurately reproducing the spikes and dips observed in the laboratory This success suggests the possibility that by using appropriate semiclassical methods, researchers can rapidly compute the behavior of a wide variety of chemical systems presently too complicated to be handled by quantum mechanics, such as the spectra produced by organic molecules.
Now, in order to compute ACE depreciation, assets must be grouped into one of four classes and depreciated using the prescribed method for each group, depending on when the assets were placed in service.
Each of those tasks is then distributed to one of the compute cluster nodes for processing.
They must either compute their own internally generated index or use an index approved by the IRS.

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