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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with the development of faster, more powerful and more cost-effective microprocessors the mainframe computer has been replaced by the desktop ‘personal computer’ (PC) in routine office data-processing operations (DOWNSIZING), with PCs being linked together in LOCAL AREA NETWORKS, enabling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 ?
The location of Computer Literacy Centres, established in different Union Councils (UCs) included Tarlai, Kirpa/Alipur, Chirah, Bhara Kahu, Tarnol, Sihala, Rawat and Humak.
The Computer Literacy Training will last up to 30 days.
At present efforts are on to increase the use of ICT in the undergraduate learning program by the time students reach the third year of study and this necessitates an assessment of the dental students' computer literacy and attitudes to the use of ICT in the second year of the undergraduate dentistry course.
Accessing information and increasing information literacy are directly connected to information and communication technology use and computer literacy. Considered increasingly by governments as an important factor in economic growth and development, computer literacy has different descriptions by different researchers and instructors (Luu & Freeman, 2011; Ololube, 2006).
It is more likely that only postgraduates' with adequate computer literacy can access, retrieve and use the digitised information.
Parsons and Oja present students, educators, and general-interest readers with the fourth edition of their introductory textbook to computer literacy, computing, and the Internet.
In this context, the aim of this research is to determine the relationship between pre-service teachers' mathematics teaching anxiety and their perceptions of technology use in mathematics teaching as well as their computer literacy levels.
Within the Ontario students, the interesting point was that female students performed better in computer literacy than males by 25 points.
Ahmad Al Shareef, Vice President of Human Resources and Support Operations at Thuraya said, "We strongly believe in the "Educate a Child, Build a Nation" initiative as it helps children develop computer literacy skills from a young age.
"The level of computer literacy is nearly 63%, while the number of Internet users has reached 12 million or 70% of the population," said Issekeshev.
The launch of this new initiative complements ICDL's vision of spreading computer literacy and promoting online safety among citizens around the world."
This Computer Literacy programme aims at bringing students in Jaitpur at par with their peers from cities by providing them necessary exposure to computers.

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