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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with the development of faster, more powerful and more cost-effective microprocessors the mainframe computer has been replaced by the desktop ‘personal computer’ (PC) in routine office data-processing operations (DOWNSIZING), with PCs being linked together in LOCAL AREA NETWORKS, enabling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 ?
While speaking to Express News, citizens Rizwan Ahmed, Shaukat Ali, Jameel Ahmed, Sultan Khan and Allah Baksh said that the Punjab government should fulfill its promises with the people and land record centres, established at a cost of millions of rupees, should be computerised in the real sense.
Table 1 shows more details of respondents regarding current position in department, gender, level of education, tenure in current position and organization, attendance for any of computerised accounting courses and possession of any additional computerised skills.
Identification of the main themes underpinning ICU nurses' perceptions and experiences of education and training in using computerised equipment with regard to their perceived roles and clinical experience.
It has been observed that traffic warden in the district especially in urban areas have increasingly been issuing tickets to the vehicles without computerised number plates.
A local Nadra official told this correspondent that the authority could not develop software for the cancellation of computerised arms licence until the provincial home department permits it accordingly.
'The computerised test for public transporters has been launched to end human intervention and for fair treatment of deserving applicants,' the CTO said, adding that being computer literate is not important as wardens will assist applicants.
Since the introduction of the online computerised record keeping and data entry in the police department, the police had abandoned maintaining the manual daily diary (Roznamcha).
However, the deputy commissioner staff wants me to surrender my old licence book before providing my computerised arms licence.
By: Nadeem Basra LAHORE, June 20 (THE NATION): The public hospitals in the Punjab have hardly any mechanism to preserve the record of patients brought in the emergency departments, as they do not have implemented any project of modern computerised software to preserve data.
So far, it has computerised data of 2,975 employees, he said.