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with the development of faster, more powerful and more cost-effective microprocessors the mainframe computer has been replaced by the desktop ‘personal computer’ (PC) in routine office data-processing operations (DOWNSIZING), with PCs being linked together in LOCAL AREA NETWORKS,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


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 ?
In a series of in-depth interviews with camp professionals from various multigenerational camp backgrounds, the motivation, advantages, rewards, challenges, and the "why factor" for offering camp programming for the nontraditional camper is revealed in candid conversation .
com Year established: 1998 Number of ag employees: 5 18 stations in KS, MO and NE all carrying farm programming.
In fact, the key staff person charged with overseeing alcohol abuse prevention programming indicated that after their experiences prior to and during the grant period, they had reached a place where all prevention program decisions factor in the evidence of effectiveness as part of their choice in whether or not to engage in a particular program element.
Its experiences serve as a model for departments large and small that are considering adding public access programming to their community policing initiatives.
The marketing possibilities of individualized programming are numerous.
Programming isn't all that difficult when you know how.
Each spring, a weekend training bonanza was held and offered Girl Scout leaders workshops on a variety of outdoor skills, crafts, activities, and programming.
As regard the relationship between partial care programming and rehabilitation, FAlloon and Talbot (1982) have observed that "day treatment has a specific role in the community rehabilitation of patients with psychiatric illness associated with handicaps in social role performance, and that the goals of a successful rehabilitation program can be derived from an analysis of the functional needs of individual patients who enter the program" (p.
Subscribe now to get the answers that will help you maintain your wellness programs in the face of rising costs to employers, motivate employees to participate in high-risk intervention programs, prove the monetary value of what you do, verify the benefits of increased wellness programming, and take advantage of the opportunities in what is a growing, in demand profession.
A great challenge for camp directors is to maintain the delicate balance between providing current programming that meets the needs of today's campers and exciting past campers and staff with a new vision of camp programming.
Thirteen/WNET New York, one of America's leading producers of public television programming, has been awarded close to $3 million by the Library of Congress for Preserving Digital Public Television, a new three-year planning project that will set the groundwork for preserving digital television programming.
In many cases, adventure programming has provided a focus for new program development.

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