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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with the development of faster, more powerful and more cost-effective microprocessors the mainframe computer has been replaced by the desktop ‘personal computer’ (PC) in routine office data-processing operations (DOWNSIZING), with PCs being linked together in LOCAL AREA NETWORKS, enabling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 ?
How does your programming differ from a traditional camp?
PO Box 437, Utica, NY 13503-0437; 315/337-1320, FAX: 315/337-1566 Year established: 1976 Number of ag employees: 6 136 stations in NY, New England, PA, DE and MD all carrying farm programming. Live-interconnected, CDs.
The rational supporting programming based upon empirical evidence is described as a key administrative outcome of the grant program.
Writing programming code for DOS was relatively easy, so the cost of market entry was low.
Its experiences serve as a model for departments large and small that are considering adding public access programming to their community policing initiatives.
Another important guideline for functional programming is the principle of partial participation.
ABB sources say the software enables programming to begin before equipment is installed, allowing earlier production starts.
Farm Report" are used to seeing stories on nutrition, cooking, gardening and new products--these topics are a part of the show's regular programming. But Adinamis explains that now these topics will be addressed in specific feature segments, opening up new sponsorship opportunities for advertisers and providing consistency for viewers.
Individualized Programming. Programming for each resident is the cornerstone of the Quality of Life section of the federal regulations governing operation of a long-term care facility.
Partial care services may also be referred to as "partial hospitalization," a "community support program,c or "day treatment." 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.
The PAT is the DS focal point for interaction with the policy community on issues such as strategic planning guidance and joint programming guidance; engagement on Joint Capabilities Integration Development System (JCIDS) strategy and top-level, cross-cutting architecture matters; coordination of all formal study and analysis activities across DS and with outside groups; and engagement in planning, programming, budgeting, and execution system (PPBES) activities.
A camp's expertise and experience in youth programming makes it a valuable asset to community decision-making.

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