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By Michael J. Cook (Auth.)

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Sample text

Batteries of these discs, usually constructed in sets, are a feature of a computer laboratory. Current technological development includes new versions of these memory storage units which enable much larger amounts of data to be stored on smaller surfaces. Similar technology is being developed for microcomputers. These have long been supplied with diskettes, or floppy disks, which can now hold up to 800K or more, but which are not very satisfactory as storage media. Hard discs are now available which will hold quantities around 10 megabytes (10Mb), and these capacities are being increased.

The drawback is that the printer is likely to be relatively slow, and hitherto has been relatively expensive also, though price structures are changing 44 Computer systems rapidly. Machines can be bought which can handle unusually large paper widths, if needed. The second type is the dot matrix printer. In this type the letter impression on paper is created when the system selects a pattern of dots within a matrix (essentially a square) assembly of dots. The attractiveness of the result depends on the number of dots which can be used, rather like old-fashioned newspaper photographs.

This feature of computer services is not a drawback to the user in practice since he does not require access to the CPU itself, but only to input/output equipment. These are kept in quite different places, near to the work, and convenient to the user. Microcomputers do not require the same environmental protection, and can usually survive the roughnesses of office life. Validation and verification Every human system is pervaded by error, and error detection takes up a large proportion of the costs of any system.

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