In the business world today, computers and the software applications

that run on them basically control a well organized business. Every major

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company is equipped with a computer, or network that connects through

different branches throughout the firm.

Computer Hardware:

To keep up with the fastest technology that dominates the market is to

be a sensible buyer. A system can be outdated in a matter of two years

time. Software applications based on today's needs require more hard disk

space and speed to run efficiently. The most powerful system would be the

586 machine which was developed in November, 1992. The space required on a

business system depends on the firm. If a company has a network, their

memory would range on the applications required to run the system

productively. A one to three gigabyte hard drive would be most common for

businesses. To keep these applications on the computer, you need a fair

amount of RAM memory as well as hard disk space. An application developed

in 1993, probably will be to powerful and run quite slow on a previous

system that was 'top of the line' in 1991. That's why it is important for

companies to understand that they must think years down the road before

spending thousands of dollars on the technology of today. The best way is

to prepare for the future such as making sure your mainframe is upgradeable

and contains at least 8 expansion slots, which should already be loaded

with enhanced graphics cards, the necessary amount of serial ports etc..

Networks are everywhere in the world of business. A network is a

series of computers throughout the company which rely on one or two

fileservers. Or it can be used in long distance communication through

modem. An example would be that a company located in Calgary can call up

its other branch in Toronto via modem, also able to up and download

valuable files or records. Networks have their disadvantages also.

Computer viruses are always present somewhere in a disk or computer system

ready to strike. If an over powering, destructive virus enters a network

system, all data can be severely damaged or lost completely. That's why

there is back-up drives to store existing data that is written onto the

disk each day. Anti virus programs are there to alert the user and wipe

the virus off the system before it does any destruction to the data stored

on the network. As far as practicality and mobility is concerned, the

laptop has been around for quite a long time. A laptop computer is a

portable computer, about the size of a brief case. This is a good feature

to save time and money. Laptops allow you to connect to fileservers or

mini systems after you travel around with them. Once you are at your

destination, you can give another system a "unit to unit" data exchange.

This means you connect the laptops serial port to the other system's port

and transfer data without external data. Diskettes are also capable of

holding small quantities of information that can be used for transferring.

In this day and age every computer has a hard disk which contains the

programs and applications that are used in the business industry.

Programs and Applications Used in Business:

Many computer applications can make a computer do wonderful things for

you. Most of you have heard of programs such as Wordperfect, Lotus,

Freelance, etc.. that are productive in helping the user perform functions

that save time.

In businesses, word processing is always included on a system.

Different programming companies supply many programs that are quite helpful

for the user. Wordperfect is probably the best designed word processor on

the market so far. This program is easy for the user to learn, it contains

a spell and punctuation check, it contains pre designed graphic arts, a

thesaurus, and runs efficiently on a 386 machine that is basically not fast

enough for modern applications today. Another application which is helpful

in business is a data base. This application stores records and inventory

on disk, which can be added and deleted as needed. An example where you

would use a data base could be records of customers you have and would like

to see what they previously purchased. Spreadsheets are a great commodity

in business. a spreadsheet does many different calculations on products or

other prices imputed into the computer. a math co-processor is quite useful

for applications like this since you are using mathematical functions. The

best brand name spreadsheet on the market is Lotus.

Firms prefer user-friendly systems that people can understand how to

use. The user does not want to be stuck in an environment where there is

commands unheard of. Windows was developed for this purpose. Windows is a

solution for MS-DOS which usually runs the system. MS-DOS still runs most

networks today but Windows does all the DOS features except in a user

friendly way. Windows is a pop up menu environment where you can click

your mouse to access the menus and double click it to perform the tasks,

such as to load a program. Many programs are run off of Windows as well as


Multi-Tasking has been introduced in the last couple of years to make

it easier to access many programs with them running on the system at the

same time. Instead of logging off one program and reloading another, you

can load several programs at the same time and change to them by pop up

windows. Windows is a multi-tasking program that runs well according to

the RAM memory that is accessible. IBM recently has come out with their

OS/2 program which is the largest multi-tasking unit available. This

program is compatible to any program on a system, and runs much quicker

when you load up several programs. The business world will continuously

advance as years go by, and many businesses will be upgrading more all the

time. This chain will go on all the time as new programs are invented to

suit a company's needs.