In the business world today, computers and the software applications that run on them basically control a well organized business. Every major 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 A system can be outdated in a matter of two years time.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 MS-DOS.
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.