Computers in Business by Peter Haine, Ernest Haidon (auth.)

By Peter Haine, Ernest Haidon (auth.)

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1 Introduction In the previous chapter we considered the way in which a problem may be defined, and a logical algorithm developed for its solution. Simple algorithms may be applied mentally - more complex ones may require resort to pencil and paper. A point is reached where the number of steps involved, or the complexity of the computational operations, make the solution of the algorithm very tedious by manual means. At this stage, if a computer happens to be available, there may be quite a temptation to delegate the responsibility for solving the problem to its care.

20 2000 4000 could mean 'add the contents of 2000 to that of 4000, leaving the result in the accumulator'. This would be a two-address code. Languages using mnemonics are often known as 'assemblers'; they allow for both the functions and the locations to be referenced in a given instruction, represented in such a way that the meaning of the instruction is more immediately apparent. For example LDX A ADD B SUB C STO D is fairly easily understood as producing the computation A + B - C and storing the result D.

The EDS store often has six or ten discs stacked one above the other, and the read/write heads move in unison - giving access to a so-ca lied cylinder of data (see Sect. 2 and Fig. 1). Files of data are accordingly arranged to fill successive cylinders, and the information may be retrieved very often, by switching only from track to track within a cylinder. The second important difference between fixed and exchangeable disc stores is that, in the ca se ofthe latter, the entire disc cartridge (or disc pack as it is often called), can be removed from the drive and access mechanism, and replaced by another cartridge.

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