Учебное пособие состоит из двух частей и англо-русского словаря. Материалом для пособия послужило американское издание для изучающих компьютер P. Norton "Introduction to Computers"



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Shapes of Computers Today
Supercomputers are the most powerful computers in terms of processing. They are useful for problems requiring complex calculations. Because of their size and expense, supercomputers are relatively rare. They are typically used by large organizations such as universities, government agencies, and very large businesses.
Mainframe computers, which generally have many terminals or PCs connected to them, handle massive amounts of input, output, and storage. Mainframe computers are commonly used in corporations and government agencies, but they are also used as e-commerce servers, handling transactions over the Internet.
Minicomputers are smaller than mainframes but larger than microcomputers. They usually have multiple terminals. Minicomputers are used more and more often as network servers and Internet servers.
Workstations are powerful single-user computers that are used by engineers, scientists, and graphic artists. Like minicomputers, workstations are often used as network and Internet servers.
Microcomputers are more commonly known as personal computers. The term PC often denotes microcomputers that are either IBM-PCs or compatibles. The term can also refer to personal computers made by other manufacturers, such as Apple. Desktop computers are the most common type of personal computer. Notebook computers (laptops) are used by people who need portable computing power outside the office or away from home. Handheld personal computers are the smallest computing devices. They lack the power of a desktop or notebook PC, but they offer specialized features for users who need only limited functions and small size.


Technical Documentation

Whether you are using an off-the-shelf software application at home or your employer's proprietary data-mining tools, you should find that both programs (and almost any other piece of software or hardware you use) are accompanied by documentation. Documentation can take several forms, but complete and useful documentation should always be part of any well-developed product – whether you buy the product from a store or your company developed it from scratch as part of the corporate information system.


Types of Documentation


Technical documentation takes two basic forms:
Printed Manuals. Most software and hardware products feature some sort of printed documentation, although printed manuals are used less frequently now than in the past. At the least, most commercial products include a short "getting started" manual, which offers guidance on installation or basic use. More complex products, like those developed for use in corporate information systems, may include multiple printed manuals with hundreds of pages.
Online Documents and Help Systems. In recent years, manufacturers have begun providing users with online documentation rather than printed manuals because electronic documents are less expensive to produce. This point is especially important for companies that develop their own software tools for in-house use. For these businesses, printing documentation can be a time-consuming and expensive process.
Depending on the product, documentation may be developed for different types of users, based on the expertise or experience:
User Guides. These are designed for end users--people who use the product simply to perform specific tasks. Generally, user documentation is tutorial in nature, providing step-by-step instructions, lots of illustrations, and little or no explanatory text.
Reference Manuals. These manuals may be developed for various users. Instead of providing step-by-step instructions, reference manuals include detailed descriptions of commands, features, and capabilities as well as glossaries of special terms.
Technical Reference Guides. Intended for high-level users or developers who will customize the product or develop other applications to work with the product, these guides are filled with technical details and are generally of little interest to end users.
Installation Guides. These are designed to lead the user or administrator through the installation process. For many products, installation is a simple matter requiring little or no documentation. For complex products, however, especially those designed to work with corporate networks and database management systems, installation is filled with potential pitfalls. In these cases, detailed installation guides attempt to describe and resolve any problems the user may encounter.
Configuration Guides. These guides are important references for high-level users or administrators who must change system settings to make the product work as desired.
Administration Guides. These guides are written for system administrators who must ensure that the product works in tandem with all the other products in the information system, such as the operating system, network operating system, and DBMS.
Other specialized types of documentation include troubleshooting guides, technical specifications, and performance-assessment guides.




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