By Peter Flewitt (auth.)

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Jt\J mml) ,~~W«K~~~ Fig. 26 We need now to look a little more deeply into the concept loosely described as the electronic office, in which word processors communicate with each other, and with similarly computer-based equipment such as Teletex, telex and phototypesetters. Shared resource The next stage beyond the stand-alone system is known as 'shared resource' because , in it, one or more of the four components seen above is shared between two or more operators. It may be, for example, that the printer is considerably under-used by a single operator, and spends much of its life idle.

27 depending upon the type of business. In this case it may be possible to add a larger storage device in the form of a fixed disk or Winchester, accessible either instead of, or in addition to, the normal floppy disk drives. /" I Fig. 28 34 Thus the storage device becomes a shared resource, and the printer may also be shared or not, depending upon the work-load of the system as a whole. The operators' machines still retain their own internal memories, and can act independently with undiminished processing power.

Banks, loan companies, personnel, medical and government agencies keep a great deal of highly sensitive material stored in huge databases or central computers. As many of these can be accessed through public telephone lines, it is necessary that elaborate security procedures should protect the information from access by anyone with a home computer and a telephone. Even within a company, stored files must be accessible only to people of appropriate seniority or responsibility. When using floppy disks, security is easily achieved simply by locking the disks themselves away in a drawer or cabinet.

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