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Digital Computers
CHAPTER 15 ELECTRONIC DATA PROCESSING AND SOURCE DATA SYSTEM The   world   is   constantly   changing.   Using computers  has  changed  the  way  business  is  done. Today’s  Navy  operates  through  the  use  of  modern state-of-the-art  weapons  and  computer  systems.  New computer technology has had a tremendous impact on the efficiency of operation, and as a PN, you will be able to accomplish more by using a computer keyboard or mouse. Because of this advanced computer technology, jobs that used to take a long time to accomplish can be done rapidly and more easily. In this chapter, you will learn   about   electronic   data   processing,   different computers,  the  Source  Data  System  (SDS),  and  a relatively   new   computer   system   allowing   fleet personnel access to the Bureau of Naval Personnel, known  as  BUPERS  ACCESS.   This   chapter   also discusses the handling of documents by PNs and DKs. ELECTRONIC  DATA  PROCESSING For one person to know all there is about existing automatic  data  processing  (ADP)  equipment  and systems is impossible; in fact, it is beyond the scope of this  chapter.  ADP  encompasses  all  operations,  from  the collection  of  raw  data  to  the  final  preparation  of meaningful reports. The important thing to remember is that data processing systems, regardless of the size and type, share certain common fundamental concepts and  principles. After you read this chapter, you will have some knowledge concerning different computers and an idea of how the Navy’s operations are changing with the use of  modem  computer  technology.  This  chapter  contains a  discussion  on  some  computers  currently  used  in  the Navy. CLASSIFICATIONS  OF  COMPUTERS Did  you  know  that  computers  can  be  classified  in many different ways? They can be classified by the purpose for which they were designed  (special-purpose or general-purpose),   by  the  method  by  which  they handle data  (digital  or analog),  by the amount they cost (from $50 to $10 million and up), and even by their physical size (hand held to room size). In this section, you will learn about the purposes and types of functions performed  by  special-purpose  and  general-purpose computers and by analog and digital computers. Special-Purpose Computers A  special-purpose  computer,  as  the  name  implies, is designed to perform a specific operation and usually satisfies the needs of a particular type of problem. Such a   computer   system   would   be   useful   in   weather predictions, satellite tracking, or oil exploration. While a special-purpose computer may have many of the same features  found  in  a  general-purpose  computer,  its applicability to a particular problem is a function of its design rather than of a stored program. The instructions that control it are built directly into the computer, which makes  for  a  more  efficient  and  effective  operation. However,  a  drawback  of  this  specialization  is  the computer’s  lack  of  versatility.  It  cannot  be  used  to perform  other  operations. General-Purpose Computers On the other hand, a general-purpose computer is designed to perform a wide variety of operations. It can do this because different programs can be stored in the central  processing  unit  (CPU).  In  most  situations, flexibility makes up for any loss in speed. Analog  Computers All   analog   computers   are   special-purpose computers.  They  are  designed  to  measure  continuous electrical  or  physical  conditions,  such  as  current, voltage,  flow,  temperature,  length,  or  pressure.  Then, they   convert   these   measurements   into   related mechanical or electrical quantities. The early analog computers were   strictly mechanical   or electromechanical   devices. They  did  not  operate digitally.  If  digits  were  involved  at  all,  they  were obtained indirectly. Your wrist watch (if nondigital) and your car’s speedometer, oil pressure, temperature, and fuel gauges are considered analog computers. The output of an analog computer is often an adjustment to the control of a machine; such as an adjustment to a 15-1

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