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1.6.1 Introduction

The process of keeping up-to-date in your chosen subject area is useful for your studies and afterwards, for your own personal satisfaction, or perhaps in your career as part of your continuing professional development.

There are a great many tools available that make it quite easy to keep yourself up to date. You can set them up so that the information comes to you, rather than you having to go out on the web looking for it. Over the next few pages, you will be experimenting with some
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3.2 By medium

We can divide texts up by the medium in which they appear. This is a broad division that is technologically based. It may seem excessively obvious, but it can be quite revealing. For example, different media have different periodicities (frequency of appearances) – most magazines appear weekly or monthly, while newspapers are weekly or daily. Episodes of television programmes are most commonly also weekly or daily, but films appear on a different basis altogether, since, like books or CDs t
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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) and is used under licence.

This extract is taken from D218: Social policy: welfare, power and diversity, produced by the BBC on behalf of the Open University.

© 2007 The Open University.


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The Story of Wakefield
A basic skills learning resource booklet with interactive activities designed to introduce the Wakefield Museum.
Author(s): Davis, Samantha,Leeds Metropolitan University

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Spanish Demonstrative Adjectives - Adjetivos Demostrativos
This is a Spanish lesson about demonstrative adjectives. (05:08)
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Introduction

‘Europe’ is a key issue of contemporary political debate and provides one of the most contentious questions facing party leaders and the voters of more than one country. But what is the nature of the issue, and what does it actually involve? What are the precise questions that contemporary Europe poses? Europe is in flux, and many of the key reference points of a traditional Europe have weakened or disappeared altogether. One of the key aspects of the present situation, therefore, is that
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8 Conclusion: the view from social constructionism

This unit has concentrated on the question of how social issues are socially constructed. It has done so not because this is the only form of analysis in the social sciences. There are many different approaches, theories and perspectives that bear upon social problems, patterns of social differentiation and the organisation of social welfare. Nevertheless, all of them have to operate in a social world where the meaning of things shapes how we act. It is this that makes processes of soc
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Introduction

This course examines the type of system which is described by the umbrella term ‘e-commerce’. A number of typical application areas are examined including retailing using the internet, supply chain management and online auctions. The course also looks at some of the underlying technologies used to implement e-commerce applications, for example web technology. The final part of the course looks at some of the problems which are encountered when developing distributed e-commerce systems, fo
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Copyright © 2016 The Open University

Acknowledgements

All materials included in this unit are derived from content originated at the Open University.

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence

1. Join the 200,000 students cur
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7.2 Adding 2's complement integers

The leftmost bit at the start of a 2's complement integer (which represents the presence or absence of the weighting −128) is treated in just the same way as all the other bits in the integers. So the rules given at the start of Section 7.1 for adding unsigned integers can be used.

Example 7


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2.7 Input and output considerations

So far in Section 2 I have focused on how the data is represented, or encoded, inside the weighing-scales computer. But how does it get into the computer? And how does it get out again in a form that users can recognise? These are big questions, and ones that later parts of the course will be going into in some detail. But I can sketch some answers here.

Weight is the most important input in the kitchen scales. To detect a weight, sensors are placed under the scalepan. They produce an e
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2.3 Representing numbers: fractions

In the denary system, a decimal point can be used to represent fractions, as in 6.5 or 24.29. One way of encoding fractions uses an exactly analogous method in binary numbers: a ‘binary point’ is inserted.

Some examples of 8-bit binary fractions are:

  • 0.0010110

  • 110.01101

  • 0101110.1

The weightings that are applied to the bits after the binary point are, reading from left to right, 1/2, 1/4, 1
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14.3 Personal Digital Assistants

Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) or handheld computers are small, portable computers. They each contain a small processor and have specially written operating systems. Two popular types of PDA at the time of writing (early 2005) are those running the Palm OS operating system and those using the Windows Mobile operating system, (also called Pocket PC). There is a range of applications purposely written for PDAs, but many also use special versions of popular applications like Microsof
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4.2.3 Second computer (the FirstClass server)

The computer on the right of Figure 11 receives the data, manipulates it and then stores it. The computer then typically sends some kind of response back via the network, which may require the computer to retrieve some stored data.

The computer in this example is one of the Ope
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4.2.2 Network

In the same way as in the network shown in Figure 8, this network conveys the data to the receiver, selecting the most appropriate route for it to travel. In order to do this, the network may need to manipulate and store or retrieve data.

Your computer sends the FirstClass message
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13.4 Flash memory

Flash memory is an electronic form of memory which can be used, erased and reused. A flash memory card is a small storage device used to store data such as text, pictures, sound and video. These cards are used in portable devices such as digital cameras and in small portable computers, such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs).

A USB flash memory, sometimes called a ‘memory stick’, is a small storage device which is completely external and connects to the computer via a USB
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13.3 Optical storage

A CD-ROM (Compact Disk Read Only Memory) uses a laser-based optical form of storage. This type of disk has been used for many years to distribute music and computer software. A CD-ROM drive is needed to read the disks. Data is locked into the disk during manufacture, and cannot afterwards be changed.

There are two other types of CD device for computers: CD-R (CD-recordable) and CD-RW (CD-rewritable). With the right sort of CD drive in your computer, you can ‘burn’ data (that
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13.1 Introduction

I'll now introduce you to some different storage media and devices. As the uses for ICTs have expanded and developed, so has the need to store ever larger amounts of data. I've quoted some figures for storage capacity in this section but, given the rapid rate of development in ICT systems, some of these figures may be out of date when you read this unit.


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11.7 Applications

Most people buy computers in order to run applications. There are many different examples of software application, including word processors and spreadsheet, database and graphics packages. Some are combined together in ‘office’ suites, such as the StarOffice applications you can find on the Open University's Online Applications disk.

Word-processing software, such as Microsoft Word, allows you to create, edit and store documents. You can produce very professional-looking do
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11.6 Operating systems

A computer requires software just to look after itself and to manage all its components; this is called the operating system. The operating system handles communication with the other software on the computer and with the hardware resources of the machine, such as the processor and memory. The operating system provides a means of running the computer's application programs. It also provides a standard user interface with windows, buttons and menus so that users can interact with the co
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