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Minicomputer Characteristics, Economics and Selection for an Integrated Library Management System

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Title: Minicomputer Characteristics, Economics and Selection for an Integrated Library Management System
Author(s): Grosch, Audrey N.
Subject(s): Libraries --Automation Minicomputers --Library applications Minicomputers --Economics
Abstract: When the term "minicomputer" initially was coined it denoted a physically small, low-cost computer using available technology and designed to perform a specific function. Usage of these devices was limited mainly to the laboratory, certain process-dependent industrial tasks, and special-purpose computational problems. Today, the minicomputer is no longer limited to such systems. However, not all computing specialists, library systems analysts, and librarians realize that the situation is rapidly changing and will continue to do so. Sometimes the feelings one experiences when discussing mini- computers, particularly as independent processors, may be conveyed by the following verse : Automation Is Vexation, Quarternions are bad; Analysis Situs Is only detritus I wonder: Have I been had? 1 The misconceptions which were based on the qualities of minicomputers until the last few years were: 1. slow instruction execution time and cycle time, 2. small memory with lack of expansion, 3. lack of peripheral equipment, 4. lack of peripheral device interfaces, 5. low reliability and unsatisfactory maintenance services, 6. poor programming instruction sets, 7. lack of vendor-supplied software, 8. greater programming difficulty, 9. lack of character addressability, 10. lack of hardware multiply and divide, and 1 1 . image as front-end processors requiring large host computers for file updating and output processing. This paper seeks to dispel these misconceptions in the broad sense, although one can see that individual minicomputers have specific strengths and weaknesses dependent upon the end application use. The minicomputers considered here are machines available currently and developed in the last two to three years.
Issue Date: 1974
Publisher: Graduate School of Library Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Citation Info: In Applications of minicomputers to library and related problems : papers presented at the 1974 Clinic on Library Applications of Data Processing, April 28-May 1, 1974, ed. F.W. Lancaster. Urbana, Il: Graduate School of Library Science: 158-169.
Series/Report: Clinic on Library Applications of Data Processing (11th : 1974)
Genre: Conference Paper / Presentation
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/904
ISBN: 0-87845-041-6
ISSN: 0069-4789
Publication Status: published or submitted for publication
Rights Information: Copyright owned by Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois 1974.
Date Available in IDEALS: 2007-06-12
 

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