By E. C. Coles and D. W. Hill (Auth.)

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Extra resources for A Guide to Medical Computing

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6) The methods of minimizing the effects of failure of any part of the system, and of re-starting the system after such failure. Should any stand-by procedures be required to back up the system when it is operating inadequately or not at all, these should also be described. (7) The way in which the correct operation of the system should be judged. (8) The method of evaluating the usefulness of the system. (9) The phases of introducing of the new system. THE IMPORTANCE OF SYSTEMS ANALYSIS The processes of detailed systems design require a considerable know­ ledge of computing techniques and a thorough understanding of the requirements, conventions and other attitudes of those who will use the system.

Two commonly 41 THE COMPUTER - FILE STORAGE PERIPHERALS used exchangeable disc units have capacities of 8 million characters and 60 miUion characters per pack of 6 or 11 discs respectively. KEEPING FILES UP-TO-DATE File storage units holding copies of programs that are to be used fre­ quently, have stored in the appropriate area of the device a more or less exact copy of the pattern of bits that constitute the program when it is in internal storage. Writing this pattern from internal to external storage and back again is a simple and rapid procedure.

Sorting or information retrieval pro­ grams - are to be used. (8) For each program, a broad description of its functions and, in the case of validation functions, a detailed specification of the criteria of validity. (9) The mechanism by which the effects of failure of various elements of the system may be mitigated. This should include the pro­ cedures to be adopted should the data preparation staff be depleted by sickness, should the computer develop a serious fault that may take several hours or even days to rectify, or should a generation of the master file be inadvertently overwritten.

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