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Methods to convey information



Most people can read and understand text


May be in a language that someone doesn't know



Many signs universal and easilY recognisable


Signs may be too vague

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Visually impared can also understand it


Hearing impared cannot understand



Pulls together sound and image allowing most people to understand


Have to watch entire video to find out certain piece of information

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Attracts attention to get more to read it


If LED lights break the sign may become unreadable

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Data types

Boolean- m/f, t/f, yes/no

Real- any number with a decimal place

Integer- whole number

Text/string- multiple characters together

Date/Time- texts and numbers with symbols 

Currency- money

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Static and dynamic

Static- once created it cannot be changed- e.g. a programme on a disc

Dynamic- can be changed e.g data on a website

Advantages of static:

Available more easily- printable 

Most likely proof read

Disadvantages of static:

If mistake is made then mistake in all copies

Any changes will make current version out of date

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Advantages of dynamic:

If mistake is made can be corrected

Cost of updating far less

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Encoding- data in simplier form

Encryption- putting data into secret code

Advantages of encoding:

More accurate and reliable

most useful where choices of response is small e.g. male/female


not completely useful when capturing answers that require value judgements

Can lead to misenterpretation

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Verification and Validation

Validation- process of ensuring data is sensible, usually by applying rules

Verification- happens after data has been entered, usually by entering data twice


Transcription errors

Tend to happen when data is entered manually

Data capture forms:

majority of errors by human error

Data capture reduces this

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Examples of data capture:

Barcode readers


Touch tone phone

Validation checks:

Lookup list check: data only allowed from list

Batch header check- total number of record is counted and compared with batch header

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Modulus 11


Each number in barcode is given a weight starting from 2 and increasing from right to left

Each number then timesed by its weight

All results added together

Number then divided by 11

Number then taken away from 11 to give final answer


If remainder (after dvided by 11) is 0, then check digit is 0 not 11

If remainder is 1, is x not 10

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GUI- graphic user interface- interface based on graphics and pictures rather than text

WIMP- windows icons menu pointer particular type of GUI

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wizards,style sheets etc

Wizards- assists user to produce final product. offers user a range of screens where they can make choices and enter info.


- Save time form inexperienced users

- ensure that no important info is forgotten

-Standard formats can be used 

- element of user friendliness


- No individuality to the end result

- End result may not meet needs

- Harder for documents to be tailored to meet needs of the target audience

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style sheets

Similar to templates and are used to set out layouts. usually relate to word processing or DTP

Elements in style sheets:

-Font size

-Font Style

-Margin Size



-Lack of confusion 

-Different people can work on different parts of same document and because of the style sheet the results will be consistent.

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-Someone needs to develop style sheet before it can be used as template

-Can be restrictive


Provides standard pre-set layouts and formats


-Page formatting

-Text inserts

-Graphical inserts

-Character formatting

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-Faster than creating manually

-Easier to use than style sheets


-Less control

-Not as unique


A set of stored commands that can be relayed by pressing a button


-Repetitive task can be repated with ease

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-Errors may be reduced

-Inexperienced users can perform complx tasks


-Errors may occur when macro is run differently than pre-recorded

-Users must know and remeber key combination

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Design considerations for tailored data- entry scr

Design considerations- user friendly

Consistency- Several forms then user will expect buttons to do similar things

Relevancy- should not ask for redundant information

Supportiveness- needs to be a balance

Visual and audibal cues- needs to be feedback

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standard/generic applications


Can be used to take user to another page or to run selected action/command


Can be use in assistance in data entry. can give advice and guidance

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ads and disads of standard/generic applications


-Simplification of user data entry

-Time taken to enter data sped up

- data entered can be validated


-Technical knowledge needed to create and test the interface

- if software on interface is updated no guarentee that interface performs like it is supposed to

- if problem occurs with the interface or option is not available on button then user may not be able to complete task.

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consistent house style


- easily recognisable

-Devlops and reinforces company


- Save money

- More Control


-If look is changed, harder to recognise

-Costs a lot of money to change/advertise

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Modelling software

Used to create virtual representation of item within the computer

Why is it used?:

-less risky to test a model of a design than to create it in reality 

- computer model can be backed up and shared

- can be accelerated or slowedc down to see effects.

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how are features used in modelling software

Variables- associated with particluar cell (e.g. D4)

Formulae- way a calculation is represented in a spreadsheet

Rules- set of procedures that must be followed

Functions- used to represent a formula that is too complex

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cell referencing

Relative cell referencing- where cell referenced in a spreadsheet formula changes when formula is copied to other cells.

Absolute referencing- used when a referenced cell in a spread sheet formula needs to remain exactly the same when the formula is copied to other cells.

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ads and disads of spread sheet simulations


-Automatic re-calculation

- graphs can be produced

- model can be saved and backed up

- computer models can be sped up or slowed down


-model may not be an accurate representation of real world

-may be time consuming

- many variables need to be considered 

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Data protection act

Data subject- the person the data is about

Data controller- person within company responsible for making sure act is being followed

Data processor- any person who processes the data on behalf of controller

Recipient- individuals given data in order to process it

Third party- Receives data for processing

Information commisioner- individual making sure DPA is being followed by all companies

Rights of the individual:

-Allowed access

- Prevent information being kept which may cause damage or distress

- Right to prevent information for marketing 

- Right to compensation if damage or distress is caused

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Main aspects:

1) Processed lawfully and fairly

2) Obtained only for one or more specified and lawful purposes

3) Shalle be adequate

4) Shall be accurate and kept up to date

5) personal data processed for an purpose shall not be kept longer than needed

6) Shall be processed in accordance with the rights of the data subject

7) Appropriate measures will be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing

8) personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the EU.

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Computer Misuse Act

4 provisions:

1) Unauthorised access to computer material- entering the system

2) Unauthorised access with intent to commit or facilitate the commission of further offences- apart from entering system

3) Unauthorised acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing operations on a computer- making changes to content

4) Making, suppyling or obtaining articles for use in offences- malicious scripts that will modify original script


- Act allows companies a legal recourse if their security has been comprimised 


-There has to be intent

-The act is enforced only when a crime has been committed

- Hard to track the intruder

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The copyright, designs and patents act

The act makes it illegal to steal or create unauthroised copies of software


- a lot of effort goes into publications, they deserve to be rewarded 


- When you buy software, you buy the online license to use it

-Understanding license can be difficult and many mistakes are made

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The regulation of Investigatory Powers Act

The act was introduced to address concerns about the use and misuse of communication interception techniques


-Can monitor what employees or users are doing

- Can ensure that facilities are only being used for legitimate work


- Any form of monitoring may be seen as a breach of trust

-Could be seen as going against that desire of privacy

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The electronic communications act

Allows goverment to set up a 'register' and allows to recognise digital signatures 


- Increased security 


- Coveyancing and wills are two areas digital signatures will take a long time to be introduced

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The freedoms of information act

Deals with access to official information


- Information that was not accessible to the public is now available


- Just because access is requested does not mean it will be granted

- Public authority does not have to confirm or deny the existance of information requested

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characteristics of documents

-footnotes- appear at bottom of page

-Sections- chapters

- Frames-text box

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Mail merging


-May seem impersonal

- Can create more errors

- doesnt suit every circumstance

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key words

Hotspot- area of an image that is a link

Buttons- used to complete an action/command

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- Hard copy

- No hardware problems


- Harder to correct errors

- Cant change colours

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health problems

Repetitive strain injury- Doing to much in one movement- Sit in correct seating position, gel rests, footrests

Fatigue- Continuos period of mental work- breaks, holidays

Stress- State of mental strain- Time off, therapist

Back ache- Uncomfortable furniture, Poor posture- Medication, massage, rest

Deep vein thrombosis- Blood clot- Walk/move around

Carpel tunnel syndrome- Pressure on the median nerve in wrist- Breaks, avoid repetitive actions

Ulnar neuritis- Compression of ulnar nerve in elbow- correct desk height, arm rests

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- a table is 1NF if every data value in a field is atomic and each record does not contain repeating data.

-ATomic means that the data value cannot be broken down any further. e.g. 'Student Name' is not atomic because it contains both the first name and last name.


- a table is 2NF if it is 1NF and all its non key attributes are dependent on the entire primary key


- a table is 3NF if it is 2NF and there is no functional dependancy between non-key items

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- Final tables will have no redundant data

- a normalised data structure is easier to maintain

- data at end stored in an effective structure


- reduced database performance

- database that are required to store historical data must break the rules of normalisation

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