• Created by: Gem_22
  • Created on: 24-05-15 13:41

Use of Computers

Computers are central to most of our work and leisure activities. They also play a part in many more important situations:

  • aircraft navigation and control
  • railway signalling
  • many medical situations.

Medical computer systems include activities such as:

  • record keeping
  • diagnosis of diseases
  • CAT (computer axial tomography) scans
  • drug interactions
  • use of search engines and expert systems to check symptoms
  • robotic or remote surgery
  • DNA sequencing
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Mistakes in Design and Production

Reliability is expected when computers are comissioned.

Mistakes in the design and production of systems can lead to:

  • down time
  • expensive errors
  • data loss
  • compromised privacy
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Data Integrity

Reliability also refers to data integrity.

This relates to data being accurate and consistant throughout its life.

Data integrity also means that the stored data reflects real-world reality.

Database systems normally have rules that prevent inconsitent changes being made to the underlying data.

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Data Integrity Risks

Data integrity can be compromised by:

  • human errors when data is entered
  • errors that occur when data is transmitted from one computer to another
  • software bugs
  • viruses and other malware
  • hardware malfunctions
  • natural disasters

Examples of ways to reduce risks to data integrity include:

  • backing up data regularly
  • controlling access to data via security mechanisms
  • using validation rules to prevent input of invalid data
  • using error detection and correction software when transmitting data
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Reliability and Testing

Reliability is improved through testing. Testing is designed to uncover errors.

Testing can never be complete because:

  • software is too complex
  • testing is expensive
  • testing is time consuming

There are huge numbers of pathways through modern systems so there are usually errors even in extensively tested systems.

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