The following are some of the areas where computers are used:
Supermarkets and other retail stores use computers for stock control, i.e., to help them manage their daily activities.
The stock control system keeps record of what is in store, what has been sold, and what is out of stock. The Management is automatically alerted when a particular item or items are running out of stock and need to be reordered.
For calculating customer’s Balance.
For production of receipts.
It can be used as a barcode reader.
The use of computers has made Industries more productive & efficient. They are used:
- To monitor and control industrial processes. The industries use remote controlled devices called Robots. A Robot is a machine that works like a human being, but performs tasks that are unpleasant, dangerous, and tedious to be done by human beings.
- For management control, i.e. to keep track of orders, bills and transactions.
- By companies as a competitive tool. E.g., they are used to assist in defining new products & services. They also help industries form new relationships with suppliers and therefore, enable the producers maintain a competitive edge against their competitors.
- For advertisement purposes, which enable an industry to attract more customers.
Computers are used by Banks & Insurance industries:
- To manage financial transactions. They use special cash dispensing machines called Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) to enable them provide cash deposit & withdrawal services.
- For processing of Cheques.
- For preparation of Payrolls.
- For better record keeping and processing of documents.
- To provide electronic money transfer facilities.
Computers are used in production environments such as factories to control chemical & mechanical processes. The computers are usually loaded with specialized programs & each computer is designed to do a specific job
Computers are used in hospitals:
- To keep & retrieve patient’s medical records.
- For automatic diagnosis of diseases like Cancer, electro-cardiogram screening & monitoring.
They are used to get a cross-sectional view of the patient’s body that enables physicians to properly diagnose the affected part of the body with high levels of accuracy.
- In medical equipments, e.g. blood pressure monitors, blood analyzers, etc.
- To control life-supporting machines in the Intensive Care Units (ICU).
- To enable medical experts in different countries to share their expertise or labour, thus reducing the transportation of patients & professionals.
- For receiving & sending of messages through e-mails, fax, etc.
- Production of documents.
- Keeping of records.
Computers are used in government ministries & agencies:
- To store/keep records and improve the efficiency of work within the Civil service.
If computers were not used, the large number of files in government registries would make information recovery extremely difficult.
- To produce bills & statements.
Computers are widely used in the teaching & learning process. Learning and teaching using computers is referred to as Computer Aided Learning (CAL) and Computer Aided Teaching (CAT).
- Computers are used in learning institutions (schools & colleges) as teaching aids, i.e. to help in teaching various subjects.
E.g., they are used to demonstrate experiments in subjects like Chemistry or Physics using a special program that can illustrate them on the screen through a process called Simulation.
- To assist the Long distance learning in universities usually referred to as the Open University Concept.
- To analyze academic data.
- Computers are used in Aviation for training of pilots. Flight simulators are used to monitor the control movements made by the pilot while the computer is used to physically change the environment so that the pilot feels as if he were controlling an actual aircraft.
Computers can be used for research in various fields. They are used by:
- Scientists to analyse their experimental data, e.g., in weather forecasting.
- Engineers & Architects to design & test their work.
- Computers have greatly assisted in space exploration.
The integration of computers & telecommunication facilities has made the transmission and reception of messages very fast and efficient.
- They are used in telephone exchanges to switch incoming & outgoing calls.
- For sending & receiving electronic messages, e.g. fax and e-mails, if connected to a computer network.
Computers are used in:
- Automobile traffic control, e.g., to monitor vehicle traffic in a busy town.
- Railway corporations to co-ordinate the movement of their goods & wagons.
- Shipping control. The computers are used for efficient management of fleets & communication.
- Airports (Airline industry). The computers are used;
- Computers are widely used in fighting crime. The Police use computers to keep databases on fingerprints and also analysed them.
- The Police also use computers for face recognition, scene monitoring & analysis, which help them to arrest traffic offenders and criminals.
The information held in computers such as fingerprints, photographs and other identification details helps law enforcers to carry out criminal investigations speedily.
- Computers are used in electronic news gathering, efficient communication, detecting and tracking of targets; in radar systems, warning systems & in guided missile systems.
- Computers are used in military defence equipments, e.g. Fighter jets, Rockets, Bombers, etc.
- Computers are used to prepare business presentations for advertisement purposes.
The presentations are done using overhead projectors attached to computers running slide shows & digital video clips taken using a Camcorder. An overlaid voice is used to describe the product.
- Computers are used in music related equipment such as Synthesizers.
- In entertainment (i.e., games & movies), computers are used to add stereo sound & digital video clips, which make games more realistic.
- In Education & Training, Multimedia discs are used as teaching aids for all types of subjects.
Computers are used at homes:
- For watching movies, playing music and computer games.
- For storing personal information.
- For calculating and keeping home budgets.
- For shopping purposes. They provide people with lists of shopping items as well as their prices. They also provide electronic money transfer facilities.
- In household items, such as, Microwave ovens, Televisions, etc.
Computers can be used in a library:
To enable the library personnel to easily access & keep updated records of books and other library materials.
To search for book titles instead of using the manual card catalogue.
The emergence of computers has provided employment opportunities to very many people.
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