By Marilyn Gard
If youre using a computer in your
office, you can never know too much about its operation. For that reason, this article is
devoted to information about computer networks.
Network Before we start, lets
first define network. When you have two or more computers who work together, you have a
network. Usually those two computers have a cable connecting them. They have the
capability of sharing information. Thats what makes them a "network"
instead of two stand-alone systems.
Server The server is the main
computer in a network. It is the computer that stores your data on the hard drive. You
might think of the hard drive as a massive storage unit. As it spins, it writes
information to various sectors and keeps track of the location of every bit of
information. When any of the computers in the network change information, the changes are
stored on the hard drive in the server.
Workstation A workstation is just
what it sounds like a place to enter and process information. A workstation
consists of a computer, monitor and keyboard. The main difference between the workstation
and the server is that the server is the designated place to store data.
Hard drive Weve been talking
about a hard drive, but havent really defined it. The hard drive sits inside the
server. It is a disk on which data is stored. The capacity (or storage capability) of the
hard drive is measured in gigabytes. The size of hard drive needed depends entirely
on the number of different programs that you intend to run since each different program
requires hard drive space.
Network software You cant just
hook two computers together and expect them to work together. You have to use network
software which tells the computers how to interact. Windows 98 and Windows NT are software
packages control the operation of the network.
This information is a basic introduction to computer
networks. The advantage of a network system is obvious. When one C.A. is processing
patients at the front desk, another C.A. can be posting insurance payments or running
insurance billing. A network allows for a variety of tasks to be performed simultaneously.
Thanks to Marilyn Gard for the use of her files!