A Guide to Medical Computing by E. C. Coles and D. W. Hill (Auth.)

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

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Other forms of character printers using an ink jet or electrosensitive paper may operate at higher speeds than this but they are not yet widely used. Line printers are impact printers of a different order of speed, cost and complexity than character printers. Typically, they print in up to 132 character positions across a page and they operate at speeds of between 100 and 1,500 lines per minute (equivalent to 200 to 3,000 characters per second). Devices to punch cards or paper tape for subsequent printing off-line are quite frequently used.

These directions may be thought of as the eight main points of the compass - N, NE, Ε, SE, S, SW, W, NW. The diagonal movements being made up of a combination of the two primary movements. The square of which each primary movement forms one side, has a size which is called the 'increment size' of the plotter. 1 mm. A 'continuous' line drawn on such a device will in fact consist of discreet steps, but they are sufficiently small for the line to appear to be continuous except on the closest examination.

Inspection of the index gives the number of the block which con­ tains the record required and this block can then be read from the file. The second method of file organization is known as 'random' file organ­ ization. In this method the block which contains a specified record is not found by reference to an index, but by performing an arithmetical operation on a key part of the record which gives a number in the range 1 to η where there are η blocks in the file. For example, if the hospital number was an appropriate key, that number might be divided by n, and one more than the remainder would give the number of the block in which that record belonged.

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