email: firstname.lastname@example.org: Signal Processing and Transaction Processing SystemsTime is money money is time. This is a phrase everyone has heard before. In the coming years, advances in digital signal processing and it’s effect on transaction processing, will continue to speed up the business world like never before. Simply, a signal is a time or space dependant quantity that contains information. The image on a television or computer screen can be referred to as a space-signal. Any audio that is represented by electrical voltages or currents is a time-signal. Advances in the processing of these signals will have an immediate impact on daily life. Space-SignalIn space-signal technology, there are many new advances, much of them stemming from the development of new video compression technology. Video compression, simply put, involves the breaking down of video signals for transmission. The video signals are separated into constituents through the use of signal processing algorithms. Digital encoders are then able to efficiently represent these signals for transmission. The improvements in space-signal technology allow for real-time compression of full-motion video and still image compression. Applications such as High Definition Television, video telephone and video conferencing, and interactive image and video databases, are becoming more available as the technology progresses. These new applications help a lot of people. Moving away from home? No worry pick up a video telephone, and through your computer you can see your family whenever you call. Sick with a bad rash, and the only doctor you trust is out of town? No problem, if he is equipped with the technology just beep him he can diagnose you from the other side of the world. Travel, real estate, education, entertainment etc., every facet can benefit from these applications. (Especially those who manufacture the equipment that is necessary!)Time-SignalTime-signal technology includes the compression and encoding of speech and other audio signals for digital transmission. In time-signal technology, advances are on a much wider scale. Most if not all of the space-signal technology may be accompanied by matching audio. In real-time, the action and the sound cannot be delayed. Advances allow for an echo-free, static-free, on-time transmission. Besides working with the video industry, time-signal technology has its own accomplishments. Compact discs are well known for their clarity and precise sound. Encoding of audio signals allows for high quality audio compression for re-writable compact discs that are available to the public. The use of pattern recognition lends to voice recognition. All voice recognition products, such as hands-off dialing (simply say the number you want to dial and use the speakerphone), automated operator assistance (at the tone say calling card, collect, or ), and computer voice recognition (say maximize or minimize) are all a part of time-signal advances.
Transaction Processing Systems Transaction processing systems can be separated into two categories, batch processing systems and on-line transaction processing systems. Batch processing, which is for the most part, out dated, was based on processing data one batch at a time. Because batch processing requires only minimal use of computers, it was much more popular when the cost of computers was high. In addition, the speed at which a batch processing works is not acceptable in the fast paced business world of today. On-line transaction processing is now the leader. A simple example would be an ATM machine. It includes multiple users tapping a central data storage facility doing on-line inquiries and updates. Customer acceptance of the ATM as well as the low cost of hardware, such as telecommunications, and computer components has made the system a success. Point-of-sale terminals are another straightforward example of an on-line transaction processing system. The terminal scans a UPC label, automatically determines a price, and brings up an item description. To assist in the inventory process, quantity on hand is adjusted as each item is purchased or returned. These terminals, in cooperation with credit information bureaus, may also determine a customer’s credit worthiness in minutes. If credit is requested it may be granted or denied and the information will be recorded. Unlike batch processing, most, if not all, on-line transaction processing information is typed, not written. This has created a special market for computer systems that are fault tolerant. A fault tolerant computer system is designed to continue to operate in spite of component or power failures. The set-up of these systems includes all remote terminals that are connected to a network control computer. The network control computer shares the information with the system’s main computer. The main computer has access to the database. Notice that no “direct” connection exists between the remote terminals or the network control computer and the database. All customer, product and order information is accessible only through the connection of the main computer. In closing, signal processing and transaction processing systems are a good example of how “time waits for no man.” The speed of business has been accelerating since the first fish was caught and sold for a bushel of apples; processes that took days now take seconds. What’s in store for tomorrow?
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