cup coaster, the diskette is likely to be damaged and some data lost. A clumsy-footed
operator, who pulls the wrong plug out of the wall, can wreak havoc with computer
memory. The worst threat of all are viruses computer programs designed to do things
with your program that were not intended. In an X-ray department, a virus can:
overwrite all patient radiographic reports with "garbage" (cancel existing data and
replace it with new data). It can unschedule all patients for a given day or week, make
the computer system inaccessible to all users, write (transfer) itself into all computers
through which there is a communication link, or all of the above.
b. "Garbage In, Garbage Out" Syndrome. From a data input-output
standpoint, the computer can only be as good as the data fed into it. If erroneous data
are fed into the computer, a "garbage in, garbage out" syndrome will prevail.
c. Acts of Nature and Man. Additionally, the computer is vulnerable to acts of
nature and man. It cannot run away, for example, in case of fire or flood. Nor can it
protect itself from an incompetent user.
d. Ergonomic Considerations. A computer will work best in an ergonomically
sound environment, that is, an environment designed for human comfort. Room
temperature should be temperate, and the air should not be humid. High temperatures,
humidity, dust, dirt, and cigarette smoke contribute to computer malfunctions.
e. Conclusion. After you have overcome your initial awe and/or fear of the
computer, you must keep these factors in mind, in order to optimize the smooth
functioning of the computer system you are using.