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HARDWARE - Standards

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Beginners, Glossary and Background

Computer & Communication Standards serve two important functions in computing: to ensure that a product is fit for its intended purpose and to ensure interoperability between different components.

For example, to ensure that a printer made by one manufacturer will work successfully with a computer made by another manufacturer, many standards will be involved to specify many factors: the physical and electrical properties of the connectors, serial or parallel connections, which pins to connect, voltages used, cable type and length, data rates, transmission protocols, parity, character encoding, and which page description language (and version) to use.

It has been said that the beauty of standards is that there are so many to choose from. In reality, new standards must be written all the time to keep up with technological progress.

Open standards (not specific to one manufacturer) are particularly important, to promote competition between manufacturers and make available a wider choice of goods and services.

S ee also:Definition of Standards, Techweb


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20 October, 2000
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