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Definitions Edit

A workstation is

an electronic computing device, for example, a laptop or desktop computer, or any other device that performs similar functions, and electronic media stored in its immediate environment.[1]
[a] microcomputer or terminal connected to a network. Workstation can also refer to a powerful, stand-alone computer that has considerable calculating or graphics capability.[2]
[a] computer that has better graphics capabilities and more processing power than most personal computers, and is able to carry out several tasks at once. Workstations usually share data and software with other computers in a network.[3]
[a] high-performance, microprocessor-based platform that uses specialized software applicable to the work environment.[4]

Overview Edit

Intended primarily to be used by one person at a time, they are commonly connected to a local area network and run multi-user operating systems. The term workstation has also been used to refer to a mainframe computer terminal or a PC connected to a network.

Historically, workstations offered higher performance than personal computers, especially with respect to CPU and graphics, memory capacity and multitasking cability. They are optimized for the visualization and manipulation of different types of complex data such as 3D mechanical design, engineering simulation (e.g. computational fluid dynamics), animation and rendering of images, and mathematical plots.

Consoles consist of a high resolution display, a keyboard and a mouse at a minimum, but also can offer multiple displays, graphics tablets, 3D mice (devices for manipulating and navigating 3D objects and scenes), etc.

Workstations traditionally were the first segment of the computer market to present advanced accessories and collaboration tools.

References Edit

  1. 45 C.F.R. §164.304.
  2. Auditing and Financial Management: Federal Information System Controls Audit Manual (FISCAM), at 555.
  3., GIS Glossary (full-text).
  4. Glossary of Security Terms, Definitions, and Acronyms, at 264.

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