Depot is a convenient name for a
in which to keep all your files about
subjects you study. If all these files are kept in one
directory, it will be easy to search them for words to
find out which ones have anything to say about a
My Documents is the name given by the software manufacturers to the
directory in which Windows95 (and later) stores
made by the
computer user, to kepp them
files. A directory with the same function is often called
WORK: is the name often given to a
made by the
computer user are
kept separate from
files. In Windows95 (and later) the directory for doing this is called
Storing information in compatible format
You can save data from almost all computer applications as a file
on a disk. However, applications save information in different file
formats. Often these different formats are indicated by the three
letter extension at the end of the file name. Here are some examples:
Freud.htm is a file in
(hypertext markup language)
Web. If you look at it in a
markup will be converted to colours etc. If you look at in a wordprocessor,
the mark up will be mysterious codes interfering with what you are reading.
Freud.txt is a file in plain
just the basic
letters and numbers of what was written, without any fancy things like
bold, italic or fonts. It is a friendly little file that will be readable
and usable in almost any application.
Freud.doc is a file created for Word for Windows.
Freud.wpd is created for Wordperfect for Windows. Both may be
full of interesting twiddles like fancy fonts and a swish layout, but they
can be very unfriendly and simply refuse to open if you try to look at them
in another wordprocessor.
Most wordprocessors can
from other formats. The
general principle is that recent wordprocessor versions will be able to
convert from older versions and, usually, from other wordprocessors, but
older wordprocessors will not be able to convert files from more recent
versions. Most wordprocessors, however, can save files in different
formats. Files that are saved in an old format will be usable in a wider
range of programs.
If you want the information in your files to be part of your computer
database, you will want all the information in a compatible format. On my
computer I save almost everything as a WP5.1 file. You will probably find
it more convenient to use a Windows based wordprocessor.
Strictly speaking, a database is a structured set of data
held in a computer. A data bank can be unstructured.
But database has entered the language in a way that data
bank has not, and is used for structured and
unstructured stores of information. A database can be
any size from a large scale public source of information
to a private
example of a
relatively unstructured database would be a computer file in which you
you read, in alphabetical order of author. This would be
the place that you would look for the bibliographical
details of books, on whatever occasion. The
function of your wordprocessor would enable you to
search for any word, whether the author's name, part of
the title, or whatever. (You can make alphabetical lists
easier to search by using a hash (#) in front of the
letters of the alphabet, so that you can search #P etc).
You can also search directories of files to see which
ones mention a particular issue.
An example of a structured database
is a library's computer based catalogue.
Structured databases have records of the same structure.
Each record has the same fields. In a structured database
of books, for example, the records might be for
individual books, and each record might have a field for
the author's name, a field for date of publication, a field
for title, and so on. The advantage of structured data
bases is that they can be designed so that you can select
and sort specified ranges of information. You might, for
example, instruct a structured database to make a list of
the authors names, publication dates and titles of the
books in the database that had "society" in their title.
Your own structured databases can be constructed with
specialised computer software. You can also make them
with a wordprocessor like
using the "merge"
function. Large public databases of information can be
used in the library or over the
Disks and disk drives
Disks are computer devices for storing
They include floppy disks,
which can be carried around and just slot into the floppy disk
drive of whatever computer you are using; and hard
disks, which are kept permanently in the computer.
disk drive is a mechanism for rotating the disk and
reading or writing data.