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Introducing ICT systems
Introducing ICT systems

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16.2.1 Receiving data

In a supermarket ICT system, there needs to be some way for the computer to receive information about the items a customer is buying.

Activity 13 (exploratory)

Think back to a recent visit to your local supermarket and how you made your purchases at the checkout. How did the checkout operator input information about your purchases?

Discussion

This probably involved the checkout operator using a bar code reader to scan the bar code printed on the label of each of your purchases. If an item doesn't have a bar code or, if for some reason, the bar code can't be read, the checkout operator has a keypad for entering the data.

A bar code is a pattern of narrow and wide stripes which can be read by a machine. A bar code reader is a device which optically scans the bar code and converts the stripes into numerical data which can be automatically input to the checkout computer.