A Windows Based Terminal


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a windows based terminal PC or Mainframe
Executive Statement
A mainframe is a very large, powerful, dedicated, multi-tasking computer where enormous amounts of data are processed, sometimes millions of records a day.  The mainframe is set up for specific applications and those applications only; which is totally different from a Personal Computer (PC).  A mainframe runs a custom operating system specifically written for particular applications while a PC has a generic operating system such as Windows and is built to handle many different programs.
PCs are multi-tasking but not dedicated with control of the resources usually handled by the computer rather than the user having control over the amount of resources used by any given application.  For example, if you were to run 3D Studio Max, it would use 100% of your processor and about 75% of your Random Access Memory (RAM) to render a scene but if you were working with a similar mainframe program you would be able to use the assigned "chunk" of the processing power for rendering and that would still leave the dedicated amount for other applications or users to use (L. Mitzner, personal communication, January 12, 2002).  

PCs and Mainframes Defined
In comparing and contrasting PCs and Mainframes it is necessary to first understand what a PC and a Mainframe are.  Because IBM produced the first personal computer, the term PC came to mean IBM or IBM-compatible personal computers, which excluded other types of personal computers such as Macintoshes, though I rarely hear the term IBM-compatible used anymore when referring to the term PC.
Put quite simply a mainframe is a very large computer that is totally different from a PC.  Some of the differences between mainframes and PC's are size, power, ability to dedicate resources, and the amount of data that can be processed.  The mainframe is set up for specific applications and those applications only; that is totally different from a PC.  For example, you couldn't load Word or Internet Explorer onto a mainframe computer.  It is true that, as to processing power, what was a mainframe yesterday is on desktops today, but that is where the similarities end.
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the brains of the computer where most of the calculations take place and it is the most important element of a computer system.  For the PC the CPU is housed in a chip (known as the microprocessor) such as the Intel Pentium chip.  On a Mainframe computer CPUs require one or more printed circuit boards (PC board).  
 Mainframe is the name that was given to this machine by the industry that came from the way they built the machine by first putting up a metal frame and then installing all of the components or units, such as the processing unit and the communication unit, into this frame hence the term: Mainframe.  
PCs and Mainframes Explained
Personal computers, otherwise known as Microcomputers, are everywhere, on our desks, at home and at work, on tables, in offices, thus making them the most visible form of computers in the world today.  Even though they come from many different makers, in different sizes, shapes and colors, the design and technical specifications used for PCs has remained constant for generations.  A personal computer is a stand-alone machine with most of the computing done physically on the computer itself.  When networking started to integrate into offices PC'S became connected with network servers, and mainframes.
For applications and large-scale computing purposes of very large corporations, businesses, government, banking and educational institutions, a large company, such as IBM, typically manufactures a mainframe.  Historically, a mainframe is associated with centralized computing. Today, IBM refers to larger processors and servers and they emphasize that they can be used to serve distributed users and smaller servers in a computing network.  
What do they look like?
A personal computer can be housed in a mini-tower; a mid-tower or a full-tower or it can be the flat desktop housing that has the monitor sitting on top of it.  Several years ago, I worked for the IRS and they had a computer room.  This room was very large, kept refrigerated and housed several mainframes.  These machines were typically 8-9 feet tall, about 3 feet or more wide and they were made of ... more

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Introduction

Throughout the major Canadian cities we find many of the large category killer stores.  These stores expanded across Canada in the 1980's and 90's.  These category killing stores specialize in one particular category, but offer a moderately deep assortment of brands, styles, and prices in all of the merchandise classes that make up the category.  One of these stores in present in Lethbridge.  This store is Toys R Us.  This store can satisfy most of the needs of the target market.

Most of the jobs that a small toy business would have to look after are performed through a head or regional office.  This gives Toys R Us a distinct competitive advantage over the competition from the small toy retails in Lethbridge.  Ordering, pricing, payroll, storage, advertising, and many other day to day activities are performed by few for very many.

Toys R Us is a large category killing store that is located at 225 1st Avenue South, right next door to the Park Place Mall in Lethbridge, Alberta.  It offers a wide range of toys, bikes, computer games, baby needs, and games to children and adults throughout Southern Alberta.  Toys R Us has been open in Lethbridge for almost six years.  



Market Selection Strategy
The market selection strategy for a category killer such as Toys R Us is fairly simple.  A strategy often determines the target market, and the different market segments that the store is looking toward for the majority of its business.  

Toys R Us is a store which is in a mature market.  The majority of the growth that has happened in this market occurred in the 1960's, when the majority of consumers enjoyed a higher disposable income and therefore large chain stores began to appear.  The market is still strong and stable and Toys R Us can expect increases to their sales every year as there are no plans for another major toy competitor in the area.  

The toy market is a very competitive business.  Stores such as Wal-Mart and Zellers boast large toy departments and these are the biggest competition for Toys R Us.  The store has some loyal customers.  However, most of the customers in the toy market are very price sensitive and will shop at the store with the lowest prices.  In order to increase their sales and market share, Toys R Us must look for ways to keep their customers loyal to the store.

The geographic location of the store helps to attract more customers off the highway and those potential shoppers from out of town.  As Toys R Us sits next to Highway 3, it makes it easier for out of town customers to get to the store.  Toys R Us is able to target consumers anywhere from the Alberta/Saskatchewan border to the east to Fernie, Cranbrook and Creston to the west.  They also have the ability and size to attract all customers to the south of Lethbridge, including those who live in northern Montana.  Customers to the north have the option of shopping at the larger Calgary store or Lethbridge.  This gives Toys R Us a very large customer base.  

The target market refers to the primary market that the store is trying to attract.  In the case of Toys R Us, their target market is individuals with children, which range from          25-45 years of age.  The target audience is also the adults but the advertising can often hit the children, ultimately who will enjoy the products the most.  Toys R Us finds the majority of their customers are the parents, but for some of their video games, the older teenager often has a disposable income high enough to spend on the featured games in stock.  

By understanding that the majority of buyers are the parents, Toys R Us has also stocked itself in the off-seasons with product parents may be interested in buying.  These products include, learning games, adult games such as Trivial Pursuit and adult bicycles.  As the population of Lethbridge expands, the sales of Toys R Us will increase.


Market Research

Most market research for Toys R Us is conducted at the regional offices or head office.  The information gathered from here is passed on to the 65 individual stores across Canada.  Some ... more

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