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Issue No. 10 - October (1996 vol. 29)
ISSN: 0018-9162
pp: 79-85
<p>Many aspects of industrialized society, from notebook paper to light bulbs, are standardized. The computer industry is no exception. In fact, information technology is so complex, it is particularly dependent on standards to stabilize technology and thereby encourage investment. There was no need for standards in the early years of the computer industry. When computers entered the commercial mainstream, standards became very important. With the help of standards, computers have increased in number and in the number of ways they are used. A number of standards have profoundly affected the computer industry, including some that were developed well before computers hit the mass market. The important computer standards include the Hollerith data card, the ASCII standard for data interchange, the Cobol programming language, the RS-232 serial port standard, LAN standards, and the CD-ROM. The successful computer standards have used technology to meet business needs without inhibiting innovation and competition. Specifically, good standards represent solutions to interface problems and do not limit the way people use products. Future standards will have to address new computer technologies, such as high-resolution, full-motion video; faster communication; and more data storage. </p>

G. S. Robinson and C. Cargill, "History and Impact of Computer Standards," in Computer, vol. 29, no. , pp. 79-85, 1996.
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