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10IPT: EFTPOS

posted Mar 24, 2011, 1:13 PM by Eddie Woo
One of the principles at the very heart of this course is to take the technology that we use in our everyday life without thought, and to put it under the microscope for examination. It's all about understanding and appreciating the amazing complexity of what makes our modern world go round behind the scenes.

To that end, today we will be looking in depth at exactly what happens when we purchase something and pay without physical money (that is to say, by using a debit card or credit card). How does this tiny piece of plastic actually enable us to transfer money to another person - and within seconds? Answer: an incredibly sophisticated communications system. Please complete the following tasks.
  1. For a typical EFTPOS transaction, identify: (a) the sources and destinations of data, (b) the transmitter and (c) the medium.
  2. Take the series of processes and work together to place them into correct order.
  3. For each process, identify which of the seven processes that is taking place (watch out - sometimes there are several occurring simultaneously).
  4. Draw a data flow diagram that summarises the transaction.
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