In the preceding chapter we mentioned in passing that many real-time systems, especially those of a process control nature, operated on dedicated computers. Part of the data produced in such dedicated systems may, however, be important input to one or more conventional data processing systems. Such a situation leads naturally to demands to link the dedicated system to the main data processing computer, perhaps initially by means of off-line data communications, but before long by means of on-line or even real-time communication.
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