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Over the years, more enhancements were made to the cash registers until the early 1970s, when the first computer-driven cash registers were introduced. The first computer-driven cash registers were basically a mainframe computer packaged as a store controller that could control certain registers. These point of sale systems were the first to commercially utilize client-server technology, peer-to-peer communications, Local Area Network (LAN) backups, and remote initialization. In the late 1980s, retail software based on PC technology began to make its way into mainstream retail businesses. Today, retail point of sale systems are light years ahead of where they began. Today's POS systems are faster, more secure, and more reliable than their predecessors, and allow retailers to operate every facet of their business with a single, integrated point of sale system. (*http://www.retailsystems.com/history-of-retail-pos-systems.cfm*, July 28, 2009) A peer-to-peer network allows two or more PCs to pool their resources together. Individual resources like disk drives, CD-ROM drives, and even printers are transformed into shared, collective resources that are accessible from every PC. Unlike client-server networks, where network information is stored on a centralized file server PC and made available to tens, hundreds, or thousands client PCs, the information stored across peer-to-peer networks is uniquely decentralized. Because peer-to-peer PCs have their own hard disk drives that are accessible by all computers, each PC acts as both a client (information requestor) and a server (information provider). In the diagram below, three peer-to-peer workstations are shown. Although not capable of handling the same amount of information flow that a client-server network might, all three computers can communicate directly with each other and share one another's resources. A peer-to-peer network can be built with both 10BaseT...
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