Multimedia means the integrated use of video , audio and text, preferably over a network.
Because hardware keeps getting cheaper, the use of multimedia computing is no longer reserved for large research organizations. At the moment more and more microcomputers incorporate some form of multimedia.
In practice this means that a microcomputer needs some form of a graphical user interface (GUI). The three most common GUI's are MS-Windows, X-Windows and Macintosh. The computer needs to be sufficiently fast to perform all (complex) multimedia tasks at the same time. This means that the CPU must be either a Intel 80486 or a Motorola 68040 or faster. For the use of both sound input and output, a PC will need a SoundBlaster compatible soundcard, a Macintosh will need a built-in microphone.
Several factors now combine to make multimedia a useful possibility for the European Clinician: the emergence of cost effective workstations that support multi-media, more widespread availability and use of advanced communications infrastructures such as ISDN, the development of more user friendly software (Windows based), the worldwide use of standard tools for exchange and dissemination of information over International networks (Gopher, Mosaic).
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