It has been said that a bus stops at a bus station and a train stops at a train station, so what happens at a workstation? Hm...

Actually, a workstation is a place where work gets done. It refers to a computer (and often the surrounding area) that has been configured to perform a certain set of tasks, such as photo editing, audio recording, or video production. An office may have several workstations for different purposes, which may be assigned to certain employees. For example, one workstation may be used for scanning and importing images, while another is used for editing images.

Because workstations often work together like in the example above, they are commonly networked together. This allows them to send files back and forth over the network, which is important for various types of media production. To use another example, a user at a photo-editing workstation may prepare images to be used in a video clip. Once the images are ready, he may send them to another user at a video-editing workstation, where they are incorporated into the video. Once the video has been put together, the video file may be sent to another user at an audio production workstation where the soundtrack and other sound effects are added.

While workstations are often part of a network, they can be standalone machines as well. Even a home computer can be a workstation if it is used for certain kinds of work. So if you want to sound professional, the next time you send an e-mail to a friend from your home PC, you can let him know you are sending it from your home workstation.

Updated 2006

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