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compatibility

n. ~ 1. The ability of components to work together properly. - 2. Computing · The ability of different pieces of hardware, software, and data to work together.

Notes: 

Compatibility1 applies to many technologies found in archives. Microfilm must match the readers, sound recordings must match playback machines, and slides and motion pictures must match projectors.

Compatibility2 is necessary for hardware and software to function properly. An operating system designed for one computer architecture may not run on another architecture. Microsoft Windows 2000, written to run on modern Intel-based personal computers, does not function on a Macintosh computer and does not run on an early Intel-based personal computer (PC). Different programs must be compatible to function properly. A program written for the Windows 2000 operating system may not run on a PC running Windows 3.1 unless it is specifically written to be backwards compatible (designed to work with previous versions). Data and software must be compatible if the program is to be able to manipulate the data properly. A word processing file written in Corel WordPerfect cannot be read directly by Microsoft Word without a conversion filter. A file written by a different versions of the same software may not be compatible unless the different versions use the same format or the software is backward compatible. Word 2000 may not be able to read an older file created with Word 5.