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Character loss in a conceptual computer at its input terminals is analyzed. This is first done within the classical framework in which a system must be designed to allow no loss whatsoever. The problem is then treated where a system can allow some degree of loss. To this end, a generalized mathematical model for character schemes is constructed. It is then shown that, in this framework, character arrivals can be approximated by a Poisson source, allowing the problem to be reformulated as a question in queuing theory. As such, one can solve the problem as a limiting case of a problem which has already been solved. Finally, the resulting formulas for loss are approximated by formulas which can easily be applied. Certain conclusions may readily be drawn. One is that a vastly enlarged system may be designed if one allows some trivial amount of loss. Another is that various schemes for avoiding loss, which have been used in industry, have often been unnecessary.