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(Micro-computer)

Keyboard
Used to input data into the computer

Advantage
They are very common; all computers
have one and they are easy to use.

Disadvantage
Easy to make mistakes if you cant
type quickly.
Concept Keyboard
A pictorial keyboard which you can
press.

Advantage
Easy to use and waterproof
Disadvantage
The screen can get dirty.
Might need to change the pictures if
your stock changes
Mouse
Enables you to control the movement of
the on screen curser by moving it
around a surface
Advantage
Easy to learn to use
Accurate for selecting things
Disadvantage
Need a flat space next to the computer.
Tracker Ball
Like an upside down mouse, you turn it
with your hand to move the pointer on
the screen

Advantage
Ideal for using when flat space next to
computer is limited

Disadvantage
Not supplied as standard.
Joystick
Similar to a tracker ball in operation
except you have a stick which is moved
rather than a rolling ball.

Advantage
Immediate feel of direction.

Disadvantage
Some people find them more difficult
to use than mice.
Microphone
Used to input sound
Advantages
Some systems can understand most
peoples voices with voice recognition
software

Disadvantages
Some systems need to be trained to
understand each different voice.
Digital Camera
Looks very similar to a traditional
camera. However, unlike photographic
cameras, digital cameras do not use film
Advantage
No film needed.
Images can be digitally manipulated
Disadvantage
Need to print out photographs
Scanner
Another way in which we can capture
still images or text to be stored and used
on a computer.
Advantage
Can input things from paper
documents
With OCR software, text can be
scanned in
Disadvantage
Images can take up a lot of memory
space.
Graphics tablet
Produces much more accurate
drawings on the screen than a mouse
or a pointing device could.
Advantage
Effective method of creating or
changing diagrams and images.

Disadvantage
Only useful for inputting data
about diagrams.
Can be very sensitive to movement
and difficult to get used to using

MICR
Stands for Magnetic Ink Character
Recognition. Banks use them; the
reader reads the numbers on a cheque.
Advantage
Read at 100% accuracy..

Disadvantage
The reader and ink is expensive
OMR
Stands for Optical Mark Reader. Reads
pencil marks on a specially designed
form or document, e.g. on a lottery
ticket.
Advantage
Fast and accurate way of inputting
information.

Disadvantage
Only works if the marks have been
made accurately and clearly.
OCR
Stands for Optical Character
Recognition. It enables the computer to
identify written or printed characters
which have been scanned in.
Advantage
95% accurate

Disadvantage
Needs careful checking as letters can
be misread.
Barcode Reader
A bar code reader uses a visible red
light to scan and read the barcode. The
reflected light is translated into digital
data that is interpreted by the computer
and the correct price and product
information is displayed.

Advantage
Any price change only needs to be
changed on the computer system, not
on each item.
Magnetic Stripe
Build into back of plastic cards, e.g.
identity cards or credit cards. Holds
information about the card owner.
Advantage
Simple to use and cheap to produce.

Disadvantage
Limited storage capacity only 60
characters.
Sensors
Sensors are used to detect physical
quantities outside a computer such as
temperature, pressure and light.

To be able to process input from sensors
a device called an analogue to digital
converter must be connected between
the computer and the sensors. This
device converts signals from sensors
into digital data that the computer can
process
Once the computer has processed all the information
from the inputs then it must display or output the
information in some way.

This is when we use Output devices that enable us to see
or hear the information stored in the computer.
There are many different Output devices but the most
commonly used are:
1. Monitors
2. Printers
3. Speakers / Headphones
4. Lights
5. Plotters

Monitors display the information on a screen.

You can get 2 main types of monitors:
CRTs: Cathode Ray Tube monitors are fairly
large and they are not as common as LCDs nowadays.
CRTs work by using an electron gun situated at the end
of the tube.


LCDs: Liquid Crystal Display monitors are thin and
are more commonly used. They work by using
electronically charged crystals.
There are 3 types of Printers:

Dot Matrix : This printer is the oldest of the three and is not used
much now because it doesnt give as good results as the other two.
It uses Carbon ribbon and pins.

Ink Jets : This printer has become cheaper and is commonly
used at home as they are perfect for small quantities of work. The
ink jets use ink cartridges that are heated up and droplets are then
dropped on to the paper forming a small part of the overall image.

Laser : This printer is more expensive that the others however
it is excellent for use in work as it is quiet, quick, can be stocked
with a lot of paper and produces high-quality work.


These devices produce high quality lines diagrams on
paper. Architects, Engineers and Scientist often use
plotters.

The plotter uses a pen that can be lifted on and off the
paper which is how this dev
There is usually a small speaker within the computer
however to increase the volume and quality of the sound
we plug in external speakers which allow us to hear the
music better.

Headphones can be plugged into almost all computers
and they enable you to listen to your music without
disturbing others.
These are known as LEDs (light emitting diodes) and
they are useful in presentations and also for situations like
when a computer is controlling traffic lights.

LEDs last approx. 100,000 hours and they can either be
dim or very bright.
Unless you want to lose all of the work
you have done on your computer, you
need to have a way to store it safely.
There are various types of storage
devices, different devices are suitable for
different tasks.
We will be looking at the main ones which
you need to know about.
Hardware is the name given to any
part
of a computer that you can touch

~*~
An individual piece of hardware is
called a device
The main memory of a computer is
made up of a set of memory chips
called
ROM and RAM
~*~
ROM = Read Only Memory
RAM = Random Access
Memory


The instructions to start
the computer are
stored on this


This sort of memory is
non-volatile memory
Programs and data stored
on RAM are lost when a
computer is switched
off-

This memory is volatile
memory
Computer memory is measured in Bytes

Byte = 8 bits
Kilobyte = 1000 bytes
Megabyte = 1000 kilobytes
Gigabyte = 1000 Megabytes
Bit = either 0 or 1
Units
Main store ( memory
storage in the computer)
~*~
Backing storage ( storage
on disks tape CD etc)
Hard Disk
Advantages
Main Backing storage
for files and programs
Can store lots of data
compared to the floppy
disc
Can have a second
hard disk as Back-up
storage

Disadvantages
Slow to access when
compared to ram
Data can Be damaged
if the head crashes
onto the platter
Typical size = 120GB
Advantages
Small thin and
lightweight so easy
to carry round
Can Be reused But
data cant Be
overwritten only
deleted to create
space

Disadvantages
Cant store that
much and one Big
picture will take up
a lot of room
Its thin so it could
get damaged easily
Typical size = 144
MB
Zip Disc
Advantages
Can hold more data
than a floppy disk
and again easy to
carry around
Because of the size

Disadvantages
Much more
expensive than a
floppy
You need a special
drive to read the
disk

Typical size = 100 MB
Magnetic Tape
Advantages
Can store a lot of
data
Not easily damaged
Can Be used
overnight to Back
up a system
Disadvantages
Takes a long time to
load data onto it
Have to go through
the tape to get to
the data you want
serial access
Typical size = 100MB
CD-Rom
Advantages
Data cannot Be erased
you cannot lose your
data
Easy to carry around
Cheap to produce
Can Be read By a DVD
drive
Disadvantages
Fragile
Can scratch easily
this effects the data
when the laser reads it
Slower to access than
a hard drive
Typical size = 650mb
DVD
Advantages
large amount of
storage
Does not transmit
viruss
The prices are getting
cheaper
Good for storing films
Disadvantages
Doesn't work in CD
ROM drives
More expensive than
CD roms
Typical size = 5-17GB
Data: raw numbers, words, collections of
unprocessed stuff

Information: the organization of data into
meaningful and useful terms.
In the world of computers, information is
digital.
This information is made up of discrete units.
These discrete units are called: Bits.
Bit: (Binary digit) is the smallest unit of
information a computer can process
Bits have only two values: 1 or 0
A collection of 8 bits is called a byte.

Bytes are bigger than bits.

A nibble is half of a byte (4 bits, this
term is obsolete).

bit < nibble < byte

A collection of 8 bits can represent
256 different messages:

2
8
= 256

By mixing and matching
combinations of Ons and Offs
you can get 256 different messages.


Binary Number System
128 64 32 16 8 4 2 1
= 0
128 64 32 16 8 4 2 1
= 1
128 64 32 16 8 4 2 1
= 2
128 64 32 16 8 4 2 1
= 3
128 64 32 16 8 4 2 1
= 255
Note: we get 256 possible characters
because we start at 0 and go to 255
which is 256 separate numbers.
ASCII (pronounced as-kee 2) is the most
widely used code

To make words, sentences, and
paragraphs fit into the computers binary-
code circuitry, a unique piece of code was
devised to represent each letter, digit, and
special character as a unique string of bits.
American Standard Code

Using only 8 bits ASCII has a set of 256
individual characters, for all letters (upper
and lower case), numbers and some
special characters

Unicode is possibly going to replace
ASCII. Unicode has a 65,000 character set.
This will be done by using 2 bytes (16 bits)
per character.

Bits can represent data stored on a
computer.

A string of bits can also represent an
instruction
01101010 could tell the CPU to add two
numbers together.
B, KB, MB, GB, TB, PB

Those abbreviations describe the capacity
of memory & storage components.

Also quantify the size of computer file.

Mb MB
Term Value
Byte A group of 8 bits.
K (kilobyte)
also KB
About 1000 bytes of
information. Technically 1K is
1024, because 1024 is 2
10

MB (megabyte) Approximately 1000K, or 1
million bytes
GB (gigabyte) Approximately 1000MB
TB (terabyte) Approximately 1 million
megabytes.