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Input, Output of Information: Input, Output Methods Coursework

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Updated: May 27th, 2022

Input/ Output (I/O) of data refers to the type of interface used to enter data and extract data. Data is entered into a system as instructions that are then processed. Data is also entered into the system to further refine and convert it. While large volumes of data are usually done by using EDI (Electronic Data Exchange), smaller volumes or irregularly formatted data can be entered manually. When automated systems are used, certain specific file formats, that can be read by the IT systems need to be used. Some such file formats are comma-separated value (csv) and others. This paper provides information on the I/O methods used for different applications.

Accuracy of data input is important. Method of data input which is the best for each of the following situations

Printed questionnaires Manual entry or handwritten. This is needed since the questionnaires would be distributed to people.
Telephone survey The interviewer who calls up people can either enter information in a web form using a keyboard
Bank checks These can be printed using special software. But the signature has to be done manually to prevent fraud.
Retail tags Retail tags are printed using inkjet printers connected to computers. They are also made as bar-coded tags and printed by computers.
Long documents Data can be input by using the keyboard since the information can be saved and retrieved and there are lesser human errors

Convenience and quality of output are important. Method of output that would be best for each of the following situations

Hand held computer Output methods are Infrared ports, screen, peripheral devices connected to the USB port such as Flash drives, printers, modems, etc. Since the keyboard of small hand held devices is multifunctional, it is difficult to manipulate, edit or process data by using the inbuilt keyboard.
Color photograph High resolution colour screen or a high resolution colour printer. The image can also be sent through modems, network cards, etc.
Resume Printer – black and white, Screen. A resume will only have text characters that needs to be read using a hardcopy or online.
Memorandum Printer – black and white, Screen. A memorandum will only have text characters that needs to be read using a hardcopy or online
Statistical report Screen if the report needs to be modified and processed or a printer if the report is final
Company annual report Hard copy printing on paper for distribution, screen for viewing online.

The difference between primary storage and secondary storage

Primary storage is the area of the computer inbuilt memory that is used to store frequently accessed information. This comes into two types: RAM and ROM. RAM or random access memory is volatile and the information is lost when the computer is switched off. ROM or Read Only Memory is non volatile and used in booting the machine but it is again expensive and not easily edited. EPROM are other types of primary storage devices. Secondary storage devices are hard disks, Flash disks, tapes, floppies, etc. and these are used to store data permanently. They are read/ write and can be made integral with the computer or used externally (Stair 2001).

Different types of storage devices are optimal for different situations

Hard drive Hard Drives are integral storage devices of computers, servers, laptops and other types of computers. They are used to store very large amounts of data of up to 160 Giga Bytes. They are used in situations where it is assumed that the drives would not be frequently moved to other machines.
Floppy disk Floppy Disks are used for temporary storage of small amounts of data. Floppy disks can be interchanged and used on other machines with compatible drives that can read the floppy disk. They have small volumes of 1.4 Mega Bytes storage capacity.
RAM Random Access Memory are chips that have a volatile memory. They are used to store frequently accessed instructions on computers. They are available in strips of 256, 512, etc. Mega Bytes.
CD ROM CD ROM or compact disc is used to store multimedia, executable files, movies, files, etc. They are used when such media needs to be used on another computer that has a CD ROM drive. Software Applications that are sold by vendors are delivered through CD ROMS. The standard capacity is 650 Megabytes.
Tape Tape or Cartridge are almost obsolete and are still used in large mainframes. They have extremely large capacity of more than hundreds of Giga Bytes.

References

Stair Ralph M., Reynolds George W., (23 April 23, 2001) Fundamentals of Information Systems, Course Technology Publisher, ISBN-13: 9780619034160.

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