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Chapter 2
Hardware and software
Learning objectives
By the end of this chapter, you will be able to:

m define hardware
evaluate internal and external hardware devices
explain the purpose of and evaluate storage devices
explain the purpose of input and output devices
evaluate input, storage and output devices for a given task
define soft ware
evaluate different types of soft ware
explain the purpose of system soft ware
evaluate application software
evaluate user interfaces
evaluate mental models
describe utility soft ware
compare custom-written and off -the-shelf soft ware
describe and evaluate a compiler and interpreter

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2.01 Hardware
Q Remember
The central processing unit (CPU) is the brain of a
1 KEY TERMS computer. It is the part of the computer that carries out
calculations, executes instructions and processes data. It
Hardware: a physical component of a computer system includes the arithmetic logic unit (ALU) and control unit (CU).
Device: a hardware component of a computer system
consisting of electronic components
Output device: a device used to communicate data or The ALU performs calculations and logical operations. The
information from a computer system CU runs the fetch-execute cycle which fetches instructions
Storage device: a device used to store data onto a storage from memory and executes them.
Input data is taken from input devices (such as a
Input device: a device that allows data to be entered into a
computer system
keyboard) or storage and processed by the CPU, which
Storage medium: the medium On which data is stored
produces output data that can be stored or sent to an
output device (such as a monitor).
Volatile: data is lost when there is no power
Non-volatile: data remains When there is no power CPUs usually consist of multiple cores. Each core is
a separate processor, so a quad-core CPU has fpur
processors. Processors are measured by the number
Hardware of instructions they can process per second (hertz). A
3 GHz (gigahertz) processor can process up to 3 billion

© Remember
An item of hardware is a physical component that forms
part of a computer system. Items of hardware are often
instructions per second.

known as devices because they comprise electronic
components. Hardware devices can be internal to the
computer system (such as the central processing unit,
memory or motherboard) or they can be external to the
computer system (such as the monitor, keyboard or mouse). iv
Hardware is categorised into input, output and storage SB&
devices. Input devices allow data to be sent to a
computer (e.g. keyboard). Output devices allow the
communication of data/information from a computer (e.g.
monitor). Storage devices store data onto a storage
medium so that it can be used at a later time.
Internal hardware devices
Central processing unit
Figure 2.02 - A motherboard.

© Remember
The motherboard is a printed circuit board (PCB) which
connects the main components of a computer. Some
of these components may be an integral partofthe
motherboard. Such components can include Universal
Serial Bus (USB) ports, a network port and an integrated
graphics card. A motherboard will always include the main
bus which is used to transfer data between hardware
Figure 2.01 - A central processing unit.

Chapter 2: Hardware and software

Other hardware components can be connected directly

to the motherboard, including random access memory TASK
(RAM), the CPU and expansion cards. Expansion cards Find out what is the purpose of programmable read only
offer additional functionality, such as enhanced graphics memory (PROM) and erasable programmable read only
processing and additional USB ports. memory (EPROM).

Random access memory

Graphics card

© Remember
Random access memory (RAM) is memory that is used
to store currently active programs and data. The more
A graphics card is also known as a video card, display
adapter or graphics adapter. It is a printed circuit board
that connects to one of the motherboard’s expansion
RAM that is available to the computer, the more data and slots. Its purpose is to generate the signals needed to
programs can be used at the same time. display the output image from the computer. Often the
graphics adapter is integrated into the motherboard and
does not require a separate card. However, by using a
This is particularly important in multitasking separate card, the graphics performance can be improved
environments, when several programs may be open at the as a separate processor can be used for graphics (a
same time. graphics processing unit).
When the RAM becomes full, programs or data that are
no longer active will be removed to make space for new
programs or data. Ifthe RAM becomes full and there are
no inactive programs or data to remove, then an area of
secondary storage (e.g. hard disc drive (HDD) or solid state
drive (SSD)) known as virtual memory is used to expand
the amount of memory available to the CPU. Virtual
memory is very slow because secondary storage access
times are thousands of times slower than RAM access
RAM is volatile, which means the content of the memory
is lost if there is no power to the RAM. When you are using
a computer and experience a power cut, this is why the
data you are currently using is lost unless it has recently
been saved to secondary storage. Figure 2.03 - A graphics card.

Read only memory Graphics cards include a variety of options for output.
Read only memory (ROM) is memory that, once it has been Standard video graphics array (VGA) output to a monitor
written to, can no longer be changed. It is permanent and it is achieved through the RGB port which transmits red,
is non-volatile, which means that when there is no power green and blue signals to the monitor in an analogue
to the computer, the contents of the ROM will be retained. format. High definition display is achieved through a
This is because it is powered by a small long-life battery. high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) port. Another
option is Digital Video Interface (DVI) which supports high
resolution displays using digital signals.

TIP Sound card

In a computer, there is usually some ROM that stores the The purpose of a sound card is to generate the signals
instructions to boot (start) the computer.
needed to output sound from the computer to a speaker
or set of speakers. It is often an integrated part of the
ROM is also used in small devices such as calculators motherboard and will include a single output for audio
where there is only one program or set of instructions. (green socket), a single input for a microphone (red socket)
Cambridge International AS and A level IT

and a single input for line level devices (blue socket). If Attachment (SATA) or Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE)
higher quality or surround sound is required, then it is cable.
usually necessary to have a separate sound card which
connects to one of the motherboard’s expansion slots.
This will enable multiple outputs for front, rear, centre and
sub-woofer speakers.
Hard disk drive
A hard disk drive (HDD) is the most common form of
secondary storage for a computer due to its relatively low 1>

cost per MB (megabyte). In 2015, hard disk drives could

store up to 8TB (terabytes) of data with access speeds of
6GB/s. The hard disk drive consists of two main parts: the
device that is the electronics which store the data, and the •°
disk that is the medium onto which the data is stored. The
device (or drive) includes a read-write head which sits at
the end of an access arm and magnetises sectors on the
disk (platter). Figure 2.05 - Multiple platters.

Access arm Disk (platter)

Do you know where the phrase ‘my computer has crashed’
v» comes from? It relates to when the read-write head crashes
into a platter and causes damage to the hard disk, meaning
that data and programs can no longer be retrieved.

Solid state drive

A solid state drive (SSD) is another secondary storage
Read-write head device that is non-volatile. However, there are no moving
parts and the data is stored onto flash memory. It is also
not necessary to store data in the same cylinder in order
Figure 2.04 - A hard disk.
to maximise access speed as the data can be stored
anywhere on the flash memory and access speeds will
There is usually more than one platter and therefore not be affected. SSDs are also non-magnetic and so are
there will be several read-write heads for each side of not susceptible to damage from to close, strong magnetic
each platter as shown in Figure 2.05. Each platter will fields.
have tracks and each track will be split into sectors. The In 2015, SSDs could store up to 8TB, but due to the newer
tracks that are in the same position on each platter form technology were far more expensive than HDDs and were
a cylinder. Wherever possible, a computer will attempt to more common in capacities of 128, 256 or 512GB. SSDs
store data on a single cylinder as this requires the least
have access speeds of around 400-600 MBps (two to three
access arm movement and the access arm is the slowest times fasterthan a HDD). This means they are used in
part of the hard disk. higher performance computers. A frequent compromise
Data stored on a hard disk is non-volatile. This means between speed, capacity and price is to have a smaller
that when the computer is turned off and there is no SSD to store the operating system and software (for speed
power then the data will still be safely stored on the of access) and use a larger HDD to store data. SSDs also
hard disc. Hard discs can be internally connected to require a lot less power than HDDs and so are preferred in
the computer using a Serial Advanced Technology laptop and tablet computers.
Chapter 2: Hardware and software

Although not an essential part of every computer
Have a look at the inside of an old computer. Identify system, a monitor is certainly an essential part of most
each of the main components that can be seen on the computer systems as it enables the user to visualise the
motherboard, the hardware devices that are connected output. It is connected to the computer using one of the
to it and any available connection ports.
ports on a graphics card. Monitor sizes are measured
diagonally and, apart from some very old ‘legacy’
monitors, they now have flat screens which minimalise
External hardware devices the amount of desk space that is used and they are
Cloud light enough to be mounted on a wall or a desk using a
bracket or on a shelf.
Cloud computing is a term that refers to anything where
computing services are hosted over the internet and A monitor will be limited by its resolution. This is
not in the same physical location as the computer being the number of pixels it can display and is measured
used. Data is stored on banks of servers that are accessed horizontally by vertically. For example, a high definition
remotely. The physical devices that store the data are (HD) monitor can display 1920 x 1080 pixels. Some monitors
owned by a hosting company rather than the person or also include a touch interface (known as a touch screen),
organisation using the data. which means that the user can select items by directly
interacting with the display on the screen. These are often
When data is stored in the cloud, the hosting company
integrated into tablet computers and mobile phones.
takes all responsibility for storing the data, managing the
data, securing the data and backing up the data, so that
people or organisations no longer have to be concerned
with this. As the data is stored remotely, it also means that
it can be accessed at any time in any place, so people do
* 't o
not have to be sitting at a specific computer or within an
organisation to access that data. •M
/ X
A *r
r- u
to X NX
'A A.
Examples of cloud storage for personal use include: > V
• OneDrive 1
• Google Drive
• Dropbox -r A
• Box Figure 2.06 - A Chinese keyboard.

Akeyboard consists ofa number of buttons which are

The downside is that it takes longer to access the data as used to input text or to control parts of an interface. Its
access times are limited by the bandwidth available to the main limitation is the number of keys available. With a
hosting company and other users who may be accessing Roman alphabet, this isn’t too much ofa problem because
data on the same servers at the same time. It can also the alphabet only contains 26 letters and ten digits.
be quite costly to store large amounts of data on cloud However, some alphabets, such as Arabic or Chinese
storage. contain many more characters and so combinations of
Some cloud storage options allow synchronisation
keys have to be used.
to a computer, so the cloud acts as a backup to the A keyboard can be connected to a computer using a USB
data stored on the computer. It also means that when port, by wireless Bluetooth or by other wireless technology.
accessing the data from the allocated computer, Keyboards vary in style and shape, and ergonomic
access times will be faster than accessing from cloud keyboards are available to provide more comfort and
storage. protection for the user from repetitive strain injury (RSI).
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A mouse is a pointing device which allows objects to be
selected and manipulated on the screen. The mouse
controls a pointer which is displayed on the screen. When
the mouse is moved, the pointer moves and objects

f *
such as menus can be selected on the screen using one
of the mouse buttons. Like a keyboard, a mouse can be
connected using a USB port, by wireless Bluetooth or by
other wireless technology.

A printer produces a hard copy (printout) from a
computer usually onto paper. A simplex printer can print
on a single side of paper, whereas a printer with a duplex Figure 2.07 - Modern inkjet plotter.
unit can print on both sides of each sheet of paper.
Some printers include additional functions such as a
scanner. Speakers
Speakers are used to provide sound output from a
Laser printer computer. These can be as simple as a pair of stereo
A laser printer negatively charges a cylindrical drum speakers or full surround sound.
which then attracts electrically charged toner (powdered
ink). The toner is then heated so that it melts onto the
paper. TASK
Find out the difference between mono sound, stereo
Inkjet printer sound, 5.1surround sound, 6.1 surround sound and 7.1
Cartridges full of ink in four different colours (black, cyan, surround sound.
magenta, yellow) are used to ‘squirt’ ink onto the paper to
form the required printout.

Dot matrix printer Camera

Before laser and inkjet printers, dot matrix printers A camera can be used to capture still or moving images
were commonplace. They are a type of impact printer (movies). When connected to the computer, the images
which means that the printout is achieved by hitting or movies can be transferred from the camera to the
the paper and the operation is very noisy. This is done computer’s storage. The images can then be viewed on
by a set of pins being driven onto a ribbon which then screen, manipulated and shared. A digital still camera is
transfers its ink to the paper. The main advantage of optimised for capturing still images but usually has the
dot matrix printers is that they can print on duplicate capability of capturing movies too, whereas a digital
and triplicate paper (carbon copies) due to the impact. video camera is optimised for capturing movies but can
They are also very robust printers and so last for a also capture still images.

Plotter Webcam
In the 1990s, a plotter used to ‘plot’ lines onto large sheets A webcam is a camera that is connected to the computer
of paper by moving the paper backwards and forwards for the purpose of capturing still or moving images while
and drawing using pens to create vector drawings. Today, using the computer. It will not be as high quality as a
plotters are inkjet printers designed to be used with large dedicated digital camera or digital video camera. It will
sheets of paper, typically A2, A1 and AO. If only black and usually have an integrated microphone for capturing
white printouts are required, then light-emitting diode sound. Its main purpose is for users to engage in online
(LED) plotters are much faster and have cheaper running video chat or video conferences. They can also be used as
costs than inkjet plotters. security cameras.
Chapter 2: Hardware and software

Laser Inkjet Dot matrix Plotter

Typical printing The laser printer is the Standard inkjet Very slow compared The time per page
speed fastest of all printers, printers can usually with other printers. to print is quite slow
with some industrial print around 15-20 because a much larger
models reaching 200 ppm in black and area needs to be
pages per minute white, but colour covered.
(ppm) and office speeds are a bit
printers achieving slower.
around 50 ppm.
Typical A laser printer is Inkjet printers are the These used to be Plotters are the most
purchase cost typically twice the cost cheapest of all printers very cheap, but are expensive type of printer
of an inkjet printer available, but they now more expensive due to their physical size
with similar features. vary depending on than an inkjet printer and the need to cope
the features that are because they are not with large sheets of
included. mass produced. paper.
Typical running Although toner Inkjet cartridges Very low as the ink The running costs are the
cost cartridges are more vary in price and ribbon lasts for a long same as inkjet printers,
expensive than inkjet ‘compatible’ versions time. but of course per page
cartridges, they last a can be purchased costs are higher because
lot longer and so the more cheaply than the page sizes are
cost per page is less original manufacturer larger. LED plotters have
than other printers. versions. cheaper running costs
than inkjet plotters.
Colour Most are monochrome Almost all inkjet It is very rare to find Plotters can print in
but colour laser printers can print in a dotmatrix printer colour.
printers are available. colour. that uses coloured
Quality The highest quality of A reasonably good Quality is usually Same issues as inkjet
all printers due to the quality, but ink can poor due to the printers, but if pens are
way it melts toner and show through thin bitmapped nature of used then the quality of
attracts it to the page. paper and smudges printing characters. line drawings is high.
can occur.
Typical uses Letters, bulk printing, Photographs, charts, Invoices or receipts Architectural drawings,
general office and small maps, general requiring duplicate large maps, canvas prints
home printing. office and home or triplicate paper, and signs.
printing. automated teller
machines (ATMs),
point of sale systems,
data logging, hot and
dusty environments.

Table 2.01- Different types of printer.

Scanner designed to take close-up images of 2D documents. Flat¬

A scanner is used to capture two dimensional (2D) bed scanners can capture a full-colour image and save
documents in the form of an image. They perform a the image as a file on the computer’s storage. If the image
similar function to a digital camera but are specifically contains lots of text, then it is possible to run optical
Cambridge International AS and A level IT

character recognition (OCR) to recognise the text. Some Magnetic ink is used to print numbers at the bottom of
flat-bed scanners include an automatic document feeder checks. The numbers are printed using the MICR E-13Bor
(ADF) that enables documents with multiple pages to be CMC-7 font. The ink contains iron oxide which means that
scanned in one operation. it is easily detected when using a magnetic ink character
reader (MICR) and the characters can be understood.
It is important that mistakes aren’t made and so MICR
provides a much better level of accuracy than OCR.

Optical mark reader

An optical mark reader (OMR) detects the marks
that are made on a multiple choice document
such as a multiple choice answer paper for an
examination. A scanner-like device is used to
Li* 4 reflect a beam of light onto the marked sheet and
detect where the marks have been made. Software
is then used to translate the position of the mark
to the information that it represents. OMR devices
are only realty suitable for multiple choice
Figure 2.08 - Flat-bed scanner with an ADF. responses as they cannot interpret letters that
form words.

Optical character reader

An optical character reader (OCR) is a device that
enables characters on a document to be identified
and understood by the computer as letters, numbers,
characters and words. This isn’t really a device in itself,
but is a scanner combined with software that performs
optical character recognition (also OCR). The picture of the \
document is analysed and characters are recognised by
the software and turned into a document so that the text
can be searched or edited.

Magnetic ink character reader

Figure 2.10 - Multiple choice OMR exam paper.

Barcode reader
A barcode reader is used to detect the width of lines and
gaps that form a barcode. A laser beam is shone onto the
barcode and a photodiode is used to measure the amount
of light that is reflected back. Black lines will not reflect
any light but white gaps will. A barcode represents letters
and numbers which usually identify something, such as
A a book or other product. The barcode scanner usually
includes its own hardcoded circuitry so that it can send
the letters and numbers directly to the computer without
Magnetic ink
the need for additional software.
Figure 2.09 Checkbook with magnetic ink.
Chapter 2: Hardware and software

A standard Blu-ray disc is read only and used to distribute

DISCUSSION POINT HD movies. However, it is possible to buy recordable (Blu-
Barcodes are limited in terms of the amount of data that ray) discs that can be written to once and are useful for
can be stored, which is why quick response (QR) codes are
archive and backup purposes, or rewritable (Blu-ray) discs
now being used for items of data beyond a string of letters
and numbers.
which can be rewritten to and erased making them useful
for both backup and data transfer purposes.


A pen drive is a nickname for a USB flash drive. It is a small Find out about the next advancement in optical storage,
the holographic versatile disc (HVD).
data storage device about the size of a thumb which
stores data on flash memory and includes an integrated
USB interface. The USB interface means that the flash
drive is recognisable on all computers with a USB port Memory card
and therefore data can be transported easily between A memory card is flash memory on a small card. They are
computers. Flash memory is very fast and so the limiting typically used in digital cameras, digital video cameras
factor is the speed of the USB port. As a flash drive does and mobile phones. They take up very little space so are
not have any moving parts it is safe to transport, although well suited to fitting into a small device, as well as being
its size means that it can be easily lost. It also does not rely portable so that data can be transferred to a computer.
on magnetising and therefore is not susceptible to damage There are many different formats of cards, but most
if it comes in contact with a strong magnetic field. devices favour Secure Digital (SD) and microSD cards.
MicroSD cards are only 15 x 11 x 0.1mm in size.
Portable hard disk drive
Hard disk drives were introduced earlier in this chapter. As
well as an internal HDD, it is possible to have an external TASK
HDD. An external HDD can be connected to the computer Categorise each of the internal and external hardware
using a USB or External Serial Advanced Technology devices into input, output and storage devices.
Attachment (eSATA) port. An external HDD can store
a lot more data than a USB flash drive, but it is more
susceptible to damage due to it having moving parts and
its vulnerability to strong magnetic fields.
Storage devices

Blu-ray disc drive

A Blu-ray disc is an optical storage medium. It is the same
Q Remember
The main purpose of a storage device is to store data or
software that can be used by a computer. A storage device
size and shape as a compact disc (CD) and digital versatile
is known as secondary storage, which is non-volatile and
disc (DVD). The Blu-ray disc was introduced because it can so data is not lost when the computer is turned off.
store HD video and therefore a whole film can be stored
on the Blu-ray disc. A single layer Blu-ray disc can store
25GB of data and a dual-layer Blu-ray disc can store 50 GB There are many reasons why a user may want to save data
of data. This compares to a DVD which can store 4.7 GB to secondary storage:
of data and a CD which can store 700 MB of data (or 80
• when creating a document, a user is likely to want
minutes of audio). to make changes to that document in the future
A Blu-ray disc drive is required to read data from or and therefore it is necessary to save it to secondary
write data to a Blu-ray disc. It uses lasers to read data storage
that has been written in 'pits'. A basic Blu-ray disc • the user may want somebody else to edit or read the
drive can read data at 4.5 MB/s, whereas a 16x Blu-ray document and so it will be saved to secondary storage
drive can read data at 72 MB/s. This is much slower to allow the person to do that
than a HDD but the discs are very cheap to purchase • users are likely to want to keep documents for archive
compared with a whole HDD. purposes so they can be referred to in the future
Cambridge International AS and A level IT

• when using a database, each new record or change Compact Digital versatile Blu-ray
to a record will be saved to the database in secondary disc (CD) disc (DVD) disc
• the user may want to back up thedata so that a spare Capacity 700 MB 4.7 GB 25 GB
copy is available. (single
Other reasons for secondary storage include:
Original Music Films HD films
• each program will be stored on secondary storage ready purpose
to be loaded into RAM when the program is opened
• the computer will use secondary storage to save a Table 2.02 - Types of optical storage.
virtual memory file which extends the amount of RAM
available, albeit making the virtual part of the memory In addition to distributing music and films, optical storage has
very slow. been a popular medium to distribute software due to the low
cost of each disc, the fact that read-only versions of each disc
Magnetic tape drive exist and the low cost of posting them. Using recordable and
Magnetic tape is used for backing up and archiving data. rewriteable versions of optical discs makes them suitable for
Data is stored serially which means one item after another. backups and archives. It is quickerto restore a single file from
The tape is wound through the tape drive and as it an optical disc backup ratherthan a tape backup because
winds through data is written to it. The low cost and high the file can be accessed directly ratherthan havingto read
capacity of tapes makes them ideal for backing up and through a whole tape. This also makes optical discs more
archiving data because the data is simply stored in suitable for archived data because files can be found quickly.
a sequential manner. The capacity of optical discs is much less than tapes, which
When retrieving data, it does take a while to find the means they are only suitable for backing up a selection of
data that is required because the tape has to be files rather than the whole of secondary storage.
wound to the exact position where the data is
stored. This makes it unsuitable for everyday use. Hard disk drive
Backups and archives are not intended for everyday HDDs were introduced earlier in this chapter. Their principal
use. If data does need to be restored from backup, purpose is to act as the main secondary storage device for
it may take a while but it is at least available when a computer. Data and programs are stored on the HDD so
needed. If the whole of a computer’s secondary that they can be accessed as and when required. External
storage needs to be restored, then this can be done HDDs can also be used to back up data (although this is
by reading the tape sequentially. an expensive way of doing it) or to transfer data to another
computer. Moving parts within a HDD make it vulnerable to
Tapes are ideal for backing up the whole of secondary
damage if dropped.
storage for a computer or server because they can hold
several terabytes (TB) of data. In 2014, Sony developed a
Solid state drive
tape capable of storing 185TB of data.
SSDs were introduced earlier in this chapter. Similar to a
HDD, a SSD can store the data and programs that are used
by a computer. SSDs are faster than HDDs, but also more
expensive. SSDs require less power than a HDD so they are
Find out how the grandfather-father-son backup
often used in tablet computers and high-end laptops to
rotation system works using magnetic tapes. How many
tapes would be needed if the monthly backups were
extend the battery life. Storing the operating system and
kept for three months at a time? programs that are used most on a SSD instead of a HDD
will significantly improve the performance of a computer.

Optical TASK
Optical storage was introduced earlier in this chapter Compare the prices of SSDs and HDDs. Work out an
under the heading Blu-ray. In 2015, there were three main approximate cost per megabyte (MB) for each.
types of optical storage.
Chapter 2: Hardware and software

Hard disk Solid state Cloud Pen Drive

Cost of purchase The cheapest cost More expensive per MB Usually a subscription Designed for
per MB for everyday than a hard disk (e.g. charge that varies portability and so
storage (e.g. $0.06 per $0.10 per GB). depending on cost per MB varies
GB). supplier. depending on size.
Running Requires constant Does not require Running costs are Power only required
cost / power supply of electricity constant source of included within a when in use.
consumption when the disk is spinning power as only needed subscription charge. Portability means that
but if not in use can be when in use. they may get damaged
temporarily turned off. and need replacing.
Moving parts mean that
it may fail in the future.
Speed of access Depends on SATA Up to 30% faster Depends on Depends on whether
connection used. access speed than broadband using USB 2 or USB
hard disk. bandwidth of user 3 ports. USB 3 offers
and that offered by faster data transfer
supplier. than USB 2.
Interoperability If internal, can only If internal, can only Can logon from any Can be connected to
be used in device be used in device device including any device with a USB
connected to unless connected to unless mobile devices. port.
moved permanently, moved permanently,
but if external can be but if external can be
used in any device with used In any device :
a USB port. with a USB port.
Typical use In a desktop computer. Laptop and tablet Collaboration with For transferring data
computers. other users, backups, between devices.
sharing of files and
general storage.

Table 2.03 - Comparing storage devices.

TASK Input I Processing I *) Output

Complete a tablesimilar to that shown in Table 2.03 for
memory cards, magnetic tape drives and Blu-ray disc drives.
Input and output devices

Input devices allow data to be sent to a computer (e.g.
Figure 2.11 - IPOS diagram.

Data that has been stored can also be processed and then
output from the computer.
keyboard). Output devices allow the communication of
data/information from a computer (e.g. monitor). When
data is input into a computer, it is processed and then
either output from the computer or stored for later use as
Multiple choice answers from an examination are
shown in Figure 2.11and is known as an input-process-
output-storage (IPOS) diagram. scanned using an OMR and the answers for each
student are stored. Once all the answers have been