COMPUTER HARDWARE INTRODUCTION

The term computer hardware refers to the physical components of a computer, namely Keyboard, Monitor, Mouse, and Printer, including the digital circuitry. Computer hardware is an integral part embedded in all modern day automobiles, microwave ovens, electrocardiograph machines, compact disc players, and other devices. The hardware of a computer is not changed frequently, in contrast with software and data. The present computers are much advanced in terms of processing speed and have an efficient memory structure. The present lesson aims at providing an insight into the hardware concepts of a Computer System. One of the definitions of 'hardware' according to Webster's dictionary is 'Major items of equipment or their components used for a particular purpose'.

INFORMATION PROCESSING SYSTEM
Even though the size, shape, performance, reliability, and cost of computers have been changing over the years, the basic logical structure (based on the stored program concept), as proposed by Von Neumann, has not changed. No matter what shape and size of computer we are talking about, all computer systems perform the following five basic operations for converting raw input data into useful information and processing it to a user: 1. Inputting: Process of entering data and instructions into a computer system. 2. Storing: Saving data and instructions to make them readily available for initial or additional processing as and when required. 3. Processing: Performing arithmetic operations (add, subtract, multiply, divide, etc.), or logical operations (comparisons like equal to, less than, greater than, etc.) on data to convert them into useful information. 4. Outputting: Process of producing useful information or results for a user, such as printed report or visual display. 5. Controlling: Directing the manner and sequence in which the above operations are performed. Internal architecture of computers differs from one system model to another. However, basic organization remains the same for all computer systems. In the figure, solid lines indicate flow of instruction and data, and dotted lines represent control exercised by control unit. It displays the five major building blocks (functional units) of a digital computer system. These five units

correspond to the five basic operations performed by all computer systems. Functions of each of these units are described below. Storage unit
Secondary Storage

Program & data

Input unit Primary Storage

Information
Output unit

(Results)

Control Unit

Arithmetic Logic Unit

Central Processing Unit CPU) Basic organization of computer system INPUT UNIT Data and instructions must enter a computer system before the computer can perform any computation on the supplied data. The input unit that links a computer with its external environment performs this task. Data and instructions enter a computer through an input unit in a form that depends upon the input device used. For example, data can be entered using a keyboard in a manner similar to typing and this differs from the way in which data is entered through a scanner, another type of input device. However, a computer‟s memory is designed to accept input in binary code and hence, all input devices must transform input signals to binary codes. Units called input interfaces accomplish this transformation. Input interfaces match the unique physical or electrical characteristics of input devices to the requirements of a computer system. In short, an input unit performs following functions: 1. It accepts (or reads) instructions and data from outside world. 2. It converts these instructions and data in computer acceptable form.

3. It supplies the converted instructions and data to computer system for further processing. OUTPUT UNIT An output unit performs the reverse operation of that of an input unit. It supplies information obtained from data processing to outside world. Hence, it links a computer with its external environment. As computers work with binary code, results produced are also in binary form. Therefore, before supplying the results to outside world, the system must convert them to human acceptable (readable) form. Units called output interfaces accomplish this task. Output interfaces match the unique physical or electrical characteristics of output devices (terminal, printers etc.) to the requirements of an environment. In short, an output unit performs following functions: 1. It accepts the results produced by a computer, which are in coded form and hence, we cannot easily understand them. 2. It converts these coded results to human acceptable (readable) form. 3. It supplies the converted results to outside world. STORAGE UNIT Data ant instructions entered into a computer system through input units have to be stored inside the computer before actual processing starts. Similarly, results produced by a computer after processing have to be kept somewhere inside the computer system before being passed on to an output unit. Moreover, a computer must also preserve intermediate results for ongoing processing. Storage unit of a computer system caters to all these needs. It provides space for storing data and instructions, intermediate results, and results for output. In short, a storage unit holds (stores): 1. Data and instructions required for processing (received from input devices). 2. Intermediate results of processing. 3. Results for output, before they are released to an output device. Storage unit of all computers is comprised of following two types of storage: 1. Primary Storage: Primary storage of a computer, also known as its main memory, is used to hold pieces of program instructions and data, intermediate results of processing, and recently produced results of those job(s) on which the computer is currently working. These pieces of information are represented electronically in the main memory chip‟s

circuitry and while it remains in the main memory, central processing unit can access it directly at a very fast speed. However, primary storage can hold information only while computer system is on. As soon as the computer system switches off or resets, the information held in primary storage is erased. Moreover, primary storage normally has limited storage capacity because it is very expensive. Primary storage of modern computer systems is made of semiconductor devices. 2. Secondary Storage: Secondary storage of a computer, also known as its auxiliary storage, is used to take care of the limitations of primary storage. That is, it supplements the limited storage capacity and the volatile characteristic of primary storage. This is because secondary storage is much cheaper than primary storage and it can retain information even when a computer system switches off or resets. Secondary storage holds the program instructions, data, and information of those jobs on which the computer system is currently not working but needs to hold them later. Magnetic disk is the commonly used storage medium. ARITHMETIC LOGIC UNIT Arithmetic logic unit (ALU) of a computer system is the place where actual execution of instructions takes place during processing operation. To be more precise, calculations are performed and all comparisons (decisions) are made in the ALU. Data and instructions stored in primary storage before processing are transferred as and when needed to the ALU where processing takes place. Intermediate results generated in the ALU are temporarily transferred back to primary storage until needed later. Hence, data may move from primary storage to ALU and back again to storage many times before processing is over. The type and number of arithmetic and logic operations that a computer can perform is determined by the engineering design of its ALU. However, almost all ALUs are designed to perform the four basic arithmetic operations (add, subtract, multiply, and divide) and logic operations or comparisons such as, less than, equal to, and greater than. CONTROL UNIT How does an output device know that it is time for it to feed data to storage unit? How does the ALU know what should be done with the data once they are received? Moreover, how it is that only results for output are sent to an output device and not the intermediate results? All this is possible due to the control unit of the computer system. Although, it does not perform any actual processing on

they had less sophisticated video display screens. Thus it is worth learning about the various categories of computers and what functions each category serves. Most important. CENTRAL PROCESSING UNIT Control unit (CU) and arithmetic logic unit (ALU) of a computer system are together known as the Central Processing Unit (CPU) the CPU is the brain of the computer system. the control unit acts as a central nervous system for other components of a computer system. in a computer system. You have probably already begun learning how to use a microcomputer. spreadsheets. It manages the coordinates the entire computer system. In the past. These large computers process great amount of data. Minicomputers. operating systems and networking capabilities. Let us see what these are. Mainframes and Supercomputers. They were usually easier to use and more affordable than workstations. MICROCOMPUTERS The most familiar kind of computer is the microcomputer. and issues signals causing other units of the system to execute them. These machines ran comparatively easy-to-use applications software such as the word processors. Do you think the day might come when you will be using larger computers? The answer is a definite „Yes‟ – even if you have never seen them. microcomputers have been considered to be of two types – personal computers and workstation. TYPES OF COMPUTER SYSTEM Computer systems are classified as microcomputers. However. the brain takes all major decisions and other parts of the body function as directed by the brain. We will describe them from the smallest to the largest: Microcomputers.data. all major calculations and comparisons take place inside the CPU and the CPU is responsible for activating and controlling the operations of other units of the computer system. etc. they did not have . Similarly. In a human body. The reason is that microcomputers are often linked by communications lines to large computers. Personal computers (PCs) Until recently. mainframes and supercomputers. minicomputers. PCs were desktop or portable machines. It obtains instructions from the program stored in main memory. interprets the instructions.

Workstations Workstations are. Apollo. Hewlett-Packard. However. There are three categories or portable computers: Laptops or notebook PCs. Portable computers Personal computing market is seeing the miniaturization phenomena. computers are becoming smaller yet more powerful. Subnotebook users give up a full display screen and keyboard in exchange for less weight. battery-powered. These computers are ideal for users who have to work away from their offices. expensive powerful machines used by engineers. a student. Now. These computers combine the power of the PC with mobility. Examples of workstations are those made by Sun. a sales person. etc. An example is IBM Think Pad. The most significant distinguishing factor. The principle reason is that microcomputers used in PCs are now as powerful as many of those used in workstations. the distinction between PCs and workstations is now blurring. or both. although . Laptops/Notebooks: Laptops may be either AC-powered. which could churn out results much faster than the PCs. More powerful microcomputers and increased graphics and communications capabilities now let end users run software that previously ran only on more powerful machines. The more powerful workstations are called super micros. and other professionals who processed a lot of data. One type of PC that is rapidly growing in popularity is the portable computer. The user of these computers might be an executive on the move. Examples of personal computers are Acer‟s Aspire. etc. is the powerful processor. which can be easily carried around. People who need to run complex programs and display both work in progress and results graphically also use workstations.the processing power that workstations did. however. Subnotebooks: Subnotebooks are for frequent flyers and life-on-the road professionals. scientists. Compaq Presario. These computers fit easily into any briefcase. They typically have an external floppy disk drive and monochrome monitor. a journalist. again. Workstations use sophisticated display screens featuring high-resolution color graphics and operating systems such as UNIX that permitted multitasking. NeXT and IBM. Subnotebooks and personal Digital Assistants. until recently. Workstations also use powerful networking links to other computers.

Also. businessmen. writing recognition. organization. also known as mid range computers were first developed as special purpose mainframe computers. personal organizational tools. Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs): PDAs are much smaller than the subnotebooks. They were used. which usually is a microcomputer. However. Indeed the more powerful minicomputer models are called super minis. He/she could then use a spread sheet on his/her microcomputer to analyze the data. MINICOMPUTERS Minicomputers. in which end users can process at their own microcomputers. an executive could use the server to search the company‟s centralized database and retrieve selected dat. . to control machines in a manufacturing unit. End users can also access and share the resources of the server. now they are widely used as general purpose computers. and communication capabilities in a very small package. For example. An example of a color subnotebook is Toshiba Protégé. That is. They combine pen input. An example of such computer architecture is the Client/Server model. Typical users are executives. One of the popular minicomputer systems is the VAX made by Digital Equipment Corporation. an example of a PDA is Apple‟s Newton. a company‟s processing power is decentralized. Minicomputers work well in what are known as Distributed Data Processing (DDP). Thus the line between minis and mainframes has blurred and is constantly changing. etc. Large organizations rely on these room size systems to handle large programs with lots of data. or distributed across different computers. etc.of late color models are available. MAINFRAMES Mainframe computers can process several million-program instructions per second. who use these machines for their day-to-day activities – scheduling. the increasing powers of microcomputer workstations have made it harder to distinguish between minis and microcomputers. for instance.

These machines are for applications requiring very large programs and huge amounts of data that must be processed quickly. Oracle Corporation and Sun Microsystems are leading the crusade for network computers and have even created a Network Computer Reference profile that defines exactly what a network computer is. disk storage and processor power designed to connect to a network. can operate at speeds measured in nanoseconds and even in picoseconds – one thousand to one million times as fast as microcomputers. or microseconds. and railway reservation systems. According to this profile. The idea behind network computers is that many users who are connected to a network don‟t need all the computer power they get typical personal computer. Net PCs. NETWORK COMPUTERS Network computers are computers with minimal memory. they can rely on the power of the network servers. oil simulation. These supercomputers consist of thousand of integrated microprocessors. One massively parallel computer built by Intel Corporation is capable of performing 8. . whereas a mainframe uses its power to execute many programs concurrently. etc. The chief difference between a supercomputer and a mainframe is that a supercomputer channels all its power into executing a few programs as fast as possible.1 billion mathematical calculations per second. A supercomputer. For example. and internet appliances. an 8MB ROM card. Y-MP/C90 made by Cray Research Inc. can perform as many as 2. Instead. by contrast. A desktop microcomputer processes data and instructions in millions of a second. Network computers designed to connect to the internet are sometimes called internet boxes. a network computer has from 4 to 64 MB of RAM. Instead. Examples of such task are weather forecasting. Most supercomputers are used by government agencies. An advanced mainframe made by IBM is S/390. Network computers take this idea one step further by also minimizing the amount of memory and processor power required by the workstation.Mainframes are mainly used by insurance companies.6 billion mathematical calculations per second. they rely on a server to store data. More powerful supercomputers use a technology called massively parallel processing. banks. SUPERCOMPUTERS Supercomputers are the fastest calculating devices ever invented. especially the internet. This is really a variation on an old idea – diskless workstations – which are computers that contain memory and a processor but no disk storage. a smart card slot.

Input devices are used to enter data from outside world into primary storage. It is. A wide variety of I/O devices is now available. For a particular application. 3. Several input devices are available today. Keyboard devices Point and draw devices Data scanning devices Digitizer 5. INPUT DEVICES An input device is an electromechanical device that accepts data from outside world and translates them into a form a computer can interpret. a computer system needs to communicate with its external environment (its users). Input data From External world Input Devices CPU & Memory Output Devices input Data coded In internal Form proces-sed data in internal form Results of processing in human acceptable form Figure: Illustrating the role of I/O devices in a computer system It is important to note that the speed of I/O devices is very slow as compared to the speed of primary storage and CPU. INPUT-OUTPUT DEVICES To be useful. Vision based devices . and there is a constant demand for faster and faster I/O devices. They can be broadly classified into following categories: 1. Some devices are used for both input and output functions. This is because their speed of most cases depends on the movement of mathematical parts. 4. 2. Electronic cards based devices 6. The input-output devices (abbreviated I/O devices) provide this capability to a computer system. and output devices supply the results of processing from primary storage to users. one type may be more suitable than another type. difficult to produce I/O devices that can match processor and memory speeds. and the potential for improvement in speed of such parts is limited. Speech Recognition devices 7. therefore.infrared and network interfaces. a parallel port. They are also known as peripheral devices because they surround a computer‟s CPU and memory. and a pair of PS/2 compatible I/O ports.

a new type of user interface. and touch screen. illiterate citizens. through usable. called graphical user interface (GUI). Point-and-Draw Devices Interaction with computers was initially restricted mainly to text mode. However. They allow data entry into a computer system by pressing a set of keys (labelled buttons) neatly mounted on a keyboard connected to a computer system. and graphic designers.The various types of input devices along with their applications are described below. With new ability. was found to be inconvenient and unsuitable for this requirement. Hence. light pen. joystick. like mouse and light pen. research efforts to find a suitable input device to meet this requirement gave birth to several input devices like mouse. a graphics cursor moves on the terminal screen in the direction of the . The most popular keyboard used today is the 101. track ball. was devised for interacting with computers. It is a must have input device on modem personal computers and workstations because they support GUI as their primary user interface. Some commonly used point-and-draw devices are described below. The keyboard. GUI requires an input device that can be used to rapidly point to and select a graphic icon or menu item from the multiple options displayed on the screen. MOUSE Mouse is the most popular point-and-draw device. For efficient utilization. Hence. it was soon realized that interacting with computers in text-mode is cumbersome and time-consuming. When a mouse that is connected to a terminal is rolled on a flat surface. curves. and freehand shapes. Keyboard Devices Keyboard devices are the most commonly used input devices today. A GUI provides a screen with graphic icons (small icons on the screen) or menus and allows a user to make rapid selections from them to give instructions to a computer. Later it was realized that many of these devices. these devices came to be known as point-anddraw devices. It rolls on a small bearing and has one or more buttons on the top. A mouse is a small hand-held device that fits in a user‟s palm comfortably.keys QWERTY keyboard. could also be used very effectively to create graphic elements on the screen such as lines. These input devices have made computers a much more easily usable tool establishing them as a versatile tool for a wide range of users including children.

The optical sensor mouse is more sensitive. Note that notifying the system of a particular choice. the ball is rolled with . a button. irrespective of its size and shape. the text and graphics cursor may be displayed on the screen at the same time. This point is called hot-spot of the graphics cursor. The on-board electronics on the mouse uses the reflection differences to calculate the direction and speed of movement and notifies the computer system. easier and smoother to use. Trackball comes in various shapes and forms with the same functionality. a mouse can also be used to draw pictures on the screen and edit text. When the hot-spot is positioned at a menu item or an icon. is much easier with a mouse than pressing various key combinations. has a pixel-size point that is considered the point of reference to decide where the cursor is positioned on the screen. As the whole device need not be attached to or built into the keyboard. as it is practical for laptop users in small space. The graphics cursor. Recall that in a roller-ball mouse the roller ball is placed in the base of the mouse.mouse‟s movement. It has the roller ball also placed on the top along with the buttons. the graphics cursor is said to point to that menu item or icon. As the ball is fixed on the top. the system can then be notified of this choice. Three commonly used shapes are a ball. With proper software. Since all movements of the mouse are reproduced by the graphics cursor at a menu item or an icon by moving the mouse. To move the graphics cursor on the screen the ball is rolled with hand. a wrist with a pointing finger etc. out of the various options provided by the software. Trackballs built into the keyboard are commonly used in laptop (notebook) computers. some people think of a trackball as an upside-down mouse. Another innovation in mouse is to have user-programmable buttons on the sides and the middle button on top is replaced with a wheel that can be rotated as scroll to scroll the screen display and can also be pressed as a button. TRACKBALL A trackball is a pointing device similar to a roller ball mouse. and a square. The optical sensor mouse has a light source with a sensor arranged in such a fashion that the light coming from the source is detected by the sensor after reflection from the surface. The roller-ball based mouse is now being replaced with optical sensor based mouse. The graphics cursor is displayed as a variety of symbols such as an arrow. With a click of the mouse‟s button. Depending on the application. To move the graphics cursor at a desired position on the terminal screen.

A user holds the pen in his/her hand and points with it directly on the screen to select from the displayed menu items or icons. an Ultrasound machine usually has a trackball that a sinologist (medical expert in sonography) can use to move the cursor (usually a crass hair shape) to mark point of references on the image being viewed on the screen. a button on the top is provided to select the option currently pointed to by the cursor. For example. Movement of electronic pen causes the graphical cursor on screen to move. The stick can be moved forward or backward. it is placed in a socket with a stick mounted on it. Typical uses of a joystick include video games. A user can also draw graphics directly on the screen with it. To make the movement of the spherical ball easier. Applying pressure on tip cause same action as left button-click and keeping the tip pressed for a short duration causes same action as right button-click of a mouse. and easiest to use of all input devices. intuitive. On most joysticks. ELECTRONIC PEN It is a pen-based point-and-draw device. A touch screen enables a user to choose from available options by . This makes it easier for designers to work on large drawings and is more suitable to their style of working.hand. training simulators. Potentiometers are used to sense the movements. Trackball is also often used with several equipment having embedded computers. the button is pushed with finger. In designing. Trackball is device of choice in CAD/CAM (computer aided design/ computer aided manufacturing) area. The pen is used on the pad as an ink pen would be used on paper. left or right. The button is clicked to make this selection. to move and position the graphics cursor at the desired position. Another type of electronic pen comes with a special pad. TOUCH SCREEN Touch screen is the most simple. or a finger is simply moved on the square platform. A user moves the spherical ball by the attached stick with his/her hand. flight simulators. trackball is preferred because hand movement is mostly sufficient to move the graphical cursor and does not require any movement of equipment. and remote control of industrial robots. JOYSTICK A joystick is a pointing device that works on the same principle as a trackball.

graphics. etc. or insurance company to introduce the various types of offered services to the customers. and to caution them against things they are not supposed to do while inside. In a large bank. tourist spots. and to guide them to appropriate counters for their specific jobs. For example. Some of them are also capable of recognizing marks or characters. 3.simply touching the desired icon or menu displayed on a computer‟s screen with his/her finger. They demand high quality of input documents because of direct data entry from source documents. Form design and ink specification usually becomes more critical with the use of these devices than when keyboard devices are used to key in data forms. post office. information kiosks may be located: 1. The input documents may be typed text. In large museums or zoos to guide the visitors to the locations of various attractions and facilities. Commonly used ones are described below. have strikeovers. These devices have following characteristics: 1. or have erasures are normally rejected. Documents that are typed poorly. They eliminate the need for manual entry of data by human beings. 2. Automatic entry of data with their use improves data accuracy and increases timeliness of the information processed. At an airport or a railway station to provide information to arriving passengers about hotels. IMAGE SCANNER An image scanner is an input device that translates paper documents into an electronic format that can be stored in a computer. An information kiosk is an unattended system located at a public place that stores information of public interest and allows common people to access stored information as per their requirement. Touch screen are often used in information kiosks. In a city. 3. 4. 2. This input device . Data scanning devices are of many types. or even handwritten material. Data Scanning Devices Data scanning devices are input devices used for direct data entry into a computer system from source documents. restaurants. pictures.

moves horizontally from one end to another when activated. hand-held scanners are used only in cases where high accuracy is not needed. the scanner is dragged slowly over it from its one end to other end with its light on. situated below the glass plate.has been found to be very useful in preserving paper documents in electronic form. A light source. They are much cheaper than flatbed scanners. the light beam moves up a little and scans the next line. Hand-held scanner: A hand-held scanner has a set of light emitting diodes encased in a small case that can be held in hand conveniently. Due to this reason. A document to be scanned is placed upside down on the glass plate. A copy of a document stored in a computer in this manner will never deteriorate in quality or become yellow with age. otherwise the conversion of the document into its equivalent bit map will not be correct. A bitmap-image representation of the same document will require 10 to 15 times more storage depending on the resolution of grid points. The scanner has to be dragged very steadily and carefully. 2. Since a scanned input document is stored as an image. The process is repeated for all the lines. a page printed text having 2000 characters can be stored as 2000 bytes by using the ASCII representation. whenever desired. The stored images can even be altered and manipulated in interesting ways. They are also used when the volume of documents to be scanned is low. To scan a document. Flatbed scanner: A flatbed scanner is like a copier machine consisting of a box having a glass plate on its top and a lid that covers the glass plate. For example. OCR technology is used to overcome these limitations. 2. the scanner is equipped with character recognition software that converts the bitmap . if the computer has image-processing software. After scanning one line. instead of text. Image scanners come in various shapes and sizes. OPTICAL CHARACTER RECOGNITION (OCR) DEVICE When image scanners are used for inputting text documents. It takes about 20 second to scan a document of size 21cm x 28 cm. they have following two limitations: 1. it is not possible to do any word processing of the document. In this case. Two commonly used types are: 1. and can be displayed or printed. Storage space required for storing the document as an image is much more than that required for storing the same element as a text.

Which is the largest unit of storage among following: (a) Terabyte (b) Kilobyte (c) Megabyte (d) Gigabyte . four options are given out of which only one is correct.images of characters to equivalent ASCII codes. Note that if the document contains italics or bold face letters. Hence. in objective type tests applicants mark their choices of correct answers on a special pre-printed test scoring sheet by darkening a small square. The actual technique used by an OMR device for recognition of marks involves focusing a light on the page being scanned and detecting the reflected light pattern from the marks. or fonts other than that for which the OCR software has been designed. these software are designed to recognize texts written using standard type fonts. the OCR software will not work effectively. 1. the scanner first creates the bitmap image of the document and then the OCR software translates the array of grid points into ASCII text that the computer can interpret as letters. The full form of CPU is: (a) Cursor positioning unit (b) Central power unit (c) Central processing unit (d) None of the above 3. and special characters. Two such standard forms are OCR-A (American standard) and OCR-B (European standard). or oval shaped box by a pencil. For example. The binary equivalent of decimal 4 is: (a) 101 (b) 111 (c) 001 (d) 100 2. circular. That is. OCR software is extremely complex because it is difficult to make a computer recognize an unlimited number of typefaces and fonts. For each question. OPTICAL MARK READER (OMR) These scanners are capable of recognizing a pre-specified type of mark made by pencil or pen. These answer sheets are fed directly to a computer for grading with the use of an optical mark reader. Pencil marks made with a soft lead pencil reflect the light enabling the reader to determine which responses are marked. numbers. Choose the correct option and mark your choice against the corresponding question number in the given answer sheet by darkening the corresponding circle with a lead pencil.

Reflected light patterns are converted into electrical pulses and then transmitted to recognition logic circuits that convert it into an alphanumeric value. There are many types of bar-coding systems.(a) Question sheet Indicates direction in which the sheet should be fed to the OMR 1. It scans a bar code image and converts it into an alphanumeric value that is then fed to a computer connected to the bar-code reader. Bar code readers are found commonly in supermarkets and department stores. A laser beam is stroked across the pattern of bars of a bar code. etc. When a customer picks up a product for purchasing and brings it to the . They are used particularly for unique identification of all types of goods. The UPC. books. Bar codes represent alphanumeric data by a combination of adjacent vertical lines by varying their width and the spacing between them. or embedded in a stationary scanner. is now printed on other consumer goods also. A bar-code reader uses laser-beam scanning technology. and the next 5 digits identify a specific product of the manufacturer. Different bar codes having different patterns of bars reflect the beam in different ways that is sensed by a light-sensitive detector. It appears on almost all retail packages in USA and now in India as well on many products. badges. The most widely known one is the Universal Product Code (UPC). It may be hand-held scanner. A bar-code reader is a device used for reading (decoding) bar-coded data. originally used for supermarket items. The UPC barcode patterns are decoded as 10 digits. postal packages. The first 5 of the digits identify the manufacturer or supplier of the product.  A O B O B O B O C  C O C  D O D O D (b) Pre-printed answer sheet BAR-CODE READER Data coded in the form of small lines are known as bar codes. tags. O A 3. O A 2.

It is used by banking industry for faster processing of large volume of cheques handled every day by this industry. This cheque is then processed by using an MICR reader-sorter that can recognize magnetic ink characters.cash counter for payments. However. MAGNATIC-INK CHARACTER RECOGNITION (MICR) MICR is similar to OCR. A special link containing particles of iron oxide is used for pre-printing the characters on the cheque. The bar-code reader converts the bar code into an alphanumeric value and feeds it to a computer that looks up the price of product. they pass through a magnetic field causing the particles in the ink to be magnetized. Besides enabling faster processing of cheques. within a matter of minutes. The most commonly used character set by MICR devices is known as E13B font consisting of numerals 0 to 9 and four special characters. a bank employee manually enters the customer-supplied information including the amount written on the cheque. account number. the current location of any packet. When a customer presents a filled-in cheque at a bank. this technology also ensures accuracy of data entry because most of the information is pre-printed on the cheque and is fed directly to the computer. No alphabetic characters are available. . Postal delivery services also use bar codes to identify and track each packet. The MICR reader-sorter reads the preprinted data on the cheques. MICR technology speeds up data input for banking industry because cheques can be fed directly into the input device and processed automatically thereafter. possibly updates inventory and sales records. and uses the price and description information to prepare a purchase bill for the customer. the sales person at the counter uses a bar code reader to scan the bar code printed on the product. MICR has not been adopted by other industries because the currently supported character set has only 14 symbols. For example. A bank cheque has bank‟s identification code. Coded data in the form of these fonts are transferred from cheques to a computer by an MICR reader-sorter. Read heads then interpret these characters by examining their shapes. As the cheques enter the reading unit. and sorts the cheques for distribution to other banks or further processing. The sorter is used to sort the cheques into different pockets according to their identification code numbers. Federal Express of USA uses a unique bar-coding system and their employees can usually tell a customer. and cheque number pre-printed on it by using characters from a special character set.

Inputting drawings or developing sketches by using a digitizer is further simplified by the fact that poorly sketched lines. buildings. They are also used in the area of Geographical Information System (GIS) for digitizing of maps available in paper form. On moving the stylus on the tablet. and other graphical objects are automatically input as mathematically precise objects like straight lines and smooth curves.Digitizer A digitizer is an input device used for converting pictures. maps. Digitizers are used commonly in the area of Computer Aided Design (CAD) by architects and engineers to design cars. robots. a cursor on computer‟s screen moves simultaneously to a corresponding position on the screen to provide visual feedback to the operator. the x and y coordinates of points in a drawing may be stored in digital form. medical services. The stylus is like a pen or a lens-like cursor with a cross hair and button. The digitizing tablet can be spread over a working tablet and is connected to a computer. whenever required. Each copper wire receives electric pulse. etc. and drawings into digital form for storage in computers. mechanical parts. A digitizer consists of a digitizer tablet associated with a stylus. arcs. It is connected to the tablet and can be pressed down at a point on the tablet to input the (x. This enables recreation of the drawing from the stored information and easy incorporation of changes in the drawing. y) coordinates of the point. . This enables the operator to draw sketches directly or to input sketched drawings very easily. The digitizing tablet is a flat surface that contains hundreds of fine copper wires forming a grid. For example.

It is connected normally to the bank‟s computer. It is an unattended machine located at any place (either inside of the bank or away from the bank). The . normally connected to a computer. An electronic-card reader. When a customer inserts his/her card into the ATM. Electronic cards are small plastic cards having encoded data appropriate for the application for which they are used. An ATM allows a customer to deposit or withdraw cash 24 hours a day without the need to interact with a bank employee. An ATM has an electronic card reader associated with it.Digitizing Table Stylus (cursor with A cross hair and Button) Tabletop A digitizer Electronic-card Reader Electronics cards and their associated readers offer another means of direct data entry into a computer system. the reader reads the data encoded on the card and transmits it to the bank‟s computer activating the customer‟s account. Electronic cards are often issued by banks to their customers for use with automatic teller machines (ATM). is used to read the data encoded on an electronic card and transfer it to the computer for further processing. An electronic card for use in an ATM has its customer‟s account number and credit limit (maximum amount that he/she can withdraw in a day) encoded on a card.

For data input by dictation of long text or package for later editing and review.customer can then carry out the desired transaction by following the instructions displayed on the screen of the ATM and by pressing a few keys on the customized keyboard or touch screen of the ATM. For example. For limited use of computers by individuals with physical disabilities. In addition to making input of data easier. Vision-input System A vision-input system allows a computer to accept input by seeing an object. For data input to a computer system by a person in situations where he/she hands are busy or his/her eyes must be fixed on a measuring instrument or some other object. currently speech recognition systems have limited success because correct interpretation by a machine of the large number of words in vocabulary of a language is difficult. Input data in this case is normally an object‟s shape and features in the form of an image. The major difficulties are that people speak with different accents (pronounce differently) and intonations (with different tone or pitch of the voice). 2. today‟s speech recognition systems are limited to accepting few words within a relatively small domain and can be used to enter limited kinds and quantities of data only. Although in its infancy. as a data input device. speech recognition systems also provide freedom of movement to the operator because the operator is free to stand up. doctors in an operation room can request certain information about a patient while operating. Speech Recognition Devices Speech recognition devices are input devices that allow a person to input data to a computer system by speaking to it. and the fact that the meaning of words can vary depending on the context in which they are used. Some of its applications are: 1. 3. 4. move around. speech recognition systems are already used for a wide range of applications. Hence. they make computers much easier to use. The idea is to simulate the capability of a human vision system in a limited sense. Hence. However. For authentication of a user by a computer system based on speech input. . or do some other work by hand while inputting voice data to the system.

or words spoken out by a voice response system are soft-copy output. The camera is focused on the input object to take its picture. output produced on paper by printers or plotters are hard-copy output.A computer with a vision-input device consists of a digital camera. Output devices generate computer output that can be broadly classified into following two types: 1. For example. Printers 3. Vision-input devices are used mainly in factories for designing industrial robots used for quality control and assembly processes. For example. 2. For example. Plotters below. Depending on whether a match is found or not. The camera creates an image of the object in digital form (in 1s and 0s) so that it can be stored and interpreted by the computer. Following steps are taken to recognize a given object: 1. Screen image projector 5. Another robot may be used to inspect shapes of objects and separate objects of different shapes in different bins. 4. They can be broadly classified into following categories: 1. 3. 4. They are permanent in nature and can be kept in paper files or can be looked later when the person is not using a computer. Soft-copy output: A soft-copy output is not produced on a paper or some material that can be touched and carried for being shown to others. The digitized image of the object is matched against similarly formed prestored images in the computer‟s image database. Several output devices are available today. Monitors 2. Voice response system These types of output devices along with their applications are described . OUTPUT DEVICES An output device is an electromechanical device that accepts data from a computer and translates them into a form suitable for use by outside world (users). Hard-copy output: A hard-copy output is produced on a paper or some material that can be touched and carried for being shown to others. They are temporary in nature. a robot used for quality control may inspect objects and separate those not meeting certain quality-control specifications. 2. the system takes appropriate action. contents displayed on a terminal screen.

Such method is called bidirectional printing. many dot-matrix printers print both ways – while the print head moves from left to right and while it moves from right to left. To print a character. They are also preferred because they occupy less table space. Different types of printers are described below. With gradual reduction in price of LCD flat panel monitors. PRINTERS Printers are the most popular output devices used today for producing hard-copy output. CRT monitors work much like a television screen and are used with non-portable computer systems. A dotmatrix printer has a print head that moves horizontally (left to right and right to left) across the paper.MONITORS Monitors are most popular output devices used today for producing softcopy output. Two basic types of monitors used today are cathode-ray-tube (CRT) and LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) flat-panel. A VDT (often referred to as just terminal) is the most popular input/output (I/O) devise used with today‟s computers. the printer activates the appropriate set of pins as the print head moves horizontally. lighter. A monitor is associated usually with a keyboard and together they form a video display terminal (VDT). The keyboard is used for input to a computer and the monitor is used to display the output from the computer. Print head contains an array of pins that can be activated independent of each other to extend and strike against an inked ribbon to form patterns of dots on the paper. It serves as both an input and output device. On the other hand. The name “terminal” comes from the fact that a terminal is at the terminus or end of a communication path. they are used increasingly with non-portable desktop computer systems also. . DOT-MATRIX PRINTERS Dot-matrix printers are character printers that print one character at a time. LCD flat-panel monitors are thinner. and are used commonly with portable computer systems like notebook computers. on return. For faster printing. They display the generated output on a television like screen. They form characters and all kinds of images as patterns of dots.

the printer selectively heats the appropriate set of nozzles as the print head moves horizontally. dot-matrix printers are noisy as compared to non-impact printers. However. They are also used for applications requiring multi-copy output such as shipping forms and invoices that rely on impact printing for generating multiple copies. the ink near it vaporizes and is ejected through the nozzle making a dot on the paper placed in front of the print head. therefore. they are preferred by individuals and organizations for generating printed outputs if the speed and quality of printing are not important factors. they can print any shape of character that a program can describe. different sizes of print. Due to impact printing. When the resistor heats up.Since dot matrix printers produce printed output as patterns of dots. and also have the ability to print graphics such as charts and graphs. They. can print many special characters. Dot-Matrix-Normal Font Dot-matrix printers are normally slow with printing speeds ranging from 30 to 600 characters per second. To print a character. A high-resolution inkjet . INKJET PRINTERS Inkjet printers are character printers that form characters and all kinds of images by spraying small drops of ink on a paper. Hence. Hence. Inkjet printers produce higher quality output than dot-matrix printers do because they form characters by very tiny ink dots. they are cheap in terms of both initial cost and cost of operation. they can be used to produce multiple copies by using carbon paper or its equivalent. They are also used for applications for generating printed outputs if the speed and quality of printing are not important factors. Dot-matrix printers are impact printers because they print by hammering the pins on the inked ribbon to leave ink impressions on a paper. The print head of an inkjet printer contains up to 64 tiny nozzles that can be heated up selectively in a few microseconds by an integrated circuit resistor.

A character is printed at a desired print position by activating the appropriate hammer when the character embossed on the band at the print position passes below it. blue. a drum printer with 132 characters per line and supporting a character set of 96 characters will have altogether 12. The tri-color cartridge contains red. and yellow colors in a package that can mix appropriate amount of these colors with black from the other cartridge to get any desired color with saturation. DRUM PRINTERS Drum printers are line printers that print an entire line at a time. Hence they are quieter in operation. Total number of bands is equal to the maximum number of characters that can be printed on a line. Hence. It consists of a solid cylindrical drum with characters embossed (raised characters) on its surface in the form of circular bands. different sizes of print. They are preferred if speed of printing is not an important factor. Typically. Since inkjet printers produce printed output as patterns of tiny dots. Being of non-impact type. This makes it possible to get multi-colored and photo-quality output from inkjet printers. they can print any shape of characters that a program can described. In addition to the drum. the printer has a set of hammers mounted in front of the drum in a manner that an inked ribbon and paper can be placed between the hammers and the drum. Inkjet printers are non impact printers because they print by spraying ink on the paper. an inkjet printer is more expensive than a dot matrix printer. which is also equal to the total print positions per line. Each band consists of all the printing characters supported by the printer in its character set. the drum would have to . The total number of hammers is equal to the total number of bands on the drum. A color inkjet printer usually comes with two ink cartridges – black and tri-color.672 (132x96) characters embossed on its surface. Hence. Recall that dot matrix and inkjet printers print one character at a time. Inkjet printers are slower than dot matrix printers are with printing speeds ranging from 40 to 300 characters per second. and the ability to print graphics such as charts and graphs. they cannot be used to produce multiple copies of a document in a single printing. This allows the printer to print many special characters. The drum rotates at a high speed.printer has as many as 64 nozzles within a height of 7mm providing print resolution of around 360 dots per inch.

but the time required to print an entire line is so fast that it appears as if one line is printed at a time. A standard character set may have 48. It consists of a metallic Chain/band on which all characters of the character set supported by the printer are embossed. Due to impact printing.complete one full revolution to print each line of output. different sizes of print. Hence. Drum printers are impact printers because they print by hammering on a paper and linked ribbon against the characters embossed on the drum. drum printers are noisy in operation and often use a cover to reduce the noise level. This means that not all characters on a line are printed at exactly the same time. or 96 characters. Hence. CHAIN/BAND PRINTERS Chain/band printers are line printers that print one line at a time. A Drum Printer The drum of a printer is expensive and cannot be changed often. drum printers can print a predefined set of characters only in a pre-defined style embossed on the drum. 64. therefore. Drum printers. do not have the ability to print any shape of characters. the . and graphics such as charts and graphs. they can be used to produce multiple copies by using carbon paper or its equivalent. For example. Printing speeds of drum printers are in the range of 300 to2000 lines per minute. In order to enhance printing speed. the characters in the character set are embossed several times on the Chain/band.

In this case. The Chain/band rotates at a high speed. The total number of hammers is equal to the total number of print positions. the Chain/band will have altogether 256 (64x4) characters embossed on it. Due to impact printing.Chain/band of a 64 character set printer may have four sets of 64 characters each embossed on it. they can be used to produce multiple copies by using carbon paper or its equivalent. Since the character set is repeated several times on the Chain/band. It is not necessary to wait for the Chain/band to make a complete revolution to position the desired character in the correct print position. Chain/band printers are impact printers because they print by hammering on a paper and linked ribbon against the characters embossed on the chain/band. Chain/band printers are noisy in operation and often use a cover to reduce the noise level. Therefore. Printing speeds of Chain/band printers are in the range of 400 to 3000 lines per minute. A character is printed at a desired print position by activating the appropriate hammer when the character embossed on the Chain/band passes below it. A Chain/Band Printer The printer has a set of hammers mounted in front of the Chain/band in a manner that an inked ribbon and paper can be placed between the hammers and chain/band. a printer supporting 132 print positions will have 132 hammers. . Hence.

Since laser printers produce printed output as patterns generated by the laser beam. Laser printers are non-impact printers. As a result. and also have the ability to print graphics such as charts and graphs. They. can print many special characters. The toner is then fused permanently on the paper with heat and pressure to generate the printed output. The most common laser printers have resolution of 600 dpi (dots per inch). Due to their high resolution. they can print any shape of characters that a program can described. and toner (tiny particles of oppositely charged ink). The mirror focuses the laser beam on the surface of the drum in a manner to create the patterns of characters/images to be printed on the page. the laser beam is focused on the electro statically charged drum by the spinning multisided mirror. Since the drum is photoconductive. To print a page of output. different sizes of print. The drum is then rotated and cleaned with a rubber blade to remove the toner sticking to its surface to prepare the drum for next page printing. they are very quite in operation.LASER PRINTERS Laser printers are page printers that print one page at a time. a photoconductive drum. a difference in electric charge is created on those parts of the drum surface that are exposed to the laser beam. the toner. composed of oppositely charged ink particles. therefore. a multi-sided mirror. . Main components of a laser printer are a laser beam source. A Laser Printer Laser printers produce very high quality output because they form characters by very tiny ink particles. whereas some high-end laser printers have resolution of 1200 dpi. they cannot be used to produce multiple copies of a document in a single printing. Hence. sticks to the drum in the places where the laser beam has charged the drum‟s surface. these printers give excellent graphics art quality. Being of non-impact type.

Low speed laser printers can print 4 to 12 pages are minute. However. inkjet. laser printers are more expensive than other types of printers. High-speed laser printers are also available. and graphic output of widely varying sizes. is used for this purpose. the drum and pen(s) move simultaneously to draw designs and graphs on the sheet placed on the drum. Plotters We learnt earlier that dot matrix. the paper on which the design to be made is placed over a drum that can rotate in both clockwise and anti-clockwise directions to produce vertical motion. Plotters are an ideal output device for architects. Owing to their better print quality and printing speed. and laser printers are capable of producing graphics output. city planners. That is. etc. each with a drum of its own. engineers. and others who need to routinely generate high-precision. DRUM PLOTTERS In a drum plotter. . now even color laser printers are available at affordable price. A special type of output device. often require high quality. like color inkjet printer. pens having ink of different colors can be mounted in different holders to produce multi-colored designs. The plotter can also annotate the designs and graphs so drawn by using the pen to draw characters of various sizes. Since each pen is program selectable. Laser printers are faster in printing speed than other printers discussed earlier. hard copy. many engineering design applications like architectural plan of a building. The pen(s) clamped in the holder(s) can move left to right or right to left to produce horizontal motion. Two commonly used types of plotters are drum plotter and flatbed plotter. They are described below. A graph-plotting program controls the movements of the drum and pen(s).. The mechanism also consists of one or more penholders mounted perpendicular to the drum‟s surface. The usage of drums and toners are same as earlier. contains four color toners. design of mechanical components of an aircraft or a car. but each drum is charged in such a way that together they produce the desired color output. called plotters. perfectly-proportioned graphic output on large sheets. A color laser printer. under computer control. The various types of printers discussed above are not suitable for meeting this output requirement of such applications.Although most laser printers can print in black color only because they have a single toner-drum arrangement.

Provision is also there to mount more than one pen in the pen(s) holding mechanism.Paper Design Drawn on the Paper A drum plotter FLATBED PLOTTER A flatbed plotter plots a design or graph on a sheet of paper spread and fixed over a rectangular flatbed table. ships. under computer control. Design drawn On the paper Paper A flatbed plotter . highways. aircrafts. the plastic metal sheet is spread on the bed and the drawing pen has a sharp-edged needle. The plot size is restricted by the area of bed. etc. normally the paper does not move and the pen holding mechanism provides all types of motions necessary to draw complex designs and graphs. Some may be as small as A4 size (8”x11” page) while some very large beds used in the design cars. That is. buildings. The plotter can also annotate the designs and graphs so drawn by using the pen to draw characters of various sizes. Since each pen is program selectable. by 50 ft. the pen(s) move in the required manner to draw designs and graphs on the sheet placed on the flatbed table. In this case. pens having ink of different colors can be mounted id different holders to produce multi-colored designs. can be up to 20 ft. Some plotters can also etch on plastic or metal plates. In this type of plotter.

a full-fledged multimedia presentation with audio. Like monitors. Additionally. the presentation was made by using an overhead projector. mark. screen image projectors provide a temporary. Finally. It is very useful for the making presentations to a group of people with direct use of a computer. image. video. They are used commonly with portable notebook computers to setup a modern presentation facility quickly at any place with great ease. With this facility. Before such an output device was available. or edit certain portions of the contents of the displayed material during the presentation to make the presentation more understandable. and a presenter can make a presentation to a group of people by projecting the presentation material one after another on a large screen with the help of computer‟s keyboard or mouse. Special marker pens had to be used for making certain portions of the contents on the transparency sheets during the presentation. and animation can be prepared and made by using the facility to make the presentation more lively and interesting. the contents of a presentation were prepared using a computer.Screen Image Projector Screen image projector is an output device used to project information from a computer on a large screen (such as a cloth screen or wall) so that a group of people can view it simultaneously. Screen image projectors have become common presentation equipment today. the presenter can also directly point to. This presentation material was then printed on a printer and the printout was next reproduced on overhead projector transparency sheets by using a copier machine. soft-copy output. It can be plugged to a computer system directly. . A screen image projector simplifies this job.

the output is temporary. Obviously. A voice response system has an audio-response device that produces audio output. Voice reproduction systems are very useful in a wide range of applications. Their uses include: . soft-copy output. Voice response systems are of two types – voice reproduction system and speech synthesizer. music or alarms generated by musical instruments. VOICE REPRODUCTION SYSTEM A voice reproduction system produces audio output by selecting an appropriate audio output from a set of prerecorded audio responses. a voice response system enables a computer to talk to a user. The set of pre-recorded audio responses may include words. the computer selects the appropriate sound from the set of pre-recorded sounds.Operation button On/Off light indicator Projector Lens Voice Response Systems Just as a speech recognition system allows a user to talk to a computer. or sentences spoken by human beings. The selected sound is converted back into analog form an then routed to a speaker to produce the audio output. The actual analog recordings of the pre-recorded sound are converted into digital data first and then stored on a computer‟s disk or in its memory chip permanently. or any other type of sound. When audio output is to be produced. They are described below. phrases.

To produce speech. or vacancy status of a flight or train is often taken care of by an automatic answering machine. Talking alarm clock. rather than wait for the book to appear in Braille. SPEECH SYNTHESIZER A speech synthesizer converts text information into spoken sentences. From a given text information. Speech synthesizers are still in their infancy because currently they can produce only limited unique sounds with only limited vocal inflections and phrasing. and through a speaker attached to the system. In addition. For example. to communicate effectively. For reading out text information to blind persons. For example.1. 3. However. a recently published book may be scanned using a scanner. a person with this type of disability simply types the information and the speech synthesizer converts it into spoken words. 4. amplified. For allowing those person who cannot speak. This allows blind person to know the latest information published in a book as soon as it is printed. Talking toys and home appliances also use a voice reproduction system. banking industry uses voice reproduction systems in automatic teller machine to provide systematic guidance to customers on how to transact with the bank by using an ATM. 2. sequence of words are combined into phonemes. For translation systems that converts an entered text into spoken words in a selected language. 3. converted into text using OCR software. 6. and read out to blind persons using a speech synthesizer. telephone enquiries for new telephone numbers. For example. and the speech synthesizer converts it into spoken words of the selected Indian language. every hour the clock speaks out what is the time by selecting the appropriate voice message corresponding to that hour from the set of pre-recorded voice messages. Often personal computers with audio facility are used for automated multimedia presentation during exhibitions. Their uses include: 1. For example. Automatic answering machines. For example. 2. Video games are made exiting and interesting by playing an event-based sound from a set of pre-recorded sounds. a foreigner coming to India may enter a text he/she wants to communicate to an Indian. Audio help for guiding how to operate a system. . these device combine basic sound units called phonemes. For example. they are very useful in a wide range of applications. 5. the clock may speak “it‟s time to wake up” at the time set for alarm.

disk. It is called floppy because it flops if you wave it (at least 51/4-inch variety does). etc. Storage devices are also useful in transferring data or programs from one computer to another. Floppy disks are slower to access than hard disks and have less storage capacity. Each platter requires two read/write heads. floppy disks. Unlike most hard disks. In general. . hard disks. hard disks are less portable than floppies. a typical 84 megabyte hard disk for a PC might have two platters and 1053 cylinders. A hard disk for example. floppy disks (often called floppies or diskettes) are portable. There are two types of removable hard disks: Disk packs and removable cartridges. Unlike RAM which looses the contents when the computer is turned off. HARD DISK Hard disk is a magnetic disk on which you can computer data. and ROM. and a track location that cuts across all platters is called a cylinder. They also function as back-up devices which allow back-up the valuable information that you are working on. non-volatile memory. Each platter has the same number of tracks. Disk drives for floppy disks are called floppy drives. All the read/write heads are attached to a single access arm so that they cannot move independently. A single hard disk usually consists of several platters. one for each side. This is long term.STORAGE DEVICES Storage devices also know as auxiliary memory or secondary storage is the memory that supplements the main storage. Hard disks hold more data and are faster than the floppy disk. or floppy. because you can remove them from a disk drive. The term hard is used to distinguish it from a soft. you can restore it from your back-ups. So even if by some accidents your computer crashes and the data in it is unrecoverable. so it can be read later by the same computer or by another computer. The most common types of storage devices are magnetic tapes. can store anywhere from 10 megabytes to several gigabytes.4 megabytes. but they are less expensive and are portable. magnetic disks. although it is possible to buy removable hard disks. auxiliary storage devices allows the computer to record information semi-permanently. For example. whereas most floppies have a maximum storage capacity of 1. FLOPPY DISK Floppy disk is a soft magnetic disk. to which it is not possible to add anything new. The term non-volatile means it stores and retains the programs and data even after the computer is switched off.

Super disk diskettes are etched with a servo pattern at the factory. and are about twice as thick.5 inch 1. This type of floppy is generally capable of storing between 100k and 1. 800k. This pattern is then read by the super disk drive to precisely align the read/write head. they have become a popular media for backing-up hard disks and for transporting large files.Floppies come in two basic sizes:  51/4-inch: The common size for PCs made before1987. The Jaz drive has a 12-ms average seek time and a transfer rate of 5.2MB. Despite their small size.490 tracks. Unlike the other removable disk storage disk storage solutions. Because they‟re relatively inexpensive and durable. JAZ DISK These are removable disk drives developed by the Iomega Corporation.2 MB of data.2 MB.44Mb diskettes use. The most common sizes are 360k and 1. and 1. They can hold 100MB of data. This means that you can use the same super disk drive to read and write to older 1. ZIP DISK These are high capacity floppy disk drives developed by the Iomega Corporation.5Mbps. This higher density translates into 120MB capacity per diskette.44MB. as they are encased in a rigid envelope. Zip disks are slightly larger than the conventional floppy disks. as opposed to the 135 tracks that conventional 3. such as the zip drive. The fast data rates and large storage capacity make it a viable alternative for backup storage as well as everyday use.  31/2-inch: Floppy is something of a misnomer for these disks. super disk is backward compatible with older diskettes. The result is that a super disk diskette can have 2. The most common sizes for PCs are 720k and 1. Macintoshes support disks of 400k. SUPER DISK This is a new disk storage technology developed by the Imation Corporation that supports very high-density diskettes.4 MB of data. .44MB diskettes as well as the new 120MB super disk diskettes. microfloppies have a larger storage capacity than their cousins – from 400k to 1. The removable cartridges hold 1GB of data. Imation‟s current super disk drive is called the LS-120.

each requires a different type of disk drive and disk. the WORM disk behaves just like a CD-ROM. a CD-ROM player is a device that can read information from CD-ROM.  CD-ROM – Like audio CDs.OPTICAL DISK Optical disks are a storage medium from which data is read which it is written by lasers.000 text pages. or external. CD-ROM players can be either internal. although the most common size is 630MB. such as floppies and hard disks. CD-ROM CD-ROM. CD-ROMs are recorded by the vendor. but CD-ROMs cannot be modified. but they have several disadvantages: they‟re somewhat more expensive than internal players they use up the parallel port which means that you can‟t use that port for another device such as a printer. read-many. in which case they fit in a bay. which is pronounced as „see-dee-rom‟. These are often referred to as EO (erasable optical) disks. CD-ROM is a type of optical disk capable of sorting large amounts of data – up to 1GB. you can write data onto a WORM disk. Optical disks can store much more data – up to 6 gigabytes (6 billion bytes) – than magnetic media. Even within one category.  Erasable – Optical disks that can be erased and loaded with new data. CD-ROM players are generally . just like magnetic disks. There are a number of features that distinguish CD-ROM players.  WORM – This term stands for write-once. CD-ROMs come with data already encoded onto them. These three technologies are not compatible with one another. With a WORM disk drive. is the abbreviation of compact disk-read only memory. and the parallel port itself may not be fast enough to handle all the data pouring through it. the most important of which is probably their speed. they cannot be erased and filled with new data. The data is permanent and can be read any number of times. but only once. enough memory to store about 300. you need a CD-ROM player. There are three basic types of optical disks. and once recorded. Although CD-ROMs are relatively standardized. in which case they generally connect to the computer‟s parallel port. Parallel CD-ROM players are easier to install. A single CD-ROM has the storage capacity of 700 floppy disks. After that. there are many competing formats. Also called a CD-ROM drive. To read a CD.

make sure your player conforms to Kodak‟s Photo CD format. is a type of disk drive that can create CD-ROMs and audio CDs. Aside from its speed. it takes the drive to access a particular piece of information. If you want to be able to view photographs stored on CD-ROM. CD-R drives were quite expensive. on average. sound. which is the one used by the hard disk drive. still others use a proprietary interface. as the prices of CD-ROM players have decreased. The reported speeds of players that use CAV are generally not accurate because they refer only to the access speed for outer tracks. the most popular CD-ROM titles have been computer games and multimedia reference works. you need a player that conforms to the MPC III standard. The data transfer measures how much data can be read and sent to the computer in a second. This includes color graphics. . you should consider how the player connects to your computer. Other CD-ROMs connect to an IDE or Enhanced IDE interface. and the tools for creating new CD-ROM titles have improved. If you plan to run CD-ROM in a Windows environment. CD-R DRIVE CD-R drive. Most CD-ROMs connect via a SCSI bus. Almost all CD-ROMs conform to a standard size and format. measures how long. For example. In recent years. which is short for compact disk recordable drive.classified as single-speed or some multiple of single-speed. a 4x player access data at four times the speed of a single-speed player. Also you need to be aware of whether the CD-ROM uses the CLV (Constant linear Velocity) or CAV (Constant Angular Velocity) technology. The seek time. you will need to install one. In addition. To date. there is some variation. most CD-ROM players are capable of playing audio CDs. If your computer doesn‟t already contain such an interface. another important feature of a CD-ROM player is its compatibility with existing standards. however. This allows the users to “master” a CD-ROM or audio CD for publishing. and especially video. Within these groups. CD-ROMs are particularly well suited to information that requires large storage capacity. Inner tracks are accessed more slowly. Until recently. which share the same technology. Finally. but prices have dropped dramatically. so it is usually possible to load any type of CD into any ROM player. Two more precise measurements are the drives seek time and data transfer rate. also called the access time. the CD-ROM industry has been expanding rapidly.

but they cannot write onto today‟s CD-r disks. . Many experts believe that they‟ll be a popular storage medium. MO disks can be read and written to. but also a CD-R software package. To create CD-ROMs and audio CDs. you‟ll need not only a CD-R drive. In terms of data access speed. not the drive itself that determines how easy or difficult it is to create CD-ROMs. they are also removable. called multisession recording. their storage capacity can be more than 200 megabytes. writing data onto it multiple times. However. This is extremely important if you want to use the CD-R drive to create backup CD-ROMs. Like magnetic disks. MAGNETO-OPTICAL (MO) DRIVES This is a type of disk drive that combines magnetic disk technologies with CD-ROM technologies. but not as fast as hard disk drives. CD-R drives can also read CD-ROMs and play audio CDs. they are faster than floppies and CD-ROMs. One of the problems with CD-R disks is that you can only write to them once. And like floppy disks.A feature of many CD-R drives. They can read CDROMs and can write onto today‟s CD-R disks. you can treat the optical disk just like a floppy or hard disk. CD-RW DISKS CD-RW disk is short for CD-Re Writable disk and this is a new type of CD disk that enables you to write onto it in multiple sessions. enables you to keep adding data to a CD-ROM over time. With CD-RW drives and disks. much greater than magnetic floppies. it is the software package. Often. but they cannot write on CD-ROMs. The first CD-RW drives became available in mid-1997.

Reception here is usually better than in the other range. can also be transmitted. To extent the range as much as possible. Corresponding to the frequency bands on which the barriers transmitters operate. receivers are equipped to receive long waves (150 – 285 KHz). which have an amplitude. The more tuning circuits arranged in series in the radio receiver. and a loudspeaker. For example. which considerably affect the sound pattern. only indirect waves are used. because high audio frequencies. medium waves (up to 1605 KHz). In general. medium and short waves reception functions with a channels spacing of 9 KHz and with amplitude modulation (AM). Long. RADIO A radio receiver in its simplest form comprises of an input circuit for tuning into the frequencies of the various transmitters to be received. Satellites. and an indirect wave. Besides. A receiver of this kind comprises of an . A communications device. and in this range frequency modulation (FM) is employed. are all communications devices. TV. modulating affect. The amplifier elements (vacuum tubes or transistors) are supplied with the necessary operating voltages by a suitable device. makes much longer ranges possible. the transmitting antenna is installed at the top of high mast or building. Radio. Long and medium wave transmitters send out a direct wave. In the short wave range. only the direct wave is received (which has a range of up to some `100 of miles). a low frequency amplifier stage. the indirect wave which is reflected back from the Heavyset layer (an electrically conducting layer about 55 – 85 miles above the earth‟s surface). Ultra-short waves are propagated in a quasi-optical manner (waves travel in straight paths). short waves (6 – 21. The channel spacing in the ultra short wave range is 300 KHz. the grater is the selectivity.Communication system Communication is the transmission of data from one computer to another. the super heterodyne receiver is developed. etc. which travels along the earth‟s surface. therefore. The propagation conditions of the four radio wave range determine their possibilities of application and the purpose for which they are used.4 MHz). atmospheric disturbances. are of hardly and significance to this kind of reception. is any machine that assists data transmission. a demodulation circuit for separated audio frequencies from the high frequency carrier waves. one place to another or from one device to another. In order to obviate manual tuning of many circuits. so that they cannot travel beyond the optical horizon. and ultra-short waves (up to 100 MHz).

however. Educators also use television to reach students throughout the world. receivers for this range require small tuning circuits. These signals are usually broadcast from a central television station to reception devices in television sets in homes or to relay stations used by cable television providers. it amplifies the signal and sends it to the next tower. In general. In this way a high selectivity is obtained and yet only two circuits have to be tuned. the variable condensers are mounted on the same spindle like those used in medium wave receivers. orbiting in the Clarke orbit are also used as microwave relay stations because they rotate at the precise point and . Every day it reaches out to millions of people to entertain and form with „real life‟ images of the world around them. The two circuits are so tuned by means or [rotary] variable condensers mounted on the same spindle that the difference of the two frequencies is always the same. A microwave system consists of tower located at intervals of 25 to 30 miles on which dish-like antennas are mounted. When one tower receives the signal. which is mixed with the oscillation received of the transmitter. Doctors can probe the interior of a human body with a microscopic television camera without conducting major surgery on the patient. Communications satellites in space. All the following circuits (intermediate frequency filters) have been pre-adjusted to this frequency difference by the manufacturer. Also.oscillator. The low frequency or audio frequency part of the receiver is generally separated into a number of channels for high-pitched and low-pitched tones. Security personnel also use televisions to monitor buildings and facilities. Because of the considerably higher carrier frequency in the ultra-short wave range. MICROWAVE SYSTEMS Microwave transmission consists of high-frequency waves (1000 – 3000 MHz) that travel in straight lines through the air rather than through wires. these towers must be within the line-of-sight from one another. TELEVISION Television is the world‟s powerful form of communication. Television is a system of sending and receiving pictures and sound by means of electronic signals transmitted through wires and optical fibres or by electromagnetic radiation. which generates its own high-frequency oscillation. separate speakers for high and low notes are employed. The most common use of television is as a source of information and entertainment for viewers in their homes. Because the waves cannot bend with the curvature of the earth. which are usually installed as complete assemblies.

COMMUNICATION SATELLITE Satellites have now become an integral part of the worldwide communications system. The downlink is described in terms of satellite transmitter output power. which are inaccessible to satellites) of the earth‟s surface. But they have one potential advantage – the capability of a direct line-of-sight path to 98% (excluding the polar caps. Basically this includes everything before the input terminals of the satellite receiver. One of the most important events in the history of satellite communications took place when COMSAT or communications Satellite Corporation. mountains and other obstacles created by nature. The first of these series was the „Early Bird‟. They are used for the transmission of television and telephonic signals. This was the first communications station to handle worldwide commercial telephone traffic from a fixed position in space. INTELSAT was a group of satellites that served 150 stations in 80 countries. moving in a west-to-east direction at an altitude of 22. they had a lot of disadvantages. Although long-range and long-distance communications took place much before the introduction of satellite systems. So. which was launched in 1965. launched four satellites within 6 years that is between 1965 to 1979. down-link antenna gain and beam-width and the ground area that the transmitted signal will cover – the footprint. Microwaves systems have the capacity to carry large quantities of data – both digital and analog at high rates of speeds. . The satellite place in this orbit will appear stationary over a selected location on the earth‟s surface. Point-to-point communication systems are very difficult in the case of remote and isolated locations – locations. Up-link and Down-link All of the ground equipment along with the transmission path and receiving antenna at the satellite are include in the up-link system.speed above the equator that makes them appear stationary to the microwave transmitters on the ground. The Satellite Orbit The communications satellites are placed in orbits called equatorial geosynchronous orbit. communication satellites are placed in an orbit that is directly over the equator. This orbit is called the Clarke orbit. The satellite is nothing more than a radio-relay station. which are surrounded by oceans. The next series.282 miles above sea level and with a forward velocity of 6874 mph to complete one orbit in 24 hours.

we need more than one satellite.Cross-link At the altitude of the Clarke orbit. The reflected beam is picked up by a receiver and its strength and direction gives information on the size. one satellite could command a footprint area of 42. Components of a Satellite There are five major components in a satellite. These three satellites are placed 120 degrees apart in the Clarke orbit and would cover the earth‟s entire surface except for the polar caps. In the case of communications satellite in the Clarke orbit. distance. a frequency down converter and a power amplifier. A solar cell system supplies the power to run the electronics and charge the batteries during the sunlight cycle and the battery furnishes the energy during the eclipse. The function of the station keeping system is to keep the satellite in the correct orbit with the antennas pointed in the exact direction desired. a combination of battery power and solar energy is used. which they encounter. etc. The beam width from the satellite for such coverage is 17.2 degrees. They are:      The Transponder The Antenna System The Power Package The Control and Information System The Rocket Thrusters System The transponder is a high frequency radio receiver. The satellite must be powered either from a battery or solar energy system. Since such a satellite is not sufficient for global coverage. The antenna system contains the antennas and the mechanism to position them correctly. altitude. The control and information system and the rocket thrusters system are called the station keeping system. RADAR The name radar is the acronym of Radio Detecting and Ranging. It denotes the method of scanning the surrounding space by means of high frequency radio waves. which are sent out from a powerful transmitter and are reflected by any objects. which is used to transmit the down-link signal. . The power package is the power supply to the satellite.2% of the earth‟s surface. they will generally function trouble-free for the life of the satellite. of the object. Once properly in place.

an observer in an aircraft wishes to survey by radar the terrain over which he is flying. though as a rule they have the same outlines.5µm (2/10. causing a point of light to appear on the screen and to remain visible by phosphorescent afterglow until fresh echoes are picked up on the next revolution of the scanning antenna. Depending on the nature of the reflecting objects the intensity of the reflected beam will vary. the transmitter sends another short pulse and the cycle is repeated. The transmission and reception of the high frequency waves are effected in the radar apparatus. A second layer of glass called the . In this way the points of light build up a picture of the area scanned by the radar beam. The radar waves are generated in the transmitter.If for example. Most radar sets employ pulse radar. The receiver picks up the reflected beam and the corresponding electronic circuits are used to deflect an electron beam in a cathode ray tube (CRT). which is equipped with radio tubes of special design. For this reason. The core of a fiber optic cable is a very thin strand of highly refined cylindrical glass. which sweeps round and round. The beam scans a circular area in the form of a sector. An echo picked up by the receiver strengthens the flow of electron in the CRT. a rotating radar beam is directed downward from the aircraft. This is so called because the transmitter sends out short intense bursts or pulse of energy with a relatively long interval between the pulses. The beam is so deflected that it scans the luminescent screen the centre to the edge while it rotates at the same speed as the antenna. The glass core of the cable may have a diameter as small as 4. The receiver is active during this interval. The transmitting antenna usually also functions as the receiving antenna. When sufficient time has elapsed to permit the reception of echoes from the most distant objects of interest. a radar image generally looks quite different from an optical image. This process is called periodic changeover. FIBER OPTICS Fiber optics can be described as a transmission system employing a lightemitting source – turned on and off rapidly by electrical impulses – whose emissions are sent through a glass pipe to a light-sensitive receiver to convert the changing light intensities back into electrical impulses. The brightness of the display of the signal (the radar echo) on the luminescent screen of the CRT depends on the reflecting power of the object with regard to the high-frequency radio waves sent out by the radar transmitter.000 inch) or as large as 400µm.

the energy transmitted through the fiber cannot radiate radio frequency interference.clad surrounds the core. Therefore. Clad Core Fiber optical cable The clad has a different optical density from the core material. Advantages and Disadvantages Some of the advantages of fiber optic systems are:  The main ingredient in glass is sand and there is an enormous supply of sand in the world compared to the supply of Copper and Aluminium. rather than an electrical current move through the optic fiber.  It is nearly impossible to eavesdrop on fiber optic systems without being easily detected. nor can false information be fed into the data steam. nor can it be contaminated by any external noise or radio frequency fields. intrusion into the system is also prevented.  Since the fiber system carries no electrical current. This is about ten times greater than coaxial cables and 200 times better than twisted pair wires. Because of the absence of current flow through the fiber.  Photons of light. Confidential information cannot be routed to unwanted receivers.  Fiber optic cables provide substantial size and weight reduction as well as increased speed and greater carrying capacity. They can conduct light pulses generated by lasers at transmission rates as high as 2 billion bits per second. Fiber optics is founded on the theory of reflection the results at the interface between two materials of different densities. there is no chance of a spark flash thereby making this system safer. The clad is fused directly to the core so that it is very difficult to see the boundary between the two with naked eyes.  The transmission losses of fiber optic cables are much lower than that of the twisted-pair wires and coaxial cables. A half-inch diameter fiber .

The D channel does the administrative work. They cannot leave the ground nor be associated with a mobile communication station. which is five or more times faster than today‟s analog modems. at the rate of 64k or 56k (depending on your telephone company). fully digital telephone service. ISDN upgrades today‟s analog telephone network to a digital system.optic cable can carry up to 50. Basic Rate ISDN devices the telephone line into 3 digital channels: 2 “B” channels and one “D” channel. each of which can be use simultaneously. but they are very costly.  The size of the core and clad of a single fiber conductor is much smaller than the diameter of the common copper wire and since fiber optic cables are not affected by and do not generate electromagnetic radiation. the distance between repeater amplifiers must be relatively short for high data rates demanded in some systems. ISDN stands for integrated Service Digital Network – the name for digital telephone service that works over existing copper telephone wiring. therefore. There are several types of ISDN service. and the type that this site focuses on is the ISDN Basic Rate Interface (BRI). Some disadvantages of the systems are:  All fiber optic systems are limited to fixed point-to-point ground installations. ISDN can operate at speeds up to 128 kilobits/second. but the most appropriate type for individual computer users. especially rich media like graphics. such as setting . ISDN can dramatically speed up transfer of information over the internet or over a remote LAN connection. Just as compact discs have made recorded music digital.000 channels.  Glass is immune to corrosive and oxide degradation and will stand up well in hostile environments.500 channels for a standard coaxial cable. There are higher power devices available.  Because of low-power sources. compared to about 5.  The ways in which the light source can be modulated are limited. ISDN ISDN is a high-speed.  Popular light-emitting sources are restricted to very low power devices. multiple fibers can be placed in the same cable. audio or video or applications that normally run at LAN speeds. The N channels are used to transmit data.

ISDN brings the digital network to the individual user. including voice. a computer. uses broadband transmission and is able to support transmission rates of 1.5 Mbps. The original version of ISDN employs baseband transmission.” Two of these channels (the B channels) carry user “conversations” from a telephone. through the same line. called a Basic Rate Interface (BRI) contains three separate channels. The third channel (the D channel) carries call setup information for the network. or “pipes.up and tearing down the call and communicating with the telephone network. a third “conversation”. or one computer or one fax “conversation” can now carry as many as three separate “conversation” at the same time. Most of the world‟s existing telephone networks are already digital. Why is ISDN so important? More than just a means for fast. The power of ISDN enables all three of these transmissions to happen at the same time. the same twisted-pair copper telephone line that could traditionally carry one voice. With two B channels. say a voice call and a computer transmission can take place at the same time through the same ISDN line. The only part that typically isn‟t digital is the section that runs from the local exchange to your house or office. ISDN is the “magic” that makes this happen. How is this possible? The basic ISDN-to-user connection. you can make two calls simultaneously. through the same copper twisted-pair telephone lines that once could handle only one transmission at a time. B-ISDN requires fiber optic cables and is not widely available. ISDN truly represents the next generation of the world‟s telephone service for all forms of telecommunications. an e-mail message or a credit-card authorization. Another version. a fax or almost any other device. accurate. could also take place through the same connection. data transmission. Simultaneously. but can also carry user data transmissions. for example. . Thus. called B-ISDN. This means that two separate “conversations”.

This concept was introduced by ITIL.Hardware configuration Computer hardware configuration management is the process of creating and maintaining an up-to-date record of all the components of the infrastructure. The scope of configuration management is assumed to include. all configuration items used in the provision of live. Its purpose is to show what makes up the infrastructure and illustrate the physical locations and links between each item. including related documentation. although it can be used to maintain asset information. operational services. Computer hardware configuration management provides direct control over information technology (IT) assets and improves the ability of the service provider to deliver quality IT services in an economical and effective manner. The responsibilities of configuration management with regard to the CMDB are:     identification control status accounting verification The scope of configuration management is assumed to include:           physical client and server hardware products and versions operating system software products and versions application development software products and versions technical architecture product sets and versions as they are defined and introduced live documentation networking products and versions live application products and versions definitions of packages of software releases definitions of hardware base configurations configuration item standards and definitions . Configuration management should work closely with change management. All components of the IT infrastructure should be registered in the CMDB. Computer hardware configuration goes beyond the recording of computer hardware for the purpose of asset management. at a minimum. This information is typically stored together in a configuration management database (CMDB). The extra value provided is the rich source of support information that it provides to all interested parties. which are known as configuration items.

The benefits of computer hardware configuration management are:      helps to minimize the impact of changes provides accurate information on CIs improves security by controlling the versions of CIs in use facilitates adherence to legal obligations helps in financial and expenditure planning .

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