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Input/Output

Device

LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of this topic, you should be able to: 1. List
LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this topic, you should be able to:
1. List down three types of input/output devices used by computers; and
2. Differentiate between a character-map terminal display and bit-map
terminal display.

INTRODUCTION

The Input/Output (I/O) device is used to enter or retrieve data from the computer. There are few types of I/O devices available. However, this topic will focus on only three types of devices i.e the terminal, mouse and printer.

3.1
3.1

TERMINAL

A computer terminal consists of a keyboard, monitor and other electronic tools

that control both devices.

There are a few types of keyboards available. The keys in the keyboards act as a switch to allow electricity connection to occur. The more expensive keyboards have a magnet underneath every key. When the keys are pressed, the magnetic wave will pass through a loop, which creates electric current.

A monitor is a box, which generally consists of a CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) and its

power supplier. A CRT has a gun, which can shoot electron beams towards the

tube screen as shown in a Figure 3.1 (a).

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TOPIC 3 INPUT/OUTPUT DEVICE

26  TOPIC 3 INPUT/OUTPUT DEVICE Figure 3.1 : (a) Cross section of a CRT A

Figure 3.1: (a) Cross section of a CRT

A monitor that is able to display a coloured screen has three types of electron guns i.e red, green and blue colours.

ACTIVITY 3.1 Why are there only three colours? How are the other colours formed? Give
ACTIVITY 3.1
Why are there only three colours? How are the other colours formed?
Give three examples of the colours that are formed.

During a horizontal scan, the electron beams travel horizontally across the screen within 50 microseconds and causes horizontal lines to be displayed on screen. Then it moves back to the end of the left side to start the next move. The tool that produces the line by line image is called a Raster Scanner.

The horizontal is controlled by a voltage that increases in a linear form which touches deflecting coils on the left and right of the electron gun. The vertical movement/lines are controlled by the in increase of the voltage in a linear form that is much slower. The movement/lines touches the vertical deflector below the gun. A complete image takes about 30 to 60 times per second. The movements is shown in Figure 3.1 (b)

TOPIC 3 INPUT/OUTPUT DEVICE

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TOPIC 3 INPUT/OUTPUT DEVICE  27 Figure 3.1 : (b) Scaning form of CRT The grid

Figure 3.1: (b) Scaning form of CRT

The grid in the CRT produces pattern of dots on the screen. When a positive voltage is connected with the grid, the electrons move at a higher speed towards the screen and produce light on the screen. However, if a negative voltage is used, the electrons do not pass through the grid thus not producing any light on the screen.

There are three types of terminals that are always used i.e. the character-map terminal, the bit-map terminal and RS-232C terminal. A brief explanation on these three types of terminals will be given in the following section.

Refer the book entitled Structured Computer Organization for more on each type of Terminal.

information

3.1.1 Character-Map Terminal

Most personal computers use a RAM video to save the data that needs to be displayed on the monitor. For example, to display a character, the CPU will copy the particular character into the video RAM. Each character is attached with an attribute byte that explains how the particular character should be displayed. The function of the video board is to produce character from the RAM video repeatedly and to produce signals required by monitor driver.

3.1.2 Bit-Map Terminal

The Bit-map terminal is the same as the character-map terminal, however, its screen is not arranged as 25 × 80 character. It is arranged with image elements called pixel. Each pixel can be ÂonÊ or ÂoffÊ and represents one bit of data.

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TOPIC 3 INPUT/OUTPUT DEVICE

The personal computer screen can consist of at least 200 × 320 pixels. The normal arrangement of pixels for a personal computer is 480 × 640 pixels. The screen at an engineering workstation has the arrangement of 1024 × 1024 pixels. With the suitable software, most video screens can operate as a character-map terminal or a bit-map terminal.

Generally, a bit-map terminal is the same as the character-map terminal. However, its video RAM consists of a larger bit arrangement. The pattern that is required to be displayed on screen is determined by the software. This software is known as the driver for the terminal.

Although the bit-map terminal is flexible, it still has some disadvantages.

(a)

It needs a large video RAM.

(b)

In terms of efficiency, backups from the video RAM to the screen are required to display an image on screen.

SELF-CHECK 3.1 What is the size of the video RAM for 1024 × 1024 display
SELF-CHECK 3.1
What is the size of the video RAM for 1024 × 1024 display of a:
(a)
Character-map Terminal?
(b)
Bit-map Terminal?

3.1.3 RS-232C Terminal

There

manufacturing terminals.

are

many

organisations

manufacturing

computers

and

hundreds

To enable the use of terminals for all types of computers, a standard terminal computer interface called the RS-232C is introduced. The RS-232C terminal has 25 connector pins. The standard of the RS-232C is in the mechanical size and connector form, voltage level and the meaning for each signal in a pin.

ACTIVITY 3.2 Based on your knowledge, how many types of mouse currently exists in the
ACTIVITY 3.2
Based on your knowledge, how many types of mouse currently exists
in the market?

TOPIC 3 INPUT/OUTPUT DEVICE

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3.2
3.2

MOUSE

Computers nowadays can be used by everyone, even those who do not have knowledge on how a computer works. However, the ENIAC generation computers could only be used by those who were involved in developing and building it. In the 1950s, computers were only used by professional programmers. Now, computers are widely used by all walks of life.

Many computer users found typing instructions on keyboard a hassle and not user-friendly. They preferred a method that enabled them to point out the instructions that are displayed on the screen. The easiest way to do this is by using a mouse.

A mouse is a small plastic component that is usually placed on the table, next to the terminal.

When the mouse is moved, the cursor on the screen also moves, enabling the user

to point at a particular item.

A mouse has three buttons with different functions, enabling the user to select an

item from the menu.

ACTIVITY 3.3 If you were to design a Mouse, how many buttons would you design?
ACTIVITY 3.3
If you were to design a Mouse, how many buttons would you design?
Why? Share your thoughts in class.

There are three types of mouse i.e the mechanical mouse, the optical mouse and the optomechanical mouse.

(a)

Mechanical Mouse This type of mouse has two rubber balls arranged vertically underneath it. When the mouse moves parallel to the main axis, one of the balls will roll. When the mouse moves against the main axis, the other ball will roll.

(b)

Optical Mouse This type of mouse does not have any balls underneath it. Instead, it has a LED and a light detector.

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TOPIC 3 INPUT/OUTPUT DEVICE

30  TOPIC 3 INPUT/OUTPUT DEVICE Figure 3.2 : Optical Mouse (c) Optomechnical Mouse The Optomechnical

Figure 3.2: Optical Mouse

(c) Optomechnical Mouse The Optomechnical mouse is similar to the mechanical mouse. It has two balls with each of them rotating 90 degrees. However, each ball has a LED in the middle. When a mouse is moved, the balls rotate and light shines through the openings. The amount of light signals detected indicates the amount of movements made.

Although a mouse is designed in various ways, it is generally designed to send a serial of three bytes to a computer in every 100 milliseconds. All of these characters are usually received through the RS-232C line, as if it is typed on the keyboard. The first byte consists of a marked integer, which indicates how many units have been made towards x in the last 100 milliseconds. The second byte gives the same information for movements towards y. The third byte informs the current state of the mouse button. Sometimes only two bytes are used for each coordinate.

3.3
3.3

PRINTER

A printer is a device used to produce a hard copy (permanent human-readable text and/or graphics) of documents. In this section, we will discuss a few types of commonly-used printers such as the impact printer, dot-matrix printer and laser printer.

TOPIC 3 INPUT/OUTPUT DEVICE

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(a)

Impact Printer An impact printer operates like a typewriter, which is the oldest type of printer. A piece of metal or plastic, bearing letters, is attached to the printer. The piece of metal strikes a ribbon of ink and transfers the ink on the paper. This will leave images of letters on the paper.

In personal computers, this type of printing technology is used by the daisy-wheel printer.

The impact printer used by a main frame has pieces of letters attached to an iron chain around the paper. A printer with 80 columns will have a hammer for each column. Each line is printed by instructing each hammer to strike the paper the moment the letter is in front of the hammer.

(b)

Dot - Matrix Printer The print head has 7 to 24 pins that are activated electromagnetically, which will scan each line printed. The cheaper printers have seven pins to print 80 characters in a 5 × 7 matrix per line. The result is seven horizontal lines with each line having 5 × 80 = 400 dots. Whether each dot can be printed or not depends on the letters that will be printed.

The printing quality can be improved using two techniques i.e by adding the number of needles and by using overlapping printing dots.

number of needles and by using overlapping printing dots. (c) Figure 3.3 : Dot-Matrix printer Laser

(c)

Figure 3.3: Dot-Matrix printer

Laser Printer The laser printer uses the same technology as the photocopier machine. The important section in a laser printer is the drums, which rotates at certain times. During the early rotation, the drum is supplied with 1000 volt of electricity and is covered with light sensitive material. Later, this laser light

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TOPIC 3 INPUT/OUTPUT DEVICE

will scan the whole drum as the electron wave in a cathode ray tube. This light is modified to produce clear and dark dots.

The first line of dots that have been scanned is transferred to the toner. The toner will attract to the dots that have electrostatic charge and produce an image for that line. Then the drum that is coated with the toner is rolled or pressed over the paper and transfers the black powder to the paper. The paper is passed through the hot roller and the toner is transferred onto the paper. During rotation, the drum is discharged and cleaned from any excess toner. It is then prepared to be charged and coated again for next page.

ACTIVITY 3.4 Discuss below questions in class. 1. In your opinion, what type of printer
ACTIVITY 3.4
Discuss below questions in class.
1. In your opinion, what type of printer is suitable for a receipt that
has more than a copy?
2. There are laser printers, which do not use the laser technology.
How do these printer work?
3. Do you think the impact of printers are still being used now?
4. Futher information on printers can be found in the book
structured Computer Organisation.
can be found in the book structured Computer Organisation.  The existence of I/O devices has

The existence of I/O devices has increased the efficiency of a computer system. This has made the computer system a necessity because a variety of tasks can be done more efficiently and faster compared to the manual technique.

Bit-Map Terminal Character-Map Terminal Mouse Printer RS-232C Terminal Terminal

Bit-Map Terminal Character-Map Terminal Mouse

Printer RS-232C Terminal Terminal