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Accuracy of data input is important. What method of data input (hardware device) into a PC would be best for each of the following situations and explain why:
1). Printed questionnaires. If questionnaires use standardized numbered (yes/no, multiple choice questions) questions, one should use scanners.
2). Telephone survey. The most convenient way is to talk on the phone, while typing in the answers obtained from the person being interviewed. One could also tape the conversation and then again type in the information. Keyboard.
3). Bank checks. Conventional scanners, check-readers (similar to scanners, yet have a function of verifying check’s authenticity).
4). Retail tags. Handheld scanners enabled with Ethernet. After a retail tag is scanned the information about the tag gets to computer located within the distance covered by Ethernet. Many companies prefer to use cords, connecting scanners to computers.
5). Long documents. Scanners with object recognition software. Voice recognition software.
b. Convenience and quality of output are important. Explain what method of output (hardware device) from a PC would be best for each of the following situations and explain why:
1). Color photograph. Laser color printer (provides high resolution and durability of photos). Ink color printers (questionably provide quality higher than that of laser color printers, yet phones are vulnerable to moisture). One uses special photo paper for printers.
2). Resume. Laser (black-and-white printer). Resumes are supposed to be of high quality and with great resolution. Laser printer provides that.
3). Memorandum. Laser printer (fast and convenient). If memo is voice enabled, then one could use mp3 players.
4). Statistical report. Unless, there are special color graphs, one can use laser (black and white) printer. Otherwise, one should use either color laser printer, plotter, or ink printer. Apparently one can also use digital statistical report and thus use storage devices for the output.
5). Company annual report. Color laser printer.
- Explain the difference between primary storage and secondary storage. Provide an example of each.
Primary storage devices are devices resident to computers. In most computers this is a hard drive (serial hard drives), cache memory of level 1, 2 and Random access memory (RAM).
Secondary storage devices are devices foreign to computer and thus can be easily transported. For instance, floppy disk, flash memory card, Compact Disk, Optical disk, punch cards, tapes etc., are secondary storage devices.
- Different types of storage devices are optimal for different situations. Explain what situations are appropriate for the following devices and explain why:
1) Hard disk. Typically possess the most storage capacity and quickest access time. Hard disk is fragile thus is not useful for storing information you plan to carry around with you (music, photos etc). Thus, hard disk is useful for storing most computer programs (especially the large ones) let alone absolutely anything that does not need to be physically carried around.
2) Floppy disk. Provides the least amount of storage capacity and are also vulnerable to stress and physical shock. Once dropped, or placed near magnetic fields, floppy disk ceases to work well. Floppy disk I believe is the past already and there is little use to it. One can still store documents, charts, statistical information and anything up to 1.44 MB. The best alternative to floppy disk is the USB-port Flash memory card.
3) RAM. Random Access memory is the memory native to computer and used as a temporary storage place for computer instructions necessary for operations and problem solving. RAM is usually very quick. RAM is not transportable, so one physically does not store anything on it, letting computer use it in its operations.
4) CD ROM. Provides a relatively large amount of storage capacity (about 700 MB) and are actually easy to transport. CD ROMs are open to scratches and physical damage to the disk, yet one cannot damage the disk by shaking it or placing in a magnetic field. CD ROMs can be used for storing virtually anything, yet relatively slow access time prevents them from being used to run most programs directly. Thus, CD ROMs are used to transport large amount of data, copy it on the hard drive and then enjoy the benefit of the hard drive to run the program.
5) Tape. Tape is similar to floppy disk except for having a much larger storage capacity. Tapes are vulnerable to magnetic fields and tape jamming (as it happens in tape recorders). Yet because tapes are cheap, one uses tapes to back up computer data.
- Explain the role of each of the following in determining the speed of a computer: Rank each in terms of speed of information interchange and explain why:
1) RAM. Random Access Memory is used for storing temporary information needed for the execution of a particular program. The amount of RAM is certainly important for running programs, especially several programs simultaneously. One should note here that the speed of RAM (bus) is as much important as the amount of RAM, since slow RAM will not allow quick access to stored instructions.
2) Clock speed. On one hand it is important since the clock speed is the speed at which computer is able to make certain small operations and solving simple instructions. It is at the same time relatively unimportant since it depends on many other factors contributed by other parts. Most people have CPUs with top clock speed yet still do not have fast computers, because the amount of RAM or the bus speed is not adequate for the CPU. The same thing applies to the video accelerator (video card), which if not adequate would prevent proper running of various programs on computer despite tremendous clock speed of the CPU.
3) Data on hard disk. The more data is on hard disk, the more time, computer needs to search and access the needed amount of data. Apparently, the more data one has on computer, the slower the computer. Once again, access time of a hard drive and its speed (expressed in rounds per minute) is what matter. Also, the amount of cache memory available in hard drives is what speeds up the access and information processing/management and thus speeds up the overall speed of a computer.
4) Data on CD ROM. As one can understand the more data is there, the more time it takes to access and retrieve it. Depending on the access/transfer/bus/USB speed of the CD ROM one can have a fast or slow computer. If the amount of data on CD ROM is small, one can run it from the CD ROM, yet it would be slower than the information run from the hard drive.
5) Data on floppy disk. Floppy is very small, yet once again the more data is on it, the more time it would take to copy it or access it.
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