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Input and Output Devices, Storage, and Networks
You have been looking at the internal components of a computer—the system unit where the processing of data into information takes place. But before the data can be processed, it must be somehow entered into the computer, and the information that results from the processing must be displayed, printed, or stored for future use. Here, we will investigate the components that support communication between computers and between computer components.
In this module we will investigate the following topics:
Users can enter data into the computer in a variety of ways. You are familiar with most of them: keyboard, mouse, scanner, camera, microphone, and so on. Rather than look at all of these devices independently, we will discuss different configurations and how they affect the user. We will focus on how you might decide which keyboard configuration might be best for you.
There are multiple ways to display, print, or store information for future use. Here we will investigate the functions of two output devices—monitors and printers—and look at factors to be considered in purchasing a monitor and/or printer for your system.
Information produced by the computer processing may be stored for future use. The various types of storage media are also often considered output devices. The focus here will be on one of the newer configurations: cloud storage.
Surfing the internet, conducting online research, or communicating with friends via a computer means that your computer is “talking” to at least one other computer. To round out the picture of your computer system and all its components, we will take a quick look at home networks—the required hardware, media for sending signals between computers, and some very basic home computer network setups.