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Optical data readers
The best data input method for printed questionnaires would be Optical Data Readers. Optical Data Readers are a special type of scanning device to be used on documents. Optical Data Readers fall under two categories, optical mark recognition (OMR) and optical character recognition (OCR) (Stair, R., Reynolds, G., 2004). Printed questionnaires which, for instance, can be used for surveying groups of people regarding a particular subject can utilize OMR through the utilization of OMR paper refer to as "mark sense form". This special type of paper requires those completing the questionnaires to fill in boxes using pencils. From there, the readers can recognize their marks in response to the questions on the questionnaire in order to gather the needed information. Also, for more in-depth questionnaires, OCR readers, which reflect light to recognize various characters, can convert handwritten or typed documents into digital data by utilizing special software (Stair, R., Reynolds, G., 2004).
Voice recognition devices
For a telephone survey, a voice-recognition device would be the best method to input data. Voice-recognition devices utilize microphones and special software to record and convert the sound of the human voice into digital signals. This method would pork best because these voice recognition devices can record and translate into digital signals as the telephone survey is being conducted (Stair, R., Reynolds, G., 2004).
Magnetic ink character recognition device
Magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) is the best method for reading and inputting bank check data quickly. When using MIRC, data is placed on the bottom of a check using a special magnetic ink. Data which is printed utilizing this special ink uses a special character set can be read by both people and computers (Stair, R., Reynolds, G., 2004).
Bar code scaners
Bar code scanners utilize a laser scanner to read a bar-coded label on retail tags. Retailers can utilize this technology to control and keep track of their merchandise by scanning their retail tags as merchandise comes in and goes out of the store. This would be the best method of inputting retail data because this allows the system to track how much inventory is left within the store (Stair, R., Reynolds, G., 2004).
Documents such as long documents would best be inputted using an input device such as a scanning device. Scanning devices works similarly like a photo machine. The page is place into the scanner and the data on that page is scanned into the computer.
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Data Output Methods
Hand held computer
Liquid crystal displays are flat-panel displays which make them an ideal output method for more compact devices such as hand held computers. The way LCDs work is that they are flat displays that use liquid crystals organic, oil-like material placed between two polarizers to form characters and graphic images on a backlit screen (Stair, R., Reynolds, G., 2004).
A color photograph can be best view in two ways. One way is through a display monitor. A display monitor is a TV-screen-like device in which output from a computer is displayed. If one uses a digital camera to take pictures, more than likely that user would have to first transfer those images to a computer in order to view them. The secondary output would to then print them out onto photo paper through a printer. A printer would allow the user to have a hardcopy of the image.
Resumes would best by viewed through either a display monitor or outputted through a printer for a physical hardcopy. Many employers accept resumes via Internet so they can access and view one's resume through the display monitor. Another method for one to view a resume would be through a hardcopy, printed via printer on to actual printer paper.
A memorandum tends to be a small note of information. Most memos travel from user to reader via paper, but printing out a short message onto paper can be considered wasteful. The best way one can share a memorandum is through a computer which would be displayed on a display monitor. Whether the memorandum is through email or online chat, viewing it on a display monitor would be the most efficient method.
Statistical reports would best be viewed through plotters. Plotters are a type of hard-copy output device used for general design work. If one were presenting this statistical report in a meeting to a group of people, the user can utilize plotters to show any statistic data he or she may have. Standard plot widths are 24 inches and 36 inches with the length being whatever length may be suitable for the group size. The plotters can also be made on transparencies, thus allowing the graphs to be projected on a screen to further enhance the view ability for the audience (Stair, R., Reynolds, G., 2004).
Company annual report
A company's annual report contains a lot of data and information. The best method of output would to be through a printer. That way the data can be readily accessible if one would need to refer to any statistical data regarding the company.
Primary & Secondary Storage
Primary storage works with the central processing unit (CPU) to help the computer function the way it needs to in order to complete the necessary task the user requires it to complete. Primary storage such as primary memory or the main memory, which holds program instructions and data, works closely with the CPU, as well as external devices, to ensure the computer is functioning in the manner it was designed to function. The primary memory stores the data that the computer needs to run applications. This data is held temporarily until it is no longer needed. The more memory a computer has means that there is more room for instructions. This in turn results on a faster computer and enables the computer to run multiple programs at once. Secondary storage is devices that store larger amounts of data, instructions, and information more permanently than allowed by the main memory (Stair, R., Reynolds, G., 2004). These devices include hard disks, CD-ROMS, and floppy disks.
Hard drives are used to allow users direct access to stored data. The benefit for a hard drive is that the read/write head can move directly to the location of a desired piece of data, dramatically reducing access times. I cannot imagine any individual or business, whether small or large, who would not need or benefit from utilizing a hard disk for storage. Even those who are constantly on the move have the ability to carry hard drive information with them via laptops and handheld computers (Stair, R., Reynolds, G., 2004).
Floppy disks are virtually obsolete by today's standards. Those still utilizing floppy disks more than likely have old computers that do not have the system requirements to attach more advance external peripherals (Stair, R., Reynolds, G., 2004).
RAM, also known as random access memory, is a form of memory in which instructions or data can is temporarily stored. RAM loses any information or data that is stored on it when the device is turned off or disrupted. Every computer utilizes RAM in order to run programs and to store temporary information and data (Stair, R., Reynolds, G., 2004).
Compact disk read-only memory, also know as CD-ROM, is a common form of optical disk on which data, one it has been recorded, cannot be modified. The most common function of a CD-ROM is to store data which needs to be transferred or viewed at a later time. Many users utilize CD-ROMS for storage for music files, which can be burned and listened to on most CD players (Stair, R., Reynolds, G., 2004).
Magnetic tape is a Mylar film coated with iron oxide, with portions of the tape magnetized to represent bits. Although this type of storage medium is slower, magnetic tape is usually less expensive than disk storage. This type of medium is mainly used for storage or as a back up disk to store data off-site for later use in case of a disaster (Stair, R., Reynolds, G., 2004).
The Speed of a Computer
RAM can affect the speed of a computer. Specifically, RAM also known as SDRAM, or synchronous dynamic RAM, has the advantage of a faster transfer speed between the microprocessor and the memory. The faster the transfer rate, the faster the computer can translate and process the data being utilized (Stair, R., Reynolds, G., 2004).
Clock speed is a series of electronic pulses, produced at a predetermined rate, that can affect the machine cycle time. The control unit executes an instruction in accordance with the electronic cycle, or pulses of the CPU "clock." Each instruction takes at least the same amount of time as the interval between pulses. The shorter the interval between pulses, the faster each instruction can be executed (Stair, R., Reynolds, G., 2004).
Data on hard disk
The data on a hard disk can affect the speed of a computer because the CPU can only sift through X number of bytes per second, depending on the processor. The more data the CPU needs to look through to find the needed data, the more time it will take for it to actual retrieved the data.
Data on CD-ROM
Similar to data being read off a hard disk, data being read off a CD-ROM can also affect the speed of a computer. However, reading data off a CD-ROM also requires an additional step since the computer now needs to take into account the read speed of the CD-ROM drive.
Data on floppy disk
Data being read off a floppy disk also can affect the speed of a computer similarly to a CD-ROM and disk drive. How much it affects the speed of the computer depends on how fast the computer is able to read the data off the medium.
Stair, R., Reynolds, G. (2004). Fundamentals of Information Systems (2e). Boston, MA: