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The need for accurate data is evident. Systems and procedures are needed to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information being recorded and understanding the role hardware as well as software plays is important in acquiring the correct resources for any project.
Accuracy of Data Input
Accuracy of data input is important. What method of data input would be best for the following situations and explain why.
Printed Questionnaires. Questionnaires can be input into a computer using a keyboard and computer screen. Information is created using software found on computer and then output utilizing printing source.
Telephone Survey. Telephone surveys are best when using a telephone to conduct them. A telecommunication line is used (telephone) and input is retrieved by or from human interaction.
Bank Checks. Bank checks can be processed by using a process of magnetic scanning called MICR (magnetic ink character recognition). MICR uses special characters found on the bottom of checks. These characters will show the bank, check number and customer's account number at the bottom of the check. The amount of the check is printed using MICR after the bank receives it. The MICR process magnetizes characters on the check and then sends the data to the computer for checking account processing. This technology is extremely important in the banking industry because of the high volume of checks that are processed daily.
Retail Tags. Bar code scanners can be used to read information off of retail tags such as price and department information. The way that these devices can process this information is by reading data off of the retail tags called UPC codes or Universal Product Code. Once the code is recognized the information is sent to a computer that stores all of the information on that particular product.
Long Documents. Long documents can be scanned in for business use utilizing scanning technology called OCR or Optical Character Recognition. OCR recognizes certain printed characters, which in turn is transferred to a computer for future use or modification.
The Convenience of Data Output
Convenience and quality of output are very important. What method of output would be best for each of the following situation and explain why.
Hand Held Computer. The hand held computer or what is most commonly known as a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) is considered a microcomputer in today's technology. These microcomputers are designed to be held in your hand. These little machines are used primarily to store information such as personal/business contacts, calendar appointments, addresses or notes.
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Color Photograph. Printers provide a permanent record of output in color photography. A photograph-quality printer with high-resolution capabilities would be an appropriate output device for a color photograph.
Resume and Memorandum. The general method used to print resumes and memorandums would be with letter-quality printing devices. Many companies expect the quality of output for this data to be presented with a business look and feel.
Company annual report. These types of reports are circulated throughout the company in booklet format, which would require high-speed and high-volume printing. These printers produce letter-quality output and can print more than 200 pages per minute.
Data that is not being currently utilized by a system, but that may be needed for future use is primarily stored on secondary storage devices. There are many types of secondary storage currently available which have a variety of storage capacity and speed at which data can be retrieved.
Hard disk. Hard disks give direct access to stored data. The read/write head can move directly to the location of a desired piece of data. A hard disk is made of tough metal and can come in a variety of sizes (2 inches to 14 inches across). Hard disks can retain data even when a computer is powered off. Data in this type of device is permanent.
Floppy disk. Used as a primary means of adding data to a computer, this type of device can read and write data to a small circular piece of coated metal. While this type of device was commonly used many years ago, today it is rarely used.
RAM (random access memory). Classified as primary storage, data can be accessed in any part of memory in any order. RAM is the main type of memory used in computers.
CD ROM (compact disk-read only memory). This device is classified as an optical disk drive. This type of device can only retrieve data from a disk and is used, mainly, with microcomputers, which can contain pre-recorded data. Some examples where this device can be commonly used are to install programs on computers and storing large quantities of photo images for later retrieval or use.
Tape. Magnetic tapes are commonly used on minicomputers and mainframes. They are a less commonly used than any other form of secondary storage devices and were developed before optical disks.
Explain the role of each of the following in determining the speed of a computer
RAM. Random access memory is the place in a computer where the operating system, applications, and data are kept so that they can be quickly reached by the computer's central processing unit. RAM is much faster to read from and write to than the other kinds of storage in a computer, the hard disk, floppy disk, and CD-ROM drive. The data in RAM remains available as long as your computer is up and running, when the system is turned off, RAM loses data. Once the machine is turned back on your OS (Operating System), applications and any data files are, once again loaded into RAM.
Clock speed. CPUs are synchronized to run at the speed of an internal clock. Clock speed is measured by the amount of ticks per second that a clock can make (called a hertz). One hertz equals one tick per second. When we refer to the speed of a computer, we're talking about the quickness of the main chip, called the central processing unit or CPU. In order for the CPU to work successfully the clock speed has to work right. Clock speed is usually measured in either MHz or GHz (millions or billions of pulses per second). The clock speed is classified as the rate at which a processor carries out instructions or the rate at which data is processed.
Data on hard disk. Data on a hard disk can be retrieved at 1/100 of a second. Data retrieval from hard disks is processed at speeds of revolutions per minute (rpm), which refers to the number of times a disc rotates every minute. Speed at which data is retrieved is dependent on how fast the access arms that are utilized for this process move.
Data on CD ROM. Data retrieval on a CD-ROM can be compared to retrieval between a floppy disk and a hard disk. Data can be retrieved as many times as needed. Once data has been recorded on this device, it cannot be modified.
Data on floppy disk. Floppy disk drives tend to be really slow in data retrieval. Average time of data retrieval from a floppy disk can be as slow as 1/3 of second, compared to hard disk, which can be 1/100 of a second.