Computer Input Devices

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The world has evolved from the Stone Age to the information technology era with booming progressions. Nowadays, a computer has become part of our lives without which we cannot carry out most of the daily operations normally. A computer can be defined as an electronic device that is designed to accept data in a digital form, perform mathematical and logical operations at high speed via instructions stored in the device’s memory, and finally display the results of these operations to the user of the device (computer, n.d.). Other than data processing, a complex computer also stores data for some time as necessary (Rouse, n.d.). There are four basic functions of a computer, namely input, processing, output and storage. Input is the addition or…show more content…
Hence, there are various types of input devices in a computer system, which ease the data entry into the processor by the user. One common input device is the terminal which consists of a keyboard, a display screen, and a communications line to a mainframe computer system. Terminal devices are typically divided into three types, namely dumb, smart, and intelligent terminals. A dumb terminal is used to provide data to and retrieve information from a main computer system and has no data processing capability. A portable dumb terminal is a mobile terminal connected to the main computer system through wired or wireless communication. Example applications of dumb terminal are that used by airline clerks, post offices, and other service counters. A smart terminal is able to input data and output results as well as possessing limited data processing capability. It is able to edit or verify the input data before sending it to a larger computer. Example applications of smart terminal are automatic teller machines (ATM) and point of sale terminals. An intelligent terminal is a device that has its own input, processing, storage, output and software. This reduces the processing and storage load on the main computer system. An example is an executive workstation which is a microcomputer that is also connected to a main computer (Ahmad, n.d.; BusinessDictionary.com, n.d.). Another type of input device is optical character recognition (OCR) device that recognizes letters, numbers and symbols as discrete entities. These devices enable paper documents to be converted into electronic files that retrieved and manipulated to reduce human data entry. Common types of OCR devices are flatbed scanners, drum scanners, handheld scanners, barcode readers, and fax machines. Examples of OCR applications are non-contact scanning from a distance of license plates, recognition of handwriting and

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