|What is a keyboard used for?
|Used to enter user created text in applications. For example creation of a letter using a word processor. Often called a QWERTY keyboard if the letters are arranged so that the first 6 letters from the top left are QWERTY. The arrangement of the rest of the keyboard depends upon the part of the world it is sold. Advantages and disadvantages • Most people know how to use it so specialist training not required • Cheap • Easily collects dust and dirt so not suitable for dirty environments • Requires significant desktop space
|What is a Numeric Keypad used for?
|Either found as a separate section of a standard desktop PC keyboard or as a completely separate input device in applications only requiring numeric data to be entered. Examples of numeric keypads are found on • Bank ATM machines • PIN PADS for entering a Personal Identification Number when using a bank card to pay in a shop Advantages and disadvantages • Rapid operation for experienced users • Smaller footprint so good in working environments with reduced space such as an EFTPOS terminal • Only allows numeric data to be entered
|What is a mouse used for?
|A pointing device used to control a pointer or curser. Used to select items on a GUI (Graphical User Interface) e.g. clicking on an icon to run a program. Advantages and disadvantages • May be difficult to use by people with physical disabilities • Requires desktop space to use • Picks up dust and dirt easily - ball may become stuck • Most people know how to use it
|What is a touch pad used for?
|Commonly found on laptop computers. It has the same functionality as a mouse. Cursor is controlled by the movement of a finger over a sensitive pad. Advantages and disadvantages • Does not require desktop space to useful in reduced space applications • A sealed unit so less problems with malfunction due to dust and dirt • Can take time to become familiar with its operation
|What is a tracker ball used for?
|Same functionality as a mouse. Cursor controlled my moving a ball with fingers or palm. The ball protrudes from the top of the device. Advantages and disadvantages • Not common and needs time to become aquatinted with its operation • Easier to use by people with physical disabilities
|What is a remote control used for?
|Device used to control the operation of devices such as • T.V's • Video Recorders and players • DVD Recorders and players • Satellite decoders/ receivers • Music Systems • Multimedia Projectors Advantages and disadvantages • Makes it easier to control device without having to be right next to it • Often small and portable so easily lost
|What is a joystick used for?
|Device used to control movement on a screen in applications such as flight simulators, driving simulators and computer games. Advantages and disadvantages • Allows simulators to be more realistic e.g. flight simulators
|What is a touch screen used for?
|Touch sensitive screen that enables a user to select from a limited list of items. Used in applications such as Point-Of-Sale terminals, tourist information kiosks and systems to find out about public transport. Advantages and disadvantages • Combines output device (screen) with input device so reduced space requirements • Operators will require training to use it effectively • Less prone to malfunction due to dust and dirt.
|What is a magnetic stripe reader used for?
|Device to read the magnetic stripe on the back of bank cards and some types of identification cards for security systems. Found in bank ATM machines, EFTPOS terminals in supermarkets and entry systems for secure locations. Advantages and disadvantages • Easy operation by untrained users • Can become unusable by too much dust and dirt
|What is a chip reader used for?
|Device used to read the chip found on bank cards. Used in shops to pay for purchases. Similar applications as magnetic stripes and magnetic stripe readers but more recent technology. Advantages and disadvantages • Secure way of storing banking and personal data • Easy operation for untrained user • Less common than magnetic strip readers so may not always be available
|What is a pin pad used for?
|A numeric keypad used together with magnetic stripe readers and chip readers to confirm the person is the rightful owner of the card by typing in a PIN (4 digit Personal Identification Number). Advantages and disadvantages • Easy operation for untrained user • Small footprint on shop counters • Enable PIN entry without others seeing what is typed
|What is a scanner used for?
|Used to convert hard copy documents into digital form to allow it to be stored on a computer. Advantages and disadvantages • Allows rapid entry of images and text into a digital form for storage on a computer • Can be used with OCR to enter large amounts of text data rapidly • Expensive and may require extra software to be usable
|What is a digital camera used for?
|Camera which captures an image on a light sensitive digital sensor (also called a CCD or Charge Coupled Device) instead of a piece of film. The image id captured in a digital form that can be sent directly to a computer. Advantages and disadvantages • Reduced cost of processing and buying film • More expensive than comparable film camera • Easy to upload images to a computer • Often more compact than a comparable film camera • Less chance of dust and dirt entering as it does not need to be opened to change film
|What is a microphone used for?
|Used to record audio such as voice for input into a computer
|What are sensors used for?
|Devices that respond to a certain physical property and convert it into an electrical signal. Can be connected to a computer often via an analogue to digital converter. Examples of the physical properties that can be sensed and the applications in which they are found include • Temperature o Automatic washing machines o Automatic cookers o Air conditioning controllers o Central heating controllers o Computer-controlled greenhouses o Monitoring and recording scientific experiments o Environmental monitoring and recording • Pressure o Burglar alarms o Automatic washing machines o Robotics o Production-line control o Monitoring and recording scientific experiments o Environmental monitoring and recording • Light o Computer-controlled greenhouses o Burglar alarms o Robotics o Production-line control o Monitoring and recording scientific experiments o Environmental monitoring and recording
|What are graphics tablets used for?
|Device used to convert free-hand drawings into digital form that can be sent to a computer. Consists of a flat surface that detects the movement of a pen and sends this data to the computer.
|What is an MICR?
|Stands for Magnetic Ink Character Recognition. Device used to read the special magnetic ink that banks use to print details on the bottom of a cheque. The magnetic ink is used to record the persons bank account number and branch sort code. This enables to cheque to be machine readable and speeds up the processing of cheques compared to manual input by an operator. The characters printed with magnetic ink are also human readable.
|What is an OMR?
|Stands for Optical Mark Recognition. Relies on a specifically designed paper form that has certain regions where a mark can be placed by a person using a pen or pencil. The presence of the mark on the page has a meaning based on the position of the mark which is understood by the software on the computer. The system does not recognise actual characters such as letters or numbers.
|What is an OCR?
|Stands for Optical Character Recognition. A device to enable a computer to recognise written or printed characters. Used together with a scanner it enables a page of text to be scanned and entered into a computer as editable text (for use in a word processor) instead of just an image of the text that cannot be changed.
|What is a barcode reader?
|A barcode is a series of black lines on a white background used to identify products. Each number is represented by a line with a different thickness. The barcode reader passes a beam of light over the barcode to detect the lines and their thickness and converts this into a number. Used in supermarkets at EPOS terminals to connect a product being purchased with the correct price stored in the supermarkets database.
|What is a video camera?
|A digital video camera works in a similar way to a digital still camera but enables moving images to be captured as a series of still digital images.
|What is a webcam?
|Often mounted on a computer or built into the screen of laptop computers. It enable to capture of moving images in the same way as a video camera.
|What is a light pen?
|Used to control the movement of a cursor or to select items from a screen in situations where space is limited so the use of a mouse or graphics tablet would be difficult.