Computer and Information Processing Essay

1-Accuracy of data input is important - Computer and Information Processing Essay introduction. What method of data input would be best for each of the following situations and explain why:

a-printed questionnaires

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The use of computer keyboard is best in producing an accurate data input. This reduces the possibility of errors in when using other methods such as handwritten type.

b-telephone survey

Data input is best when using the telephone touch-tone that generates Dual Tone Multi-Frequency signals for dialing (Wikipedia, 2007). It is more definite than other methods such as voice recognition which has the bigger possibility of mistake.

c-bank checks

The appropriate input data method would be through Optical Scanning Input device that allows quick scan and routing of the check to the proper banks. The characters within a bank check are recognized through optical character recognition (OCR). This is the electronic identification and digital encoding of printed or handwritten characters by means of an optical scanner and specialized software (, 2007). Since bank prints have specific data for each bank, this difference can be used to route them according to the proper bank destination.

d-retail tags

Data input is best using optical scanning device of bar codes printed within the retail prices.  This allows automatic pricing of retail items and the tags can easily be generated to contain some bar codes.

e-long documents

A scanner would be the best way of getting long documents into a computer. Retyping them would take too much time.

2-Convenience and quality of output are important. Explain what method of output would be best for each of the following situations and explain why:

a- hand held computer

LCD display can be make lightweight as oppose to vacuum tube which are very heavy. Vacuum tubes are too impractical to be packaged for handheld devices.

b-color photograph

Photographic print out through printers design specifically for photographs. Ordinary household printers like bubble-jet printers normally suffer from poor quality and poor paper.


Color print using bubble-jet or ink jet printer would be the most convenient.  Color printout allows printing of pictures embedded within the resume.


Blank and white print using laser jet printers are the most appropriate. Memorandum does not require colors because it is the content of the message that is important. Since memorandums are almost always being printed, the use of laser jet printers using toners makes printing more cost-effective in the long run. Bubble jet printers normally have very expensive ink and needs to be replaced more often.

e-Statistical report

Statistical reports normally include large data that are presented in large graphs like pie-chart. The most appropriate are color printers that are capable of printing large paper such as A3 and bigger sizes.

f-Company Annual report

Annual report should best remain as digital media that is outputted to computer screen. The addition of interactive graphs makes the digital formats more appropriate.

3-Different types of storage devices are optimal for different situations. Explain what situations are appropriate for the following devices and explain why:

a-Hard Disk

Hard disk are best for large data like operating system or completely installed applications. It can also be used to store large collections of video and audio records.

b-Floppy disk

Floppy disks are best to store small data like recovery boot disk, short text documents or small applications that are not very important. They are intended for small data because floppy disks have very small capacities having just a maximum of 1.44MB. Since data may be lost through molds or magnetic interference, reliability of data over time is very low therefore it is not intended for storage of important data.


Random Access Memory (RAM) is best for temporary data that requires high speed access. RAM is best for storing temporary variables used when a certain application is running. The high speed data access would allow the application to run fast. RAM are also expensive therefore it is not best to be arrayed for storage of larger data. RAM are also volatile, which means RAM requires continuous power in order to retain the information stored. This makes it appropriate only for temporary exchange of data like variables for a running application.


Reliability of CDROMs are quite high and their relative capacity is very much greater than floppy disk. This makes CD ROM appropriate for storing installation data or multimedia applications for live CD running. They can support relatively high data rate therefore they can support live CD applications of multimedia or installation. They are also appropriate for storing backup data for important information that are stored in hard disk, again because of their high reliability over time. They are also unaffected by magnetic interference because the data are stored in optical manner not in magnetic form. This property makes them appropriate for backup applications.


Although slow, tapes are cheap and are still reliable because of the large magnetic material used. In the past, they are normally used for backup because of their large capacity. Today, since hard disk and CDROMs are becoming very cheap, tape drives are no longer used.

f-Flash/Jump Drive

Flash drives are now becoming the dominant storage media for a wide range of data application. The type of data stored ranges from simple office files to complex applications like installers. They have replaced floppy disk because they are very reliable and handy. The prices have also dropped while the capacity is becoming bigger. It is best used for carrying data from office to home computers or from work station to another work station which are not connected by LAN networks.

4- Explain the role of the following in determining the speed of a computer:

a- RAM

RAM size affects the speed of the computer because the larger the RAM the bigger the size of the data that can be temporarily stored in it. Since RAM can be accessed at digital transistor switching speed, the bigger it becomes the faster the PC becomes. This means that a computer can execute longer sequence of data without interruption as oppose to a smaller data chunks that the computer needs to replace more often to process larger data. In most cases, even with a fast CPU, a system without enough RAM will be very sluggish (Dunn, 2003).

b-Clock speed

The clock speed determines the stepping with which computer instructions are being processed. The higher the clock speed, the more instructions it can process for a given period of time. It is measured as a frequency in hertz, and most commonly refers to the speed of the computer’s CPU, or Central Processing Unit (McGuigan, 2007).

c-Data on hard disk

When the data on hard disk are not stored in a sequential manner, the computer access of data would jump from one sector to another. Jumping from one sector to another will also result in a physical jump of the magnetic head from one sector to another. The jumping consumes time and is wasted. This is the reason why there is an option to defrag the hard disk to increase execution speed.

d-Data on CD ROM

CDROM data are accessed in a spiral manner. Again similar to c, the data must be stored in sequential manner, otherwise it would take time to jump from one fragment to another when executing a certain application.

e-Data on floppy disk

Floppy disks are much like Hard disk, for fast execution fragments of the same application must be stored sequentially.


Unknown. (2007). Dual-tone multi-frequency. Retrieved from the Wikipedia website: ,  on February 14, 2007

Unknown. (2007). optical character recognition. Retrieved from the website: ,  on February 15, 2007

Dunn, J. (2003). Computer RAM: A Crucial Component in Video Editing. Retrieved from the Microsoft website: ,  on February 15, 2007

McGuigan, B. (2007). What is Clock Speed?. Retrieved from the website:,  on February 15, 2007

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