When we say Input, it means to feed some data into a program. An input can be given in the form of a file or from the command line.

C programming provides a set of built-in functions to read the given input and feed it to the program as per requirement.

Source data are input into a system in a variety of ways. The following media and devices are most commonly used to input data:

  1. Punched Cards:

Punched cards also known as IBM cards are paper cards containing several punched holes that were originally punched by hand and later by computers that represented data. Punched cards are either 80 or 96 column wide. Data are arranged in a sequential and logical order. Operators uses a key punch to copy data from source documents onto cards. These cards allowed companies to store information and be able to access that information by entering the cards through the computer.

  1. Key-to-diskette:

It is modelled after the key punch process. It is a data entry system in which information entered on several keyboards is collected on different sections of magnetic disks and the data are extracted from the disk when complete, and the copied onto the magnetic tape or another disk for further processing on the main computer. The approach to source document and diskette design is similar to that of a punched card. Data must be logical and in sequence.

  1. MICR (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition):

It is a character recognition technology used mainly by the banking to ease the processing and clearance of cheque and other documents. It translates the special fonts printed in magnetic ink on checks into direct computer input. The MICR encoding, called the MICR line, is at the bottom of cheques and other vouchers and typically includes the document -type indicator, like bank code, bank account number, cheque number, cheque amount etc.

  1. OCR (Optical Character Recognition):

OCR is the mechanical or electronic conversion of scanned or photographed images of printed text into machine- encoded / computer readable text. OCR readers are similar to MICR readers except they recognize pencil, ink or characters by their configuration (shape) rather than magnetic pattern. It is widely used as a form of data entry from some sort of original paper data source, whether passport documents, invoices, bank statements, receipt etc. It basically involves reading text from paper and translating the images into a form that the computer can manipulate.

  1. Optical Barcode Reader:

A barcode reader is an electronic device for reading printed barcodes. It detects combination of marks that represents data. Barcodes are often used to help organize and index information or pieces about an object.

  1. Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) screen:

These screens are used for online data entry.CRT screens displays 20, 40, or 80 characters simultaneously on a television – like screen. They show as many as 24 lines of data.

When we say Output, it means to display of the programme. An output is when the computer communicates the results of the processed data. The data has been transformed into useful information that we can see and use.

Output Devices

  1. MICR readers:

MICR characters are printed on a document in ether of the MICR fonts. The ink used in the printer is a magnetic ink or toner called iron oxide. The MICR text is passed before the MICR reader. As each characters passes, it produces a unique waveform that can be easily identified by the system.

  1. Line, Matrix, and Daisy wheel printer:

In computing, a printer is a peripheral which makes a persistent human readable representation of graphics or text on paper. A major form of the output to the user is the hardcopy from the printer.

  1. CRT screen Display:

CRT is an electronic visual display for computers. It is the display part of the computers. The CRT is used in most television and computer display screen.

  1. Plotter:

Plotter works by moving an electronic beam back and forth of the screen. It is a device that draws pictures on papers based on commands from the computer. Plotters differs from printers in that they draw lines using a pen. Plotters are more expensive than pen.

  1. Computer output microfilm:

COM is a process of copying and printing data onto microfilm from electronic media found on personal, mini or mainframe computers. It consists of two things:

a. A high speed recorder that transfers digital data onto microfilm using laser technology.

b. A processer that develops the microfilm once exposed to a light source.

C programming provides a set of built-in functions to output the data on the computer screen as well as to save it in text or binary files.

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