Computer Tips From The Mouse: Input / Output (IO)


Input / Output (IO)

There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer.

When asked to define “great” he said, “I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!”

He now writes error messages for Windows a Microsoft Corporation.

You may have heard or read regarding computers garbage in garbage out.  That is a correct statement for data programming.  When it comes to what typical end users that statement does not apply.  What we do is input information then output information.  To understand this a little better knowing what devices input and output information will help.  Input devices keyboard, mouse, scanner, camera, microphone, stylus pen, are most common.  Output devices monitor, printer, speakers, are most common.  Most of the data that is inputted by the end user is through the keyboard.  Every character on the keyboard is an eight bit piece of data which is a byte.  As an example the letter “A” in binary code is seen by the computer as 01000001 eight digits or each digit is a bit and eight of them become a byte.  The keyboard uses deferent sounds for each key when depressed (input) for the computer to know what character to display on the monitor (output).  When finished with typing you end up with a file with data bits that equal to a derived size based on the amount of bits in the file (each letter = 1 byte).  This file can now be sent to the printer (output) and the file is a hard copy of the original that is in the computer.


Since the computer only understands zero and one and based on the input of that data it determines what to do with it.  Can you see how complex it is to write error messages with so many variables?  Error messages are not always correct at best it is a guess as what was inputted that did not compute and needs human input to correct.  Error messages should not be a common way of life when you are computing.  The computer is trying to alert you, tell you something; do not ignore them something needs your input.  The dreaded ‘Blue Screen of Death” so named by technicians; a blue screen with white lettering with language that needs a technical translator.  This is one of the most scary error messages of them all.  Typically it is stating you have some hardware attached to the computer that is not functioning properly, or some software is not functioning properly.  If you have not installed any new devices more than likely you have corrupted software in your operating System (OS).  This is commonly caused by a virus or malware.


I hope to accomplish that you know you are smarter than your computer, that the computer is a tool, and you are the master of that tool.  If you have any questions you would like answered in this column please send them to:

Until next month, safe computing.

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