Understanding Input and Output Devices

Are you interested in learning programming but don't know where to start? Understanding input and output devices is a great place to begin. In this article, we will explain what input and output devices are and how they are used in computer systems.

What do we mean by "Input" and "Output"?

Any time you interact with an electronic device, you are providing some kind of input data to define what you want to do. 

For example, when you type your PIN number, send an email or take a picture on your smartphone, you are using an input device to provide this information.

And output refers to the results that the device provides after processing that input.

Input Devices

When we think about computers, a keyboard is often the first input device that comes to mind. A keyboard allows you to input data such as text, passwords, and more.

If you're using a laptop, the keyboard is built into the device, while if you're using a desktop computer, the keyboard is a separate object that connects to the main computer via a cable or wirelessly.

Another common input device is a mouse. The mouse has fewer keys than a keyboard, but it serves an important function by allowing you to move the cursor on your screen and interact with the computer in various ways - so its movement serves as the input. Some mice also have buttons on top and on the side, which add to their versatility.

Output Devices

For many years, a computer screen was considered the primary output device. It's the place where you view the websites you're surfing, the documents you're working on, and the games you're playing. However, with the advent of touchscreens on smartphones and tablets, screens now serve as both input and output devices.

Printers are another common output device. They receive data from a computer or network, and then produce a physical output in the form of paper. These days, multifunction printers often have built-in scanners, making them both input and output devices.

Looking Around Your Daily Life

As you go about your day, think about the electronic equipment you interact with.

When you withdraw cash from an ATM or shop at the supermarket, what is the input device? What kind of data is being provided, and how? And what is the output device? 

By looking at the systems you interact with in your daily life, you can get a better understanding of how input and output devices work and how data is processed.