Download A Guide to Medical Computing by E. C. Coles and D. W. Hill (Auth.) PDF

By E. C. Coles and D. W. Hill (Auth.)

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In a numerical problem the data, being numbers, do not need any system of categorization or classifica­ tion; the quantity of data read into any single computer program and written out by it may well be relatively small; and the layout of the output data may not be of any great significance. The complexity of a system of this type lies in the numerical and statistical techniques used and the programs to put these techniques into effect. On the other hand, in rapid response systems and in file processing systems the decisions that are made during this stage shape the whole system and may either help to ensure its success or doom it to failure.

These devices consist of a very precise mechanism to guide the card or paper tape past the reading head and a photo-electric system of sensing whether or not there are holes in the card or tape. 16 mm thick from the end of a pack of such cards and 31 THE COMPUTER - INPUT AND OUTPUT PERIPHERALS feed it past the reading heads. The more sophisticated card and punched paper tape readers which are fitted to general puφose com­ puters will, before passing information across to the central processor, translate the pattern of holes in the column of a card or row on paper tape into the bit pattern equivalent to that character as used internally.

DEVELOPMENT OF INPUT AND OUTPUT DEVICES The techniques for getting data into and out of computers are con­ tinually being developed. These developments are aiming to provide peripheral units working at higher speeds which are nearer to those of the central processor, which operate with greater reUabihty and are quick and simple to service. The other major area in which develop­ ments are progressing is in the production of new methods of reading and writing data which provide an external representation of that data which is in a more convenient form for human use than was possible previously.

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