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Chapter 4. Input Output Media > 4.3 TYPES OF OUTPUT DEVICES

4.3 TYPES OF OUTPUT DEVICES

Output is data that have been processed into useful information. It can be displayed or viewed on a monitor, printed on a printer, or listened through speakers or a headset. Generally, there are two basic categories of output: the output which can be readily understood and used by humans, and which is stored on secondary storage devices so that the data can be used as input for further processing. The output which can be easily understood and used by human beings are of the following two forms:

  • Hard Copy: The physical form of output is known as hard copy. In general, it refers to the recorded information copied from a computer onto paper or some other durable surface such as microfilm. Hard copy output is permanent and a relatively stable form of output. This type of output is also highly portable. Paper is one of the most widely used hard copy output media. The principal examples are printouts, whether text or graphics from printers.

  • Soft Copy: The electronic version of an output, which usually resides in computer memory and/or on disk, is known as soft copy. Unlike hard copy, soft copy is not a permanent form of output. It is transient and is usually displayed on the screen. This kind of output is not tangible, that is, it cannot be touched. Soft copy output includes audio and visual form of output, which is generated using a computer. In addition, textual or graphical information displayed on a computer monitor is also a soft copy form of output.


  

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