Hardware: Output

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This section deals with output hardware devices.

A users main interaction with a PC is via a device that enters data into a computer (input device), or displays that data as information (output device).

Icon Objective.png

Objective Hardware

By the end of this page you will be able to:

Visual Display Unit (VDU)

Hardware: CRT screen showing pixels

A device usually used for output to display the current status of programs and data files, but can be modified to accept light-pen input or touch.

Graphics adaptors

Connection to the PC's motherboard is via Graphics adaptor. This may be either integrated into the motherboard or as a separate circuit Board installed in one of the PC's expansion slots.

  • Standard Display Adapters ;
    • MDA Monochrome Display Adapter (80 x 24 characters), usually Green, Amber or White.
    • Hercules Mono - 720 x 348 pixels
    • CGA Colour Graphics Adapter 16 Colours - 640 x 200 pixels
    • EGA Enhanced Graphics Adapter 16 Colours - 640 x 350 pixels
    • VGA Video Graphics Array 256 Colours - 640 x 480 pixels
    • sVGA Video Graphics Array 256 Colours - 800 x 600 pixels
    • XGA eXtended Graphics Array - 1024 x 1024 pixels
    • Other (Video cards now allow for higher pixel densities to enable accurate display on large monitors).
      • Eg. 1280 x 1280 , and beyond.
  • Colour depth
    • 8 bit = 256 colours
    • 24 bit (True colour) = 16 million (16,777,216)
  • Connectors
    • VGA
    • HDMI


Hardware: New Printer cartoon (also makes Kebabs!)
Why I LOVE My 3D Printer

Sound cards




Digital/Analog converter

Process control - digital analog converter in timber mill

A device that converts discrete numbers from a computer (digital) to physical measurements (analogue) to that are then relayed to device to perform or manage a process.

Process control system examples

Process Control - traffic light sensor
  • Traffic light control
  • Glasshouse control (eg. temperature probes)
  • Fruit grading (eg. weight machines)
  • Dairy company manufacturing.
  • Timber milling.
  • Power Station control
  • Petroleum refining
  • Steel processing
  • Manufacturing of paper, chemicals, steel, cement and food products
  • Cruise control in a car
  • Missile control
  • Nuclear reactor control
  • Burglar alarms

Icon References.png References

Hardware: Output. (2018). In virtualMV's ( Michael Verhaart ) wiki. Retrieved November 13, 2018, from http://www.virtualmv.com/wiki/index.php?title=Hardware%3A_Output    (zotero)