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Jan's Computer Basics:

Output: Other Output Devices

Special tasks require special equipment. Some, like a GPS mapping device, contain their own special-purpose computer. Others connect to a computer.

Examples of activities that use special devices: record earthquake tremors, display CT scans and digital X-rays, analyze a recording in a sound studio, find metal fatigue in aircraft structures.

We have more and more special tasks every day that use computers and thus require print or screen display or some other kind of output, such as microfilm or projection on the wall or growing a 3-D model.

CT Scan - brain  CT Scan - brain

CT scans of the brain - side view, top view

X-ray of screws and plate to repair broken ankle

X-ray: ankle screws are coming unscrewed - Ouch!


Data projectors

Projects your computer screen onto a wall screen. This is how your PowerPoint presentations gets seen by the whole group.

Microfilm (COM)

Computer Output Microfilm
The computer directly generates the microfilm images.

Projectorwall screen gif

microfilm gif

3D Printing

Additive technology can 'print' or 'grow' a 3-dimensional object for you. Pop your design in to the computer that runs the machine and it starts laying down stacks of thin layers and 'glues' them together in just the right spots. Very useful to create prototypes of devices or scale models of buildings or whole cityscapes. Who knows what we will be ''printing" in the future!

3D model of a building

Credit: GrowIt




Computers can output voice messages, music, data as sound, and all those ring tones you bought for your smart phone. (Yes, your phone is a computer, too!) Of course you have to have speakers or headphones and a sound card.


Digital audio equipment

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

Medical Devices

Machines that measure rates like EKG and EEG machines often produce both onscreen and paper versions.

EKG - normal rhythm

Normal heart rate (EKG)

EEG normal

Normal brain waves (EEG)

Medical monitor with touch screen

Medical monitor with touch screen
Displays heart rhythm, breathing, oxygen level, blood pressure, pulse

Technical Measurements

Many engineering and technical areas use devices that take input from various measuring devices and turn the numbers into charts of some sort.

For example, a seismograph records the vibrations of the ground during an earthquake.

Earthquake measurement]

Seismograph of small earthquake

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