“Who is General Failure and why is he reading my disk?”

—Anonymous

CHAPTER 7

Input/Output and Storage Systems

7.1   INTRODUCTION

One could easily argue that computers are more useful to us as appliances for information storage and retrieval than they are as instruments of computation. Indeed, without having some means of getting data into the computer and information out of it, we have little use at all for a CPU and memory. We interact with these components only through the I/O devices connected to them.

With personal systems, for example, a keyboard and mouse are the primary user input devices. A standard monitor is an output-only device that presents results to the user. Although most printers provide device status information to the host ...

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