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What Are The Five Elements Of The Computer Information Cycle?

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Samuel Chiltern Profile
Samuel Chiltern answered
I'm not sure that there are five elements of the computer information cycle, but the four that I'm aware of are:

  • Input
  • Processing
  • Output
  • Storage
Stage One - Input
This stage is concerned with either acquiring new data from the real world and inputting it into the system, or retrieving it from removable storage. Some examples of input are:

  • A user writing a poem, using a word processing program
  • A user inserting a memory stick into their computer, thereby retrieving data from storage
  • Scanning a photograph
  • Moving a mouse around to control a pointer on the screen
Stage Two - Processing
This is the stage where your computer actually has to do something with the input it's been given. The Central Processing Unit (CPU, or processor) will play the pivotal role in interpreting the data it receives from inputs, and deciding what to do with it next.

The CPU might decide to pass the data on to an output, or to storage.

Memory (Random Access Memory, or RAM) plays a key role in this stage too, acting as a temporary storage place for active programs, images, audio, and part-processed data, which the CPU needs to come back to later.
Stage Three - Output
This is where information is relayed back to the user. Various media can be used, but generally the information will be output on to the computer screen or played out through the speakers.

Information could also be printed out on paper, or communicated via an accessibility device, such as a refreshable Braille display.
Stage Four - Storage
There are two main types of storage: Removable, and non-removable.

Hard drives, and (increasingly) Solid State Drives are good examples of non-removable storage - and, generally, such devices tend to have the highest storage capacity.

Removable storage can take the form of optical devices, such as writeable CDs and DVDs or - more commonly these days - removable flash drives.

I have a feeling that Deletion could be the fifth element of the cycle which you are referring to, but I was never taught this personally, so I can't be certain about that!
Aisha Profile
Aisha answered
According to my information, there are only 4 elements of a computer information cycle which are as follows:
  • Input
  • Processing
  • Storage
  • Output
The Input stage has 3 further parts which are:
  • Acquisition
  • Data entry
  • Validation
The output stage also has 2 parts which are:
  • Interactive queries
  • Routine reports.
The fifth part you mentioned is sometimes considered to be either deletion or archiving of data.

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