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By James L. Peterson and Werner Rheinboldt (Auth.)

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5). Assum­ ing that 011111011100000000000000 is a floating point number in this same representation, convert it to decimal. Why would the exponent of a floating point number be represented in an excess notation, while the entire number uses two's complement? Can BCD be used to represent fractions? Fixed-point or floating point? 3 THE INPUT/OUTPUT SYSTEM The largest memory unit and fastest computation unit in the world would be useless if there was no way to get information into the computer or to get results back from the computer.

This makes it very difficult to discuss all aspects of an I/O system. In this section, we consider first some general concepts important to an understanding of I/O, and then some specific common I/O devices. The function of an I/O system is to allow communication between the computer system and its environment. This may mean communication with people (operators, programmers, users) and also with other machines. These other machines may be other computers (such as in a computer network), laboratory measuring devices, manufacturing equipment, switching equipment, or almost anything which can produce or receive electrical signals.

Within the computer, very little. Some codes are more convenient than others for some purposes. For simple English text, a BCD code requires only six bits per character rather than eight bits per character for ASCII with parity or EBCDIC; thus, only 3/4 as many bits are needed to store a given sequence of characters. We could store one character per word, but this would be intolerably wasteful of memory for large words, or long strings of characters. Hence, several characters are normally packed in each word.

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