As intelligent as computers are, they require some direction from the user. Input is the process by which PCs receive data from the user for processing. Examples include text from a keyboard, images from a scanner, and video from a webcam. Learn more about the three parts of a computer that give input.
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First used on typewriters, the keyboard is the most widely used input in modern computing. A typical United States Windows keyboard has 104 keys. This includes one key for the entire alphabet, numbers 0-9, arithmetic operators such as addition, and others.
Invented by Douglas Engelbart in 1963, the mouse is a pointing device that recognizes two-dimensional motion. It is found on just about any computer that has a keyboard and commonly used to navigate graphical interfaces. The mouse did not become popular until 1984 when Apple integrated it into its famous Macintosh computer.
A wide variety of peripherals provide input. Just a few examples are webcams for video, scanners for images, microphones for audio, styluses, fingerprint readers, and even advanced microscopes. New forms of input are invented every year as technology evolves.