video record
Media not available in the Digital Archive
Shows how different kinds of computer peripherals work and how they are used in practice.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: TM221, The digital computer
Item code: TM221; 05
First transmission date: 10-05-1975
Published: 1975
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:31
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Producer: Andrew Millington
Contributors: John Monk; Ian Witten
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Animated film; Digital computing; Digital to analogue converter; Discs; Information storage; Line printer; Magnetic tape; Series to parallel conversion; Teletypewriter; Visual display unit
Footage description: Opening shots of the following different kinds of computer peripherals, which are very briefly described in voice-over by John Monk: teletypewriter; traffic control system; visual display units; a card reader; the Open University computer's line printer and storage discs. Monk defines peripherals, and there is a brief sequence showing visual display units and line printers in use in a hospital and in engineering design. Monk introduces the teletypewriter, which is operated by Ian Witten. Monk explains the use of serial coding in a teletype connected to a PDP-8 computer. He uses a large model to demonstrate the way in which serial coding operates. Bits travelling down a wire are represented by balls rolling down a shute. Witten explains how the teletype interprets the 8 bit words. He demonstrates, with 2 minitrons attached to the model, how the computer and the teletype use clocks to divide the bits into groups of 8. This is serial to parallel conversion. Shot of the PDP-8 computer. Monk explains how the PDP-8 uses extra components to handle 12 bit words. Shots of teletypes operating. Monk describes a visual display unit and shows it handling a program to demonstrate its speed of operation. Shots of a line-printer operating. Monk, with the help of an animated diagram, explains how the line-printer works. He explains briefly when a line-printer would be used. He also describes card and paper tape methods of input, explaining their disadvantages. Witten introduces some kinds of back-up storage input peripherals. Shot of magnetic tape storage in operation. He shows bits actually stored on a piece of tape by coating it with a special substance. He shows different kinds of computer tape and explains their disadvantages. Witten shows us a computer disc. He uses a model to demonstrate the ways that the computer records information on the disc. Shots of a pack of discs in the studio and in actual use, with voice-over from Witten. Monk shows how an interconnected plotter, interface and visual display unit can be used. He demonstrates their use on the actual machines. He runs the program via the visual display unit and a simple picture is drawn by the plotter. Shots of the following peripherals, all of which are geared to the needs of the user: CMA form; TM 221 opening sequence computer animation; computer-controlled steel production; computer speech and hearing; computer art. Monk comments on all in voice over. Witten introduces a large model of a digital-to-analog converter. He explains how it converts a binary number into a voltage. He and Monk use 2 converters to control the position of a spot on a screen. Concluding shots of sophisticated use of this facility by a computer.
Master spool number: 6HT/71764
Production number: 00525_5166
Videofinder number: 1463
Available to public: no