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Application software

Consists of programs designed to make users more productive and/or assist them with personal tasks.

Bus

Transmits data to different parts of the machine.

Computer

An electronic device, operating under the control of instructions stored in its own memory, that can accept data (input), process the data according to specified rules (process), produce results (output), and store the results (storage) for future use.

Control Unit

Part of the processor that interprets the instructions.

CPU

Stands for "Central Processing Unit." This is the brains of your computer. It interprets and carries out the basic instructions that operate a computer.

Data

A collection of unprocessed items, which can include text, numbers, images, audio, and video.

Database

Software that allows the user to enter, retrieve, and update data in an organized and efficient manner.

DVD-ROM

A very high-capacity optical disc capable of storing from 4.7 GB to 17 GB.

Gigabyte

One billion (1,000,000,000) bytes

Hard Disk

A storage device that contains one or more inflexible, circular platters that magnetically store data, instructions, and information.

HTTP

Stands for "HyperText Transfer Protocol." This is the protocol used to transfer data over the World Wide Web.

Input Device

Any hardware component that allows you to enter data, programs, commands, and user responses into a computer.

Internet

The world's largest network. Consists of countless networks and computers, allowing millions of people around the world to share information.

Image/Graphic

A visual representation of an object (picture).

Keyboard

An input device that contains keys you press to enter data into the computer.

Kilobyte

One thousand (1,000) bytes

LAN

Stands for "Local Area Network." A computer network limited to a small area such as an office building, university, or even a residential home.

Mass Storage Devices

Used to store instructions, data, and information when they are not being used in memory. Four common types of storage devices are magnetic disks, optical discs (CDs and DVDs), tape, and miniature mobile storage media (USB drives).

Megabyte

One million (1,000,000) bytes

Memory

Can refer to any medium of data storage.

Network

A collection of computers and devices connected together, often wirelessly, via communications devices and transmission media.

Minicomputer

A computer smaller than a mainframe, but larger than a microcomputer.

Monitor

A display device that is packaged as a separate unit. Used synonymously with "computer screen" or "display."

Motherboard

The main circuit board of your computer and is also known as the mainboard or logic board.

Mouse

A pointing device that fits comfortably under the palm of your hand.

Operating System

Software that tells the computer how to perform the functions of loading, storing, and executing an application program and how to transfer data.

Output Device

Makes the information resulting from processing available for use; i.e., printed items or items displayed on a screen.

Printer

An output device that prints paper documents. This includes text documents, images, or a combination of both. The two most common types of printers are inkjet and laser printers.

Portable Storage Medium

Floppy disks, USB drives, portable hard drives, CD- and DVD-Roms.

RAM

Stands for "Random Access Memory." It consists of electronic components that temporarily store instructions waiting to be executed by the processor, data needed by those instructions, and the results of processed data (information).

ROM

Stands for "Read-Only Memory." Contains hardwired instructions that the computer uses when it boots up.

Smart Card

A plastic card that has information stored on a computer chip.

Stylus

A small metal or plastic device that looks like a ballpint pen, but uses pressure instead of ink to write, draw, or make selections.

Supercomputer

A high-performance computing machine designed to have extremely fast processing speeds.

System Software

Consists of programs to control the operations of computer equipment. An important part of this software is a set of programs called the operating system.

Terabyte

1,000,000,000,000 (1 trillion) bytes

Modem

Allows one computer to connect another computer and transfer data over telephone lines.

USB

Stands for "Universal Serial Bus." It is the most common type of computer port used in today's computers. It can be used to connect keyboards, mice, game controllers, printers, scanners, digital cameras, and removable media drives.

Flash Drive

A small data storage device that uses flash memory and has a built-in USB connection.

WAN

Stands for "Wide Area Network." Covers a large geographical via telephone lines, fiber-optic cables, or satellite links. The Internet could be described as the biggest WAN in the world.

Wi-Fi

Short for "Wireless Fidelity." Refers to wireless networking technology that allows computers and other devices to communicate over a wireless signal.

Wireless

A communication system based on broadcasting electromagnetic waves. The two most common types of wireless capabilities computers have are Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Word Processing

A software application that uses a computer, printer, and software to create, edit, and print text-based documents, such as letters, reports, and memos. Some examples of word processing programs include Microsoft Word, WordPerfect (Windows only), AppleWorks (Mac only), and OpenOffice.org.

Workstation

Refers to a computer (and often the surrounding area) that has been configured to perform a certain set of tasks, such as photo editing, audio recording, or video production.

Spreadsheet

Grid of rows and columns containing numbers, text, and formulas; the purpose of a spreadsheet is to solve problems that involve numbers.

eCommerce

Business conducted electronically (buying/selling on web).

Business to Business (B2B)

eCommerce that provides goods and services from one business to other businesses.

Consumer to Consumer (C2C)

eCommerce that involves one consumer selling directly to another.

Optical Disc

A portable storage medium that consists of a flat, round, portable disc made of metal, plastic, and lacquer that is written and read by a laser (CDs, DVDs).

Scanner

An electronic device that generates a digital representation of an image for data input to a computer.

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