Chapter 2 Key Terms

53 terms by runawaycoder

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Application program interface (API)

the interface that allows applications to make use of the operating system.

Application service provider (ASP)

a company that provides software, end-user support, and the computer hardware on which to run the software from the user's facilities.

Application software

the programs that help users solve particular computing problems.

Arithmetic/logic unit (ALU)

the portion of the CPU that performs mathematical calculations and makes logical comparisons.

Byte (B)

eight bits that together represent a single character of data.

Central processing unit (CPU)

part of the computer that consists of three associated elements: the arithmetic/logic unit, the control unit, and the register areas.

Clock speed

a series of electronic pulses produced at a predetermined rate that affect machine cycle time.

Command-based user interface

a user interface that requires that text commands be given to the computer to perform basic activities.

Compact disc read-only memory (CD-ROM)

a common form of optical disc on which data, after it has been recorded, cannot be modified.

Computer programs

the sequences of instructions for the computer.

Control unit

the part of the CPU that sequentially accesses program instructions, decodes them, and coordinates the flow of data in and out of the ALU, the registers, primary storage, and even secondary storage and various output devices.

Desktop computer

a relatively small, inexpensive single-user computer that is highly versatile.

Digital audio player

a device that can store, organize, and play digital music files.

Digital camera

input device used with a PC to record and store images and video in digital form.

Digital video disc (DVD)

a storage medium used to store digital video or computer data.

Direct access

the retrieval method in which data can be retrieved without the need to read and discard other data.

Direct access storage device (DASD)

the device used for direct access of secondary storage data.

Documentation

describes the program functions to help the user operate the computer system.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software

a set of integrated programs that manage a company's vital business operations for an entire multisite, global organization.

Flash memory

a silicon computer chip that, unlike RAM, is nonvolatile and keeps its memory when the power is shut off.

Graphical user interface (GUI)

an interface that uses icons and menus displayed on screen to send commands to the computer system.

Grid computing

the use of a collection of computers, often owned by multiple individuals or organizations, to work in a coordinated manner to solve a common problem.

Handheld computer

a single-user computer that provides ease of portability because of its small size.

Hardware

any machinery (most of which uses digital circuits) that assists in the input, processing, storage, and output activities of an information system.

Magnetic disk

a common secondary storage medium, with bits represented by magnetized areas.

Magnetic tape

a common secondary storage medium; Mylar film coated with iron oxide with portions of the tape magnetized to represent bits.

Mainframe computer

a large, powerful computer often shared by hundreds of concurrent users connected to the machine via terminals.

MP3

a standard format for compressing a sound sequence into a small file.

Multicore microprocessor

microprocessor that combines two or more independent processors into a single computer so they can share the workload and deliver a big boost in processing capacity.

Multiprocessing

the simultaneous execution of two or more instructions at the same time.

Off-the-shelf software

an existing software program that is purchased.

Parallel processing

a form of multiprocessing that speeds processing by linking several processors to operate at the same time, or in parallel.

Portable computer

a computer small enough to be carried easily.

Programming languages

the sets of keywords, symbols, and a system of rules for constructing statements by which humans can communicate instructions to be executed by a computer.

Proprietary software

a one-of-a-kind program for a specific application, usually developed and owned by a single company.

Radio-frequency identification (RFID)

a technology that employs a microchip with an antenna that broadcasts its unique identifier and location to receivers.

Random access memory (RAM)

a form of memory in which instructions or data can be temporarily stored.

Read-only memory (ROM)

a nonvolatile form of memory.

Redundant array of independent/inexpensive disks (RAID)

method of storing data that generates extra bits of data from existing data, allowing the system to create a "reconstruction map" so that if a hard drive fails, it can rebuild lost data.

Scalability

the ability to increase the capability of a computer system to process more transactions in a given period by adding more, or more powerful, processors.

Sequential access

the retrieval method in which data must be accessed in the order in which it is stored.

Sequential access storage device (SASD)

the device used to sequentially access secondary storage data.

Server

a computer designed for a specific task, such as network or Internet applications.

Smartphone

a phone that combines the functionality of a mobile phone, personal digital assistant, camera, Web browser, e-mail tool, and other devices into a single handheld device.

Software suite

a collection of single application programs packaged in a bundle.

Speech-recognition technology

enables a computer equipped with a source of speech input such as a microphone to interpret human speech as an alternative means of providing data or instructions to the computer.

Storage area network (SAN)

technology that provides high-speed connections between data storage devices and computers over a network.

Supercomputers

the most powerful computer systems, with the fastest processing speeds.

Systems software

the set of programs designed to coordinate the activities and functions of the hardware and various programs throughout the computer system.

Thin client

a low-cost, centrally managed computer with essential but limited capabilities that is devoid of a DVD player, internal disk drive, and expansion slots.

User interface

the element of the operating system that allows individuals to access and command the computer system.

Workgroup application software

the software that supports teamwork, whether in one location or around the world.

Workstation

a more powerful personal computer that is used for technical computing, such as engineering, but still fits on a desktop.

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