Computer Basics

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hardware

The physical components of the computer system.

software

The programs or instructions that tell the computer what to do.

CPU

The brain of the computer or central processing unit.

ROM

The permanent memor that is built in your computer. This is read only.

RAM

The computer's working memory, sometimes called random-accessed memory.

megabyte

Approximately a million bytes.

gigabyte

Approximately a billion bytes (or 1,000 megabytes)

Input Device

The hardware that is used to pass information into the computer.

Output Device

The hardware that receives and displays information coming from the computer.

Modem

The device that allows your computer to talk to other computers over a telephone line.

Monitor

A video or computer display device.

Laser Printer

A printer that uses both laser and photographic technology to produce high quality output.

Printer

The hardware that provides printed output from the computer.

Hard Copy

A printed copy of computer output.

Compact Disc

A disc on which a laser has digitally recorded information such as audio, video, or computer data.

Hard Disk

A fixed, large-capacity magnetic storage medium for computer data.

Floppy Disk

A portable magnetic storage medium for computer data that allows users to randomly access information.

Graphical User Interface

The use of graphical symbols instead of text commands to control common computer functions such as copying programs and disks.

Icon

A small picture or symbol representing a computer hardware function or component.

Ink-jet printer

A type of printer that forms letters on the page by shooting tiny electrically charged droplets of ink.

Flash Drive

A data storage device integrated with a USB (universal serial bus) connector. They are typically removable and rewritable, much shorter than a floppy disk.

Scanner

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

word processing

If you wanted to write a letter, you would use a ___ type of program.

desktop publishing

You would use a ___ program to create a birthday card or flyer.

database

You would use a ___ type of program to make and print a mailing list or your address book.

spreadsheet

To balance your checkbook, you would use ___ type of program.

educational

To practice math facts or learn about science, you would use ___ programs.

Entertainment

Playing a game on the computer would be using ___ programs.

research

Finding information on the Internet would require ____.

program

A set of instructions that tells the computer how to perform a specific task.

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