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73 terms

Introductory Computers Understanding Technology Chapter 1

STUDY
PLAY
application software
programs that enable a user to perform specific tasks; examples include word processors, database programs, spreadsheets, and desktop publishing
audio data
relating to sound, including speech and music
browser
software that allows users to move from one location to another on the Web and to access and retrieve Web pages; also called a Web browser
central processing unit (CPU)
the part of a computer that interprets and carries out instructions that operate the computer and manages the computer's devices and resources; consists of components, each of which performs specific functions; also called the microprocessor or processor
chip
a thin wafer of silicon containing electronic circuitry that performs various functions, such as mathematical calculations, storage, or controlling computer devices
communications device
a device that makes it possible for a user to communicate with another computer and to exchange instructions, data, and information with other computer users
communications software
software that allows your properly equipped computer to communicate with other similarly equipped computers; software used to send and receive electronic messages, visit various Web sites, locate and retrieve information stored on other computers, electronically transmit large files, and much more
computer
an electronic device capable of interpreting and executing program instructions and data and performing the required operations to produce the desired results
computer system
system unit along with input devices, output devices, and storage devices
data
raw, unprocessed information
data processing
the manipulation of data into useful information according to instructions in a computer program; also called information processing
desktop computer
a personal computer system designed to fit on the top of a desk
digital
composed of discrete bits (1s and 0s) understood by computers
digital ink technology
process in which a digitizer (a grid of tiny wires) is laid under or over an LCD screen to create a magnetic field that can capture the movement of a special-purpose pen and record the movement on the LCD screen; the effect is like writing on paper with liquid ink
embedded computer
a specialized computer, usually housed on a single chip, that is part of a larger system, device, or machine
garbage in, garbage out (GIGO)
a database related proverb meaning that if errors are entered into a database, it will produce erroneous output; also refers to all situations involving incorrect user input into a computer
general-purpose computer
a computer that allows the user to perform a range of complex processes and calculations
graphic data
still images, including photographs, mathematical charts, and drawings
handheld computer
a personal computer small enough to fit into a person's hand; also called handheld, pocket PC, or palmtop
hard copy
a permanent, tangible version of output, such as a letter printed on paper
hardware
all physical components that comprise the system unit and other devices connected to it, such as a keyboard or monitor; these external connected devices are collectively referred to as peripheral devices because they are outside, or peripheral to, the computer itself
host computer
a large and powerful computer to which smaller computers are connected in a network, and which manages all user activity occurring on the network; also called a network server
information
data that has been processed to make it useful for a specific purpose, such as making a decision
information processing
the manipulation of data into useful information according to instructions in a computer program; also called data processing
information processing cycle
a cycle during which a computer enters, processes, outputs, and/or stores information
input
data that is entered into a computer or other device or the act of reading in such data
input device
any hardware component that enables a computer user to enter data and programs into a computer system; keyboards, point-and-click devices, and scanners are among the more popular input devices, and a desktop or laptop computer system may include one or more input devices
Internet
a worldwide network of computers linked together via communications software and media for the purpose of sharing information; the largest and best-known network in the world; also called the Net
Internet service provider (ISP)
an organization that has a permanent connection to the Internet and provides temporary access to individuals and others for free or for a fee
laptop computer
a computer small enough to be placed on a lap or carried by its user from place to place; also called a notebook computer
local area network (LAN)
a computer network physically confined to a relatively small geographical area, such as a single building or a college campus
mainframe computer
a large, powerful, expensive computer system capable of accommodating hundreds of users doing different computing tasks
main memory
a place for temporary storage of data, programs, or instructions; also called primary storage or random access memory (RAM)
microcomputer
a single-user computer capable of performing its own input, processing, output, and storage; also called a personal computer (PC)
microprocessor
the part of a computer that interprets and carries out instructions that operate the computer and manages the computer's devices and resources; consists of components, each of which performs specific functions; also called the central processing unit (CPU)
midrange server
a powerful computer capable of accommodating hundreds of client computers or terminals (users) at the same time; also known as a minicomputer
modem
a hardware device that translates signals from digital to analog and from analog to digital, making it possible for digital computers to communicate over analog telephone lines
motherboard
the main circuit board inside a personal computer to which other circuit boards can be connected; contains electrical pathways, called traces, etched onto it that allows data to move from one component to another
multi-user computer system
computer that can accommodate many users concurrently
Net
short for Internet, a worldwide network of computers linked together via communications software and media for the purpose of sharing information; the largest and best-known network in the world
network
a group of two or more computers, software, and other devices that are connected by means of one or more communications media
network server
a large and powerful computer to which smaller computers are connected in a network, and which manages all user activity occurring on the network; also called a host computer
notebook computer
a computer small enough to be placed on a lap or carried by its user from place to place; also called a laptop computer
operating system
a type of software that creates a user interface and supports the workings of computer devices and software programs that perform specific jobs
output
information that is written or displayed as a result of computer processing; also the act of writing or displaying such data
output device
any hardware device that makes information available to a user, such as a monitor or printer
pen computer
a computer equipped with pattern recognition circuitry so that it can recognize human handwriting as a form of data input
peripheral device
a device, such as a printer or disk drive, connected to and controlled by a computer but external to the computer's central processing unit (CPU)
personal computer (PC)
a single-user computer capable of performing its own input, processing, output, and storage; also called a microcomputer
personal digital assistant (PDA)
a handheld, wireless computer, also known as a handheld PC or HPC, used for such purposes as storing schedules, calendars, and telephone numbers and for sending e-mail or connecting to the Internet
petaflop
a measure of speed equivalent to 1 quadrillion calculations per second
portable computer
a computer small enough to be carried around
primary storage
a place for temporary storage of data, programs, or instructions; also called main memory or random access memory (RAM)
processing
the manipulation of data by the computer's electrical circuits
processor
the part of a computer that interprets and carries out instructions that operate the computer and manages the computer's devices and resources; consists of components, each of which performs specific functions; also called the central processing unit (CPU)
program
a set of instructions a computer executes; types of programs include applications and operating systems
search engine
a software program that enables a user to search for, locate, and retrieve specific information on the Internet about any topic
secondary storage
a hardware component that houses a secondary storage medium; also called a storage device or storage medium
single-user computer system
computer that can accommodate a single (one) user at a time; the type of personal computer system found in homes and in small businesses and offices
smartphone
a device that allows users to transmit and receive phone calls as well as e-mail messages and photos and browse through Web sites
soft copy
a temporary version of output, typically the display of data on a computer screen
software
programs containing instructions that direct the operation of the computer system and the written documentation that explains how to use the programs; two main types of software are system software and application software
storage
a permanent recording of information, data, and programs on a permanent storage medium, such as CD-ROM, so they can be used again and again
storage device
a hardware component that houses a secondary storage medium; also called secondary storage or storage medium
stylus
a sharp, pointed instrument used for writing or marking
supercomputer
fastest, most powerful, and most expensive type of computer designed for multiple users
system software
a type of software consisting of a set of programs that control the operations of a computer system, including starting the computer, processing applications, formatting disks, and copying files; it also controls all components and devices that comprise the computer system
system unit
the main part of a personal computer system that contains the motherboard and other components necessary for processing information
tablet PC
a type of notebook computer that has a liquid crystal display (LCD) on which the user can write using a special-purpose pen, or stylus
terabyte
a unit of memory measurement equal to approximately 1 trillion bytes
teraflop
a measure of speed equivalent to 1 trillion calculations per second
terminal
an input/output device, consisting of a keyboard and monitor, typically used with multi-user computer systems; also called dumb terminal
text data
alphabetic letters, numbers, and special characters, typically entered to produce output such as letters, e-mail messages, and reports