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Memory that temporaily stores programs and data when the computer is turned on but does not retain the contents when the computer is turned off.


Permanent memory that stores the instructions that tell the computer how to begin to load the operating system and programs.


Random Access Memory


Read Only Memory

System software

Software that controls the data flow among computer parts, and provides the platform on which application and network software work

Network software

Software used to run a server, such as Novell and Windows.

Applications software

A program used to perform a job or task; examples include word processors, databases, graphics programs, and spreadsheets

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

A silicon chip, stored on the motherboard, which processes data and carries out instructions given to the computer

Input device

Devices used to enter information into a computer and interact with the user; for instance, a keyboard, microphone, or pointing device

Logging on

An operation performed to access a computer or network


The chips that store data and programs while the computer is working. Often called RAM or Random Access Memory.

Storage device

Device such as disk drive, CD/DVD drive, flash drive, or tape drive that is used to store and retrieve data on a computer.

Output device

Device that displays the results of computer processing; for example, a monitor, printer, or speaker.

Flash Drive

A storage device that is inserted into a USB port on a computer

Hard disk drive

The main storage device for a computer, usually inside the system unit


The place the computer memory (ROM) and other vital electronic parts are stored


An electronic organizor that can be held in your hand


A machine that is used to store, retrieve, and manipulate data


An input device that is used with a PSA or touch screen


An ouput device that allows you to see your work before printing.


An output device that produces a hardcopy

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