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CIST 1001 - Chapter 2 - Looking at Computers: Understanding the Parts
Terms in this set (117)
A desktop system unit that houses the computer's processor, memory, and monitor in a single unit.
Combines the functions of a printer, scanner, copier, and fax into one machine.
The set of programson a computer that helps a user carry out tasks such as word processing, sending e-mail, balancing a budget, creating presentations, editing photos, taking an online course, and playing games.
The width-to-height proportion of a monitor.
binary digit (bit)
A digit that corresponds to the on and off states of a computer's switches. A bit contains a value of either 0 or 1.
The language computers use to process data into information, consisting of only the values 0 and 1.
A type of wireless technology that uses radio waves to transmit data over short distances (approximately 3-300 feet depending on power); often used to connect peripherals such as printers and keyboards to computers or headsets to cell phones.
Blu-ray disc (BD)
A method of optical storage for digital data, developed for storing high-definition media. It has the largest storage capacity of all optical storage options.
Eight binary digits (bits).
central processing unit
The part of the system unit of a computer that is responsible for data processing; it is the largest and most important chip in the computer. It controls all the functions performed by the computer's other components and processes all the commands issued to it by software instructions.
Refers to a service that keeps files on the Internet rather than storing files solely on a local device.
The process of starting a computer from a powered-down or off state.
compact disc (CD)
A method of optical storage for digital data; originally developed for storing digital audio.
A program that understands both the syntax of the programming language and the exact structure of the central processing unit and its machine language.
A port that enables a computing device to be connected to other devices or systems such as networks, modems, and the Internet.
Numbers, words, pictures, or sounds that represent facts, figures, or ideas; the raw input that users have at the start of a job.
A computer that's intended for use at a single location. Consists of a case that houses the main components of the computer, plus peripheral devices.
digital video (or versatile) disc
A method of optical storage for digital data that has greater storage capacity than compact discs.
digital video interface (DVI) port
Video interface technology that newer LCD
monitors, as well as other multimedia devices such as televisions, DVD players, and projectors, use to connect to a PC.
A special shelf inside a computer that is designed to hold storage devices.
A specially designed computer chip that resides inside another device, such as a car. These self contained computer devices have their own programming and typically neither receive input from users nor interact with other systems.
How a user sets up his or her computer and other equipment to minimize risk of injury or discomfort.
A port that's slightly larger
than a standard phone jack and that transfers
data at speeds of up to 10,000 Mbps; used
to connect a computer to a DSL or cable
modem or to a network.
A circuit board with specific functions that
augment the computer's basic functions
and provide connections to other devices;
examples include the sound card and the
external hard drive
A drive that is enclosed in a protective case to make it portable; the drive is connected to the computer with a data transfer cable and is often used to back up data.
An interface port that transfers data at 800 Mbps.
A drive that plugs into a universal serial bus (USB) port on a computer and that stores data digitally.
flash memory card
A form of portable storage; this removable memory card is often used in digital cameras, smartphones, video cameras, and printers.
About a billion bytes.
One billion hertz.
A movement that encourages environmentally sustainable computing (or IT).
The computer's nonvolatile, primary storage device for permanent storage of software and
Any part of a computer or computer system you can physically touch.
A power-management mode that
saves the current state of the current system
to the computer's hard drive.
high-definition multimedia interface
A compact audio-video interface
standard that carries both high-definition
video and uncompressed digital audio.
A printer that has tiny
hammer-like keys that strike the paper
through an inked ribbon, thus making a mark
on the paper.
Data that has been organized
or presented in a meaningful fashion; the
result, or output that users require at the end
of a job.
A nonimpact printer that
sprays tiny drops of ink onto paper.
A hardware device used
to enter, or input, data (text, images, and
sounds) and instructions (user responses
and commands) into a computer.
internal hard drive
A drive that resides within the computer's system unit and that usually holds all permanently stored programs and data.
A hardware device used to enter
typed data and commands into a computer.
A unit of computer storage
equal to approximately 1,000 bytes.
laptop (or notebook) computer
A portable computer with a keyboard, a monitor, and other devices integrated into a single compact case.
A nonimpact printer known for
quick and quiet production and high-quality
devices, software, or peripherals that use
techniques, parts, and methods from an
earlier time that are no longer popular.
light-emitting diode (LED)
A newer, more
energy-efficient technology used in monitors.
It may result in better color accuracy and
thinner panels than traditional LCD monitors.
liquid crystal display (LCD)
The technology used in flat-panel computer monitors.
A large, expensive computer
that supports hundreds or thousands of
users simultaneously and executes many
different programs at the same time.
A unit of computer storage
equal to approximately 1 million bytes.
A device that allows
you to capture sound waves, such as those
created by your voice, and to transfer them
to digital format on your computer.
A common output device that displays text, graphics, and video as soft copies (copies that can be seen only on screen).
A special circuit board in
the system unit that contains the central
processing unit, the memory (RAM) chips,
and the slots available for expansion cards;
all of the other boards (video cards, sound
cards, and so on) connect to it to receive
power and to communicate.
A hardware device used to enter
user responses and commands into a
A computing device that runs
a full-featured operating system but that
weighs two pounds or less.
network interface card (NIC)
An expansion card that enables a computer
to connect other computers or to a cable
modem to facilitate a high-speed Internet
A printer that sprays ink
or uses laser beams to make marks on the
operating system (OS)
The system software
that controls the way in which a computer
system functions, including the management
of hardware, peripherals, and software.
A hardware device that uses
lasers or light to read from, and even write to,
CDs, DVDs, or Blu-ray discs.
A mouse that uses an
internal sensor or laser to control the mouse's
movement. The sensor sends signals to the
computer, telling it where to move the pointer
on the screen.
organic light-emitting diode (OLED)
Displays that use organic
compounds to produce light when exposed
to an electric current. Unlike LCDs, they
do not require a backlight to function and
therefore draw less power and have a
much thinner display, sometimes as thin
as 3 mm.
A device that sends
processed data and information out of
a computer in the form of text, pictures
(graphics), sounds (audio), or video.
10^15 bytes of digital
A device such as a
monitor, printer, or keyboard that connects to
the system unit through a data port.
A single point that creates the images
on a computer monitor. Illuminated
by an electron beam that passes rapidly
back and forth across the back of the
screen so that they appear to glow
A large printer that uses a computer controlled pen to produce oversize pictures
that require precise continuous lines to be
drawn, such as maps and architectural
An interface through which external
devices are connected to the computer.
A power supply regulates
the wall voltage to the voltages required
by computer chips; it's housed inside the
A common output device that
creates tangible or hard copies of text and
Manipulating or organizing data
A device that can project images
from your computer onto a wall or viewing
A keyboard thatgets its name from the first six letters on the top-left row of alphabetic keys on the keyboard.
random access memory (RAM)
The computer's temporary storage space or short term memory. It's located in a set of chips on the system unit's motherboard, and its capacity is measured in megabytes or gigabytes.
read-only memory (ROM)
A set of memory chips, located on the
motherboard, which stores data and
instructions that cannot be changed or
erased; it holds all the instructions the
computer needs to start up.
The clearness or sharpness
of an image, which is controlled by the
number of pixels displayed on the screen.
A type of input device that inputs
images into computers.
A low-power mode for
electronic devices such as computers that
saves electric power consumption and saves
the last-used settings. When the device is
"woken up," work is resumed more quickly
than when cold booting the computer.
A device with features of a
computer including a wide assortment of apps, media players, high-quality cameras, and web connectivity.
The set of computer programs or
instructions that tells the computer what to do and that enables it to perform different tasks.
solid-state drive (SSD)
A storage device
that uses the same kind of memory that flash
drives use but that can reach data in only a
tenth of the time a flash drive requires.
An expansion card that
attaches to the motherboard inside the
system unit and that enables the computer
to produce sounds by providing a connection
for the speakers and microphone.
Output devices for sound
A pen-shaped device used to tap or
write on touch-sensitive screens.
A specially designed computer that can perform complex calculations extremely rapidly; used in situations in which complex models requiring intensive mathematical calculations are needed (such as weather forecasting or atomic energy research).
A system of speakers set up in such a way that it surrounds an entire area (and the people in it) with sound.
The set of programs
that enables a computer's hardware devices
and application software to work together;
it includes the operating system and utility
The metal or plastic case that
holds all the physical parts of the computer
together, including the computer's processor
(its brains), its memory, and the many circuit
boards that help the computer function.
A mobile computer, such
as the Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab,
integrated into a flat multitouch-sensitive
screen. It uses an onscreen virtual keyboard,
but separate keyboards can be connected
via Bluetooth or wires
A laptop computer designed
specifically to work with handwriting recognition technology.
1,099,511,627,776 bytes or
A printer that works either
by melting wax-based ink onto ordinary
paper or by burning dots onto
specially coated paper.
A high speed input/
output port; Thunderbolt 2 provides two
channels of 20 Gbps capacity on one port.
A small, touchsensitive
screen at the base of a laptop
keyboard that's used to direct the cursor.
A type of monitor (or display in
a smartphone or tablet computer) that accepts input from a user touching the screen.
A full-featured but lightweight
laptop computer that features a low-power
processor and a solid-state drive; it tries to
reduce its size and weight to extend battery
life without sacrificing performance.
universal serial bus (USB) port
A port that can connect a wide variety of
peripheral devices to the computer, including
keyboards, printers, mice, smartphones,
external hard drives, flash drives, and digital
An expansion card that's installed inside a system unit to translate binary data (the 1s and 0s the computer uses) into the images viewed on the monitor.
video graphics array (VGA) port
A port to which a cathode ray tube monitor connects.
Temporary storage, such
as in random access memory. When the
power is off, the data is
The process of restarting the
system while it's powered on.
A small camera that sits on top
of a computer monitor (connected to the
computer by a cable) or that's built into
a laptop computer and is usually used to
transfer live video
gather data, or allow users to enter data
manipulate, calculate, or organize that data
display data and information in a form suitable for the user
save data and information
for later use.
________ is a representation of a fact or idea. The number 3 and the words televisions and Sony are examples
__________ is data that has been organized or presented in a meaningful fashion. An example is an inventory list that indicates that "three Sony televisions" are in stock. It allows a retail clerk to answer a customer query about the availability of merchandise. More powerful than raw data.
To process data into information, computers need to work in a language they understand. This language, called _____________, consists of two numbers:
0 and 1.
Each 0 and each 1 is a __________, or bit. Eight bits create one byte.
In computers, each letter of the alphabet, each number, and each special character consists of a unique combination of eight _____ (one byte)—a string of eight 0s and 1s.
A/An _________ enables you to enter data (text, images, and sounds) and instructions
(user responses and commands) into a computer.
_________ enable you to send processed data out of your computer. It can take the form of text, pictures, sounds, or video.
The ___________, the main circuit board
of the system, contains a computer's CPU,
which coordinates the functions of all other devices on the computer. The performance of a CPU is affected by the speed of the processor (measured in GHz), the amount of cache memory, and the number of processing cores.
__________, the computer's volatile memory, is also located on the motherboard and is where all the data and instructions are held while the computer is running.
___________, a permanent type of memory, is responsible for housing instructions to help start up a computer.
The motherboard also houses slots for _____________, which have specific functions that augment the computer's basic functions.
The ____________ is your computer's primary device for permanent storage of software and files. It is a nonvolatile storage device, meaning it holds the data and instructions your computer needs permanently, even after the computer is turned off.
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