160 terms

ITGS Chapter 2 - Hardware (Computer Fundamentals)

Key terms for the ITGS topic 'Hardware', including input devices, output devices, storage devices, processing, and some miscellaneous terms. These relate to chapter 2 of the textbook (www.itgstextbook.com).
STUDY
PLAY
clock speed
Speed of a processor, in ticks per second.
American Standard Code for Information Interchange
Encoding system to store text, where one byte is used for each character. Compare Unicode.
ASCII
Encoding system to store text, where one byte is used for each character. Compare Unicode.
bar code scanners
Input device that uses a laser to read a bar code.
bit
A single binary digit (a 1 or a 0). The smallest unit of storage inside a computer.
Bluetooth
Short range, low bandwidth wireless technology often used for mobile phone headsets or earphones.
BluRay
Optical secondary storage device capable of storing 16GB+.
Braille keyboard
Special keyboard designed for users with eyesight problems.
Braille printer
Special printer that can produce Braille text.
byte
Storage unit: 8 bits. Enough to store a single ASCII text character.
CD-ROM
Optical secondary storage device capable of holding 650-700MB of data.
Central Processing Unit
Hardware responsible for processing all instructions the computer runs.
CompactFlash
Solid state storage device usually used in digital cameras.
concept keyboard
Keyboard with keys that perform programmable, customised functions.
Convergence
Idea that one device performs the same functions as many separate devices.
CRT monitor
Output device. Older type of monitor, now almost obsolete.
data synchronisation
Exchanging data between a computer and a portable device such as a smart phone.
data throughput
Rate at which data is processed and output by a system.
desktop computer
Typical computer system with a separate screen and system unit.
digital cameras
Camera that saves images digitally, often in JPEG format.
digital video cameras
Camera that saves digital video
digitize
To convert data from analog to digital form.
disk wiping
Securing deleting files from a disk, beyond recovery.
dual core
A multi-core system with two processor cores.
DVD
Optical secondary storage device capable of storing up to 8GB.
Dvorak keyboards
Alternative keyboard layout to improve typing speed.
EB
Storage unit: 1024 petabytes.
Embedded systems
Computer system hidden inside another device, such as a car engine management system.
eSATA
A modern type of connector for attaching external hard disks
exabyte
Storage unit: 1024 petabytes.
external hard disk
Portable storage device often used for backups.
eye tracking software
Accessibility software that tracks where a user is looking on the screen.
failover system
System which will take over the role of a primary system if it fails.
firewire
Interface for attaching external hard disks and digital video cameras.
flash memory/flash drive
A type of secondary storage device that uses electronic circuits to read and store data. The advantage of this is that is has no moving parts, making it faster and less likely to be damaged if dropped. Also called flash memory. (Compare magnetic storage with optical storage and solid state storage)
game controllers
Input device with buttons used for games playing.
GB
Storage unit: 1024 megabytes.
GHz
Unit of measurement for a processor's clock speed. 1000 MHz.
Gigabyte
Storage unit: 1024 megabytes.
gigahertz
Unit of measurement for a processor's clock speed. 1000 MHz.
Global Positioning System
System of satellites which can pinpoint a users location on the Earth.
GPS
System of satellites which can pinpoint a users location on the Earth.
hard copy
A printed paper copy of data.
hard disk
Magnetic secondary storage device found in most desktop and laptop computers.
hardware
Physical parts of a computer system.
head control systems
Accessibility software that tracks a users head movements to allow them to input data.
head wand
Accessibility hardware that lets a user input using a wand connected to their head.
high contrast mode
Accessibility setting for users with eyesight problems.
Home Theatre PC
Computer with multimedia capabilities designed specifically for watching television and films.
HTPC
Computer with multimedia capabilities designed specifically for watching television and films.
IDE
Interface for attaching internal hard disks.
inkjet printer
Printer that works by spraying ink through nozzles at a sheet of paper.
input
Data or information that is entered into the computer.
input switches
Accessibility hardware that lets a user input data by pressing a simple on-off switch.
interactive whiteboard
Device that uses a projector for output and touch inputs, using a special pen.
IrDA
Short range, low bandwidth, line-of-sight wireless communication technology.
joystick
Input device used for games playing and flight simulators.
KB
Storage unit: 1024 bytes
Kensington lock
Special lock for securing portable devices to immovable objects to prevent theft.
Keyboards
Input device that lets the user enter text and numeric data.
Kilobyte
Storage unit: 1024 bytes
laptop
Portable computers that come in many shapes and sizes.
laser printer
High speed printer.
LCD screen
Output device. The newer type of monitor which is flat.
Magnetic Ink Character Recognition
Input device that reads text written in special magnetic ink. Often used at the bottom of cheques.
magnetic storage
Type of secondary storage that users magnets to read and store data. Examples include floppy disks and hard disks.
magnetic stripe readers
Input device that reads the magnetic stripe on cards like ATM cards and bank cards.
mainframe
High end computer system that achieves very high data throughput.
MB
Storage unit: 1024 kilobytes
Megabyte
Storage unit: 1024 kilobytes
megahertz
Unit of measurement for a processor's clock speed.
MHz
Unit of measurement for a processor's clock speed.
MICR
Input device that reads text written in special magnetic ink. Often used at the bottom of cheques.
microphone
Input device for sound data
microprocessor
Hardware responsible for processing all instructions the computer runs.
MIPS
Millions of Instructions Per Second. A way of measuring processor speed.
MMC
Solid state secondary storage device, often used for digital cameras.
Motherboard
The circuit board to which the internal computer components connect: the CPU, the RAM, the ROM, and the secondary storage devices
mouse
Input device used to control a cursor or pointer.
Multi-core
Processor with more than one processor core, to increase its performance.
multi-touch
Input device able to recognise touches and gestures made with multiple fingers.
multimedia keyboard
Keyboard with buttons to perform common tasks such as program launching.
multiprocessing
A system with more than one processor, to increase its performance.
multitasking
A single processor running multiple tasks by switching rapidly between them.
native resolution
Resolution of an LCD display that produces the best display quality.
netbook
Lightweight laptop computer designed for portability.
non-volatile storage
Storage which does not lose its contents when the power is removed.
OCR
Input device that reads printed text, scans it, and converts it to text that can be edited in a word processor.
OMR
Input devices that reads simple multiple-choice style answers by looking for marks on the paper.
Optical Character Recognition
Input device that reads printed text, scans it, and converts it to text that can be edited in a word processor.
Optical Mark Recognition
Input devices that reads simple multiple-choice style answers by looking for marks on the paper.
optical storage
Storage devices which use lasers to store and read data. Examples include CDs and DVDs.
output
Information which is produced by a computer system.
pages per minute
Speed at which a printer produces output.
PB
Storage unit: 1024 terabytes
PDA
Mobile device bigger than a phone but smaller than a laptop. Probably has a keyboard or at least a stylus (pen) and a touch-screen.
Personal Digital Assistant
Mobile device bigger than a phone but smaller than a laptop. Probably has a keyboard or at least a stylus (pen) and a touch-screen.
Petabyte
Storage unit: 1024 terabytes
plain text
Text file which contains no formatting data
Primary storage
Storage systems which are found inside the computer and are electronic. RAM and ROM are examples.
printers
Output device which produces paper copies.
processor
Hardware responsible for processing all instructions the computer runs.
projectors
Output device for displaying content on large screens.
Quad-core
A multi-core system with four processor cores.
Radio Frequency Identification
System of tags which contain data that can be read from a distance using radio waves.
radio tag
Tags which broadcast their position over a large distance using radio waves.
RAID
Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks. A way of having two (or more) hard disks in a computer and having the exact same data written to each of them automatically. If one of the disks fails, the computer can switch to the other disk and continue running normally (since the second disk is an exact copy).
RAM
Primary storage which is fast, relatively expensive, and volatile.
Random Access Memory
Primary storage which is fast, relatively expensive, and volatile.
Read Only Memory
Primary storage whose contents are written at manufacture and cannot be altered later.
Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks
System where multiple hard disks contain duplicate data, to be used in the event of one failing.
Redundant system
System which will take over the role of a primary system if it fails.
RFID
System of tags which contain data that can be read from a distance using radio waves.
Rich Text Format
Standard file format that can store documents that include formatting data.
ROM
Primary storage whose contents are written at manufacture and cannot be altered later.
RTF
Standard file format that can store documents that include formatting data.
SATA
Interface for connecting storage devices like hard disks.
scanner
Input device used to digitise photographs and paper copies of data.
screen magnification
Accessibility setting for users with eyesight problems.
Secondary storage
Storage systems which are connected externally to the computer's motherboard.
secure deletion
Securing deleting files from a disk, beyond recovery.
sensors
Input devices used to measure certain traits, such as sound, heat, or light.
sip and puff
Accessibility hardware for users with very limited mobility
Smart card readers
Device to read a smart card.
smartphones
Mobile phone with capabilities including Internet access and a camera.
Soft keyboard
Keyboard which is displayed on screen and controlled by clicking on buttons with the mouse or a touch screen.
software
The instructions and programs which are run by the CPU.
solid state storage
A type of secondary storage device that uses electronic circuits to read and store data. The advantage of this is that is has no moving parts, making it faster and less likely to be damaged if dropped. Also called flash memory. (Compare magnetic storage with optical storage and solid state storage)
speakers
Output device for sound.
speed throttling
Reducing a processor's clock speed to save power when not in use.
sticky keys
Accessibility setting for users with movement problems.
stylus
Input device used in conjunction with touch screens.
supercomputers
Fastest computers available, capable of performing trillions of calculations per second.
TB
Storage unit: 1024 gigabytes
Terabyte
Storage unit: 1024 gigabytes
terahertz
Unit of measurement for a processor's clock speed. 1000 GHz.
Text-to-speech
Accessibility feature for users with eyesight problems.
THz
Unit of measurement for a processor's clock speed. 1000 GHz.
Touch pad
Input device commonly found on laptops instead of a mouse.
touch screen
Input device that lets the user touch areas of the display to perform tasks.
trackball
Input device that uses a rotating ball to control the cursor.
Unicode
Encoding system to store text, with support for multiple languages and alphabets. Compare ASCII.
Uninterruptible Power Supply
Backup power system which powers a computer if the mains electricity fails.
Universal Product Code
A type of barcode.
Universal Serial Bus
Common interface for connecting peripheral devices including mice, printers, and digital cameras.
UPC
A type of barcode.
UPS
Backup power system which powers a computer if the mains electricity fails.
uptime
Measure of how long a computer system has been operating without restarting.
USB
Common interface for connecting peripheral devices including mice, printers, and digital cameras.
virtual keyboard
Keyboard which is displayed on screen and controlled by clicking on buttons with the mouse or a touch screen.
voice control
Use of spoken commands to control a computer.
Voice over Internet Protocol
System that lets users make telephone calls over the Internet.
voice recognition
Use of software to convert spoken words into text.
VoIP
System that lets users make telephone calls over the Internet.
volatile storage
Storage which loses its contents when the power is removed.
Webcam
Input device used to record video, often found in laptop computers.
YB
Storage unit: 1024 zettabyes
yottabyte
Storage unit: 1024 zettabyes
ZB
Storage unit: 1024 exabytes
zettabyte
Storage unit: 1024 exabytes