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the physical equipment of a computer system that you can touch.


A program or instructions that give directions to the computer.


hardware attached to the tower - items like the mouse, keyboard, printer and head phones


a security system consisting of a combination of hardware and software that limits the exposure of a computer or computer network to attack from hackers


moves data, performs mathematic operations, makes decisions based on instructions, and directs the actions of hardware and software.


Central Processing Unit, the brains of the computer

Input device

data entered into the computer through a variety of devices such as a keyboard, microphone, scanner, flash drive, or mouse

output device

displays or prints information produced by a computer. Printers and monitors are examples of output devices. A printer produces a hard copy output while a monitor produces a soft copy output.


Random Access Memory; temporary memory. RAM is expandable, and resides on the motherboard. It is the memory used when you are working on the computer.


(Read only memory) a chip on the motherboard that is prerecorded with and permanently stores the set of instructions that the computer uses when you turn in on; permanent


Random Access Memory - temporary - it is erased once the computer is turned off.


Read Only Memory - permanent memory that provides instructions to the computer.

Hard disk

A round, metal platter in the hard drive of the computer; it stores large amounts of information, usually the C drive of the computer

Word, Paint, Excel

Example of software programs

mouse, monitor, speakers

Examples of hardware devices

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