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10 terms

Tech Terms 1

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Input
Whenever you enter data into your computer, it is referred to as input. This can be text typed in a word processing document, keywords entered in a search engine's search box, or data entered into a spreadsheet. Input can be something as simple as moving the mouse or clicking the mouse button or it can be as complex as scanning a document or downloading photos from a digital camera.
Output
Data generated by a computer is referred to as output. This includes data produced at a software level, such as the result of a calculation, or at a physical level, such as a printed document.
Processor
A processor, or "microprocessor," is a small chip that resides in computers and other electronic devices. Its basic job is to receive input and provide the appropriate output.
Application
An application, or application program, is a software program that runs on your computer. Web browsers, e-mail programs, word processors, games, and utilities are all applications.
Memory
While memory can refer to any medium of data storage, it usually refers to RAM, or random access memory. When your computer boots up, it loads the operating system into its memory, or RAM.
RAM
Stands for "Random Access Memory," and is pronounced like the male sheep. RAM is made up of small memory chips that form a memory module. These modules are installed in the RAM slots on the motherboard of your computer.
ROM
Stands for "Read-Only Memory." Please do not confuse this term with RAM or a hard drive, as many people already do. ROM is memory containing hardwired instructions that the computer uses when it boots up, before the system software loads. In PCs, the instructions are read from a small program in the ROM, called the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System).
Keyboard
As the name implies, a keyboard is basically a board of keys. Along with the mouse, the keyboard is one of the primary input devices used with a computer. The keyboard's design comes from the original typewriter keyboards, which arranged letters and numbers in a way that prevented the type-bars from getting jammed when typing quickly. This keyboard layout is known as the QWERTY design, which gets its name from the first six letters across in the upper-left-hand corner of the keyboard.
Menu Bar
A menu bar is a horizontal strip that contains lists of available menus for a certain program. In Windows programs, the menu bar resides at the top of each open window, while on the Mac, the menu bar is always fixed on the top of the screen. Despite this major difference, the menu bar serves the same purpose on each platform.
Toolbar
A toolbar is a set of icons or buttons that are part of a software program's interface or an open window. When it is part of a program's interface, the toolbar typically sits directly under the menu bar. For example, Adobe Photoshop includes a toolbar that allows you to adjust settings for each selected tool. If the paintbrush is selected, the toolbar will provide options to change the brush size, opacity, and flow. Microsoft Word has a toolbar with icons that allow you to open, save, and print documents, as well as change the font, text size, and style of the text. Like many programs, the Word toolbar can be customized by adding or deleting options.