Using Information Technologies: Chapter 04
Terms in this set (46)
firmware is a term often used to denote the fixed, usually rather small, programs and/or data structures that internally control various electronic devices.
accelerated graphics port (bus (p. 219) Bus that transmits data at very high speeds; designed to support video and three dimensional (3-D) graphics. Why it's important: An AGP bus is twice as fast as a PCI bus.
arithmetic/logic unit ((p. 208) Part of the CPU that performs arithmetic operations and logical operations and controls the speed of those operations. Why is it important: Arithmetic operations are the fundamental math operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Logical operations are comparisons such as "equal to," "greater than," or "less than."
American Standard Code for Information Interchange ((p. 197) Binary code used with microcomputers. Besides having the more conventional characters, the Extended ASCII version includes such characters as math symbols and Greek letters. Why it's important: ASCII is the binary code most widely used in microcomputers.)
(p. 201) Shelf or opening in the computer case used for the installation of electronic equipment, (generally storage devices such as a hard drive or DVD drive. Why it's important: Bays permit the expansion of system capabilities. A computer may come equipped with four or eight bays.)
(p. 195) A two-state system used for data representation in computers; has only two digits ⎯0 and 1 (Why it's important: In the computer, 0 can be represented by electrical currents being off and 1 by the currents being on. All data and program instructions that go into the computer are represented in terms of these binary numbers)
(p. 196) Short for "binary digit," (which is either a 0 or a 1 in the binary system of data representation in computer systems. Why it's important: The bit is the fundamental element of all data and information processed and stored in a computer system.)
(p. 227) The Blu-ray optical format was developed to enable recording, rewriting, and playback of high-definition video, as well as storing of large amounts of data. (Why it's important: It's possible to fit more data on a Blu-ray disk even though it's the same size as a CD/DVD.)
(p. 209) Also called bus line; electrical data roadway through which bits are transmitted within the CPU and between the CPU and other components of the motherboard. (Why it's important: A bus resembles a multilane highway: The more lanes it has, the faster the bits can be transferred.)
(p. 196) Group of 8 bits. (Why it's important: A byte represents one character, digit, or other value. It is the basic unit used to measure the storage capacity of main memory and secondary memory storage devices (kilobytes, megabytes, gigabytes, terabytes, etc)).
(p. 211) Special high-speed memory area on a chip that the CPU can access quickly. It temporarily stores instructions and data that the processor is likely to use frequently. (Why it's important: Cache speeds up processing.)
compact disc-recordable (p. 225) (Optical-disk form of secondary storage that can be written to only once but can be read many times. Why it's important: This format allows consumers to make their own CD disks, though it's a slow process. Once recorded, the information cannot be erased. CD-R is often used by companies for archiving-that is, to store vast amounts of information. A variant is the Photo CD, an optical disk developed by Kodak that can digitally store photographs taken with an ordinary 35-millimete camera.)
compact disk read-only memory (p. 225) (Optical-disk form of secondary storage, that is used to hold prerecorded text, graphics, and sound. Why it's important: Like music CD's, a CD-ROM is a read-only disk. Read-only means the disk's content is recorded at the time of manufacture and cannot be written on or erased by the user. A CD-ROM disk can hold up to 650-700 megabytes of data, equal to over 300,000 pages of text.)
compact disk-rewrittable (p. 226) (Also known as erasable optical disk; optical-disk form of secondary storage that allows users to record and erase data, so the disk can be used over and over again. Special CD-RW drives and software are required. Why it's important: CD-RW drives are useful for archiving and backing up large amounts of data or work in multimedia production or desktop publishing; however, they are relatively slow.)
(p. 192) Also called a microchip, or integrated circuit; (consists of millions of microminiature electronic circuits printed on a tiny piece of silicon. Silicon is an element widely found in sand that has desirable electrical (or "semiconducting") properties. Why it's important: Chips have made possible the development of small computers.
(p. 204) Groups of interconnected chips on the motherboard that control the flow of information between the microprocessor and other system components connected to the motherboard. Why it's important: The chipset determines what types of processor, memory, and video-card ports will work on the same motherboard. It also establishes the types of multimedia, storage, network, and other hardware the motherboard supports.
complimentary metal-oxcide semiconductor (chips (p. 211) Battery-powered chips that don't lose their contents when the power is turned off. Why it's important: CMOS chips contain flexible start-up instructions ⎯such as time, date, and calendar ⎯that must be kept current even when the computer us turned off. Unlike ROM chips, CMOS chips can be reprogrammed, as when you need to change the time for daylight savings time.)
(p. 208) Part of the CPU that deciphers each instruction stored in it and then carries out the instructions. (Why it's important: The control units directs the movement of electronic signals between main memory and the arithmetic/logic unit. It also directs these electronic signals between main memory and the input and output devices.)
central processing unit ((p. 208) The processor; it follows the instructions of the software (program) to manipulate data into information. The CPU consists of two parts ⎯(1) the control unit and (2) the arithmetic/logic unit (ALU), both of which contain registers, or high-speed storage areas. All are linked by a kind of electronic "roadway" called a bus. Why it's important: The CPU is the "brain" of the computer.)
DVD-recordable disks ((p. 226) DVD disks that allow one-time recording by users. Why it's important: Recordable DVDs offer the user yet another option for storing large amounts of data.)
digital versatile disk or digital video disk, with read-only memory ((p. 226) CD-type disk with extremely high capacity, able to store 4.7 or more gigabytes. Why it's important: It is a powerful and versatile secondary storage medium.)
extended binary coded decimal interchange code ((p. 197) Binary code used with large computers. Why it's important: EBCDIC is commonly used in mainframes.)
exabyte ((p. 197) Approximately 1 quintillion bytes ⎯1 billion billion bytes (1,024 petabytes ⎯or 1,152,921,504,606,846,976 bytes). Why it's important: Although this number is seldom used, it is estimated that all the printed material in the world represents about 5 exabytes.)
(p. 202) Way of increasing a computer's capabilities by adding hardware to perform tasks that are beyond the scope of the basic system. Why it's important: Expansion allows users to customize and/or upgrade their computer systems.
(p. 217) Also known as expansion board, adapter card, interface card, plug-in board, controller card, add-in, or add-on; (circuit board that provides more memory or that controls peripheral devices. Why it's important: Common expansion cards connect to the monitor (graphics card), and speakers and microphones (sound card), and network (network card). Most computers have four to eight expansion slots, some of which may already contain expansion cards included in your initial PC purchase.)
(p. 217) Socket on the motherboard into which the user can plug an expansion card. Why it's important: See expansion card.
(p. 216) A specialized serial-bus port intended to connect devices working with lots of data, such as digital video recorders, DVD players, gaming consoles, and digital audio equipment. Why it's important: Whereas the USB port handles only 12 megabits per second, FireWire handles up to 400 megabits per second.
flash memory card
(p. 231) Also known as flash RAM cards; (form of secondary storage consisting of circuitry on credit-card-size cards that can be inserted into slots connecting to the motherboard on notebook computers. Why it's important: Flash memory is nonvolatile, so it retains data even when the power is turned off.
flash memory chip
(p. 211) Chip that can be erased and reprogrammed more than once (unlike PROM chips, which can be reprogrammed only once). Why it's important: Flash memory, which can range from 32 to 128 megabytes in capacity, is used to store programs not only in personal computers, but also in pagers, cellphones, printers, and digital cameras. Unlike standard RAM chips, flash memory is nonvolatile ⎯data is retained when the power is turned off.
flash memory drive
Also called a USB flash drive, keychain drive, or key drive; a finger-size module of flash memory that plugs into the USB ports of nearly any PC or Macintosh.
flash memory stick
Smaller than a stick of chewing gum, a form of flash memory media that plugs into a memory stick port in a digital camera, camcorder, notebook PC, photo printer, and other devices.
floating-point operations per second
an entire electronic circuit, including wires, formed on a single chip or piece of special material, usually silicon.
series of operations performed by the control unit to execute a single program instruction. (It 1. fetches an instruction, 2. decodes the instruction, 3. executes the instruction, and 4. stores the result.)
Musical Instrument Digital Interface
millions of instructions per second
optical memory cards
Plastic, laser-recordable, wallet-type card used with an optical-card reader.
also called a check bit; an extra bit attached to the end of a byte.
Binary coding scheme that uses 2 bytes (16 bits) for each character, rather than 1 byte (8 bits). Why it's important: Instead of the 256 character combinations of ASCII, Unicode can handle 65,536 character combinations. Thus, it allows almost all the written languages of the world to be represented using a single character set.
Number of bits that the processor may process at any one time. Why it's important: The more bits in a word, the faster the computer. A 32-bit computer ⎯that is, one with a 32-bit-word processor ⎯will transfer data within each microprocessor chip in 32-bit chunks, or 4 bytes at a time. A 64-bit computer transfers data in 64-bit chunks, or 8 bytes at at time.
uninterrupted power supply
buses (or) bus lines
electrical data roadways through which bits are transmitted within the CPU and between the CPU and other components of the motherboard.
special high speed storage areas that temporarily store data during transfer processing
of or relating to a system or electric circuit that oscillates spontaneously between unstable states.
(of an electronic circuit) having only one stable state but able to pass into a second state in response to an input pulse
(of a system) having two stable states.