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The equipment that processes the data to create information. Includes keyboard, mouse, monitor, system unit. Hardware is controlled by software.


The raw, unprocessed facts, including text, numbers, images, and sounds.


A program consists of the step-by-step instructions that tell the computer how to do its work. Software is another name for a program.

System Software

Enables the application software to interact with the computer hardware. System software is "background" software that helps the computer manage its own internal resources.

Operating systems

are programs that coordinate computer resources, provide an interface between users and the computer, and run applications. like windows 7, and Mac OS X(are the best known operating systems)


Perform specific tasks related to managing computer resources.

Device Drivers

are specialized programs designed to allow particular input or output devices to communicate with the rest of the computer system.

Application software

might be described as end user software. These programs can be categorized as either basic or specialiized applications.

Basic Applications

a browser to navigate, explore, and find information on the Internet. Two most widely used are Internet Explorer and Netscape's Navigator.

Specialized Applications

Some of the best known are graphics, audio, video, multimedia, Web authoring, artificial intelligence programs, and cell phone apps.

System Unit

is a container that houses most of the electronic components that make up a computer system.


controls and manipulates data to produce information.


is a holding area for date, intructions, and information

RAM random-access memory

holds the program and data that is currently being processed. sometimes called temporary storage because its contents will typically be lost if the electrical power to the computer is disrupted.

Hard disks

are typically used to store programs and very large data files.


The most widely used communication device is the modem, which modies telephone communications into form that can be procesed by a computer.

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