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peripheral device

designates input, output, and storage equipment that might be added to a computer system to enhance its functionality

system unit

is the case that holds the computers main circuit boards, microprocessor, memory, power supply, and storage devices.

form factor

refers to the size and dimensions of a component, such as a system board or system unit

tower case

provides plenty of space for gamers and modders who want to soup up their machines.

mini case

popular with gamers can be carried to LAN parties

Portable computer

small lightweight personal computer with screen keyboard.

notebook computer

small lightwieght computer that opens like a clamshell.


small scaled sizr versions of the clamsized computers

tablet computer

is a portable computing device featuring a touch sensitive screen that can be used as a writing ot drawing pad.

home computer system

encompasses a vast array of computer configurations designed to accomodate consumers who use computers for personal tasks.

PC platform

is based on the design for one of the first personal computer superstars- IBM PC

Mac platform

is based on a proprietory design for a personal computer called MAC

Linux platform

can use a standard PC or Mac running the Linux operating system


custom hand built modification to a computer system component.

microprocessor clock

a timing device that sets the pace for executing instructions


means a billion cycles per second


a single micro processor that contains circuitry for more than one processing unit is this


stands for front side bus


means one million cycles per second

CPU cache

is a special high speed mempory that allows a microprocessor to access data more rapidly than ever from memory located elswhere.

Word size

refers to the number of bits that a microprocessor can manipulate at one time.

64 bit processor

has 64 bits at a time


a microprocessor with such an instruction set uses this


a microprocessor with a limited set of instructions

serial processing

the processor must complete all steps in the instruction cycle before it begins to execute the next instruction


a processor can begin executing an instruction before it completes the previous instruction

parallel processing

in which multiple instructions are executed at the same time


these are tests to gauge the overall speed of a microprocessor


is a technique for increasing the speed of a computer such as a processor, graphics card, system board or memory.


is a temporary holding area for data, application program instructionsand the operating system.


they hold the bits that represent data


means it requires electrical power to hold data

virtual memory

operating system uses an area of the hard disk to store parts of programs or data files until they are needed.


is a type of memory circuitory that hods the computers start up routine.


non volatile chip that requires no power to hold data

storage medium

is the disk, tape, CD, DVD, or other substance that contains data.

storage device

is the mechanical apparatus that records and retrieves data from a storage medium

Access time

is the average time it takes a computer to locate data on the storage medium and read it.

Random Access

is the ability of a device to "jump directly to the requested data.

Data transfer rate

is the amount of data a storage device can move per second from the storge medium to the computer.

storage density

the amount of data that can be stored in a given area of a storage medium, such as the surface of a disk.

magnetic storage

hard disk, floppy disk, and tape storage technologies classified as this.

read-write head

mechanism in the disk drive can magnetize particles to write data, and sense the particles polarities to read data.

hard disk drive

contains one or more platters and their associated read-write heads.

hard disk platter

is a flat, rigid disk made of aluminum or glass and coated with magnetic iron oxide particles.

hard disk controller

positions the disk, locates data, and interface with components on the system board.

head crash

if a readwrite head runs into a dust particle or other contaminent on the disk it cause this.

optical storage

CD, DVD, and Blue - Ray technologies are classified as this


the dark spots are known as this


the lighter- non pitted surface areas of the disk are called this

Read - only technology

stores data permanently on a disk, which cannot be subsequently added or changed

Recordable technology

uses a laser to change the color in a dye layer sandwiched beneath the clear plastic disk surface.

Rewritable technology

uses phase change technology to alter a crystal structure on the disk surface.


more commonly known as audio, is the format for commercial musice CDS.


Data cannot be added to changed or deleted from this


Data cannot be changed from this


disks stor data using recordable technology


discs store data using a recordable technology similar to a CD-R but with a DVD storage capacity


discs store data using rewritable technology


discs use rewritable technology technology similar to CD-RW but with DVD storage capacity


is used for movies. Blue- Ray

Solid state storage

is a technology that stores data in eraseable, rewritable circuitry, rather than on spinning disks or streaming tape.


the chip retains the data without the need for an external power source

card reader

is a device that reads and writes data on solid state storage.

solid state storage

can be used as a substitute for a hard disk drive in handheld devices and netbooks

solid state drive

can be used as a substitute for a hard disk drive in handheld devices and netbooks.

USB flash drive

is typically used for storing data files and programs that you want to use on various computers

dot matrix printer

produces characters and graphics by using a grid of fine wires

printers duty cycle

determines how many pages a printer is able to churn out

duplex printer

can print on both sides of the paper

data bus

within a computer, data travels from one component to another over circiuts called

expansion slot

long narrow socket on the system board into which you can plug an expansion card

expansion card

small circuit board that gives a computer the capability to hold a storage device, input device, output device.

expansion port

is any connector that passes data into and out of a computer or peripheal device.

Fire Wire ports

are used for external storage devices and for transferring data from digital video cameras to a computer for editing, printing, or storage


popular for connecting high-speed external storage devices.


ports are designed for audiovisual devices.

hot- plugging

when you connect or disconnect a peripheral device while the computer is operating

power surge

is a sudden increase in electrical energy affecting the current that flows to electrical outlets

surge strip

is a device that contains electrical outlets protected by circuitory that blocks surges


is a device that not only provides surge protection, but also furnishes desktop computers and network devices with battery backup power during a power outage

blue screen of death

a sign that your computer is not working properly, and that which it cannot recover

Safe Mode

is a limited version of Windows that allows you to lose your mouse, screen, and keyboard, but no other periphereal devices.

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