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to get at or into


a computer program that does a user-oriented job


to figure, as to add, subtract, multiply, and so on.


a single letter, digit, or special symbol such as ?, #, or *.


an integrated circuit. A thin piece of silicon that contains all the components of an electronic circuit.


a message from the user to the computer that tells it what to do next


a term that describes hardware and software that can work together


a device used to accept, process, store, and get information


a symbol, such as a square or underline bar, that shows where you are on the screen; the cursor may flash or blink


the symbols used to represent facts, events, or things; the raw material of information

Data Processing

a set of methods for collecting, handling, and outputting data to reach certain goals


a flat, circular piece of metal or plastic coated with magnetic material and used for storing data

Disk Drive

the device used to store data on a disk and to read what is stored on the disk

Expansion Slot

a connector inside a computer designed to allow a user to add

Floppy Disk

a reusable magnetic storage medium that uses a thin mylar circular disk as the storage surface

Hard Copy

output that is printed on paper


the physical parts that make up a computer system- for example, keyboards, printers, monitors, and so on


a set of data that has meaning and is useful


the step in the data processing flow during which data is collected and entered into the computer

Integated Circuit

a complete circuit on a chip, built by a chip fabrication process


a computer input device that uses a set of keys to put data into the computer


1,024 (2^10) storage units (1,024 bytes) often rounded to 1,000; a measure of computer memory


to put a program into a computer's primary memory from a disk or tape

Megahertz (MHz)

a measure of speed, one million cycles per second


a place to store information; usually coded in a binary format


a list of choices shown on the screen from which the user picks a command or data to enter into the computer


a scaled-down version of a mainframe, or full-sized computer


a video display device or screen used for showing output


the main circuit board of a computer housing the microprocessor and providing the means of connecting all components that make up the computer


a computer input device used as a pointing and drawing instrument by selecting specific positions on the monitor display


the computer generated information that is displayed to the user in some discernible form such as a screen display, printed page, or sound

Peripheral Device

a device that is attached to the computer and aids in input and/or output

Primary Memory

the section of a computer that holds instructions, data, and intermediate and final results during processing; also known as intermal storage, main storage, primary storage, or random access memory (RAM)


a machine that prints characters or other images on paper


the second step of the data processing flow in which the computer acts on data


a set of step-by-step instructions that tell a computer exactly how to do a certain task

Programming Language

a code in which a computer program is written

Random Access Memory (RAM)

form of primary memory in which instructions and data can be read, written, or erased


term used to describe the computer's activity of getting an item in memory and interpretting it

Read Only Memory (ROM)

form of primary memory that holds items that can be read but not erased or changed by normal computer input


a machine that changes images from paper or photos into digital form that the computer can use

Secondary Storage

all storage materials other than primary storage


a computer program that imitates a real-world situation; it can show what happens when conditions in that situation are changed

Soft Copy

a temporary display of output seen on a monitor


programs, or instructions, that tell a computer exactly what to do

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