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IC3 Unit 1 Chapter 1

TermDefinition
algorithm: a procedure that a computer can follow to accomplish a task
ASCII: a standard binary code developed for computers to communicate with each other; the code is an eight-bit code that represents letters, decimal numbers, and special function characters (see byte) on most computers
analog: electrical signal that varies in time in a way that is similar to the thing it represents; converts electrical signals into sound waves
analog to digital (A to D) converter: device that converts analog signals to a series of digital numbers
appliance: computer that is dedicated to one function
binary: numbering system that uses zeros and ones; assigned to electrical devices like switches
bit (b): single digit, 0 or 1, in a binary number
booting: the process of turning on a computer and the computer checking all hardware for availability and copying the necessary operating system files to RAM for the computer to function
byte (B): group of eight bits, which is a common measurement unit for data
central processing unit (CPU): device for processing instructions in a computer; the heart of the computer, also known as the microprocessor
clock: circuit on the computer that emits pulses
clock speed: measurement of the speed of a processor
CD/DVD The two types of optical storage mediums
data: collection of unprocessed facts and figures
desktop computer: personal computer designed to sit on a desk; the system is too large to be portable
digital to analog (D to A) converter: device that takes a digital signal and converts it to an analog electrical signal
Dumb/POS terminal a computer that must be connected to a file server to function; no storage capability
e-book: electronic books that can be read on a computer or a special reading device
electronic paper: type of display used by e-readers that reflects light from the surroundings to make it easier to read in bright light; usually restricted to black-and-white text
file server: A computer that stores and manages database files and is more powerful than a typical workstation or network server
flash memory: similar to RAM but slower and without moving parts; does not require constant power to store data; flash memory devices are usually USB or card slot devices
gigabyte: approximately one billion bytes; a measurement of memory or storage capacity
hertz: measurement of clock pulses (clock speed); 1 pulse per second = 1 hertz
information: data that is organized in a useful and meaningful manner
input: one of the four main functions of a computer; the action of transferring instructions or data into a computer by using devices such as a keyboard or mouse or even touch (smartphones, tablets)
laptop computer: portable or notebook computer that fits on your lap or in a briefcase; uses battery power when a power outlet is not avaialable
Linux: operating system developed based on UNIX that works on a variety of computers and is not owned by a particular company; usually free of charge
mainframe computer: large computer used to process vast amounts of information; they are reliable, secure and provides consistent backup and redundancy
megabyte: one million bytes; a measurement of memory or storage capacity
memory: integrated circuits designed to store data before and after it is processed by the CPU
nanosecond: one billionth of a second; used as a measurement for the amount of time it takes the processor to read or write data to RAM
natural user interface (NUI): operating system that can interpret touch and voice commands
non-volatile memory: factory programmed and does not need constant power to function (see read-only memory)
operating system: fundamental programming that controls the way computers interact with their parts and with users
output: one of the four main functions of a computer; the results of processing data; output is reported to the user using devices such as the monitor or printer
personal computer: a microcomputer typically operated by one person; customized to match personal perferences
petabyte: over a quadrillion bytes; a measurement of memory or storage capacity
pixel: short for picture element; monitor display is measured in pixels
primary storage: type of storage that is used while the computer is processing data and instructions; also known as memory
programmable: types of computers that can change programs
programmer: people who write programs (software instructions)
programming: the process of translating algorithms into code that a computer can use
random access memory (RAM): volatile memory used to store programs and data while the computer is working; it must have constant power to function
read-only memory (ROM): non-volatile memory that contains instructions used by the computer to communicate with its internal components; it is factory programmed and does not need constant power to function
secondary storage: storage used for the results of processed data that allows for later retrieval of the processed data
servers: powerful, fast computers that run special software to serve specific purposes for many users at once
smartphone: cellular telephone that has a virtual keyboard on a touch screen or a small keypad and provides Internet access
solid state drive (SSD): a large amount of flash memory that does not require constant power to store data; slower than RAM
supercomputer: very large capacity computers characterized by their ability to evaluate complex interactions quickly
tablet computer: a computer with a touch screen designed to allow writing with an inkless pen as a mode of input; may also function as a laptop computer
terabyte: approximately one trillion bytes; a measurement of memory or storage capacity
touch pad: pointing device embedded in the keyboard of a laptop computer that senses motion of a finger
Unicode: code that uses 32- digit binary numbers to represent characters from numerous languages including the older ASCII codes
UNIX: operating system used by medium-sized computers that is independent of a manufacturer
volatile memory: requires constant power to function or data is lost (RAM)
Web server: computer that runs specialized software to support Web pages
word: the unit of data that a processor can work with
word size: the amount of data processed in one operation
workstation: a PC at an organization connected to the company’s network or high-powered computers designed for specific tasks such as graphic design, medicine, games, and engineering.
Created by: nicole.anderson