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CIT172 Chapter 1

Operating Systems - Chapter 1 Hardware Key Terms

QuestionAnswer
ATA An acronym for Advanced Technology Attachment; the disk drive standard that is commonly known as Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE).
biometrics The science and technology of authenticating a person’s identity by measuring physiological features.
BIOS An acronym for basic input/output system. The set of essential software routines that test a PC at start-up and start the OS.
bus The set of hardware lines used to transfer data among the components of a PC.
cable modem A device that sends and receives data through coaxial cables.
Centronics parallel interface The de facto standard for parallel data exchange between PCs and peripherals, originally developed by the printer manufacturer Centronics, Inc.
CRT An acronym for cathode-ray tube. The basis for the standard PC display screen.
digital video camera A camera that captures and stores images on a digital medium. Also known as a camcorder.
ECP (Extended Capabilities Port) A connection port for peripheral devices, most likely printers.
EEPROM An acronym for electrically erasable programmable read-only memory. Type of EPROM that can be erased with an electrical signal.
electrostatic discharge (ESD) The discharge of static electricity from an outside source—such as human hands—into an integrated circuit, often damaging the circuit.
EPP (Enhanced Parallel Port) A connection port for peripheral devices, most likely printers.
EPROM An acronym for erasable programmable read-only memory. Type of memory chip that can be reprogrammed after manufacture.
expansion card A circuit card that is plugged into a PC’s bus to add extra functions.
fingerprint scanner A scanner that reads human fingerprints for comparison to a database of stored fingerprint images.
FireWire A PC and digital video serial bus interface standard offering high-speed communications. FireWire is also known as IEEE 1394.
firmware Software routines stored in read-only memory (ROM).
floppy drive A device that reads data from and writes data to floppy disks.
flyback transformer A transformer in a CRT monitor that produces voltages of up to 20,000 volts.
form factor The physical size and shape of a device. It is often used to describe the size of PC cases.
hard drive A device that reads data from and writes data to one or more inflexible platters.
heat sink A device that absorbs and dissipates heat created by an electronic device, such as a microprocessor.
LCD An acronym for liquid crystal display. A type of display that uses a liquid compound with a polar molecular structure sandwiched between two transparent electrodes.
memory An area where data can be stored and retrieved.
microprocessor A central processing unit (CPU) on a single chip.
modem Short for modulator/demodulator. A communications device that enables a PC to transmit data over a standard telephone line.
motherboard The main circuit board containing the primary components of a PC.
mouse A common pointing device.
network interface card (NIC) An expansion card used to connect a computer to a local area network.
optical drive A disk drive that reads and may write data to optical (compact) discs.
parallel port An input/output connector for a parallel interface device.
PATA An acronym for Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment. PATA is the same as ATA, which was renamed when SATA was introduced.
PROM An acronym for programmable read-only memory.
RAM An acronym for random access memory. Semiconductor memory that can be read or written by the microprocessor or other devices.
register A small amount of high-speed memory.
ROM An acronym for read-only memory. A semiconductor circuit in which data is permanently installed by the manufacturer.
RS-232 An industry-accepted standard for serial communications.
SATA An acronym for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment, which transfers data serially to and from the hard drive.
SCSI An acronym for small computer system interface. It is used to connect SCSI devices to PCs.
serial port An input/output connector for serial connectors.
sound adapter An expansion card that supports the recording and playback of sound.
tape drive A device for reading and writing data on magnetic tapes.
touch pad A pointing device that responds to movement of a finger on a surface.
trackball A pointing device with a stationary housing that contains a ball you roll with your hand.
Universal Serial Bus (USB) A serial bus that connects devices to a PC. USB supports hot plugging.
USB drive A small, portable flash memory card that plugs into a PC’s USB port and functions as a portable hard drive with up to 2 GB of storage capacity.
video adapter Electronic components that generate the video signal sent to a video display.
wireless adapter A device that supports a wireless connection through a radio connection to a wireless LAN.
Created by: Leisac