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Basic Computer Terms

vocabulary, basic computer terms Middle School level

Computer Device that does computations and makes logical comparisons according to the instructions it receives.
CPU - Central Processing Unit A silicon chip located on the motherboard that is responsible for executing instructions to process date; also called microprocessor. It is the brains of the computer.
Hardware The physical components of a computer.
Software The intangible components of a computer system, particularly the programs that the computer needs to perform a specific task. (A set of electronic instructions that tells the computer what to do.)
RAM - Random Access Memory Chips on cards plugged into the motherboard that temporarily hold programs and data while the computer is turned on; volatile memory. (Acts as the temporary storage location for data. Disappears when computer is turned off. )
ROM - Read Only Memory A chip on the motherboard that is prerecorded with and permanently stores the set of instructions that the computer uses when you turn it on; permanent. (Holds data permanently. Does not disappear when power is turned off.)
Keyboard The most frequently used input device; consists of three major parts: the main keyboard, the keypads, and the function keys.
Mouse A pointing device that has a laser guide on its underside and two or more buttons for clicking commands; you control the movement of the pointer by moving the entire mouse around on your desk.
Input Whenever you enter data into your computer, it is referred to as input. Devices such as the keyboard, mouse, scanner, and even a digital camera are considered input devices.
Output Data generated by a computer is referred to as output. Devices that produce physical output from the computer are creatively called output devices.
Monitor A display device that forms an image by converting electrical signals from the computer into points of colored light on the screen.
Printer The peripheral computer component that produces a hard copy of the text or graphics processed by the computer.
Disk Drive A device that reads the information contained on a disk. The drive may be permanently installed inside the computer (hard disk drive) or contain a slot for entering the disk from outside the computer (floppy disk drive or compact disk drive).
Hard Drive A round, metal platter in the hard drive of the computer; it stores large amounts of information.
CD A hard plastic disk approximately 12 cm (4 inches) in diameter on which information such as music or computer data is digitally encoded in a format readable by a laser beam.
DVD Recorded with optical technology that contains full-length motion pictures for viewing on a personal compute or on a TV screen.
Jump Drive Portable storage device
Scanner A device that "takes a picture" of something and turns it into a computerized image.
Server A computer program that provides services to other computer programs (and their users) in the same computer or other computers.
Bit A single digit number in base 2 (a zero or a one) and is the smallest unit of computer data.
Byte A set of 8 bits that represent a single character in the computer's memory.
File A collection of data stored in one unit, identified by a filename. It can be a document, picture, audio or video stream, data library, application or other collection of data.
Folder Can be located on your hard drive for file storage. Allows users to organize files.
Created by: pbaucum