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R ITSC1425 Terms

Adapter Card A small circuit board inserted in an expansion slot and used to communicate between the system bus and a peripheral device
Binary Number System The number system used by computers; it has only two numbers: 0 and 1
BIOS Firmware that can control much of a computer's input/output functions
BIOS Setup The program in system BIOS that can change the values in CMOS RAM
Bus The paths or lines on the motherboard on which data instructions and electrical power move from component to component
Byte A collection of eight bits that can represent a single character
Cards Adapter boards or interface cards placed into expansion slots to expand the functions of a computer
Central Processing Unit The heart and brain of the computer; receives data input; processes information; executes instructions
Chipset A group of chips on the motherboard that controls the timing and flow of data to and from the CPU
Clock Speed The speed or frequency expressed in MHz that controls the activity on the motherboard
CMOS The technology used to manufacture microchips
CMOS RAM Memory contained on the CMOS configuration chip
CMOS Setup The program in system BIOS that can change the values in CMOS RAM
Data Bus The lines on the system bus that the CPU uses to send and receive data
Data Path Size The number of lines on a bus that can hold data
DIMM A miniature circuit board installed on a motherboard to hold memory; can hold up to 4 GB of RAM per module
Expansion Cards A circuit board inserted into a slot on the motherboard to enahnce the capability of the computer
Expansion Slots A narrow slot on the motherboard where an expansion card can be inserted
Firmware Software that is permanently stored in a chip
Flash ROM ROM that can be reprogrammed or changed without replacing chips
Floppy Disk Drive A drive that can hold either a 5 1/2 inch or 3 1/4 inch floppy disk
Front Side Bus The bus between the CPU and memory on the motherboard; also called memory bus front-side bus local bus or host bus; system speed
Gigahertz One thousand MHz or one billion cycles per second
Graphics Card An interface card installed in the computer to control visual output on a monitor; also called display adapter or graphics card
Hard Copy Output from printer to paper
Hard Disk Drive The main secondary storage device of a PC; magnetic or solid state
Hardware The physical components that constitute the computer system
Hertz Unit of measurement for frequency calculated in terms of vibrations or cycles per second
Keyboard A common input device through which data and instructions may be typed into computer memory
Magnetic Hard Drive One of two technologies used by hard drives where data is stored as magnetic spots on disks that rotate at high speeds
Megahertz One million Hz or one million cyces per second
Memory Physical microchips that can hold data and programming
Monitor The most commonly used output device for displaying text and graphics on a computer
Motherboard Th main board in the computer; also called the system board
Mouse A pointing and input device that allows the user to move a cursor around a screen and select items with the click of a button
Nonvolatile Memory RAM that is stable and can hold data even if no electricity is powering the memory
Parallel ATA An older IDE cabling method that uses a 40-pin flat or round data cable or an 80-conductor cable and a 40-pin IDE connector
Parallel Port A female 25-pin port on a computer that can transmit data in parallel and is usally used with a printer
Peripheral Device Devices that communicate with the CPU but are not located directly on the motherboard such as monitor floppy drive printer and mouse
Port A physical connector usually in the back of a computer that allows a cable from a peripheral device to be attached
Power Supply A box inside the computer case that supplies power to the motherboard and other installed devices
Primary Storage Temporary storage on the motherboard used by the CPU to process data and instructions
Printer A peripheral output device that produces printed output to paper
Program A set of step-by-step instructions to a computer
Protocol A set of rules and standards that two entities use for communication
RAM Memory modules on the motherboard containing microchips used to temporarily hold data and programs while the CPU processes both
ROM Chips that contain programming code and cannot be erased
S/PDIF Sound Port Sony-Phillips Digital Interface; a sound port that connects to an external home theater audio system
Secondary Storage Storage that is remote to the CPU and permanently holds data even when the PC is turned off
Serial ATA An ATAPI cabling method that uses a narrower and more reliable cable than the 80-conductor cable
Serial Port A male 9-pin or 25-pin port on a computer system used by slower I/O devices such as a mouse or modem
Software Computer programs or instructions to perform a specific task
Solid State Drive A hard drive that has no moving parts
Startup BIOS Part of system BIOS that is responsible for controlling the PC when it is first turned on
System BIOS BIOS located on the motherboard
System Clock A line on the bus that is dedicated to timing the activities of components connected to it
Traces A wire on a circuit board that connects two components or devices
Universal Seral Bus Port A type of port designed to make installation and configuration of I/O devices easy; provides room for up to 127 devices
Video Memory Memory used by the video controller; might be contained on a video card or be part of the system memory
Volatile RAM that is temporary and must be frequently refreshed as it cannot hold data for very long
Administrator Account An account that grants to the administrators rights and permissions to use all hardware and software resources
Aero User Interface The Vista 3D user interface
Backward-Compatible A technology, software, or device that works with older or legacy technologies, software, or devices
Briefcase A system folder in Windows 9x/Me that is used to synchronize files between two computers
Command Prompt Window A Windows utility that is used to enter multiple commands to perform a variety of tasks
Compressed (Zipped) Folder A folder with a .zip extension that contains compressed files; when files are put in the folder, they are compressed; when files are moved into a regular folder, the files are decompressed
Desktop The initial screen that is displayed when an OS has a GUI interface loaded
Device Driver A program stored on the hard drive that tells the computer how to communicate with a hardware device
Distribution Any version of Linux
Dual Boot An ability to boot using either of two different OSs, such as Windows XP and Windows Vista
Elevated Command Prompt Window A Vista command prompt window that allows commands that require administrator privileges
Executive Services In Windows 2000/XP/Vista, a group of components running in kernel mode that interfaces between the subsystems in user mode and the HAL
File Attribute The properties assigned to a file
File Extension A portion of the name of a file that is used to identify the file type
Filename The first part of the name assigned to a file
Graphical User Interface (GUI) An interface that uses graphics as compared to a command-driven interface
Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) The low-level part of Windows 2000/XP/Vista, written specifically for each CPU technology, so that only the HAL must change when platform components change
Kernel The portion of an OS that is responsible for interacting with the software
Kernel Mode A Windows 2000/XP/Vista privileged processing mode that has access to hardware components
Netbook A low-end, inexpensive laptop with a small 9 or 10 inch screen and no optical drive that is generally used for web browsing
Notification Area An area to the right of the taskbar that holds the icons for running services
Operating System Software that controls a computer; controls how system resources are used, provides a user interface, a way of managing hardware and software, and ways to work with files
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) A software license that only manufacturers or builders of personal computer can purchase to be installed only on a computer intended for sale
Patches An update to software that corrects an error, adds a feature, or addresses security issues
Path A drive and list of directories pointing to a file
Registry A database that Windows uses to store hardware and software configuration information, user preferences, and setup information
Root Directory The main directory created when a hard drive or disk is first formatted
Service A program that runs in the background to support or serve Windows or an application
Shell The portion of an OS that relates to the user and to applications
Standard Account The Vista user account type that can use software and hardware and make some system changes, but cannot make changes that affect the security of the system or other users
Subdirectory A directory or folder contained in another directory or folder; also called a child directory or folder
Taskbar A bar normally located at the bottom of the Windows desktop, displaying information about open programs and providing quick access to others
Thread Each process that the CPU is aware of; a single task that is part of a longer task or program
User Account Control (UAC) A Vista security feature that displays a dialog box each time a user attempts to perform an action that can be done only with administrative privileges
User Mode In Windows 2000/XP/Vista, a mode that provides an interface between an application and the OS, and only has access to hardware resources through the code running in kernel mode
Virtual Machine One or more logical machines created within one physical machine
Volume A primary partition that has been assigned a drive letter
Created by: dhosterman