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COMPUTER CONCEPTS Vocabulary Chapter 1 Using Computers: Essential Concepts CIS 120 COMPUTER CONCEPTS Vocabulary Chapter 1 Using Computers: Essential Concepts CIS 120

Central processing unit (CPU) The main processing unit in a computer, consisting of circuitry Central processing unit (CPU) The main processing unit in a computer, consisting of circuitry that executes instructions to process data. CIS 120

Computer A device that accepts input, processes data, stores data, and produces output. CIS Computer A device that accepts input, processes data, stores data, and produces output. CIS 120

Data In the context of computing and data management, data refers to the symbols Data In the context of computing and data management, data refers to the symbols that a computer uses to represent facts and ideas. CIS 120

Input As a noun, Input As a noun, "input" means the information that is conveyed to a computer. As a verb, "input" means to enter data into a computer. CIS 120

Memory The computer circuitry that holds data waiting to be processed. CIS 120 Memory The computer circuitry that holds data waiting to be processed. CIS 120

Output The results produced by a computer (for example, reports, graphs, and music). CIS Output The results produced by a computer (for example, reports, graphs, and music). CIS 120

Process A systematic series of actions that a computer performs to manipulate data; typically Process A systematic series of actions that a computer performs to manipulate data; typically represented on a DFD by a rounded rectangle. CIS 120

Storage The area in a computer where data is retained on a permanent basis. Storage The area in a computer where data is retained on a permanent basis. CIS 120

Hardware Electronic and mechanical devices used for input, output, processing, and storing data. CIS Hardware Electronic and mechanical devices used for input, output, processing, and storing data. CIS 120

Peripheral devices Components and equipment that expand a computer's input, output, and storage capabilities, Peripheral devices Components and equipment that expand a computer's input, output, and storage capabilities, e. g. , a printer or scanner. CIS 120

Software The instructions that set up a computer to do a task, indicate how Software The instructions that set up a computer to do a task, indicate how to interact with a user, and specify how to process data. CIS 120

Desktop microcomputer A computer that is built around a single microprocessor chip and is Desktop microcomputer A computer that is built around a single microprocessor chip and is small enough to fit on a desk. CIS 120

Microcomputer A category of computer that is built around a single microprocessor chip. The Microcomputer A category of computer that is built around a single microprocessor chip. The computers typically used in homes and small businesses (also called a personal computer). CIS 120

Notebook computer A small lightweight portable computer that usually runs on battery power. Sometimes Notebook computer A small lightweight portable computer that usually runs on battery power. Sometimes called a laptop. CIS 120

Personal digital assistant (PDA) A computer that is smaller and more portable than a Personal digital assistant (PDA) A computer that is smaller and more portable than a notebook computer (also called a palm-top computer). CIS 120

Minicomputer A midrange computer, somewhat larger than a microcomputer, that can carry out processing Minicomputer A midrange computer, somewhat larger than a microcomputer, that can carry out processing tasks for many simultaneous users. CIS 120

Terminal A device with a keyboard and a monitor, used for input and output, Terminal A device with a keyboard and a monitor, used for input and output, but not for processing. CIS 120

Mainframe A large, fast, and expensive computer generally used by businesses or the government Mainframe A large, fast, and expensive computer generally used by businesses or the government to provide centralized storage processing and management for large amounts of data. CIS 120

Supercomputer The fastest and most expensive type of computer, capable of processing more than Supercomputer The fastest and most expensive type of computer, capable of processing more than one trillion instructions per second. CIS 120

CD-ROM disk A high capacity read-only optical disk that can store up to 680 CD-ROM disk A high capacity read-only optical disk that can store up to 680 MB of data. An acronym for compact disc read-only memory. CIS 120

CD-ROM drive A storage device that uses laser technology to read data from a CD-ROM drive A storage device that uses laser technology to read data from a CD-ROM. CIS 120

Disk drive A computer storage device that records and retrieves data on disks. Drive Disk drive A computer storage device that records and retrieves data on disks. Drive types include floppy, Zip, and hard disk drives. CIS 120

DVD An optical storage medium similar in appearance and technology to a CDROM but DVD An optical storage medium similar in appearance and technology to a CDROM but with higher storage capacity. The acronym stands for "digital video disc" or "digital versatile disc. " CIS 120

DVD drive (Digital Video Disc) An optical storage device that reads data from CD-ROM DVD drive (Digital Video Disc) An optical storage device that reads data from CD-ROM and DVD disks. CIS 120

Floppy disk A removable magnetic storage medium, typically 3. 5 Floppy disk A removable magnetic storage medium, typically 3. 5" in size with a capacity of 1. 44 MB. CIS 120

Floppy disk drive A storage device that writes data on, and reads data from, Floppy disk drive A storage device that writes data on, and reads data from, floppy disks. CIS 120

Hard disk drive A computer storage device that contains a large-capacity Hard disk drive A computer storage device that contains a large-capacity "hard disk" sealed inside the drive case. A hard disk is not the same as a 3. 5" removable disk that has a rigid plastic case. CIS 120

Keyboard An arrangement of letter, number, and special function keys that acts as the Keyboard An arrangement of letter, number, and special function keys that acts as the primary input device to a computer. CIS 120

Monitor A display device that forms an image by converting electrical signals from the Monitor A display device that forms an image by converting electrical signals from the computer into points of colored light on the screen. CIS 120

Mouse An input device that allows the user to manipulate objects on the screen Mouse An input device that allows the user to manipulate objects on the screen by moving the mouse on the surface of a desk. CIS 120

Storage media Storage medium The physical material used to computer data, such as a Storage media Storage medium The physical material used to computer data, such as a floppy disk, a hard disk, or a CD-ROM. CIS 120

System unit The case or box that contains the computer's power supply, storage devices, System unit The case or box that contains the computer's power supply, storage devices, the main circuit board, processor, and memory. CIS 120

Compatible platforms Computer brands or models that operate in essentially the same way, use Compatible platforms Computer brands or models that operate in essentially the same way, use the same software, and accept the same peripheral devices. CIS 120

Computer platform A hardware and software configuration shared by a group of computers that Computer platform A hardware and software configuration shared by a group of computers that use the same software and peripheral devices. CIS 120

Macintosh computer (Mac) A microcomputer platform manufactured primarily by Apple Computer Inc. and based Macintosh computer (Mac) A microcomputer platform manufactured primarily by Apple Computer Inc. and based on a proprietary architecture. CIS 120

PC 1) A microcomputer that uses the Windows software and contains an Intelcompatible micro-processor. PC 1) A microcomputer that uses the Windows software and contains an Intelcompatible micro-processor. 2) A personal computer. CIS 120

Windows software Software that has been designed to run on computers with the Windows Windows software Software that has been designed to run on computers with the Windows operating system. CIS 120

Computer network A collection of computers and related devices, connected in a way that Computer network A collection of computers and related devices, connected in a way that allows them to share data, hardware, and software. CIS 120

Password A special set of symbols used to restrict access to a user's computer Password A special set of symbols used to restrict access to a user's computer or network. CIS 120

User ID A combination of letters and numbers that serves as a user's User ID A combination of letters and numbers that serves as a user's "call sign" or identification. Also referred to as a user name. CIS 120

Internet The worldwide communication infrastructure that links computer networks using TCP/IP protocol. CIS 120 Internet The worldwide communication infrastructure that links computer networks using TCP/IP protocol. CIS 120

Web Short for World Wide Web. An Internet service that links documents and information Web Short for World Wide Web. An Internet service that links documents and information from computers distributed all over the world. Uses HTTP protocol. CIS 120

User interface The software and hardware that enable people to interact with computers. CIS User interface The software and hardware that enable people to interact with computers. CIS 120

Prompt A message displayed on the computer screen that asks for input from the Prompt A message displayed on the computer screen that asks for input from the user. CIS 120

Wizard A sequence of dialog boxes that direct the user through multi-step software tasks, Wizard A sequence of dialog boxes that direct the user through multi-step software tasks, such as creating a graph. CIS 120

Command An instruction that the user inputs into the computer to tell it to Command An instruction that the user inputs into the computer to tell it to carry out a task. CIS 120

Command-line interface A type of user interface that requires the user to type in Command-line interface A type of user interface that requires the user to type in commands. CIS 120

Parameter A delimiting variable used to modify a command, i. e. , /ON modifies Parameter A delimiting variable used to modify a command, i. e. , /ON modifies the DIR command so it displays files in order by name. CIS 120

Syntax Specifications or rules for the sequence and punctuation of command words and parameters. Syntax Specifications or rules for the sequence and punctuation of command words and parameters. CIS 120

Syntax error An error that results when an instruction does not follow the syntax Syntax error An error that results when an instruction does not follow the syntax rules, or grammar, of the programming language. CIS 120

Menu A list of commands or options. CIS 120 Menu A list of commands or options. CIS 120

Submenu An additional menu of choices that appears when a menu option is selected. Submenu An additional menu of choices that appears when a menu option is selected. CIS 120

Check box An on-screen box that allows the user to select options clicking the Check box An on-screen box that allows the user to select options clicking the box. CIS 120

Dialog box An on-screen window that provides options associated with a command. CIS 120 Dialog box An on-screen window that provides options associated with a command. CIS 120

Drop-down list A list of options that is displayed when the user clicks an Drop-down list A list of options that is displayed when the user clicks an arrow button. CIS 120

Option button An on-screen control that allows a user to select one of two Option button An on-screen control that allows a user to select one of two or more options in a dialog box. Also referred to as radio buttons. CIS 120

Spin box A control within a graphical user interface that lets the user increase Spin box A control within a graphical user interface that lets the user increase or decrease a number by clicking arrow buttons. CIS 120

Button An on-screen user interface element that simulates the action of a push button. Button An on-screen user interface element that simulates the action of a push button. By clicking the button, a user initiates a command or action. CIS 120

Graphical object A small picture on the computer screen that the user can manipulate, Graphical object A small picture on the computer screen that the user can manipulate, using a mouse or other input device. CIS 120

Icon A graphical representation of an object such as a disk, printer, or program. Icon A graphical representation of an object such as a disk, printer, or program. CIS 120

Window A rectangular representation of a work area in a graphical user interface. CIS Window A rectangular representation of a work area in a graphical user interface. CIS 120

Graphical user interface (GUI) A type of user interface that features onscreen objects such Graphical user interface (GUI) A type of user interface that features onscreen objects such as menus and icons, manipulated by a mouse. Abbreviated GUI (pronounced "gooey"). CIS 120

Pointer A symbol on the computer screen, usually shaped like an arrow, whose movement Pointer A symbol on the computer screen, usually shaped like an arrow, whose movement corresponds to the movement of the mouse. CIS 120

Cursor A symbol, usually an underline, that marks the user's place on the screen Cursor A symbol, usually an underline, that marks the user's place on the screen and shows where typing will appear. CIS 120

Function key The keys numbered Fl through F 12, located at the top of Function key The keys numbered Fl through F 12, located at the top of the computer keyboard, that activate program-specific commands. CIS 120

Insertion point A flashing vertical bar that appears on the screen, indicating where the Insertion point A flashing vertical bar that appears on the screen, indicating where the user can begin entering text. CIS 120

Keyboard shortcut A combination of keys, such as Ctrl+C, that allows the user to Keyboard shortcut A combination of keys, such as Ctrl+C, that allows the user to activate a program function without clicking a series of menu options. CIS 120

Numeric keypad A calculator-style input device for entering numbers and arithmetic symbols. Often part Numeric keypad A calculator-style input device for entering numbers and arithmetic symbols. Often part of a standard computer keyboard. CIS 120

Toggle key A key such as the Caps Lock key that switches a device Toggle key A key such as the Caps Lock key that switches a device back and forth between two modes. CIS 120

Bitmap display A monitor or other display device that uses an on-screen matrix of Bitmap display A monitor or other display device that uses an on-screen matrix of pixels to display text and graphics. CIS 120

Character-based display Method of display in which the monitor screen is divided into a Character-based display Method of display in which the monitor screen is divided into a grid of rectangles, each of which can display a single character from the standard character set. CIS 120

Pixel Short for picture element, a pixel is the smallest unit in a graphic Pixel Short for picture element, a pixel is the smallest unit in a graphic image. Computer display devices use a matrix of pixels to display text and graphics. CIS 120

Resolution The density of the grid used to display or print text and graphics. Resolution The density of the grid used to display or print text and graphics. The greater the horizontal and vertical density, the higher the resolution. CIS 120

Online Help On-screen documentation that is available to a user while a software application Online Help On-screen documentation that is available to a user while a software application is running. CIS 120

Web browser software Computer software, such as Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer, that Web browser software Computer software, such as Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer, that allows users to view Web pages and follow links to jump from one document to the next. CIS 120

Web search engine A feature of a Web site that allows users to search Web search engine A feature of a Web site that allows users to search for information by entering key terms. CIS 120

Artificial intelligence (Al) A characteristic of computers that exhibit human-like intelligence or behaviors. A Artificial intelligence (Al) A characteristic of computers that exhibit human-like intelligence or behaviors. A field of research that includes robotics, expert systems, and speech recognition. CIS 120

Boolean string A sequence of key words, field names and logical operators that specify Boolean string A sequence of key words, field names and logical operators that specify a query. CIS 120

Computer program A set of detailed, step-by-step instructions that tells a computer how to Computer program A set of detailed, step-by-step instructions that tells a computer how to solve a problem or carry out a task. CIS 120

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