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  1. COMPUTER CONCEPTSVocabulary Chapter 1 Using Computers: Essential Concepts CIS 120

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

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  12. 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

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

  14. 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

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

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

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

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

  19. 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

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

  21. 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

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

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

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

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

  26. Floppy disk • A removable magnetic storage medium, typically 3.5" in size with a capacity of 1.44 MB. CIS 120

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

  28. 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

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

  30. 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

  31. 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

  32. 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

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

  34. 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  41. 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

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

  43. 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

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

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

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

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

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

  49. 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

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