Computer Terms -Grade 9

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BIOS: (basic input /output system) a set of routines that work closely with the computer hardware to support the transfer of information between elements of the system (memory, disk, monitors)

  • Bit = the smallest unit of information in a computer equivalent to a single zero or one.
  • Byte is an equivalent to a character and it is formed by 8 bits.
Bus: A parallel circuit that connects the major components of a computer, allowing the transfer of electric impulses from one connected component to any other.
Cache: an area of memory that holds frequently accessed data or program instructions for the purpose of speeding a computer system performance.
CD-ROM: (compact disk read only memory) a rigid plastic disk that stores a large amount of data through the use of laser optic technology. 

Circuitboard: flat piece of non-conductive material on which computer microprocessors and other electric components are mounted and electrically connected by thin strips of metals. 

CPU: (central processing unit) the part of the computer that interprets data, executes instructions, and solves arithmetic problems; the main information processor or "brain" of the computer. 

Disk: Drive the mechanism that rotates a storage disk (such as a floppy, hard, or CD-ROM disk) and read or writes data (or both) on a disk medium 

DOS: (disk operating system) operating system for PCs before windows, computers ran using a basic language based on text instructions - no graphical user interface (GUI)

Expansion slot: a socket inside the computer console, designed to hold expansion boards and connect them to the system bus (data pathway) 

Hard drive:  where all the main information is stored in the computer. Used for storing data. 

HTML: (Hypertext markup language) the language used to build web pages

Keyboard: a keypad device with buttons or keys that a user presses to enter data, characters and commands into a computer 

Kilobyte/Megabyte/Gigabyte: Measures of storage (memory) capacity
kilobyte = 1,024 (1 thousand) bytes
megabyte = 1,048,576 (1 million) bytes
kilobytes = 1,073,741,824 (1 billion) bytes
Megahertz: one million hertz (cycles per second), used to measure the velocity of the CPU and its computations. 

Modem: a device that converts signals from one form to a form compatible with another kind of equipment to transmit data between computers, generally over phone lines

Monitor: A television-like output device connected to the computer that displays information on a screen. displays a variety of information (text, icons, images, etc.) 

Motherboard: the main board of a computer, containing the primary components for the central processing unit, main memory, keyboard, monitor, and often having slots for accepting additional circuitry.

Mouse: a small mobile manual device that controls movements of of a cursor on a  computer display 

RAM: (random access memory) a form of temporary internal memory storage whose contents can be retrieved and altered by the user :also called read and write memory, it stores data only when the computer is on (when the computer is shut down any data not stored is lost). 

ROM: (read only memory) permanent internal memory containing data or operating instructions that can be read but not altered by the user 

USB: (universal serial bus) is a newer way to connect a variety of peripherals to the computer.  Simplifies connection of up to 63 devices to the system while it is running.

Window: (on the screen) - a portion of the screen that can contain its own documents or messages. each window can also contain its own menu and other controls. 

Windows: (operating system) - personal computer operating sold by microsoft corporation that allows to enter commands with a point and a click device ( a mouse). It provides users with a graphical user interface (GUI) which allows them to manipulate icons which on the computer screen issue commands.