Computer

Computer
A programmable, electronic device that accepts data input, performs processing operations on that data, and outputs and stores the results
Primary four operations of a comptuer
input, processing, output, and storage
Input
the process of entering data into a computer; can also refer to the data itself
Processing
Performing operations on data that has been input into a computer to convert that input to output
Output
The process of presenting the results of processing; can also refer to the results themselves
Storage
the operation of saving data, programs, or output for future use
Fifth operation of computers
communications
Communications
the transmission of data from one device to another (sending or retrieiving data via the internet, accessing info from a shared computer database, or emailing, for example)
data
raw, unorganized facts (input into computer)
process
to modify data into a meaningful form (i.e., information
information
data that has been processed into a meaningful form, i.e., usually to answer a question
IPOS cycle
the progression of input, processing, output and storage; also called the information processing cycle
hardware
the physical parts of a computer
software
programs or instructions used to tell the computer what to do in order to accomplish tasks – used to perform specific tasks
end user
a computer user, a person who uses the computer to performs tasks or obtain information (as opposed to a professional)
cloud computing
to use data, applications, and resources stored on computers accessed over the internet rather than one users’ computers. Essentially, apps are based on the Web
embedded computer
a tiny computer embedded in a product and designed to perform specific tasks or functions for that product. E.G., cars often have embedded computers to indicate when maintenance is required.
mobile device
a very small communications device with built-in computing or internet capability
Personal computer
a small computer based on a microprocessor and designed to be used by everyone
desktop computer
a personal computer designed to fit on or next to a desk
portable computer
a small PC designed to be carried around easily
notebook computers
a.k.a laptops – about the size of a notebook, wtih a screen on top and a keyboard on the bottom. Comparable to desktops in features and capabilities.
tablet computers
designed to be used with digital pen or stylus. Slate tablets with screen and n keyboard, or convertible tablets that are like laptops but can be rotated into slate tablets.
netbook
a.k.a. mini notebooks, mini laptops, or ultra-portable computers. Smaller and lighter than conventional notebooks
ultra-mobile PC (UMPC)
a portable PC small enough to fit in one hand; sometimes called handheld computers, used either with hands or stylus
dumb terminal
a computer that must be connected to a network to perform processing or storage tasks (most computers don’t need this)
two types of PCs that may be able to perform a limited amount of independent processing
thin clients and internet appliances
thin client
aka a network computer (NC), a PC designed to be used in conjunction with a company network. It’s designed to access a network for processing and data storage instead of performing those tasks locally. These are stored on a network server. Advantages over desktops: cheaper, increased security because no local data storage, and easier maintenance because software is stored on a local server
internet appliances
NCs designed primarily for internet access and/or email exchange. Can be built into home products like phones, fridges, gaming consoles
midrange servers
a medium-sized computer used to host programs and data for a small network. Can serve many users at once – users connect to server via PCs. Often used in small to medium-sized businesses.
virtualization
the creation of virtual version of a computing source. Separate servers on same computer but function as separate computers and do not interact. Don’t need to waste resources by having separate servers that don’t use all their space. Efficient and lower cost.
mainframe computer
a computer used in large organizations that manages large amounts of centralized data and runs multiple programs simultaneously. Can serve thousands of users connected via PCs. AKA high-end servers or enterprise-class servers
supercomputers
the fastest, most expensive/powerful type of computer – for space exploration, controlling satellites, looking for oil, etc. One program at a time, superfast
supercomputing cluster
a supercomputer composed of numerous smaller computers connected together to act as a single computer
network
collection of computers and devices that are connected to enable users to share hardware, software, and data, as well as communicate. Home networks allow home computers to share a single printer and internet connection and files
internet
the largest and most well-known computer network, linking millions of computers all over the world
internet service provider (ISP)
a business or organization that provides internet access to others for a fee
world wide web
refers to one resource, the collection of web pages available through the internet
web page
a document located on a web server
website
a collection of related web pages belonging to one individual or company
web server
a computer continually connected to the internet that stores web pages accessible to the internet. They can be accessed at any time by anyone with an internet connection
web browser
a program used to view web pages, such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc
internet address
an address taht identifies a computer, person, or web page on the internet, such as an IP address, domain name, or email address
IP address
a NUMERIC internet address used to uniquely identify a computer on the internet – connects to a NETWORK (like net login)
domain name
a text-based internet address used to uniquely identify a computer on the internet – corresponds to IP address – google.com
uniform resource location (URL)
an internet address that uniquely identifies a web page
email address
an internet address consisting of a username nad computer domain name that uniquely identifies a person on the internet
username
a name that uniquely identifies a user on a specific comptuer network
surf the web
to use a web browser to use web pages
intellectual property rights
the legal rights to which the creators of intellectual property (original creative works) are entitled
copyright
form of protection; the legal right to sell, publish, or distribute an original artistic or literary work; held by creator as soon as it exists in physical form
fair use
permits limited duplication and use of a portion of copyrighted material for specific purposes, such as criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching and research
digital watermark
a subtle alteration of digital content that identifies copyright holder. It is imperceptible to humans but easily read by software.
digital rights management (DRM)
software used to protect and manage the rights or creators of digital content. Can control usage of document, such as if users can copy to other devices, etc.
trademark
a word, phrase, symbol or design that identifies goods or services
plagiarism
presenting someone else’s work as your own
ethics
overall standards of moral conduct
computer ethics
standards of moral conduct as they relate to computer use (priacy, etc.)
business ethics
standards of moral conduct that guide a business’s policies, decisions and actions
repetitive stress injury (RSI)
a type of injury such as carpal tunnel syndrome, caused by performing the same physical movements over and over
carpal tunnel syndrome
condition affecting hands and wrists that can be caused by computer use
DeQuervain’s tendonitis
a condition in which the tendons in the thumb side of the wrist are swollen and irritated, associated with texting
green computing
the use of computers in an environmentally friendly manner – minimizing use of natural resources, energy-saving devices
eco-label
a certification, usually issued by a government agency, that identifies a device as meeting minimal environmental performance specifications
ergonomics
the science of fitting a work environment to those who work there, with proper and adjustable screens, keyboards, charis, to minimize workplace injury
e-trash
electronic trash, such as discarded computer parts – often contain hazardous elements
bit
the smallest unit of data that a binary computer can recognize
byte
eight bits grouped together
file
a named collection of bytes representing virtually any type of data, such as a word doc, program, photo, or song
system unit
the main case of a computer – houses processing hardware as well as other devices – rectangular box on desktop computers
circuit board
a thin board containing computer chips and other electronic components
computer chip
a very small piece of silicon or other semi-conducting material that contains integrated circuits (ICs) and transistors (microscopic pathways along which electric currents travel and switches that control the flow of electrons)
motherboard
the main circuit board inside the system unit
port
a connector on the exterior of the system unit case that is used to connect an external hardware device to the motherboard
central processing unit (CPU)
the chip located on the motherboard that performs the processing for a computer (calculations and comparisons and operations)- the “brain” of the computer
multi-core CPU
A CPU that contains the processing components or cores of multiple independent processors in a single CPU
clock speed
a measurement of hte number of instructions that a CPU can process per second
word
the amount of data (measured in bits or bytes) that a CPU can manipulate at a time. larger words allow for faster processing
cache memory
a group of very fast memory circuitry located on or close to teh CPU to speed up processing
memory
chips located inside the system unit used to store data and instructions while it is working with them
RAM (random access memory)
memory used to store data and instructions while the computer is running
register
high-speed memory built into the CPU that temporarily stores data during processing – fastest type of memory used by CPU – most CPUs have multiple registers
ROM (read-only memory)
nonvolatile chips on the motherboard that permanently store data or programs – cannot write over dta and programs in ROM chips or erase their cntent when you shut computer off – used for storing permanent instructions used by computer
flash memory
nonvolatile memory chips that can be used for storage by the computer or the user
BIOS (basic input/output system)
the sequence of instructions the computer follows during the boot process
expansion slot
a location on the motherboard into which an expansion card is inserted to connect it to the motherboard
expansion card (interface card)
a circuit board used to give desktop computers additional capabilities (connect monitors, add a TV tuner, connect to a network)
bus
an electronic path over which data travels )located in CPU to move data between CPU components, also on motherboard to tie CPU to memory and peripheral devices)
throughput (bandwidth)
the amount of data that can be transferred via the bus in a given time period (calculated by bus width and bus speed)
expansion bus
a bus on the motherboard used to connect peripheral devices (USB port, chipsets, etc)
universal serial bus (USB)
a versatile bus architecture widely used for connecting peripherals
FireWire (IEEE 1394)
a high-speed bus standard used to connect devices (particularly multimedia devices like digital video cams) to a computer
transistor
key element of CPU – a device of semiconductor material that controls the flow of electrons inside a chip
arithmetic/logic unit (ALU)
the part of a CPU core that performs logical operations and integer arithmetic (comparing two pieces of data to see if they are equal or determining if a condition is true or false)
floating point unit (FPU)
part of a CPU core that performs decimal arithmetic
control unit
part of a CPU core that coordinates its operations (retrieving data, passing them on) – directs flow of electronic traffic within core – tells everything what and when to do in order to ensure appropriate processing
prefetch unit
part of a CPU core that attempts to retrieve data and instructions before they are needed for processing in order to avoid delay
decode unit
the part of a CPU core that translates instructions into a form that can be processed by the ALU and FPU
bus interface unit
section of CPU core that allows the core to communicate with other CPU components
System clock
a small quartz crystal located on motherboard that synchronizes the comptuer’s operations
machine cycle
the series of steps performed by the computer when the CPU processes a single piece of microcode: fetch, decode, execute, store
storage medium
the hardware where data is actually stored
storage device
the hardware where a storage medium is read from or written to
hard drive
hardware used to store most programs and data on a computer
magnetic hard drive
hard drive consisting of one or more metal magnetic disks permanently sealed, with an access mechanism and read/write heads, inside its drive
track
a concentric ring ont eh surface of a hard disk where data is recorded
sector
a pie-shaped section on the surface of a hard disk
cluster
the smallest storage area on a hard disk, formed by one or more sectors. Everything stored on hard disk always takes up at least one cluster
cylinder
collection of tracks located in same location on a set of hard disk surfaces
solid state drive (SSD or flash memory hard drive)
a hard drive that uses flash memory media, instead of spinning hard disk platters and magnetic technology – data stored as electrical charges – are not subject to mechanical failures and are more resistant to shock and vibration
disk access time
the total time that it takes for a hard drive to read or write data
disk cache
memory used in conjunction with a magnetic hard drive to improve system performance
hybrid hard drive
a combination flash memory/magnetic hard drive
optical disc
a storage medium in thte shape of a thin circular dic made out of polycarbonate substrate read from and written to using a laser beam (data storage)
optical drive
a drive designed to read optical discs
flash memory card
a small rectangular flash memory medium
USB flash drive
flash memory media integrated into a self-contained unit that plugs into a USB port
remote storage
a storage device that is not connected directly to a user’s comptuer
network attached storage (NAS)
a high-performance storage server connected individually to a network to provide storage for computers on that network
storage area network (SAN)
a network of hard drives or other storage devices that provide storage for another network
online storage (cloud storage)
remote storage devices accessed via the internet
smart card
a credit card-sized piece of plastic that contains a chip and computer circuitry that can store data
storage server
a storage device containing multiple high-speed hard drives connected to the computer system or network
RAID (redundant array of independent discs)
a method of storing data in two or more hard drives that work together (most often used to protect critical data on a storage server)
magnetic tape
storage media consisting of plastic tape coated with a magnetizable substance
input device
any piece of equipment that is used to enter data into the computer
keyboard
an input device containing keys used to enter characters on teh screen
pointing device
an input device that moves an on-screen pointer used to select and manipulate objects and to issue commands to the computer
mouse
a common pointing device that the user slides along a flat surface to move the point on teh screen
trackball
a pointing device similar to an upside-down mechanical mouse with the ball mechanism on top
stylus
a pen-like device used for input by writing, drawing, or tapping on the screen
touch screen
an input device that is touched with the finger to select commands or otherwise provide input to the computer
touch pad
a rectangular pad across which a fingertip or thumb slides or taps to control the pointer
scanner
an input device that reads printed text or captures an image of an objects, then transfers that data to a computer
dots per inch (dpi)
a measurement of resolution that indicates the quality of an image or output (quality of scanned images – optical resolution, measured in number of dpi)
barcode
machine-readable code that represents data as a set of bars
barcode reader
an input device that reads barcodes
radio frequency identification (RFID)
a technology that can store, read, and transmit data in RFID tags
RFID tags
tiny chips ad radio antennae attached to an object so it can be identified using RFID technology
RFID reader
a device that reads the data in an RFID tag
optical mark reader (OMR)
a device tha tinputs data from special forms to score or tally the data on those forms
optical character recognition (OCR)
the ability of a computer to reognize scanned text characters
biometric reader
a device used to input biometric data, such as an individual’s fingerprint or voice
output device
a device that accepts processed data from the computer and presents the results to the viewer
display device
an output device that contains a viewing screen
display screen
a display device built into a notebook computer, netbook UMPC, or other device
CRT monitor
a display device that uses cathode-ray tube technology
flat-panel display
a slim display device that uses electronically charged chemical or gases to display images (also in phones)
liquid crystal display (LCD)
a type of flat-panel display that uses charged liquid crystals to display images
LED (light emitting diode)
a common flat-panel technology
organic light emitting diode
a type of flat-panel display that uses emissive organic material to display brighter and sharper images
interferometric modulator (IMOD) display
a flat-panel display technology that uses external light to display images
plasma display
a flat-panel display technology that uses a layer of gas between two plates of glass instead of liquid crystals or organic material
pixel
the smallest colorable area on a display device
surface-conduction electron-emitter display (SED)
a high-def display technology that is in development.. It uses millions of tiny electron guns to power the pixel of a plat-panel display.
data projector
a display device that projects computer output to a wall or projection screen
hard copy
a permanent copy of output on paper
pages per minute (ppm)
the typical measurement of print speed
malfunction device (MFD)
an output device that can copy, scan, fax, and print documents
laser printer
an output device that forms images with toner powder (essentially ink powder)
ink-jet printer
an output device that forms images by spraying tiny drops of liquid ink from ink cartridges onto paper
barcode printer
a printer used to print barcodes
portable printer
a small, lightweight printer that can be used on the go, such as with a notebook comptuer or mobile device
3d printer
a printer that uses molten plastic during a series of passes to build a 3d version of the desired output