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How To: Terms/Big Picture © R. Craig Collins, 2004/2016

The Big Picture is below. YouTube help with some Terms

The following is a list of terms. The meanings are below, and will help as you begin reading the class textbooks...

Glossary

BIOS

Bit

Boot

Byte

CPU

Disk

Giga...

Hardware

Hertz

Input

Kilo...

Mega...

Monitor

Output

Peripheral

RAM

ROM

Software

Zip

Terms: Flash cards

Below are my definitions, which are explained a little differently than your books do. Hopefully the combination of my definitions, and the book definitions will help you master the terms. The Big Picture is below.

Access

Locating a file
Random access, like disks or memory, is like a music, CD, you may skip to a favorite song;
Sequential Access, like backup tapes, is like a music cassette, you have to go through songs to get to your favorite

Bandwidth

Transmission capacity, often incorrectly referred to as transmission speed

BIOS

Basic Input/Output System, a ROM chip used at boot up, as the OS loads

Bit

Binary Digit, a 1 or a 0, the only item a computer can understand

Byte

Binary Term, usually 8 bits, enough information to represent a typed character

CPU

Central Processing Unit, the brains of the computer
a type of Microprocessor made up of the Control Unit (CU)
and the Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU)

Computer Proficiency

In order to use a computer, you don't have to be an expert, just proficient...
Being able to do basic functions with a computer

CRT

Cathode Ray Tube, a old fashioned boxy TV style monitor

Data

Facts that can be processed into useful information, input... YOUR stuff
(the user communicating with the computer, such as entering items on the keyboard)

Desktop

The metaphor used in a Windows computer to show what files and programs you may use, and how they are organized

DOS

Disk Operating System, a command line OS that came before Windows

File

In databases, a collection of related records; in computers in general, the name given to a collection of stored data / instructions

Hard Disk

Long memory that keeps content even when the computer is turned off…
Auxiliary or Secondary Storage

Hardware

The part of the computer you can touch, if outside the case it is a 'peripheral'

Hertz

Repetitions, or cycles; often related as cycles per second, as in megahertz , about a million cycles

Icon A graphical element on a desktop that represents an object, such as a file or program

 

 

I/O

Input/Output, typically a used as a hardware term.

Information Data that has been processed info something useful;
output (the computer communicating with the user, such as results displayed on a monitor)

Instructions

Software that performs a task (applications or programs): basically stored instructions.

Kilo...

about 1000, exactly 1024; can be used with bits, bytes, or hertz

Mega...

about a million, exactly 10242; can be used with bits, bytes, or hertz

Microprocessor

another name for CPU, see CPU

O/S

Operating System; a subset of System software; the OS provides the interface between the hardware, application software, and the user; i.e. DOS or Windows

Program

A file that contains instructions, such as a word processor, Application

RAM

Random Access Memory, (should’ve been Read Write Memory)
Main Memory
Short term Memory that can hold new information
RAM is erased when the computer is turned off

ROM

Read Only Memory, memory that holds unchanging information

Software

Instructions or data in RAM; the part of the computer you can't touch; includes System software (manages the computer, such as the Operating System, or Utilities, or Programming) and
Application software (does something useful for the user, such as word processing)

User Interface

How the user interacts with the system software; Windows is a Graphical UI

www

World wide web; the area of the Internet that uses http protocol to transfer files written in html;
also, the normal host name assigned to a web site, such as the www in http://www.templejc.edu

Zip

ZIP: A file that can contain multiple files, or more importantly, a file that is compressed to take up less space; useful for emailing attachments, or for uploading.  (See page 10)
NOTE: the ZIP contents are not always usable as is. Thus, you should not try to read or edit zip files until you download them and extract them. If redoing a lab, delete the zip, and edit the original files.

Terms: Flash cards

The BIG picture: (Graphical version below)
			     The COMPUTING SYSTEM
				      ¯
                                      |
		    |-----------------†----------------|
		Hardware	   Software	      User
		    |                 |                |
           (The COMPUTING MODEL)      |                †®Data
                    ¯                 |
                    |                 |
          |---------†----------|      |
	Input   Process      Output   |
	(Data)    >>>>   (Information)|
       Keyboard   CPU       Monitor   |
				      |
				      |
                              |-------†-------|
                           System         Application
                              |               |
              |---------------†-----|	      †®Word Processing
       Operating System         Utilities      †®Spreadsheet
              |                     |         †®Presentation Graphics
        Windows XP                  |
                                    |
                                    †®Disk Repair                                    
                                    †®Backup
                                    †®etc.

Note: Many people consider the Computer model to include 4 functions:
input®process ®output and store