COMPUTER – BASIC TERMINOLOGIES

 BASIC TERMINOLOGIES 

                  (PART – 1)

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Access time – The performance of a hard drive or other  storage  device  – how long it takes to locate a file.

Active program or window–  The application  or window at the front (foreground) on the monitor.

Application – a program in which you do your work. 

                                      or 

A computer program that does specific tasks such as word processing or spreadsheets.

Bit – Represents a binary digit which is the amount of information obtained by asking a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’

question.This is also the smallest unit of information stored on a computer as a 0 or 1 .

Blinking Cursor – This is a vertical blinking bar that locates the position on the screen where text can be inserted or deleted . This appears most frequently in text or dialog boxes.

                                                                       or 

I Beam – As the cursor moves over text, the pointer will change into an ‘I.’ This facilitates word processing and copying text. See Blinking Cursor.

I or │

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Byte – Data is stored on a computer in Bytes. A byte is one character, which may be a number or letter. A byte is composed of 8 consecutive bits.

•             1,000 bytes = 1 kilobyte (K or KB)

•             1,000 KB = 1 megabyte (MB)

•             1,000 MB = 1 gigabyte (GB)

•             1,000 GB = 1 Terabyte (TB)

Backup – a copy of a file or disk you make for archiving purposes.

Boot – to start up a computer.

Bug – a programming error that causes a program to behave in an unexpected way.

Byte – a piece of computer information made up of eight bits.

Cache – This is a type of memory and is similar to RAM. Cache is used by the computer to move data between the RAM and CPU.

Clock Rate (MHz) – The instruction processing speed of a computer  measured  in  millions of cycles per second (i.e., 200 MHz).

 Compiler –  a  program the converts programming  code into a form that can be used by    a computer.

Compression – a technique that reduces the size of a saved  file  by  elimination  or encoding redundancies (i.e., JPEG, MPEG, LZW, etc.)

Control panel – a program that allows  you  to  change  settings  in a program  or change the way a Mac looks and/or behaves.

Crash – a system malfunction in which the computer stops working and has  to  be  restarted.

Cursor – The pointer, usually arrow or  cross shaped, which is  controlled  by  the mouse.

Daisy chaining – the act of stringing devices together in a series (such as SCSI). Database – an electronic list of information that can be sorted and/or searched. Data – (the plural of datum) information processed by a computer.

Defragment – (also –  optimise)  to  concatenate  fragments  of  data  into  contiguous  blocks in memory or on a hard drive.

Dialog box – an on-screen message box that appears when the computer requires additional information before completing a command.

Digitise – to convert linear, or analogue, data into digital data that can be used by the computer.

 Disk – a spinning platter made of magnetic  or optically etched material on which data can be stored.

Disk drive – the machinery that writes the  data  from  a disk  and/or  writes  data  to  a disk.

Disk window – the window that displays the contents or directory of a disk. Document – a file you create, as opposed to the application which created it. DOS – acronym for Disk Operating System – used in IBM PCs.

DPI – acronym for  Dots  Per  Inch  –  a gauge of visual clarity on the printed page or on  the computer screen.

Download – to transfer data from  one  computer  to  another. (If  you  are  on  the receiving end, you are downloading. If   you  are  on   the  sending  end,  you  are  uploading).

ASCII (pronounced ask-key ) – American Standard Code for Information Interchange. a commonly used  data format  for  exchanging  information  between computers or programs.

Drag – to move the mouse while its button is being depressed.

Driver – a file on a computer that tells it how to communicate with an add-on piece of equipment (like a printer).

Ethernet – a protocol for fast communication and file transfer across a network. Expansion slot – a connector inside the computer that allows one to plug in a printed  circuit board that provides new or enhanced features.


File 
– the generic word for an application, document,  control panel or other computer  data.

Floppy  –  a  3.5-inch square rigid disk which holds data. (so named for the earlier 5.25   and 8 inch disks that were flexible).

Font – a typeface that contains the characters of an alphabet or some other letterforms. Fragmentation – The breaking up of a file into  many  separate  locations  in memory or on a disk.

Freeze – a system error, which causes the cursor to lock in place.

Gig – a gigabyte = 1024 megabytes.

Hard drive – a large capacity storage device made of multiple  disks  housed  in a rigid case.

Head crash – a hard disk crash caused by the  heads  coming  in  contact  with  the  spinning disk(s).

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