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Basic Computer Terms Unit 1—Part A Computer Technology Antenh Mekonen

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Computer Memory and Storage

Basic Computer TermsUnit 1Part AComputer TechnologyAntenh Mekonen


Why Study Basic Terms?For some people, the computer aisles at an electronics store can be quite a mystery!Prepare for the State Skills TestUse computers in your future with ease and confidence


What is a Computer?An electronic device that you can use to manipulate, store, retrieve and process data.


Information Processing Cycle


HardwareThe physical, touchable parts of the computer.


SoftwareA term that is used in contrast to hardware; everything in the computer that is not hardware is software.Software allows you to:Process wordsCalculate numbersSend an e-mailBrowse the InternetAnd many more


InputA collection of raw data from the outside world that is put into the computer.

Example: The payroll clerk collects workers' timecards so she knows how many hours each person worked and then types the hours from the timecards into a spreadsheet.


Input DevicesKeyboardMouseScannerDigital CameraBar code reader Graphic tabletsAnd many more


ProcessingManipulating dataBold, italicize, underline, double space in a word processorEnter formulas and calculate totals in a spreadsheetEdit a picture


StorageThe place where data is held when it is not needed for processing

Storage Devices are computer components capable of storing digital data

Examples of Storage Devices:Floppy Disk (almost obsolete)Hard DriveCD, DVDFlash Drive


OutputThe results of processed dataExamples of output:A printed paperA presentationAudioVideo

Data is entered through various forms (input) into a computer, the data is manipulated (processing), and then information is presented to a human (output).


Output DevicesMonitorSpeakersPrinterHeadphones


PeripheralsAKAPeripheral DevicesAny hardware device connected to the computer that expands the computers input, output and storage capabilities



Input and Output DevicesAs you continue, you will review several different input and output devices. You need to be able to identify each device, tell if it is an input or output device and indicate what the devices are used for.



The most commonly used input deviceIt is made up of :Alphabetic KeysNumeric KeysFunction KeysCommand KeysConnected to the computer through a USB connection or wirelessly



A hand-operated input device that controls the cursor on the screen as you move it around on a desktopOlder = ball style mouseNewer = optical technologyTurn over your mouse. Do you see a red light? If you do, then you are using an optical mouse.



An input device used to move the cursor on a laptop computerAs you slide your finger over the surface, sensors underneath detect the movement, direction and speedUseful when carrying a mouse is not practical



A pointing device that works like a mouse turned upside down; the ball in on top of the deviceAdvantages:TrackBall is stationary so it does not require much space. You can place a trackball on any type of surface, including your lap.


JoystickJoysticks are input devices, similar to a mouse, that allow you to move the cursor in any directionJoysticks were originally used by pilots as part of an airplane's controls. Technology developed to let gamers experience a more realistic game environment



A microphone is used to input soundThe sound is detected by the microphone and an electronic signal is transmitted to the computerSpecial hardware is used to convert the analog data (sound) into digital data so it an be stored and manipulated on the computer.



Scanners are used to convert images or text on paper into a digital image format (.bmp, .gif, .jpeg)Scanners with optical character recognition can convert text on paper into text that can be edited in a word processor


Web CamWeb cam is short for web cameraIt is an input device that captures a video or image of the scene in front of itSome are built into the computer (i.e. Laptop), others are connected via USB cableUsed for chatting online, security and tourism (i.e. view your favorite animal at the zoo online)


Graphics Tablet

Graphics tables are used by graphics designers and illustrators to input dataCreate accurate drawings on a screen that could not be produced with a mouse or stylusUsually consists of a tablet that you draw on and a pen that has pressure sensitive tips allowing the artist to draw heavier and lighter lines


Biometric DevicesAKAAccess Control DevicesUses a body feature of a person seeking access to identify and authorize that personFingerprint scannerIris scanAccess card (can be scanned like a credit card or contain a radio frequency transmitter used to identify the card holder)Britain and Germany have included a microchip in their passport. The microchip contains electronic data unique to each user

Fingerprint scanner is a common biometric device on personal computers. Can be used in place of a login and password to gain access to computer files or folders. Prints stored on the computer. If the print matches, access to the computer is granted.25


Most commonly used output deviceThe picture on a monitor is made up of tiny colored dots called pixelsThe quality and detail of the picture depends on the number of pixels that the monitor can display


Ink Jet Printer

An output device that produces a hard copy by spraying ink on paperRelatively cheap to buyCan print it both black and white or colorLimitations:SlowNot designed for high-volume printingInk cartridges are expensive


Laser Jet Printer

A output device that prints similar to a photo copy machineUses powdered ink called toner to fuse onto the paper by heat and pressureBlack and white versions are relatively cheap to purchaseCapable of quick high-volume printing



Most computers have a small internal speaker that produces beeping sounds when you make an errorComputers can be fitted with a sound card which enables sound (audio) to be output through external speakers


Digital Camera

An input device that takes photographs and stores them as digital files on a computer


ProjectorA device which connects to a computer and is used to project the output from the computer onto a wall or screen.


Touch Screen

The only device that serves as both an input and output deviceYou view the options available to you on the screen (output) and then use your finger to touch the option you have chosen (input)



A large document printer which is able to draw high quality images on very large pieces of paper (example: 3 feet wide by 10 feet long)Used by:EngineersArchitectsMap makers


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