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Computers: Glossary

A

abacus
(abaci) from the Greek or Latin 'abax" for counting board-a tool for calculating numbers
algorithm
an organized set of steps to solve a math problem
arithmetic
the use of numbers to make calculations
ARPANET
Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, the original internet-used by government and department of defense

B

binary
two
byte
unit of measure equal to one character, digit, letter, or space

C

calculation
to count or to compute numbers
census
a total of a population
cloud based memory
a data storage system in which outside systems are used over the internet
COBOL
Common Business Oriented Language is one of the first computer programming languages
coding
writing the code or programs for computers
compact disc
a small plastic disk that uses laser light to read digital information stored there
constants
information that does not change
CPU
central processing unit-the main portion of a computer
cursor
blinking line on a computer screen that identifies a location

D

data
items of information
drive
computer equipment that plays disks or CDs to be read by a computer

F

flash drive
small data storage device about the size of a person's thumb-also called a thumb drive, memory stick, jump drive and others
floppy disk
data storage device made of Mylar, very thin and floppy
FORTRAN
Formula Translation-a computer language used for scientific computation

G

graphic interfaces
tool that allows us to "see" images that a computer shares; a monitor, a radar screen, a gauge, etc.

H

horizontal
running the same direction as the horizon; flat, level with the ground, running left to right, etc.

I

interactive whiteboard
tool for sharing the same information as the monitor, but in a larger format for audiences or classes
internet
network of information which spans the world

K

keyboard
tool that allows entry of letters and digits
kilobytes
about 1000 bytes

L

laptop
computer designed to sit on a person's lap-portable
laser
concentrated light used as a tool

M

magnetic
having the properties of a magnet
megabytes
about 1,000,000 bytes
meteorologists
scientist who studies weather
MIT
Massachusetts Institute of Technology-a university devoted to science
monitor
screen used to see computer images-a graphic interface
mouse
tool used for moving around a monitor

O

optical
related to sight

P

peripherals
accessories to a computer such as a printer, scanner, speakers, etc.
pixels
the smallest part of an image
printers
tool for printing words and images to paper
professionals
an expert
program
information that tells the computer what to do, also called software
programmable
able to run a program
programmer
person who writes code or a program
punch card
old method of data storage-a card that had holes punched in it

R

resolution
ability to determine details of an image-clarity-number of pixels

S

Scratch
computer writing language intended for use by beginners
SD card
small data storage device-portable-used in phones, cameras, etc.
slide rule
ruler with a slide attachment used to calculate up until the early 1970s
smartphones
any one of several types of telephone that has other functions besides phone calls-including texting, camera, calculator, calendar, maps, etc.
software
the coded computer program which tells a computer how to perform various functions
speakers
device which converts electricity into sound
storage devices
place where data is stored until needed

T

tablet
small computer composed of a touch screen-larger than a smartphone, but smaller than a laptop
tabulating
to sort and organize, to count
tally marks
method of keeping track by making four marks and then crossing the four to denote the fifth item-making it easy to count by fives
TCP/IP
Transfer Control Protocol/Internet Protocol-one of the first languages of the internet
touch screen
a monitor that utilizes a person's finger in place of a mouse
transistor
device which controls the current of electricity
Tynker
software that teaches coding
typewriters
mechanical device for putting print to paper, one letter at a time

V

variables
information that changes
video graphics
the part of a computer system which sends images to be displayed on a monitor
visual
related to sight

W

word processing
The use of software which allows a person to write information, rearrange it, change it, store it; Microsoft Word is an example of a word processor

Z

zip disk
high capacity data storage system-thicker than a floppy disk-held between 100 KB and 750 KB of data
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