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Computer vocabulary

Analog computer
A computer that uses moving parts to show changing information

Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU)
The component of a Central Processing Unit (CPU) responsible for the performance of arithmetic and logical operations

Artificial intelligence
The ability of a computer to perform tasks that usually requires human intelligence

Assembler
A translating program used to convert assembly language to machine language

BASIC
A simple programming language, BASIC stands for Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.

Binary system
The number representation system, used in computers, with only two digits, 0 and 1

Browser
A computer program used to move around the Internet

Byte
A unit of information in a computer that stands for a letter, number, or symbol. A byte usually consists of eight bits.

CD-ROM
Short for Compact Disc Read Only Memory. CD-ROM stores data for computers.

Character
A single letter, number or symbol. In computers, a character is the same as a byte.

Chip
A tiny, flat piece of silicon with a complete electric circuit on it. A chip stores and processes data in a computer.

COBOL
A high level commercial programming language

Compact disc
A flat, round, plastic disk that is often called a CD. A compact disc records sounds in a spiral track containing millions of tiny pits.

Compiler
A program which translates a source program written in a high level language into a low-level language

Computer
A high speed machine for calculating and handling information

CPU
Short for Central Processing Unit. CPU is the heart of a computer. It receives instructions from the user and then guides the computer's operations

Cursor
A symbol that moves on a computer screen to mark a position

Cyberspace
Everything that can be seen or heard through a computer

Debug
To correct a problem in a computer's hardware or software

Delete
To remove a character, data, or a file from a computer's memory or disk

Digital computer
A computer that uses numbers to present information or measurements

Document
A file of data or text that is stored in the computer's memory

DOS
Short for Disk Operating System. A program that directs a computer

Download
To move a computer file from one computer to another or to a disk

E-mail
Short for electronic mail. A message sent from one computer to another

File
A document or complete unit of data stored in a computer's memory or on a disk.

Floppy disk
A flat magnetic disk that stores information for computers

Font
A complete set of type. Each font contains letters, numbers and symbols of one style.

FORTRAN
Formula Translating System. FORTRAN is a high level programming language

Hard copy
Output from a computer that is printed on a page

Hard disk
The main memory or storage medium within a computer

Hybrid computer
A type of computer that combines the best features of analog and digital computer

Hypertext
A computer link between related bits of information. Hypertext makes it possible to quickly jump from one topic to another

Input
Data that are entered into a computer

Interface
Connection between two parts of a computer

Internet
A worldwide computer network made up of many smaller networks

Local Area Network (LAN)
A relatively inexpensive, simple communication system linking a number of computers within a defined small locality

Megabyte
The term used to represent 1 million bytes of storage

Menu
A list of possible operations and functions

Mobile Broadband

Mobile broadband allows you to do all the things you usually use your broadband connection for without needing a fixed-line telephone connection. This means you can access the internet while you're on the move; on public transport, away from home, on holiday, or at university. Mobile broadband can be accessed with a number of devices, including mobile phones, dongles and data cards.

Monitor
The display screen that shows the output of a computer

Motherboard
The main circuit board in a computer. The motherboard contains the CPU.

Mouse
A handheld device that moves the cursor on the monitor

Personal computer
A small computer used by one person at a time. Personal computer is often shortened to PC. Also called microcomputer.

Random Access Memory (RAM)
Main memory of a computer. Information can be read from and written to RAM by the user and therefore it is called read/write memory

Read Only Memory (ROM)
ROM is part of a computer's memory that contains data and instructions that cannot be changed.

Software
The instructions that direct a computer to perform many tasks

 

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