Technical Terms / Devices:

bitbinary digit – the smallest unit of information, expressing a state of 0 or 1
bytea group of 8 bits operated on as a unit and storing a meaningful instruction or data
kilobyte (kb)storage unit of 1024 bytes (= 210 bytes)
megabyte (Mb)1024 kb (= 220 bytes)
gigabyte (Gb)1024 Mb (= 230 bytes)
nanosecond (ns)10-9 seconds; the timescale at which main memories can receive and supply information
ROMread-only memory – information fixed in the memory and cannot be overwritten
RAMrandom-access memory – memory unit used to store instructions and data in active use; can be overwritten and is often ephemeral
mousepointing device to indicate selection of items on the screen
digitizerused to capture graphic information by recording points on maps or figures
optical scannercaptures a paper image in a form that the computer can use
video scannercaptures a video image in a form that the computer can use
OCRoptical character recognition – software to interpret a scanned image as text for word processing
VDUvisual display unit – displays text and graphics as output and input to CPU
floppy diskback-up and porting medium (a 3½” DS/HD floppy holds 1.44 Mb)
Graphical User Interface (GUI) A program that helps you more easily work with you operating system and application programs by providing pictures and visual clues to help you work. Windows is the GUI on PCs.
NIC (Network Interface Card) A card is put in the computer allowing connection to a network.
Port Connection on the computer that allows input devices like monitors, disk drives, the mouse, or keyboards. Common ports are serial for connecting a modem or a mouse, USB for connecting a scanner, digital camera, Ethernet ports for connecting to a network, and audio in/out ports for connecting to headphones or a microphone.


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