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65 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI)
Specification developed by Intel, Compaq, Phoenix, Microsoft, and Toshiba to control power on notebooks and other devices. Windows 98 and Windows 2000/XP support ACPI.
Advanced Power Management(APM)
Power management standard developed by Intel and Microsoft. APM has been superseded by ACPI.
binary number system
The number system used by computers; it has only two numbers, 0 and 1, called binary digits, or bits.
BIOS (basic input/output system)
Firmware that can control much of a computer’s input/output functions, such as communication with the floppy drive and the monitor. Also called ROM BIOS.
bit(binary digit)
A 0 or 1 used by the binary number system.
bus
The paths, or lines, on the motherboard on which data, instructions, and electrical power move from component to component.
byte
A collection of eight bits that can represent a single character.
cards
Adapter boards or interface cards placed into expansion slots to expand the functions of a computer, allowing it to communicate with external devices such as monitors or speakers.
central processing unit (CPU)
Also called a microprocessor or processor. The heart and brain of the computer, which receives data input, processes information, and executes instructions.
chipset
A group of chips on the motherboard that controls the timing and flow of data and instructions to and from the CPU.
circuit board
A computer component, such as the main motherboard or an adapter board, that has electronic circuits and chips.
clock speed
The speed, or frequency, expressed in MHz, that controls activity on the motherboard and is generated by a crystal or oscillator located somewhere on the motherboard.
CMOS (complementary metaloxide semiconductor)
The technology used to manufacture microchips. CMOS chips require less electricity, hold data longer after the electricity is turned off, are slower, and produce less heat than earlier technologies. The configuration, or setup, chip is a CMOS chip.
CMOS RAM
region of memory that uses battery power to retain data after the PC is shut off.
CMOS setup
A chip on the motherboard that contains a very small amount of memory, or RAM enough to hold configuration, or setup, information about the computer The chip is powered by a battery when the PC is turned off. Also called CMOS configuration chip or CMOS RAM chip.
data bus
The lines on the system bus that the CPU uses to send and receive data.
data path size
The number of lines on a bus that can hold data, for example, 8, 16, 32, and 64 lines, which can accommodate 8, 16, 32, and 64 bits at a time.
DIMM (dual inline memory module)
A miniature circuit board installed on a motherboard to hold memory. DIMMs can hold up to 2 GB of RAM on a single module.
expansion cards
A circuit board inserted into a slot on the motherboard to enhance the capability of the computer.
expansion slot
A narrow slot on the motherboard where an expansion card can be inserted. Expansion slots connect to a bus on the motherboard.
firmware
Software that is permanently stored in a chip. The BIOS on a motherboard is an example of firmware.
flash ROM
ROM that can be reprogrammed or changed without replacing chips.
front side bus (FSB)
Another term for the system bus.
gigahertz (GHz)
One thousand MHz, or one billion cycles per second.
hard copy
Output from a printer to paper.
hard drive
The main secondary storage device of a PC, a small case that contains magnetic coated platters that rotate at high speed.
hardware
The physical components that constitute the computer system, such as the monitor, the keyboard, the motherboard, and the printer.
hertz (Hz)
Unit of measurement for frequency, calculated in terms of vibrations, or cycles per second. For example, for 16-bit stereo sound, a frequency of 44,000 Hz is used.
host bus
another term for the system bus.
keyboard
A common input device through which data and instructions may be typed into computer memory.
main board
another term for motherboard.
megahertz (MHz)
One million Hz, or one million cycles per second.
memory
Physical microchips that can hold data and programming, located on the motherboard or expansion cards.
microprocessor
another term for the CPU.
monitor
The most commonly used output device for displaying text and graphics on a computer.
motherboard
The main board in the computer, also called the system board. The CPU, ROM chips, SIMMs, DIMMs, RIMMs, and interface cards are plugged into the motherboard.
mouse
A pointing and input device that allows the user to move a cursor around a screen and select items with the click of a button.
nonvolatile
Refers to a kind of RAM that is stable and can hold data as long as electricity is powering the memory.
parallel port
female 25-pin port on a computer that can transmit data in parallel, 8 bits at a time, and is usually used with a printer. The names for parallel ports are LPT1 and LPT2.
peripheral device
Devices that communicate with the CPU but are not located directly on the motherboard, such as the monitor, floppy drive, printer, and mouse.
Plug and Play (PnP)
A standard designed to make the installation of new hardware devices easier by automatically configuring devices to eliminate system resource conflicts (such as IRQ or I/O address conflicts). PnP is supported by Windows 9x/Me, Windows 2000, and Windows XP.
port
(1) As applied to services running on a computer, a number assigned to a process on a computer so that the process can be found by TCP/IP. Also called a port address or port number. (2) Another name for an I/O address. See also I/O address. (3) A physical connector, usually at the back of a computer, that allows a cable from a peripheral device, such as a printer, mouse, or modem, to be attached.
power supply
A box inside the computer case that supplies power to the motherboard and other installed devices. Power supplies provide 3.3, 5, and 12 volts DC.
primary storage
Temporary storage on the motherboard used by the CPU to process data and instructions. Memory is considered primary storage.
printer
A peripheral output device that produces printed output to paper. Different types include dot matrix, ink-jet, and laser printers.
processor
another term for the CPU.
program
A set of step-by-step instructions to a computer. Some are burned directly into chips, while others are stored as program files. Programs are written in languages such as BASIC and C++.
protocol
A set of rules and standards that two entities use for communication.
RAM (random access memory)
Memory modules on the motherboard containing microchips used to temporarily hold data and programs while the CPU processes both. Information in RAM is lost when the PC is turned off.
RIMM
A type of memory module developed by Rambus, Inc.
ROM (read-only memory)
Chips that contain programming code and cannot be erased.
S/PDIF (Sony-Philips Digital Interface) sound port
connects S/PDIF sound card to the motherboard.
secondary storage
Storage that is remote to the CPU and permanently holds data, even when the PC is turned off, such as a hard drive.
serial port
A male 9-pin or 25-pin port on a computer system used by slower I/O devices such as a mouse or modem. Data travels serially, one bit at a time, through the port. Serial ports are sometimes configured as COM1, COM2, COM3, or COM4.
SIMM (single inline memory module)
A miniature circuit board used in older computers to hold RAM. SIMMs hold 8, 16, 32, or 64 MB on a single module.
software
Computer programs, or instructions to perform a specific task. Software may be BIOS, OSs, or applications software such as a word-processing or spreadsheet program.
startup BIOS
Part of system BIOS that is responsible for controlling the PC when it is first turned on. Startup BIOS gives control over to the OS once it is loaded.
system BIOS
BIOS located on the motherboard.
system board
Another term for the motherboard.
system bus
The bus between the CPU and memory on the motherboard. The bus frequency in documentation is called the system speed, such as 400 MHz. Also called the memory bus, front-side bus, local bus, or host bus.
system clock
A line on a bus that is dedicated to timing the activities of components connected to it. The system clock provides a continuous pulse that other devices use to time themselves.
trace
A wire on a circuit board that connects two components or devices.
USB (universal serial bus) port
A type of port designed to make installation and configuration of I/O devices easy, providing room for as many as 127 devices daisy-chained together.
video card
An interface card installed in the computer o control visual output on a monitor. Also called display adapter.
volatile
Refers to a kind of RAM that is temporary, cannot hold data very long, and must be frequently refreshed.