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Glossary
1st - 2nd Grade

backspace. A key on the keyboard used to delete characters to the left of the cursor.

cable. A wire used to carry electricity.
caps lock. A key on the keyboard that capitalizes all letters when pressed.

CD-ROM drive. The component that reads information from the CD-ROM.|

Chipset. The chipset is the chip, or set of chips, that direct the motherboard's flow of information from one point to another. Just like a traffic cop, they make sure that the information, (also called data), arrives at the proper place.

compact disc (CD). A digitally encoded disc used to store information. This disc can be read using a CD-ROM drive.

computer. A machine that stores and reads information.
computer virus. A destructive code that spreads from computer to computer, capable of damaging software.

CPU (central processing unit). The microprocessor. The “brains” of the computer.

delete. A key on the keyboard used to delete characters to the right of the cursor.

Drive Bays. Drive bays are where the computer's drives are installed. For example CD-ROM and DVD-ROM drives.

enter. A key on the keyboard used to complete a command or move down to the next line.

fan. The primary source of cooling for your computer.

floppy disk 3.5”. A magnetic disk on which data such as music, text, or graphics are magnetically encoded.

floppy drive. The component that reads and writes to floppy disks.

hard drive. The component that reads and writes data to a hard disk. It stores information.

Internet. A worldwide network connecting millions of computers.

keyboard. A hardware device consisting of buttons (keys) that the user presses to type characters into a computer.

laptop. A portable computer small enough to use on one’s lap.

Memory. The computer uses this memory constantly to temporarily store information, (or data), while it is working with it. If a computer has a lot of memory, it can store more temporary information and operate faster.

Microprocessor. The microprocessor, (also called the central processing unit), is the brain of the computer.

Modem. Modems change a computer's digital information into analog waves that can travel through the phone lines to another computer. The other computer's modem then changes the analog waves back into digital information, so that the other computer can understand it. Modems are rated by how many bits of information they can receive in one second. Just because a modem is rated at 56Kbps does not always mean that it is going to be able to receive at that speed.

monitor. A video display that takes signals from a computer and displays information onto a screen.

motherboard. The computer’s main circuit board. This connects together and enables the operation of all the components of the computer. The heart of the computer.

mouse. A hand-operated data input device that moves the cursor on a computer screen.

mouse pad. A flat pad, coated with foam rubber, designed to provide an optimum surface on which to use a mouse.

power supply. The component that supplies power to your computer.

printer. A device that prints text or graphics on paper.

RAM (random access memory). Random Access Memory (RAM) provides space for your computer to read and write data to be accessed by the CPU (central processing unit). When people refer to a computer's memory, they usually mean its RAM. If you add more RAM to your computer, you reduce the number of times your CPU must read data from your hard disk. This usually allows your computer to work considerably faster, plus able to open more than one program at a time.

search engine. A Web site designed to search the Internet for a particular topic.

shift. Press and hold this key, then press another key to make a capital letter or special character.

software. A program designed for use on computers. An example would be Microsoft Word.

sound card. Printed circuit board that, coupled with a set of speakers, enables a computer to reproduce music and sound effects.

speaker. A piece of electronic equipment used to play sound.

tab. A key on the keyboard that indents a line of text when pressed.
tower. A style of computer system in which components are arranged in a tall, narrow cabinet.

video card. A board that plugs into a personal computer to give it display capabilities.

web site. A site on the World Wide Web including a home page and various links containing information maintained by a group, company, or individual.