Basic computer terminology and usage

  • CPU: Central processing unit; the brain of the computer; controls the other elements of the computer
  • Disk Drive: A peripheral device that reads and/or writes information on a disk
  • Hard Drive: A device (usually within the computer case) that reads and writes information, including the operating system, program files, and data files
  • Modem: A peripheral device used to connect one computer to another over a phone line
  • Applications: Complete, self-contained programs that perform a specific function (ie. spreadsheets, databases)
  • Browser: A program used to view World Wide Web pages, such as Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer
  • Bug: A part of a program that usually causes the computer to malfunction; often remedied in patches or updates to the program
  • Download: Transferring data from another computer to your computer
  • Scroll Bar: Allows the user to control which portion of the document is visible in the window; available either horizontally or vertically or both
  • Tool Bar: A graphical representation of program activities; a row of icons used to perform tasks in a program
  • URL: Uniform resource locator; the address of a site on the World Wide Web; a standard way of locating objects on the Internet
  • Pop up blocker: makes it so that pop up windows cannot be shown
  • Refresh: reload a page
  • Cache: component that stores data so future requests for that data can be served faster
  • Window: a medium through which a software program can reach users
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