What you should know about computers

Application software: programs that provide services to the user. Ex: word processing, games, programs to solve specific problems
Hardware All the things you can touch on your computer including the stuff on the inside
CPU (Central Processing Unit) The brain of the computer, where all decisions are made and calculations are performed. Usually also contains some memory called cache.
Main Memory Volatile ­ erased when program terminates or computer is turned off. Also called Random Access Memory (RAM).
Organized as follows:
bit: smallest piece of memory. Has values 0 (off, false) or 1 (on, true) = binary system
byte: 8 consecutive bits. Bytes have addresses.
Secondary Storage Non-volatile: data retained when program is not running or computer is turned off : hard drive (internal) , floppy , zip disk, CD-ROM , DVD , flash drive
Input/output Devices Input : Keyboard, Joystick , Scanner Output : Monitor , Printer , Speaker
There is some overlab with secondary storage devices
Software Actually all the programs (including the operating system) which make a computer perform desired tasks
Operating system Programs that manage the computer hardware and the programs that run on them : Windows, UNIX, Linux
Application Software Programs that provide services to the user : word processing, internet communication , graphics applications, games, programs to solve specific problems including your own programs yet to be "written"
Computer Program A set of instructions to a computer to perform a task. Originally written by a human being in form of a "file" on a secondary storage device using some kind of programming "language" (Fortran, C , C++, C# , Java and many more). All of them borrow words from the english language and mathematics


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Last revised: 08/23/13