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Basic Computer Terms
Unit 1Part A
Why Study Basic Terms?
For some people, the computer aisles at an
electronics store can be quite a mystery!
Prepare for the State Skills Test
Use computers in your future with ease and
What is a Computer?
An electronic device that you can use to
manipulate, store, retrieve and process data.
Information Processing Cycle
The physical, touchable parts of the computer.
A term that is used in contrast to hardware;
everything in the computer that is not
hardware is software.
Software allows you to:
Process words
Calculate numbers
Send an e-mail
Browse the Internet
And many more…
A collection of raw data from the outside
world that is put into the computer.
Example: The payroll clerk collects workers'
timecards so she knows how many hours each
person worked and then types the hours from
the timecards into a spreadsheet.
Input Devices
Digital Camera
Bar code reader
Graphic tablets
And many more…
Manipulating data
Bold, italicize, underline, double space in a word
Enter formulas and calculate totals in a
Edit a picture
The place where data is held when it is not needed for
Storage Devices are computer components capable of
storing digital data
Examples of Storage Devices:
Floppy Disk (almost obsolete)
Hard Drive
Flash Drive
The results of processed data
Examples of output:
A printed paper
A presentation
Data is entered through various forms (input) into a
computer, the data is manipulated (processing), and
then information is presented to a human (output).
Output Devices
AKAPeripheral Devices
Any hardware device connected to the
computer that expands the computers input,
output and storage capabilities
Input and Output Devices
As you continue, you will
review several different
input and output devices.
You need to be able to
identify each device, tell
if it is an input or output
device and indicate what
the devices are used for.
The most commonly used input device
It is made up of :
Alphabetic Keys
Numeric Keys
Function Keys
Command Keys
Connected to the computer through a
USB connection or wirelessly
A hand-operated input device that controls
the cursor on the screen as you move it
around on a desktop
Older = ball style mouse
Newer = “optical” technology
Turn over your mouse. Do you see a red light?
If you do, then you are using an optical
An input device used to move the cursor on a
laptop computer
As you slide your finger over the surface,
sensors underneath detect the movement,
direction and speed
Useful when carrying a mouse is not practical
A pointing device that works like a mouse turned
upside down; the ball in on top of the device
TrackBall is stationary so it does not require much
You can place a trackball on any type of surface,
including your lap.
Joysticks are input devices, similar to a mouse,
that allow you to move the cursor in any
Joysticks were originally used by pilots as part
of an airplane's controls. Technology
developed to let gamers experience a more
realistic game environment
A microphone is used to input sound
The sound is detected by the microphone and
an electronic signal is transmitted to the
Special hardware is used to convert the analog
data (sound) into digital data so it an be
stored and manipulated on the computer.
Scanners are used to convert images or text
on paper into a digital image format (.bmp, .gif, .jpeg)
Scanners with optical character recognition
can convert text on paper into text that can be
edited in a word processor
Web Cam
Web cam is short for ‘web camera’
It is an input device that captures a video or
image of the scene in front of it
Some are built into the computer (i.e. Laptop),
others are connected via USB cable
Used for chatting online, security and tourism
(i.e. view your favorite animal at the zoo
Graphics Tablet
Graphics tables are used by graphics designers
and illustrators to input data
Create accurate drawings on a screen that
could not be produced with a mouse or stylus
Usually consists of a tablet that you draw on
and a pen that has pressure sensitive tips
allowing the artist to draw heavier and lighter
Biometric Devices
AKAAccess Control Devices
Uses a body feature of a person seeking access to identify
and authorize that person
Fingerprint scanner
Iris scan
Access card (can be scanned like a credit card or contain a radio
frequency transmitter used to identify the card holder)
Britain and Germany have included a microchip in their
passport. The microchip contains electronic data unique to
each user
Most commonly used output device
The picture on a monitor is made up of tiny
colored dots called pixels
The quality and detail of the picture depends
on the number of pixels that the monitor can
Ink Jet Printer
An output device that produces a hard copy by
spraying ink on paper
Relatively cheap to buy
Can print it both black and white or color
Not designed for high-volume printing
Ink cartridges are expensive
Laser Jet Printer
A output device that prints similar to a photo
copy machine
Uses powdered ink called ‘toner’ to fuse onto
the paper by heat and pressure
Black and white versions are relatively cheap
to purchase
Capable of quick high-volume printing
Most computers have a small internal speaker
that produces beeping sounds when you make
an error
Computers can be fitted with a sound card
which enables sound (audio) to be output
through external speakers
Digital Camera
An input device that takes photographs and
stores them as digital files on a computer
A device which connects to a computer and is
used to project the output from the computer
onto a wall or screen.
Touch Screen
The only device that serves as both
an input and output device
You view the options available to you
on the screen (output) and then use
your finger to touch the option you
have chosen (input)
A large document printer which is able to
draw high quality images on very large pieces
of paper (example: 3 feet wide by 10 feet
Used by:
Map makers
The End