For those of us who are versed in the use of computers, these simple terms that apply to computer technology may seem insignificant. But it is a fact that sometimes even the most experienced ones among us tend to ‘forget’ the meaning of some terms normally used in conjunction with computers. Though this article is really meant for newbies, we can all still benefit from its contents:
Computer Literacy: As long as you know something about computers, you are said to be computer literate.
Cyberphobia: The fear of learning and using new types of technology, even computers.
Hardware: The physical computer itself and its other physical components.
Software: Programs that are used on the computer, like the Operating System (Windows, Mac, Unix, Linux).
Bit: Either 0 or 1 (both are bits)
Byte: A group of bits that represent a number, letter, or special character. 8 bits = 1 byte. When you think of bytes, think of storage. For example, you have kilobytes (1,000 bytes), megabytes (1,000,000 bytes), gigabytes (1,000,000,000 bytes), terabytes (1,000,000,000,000 bytes), and so on.
Encoding Systems: This is used by computers (each computer has its own encoding system) to convert any character that is input into it so that it can bve understood by the machine. Some types of Encoding Systems are ANSI, ASCII, and EPSI.
Control Unit (CU): This fetches instructions, directs the operation of internal commands, and issues commands that run the computer. It basically controls the processor.
Arithmetic and Logic Unit (ALU): It does all the mathematical calculations and arithmetic and logic operations.
Registers: These are high speed storage areas.
Cache: This is memory that allows the computer to load software much quicker.
Random Access Memory (RAM): This is the area that temporarily stores data. The size varies from kB (kilobytes) to TB (terabytes).