OUTPUT. The data presented by a computer
either directly to the user, to another computer, or to
some form of storage.
PLOTTER. An output device that produces
charts, graphs, and other artwork in the form of line
drawings on paper or film.
PORT. The connection between a computer and
another device through which data enters and leaves.
PRINTER. An output device that prints
computer results in numbers, letters, or graphic images
PROGRAM. A sequence of detailed instructions
for performing some operation or solving some problem
PROGRAMMABLE. Capable of responding to
instructions and thus performing a variety of tasks.
PURGING. In a computers memory, the
automatic erasure of stale information to create more
RANDOM-ACCESS MEMORY. Temporary
internal memory whose contents can be altered by the
CPU; sometimes called read-and-write memory.
READ. The process by which a computers CPU
examines data in memory or transfers data to memory
from a storage medium such as a disk.
READ-ONLY MEMORY (ROM). Permanent
internal memory containing data or operating
instructions that cannot be altered.
processing rapid enough to solve problems and handle
events as they occur.
RESET. To return a central processing units
registers to a zero state for a fresh start-up.
SAMPLING. The process of taking the value of
a signal at regular intervals; often used when converting
analog signals, such as voltage, into digital signals.
SERIAL. Pertaining to data that is processed in
sequence, one bit at a time, rather than in groups of bits.
SOFTWARE. Instructions or programs that
enable a computer to do useful work (as contrasted with
hardware, or the actual computer apparatus).
STANDARDS. Technical definitions accepted
in computer science to ensure uniformity among
STORAGE. Devices such as disks and tapes that
store data either magnetically or optically. Although
slower than a computers internal electronic memory,
storage devices provide virtually unlimited capacity and
preserve data indefinitely.
STYLUS. A penlike input device that is used for
drawing or writing on pressure-sensitive tablets.
TELETYPEWRITER. A typewriterlike device
capable of receiving or sending data in a
TERMINAL. A device composed of a display or
printing device and a keyboard linked together to
function as a single input or output unit.
TIME SHARING. The simultaneous use of a
computer by more than one person.
TRACK. The narrow band on a disk or tape
where data is stored. A disk track is either one revolution
of a continuous spiral filling the whole disk or one of a
series of concentric circles; tape tracks run the length of
VOICE RECOGNITION. The translation by a
computer of spoken commands into digital instructions.
WINDOW. A defined portion of a file displayed
on a CRT.
WORD PROCESSING. The use of a computer
for creating, displaying, editing, storing, and printing
WRITE. The process by which a computer
records data in memory, external storage, or display
You can use word processing software for text
media such as letters, memos, forms, and reports. Word
processing, at a minimum, includes routines for
creating, editing, storing, retrieving, and printing text.
With word processing software, you generally enter the
text on the keyboard and it is printed on a display screen.
At that point, you may store it on a disk or tape, print it
on a printer, or change (edit) it. Using the edit functions
will allow you to add or delete words, characters, lines,
sentences, or paragraphs. You can also use these
functions to rearrange text. For example, you can move
a paragraph or block of information to another place in
the same document or even move it to a different
document. Word processing is particularly useful for
text documents that are repetitive or require a lot of