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I-Series Computing Concepts
Stephen Haag, University of Denver
Maeve Cummings, Pittsburg State University
Alan I Rea, Jr., Western Michigan University

Nuts And Bolts Of Networks And Computers


AGP (accelerated graphics port)    bus is dedicated to carrying complex graphics between the CPU and the AGP video card in the AGP slot on the motherboard.
Arithmetic logic unit (ALU)    is a component of the CPU that performs arithmetic operations.
ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange)    pronounced ASK-ee, is the coding system that most personal computers and minicomputers use
Bit or binary digit    is a one or a zero.
Bluetooth technology    provides entirely wireless connections for all kinds of communication devices.
Byte    is a group of 8 bits that represents one natural language character.
Cable modem    is a device that uses your TV cable to deliver an Internet connection.
Cache memory    is where instructions and information wait for processing after they arrive in the CPU from RAM.
Cat 5 or Category 5 cable    also called Ethernet cable, is twisted pair cable (like phone cable), except that there are more pairs of wires, and the pairs are twisted around each other.
Central processing unit (CPU)    also called the microprocessor or processor, is the chip that carries out the instructions it receives from your software.
Client/server network    is a network in which one or more computers are servers and provide services to the other computers, which are called clients.
Computer network (which we simply refer to as a network)    is two or more computers connected so that they can communicate with each other and share information, software, peripheral devices, and/or processing power.
CPU clock    which is simply a sliver of quartz that beats at regular intervals in response to an electrical charge
DSL (Digital Subscriber Lines)    is a high-speed Internet connection using phone lines, which allows you to use your phone for voice communication at the same time.
EBCDIC    is the set of patterns that IBM mainframes use to represent characters.
Ethernet card    is the most common type of network interface card.
Expansion bus    forms the highway system that moves information coming from and going to devices outside the motherboard like your microphone or printer
Intranet    is a network available only to members of a business or organization.
ISA (industry standard architecture)    bus is the oldest and slowest type of expansion bus.
Local area network (LAN)    is a network of computers that are contained within a limited geographic area, like a building or campus.
Machine cycle or CPU cycle    of clock cycle consists of retrieving, decoding, and executing the instruction, and returning the result to RAM.
Network administrator    is the person in charge of the network.
Network hub    is a device that connects multiple computers into a network.
Network interface card (NIC)    is an expansion or PC Card (for a notebook) that connects your computer to a network and allows information to flow between your computer and the rest of the network.
Network operating system (NOS)    is the operating system that runs a network, steering information between computers and managing security and users.
Palm Operating System (Palm OS)    is the type of operating system that Palm/Handspring-type PDAs run on.
PCI (peripheral component interconnect)    bus is the most common in modern computers.
Peer-to-peer network    is a network where a small number of computers share hardware (like a printer) and information.
Personal digital assistant (PDA)    is a small hand-held computer that helps you surf the Web and perform simple tasks such as note taking, calendaring and appointment scheduling, and maintaining an address book.
RJ-45 connector (also called an Ethernet connector)    looks like a telephone connector except that it's larger.
Router    is a device that acts as a smart hub connecting computers into a network, and goes a step further by separating your network from any other network it's connected to
Satellite modem    is a modem that allows you to get Internet access using a satellite dish.
System bus    consists of electrical pathways, which move information between basic components of the motherboard, including between RAM and the CPU
Telephone modem (modem)    is a device that connects your computer through a phone line to a network of other computers.
Unicode    is a coding system that uses 16 bits instead of 8, allowing for approximately 65,000 (216) different patterns.
Wide area network (WAN)    is a network of networks that extends over a large geographic area.
WiFi (formerly known as IEEE 802.11b)    is a way of transmitting information in wave form that is reasonably fast and is often used for notebooks.
Windows CE    is the type of operating system that PocketPCs run on.
Wireless Internet Service Provider (wireless ISP)    does the same job as standard Internet Service Providers except that you don't need a wired connection for access.
Wireless network access point    is a device that allows computers to access a wired network using radio waves.