* RAM : Random Access Memory. It is the area where all software and programmes run.
* ROM: Read Only Memory: This is the memory that is stored in ROM device and it cannot be modified (at least not very quickly or easily), it is mainly used to distribute programmes and firmware (software that is linked to a specific hardware).
* IDE: Integrated Drive Electronics, this connects the hard drives and ROM Drives to the motherboard using the IDE cables.
PCI: Peripheral Component Interconnect. Specifies a computer bus for attaching peripheral devices to a computer motherboard. These include network cards, modems, sound cards, etc.
* AGP: Accelerated Graphics Port: It is a high-speed point-to-point channel for attaching a graphics card to a computer’s motherboard, primarily to assist in the acceleration of 3D computer graphics.
* Motherboard: It is a board on which various computer components are plugged in through different slots and ports.
* Processor: It is the main heat of the computer which controls all instructions to and from the input and output devices.
* Display Card: It is a card through which the video signals reach the monitor or other similar output device attached to this card. It is identified as a female slot having 3 rows for 15-pin connector.
* Network Card: It is a card through which data transfer is carried out between two different computers. It is identified by the RJ-45 type connector slot.
* BIOS: It stands for Basic Input and Output System. This identifies all the input and output devices including memory attached onto the motherboard. This information is stored and kept in a memory bank known as CMOS.
* CMOS: This stands for Complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor. It is a memory chip that stores the BIOS settings of the PC and it is kept upto date by a small battery located next to the BIOS chip.
* Power Supply: Most motherboards use a voltage of +/- 5V to operate. The power supply unit on a PC ensures that each device attached to the motherboard including the motherboard itself receives the exact voltage and current in order for it to function properly. A slight change in volts etc. may render the device to burn up.
* Heat sink: Since the data travels as electrons in the PC circuit this generates a lot of heat. The processing unit which is having to control all the functions on the motherboard or the device itself heats up. This can be controlled by using specific components called heat sink. These are made of metal that conduct heat rapidly thus absorbing heat from the hot surface and the fan on it cools it thus allowing it to keep absorbing more heat.
* Operating System: It is also known as the platform or the environment in which different programmes or applications will run. All applications and programmes are developed for different platforms depending upon what the user is most likely to use. The most common operating systems are:
o WINDOWS: This is developed by Microsoft. It controls most of the PC market in the world.
o UNIX / LINUX: UNIX has mostly been used as client-server operating system meaning it is used for networking. Another system developed recently called Linux has mainly been used as a server operating system. Linux is commonly used as an operating system for supercomputers. As of June 2007, out of the top 500 systems, 389 (77.8%) run Linux.
* Utilities: These are programmes that we use in order to either diagnose or identify and fix problems in the computer. The problems could be a result of either file corruption or it being located at an address field in the memory that has become faulty. The utilities can move the data to a new location and mark the faulty address location as a bad sector thus avoiding any future writing of data at that sector.
* Virus: A virus is a programme that is designed to act maliciously and make the computer programme to work differently from what it is supposed to do.
* Anti-Virus: An anti-virus is a programme that scans the hard-drive and memory area for virus programmes that should not be residing at locations that are crucial and from where they can launch themselves and cause problem. The anti-virus either removes the virus programme but in cases where it cannot remove it without damaging the main programme, then it puts it in quarantine thus making it harmless and containing it in one place.
* Multimedia: These are programmes that are associated with audio and video files and as different companies have their own formats, we need different types to run each one separately. Some are able to play a larger variety than others depending upon the codec (the format used in coding the file) database that programme has and can use.
* Spreadsheet/Accounts: These are programmes that help us in calculations and create formulas that enable us to calculate the spreadsheet.
* Database: A database is a collection of data that has been created for a specific purpose. IT can be accessed by using various search criteria.
* Wordprocessing: This is used for all types of correspondence and creating reports, making brochures, etc.