CIS 105 -- Survey of Computer Information Systems

Essential Concepts and Terminology -- Study Unit Four.

Four Types of Input
Software transfers from storage to memory, data, commands, and responses.
An arrangement of letter, number, and special function keys that acts as the primary input device to a computer.
The keyboard function of entering multiple copies of of a character when a key is held down.
Dialog Box.
An on-screen window that provides options associated with a command. A type of window that provides for input of information needed by the computer.
Enhanced Keyboard.
The typical PC keyboard with 101 key. The equivalent Macintosh keyboard is called the extended keyboard.
Cordless Keyboard.
Battery-powered keyboards that send signals with infrared or radio waves, also called "wireless keyboards."
Cursor-Movement Keys.
Keys used to move the cursor (insertion point) in a document, including the arrow, the end, home, page up, and page down keys.
Numeric Keypad.
A calculator-style input device for entering numbers and arithmetic symbols, part of the extended computer keyboard used enter numerical data quickly.
Toggle Key.
A key, such as the "caps lock" or "num lock" keys, that switches a device back and forth between two modes.
Function Keys.
The keys numbered Fl through F12, located at the top of the computer keyboard, that activate program-specific commands. F1 is often used for Help.
Escape Key.
A key labeled "esc" with program specific functions, generally used to interrupt or cancel an operation.
Modifier Keys.
Keys that, while they are held down, modify the meaning and input of other pressed key. The "alt" and "ctrl" keys on PCs and the control and command (apple) keys on Macintosh computers.
Diacritical Marks.
Marks added to letters or symbols to distinguish it in some way, often indicating pronunciation.
Dead Key.
A type of keyboard shortcut used to modify the following character, such as adding diacritical marks.
A palm-sized input device that allows the user to manipulate objects on the screen by mirroring movements on a surface.
Pointing Device.
The device, typically a mouse or touchpad, that provides control of the on-screen pointer.
A pointing device consisting of a ball that is rotated to move the pointer on the computer screen.
A pressure-sensitive input device used to control the on-screen pointer by moving the fingertips over the pad's surface.
An input device with a vertical lever moved to control pointing devices or on-screen objects.
Sound Card.
A circuit board that gives a computer the ability to accept audio input and produce audio output.
Data Compression.
The process of making a data file more compact. Image compression typically removes repetition or utilizes averaging. Text documents are compressed using abbreviations.
A highly compressed file format for digital video and audio files. MPEG is short for "Moving Pictures Expert Group."
Short for picture element, a pixel is the smallest unit in a graphic image. Computer display devices use a matrix of pixels to display text and graphics, typically 72 pixels or dots per inch (dpi).
Charge-Coupled Device.
A photosensitive computer chip that transforms light patterns into digital data.
The process of transferring a copy of a file from a remote computer to a computer's drive.
Video Capture Card.
Computer circuitry that transforms analog video into a digital video file, typically using on-the-fly data compression.
A charge-coupled device for digitizing images.
The density of the grid used to display or print text and graphics. The greater the horizontal and vertical density, the higher the resolution.
Bit Depth.
The number of bits used to represent a pixel.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR).
The process of converting images of text into digital text files.
Facsimile Machine (FAX).
A device that transmits scanned images of documents via telephone lines.
Frame Rate.
In video output, the number of still images displayed per second.
Graphics Card.
A computer circuit board to handle the display of text, graphics, animation, and videos. Also called a video card, video adapter, or display adapter. The video adapter determines the display quality.
Video Memory (VRAM).
Memory located on a graphics card that store images as they are processed, accelerating processing by freeing RAM and the CPU to perform other tasks.
Video Graphics Adapter (VGA) Standard.
The 640 x 480 color graphic display standard. Super VGA is the 1024 x 768 standard.
Color Depth.
The number of colors that can be displayed at one time. Bit depth determines the range of possible colors. For example, an 8-bit color depth can create 256 colors, and a 24-bit depth displays 16.7 million colors.
Refresh Rate.
The update frequency rate of a display, measured in cycles per second.
An output device that displays an image by converting electrical signals into points of light.
Cathode Ray Tube (CRT).
A display technology using a vacuum tube, similar to a television set. CRT technology used an electron stream and a phosphorescent screen.
Liquid Crystal Display (LCD).
Flat panel computer display in which light passes through a thin layer of liquid crystal cells to produce an image.
Dot Pitch.
A measure of image clarity, the diagonal distance between dots on a display, measured in millimeters.
Multiscan Monitor.
A monitor designed to adjust its refresh rate to the video adapter output rate.
Ink Jet Printer.
A non-impact printer that creates imagery composed of tiny dots by spraying liquid ink.
Laser Printer.
A printer that uses laser-based technology, creating electrical charges on a rotating drum to attract toner. The toner is fused to paper using a heat process.
Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI).
Text file standards to encode and transmit sound and music. FM synthesis is the older standard, and wavetable is the newer, higher-quality standard.


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