Bus 237 Management Information Systems
Chapter 4: Hardware and Software
Mainframes The first digital computing machine used in business
Microcomputers Smaller than mainframes, the precursor to personal
Hardware Electronic components and related gadgetry that
input, process, output, store, and communicate data
according to instructions encoded in computer
programs or software.
Input devices Hardware devices that attach to a computer; for
example, keyboards, mouse, document scanners,
and barcode (Universal Product Code) scanners
Processing devices Computing technology that allow for the
modification, storage, or deletion of data
Central processing unit (CPU) The CPU selects instructions, processes them,
performs arithmetic and logical comparisons, and
stores results of operations in memory
Main memory A set of cells in which each cell holds a byte of data
or instructions; each cell has an address, and the CPU
uses the addresses to identify particular data frames
Random access memory (RAM) Memory that is external to the processing unit that is
used for primary working memory in a computing
Output hardware Hardware that displays the results of the computer’s
processing. It consists of video displays, printers,
audio speakers, overhead projectors, and other
special-purpose devices, such as large flatbed
Storage hardware Hardware that saves data and programs. Magnetic
disk is by far the most common storage device,
although optical disks, such as CDs and DVDs are also
Special function cards Cards that can be added to the computer to augment
the computer’s basic capabilities.
Binary digits/Bits The means by which computers represent data; also
called bits. A binary digit is either a zero or a one.
Bytes (1) a character of data (2) an 8-bit chunk
Megabyte (MB) 1024 kilobytes
Gigabyte (BG) 1024 megabytes
Terabyte (TB) 1024 gigabytes
Data channel/Bus Means by which the CPU reads instructions and data
from main memory and writes data to main memory Bus 237 Management Information Systems
Cache A file on a domain name resolver that stores domain
names and IP addresses that have been resolved.
Then, when someone else needs to resolve that
same domain name, there is no need to go through
the entire resolution process. Instead, the resolver
can supply the IP address from the local file.
Operating System (OS) A computer program that controls the computer’s
resources: It manages the contents of main memory,
processes keystrokes and mouse movements, sends
signals to the display monitor, reads and writes disk
files, and controls the processing of other programs.
Memory swapping The movement of programs and data into and out of
memory. If a computer has insufficient memory for
its workload, such swapping will degrade system
Volatile (memory) Data that will be lost when the computer or device is
Nonvolatile (memory) Memory that preserves data contents even when not
powered (eg. Magnetic and optical disks). With suck
devices, you can turn the computer off and back on,
and the contents will be unchanged.
Hertz Cycles of CPU speed
Client A computer that provides word processing,
spreadsheets, database access, and usually a
Servers Computers that provide certain types of service, such
as hosting a data-base, running a blog, publishing a
website, or selling goods. Server computers are
faster, larger, and more powerful than client
Server farm A large collection of server computers that
coordinates the activities of the servers, usually for
Cloud computing Customers do not necessarily own the computer they
use, instead, hardware, software, and applications
are provided as a service, usually through a web
browser. The cloud is a metaphor for the Internet,
which makes software and data services available
from any location at anytime.
Grid computing The concept in which several computers are used to
address a single problem at the same time. Grid
computing uses software to divide and apportion
pieces of a program among several computers,
sometime many thousands. Bus 237 Management Information Systems
Instruction set The collection of instructions that a computer can
Windows An operating system designed and sold by Microsoft.
It is the most widely used operating system.
Mac OS An operating system developed by Apple Computer,
Inc., for the Macintosh. The current version is Mac
OS X. Macintosh computers are used primarily by
graphic artists and workers in the arts community.
Mac OS was developed for t