Glossary of Basic Concepts GUI–A Graphical User Interface – which uses visual displays to eliminate the need for typing commands. Formatting– The process of preparing a disc so that it can store information. During formatting, sectors, tracks, a director and the FAT are created on the disc. Sector– disc space normally 512 bytes long. Track– A track is also a data storage ring on a computer floppy diskette or hard disk drive that is capable of containing information. a track goes all around the platter and is used to help locate and retrieve information from a disk or diskette. Directory- an area on disc where information relating to a group of files is kept. FAT – the File Allocation Table – an area on disc where information is kept on which part of the disc the file is to be found. Directory tree– a pictorial representation of your disc’s structure. Boot – to start up the computer and load the DOS. BIOS – The BASIC Input/Output System. It allows the core of the operating system to communicate with the hardware. Bit– a binary digit, the smallest unit of information that can be stores either as 1 or 0. Byte– a grouping of binary digits (0 or 1) which represent information.
6CPU– the Central Processing Unit – the main chip that executes all commands. Disc– a device which you can store programs and data Cold boot– the process of starting your PC by switching it on. Warm boot- the process of starting your PC by using the Ctrl+Alt+Del key combination. File– the name given to an area on disc containing a program or data. Filename– the name given to a file. It must not exceed 8-characters in length and can have up to 3-characters. File extension– the optional three-letter suffix following the period in a filename. Processor– The electronic device which performs calculations. Prompt– A symbol that appears on a monitor to indicate that DOS is ready to receive input or commands, such as A> or C>. Peripheral – A device attached to a PC. Path– The drive and directories that DOS should look in for files. A path tells DOS how to locate a file within the directory structure. E.g. C:\SPREADSH\SSFILES\SALARY.TMPPort– an Input/Output address through which your PC interacts with external devices. Program– a set of instructions which cause a computer to perform certain tasks. Hardcopy– Output on paperHardware – the visible, tangible equipment that makes up a computer system.
7Software– the non- visible, non-tangible programs and instructions that control your PC’s functionality Root directory– The main disc directory under which a number of sub-directories can be created. ROM– Read Only Memory – the microcomputer’s non-volatile memory. Data are written into this memory at manufacture and are not affected by power loss.