Desktop • This does not mean a computer desktop vs. a laptop. You probably keep a number of commonly used items on your desk at home such as pens, papers, and other items. Your computer's desktop (on your monitor) serves the same purpose – it allows you to easily open items on your hard drive without having to search for them. It is common to store frequently used files and programs on your desktop. All these files and programs will be on your desktop in the form of icons.
Icon • Icons are symbols of a program or object on your computer. The folders and files in those folders are icons. For example, a blue "e" on your screen most likely represents the Internet Explorer program and the blue “W” represents Microsoft Word. The recycle bin on Windows is an icon as well.
CPU • Central Processing Unit. This is a part in your computer that is pretty much the brain of your computer. Just like your brain is inside your head, the CPU is inside the computer. It processes everything from basic instructions to complex functions. Any time something needs to be computed, it gets sent to the CPU. The CPU can also be referred to simply as the "processor."
Hardware • All the physical (hard) parts of the computer system. It includes the CPU, hard drive, keyboard, monitor, printer, and scanner.
Software • The programs and instructions that run the computer and allow you to perform different functions. These software programs are usually on discs, CD-ROMs, and DVD’s.
Internet Browser • The program you use to get on to the World Wide Web. Some common browsers are Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and Apple Safari. It is NOT Google, Yahoo, etc.
Home Page • The starting point or main page of a website. This page usually has a table of contents and often describes the purpose of the site. ALL websites have a home page.
URL • Uniform Resource Locator. A URL is the address of a specific Web site or file on the Internet. It cannot have spaces or certain other characters and uses forward slashes to indicate different directories. Some examples of URLs are http://www.scps.k12.fl.us./, http://blackboard.com/, ftp://info.apple.com/. As you can see, not all URLs begin with "http" or “www”.
Alphanumeric Keys • All letters in the alphabet and numbers 0 through 9 on your keyboard. It does not include punctuation.
Character • A symbol, letter or number on the keyboard. Punctuation is included.
Home Row • In touch typing the eight keys on a computer keyboard on which a typist positions their eight finger tips when starting to type or when resting between words or phrases. The home row keys are ASDF for the left hand and JKL; for the right hand.
Menu • A listing in software that gives you choices of what you can do or parts of the program with which you can work. In MS Word, the menu bar contains menus for “File”, “Edit”, “View”, “Insert”, “Format”, “Tools”, etc.
Prompt • A cue (sign) that appears on the monitor and asks the user to give the computer new instructions.
Cursor • A small line that appears on the screen to indicate where the next keystroke will appear. It can be moved around the screen with the arrow keys. The mouse cursor generally appears as an arrow and can be moved around with the mouse.
Data • The information, numbers, letters and symbols that you input (type in or load from a disk) into the computer for processing
Graphics • The artwork, diagrams, pictures, charts and graphs that are displayed on the monitor.
Network • When you have two or more computers connected to each other, you have a network. A network allows the computers to share information, software and equipment. A device called a file server has the master files and programs on a disk that the computers will use.
Document • The text or information the author creates.
Word Processor • Also known as a word processing program. It allows the user to create, edit and format words. Some examples of word processing programs are Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, and AppleWorks.
Document Formatting • In word processing, putting text into the proper arrangement for a letter, report, reference, list, etc..
Word Wrap • A feature of most word processing programs that automatically "wraps" a word that does not fit within the right margin to the beginning of the next line. Without the word wrap feature, text would continue on one long line until the typist pressed "Enter".
Default • The settings the computer uses unless it receives instructions from the user.
Save • In word processing, a function that keeps the document the user has created for later use.
Save As • In word processing, a function that allows the user to save an original document that has been changed to a new document and still keep the original document.
Hard Copy • The paper copy of information stored in a computer or a document. It is the printed document.