Basic Computer Terminology

access time – The performance of a hard drive or other storage device or how long it takes to locate a file.

active program or window – The application or window at the front (foreground) on the monitor.

alias – an icon that points to a file, folder or application.

alert (alert box) – a message that appears on screen, usually to tell you something went wrong.

CPU – means “Central Processing Unit”. The place of computer data handling. More specifically, it does data manipulation, calculations and formatting data for output.

PC – simply stands for “Personal Computer”.

RAM – stands for “Random Access Memory” or “Ready Access Memory”. Is a temporary notepad where your computer sends information to disk, or to the storage place of instructions from other input devices.

Software – refers to the instructions needed to make a computer work.