CIS Study Guide

The set of computer programs or instructions that tells the computer what to do and enables it to perform different tasks.

Application Software
The set of programs on a computer that helps a user carry out tasks such as word processing, sending e-mail, balancing a budget, creating presentations, editing photos, taking an online course, and playing games.

Software License
An agreement between the user and the software developer that must be accepted before installing the software on a computer.

Software Piracy
Violating a software license agreement by copying an application onto more computers than the license agreement permits

Proprietary Software
Custom software application that is owned and controlled by the company that created it.

Multimedia Software
Programs that include image, video, and audio editing software, animation software, and other specialty software required to produce computer games, animations, and movies.

System Software
The set of programs that enables a computer’s hardware devices and application software to work together; it includes the operating system and utility programs.

A series of instructions to be followed by a computer to accomplish a task.

System Requirement
The set of minimum storage, memory capacity, and processing standards recommended by the software manufacturer to ensure proper operation of a software application.

enterprise resource planning (ERP)
System that is used to control many “back office” operations and processing functions such as billing, production, inventory management, and human resources management

Customer relationship managment (CRM)
A business program used for storing sales and client contact information in one central database

Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)
System that is used to control many “back office” operations and processing functions such as billing, production, inventory management, and human resources management

Software that enables users to “test” the software by running it for a limited time free of charge.

File Name
The first part of the label applied to a file; it is generally the name a user assigns to the file when saving it

File Path
The exact location of a file, starting with the drive in which the file is located, and including all folders, subfolders (if any), the file name, and the extension. (Example: C:Usersusername DocumentsIllustrationsEBronte.jpg)

Swap File
A temporary storage area on the hard drive where the operating system “swaps out” or moves the data or instructions from random access memory (RAM) that have not recently been used this process takes place when more RAM space is needed.

Virtual Memory
The space on the hard drive where the operating system stores data if there isn’t enough random access memory (RAM) to hold all of the programs you’re currently trying to run

Device Driver
Software that facilitates the communication between a device and the operating system.

Basic Input/Output system (BIOS)
A program that manages the data between a computer’s operating system and all the input and output devices attached to the computer; also responsible for loading the operating system (OS) from its permanent location on the hard drive to random access memory (RAM).

Power on self test(POST)
The first job the basic input/output system (BIOS) performs, ensuring that essential peripheral devices are attached and operational. This process consists of a test on the video card and video memory, a BIOS identification process (during which the BIOS version, manufacturer, and data are displayed on the monitor), and a memory test to ensure memory chips are working properly.

The essential component of the operating system that is responsible for managing the processor and all other components of the computer system. Because it stays in random access memory (RAM) the entire time the computer is powered on, the kernel is called memory resident.

Plug and Play
The technology that enables the operating system, once it is booted up, to recognize automatically any new peripherals and configure them to work with the system.

The combination of a computer’s operating system and processor. The two most common platform types are the PC and the Apple Macintosh

A portion of the hard drive containing all the different configurations (settings) used by the Windows operating system (OS) as well as by other applications.

Utility Programs
A small program that performs many of the general housekeeping tasks for the computer, such as system maintenance and file compression.

Task Manager Utility
A Windows utility that shows programs currently running and permits you to exit nonresponsive programs when you click End Task

The result of an action, such as a keystroke, mouse click, or signal to the printer, in the respective device (keyboard, mouse, or printer) to which the operating system responds.

A computer that provides resources to other computers on a network.

The process of swapping data or instructions that have been placed in the swap file for later use back into active random access memory (RAM). The contents of the hard drive’s swap file then become less active data or instructions.

Boot Process
– The process for loading the operating system (OS) into random access memory (RAM) when the computer is turned on.

System software that controls hardware devices.

A large, expensive computer that supports hundreds or thousands of users simultaneously and executes many different programs at the same time.

An operating system originally conceived in 1969 by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie of AT&T’s Bell Labs. In 1974, the UNIX code was rewritten in the standard programming language C. Today there are various commercial versions of UNIX.

Make sure the case you buy is an ATX-style case, which accomodates the newest motherboards and that it includes adequate cooling fans

Make sure that the motherboard you buy can accomodate you buy can accomodate the CPU you have chosen.

Processor (CPU)
Get the fastest one you can afford, because it will help to extend the life of your computer.

Check your motherboard and specifications before buying RAM to ensure you buy the correct type and amount that will fit into the available slots.

HArd Drive
Some cases now support up to six drives so you may be able to make a few choices here. SSD drives are more expensive but incredibly fast.

Power supply
Make sure to get a power supply with adequate wattage to handle the load generated by all of the computer’s components.

Video Card
Low end cards with 512 MB of video memory are fine for normal computer use, but for gaming or displaying high-end graphics or videos.

Sound Card
Make sure you get a PCI card that is compatible is sound blaster.

optical drives
a CD/DVD drive is necessary for software installation. You may want to install a blue ray drive to view your movies in high def.