2 minute read


bit (bit): a single binary digit, a 1 or 0

byte (bite): a group of binary digits that a computer transforms into a number, letter, or something else

CD-ROM (SEE-DEE ROM): a computer drive that plays compact discs and has read-only memory

central processing unit (SEN-truhl PROSS-ess-ing YOO-nit): the processor or part of the computer that processes software or information; sometimes called CPU

crashed (KRASHT): stopped working properly

cursor (KUR-sur): an indicator on your computer screen that shows your position when you're typing or pointing and clicking

digital (DIJ-uh-tuhl): using digits, or numbers

discs (DISKS): pieces of software containing information that can be inserted into a computer drive

electricity (i-lek-TRISS-uh-tee): a form of energy generated by the movement of electrons and protons

email (EE-mayl): short for electronic mail, sent over the Internet by one computer user to another

gigabyte (GIG-uh-bite): about a billion bytes

hard drives (HARD DRIVES): parts inside computers that store large amounts of information

Internet (IN-tur-net): an electronic web of billions of sites that you can connect to with a computer and modem

keyboard (KEE-bord): the board where you can type letters and numbers onto the computer screen

kilobyte (KIL-uh-bite): about a thousand bytes

mainframe (MAYN FRAYM): a large central computer that has memory and programs for smaller computers

megabyte (MEG-uh-bite): about a million bytes

memory (MEM-uh-ree): lets computers store and save files, information, and programs

modem (MOH-duhm): a computer output that connects the computer to the Internet

monitor (MON-uh-tur): the screen of a computer

mouse (MOUSS): a computer input that allows you to point and click to open programs or highlight things on the screen

PC (PEE-SEE): a personal computer that uses Microsoft software rather than a computer made by Apple

processor (PROSS-ess-ur): the part of the computer that handles all the information, sometimes called the central processing unit or CPU

RAM (RAM): stands for random access memory, the part of the computer's memory that is lost when the computer is turned off

reboot (re-BOOT): restart the computer

ROM (ROM): stands for read-only memory, the information that can be read but not changed

silicon chip (SIL-uh-kuhn CHIP): a computer chip that let computers get small enough for personal use

switches (SWICH-es): the devices that control the flow of binary signals

transistors (tran-ZISS-turz): devices that control the flow of electricity

websites (WEB-sites): a central location for related web pages on the Internet

Additional topics

Science Encyclopedia for KidsComputers