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Computer Information Systems

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During the first year in your new career field in computers you might come across some acronyms that are unfamiliar to you. These acronyms are going to become very familiar to you in the various classes you will be taking that cover software, hardware, and networking. This career field is still growing very quickly since it is still relatively new there are various openings in many towns.

BIOS - The BIOS (basic input output system) is the set of routines stored in read-only memory that enables a computer to start the operating system and to communicate with the various devices in the system, such as disk drives, keyboard, monitor, printer, and communications ports.

RAM - Random Access Memory, RAM is the most common type of computer memory, and it's where the computer stores system software, programs, and data you are currently using. It's formally called dynamic RAM (DRAM) because it's volatile, that is, the contents are lost when you turn off the computer (or crash). It's pronounced ram and measured in megabytes.

CPU - Central Processing Unit, the brains of the computer. The CPU interprets and executes the actual computing tasks. It is thethe part of a computer that does most of the data processing. The CPU is measured in Mega Hertz.

AGP - A bus specification by Intel which gives low-cost 3D graphics cards faster access to main memory on personal computers than the usual PCI bus. AGP dynamically allocates the video cards RAM to store the screen image and to support texture mapping, z-buffering, alpha blending and more. AGP will soon be replaced by PCI-e (PCI express) which is already in use today.

Firewall - A system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network. Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software, or a combination of both. Firewalls are frequently used to prevent unauthorized Internet users from accessing private networks connected to the Internet, especially intranets. All messages entering or leaving the intranet pass through the firewall, which examines each message and blocks those that do not meet the specified security criteria.

With any luck after reading this you might be eager to start your career field. Hopefully these definitions didn't scare you away but make no mistake this field is very technical and has many acronyms.



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