Personal Computer and Network Interface Card

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BIOS: Stands for "Basic Input/Output System." The BIOS is a program pre-installed on Windows-based computers (not on Macs) that the computer uses to start up.

Operating system: Also known as an "OS," this is the software that communicates with computer hardware on the most basic level. Without an operating system, no software programs can run. The OS is what allocates memory, processes tasks, accesses disks and peripherials, and serves as the user interface.

Booting the computer:
Modem: The word modem is actually short for Modulator/Demodulator. A modem is a communications device that can be either internal or external to your computer. It allows one computer to connect another computer and transfer data over telephone lines.

LAN: Stands for "Local Area Network," A LAN is a computer network limited to a small area such as an office building, university, or even a residential home.

DSL: Stands for "Digital Subscriber Line." It is medium for transferring data over regular phone lines and can be used to connect to the Internet. However, like a cable modem, a DSL circuit is much faster than a regular phone connection, even though the wires it uses are copper like a typical phone line.

SCSI: Stands for "Small Computer System Interface," and is pronounced "scuzzy." SCSI is a computer interface used primarily for high-speed hard drives. This is because SCSI can support faster data transfer rates than the commonly used IDE storage interface. SCSI also supports daisy-chaining devices, which means several SCSI hard drives can be connected to single a SCSI interface, with little to no decrease in performance.

USB: Stands for "Universal Serial Bus." USB is the most common type of computer port used in today's computers. It can be used to connect keyboards, mice, game controllers, printers, scanners, digital cameras, and removable media drives, just to name a few.

Parallel port: This interface is found on the back of older PCs and is used for...
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