Kids & computers glossary. (Compute's Getting Started With: Kids & Computers) (Glossary)
CAD. Short for Computer-Aided Design. This refers to the software engineers and professional designers use to draw schematics and blueprints. Davidson's KidCAD program is a fun, easy-to-use introduction to CAD for children.
CD-ROM. Short for Compact Disc Read Only Memory. These are small (5-inch) round silver-colored discs that are similar to audio CDs. CD-ROMs, however, store text, graphics, and, sometimes, video along with sound. One disk can hold as much as 650 megabytes of data so they're often used for programs with large files.
computer literacy. The ability to understand and effectively use computers.
drill and practice. A phrase, sometimes used pejoratively, that describes a kind of educational software. Drill-and-practice programs use repetition and reward.
icon. A small onscreen image that a child can manipulate to control a program. For example, clicking a mouse pointer on a printer icon might send a picture to the printer.
interactive program. A program that accepts responses that accepts responses from a participant, usually through the keyboard, a mouse, or a joystick.
interface. The specific type of design and commands that enable a child to control a software program.
IRQ. Short for Interrupt Request. A setting on expansion cards, such as sound cards, that allow the device to interrupt the computer's processor in order to communicate with it.
Logo. A programming language designed especially to teach children to program. It was developed by Seymour Papert at MIT in 1968.
MPC. Short for Multimedia Personal Computer. An MPC is an IBM-compatible computer that can play sound and video, as well as handle standard applications ot text and graphics. The Multimedia PC Marketing Council recommends that a Level 1 MPC have at least a 16-MHz 386SX processor, 2MB of RAM, a 30MB hard drive, a mouse, an 8-bit sound card, and a CD-ROM drive with a 150K-per-second throughout. A Level 2 MPC should have at least a 25-MHz 486SX processor, 4MB 486SX processor, 4MB of RAM, a 160MB hard drive, a mouse, a 16-bit sound card, and a CD-ROM drive with a 300K-per-second throughput.
platform. This refers to the type of personal computer you're using, usually either an IBM-compatible PC or a Macintosh. Programs that run on IBM-compatible computers are said to run on the PC platform. Unless they're produced on CD-ROM in a special multi-platform format, programs that run on the Macintosh platform can't operate on the PC platform.
sound card. Also called sound board, audio card, and audio board. An expansion card placed inside a PC to improve the quality of the PC's sound output for certain software programs.