Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Working Your Way through Maze of Computer Terms

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Working Your Way through Maze of Computer Terms

Article excerpt

BUYING a personal computer can be a daunting task. RAM, megahertz, gigabytes, CD-ROM - what does it all mean?

With so many different types of computers, it can be confusing as to which model and configuration best suits your child's needs.

Computer usage

MOST computers have a standard set of features, so look for a system that can be upgraded easily with more memory and storage devices. This allows you to increase your computer's capabilities to meet the growing needs of your child.

Older children, particularly those in high school, may want a computer that can play sophisticated games or download music. These require more memory, faster processor speeds, graphics cards and speakers. Students may be required to write reports, create charts and graphs, and do online research, so the computer should be able to run a variety of programs. You will also need a modem, which connects the computer to the phone line for internet access.

Some high school and probably most uni students may opt for a laptop computer instead of a desktop version because of its mobility. Laptops have a built-in display and may have the same computing power as many desktop computers. Students should ask officials at the university they will attend if the school has specific hardware and software requirements. A network interface card (NIC) may be a valuable option, as more college dorms are wired for high-speed internet access.

Speed, memory and hard drive space

AS a rule of thumb, you cannot have too much processor speed, memory or hard drive space.

Generally, the higher the processor speed, which is measured in megahertz, the faster your computer will be able to accomplish tasks and significantly improve the performance of the applications you are using. …

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