When you approach computing for the first time you meet a range of terms that people involved in the industry take for granted. These terms are often vague generalisations and may mean different things to different people. They are also applied to a wide range of situations within computing and their precise meaning may vary between contexts.

Most jargon you meet when using a computer is related to the task you are doing. The software used to perform the task is called an application. Examples of applications include word processing, computer art and using a database program. However, there is some jargon that relates to running the computer itself, that is, how you control or operate a computer.

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