This text will introduce you to some of the vocabulary that is specific to computers. This jargon can be confusing, imprecise, and intimidating. We believe that with a little explanation, we can clear the fog.

For the sake of discussion, we have provided a facsimile computer advertisement (see Figure 1.1). The ad is typical of many, in that it bombards the reader with phrases such as “32GB DDR4 SDRAM,” “PCIe sound card,” and “128KB L1 cache.” Without having a handle on such terminology, you would be hard-pressed to know whether the stated system is a wise choice, or even whether the system is able to serve your needs. As we progress through this text, you will learn the concepts behind these ...

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