Computer Fundamentals Index

Computer Introduction Types of computer Characteristics of computer Uses of computer History of Computers

Computer Languages

Low Level language Middle level Language High level language

Computer Generation

Generation of Computers First Generation of Computer Second generation of Computers Third generation of Computers Fourth generation of Computers Fifth generation of Computers Sixth Generation of Computer

Peripheral Devices

Input devices Output device


Block diagram and basic components Control processing unit (CPU) Software Hardware


Computer Memory Registers Memory Hierarchy RAM Vs ROM Understanding file sizes (Bytes, KB, MB, GB, TB, PB, EB, ZB, YB)

Computer Network

Types of Network Types of Area Networks (LAN, WAN, MAN) TCP Flags

Computer Virus

Computer Virus

Computer Ports

Computer Ports


How to hack a computer How much do Computer Programmers make How does a Computer work How to associate a file with a program How does a computer convert text into binary How does a computer process data into information How to fix a CD-ROM DVD How to fix the no input signal How to install computer memory How to associate a file with a program How to log out of your operating system How do I change my name on Google How to installation or uninstallation Microsoft Paint How to fix a not a valid Win32 application error How to fix missing Microsoft Windows .dll files How to use a computer keyboard How to erase my hard drive and start over How can I test how many words I can write a minute How to shut down a computer How do I open and edit the Windows registry How to edit the registry from the command line How to restart Microsoft Windows How to install a computer processor How to open Microsoft Paint How to fix problems in Windows after installing new software How to enable or disable the preview pane of Microsoft Outlook How to open a Microsoft .wps or Works file in Word How to view the HTML source code in Microsoft Word How to View or Change the Screen Resolution of a Monitor How to Connect and Install a Computer Keyboard How to Delete Temporary Files in Windows 10 How to determine Which Version of Microsoft Office I'm using How to find out how much hard drive space is available How to Fix PC Stuck on Verifying DMI Pool Data How to choose which items show in the notification area How to find similar images using Search by Image How to fix Low Memory and out of memory errors How To Replace the CMOS Battery How do I Update my Antivirus Program How to fix a general protection fault How to Identify problems in the Windows Device Manager How can the Base be Shown How to test if a Website or Web Page is down How Much is 1 Byte, Kilobyte, Megabyte, Gigabyte, etc How to fix a CMOS checksum error How to Fix a Windows CD-ROM, DVD, or Disc Drive Issue How to Open Safe Mode How to Password Protect Files and Folders in Windows How to Reset CMOS or BIOS Settings How to use Computer Keyboard How to create a text file How to enable or disable DHCP in Windows How to test computer memory to determine if its bad How do double space or change line spacing in Microsoft Word How do I know if I have Windows Administrator Rights How many cores does my computer have How to Create a Directory or Folder How to Enter and Exit the BIOS or CMOS Setup How to change Windows Compatibility mode How to clear your internet browser history How to Connect Computer Speakers How to Copy a Web Page Link or URL How to install a Hard Drive or SSD How to Open the Windows Control Panel How to split a screen in Windows How to copy text from a scanned PDF


Who invented Computer What are the advantages of the Internet? What are the disadvantages of the Internet? Is my computer 64 bit? What is Edge Computing? What is a Router? What is Monitor What is Printer What is a Web Browser What is Microphone What is a Webcam What is PC What is Keyboard What is Motherboard What is WAP What is URL What is a Digital Assistant When was the first Computer Invented What is Modem What is Firmware What is Imperative Programming What is Protocol What is Safe Mode What is Device Driver What is Hybrid Topology What is Mesh Topology What is Procedural language What is a hyperlink What is a Username Who invented the Internet What is Video Card What is Sound Card What is Binary What does Alt+B do What does Alt+D do What does Alt+E do What does Alt+Esc do What does Alt+R do What does ALT + Q do What does Alt + Tab do What is Data Manipulation What is a touch screen What is Back Panel What is Analog Monitor What is AR lens What is an ATX Style Connector What is a File System What is Hard Disk Drive (HDD) What is a boot device What is accessibility What is Line In What is network Interface card (NIC) What is Optical Disk Where can I ask questions on the internet What is Auto Rotate What is CAD (Computer-aided design) What is Cable Modem What is Home Page What is boot menu What is braille reader What is flash memory What is Windows What is Clipboard What is Cyber Warfare What is Myspace Why has my IP address changed What is Jacquard Loom My computer is running slow, what steps can I do to fix it What is a Kensington Lock What is a multicore processor What is automation Are smartphones and tablets computers What is a Login Script What is a Loosely Typed Language What is Multitasking? Why my computer monitor shows no display or black screen What is REM What is Parallelization What is Overtype mode What is open with What is Bracket What is an Online Service What is REM What is Parallelization What is Overtype mode What is open with What is Bracket What is an Online Service What is the Pg Dn Key (Page Down Key) What is the Pg up Key (Page up Key) What is Palmtop Computer What is a Processing Device What is a Print Preview What is the Print Screen Key What can I do if my computer or laptop is lost or stolen What is a Model Number What are the currently available antivirus programs What are Toggle keys What is a Case fan What is a Silicon Chip What is a Slate PC What is a TAB stop What is an Octothorpe What is Task Pane What is Task View What is the svchost.exe file used for in Windows Where can I find free online virus scanners Why am I unable to increase the resolution in Windows What is Autofill When I click my mouse, it sometimes double-clicks What is Scratch What is UDIMM What is MsConfig What is an Expansion Card What is an Executable File What is an Elevated Command Prompt What is an AC Adapter What is AIMBOT What is a Software Suite What is a LED Monitor What does Alt + X do What does alt + space do What does Alt + O do Now that I’ve got a Computer, what can i do What is a Punch Card What is RDIMM What is Select All What is Serial number What is Thermos flask What programs can I use for speech recognition What are the Advantages of Computers What are the Disadvantages of Computers What does Alt + T do What Hardware Device Drivers should be Updated What is a Desktop What is a Ring Topology What is CMOS What is a Directory What is a Mechanical Mouse What is a Plotter What is a Variable What is an Icon What is Data What is HDMI What is Remote What is Right-Click What is SMPS Why does my Laptop not turn on What is a Copyright What is a Cordless Mouse What is a CSV file What is a Joystick What is a Start Button What is a Taskbar What is an Alignment What is an Output Device What is Cat 5 What is Google Chrome What is Post What are Recordable DVD Drives What Does Alt + F4 Do What Does Alt + L Do What is a bit (Binary Digit) What is a cable What is a Calculator What is a capacitor What is a Cold Boot What is a Dialog Box What is a Dual-boot What is a Slide What is A4 What is AM What is Barcode Reader What is EHCI What is a Header What is a Joystick What is a Secondary Storage Device What is Access Time What is Account Sharing What is an Asterisk What is Asynchronous DRAM What is Back Quote What is BIOS What is Borderless Printing What is Case Badge What is CD-ROM What is Chat Slang What is Composite What is RJ Cable What Are Bottom Row Keys What is SAN What is Tray What is VDU What Does Alt + M Do What Does Alt + P Do What is a Cell What is a Command Key What is a key Combination What is a Menu Bar What is a Startup What is a T What is Chat What are the F1 through F12 keys What does Alt + Enter do What Does Alt + Home DO What does Alt + R do What does Ctrl + B do What Does Ctrl + Enter Do What Does Ctrl + R Do What does Ctrl + G do What does Ctrl + 9 do What does Ctrl + End do What does Ctrl + O do What Does Ctrl + P do What Does Ctrl + Q do What is a Colon What is a Core What is Apple Touch Icon What is Clock What is Code What is Computer Crime What is Ctrl What is DAT What is Data diddling What is Date Why won't my computer turn on What Does Alt + N Do What does ctrl + 2 do What does ctrl + space do What does Ctrl + W do What does Ctrl + T Do What Does Ctrl + 2 do What does Ctrl + 5 Do What are the most common file types and file extensions What are Sticky keys What Does Ctrl + Shift + Esc Do What is Settings What is Task Manager What is Taskbar What is a DNS Resolver What does ctrl + 1 do What does ctrl + 0 do How to install software What is a Folder What is a Legend What is a MAC Address What is a Path What is a Ruler What is a Toolbar What is an Intranet Meaning and Differences with Internet What is an SSD What is Inheritance What is Tablet What is Depth What is Docking Station What is Double Click What is a Solid Ink Printer What is a Temporary File What is Backup and Restore What is Electronic Payment Systems Eps What is Marshalling


Difference between hardware and software Difference between multiprocessor and distributed systems Difference between Desktop and Laptop Difference between File and folder Difference between Hard Copy and Soft Copy Open Source Programs vs Closed Source Programs Difference between Optical Fibre and Coaxial Cable Difference between Website and Webpage Difference between Classes and Objects Input VS Output Difference between Primary and Secondary Storage with Examples


Quantum Computing Computer Software Autoexec.bat and config.sys info Update an Antivirus Use of Internet Advantages and disadvantages of Email Computing Power Internet Explorer Shortcut Keys Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) Augmented Reality Infrastructure Readiness Check Top 10 Internet tips and tricks Introduction and Features of FoxPro Features of Multimedia Top 10 online services and applications Receiving S.M.A.R.T. status bad backup and replacing error Version Control System Uninstalling Software or Apps in Windows Data Warehouse Increase or decrease font size in Word using keyboard shortcuts Mouse not detected or working in Windows Computer Cleaning Information and Steps Function Keys on Keyboard Windows 7 Alt+Tab won’t stay on top or stick 10 Essential Examples of Web Browsers Binary Subtraction using 2’s Complement Case Sensitive Languages Computer Pioneers and people who are CEO Microsoft Word Shortcut Keys Parts of Computers Names, Definitions and Images ROM and its Types Basics of Information Technology Characteristics of a Good Software Design Characteristics of Management Information System Classification of Management Information System Implementation of MIS Input Devices of Computer Definition Limitations of Management Information System 3 Types Of Network in Computer Block Diagram Of Control Unit Difference Between Computer and Embedded System Difference Between Hard Disk and Floppy Disk Abstraction in OOAD Hardware and Software Devices Optomechanical Mouse CMOS Memory What is a Terminal? What is Graphic Design? What is Load? What is Passcode? What is Reboot? What is Registry? What is Safe Mode? What is Standby? What is SYN (Synchronize)? What is Task Manager? Attribute Computing BPS in Computer Bulletin Board System Light Pen Input Device 3 TYPES OF NETWORK IN COMPUTER Block diagram of control unit What is a Solid Ink Printer? What is a Temporary File? What is an App launcher? What is Backup and Restore? What is a Tab Character? What is the Core i3? What is Paint? What is a Workbook? Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Education What is a String? What is a VDU (Visible Display Unit)? 50 Uses of Computer What is Workspace? What is a Procedural Language? What is VGA (Video Graphics Array)?

What is a Terminal?

A terminal is part of an operating system known as an interface, which enables you to input commands for executing a specific task. The terminal allows you to interact with the computer systems. It is also called an electronic or electromechanical hardware device to enter data into and transcribe data from a computer system. Teletype is an example of an early hardware terminal.

What is a Terminal?

In other words, a terminal is a collection of hardware devices, including a keyboard and a monitor. It's a Command Line Interface where users input commands to execute various tasks such as running programs, managing files, configuring settings and many other operations. It is mainly used to input the command, transmit it to another device, receive the output and display it to the end users. In older terminals, a scanner and camera were used for input, and a monitor and printer were used to provide the output. The terminal is called a command prompt or a shell in other Operating Systems, such as Linux, MacOS, and Unix. Here, you can input commands in the shell or command prompt, and the computer will display the output in text form after executing those commands.

How to Access Terminal?

Follow the steps below to access the terminal in different operating systems like Windows, Linux, and macOS.


Method 1:

  • Press the Windows+R buttons together.
  • A Run dialogue box will open. Here, type cmd and hit Enter.
  • Now, type the command that you want to execute.

Method 2:

  • Click on the Start Menu.
  • Here, type cmd in the search box.
  • Now, select Command Prompt and hit Enter.
What is a Terminal?


  • Press Ctrl+Alt+T to access the terminal.
  • Or, click on the Application menu.
  • Here, search for the Terminal or GNMOE Terminal.
  • Click on the Terminal to open.
What is a Terminal?


  • Press the Command+Space buttons to open Spotlight Search.
  • Here, type Terminal and click on the Terminal option.
What is a Terminal?

Functions of a Terminal

The terminal permits users to perform several tasks, from simple file management to complex programs. Almost every operation can be executed through the terminal described below.

File Manipulation

There are various commands for managing files through the terminal of Unix-based OS like Linux or macOS. The commands are provided below.

cd directory_nameThis command changes the directory to directory_name.
cd ..It is used to move one directory up.
cdUsed to return to the home directory.
lsThis command provides a list of files and directories in the current directory.
ls -lThis command lists available files and directories with additional details (shows permissions, ownership, size, etc).
mkdir directory_nameThis Linux command is used to create a new directory.
touch file_nameIt is used to create a new file.
rm file_nameUsed to remove a file.
rm -r directory_nameThis command removes a directory and its contents.
rmdir directory_nameThis command allows you to remove an empty directory.
cp source_file destination_fileThis command is used to copy a file.
cp -r source_directory destination_directoryYou can use this command to copy a directory and its contents.
mv source_destinationThis command permits you to move or rename a file or directory.
cat file_nameUsed for displaying file contents.
less file_nameWith the help of this command, you can view file content page by page.
head file_nameIt is used to get the first few lines of a file.
tail file_nameThis command is used to get the last few lines of a file.
nano file_name or vim file_nameThis command opens a text editor to edit the file. To modify or edit the text, use arrow keys or shortcuts.
chmod permissions file_nameUsed to change the file permission.
chown new_owner file_nameBy using this command, you can change file ownership.
find path_name "filename"This command allows you to search a file by name within a specific path.
grep "pattern" file_nameThis command enables you to search for a specific pattern in a file.

Throughout the commands mentioned above, you can implement the task of file manipulation in Linux and macOS. Using the terminal, you can perform other operations like software installation, network configuration, process management, system monitoring, etc.

Different Types of Terminals

The terminals come in different forms, each used for specific purposes according to various operating systems.

Hard Copy Terminals

Electromechanical teleprinters/teletypewriters (such as the Teletype Model 33), initially used for telegraphy, were among the first user terminals connected to computers. Early Teletypes, including a paper tape reader and punch, were typically configured as Keyboard Send-Receive (KSR) or Automatic Send-Receive (ASR). This resulted in the current loop interface, already used in telegraphy, and a thriving computer surplus machine market.

What is a Terminal?

personalized designs. Later, keyboard/printer terminals included the DECwriter and the IBM 2741. The top speeds of the LA30 (an early DECwriter), IBM 2741, and teletypes were 10, 15, and 30 characters per second, respectively.

Intelligent Terminals

The term intelligent terminal first appeared in 1969. A microprocessor is typically built into an intelligent terminal, but not all terminals with microprocessors actually process input; instead, the primary computer to which the terminal was connected had to react swiftly to each keystroke.

Intelligent terminals are equipped with some processing power as compared to dumb terminals. They can send data to the main computer after completing some tasks locally. Their limited memory and processing capacity might enable some degree of local data manipulation.

Graphical Terminals

A graphical terminal displays text as well as images. The graphical terminal was developed in the 1960s and gained popularity in the 1970s and 1980s. This graphical terminal was used to run GUI, such as the Apple Macintosh and the X Window system. However, with the invention of personal computers with built-in graphical capabilities, graphical terminals became less popular. Despite that, they are still used in CAD/CAM scientific computing. The graphical terminal is divided into two modes: 1. vector mode and 2. raster mode. Let's understand both modes in detail.

What is a Terminal?

Vector Terminals

Direct line drawings on the cathode-ray tube face are made possible by vector-mode displays managed by the host computer system. Although the lines are continuously formed, the number of concurrent lines that can be displayed at once is limited due to the speed limitations of electronics. Despite their historical significance, vector-mode displays are no longer in use.

Raster Terminals

Almost all modern graphics displays come in raster mode. These terminals show graphics on a Cathode Ray Tube (CRT). An electron beam scans the CRT to paint the image onto the screen. Compared to vector-scan terminals, raster-scan terminals are more prevalent. They are also more versatile because they can display a greater variety of graphics.


Usually, a network or serial port links graphical terminals to computers. The terminal receives commands from the computer telling it what to display. The graphical terminal has various advantages and disadvantages that are pointed out below:

  • The graphical terminal displays various data like images, texts, charts and diagrams.
  • It enables users to view complex data or information.
  • It may have more visual compatibility.


  • These types of terminals are more typical than text-only terminals.
  • It requires more processing power from the computer.
  • It may not be compatible with older software.

Block-Oriented Terminal

A block-oriented terminal is a computer terminal that communicates with its host in data blocks. It is also known as a block mode terminal. On the other hand, a character-oriented terminal communicates with its host one character at a time.

Block-oriented terminals generally have a buffer that holds one or more screens of data in addition to data attributes, including the underlying data structure of the displayed information (heading, paragraph, list item, etc.) and appearance indicators (colour, brightness, blinking, etc.). As a result, the terminal can handle some data manipulation tasks on its own, like scrolling and cursor movement, without requiring the host to send requests. This can lessen the quantity of processing that the host computer needs to do, particularly when handling big data sets.

The IBM 3270, a block-oriented terminal used with mainframe computers, is the most well-known example. Additional block-oriented terminals are the DEC VT220 and the VT340.

Benefits / Advantages

Unlike character-oriented terminals, block-oriented terminals frequently support a greater variety of features, like scrolling, cursor movement, and multiple fonts.

  • Lower processing load on the host computer: As previously indicated, block-oriented terminals have the ability to handle some data manipulation tasks on their own, which can lower the processing load on the host computer.
  • Improved Performance: When working with big volumes of data, block-oriented terminals can frequently offer faster performance than character-oriented terminals.


  • Higher Cost: Block-oriented terminals are typically more expensive than character-oriented terminals.
  • Complex Hardware: Block-oriented terminals require more sophisticated hardware than character-oriented terminals.
  • Less Compatibility: Not all software programs are compatible with block-oriented terminals.

With the increasing power and sophistication of computer software, block-oriented terminals are becoming less common; that said, they are still in use in certain specialized applications, such as industrial automation and mainframe computing.

Character-Oriented Terminal

A Character-Oriented Terminal (COT) is a computer terminal communicating with its host one character at a time. This contrasts with a Block-Oriented Terminal (BOT), which communicates with its host in data blocks.

What is a Terminal?

Key Attributes

  • COTs send every character, including any control characters required for formatting or other purposes, to the host one at a time.
  • Compared to BOTs, this enables simpler hardware and software.
  • COTs do not natively support graphics but are primarily intended for text-based applications.
  • They usually don't have many features besides simple text display, like scrolling and cursor movement.

Examples of Character-oriented Terminals

  • Early teletypewriters
  • Dumb Terminals
  • VT100 Terminals


  • Software applications widely support the character-oriented terminal.
  • Simple and lower-cost to implement.
  • Reliable and efficient for text-based applications.


  • It has limited functionalities as compared to the Block-Oriented Terminals.
  • It is not suitable for graphical applications.
  • Needs more processing power from the host computer to perform complex tasks.

Use Cases of Character-Oriented Terminal

  • Provides Command Line Interfaces.
  • It has Legacy Systems and applications.
  • Text Editors and Coding Environment.
  • It provides Remote server access.

Text Terminals

Text terminals are interfaces for communicating with computers using plain text. They are also referred to as text consoles or just terminals. Despite their apparent simplicity, they are still adaptable tools for various applications and have clear benefits over graphical user interfaces.

Types of Text Terminals

  1. Physical terminals: Specific hardware for one-on-one communication includes a keyboard and screen.
  2. Network terminals: Provide remote access and centralized management by connecting to PCs via a network.
  3. Serial terminals: Usually used for industrial applications or legacy systems, serial ports allow computers to communicate.
  4. Virtual terminals: Computer programs that simulate an actual terminal, frequently in a graphical user interface.


  • Automation: Batch processing and scripting are simpler in text environments.
  • Troubleshooting: Text-based error logs and messages offer more detailed information for system diagnosis.
  • Accessibility: Those with vision impairments may find text terminals compatible with screen readers.
  • Learning Stages: It can be quicker to pick up primary navigation and command skills than to learn intricate GUI interactions.

Text Terminals Used By

  • Software Developers
  • Security Professionals
  • Power Users
  • System Administrators
  • Network Engineers

Video Display Units (VDUs)

VDUs, also known as monitors or displays, are electronic devices that show visual data produced by computers or other devices. They are now indispensable parts of our everyday existence, utilized for everything from communication and education to work and amusement.

Types of Video Display Units

  • CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) Display
  • LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)
  • Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED)

Key Features

  • The pixel count, expressed in terms of 1920x1080, defines the image's sharpness and level of detail.
  • The frequency of image updates per second is measured in Hertz (Hz). Smoother motion is achieved with higher refresh rates, particularly in gaming and fast-paced content.
  • DUs can be connected to PCs and other devices via several ports, including USB-C, HDMI, and DisplayPort.
  • Vertical display units (VDUs) are available in multiple dimensions, usually expressed as diagonal inches (e.g., 24 inches) and aspect ratios (e.g., 16:9, 21:9), which establish the screen's width and height proportions.
  • It defines the colour scale the display can produce and is measured in bits (for example, 8-bit, 10-bit).

Where Used VDUs?

  • For Personal computers
  • In Televisions
  • In Mobile Devices
  • Digital Signage
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality


The computer terminal plays a vital role in the context of commanding and viewing the outputs. We have also provided the techniques for accessing the Windows, macOS and Linux terminals.