Traditional computer terminals are being replaced today with powerful, multifunction personal computers. PCs offer all the advantages of terminals, but add personal and organizational productivity applications, such as word processing, spreadsheets, calendars, task lists, electronic mail, project management, legal research, presentation software, imaging, public access, etc. PCs replace proprietary systems with more effective tools at a lower cost and risk. The graphical user interface of the personal computer is easier to learn and use. Instead of typing lengthy commands or navigating complex menu structures, the user presses command keys and selects data from lists supplied on the screen. This new generation of tools can be tailored to the exact needs of modern court officials.
There are five key components of a personal computer: processor, memory, storage devices, input and output devices, and networking equipment. The processor is the single chip in a personal computer that performs logic, computation, and decision-making operations. All other components exist to organize, store, and route data and instructions in support of these processor activities.
The processor works with only a limited number of instructions and a small amount of data at any one time. It must work very rapidly (processing millions of
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