This chapter defines some essential computer jargonwords like hardware, software, application program, and peripheral device. Then it shows you how to start up the Apple IIGS training disk. After that, you'll get a chance to use the Apple IIGS's built in Control Panel Programa program that lets you customize your computer system much the way you adjust the seat position and mirrors to customize a new car.
All of these topics are covered in more detail later in this guide.
What you do with your computer depends on the software you're using with it. Software refers to the sets of instructions, called programs, that tell the computer what to do. A program designed for a particular purpose, or application, is called an application program, or just an application. You can write programs yourself, or you can choose from a library of over 10,000 applications that are available for the Apple II family of computers. Applications are stored on disks. You start up an application by putting an application program disk in a disk drive and turning on the computer's power. Disk drives play back information stored on disks much the way tape players play back the information on tape cassettes.
K is how both computer memory size and disk storage space are measured. K is short for kilobyte (a little more than 1000 bytes). It takes one byte to hold one character of information.
You can use two kinds of disks to start up application programs on the Apple IIGS: 3.5-inch disks and 5.25-inch disks. The main difference between the two types of disks is storage capacity: 3.5-inch disks can hold 800K (about 400 pages of text); 5.25-inch disks can hold 143K (about 70 pages of text).
Chapter 1: Meet Your Apple IIGS