Glossary of Computer Terms

Confused by all the tech talk?, too many computer acronyms?. Lets make sense out of it all by looking it up in the glossary of computer terms, an A to Z list of the most common internet and computer technology terms.

Adware:is free software usually supported by advertisements, the advertisements are often in the form of pop ups or banners. If you dont like pop-ups then try to avoid any free software offered to you on the internet. I recommend using software to protect your computer from adware and spyware, see Protect your computer for a list of adware, spyware, and popup blocking programs.

Analog:is a continuous signal, as opposed to a digital signal which converts everything to numbers.

ASCII:American standard code for information interchange, is a standard for assigning numerical values to a set of letters

Binary:is a two digit numerical system which computers use to store data.

BIOS: basic input/output system, this is where the built-in software that determines what a computer can do without accessing programs from a disk. On PCs, the BIOS contains all the code required to control the keyboard, display screen, disk drives, serial communications, and various other functions.

Bit:The term comes from binary digit, which is the most basic and smallest unit used in computing, it is either a 1 or a 0 also could be a state of on or off, or true or false

Bittorrent:or torrents, are a way to share files, usually movies, music, games or programs over the internet. The way it works is you first download a small program called the client, then you search for torrents. Once you've found the one your looking for, you click run and it will open the bittorent client and automatically start downloading the file. The files are located on the personal computers of individuals, as you download from them, other people will be uploading from you untill you complete your download. For more info see How to download free stuff

Blog:Short for Web Log which is a journal posted by an individual on the web for anyone to read.

Bluetooth:This wireless technology is used for communication by bluetooth compatible devices, most commonly cell phones and PDA's.

Bookmark:An Internet bookmark of a world wide web page.

Boot:Causing the computer to start executing instructions, this is what happens when you first turn on the computer. The word was derived from the term "bootstrap," which was used to help get your boots on, booting the computer helps it get its first instruction.

Boot Disk:if there is no OS (operating system) on the computer, you must use a boot disk to get the computer to a point where you have access to the CD ROM drive so you can load the OS. A boot disk can be in the form of a floppy disk or a bootable CD ROM disk.

Broadband:refers to high speed data transmision, usually DSL or Cable internet service.

Browser:or Web browser is what you use to surf the internet, the ISP or internet service provider allows you to access the internet, you use the browser to surf. Some internet providers come with their own browsers like America Online for example, however you don't have to use their browser as Windows comes with a browser called Internet Explorer, or you can use Mozillas browser Firefox

Buffer:a small amount of data stored for a short amount of time while it is being processed. The buffer enables programs to store an advanvced supply of data to compensate for momentary delays.

Burn:To write data to a CD or DVD.

Byte:a set of 8 bits that represent a single character in the computers memory. Cache: A small, fast memory, holding recently accessed data, designed to speed up subsequent access to the same data, usually located on processors and harddrives.

CD: Compact Disk

CD-R: Compact Disk Recordable

CD-ROM: Compact disk read only memory, a CD that can be read but not written to, also used to refer to the device that reads the disk.

CD-RW: Compact disk re-writeable

Chipset: Term used to describe the architecture of an integrated circuit on computer mainboards.

Clock Speed: the rate at which a processor can complete processing cycles.

CMOS: Comlementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor. CMOS is where the computers BIOS is stored.

Codec: short for compressor/decompressor it is usually associated with music and video, various different codecs are required in order to play back different formats of video or audio.

Cookie: a text file created when you visit a web site, used to identify users and possibly prepare special web pages for them.

CPU: Central Processing Unit, the brain of your computer.

CRT: Cathode ray tube, this is the technology used in traditional computer displays.

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