Definitions

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This page will be a list of definitions that we think would be beneficial as we come across them. For some definitions you can click the name for more detailed information or a link directly to the Wikipedia article.
More will be added soon.

A - E

A

Access → References Microsoft Access (often abbreviated "MS Access")

Access Point → A hardware device similar to a router that allows additional connection spots to a wireless network.

ACL → Access Control List → Controls user permissions, mainly for websites or Linux related applications.

ActiveX → Created by Microsoft to 'bridge' desktop applications to Internet based applications and sites.

Ad-Hoc → Latin Translation of "for this purpose" references a 'private' wired or wireless network between systems/devices normally created as a 'one time' use network without the use of a router.

Adware → Software that contains ads to help support them as it's common place in free software. (Ex. AOL Messenger has ads at the bottom of the window.)

AGP → Accelerated Graphics Port → Older style connection port on a motherboard for video cards.

AIFF → Audio Interchange File Format → Originally created by Apple to store high quality audio samples.

Alert Box → Sometimes called "Message Box" is a small window that pops up, generally to inform you of an error.

Alpha Software → Software that is still in very early development. (Pre-Beta Release software) {See Beta Software below}

AMD → Advanced Microchip Devices → Creators of processors (CPU’s) in competition to Intel. AMD recently acquired graphics card creator ATI.

  • Athlon
  • Duron
  • Opteron
  • Phenom
  • Sempron
  • Turion

ANSI → American National Standards Institute → Group responsible for promoting competitiveness of US based businesses.

API → Application Program Interface → A set of functions, protocols, or parameters used while creating software to connect to the Operating System or back-end of the system trying to be utilized.

Apple → The company responsible for creating the Macintosh computer (not the other way around). For more information, see here.

ARP → Address Resolution Protocol → A protocol used to map a computers IP (see IP below) to it's location inside a LAN (see LAN below).

ASCII → American Standard Code Information Interchange (pronounced Ask-EE) → There are 128 ASCII codes which can be represented by a 7 digit binary number and display specific characters as a result.

ASP → Active Server Page or Application Service Provider (pending on context)

  • Active Server Page => A web page with one or more embedded ASP scripts.
    • Uses *.asp or *.aspx for the extension, as opposed to *.html or *.php
    • Content is processed by the server as opposed to being processed locally by your browser
    • Mainly used for sites that are more 'dynamic' or have frequently changing information/data
    • Developed by Microsoft and typically written in Visual Basic
  • Application Service Provider => Normally a third party company that distributes software based services from a central location
    • Saves on having to dedicate resources of having an on-site or in-house team for a specific task.
    • Local/Regional ASP => Normally supplies to Small Businesses or individuals in the local area
    • Vertical Market ASP =>Supplies to a specific industry (ex. Education)
    • Specialist ASP => Supplies to a specific function (ex. Human Resources or Web Support)
    • Enterprise ASP => Supplies to high level businesses
    • Volume Business ASP => Supplies to Middle and Large Businesses that conduct in High Volume

ASP.NET → A set of tools created by Microsoft to help in Web Development.

ATI → Graphics card manufacturer. Creators of the Radeon and "All-in-Wonder" graphics line. In direct competition to nVidia (creators of GeForce)

Autoresponder → A program or script that automatically responds to a trigger event, such as an email or away message.

B

Backup → Is the action of making copies of your files and/or data to another medium for archival purposes.

Bandwidth → The amount of data that can be sent through a connection. Usually measured in bits-per-second.

Banner Ad → Advertisement, normally in the form of a vertical or horizontal banner on a website. Like them or not, sometimes it's the only way.

BCC → Blind Carbon Copy → When emailing someone, anyone listed under BCC will receive a copy as well, without it showing to the original recipiant.

Beta Software → Software that has passed "Alpha" status, but is still deemed Pre-Release as it normally is feature complete, but may still contain bugs.

Binary → A basic numbering system using 0's and 1's.

BIOS[1] → Basic Input/Output System → Also known as "System BIOS". Most PCs allow access to the BIOS during system boot by pressing a single key (or combination of keys). This key depends on the manufacturer of the motherboard. (Most common: F1, F10, F12, Delete, Ctrl+F10)

Bit → A bit is a single digit number in Binary and the smallest unit of computer data. It takes 8 bits to make 1 byte.

Bitrate → As the name implies, it's the rate at which bits are transferred from one computer/system to another.

BitTorrent → A form of Peer-to-Peer that utilizes shared bandwidth to cut down on the strain to the distributors system(s). Although BitTorrent was originally created for legit purposes, it's kind of been adopted by Hackers and Software Pirates to share their information/data illegally. Due to this, you will NOT find much information on Torrents, or other P2P (Peer-to-Peer) software.

Blog → Slang for "Web log", originally created as forms of online diaries but has since evolved to certain news sites, etc. due to simplicity of updating and editing.

Blu-Ray → Similar to a CD or DVD, but much higher capacity. Winner of the "HD Wars", beating the failed format of HD-DVD.

Bluetooth → A radio based technology for data and voice transmission that is limited to around 10 meters.

Bookmark → Similar to it's real-life counterpart, it's used to store the location of a Website or Application for easy access in the future. (Same thing as "Favorites")

Boot → To start a computer.

Boot Disk → A disk (Floppy), CD/DVD, or USB Thumbdrive that contains data to boot a computer when the Operating System is corrupt. (Can also be used for diagnostic reasons)

Boot Sector → The first sector on a Hard Drive or Storage Media. Contains the MBR (See MBR) which is accessed in the boot sequence.

Boot Sequence → Initial set of processes and commands a system goes through each time you boot the system.

Bot → Automated script or program to run a set of commands or actions based on needs. Most commonly used (sadly) in IRC, Chat Rooms, or on Forums for spam.

BPS → Bits Per Second → Lower case 'b' used, since it's Bits, and not Bytes. See Bit

Broadband → High Speed Internet, faster than Dialup and utilizes either a Cable Modem or DSL Modem.

Browser → Shortened name for a "Web Browser". (Examples: Internet Explorer, Opera, Firefox, Mozilla, Safari)

Buffer → A temporary storage location used as a 'go between' in the streaming process.

Bug → A software flaw or unexpected result

Byte → A set of 8 bits. See Bit

C

C/C++ → High level programming language originally created in the mid 1970's. Originally used for Unix, but is multi-platform, C++ syntax is nearly identical to C syntax, but is more object oriented.

Cable Modem → A modem that utilizes Coax cable to deliver content for the internet, also referenced as a "Broadband Modem" since it's faster than dialup.

Cache → An area used as temporary storage to help speed up data transfers.

Caps Lock → A key on the keyboard that acts like you're holding the Shift key without the need to hold it.

Captcha → A "Challenge Response" test to determine if the action was done by a human or machine, created to help combat spam.

Card Reader → Generic term for a 'reader' device, internal or external, that reads external cards such as:

Card Name Abbreviation Dimensions Family
  Compact Flash I CF-I 43.0x36.0x3.30 mm       Same Family
  Compact Flash II CF-II 43.0x36.0x5.50 mm
  SmartMedia SMC 45.0x37.0x0.76 mm
  Memory Stick MS 50.0x21.5x2.80 mm       Same Family
  Memory Stick Duo MSD      31.0x20.0x1.60 mm
  Memory Stick PRO Duo MSPD
  Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo MSPDX
  Memory Stick Micro M2 M2 15.0x12.5x1.20 mm
  Multimedia Card MMC 32.0x24.0x1.50 mm        Same Family
  Reduced Size Multimedia RS-MMC 16.0x24.0x1.50 mm
  MMC-Micro MMCmicro 14.0x12.0x1.10 mm
  Secure Digital Card SD 32.0x24.0x2.10 mm        Same Family
  miniSD miniSD 21.5x20.0x1.40 mm
  microSD microSD 15.0x11.0x0.70 mm
  xD Picture Card xD 20.0x25.0x1.70 mm

CC → Depends on context, normally references "Credit Card", but when referenced in regards to email stands for "Carbon Copy", similar to BCC but the names will be shown to all in the To: and CC: fields.

CD and CD-ROM → A CD (Compact Disc) is a 4.75 inch (12 cm.) disc that contains data, while the CD-ROM is the device used to read CD's.

CGI → (Common Gateway Interface) A standard for running external programming from a web server.

Chip → A piece of silicon with electronic parts attached to it.

Chipset → The architecture of an integrated circuit.

Clean Room → A fully sterile room, void of dust, static, or anything else that can potentially damage electronic parts.

Clipboard → A section of RAM that temporarily holds information to be pasted or manipulated later.

Clock Speed → The clock speed is the frequency which determines how fast devices that are connected to the system bus operate. The speed is measured in millions of cycles per second (MHz or megahertz) and is generated by a quartz crystal on the motherboard which acts as a kind of metronome. Devices that are synchronized with the clock may run faster or slower but their speed is determined by multiplying or dividing a factor by the clock speed. (GHz or gigahertz, equals 1000MHz or 1024MHz pending on the source).

CMOS[2] → Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor → Pronounced see-moss, CMOS is a widely used type of semiconductor. CMOS semiconductors use both NMOS (negative polarity) and PMOS (positive polarity) circuits. Since only one of the circuit types is on at any given time, CMOS chips require less power than chips using just one type of transistor. This makes them particularly attractive for use in battery-powered devices, such as portable computers. Personal computers also contain a small amount of battery-powered CMOS memory to hold the date, time, and system setup parameters.

CMYK → Stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black, subtractive color model used for print. Opposite of RGB (Red Green Blue)(Additive) used for computers, and web.

Codec → A technology for compressing and decompressing audio and video. If you have issues playing a music file or video it's possibly a codec issue. VLC is a multimedia player that has a high quantity of codecs built in and is recommended if you experience problems with a different player.

Command Line → (also called "CMD Line" or Command/CMD Prompt) is a DOS style interface for entering in commands.

  • In Windows XP, you can access the Command Prompt via the Start Menu ⇒ Run ⇒ Type 'cmd' and press enter. Do NOT include the ' marks.
  • In Windows Vista and Windows 7, doing the above will give you the Command Prompt without Administrative Rights, if you need those:
    • Click the Start Orb and in the Search box at the bottom type 'cmd' and wait for "Command Prompt" to be shown, right click it and click "Run as Administrator"

D

E

F - J

F

Favorites → See Bookmarks

FTP → File Transfer Protocol → Used for sending data to or from a server, mainly used in transmitting data to a Web Host.

FTP Client → Software that sits on your computer, used to connect to the FTP server for use in downloading/uploading information.

FTP Server → The location (normally a location on your Web Hosts servers) where you store your files and information that is displayed when a visitor views your site.

G

GeForce → Line of graphics cards created by nVidia.

H

I

IRC → Internet Relay Chat → Essentially what gave 'birth' to chat rooms. Still in wide use today.

J

K - O

K

L

Life Cycle → A length of time given by the developer of software to determine how long standard support will be given before support is dropped in light of newer versions.

M

Media Cards → See Card Reader for types.

N

nVidia → Graphics card creators responsible for the GeForce line of video cards.

O

P - T

P

P2P → Peer-to-Peer → See BitTorrent for some information. Due to the use of P2P software to promote use of software piracy, we wont give much details on the topic.

Q

R

Radeon → Graphics card created by ATI (now owned by AMD).

S

Screen Cap (or Screen Capture) → See Screenshot

Screenshot → To take a picture of your full screen (or section) for display purposes. Works great while creating tutorials or to show error messages to technical support.

T

U - Z

U

V

VM → Virtual Machine → Think of a "Computer within a computer".

W

X

Y

Z

0 - 9

1

16bit → Old legacy software that ran in the same address space as the rest of the system. It was limited to the 8.3 filename structure (ex. msdos.sys) and when software crashed it normally crashed the entire computer.

3

32bit (x86) → Unlike their 16bit counterparts, 32bit applications run in different address spaces so that a typical program crash wouldn't always take out the entire computer. 32bit software also allows for longer file names (not restricted to the 8.3 structure). Most common software today is 32bit, but is on the move to the newer, faster, 64bit.

6

64bit (x64) → Newer then 32bit and allows for more simultaneous data streams for faster responsiveness. 64bit is still new enough[3] that not all software can run inside a 64bit environment.

Notes

  1. The BIOS is an advanced interface that can cause damage to your system if you are unfamiliar with it and therefore we recommend not messing with it unless you know what you’re doing.
  2. Often confused with BIOS
  3. 64bit Windows is slowly making it's way as the standard for Windows based desktops, while Linux has been utilizing 64bit for a longer period of time
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