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Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line. ADSL is a common type of broadband connection. ADSL works by splitting an analogue line and filtering out analogue signals. This allows you to surf the Internet and use your telephone at the same time.
American Standard Code for Information Interchange. This is a code used for the exchange of information between computers manufactured by different companies.
Application Program Interface. API is a set of routines, tools and protocols for building software applications. Using API saves programmers time as it allows them to implement pre-programmed software into their own programs.
Active Server Pages. ASP is a language used for creating data driven websites. ASP.net is the current version available.
Beginners All Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. This is a programming language developed by John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz. It was introduced on May 1st 1961. Basic is an easy to use, easy to understand programming language. Today Basic is not really used to develop applications but is still used to help teach the fundamentals of computer programming.
The total capacity of a device. Broadband has a bandwidth, as does Computer memory. The greater the Bandwidth, the faster data is able to flow. Think of it like a Corridor, a wider corridor will allow more people or data to pass through it.
Baud is a Bit of measurement (bits per second) for modems.
Bulletin Board System. This is a small computer Network in which users can connect by dialling in to it.
BEOS is an operating system developed originally to work on the Power PC architecture. However BEOS was exported to many platforms including the x86 Platform.
Basic Input Output System. The BIOS is a chip located on all computer motherboards. It contains instructions and setup information for your computer. It is the bit you normally see when your PC is turned on.
A byte is a sequence of 8 Bits. This is enough to represent once character of alphanumeric data. It is processed as a single unit of information.
Cache is pronounced as Cash. Cache is a very high speed memory which can be a reserved section of main memory or a storage device. The two main types are memory cache and disc cache. Cache stores commonly used instructions so that when they are needed again, they are readily available.
Computer Aided Design. CAD is an application used to display 3d like images of everyday things such as buildings, kitchens or bridges. This allows the end user to see what their design will look like before actually building the physical item.
Computer Based Training. These are computer applications that teach people a variety of subjects.
Common Gateway Interface. CGI allows users visiting a website to send and receive information from a computer to a server. For example some search engines use CGI. A user will type a set of words to search for and these words are sent to the CGI Application for processing. The results are then returned to the user.
Central Processing Unit. The Brain of your computer. The processor takes instructions and processes them.
Cathode Ray Tube. A CRT is a technology used in older computer monitors to display images on a screen. More common today are TFT computer screens.
DDR is a type of Memory that uses both the rising and falling edge of the system clock. This potentially doubles the speed of memory. DDR memory is found on Graphics cards and computer memory such as DDR-SDRAM.
Dual Inline Memory Module. This is the type of circuit board that holds memory chips. DIMMS can be installed one at a time and don’t required pairing.
Disk Operating System. This is the common term used to describe Microsoft Dos.
Denial of Service Attack. A DOS attack is a form of attacking another computer or company by sending millions of requests per second causing the network to slow down. Usually other computers are infected by a worm which can generate this kind of attack.
Dots per Inch. DPI is a measurement of printer resolution. The greater the DPI, the better the quality of print. DPI can also be used to determine the resolution of a computer image.
Dynamic Random Access Memory. This is one of the most common types of memory found in computers and laptops. DRAM looses its information if the power to the computer is cut.
A driver is software that provides information to the operating system about a peripheral or a piece of computer hardware such as a graphics card. Keeping your drivers up to date is usually a good idea.
This is a term used to describe the use of more than one operating system on a computer. For example you may have Linux and Windows installed on the same machine and dual boot between the two. You would normally have a menu at start up asking you which operating system you would like to load.
Digital Versatile Disc. DVD is a disc that allows a large amount of data to be stored on it compared to a CD.
Hardware and/or Software that allows a computer or other device to act as if it was another type of machine. For example Emulators are used on computers to emulate Games Consoles such as the Nintendo 64, Sega Mega Drive and Sony Playstation.
Ethernet is a widely used Local Area Network Protocol. It was originally Alto Aloha Network. Ethernet II has also been developed which is a revised version of Ethernet.
Frequently Asked Questions. This refers to questions commonly asked about a particular subject. You will usually find FAQ’s on websites.
File Allocation Table. This was a method used my Microsoft Operating Systems to keep track of information of the contents of the disk table. The disk table is a chart of the clusters on the hard drive represented by numbers.
First in First Out. This is a method of processing data where the data first received is the first to be sent out after being processed.
Floating Point Operations per Second. This is a measurement used to indicate how many operations a CPU is able to perform per second.
A forum is an area where people are able to share thoughts, problems and ideas. A forum is different from Chat as it is almost never live.
A gateway when in a network is an address used as an access point to another network.
Graphical Display Interface. GDI is a Microsoft Windows Standard that allows applications to use Graphics and formatted text on both a printer and a computer display.
Graphics Processing Unit. The GPU is a single chip processor located on a graphics card or integrated graphics card on a motherboard.
Graphical User Interface. A GUI used Windows, icons and menus to carry out commands such as opening and deleting files. A mouse and a keyboard are used to interact with a GUI. Command line operating systems such as MS-DOS use text commands to perform these operations.
This is the term used to describe the connection of one device to another. During the handshake the machine will confirm the transmission speed and authorisation of the connecting device.
This is the storage device in your computer which holds all your files.
The Heatsink is a metal device that is connected to components that require cooling in a computer. The heatsink can be cooled by a fan or a water cooling configuration.
The method of connecting a device to a docking station without having to perform a reboot or change the configuration.
Hypertext Mark-up Language. HTML is a language used to create electronic documents for publishing on the Internet, Extranet or Intranet.
This is a central point in which all devices are connected. For example a Network Hub although now more likely a Network Switch, is the Central Point for all computers connected to a Local Area Network. A Network hub routes packets of data to all nodes where as a switch routes packets directly to the intended node.
This is text, a graphic or a document that links to another.
Internet Information Services. This is a program developed by Microsoft. It can be used to Host Websites and as part of a Mail Server.
Instant Messenger. This is a program that allows users to communicate with friends and family. Instant messengers allow users to communicate using text, audio and their web cam. Instant messenger programs may also provide other features such as stock price information and interactive games. An example is Microsoft Windows Messenger.
This is a method of transferring data without the use of wires. For example a television remote control uses infra red. Many laptops come with an Infra red port which allows communication between itself and other devices.
Data that is entered into a computer via a hardware device, for example through a keyboard, mouse or a microphone.
Internet Service Provider. An ISP is a company that provides Internet Access.
Internet Protocol. This is the Network Address of a computer or device which is connected to a network. An example would be 192.168.1.1. By using an address information is able to get to a computer as the address assigned to the computer is unique.
This is a language used to develop applications and web based content. It was developed by Sun Microsystems and introduced in 1995. Java is in use in a wide variety of devices from computers to cars.
In an operating system, the kernel is the first component of the operating system to be loaded into memory. The kernel is responsible for file management, interrupt handling, process management and memory management.
Kilobyte. A Kilobyte is equivalent to 1024 Bytes. In lowercase kb refers to Kilobit.
A kilobit is equal to 1000 bits.
This is a command that is used in various computer operating systems to terminate a program or process that is running.
Local Area Network. This is a network of computers linked with cables within close proximity.
Logical Block Addressing. LBA allows a computer to access a hard drive that is larger than 528MB in Size.
This is the amount of time it takes another device to respond to a request from another device.
Linux is a Free Operating System developed by Linus Torvalds. Linux was first introduced back in 1991. Linux can be run on a number of computer platforms.
Medium Access Control. This is a unique address number formatted in Hexadecimal Format and given to each computer or device on a Network.
Master Boot Record. This is the first sector of a computer hard drive used to determine which partition the computer will boot from. It tells the computer where to find the operating system and how to load it.
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. This is an individual who has passed exams on Microsoft products.
Megabyte. A Megabyte is equal to 1,048.576 bytes. It is a unit of measurement for computer memory, graphics card memory and hard drive capacity for example.
Modulator Demodulator. A modem allows users to transmit information to and receive information from another computer. The modem converts the analogue signal from a phone line into digital information which a computer is then able to understand.
Network Address Translation. This is an Internet standard that allows a Local Area Network to use one or more IP Addresses for internal traffic and a second address for external traffic.
A collection of computers, servers or devices which are connected to one device allowing data communication across the network.
A router is a hardware device that is designed to receive incoming packets and then directing these packets to their appropriate destination.
Network Interface Card. Also referred to as a Network Adaptor. This is a printed circuit board which allows a device to be connected to a network.
A node is a name or address which identifies a specific computer or terminal in a group of connected computers on a network.
Network Time Protocol. This is used on networks to synchronise the time of computers connected to a network.
Open Database Connectivity. This is a driver that allows different databases to communicate with each other through the use of an API (Application Programming Interface).
Optical Character Recognition. This is a program that allows a text document to be scanned and then imported into a program such as Microsoft Word for editing.
Original Equipment Manufacturer. This is a company that produces fully manufactured computers and then adding software and documentation to make a complete package.
This is a term used to describe information that comes from a computer and is produced on the display or as a print out on a printer.
Peer to Peer. This refers to the transmission of data between two computers through a network. An example of a peer to peer client is Limewire.
Personal Computer Memory Card International Association. This was the slot on a laptop that allowed connection of devices. Today the standard being used is the PC Card standard to alleviate confusion.
Packet Internet Groper. This is a utility to determine if a network packet is able to be distributed to an address without any errors.
This was a computer processor brand name released by Intel to replace the 80486 architecture. The brand is still in use today.
Hypertext Pre-processor. PHP is a server side interpreted scripting language designed for creating dynamic web content and effectively working with databases.
This was a standard introduced to allow a new piece of hardware to be installed into a computer and configure automatically.
Random Access Memory. This is the main system memory found in a computer. RAM requires power otherwise any information stored in it is lost.
Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks. RAID is an arrangement of hard disk drives connected and setup in a manor to hemp protect and/or speed up the performance of a computers disk storage. RAID is commonly used on servers and high performance computers.
This is a common term used to describe the restart of a device. It is sometimes necessary to reboot a device to improve performance and repair errors which may have occurred.
Red, Green, Blue. This is a method of creating colours from the primary colours of RGB. This term can be used when describing a computer monitor.
REM is commonly used in computer programs to describe what a piece of program code does or to prevent code from executing.
This is a type of connector used to connect computers to a network.
Service Advertising Protocol. SAP is a protocol used by server to notify clients that they are available on the network in a Novell Network environment. These messages are broadcast every 60 seconds. If a packet is not received after three minutes the server is presumed to be down.
Serial ATA. This is a connection connecting computer drives in a computer.
Small Computer System Interface. This is an interface used for the connection of computer drives. has a larger bandwidth than IDE.
Software Development Kit. SDK is a collection of software, utilities and tools which assist a programmer developing applications for a specific platform.
Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory. This is a type of memory that synchronises itself with the system clock. This provides synchronisation between the memory and the processor.
A method of transferring data one bit at a time or sequentially.
A software interface which allows a user to interact with a computer. For example the MS-DOS prompt is an example of a shell.
Single Inline Memory Module. An older type of computer memory circuit board. A SIMM can either connect with a 30 pin or 72 pin slot and was used in older computers for connection of memory to the motherboard.
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. This is a protocol that allows the transmission of email from one computer to another.
Internet Package Exchange. IPX/SPX is a local area network communications protocol developed by Novell that exchanges information between network clients, applications and network peripherals. This protocol cannot be used over the Internet. TCP/IP is a protocol that allows connection over the Internet.
A bar that is commonly at the bottom of the screen in Windows Operating Systems. It allows easy switching between programs and accessing files. The taskbar was first introduced in Windows 95 and has been in use ever since.
Transmission Control Protocol. TCP is a language governing communications between computers over the Internet. It was developed by the US Department of defence.
This is a Terminal Emulation Client that enables a user to connect to a remote computer. Telnet connects using port 23. Telnet is not a secure way of accessing a computer as it transmits the information in plain text which can be intercepted by a hacker and used maliciously.
Thin Film Transistor. This is a type of display which allows computer screens to be much smaller than their CRT counterparts. They are commonly found on Laptops and Flat Panel Displays.
A term used to describe the process of exploding a file using a software utility such as Winzip. This file type allows data to be compressed so that it is much smaller. Unzipping this information restores the original size.
Uninterruptable Power Supply. UPS is a hardware device that supplies power to equipment in the event of a power failure.
Universal Serial Bus. A port on your computer that can support the connection of up to 127 devices. USB was developed in 1995 and is in use today. It is now known as USB2 and USB3.
Unshielded Twisted Pair. UTP is a popular type of cable that is used in computer networks.
Visual Display Unit. This is a term to describe a visual display device on a computer such as a monitor.
Virtual Network Computing. This is a protocol that allows you to remotely access and control a computer over a local area network or the Internet. It also allows you to connect to a different platform. For example you can connect to a Linux machine from a Windows machine.
Virtual Private Network. A method of connecting two computers securely through a Network such as the Internet.
Wide Area Network. A WAN is a collection of computers that are connected via a network over a large area. This can be through the Internet or special leased lines.
Wireless Application Protocol. This is a protocol that allows wireless devices to access the Internet and other functions such as email.
A program that allows a user to access web pages on the Internet. An example of a Web Browser is Firefox.
Wireless Equivalent Privacy. This is a type of encryption that protects a wireless network from access by outside sources.
What you see is what you get. This is a term used in a program such as a web page authoring program whereby you will create a page and it will look exactly as it does on your screen.
Wine is not an Emulator. This is a program that runs in Linux that allows a user to run Windows based applications.
eXtended Technology. XT is the full name of the first IBM PC.
Yet another Unix Nerd. A term describing someone who really enjoys UNIX.