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COMPUTER GLOSSARY

Access time

The amount of time for data requested from memory or disk to become available after the request was issued.

 

 

ACPI

Advanced Configuration an d Power Interface allows components of the system to be powered down when they are not in use.

 

Active Window

The window that appears in front of any other windows on the screen. Any keyboard entry into the computer will be processes first by this window.

 

ADSL

Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line, a broadband connection to the internet that works independently of your telephone but using the same line to give you a high speed permanent connection. Asynchronous means that the download speed is faster than the upload speed so it’s still not suitable for hosting your own site.

 

AGP

Accelerated Graphics Port, a new type of slot specifically designed for high speed graphics card.

Applications

The programs that you run on the computer to perform the tasks that you require.

ASCII

American Standard Code for Information Interchange, the method of encoding characters used by smaller computers.

 

ASP

Active Server Page, a web page scripting language produced by Microsoft.

 

ATA

The most common bus used to provide access to hard drives, also called IDE, more recent versions are ATA-2 (also called EIDE) and ATA-3

 

Backing Up

The process of copying your files onto removable media. This gives you a copy of the files that you can recover from if something happens to the original copy.

 

Banner

An online advertising graphic. Usually located at the top of a web page.

 

Bandwidth

The process throughput of the given device usually measured in bits or bytes per second.

 

BGA

A screen resolution of 800 x 600

 

Binary File

Any file that is not plain, ASCII text. For example: executable files, graphic files and compressed (ZIP) files.

 

BIOS

An Acronym for Basic Input Output System. A low level set of interactions that allow your operating system to talk to the computer and its devices, such as your hard drive and keyboard. The BIOS loads devices for the operating system (DOS, Windows) and then loads the operating system.

 

Bit

Abbreviation of binary digit, the smallest unit of computer memory, can only hold one or zero.

 

Boot

The process of loading and running that part of the operating system that loads the operating system.

 

Bug

An unintentional error in a program that causes the program to not perform correctly in all circumstances.

 

Bus

The communication channels within the computer, e.g. the address bus allows access to the computer’s memory, the data bus transfers data, other buses provide common formats for attaching devices.

 

Button (screen)

A graphical representation of a button on the screen which can be presses by selecting it from the keyboard or clicking on it using a mouse.

 

Byte

Eight bits can hold 256 different values, in single byte character sets each value is assigned a different character.

 

BPS

Bits per second. Measurement of digital information transmission rates. (Can also mean bytes per second)

 

Browser

A software program for observing the World Wide Web; synonym for a Web client.

 

Cache

An area of memory used to hold information being passed to and from slower memory in order to speed up access.

 

 

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