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TERMINOLOGIES A-E

BANDWIDTH:

In computing, bandwidth refers to the capacity of a communications line/channel to transmit/receive information. It can also refer to how much traffic a web hosting company will allow each month for data transfer, when in this context bandwidth is measured in bits, kilobytes, megabytes and gigabytes.

BOOT/Booting Up:

Booting up is a term derived from and older computer term “bootstrap” which means the computer circuitry is initializing from some hard-coded instructions located in a microchip called the BIOS. BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System

BIOS:

BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System. This ROM microchip located in the computer contains some hard coded instructions (non-modifiable by software or by user) that initiates the startup or boot procedures for the computer. Other parts of the BIOS are user and software modifiable. These part should only be modified by a person familiar with BIOS modifications. An improper entry here could stop your computer from working.

BINARY:

Binary is a system used by digital devices like computers, CD players etc. It is a sequence of 1s and 0s which relate to on and off electrical pulses and can only have 2 states on and off unlike analogue systems which can have varying states. These 1s and 0s are commonly referred to as a BIT (binary digit).

BIT:

This refers to a binary digit ie it would either be a 1 or a 0, 8 bits make a byte. It refers to information stored or processed in a digital system. For instance if you have a 64 bit processor then it can process 64 bits (8 bytes) of data every clock cycle.

BYTE:

A Byte is made up of 8 bits and is the measurement unit used to describe the storage capacity and transfer rate of digital systems.

A Kilobyte is 1024 bytes

A Megabyte is 1024 Kilobytes

A Gigabyte is 1024 Megabytes

BROWSER:

This is the program you use to surf the internet, such as Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera etc. Different browsers render web pages slightly differently, for example some sites may require a certain browser to function correctly and some sites may not function at all with some browsers.

CD/VDV DISC:

A CD/DVD- disc is an optical data disc and is made by sandwiching a thin metallic membrane between two layers of lucite. The data is stored in tiny pits in the membrane. Focused laser light in a CD/DVD  drive is reflected off of the pits in the disc and translated into digital data.

CD/DVD DRIVE:

A CD/DVD drive is an optical drive that uses laser(s) to read a data CD or music CD or video DVD. A typical  data CD can store up to 700Mb whereas a DVD can store 4.7 Gigabytes and a double-sided DVD can store 8.4 Gigabytes

CD/DVD WRITER/CD/DVD BURNER DRIVE:

A CD/DVD writer/burner can save data or audio to a special type of recordable CD/DVD.This is an excellent way of backing up your data or creating audio discs
 

CPU:

CPU (Central Processing Unit) is the main processor in your system. The CPU is nothing more than a big calculator that carries out simple mathematical computations. But most importantly it processes and controls all data flowing into and out of the computer. The main computer box is sometimes erroneously called the CPU

CHIP:

Chip or Microchip when in the context of electronics/computing refers to an integrated circuit, made up of logic gates, transistors, and passive components to make a device dedicated to a certain function.

COOKIE:

Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites for various different reasons. For instance Yahoo use cookies for reasons such as storing your preferences for Yahoo related services, and to access certain information when you sign in to a personalized service such as My Yahoo. Other websites will often use cookies for identifying purposes, demographic statistics and also when you are shopping online to remember what you have in your basket. You can disable the use of cookies in your browser if you wish.

CURSOR:

Cursor refers to the small arrow or blinking vertical or horizontal line which shows the position on the screen where text will appear the next time you type a character on the keyboard or select a function. The cursor can be moved around the screen using the cursor (arrow) keys, tab key or using a mouse

DATA:

Data is used to describe information that is stored and/or processed digitally. Data can refer to (basically) anything, such as word processor documents, images/pictures, music, games, etc, although in it's purest form in a digital system it is simply bits stored/processed in a certain way.

DEFRAGMENTATION/FRAGMENTATION:

Fragmentation is caused when an operating system breaks a file into pieces because there is not enough space on the storage device where the file was originally saved.

One example of this would be where a file was originally saved, then modified causing the file to be larger in physical space than first anticipated, the operating system will then break the file into 2 or more pieces and store them in different parts of the storage area.

The system would then keep a record of where the different parts of the file are stored, this is achieved through the use of a File Allocation Table (FAT) or similar file system such as the New Technology File System (NTFS) used under Windows NT and Windows 7/8/10 operating systems.

Then, when the operating system requires the file again, it will query the file system FAT, NTFS or other) to find out where the different parts of the file are located on the partition/drive.

Defragmentation is the term given to the process of scanning the file system and rejoining the split files back into consecutive pieces.

The process of defragmenting can be time consuming, but it is one of the easiest ways to increase the performance of your PC, the frequency of which a PC should be defragmented will directly depend on the amount of usage. This procedure should NEVER be used on a Solis State Drive (SSD) as it will ruin it. Each brand of SSD has it's own software tools to tune up their SSDs.

DIMM:

DIMM (Dual Inline Memory Module) is a RAM memory module with mounted memory chips, DIMMS have a 64bit data path and are widely used in PCs with 64bit processors. The dual inline part refers to the way the chips are mounted on the module. Typically there are two common types of DIMM PC100 and PC133, further they come in either 144 pin or 168 pin packages, 144 pin normally used in laptops and 168 used in the standard PC.

DOWNLOAD:

Refers to the process of sending a file from a remote computer to a local computer via a communications line. Most commonly to download a file over the internet.

DRIVER :

A device driver is a program that is written specifically to control a certain piece of hardware such as a soundcard, modem graphics card, printer, scanner etc.

The driver allows the hardware to act seamlessly with the operating system, the computer motherboard and other devices.

Each manufacturer supplies drivers for their specific products, these drivers are often updated with time so it is a good idea to keep your drivers current. To find specific drivers for any of your devices it is best to start at the manufacturer's website as they normally have updated drivers in their respective support pages.

E-MAIL:

E-mail or electronic mail is mail sent and received over the internet. Text, photographs and other art may be sent through e-mail. The mail is directed to the desired person by sending it to an electronic address just like a written letter. A typical e-mail address looks like this lucyM@yahoo.com. Your e-mail address will depend upon your mail service provider and the name you choose. There are many free mail service providers where you can establish a free e-mail account. With many of these providers you can send and receive e-mail on any computer in the world as long as it is connected to the internet.

There are two types of e-mail services, with one the user has an e-mail client program (Microsoft Outlook or Windows Mail for instance) that allows them to compose a message and then connect to the internet to send and/or receive messages using a computer that is connected to the internet. The other method is called web-based e-mail.  With web based e-mail the user must first “Log On” (connect) to a particular site on the internet, enter their user name and password and then compose and send or receive their e-mail messages while on-line. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

ETHERNET:

Ethernet connections are a standard of the LAN system, CAT 5 Ethernet cables and hardware supports up to 100Mbps per second transfer rate. Gigabit Ethernet CAT 6 can support up to 1000Mbps (1 Gigabit). Ethernets are common place in offices where file/device sharing is required. Home networks also use this technology as it is still the best method of connecting multiple computers together.

EXPANSION CARDS:

Expansion cards are those peripherals that can be added to a computer by inserting them into the connectors on the motherboard of the computer. Examples of expansion cards are video cards, Ethernet, wireless adapters and video capture cards.

EXTENSIONS:

Each filename is made up of two parts, the actual name of the file, and what is called the file extension or suffix. The file extension is what the computer uses to identify what type of file it is. You will never normally have to alter file extensions manually, your program/application will usually do it for you, but it is handy to know what they mean.
An example : anyfile.txt

In this example anyfile is the filename and txt is the file extension. Notice that the filename and file extension are separated by way of a period.

The following are a few examples of file extensions, each program you use i.e your word processor, graphics package, spreadsheet etc, use their own file extensions and you can see these when you save and load files within the program:

 

  • anyfile.bat This is called a batch file and normally contains MS-DOS commands
  • anyfile.bmp This is called a bitmap file, it is a graphical image format
  • anyfile.doc/docx This is a Microsoft Word document file
  • anyfile.gif This is another graphical image format typically used on the internet
  • anyfile.ini This type of file contains information about the initiation of your system - Never manipulate these files
  • anyfile.jpg A graphical image format
  • anyfile.mdb/mdbx This is a Microsoft Access database file
  • anyfile.sys This is a system file used by the system - Never manipulate these files
  • anyfile.txt This type of file contains text such as that created with the notepad program in windows
  • anyfile.pdf A file used by Adobe Acrobat Software
  • anyfile.mp3 This is a compressed audio file
  • anyfile.wav This is a wave file, it is an audio file such as the one that plays when you start windows
  • anyfile.xls/xlsx This is a Microsoft Excel file

 

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