website design software


FAT (File Allocation Table) refers to a data table that holds information about how and where files are stored on any one partition. (See Partition)
For example, a single file on your hard drive may not be stored in one place, the file could be split up and stored in several different physical places on the disk. This is called fragmentation. The FAT keeps a record of where the different parts of the file are stored.

The FAT system does not duplicate critical data, as opposed to NTFS, so if a critical sector is lost then it can mean the loss of all data within the partition. FAT is used in Flash Drives and early versions on Windows.


This refers to named data stored digitally on your computer. A file is anything from images/pictures to word processor documents, they can be renamed, copied, deleted and also have other attributes that can be assigned to them, like, for instance, read only or hidden. A file name is made up of two parts, the name and a suffix called an extension. The name and the extension are separated by a period


A firewall is a security program which protects your computer from un-authorized access through a network and/or the Internet. These are very important especially if your computer is connected directly to the Internet i.e. cable user. A device called a router that connects between the cable or DSL modem and the Ethernet NIC in the computer contains a hardware firewall and is the best protection for cable and or DSL users. Software firewalls, either the ones built-into the operating system or third party are also a smart way to go. Although not as safe as the router, they offer the user variable levels of protection. The software versions will protect the dial-up users as well as the cable and DSL users. Whereas the router is only for the broadband connections.


Refers to a device that is used to read and write data using read/write heads from magnetic disk like devices. They hold 1.44 Megabytes of data and are 3.5" square.The operator inserts the floppy disk into the computer through the horizontal slot at the front of the computer.  Floppy disks are inexpensive and are very handy for keeping small files backed up. No longer used in late model computers.

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) image format was developed by Compuserve and is widely used on the Internet due to its high compression and subsequent small file size. GIF files can be interlaced and animated making them a popular choice for web designers, however, due to the format being limited to only 256 colors the JPEG image format is used for more color demanding images such as photos. GIF files have the .gif file extension and can be created and/or edited in most popular graphics applications. Animated GIFs which are essentially static images put in a sequence to create the animation can be created in programs such as Corel PhotoPaint


Gigahertz (Ghz) Gigahertz is a frequency measurement and it refers to billions of cycles per second, it is widely used in computing for processor specifications, for example a processor running at 2 GHz can handle 2 billion cycles per second. One (1) Ghz is equal to 1000 Mhz.


A graphics card also known as a video card is an internal device which controls and produces the display on your screen. These come in all price ranges and capabilities. Some of the faster cards have their own memory and auxiliary processor built on the card.


A GUI (Graphical User Interface) pronounced gooey, is used to describe a user friendly environment which uses graphical images such as icons instead of a text based command line to interact with the computer. GUIs have made computers more user friendly and more accessible to any user no matter what experience they may have. Typical GUIs are the Windows® and Macintosh operating systems.



This is the computers main storage device, this is where you would normally keep your programs and files. These devices contain platters (disk like objects) that rotate at speeds up to 10,000 rpm. Inside the hard drive there is an arm which moves across the platters and reads or writes the information through the use of read/write heads. The gap between the read/write heads and the platter is typically a less than the thickness of a human hair


Hardware normally refers to your computer case and any components inside it. It can also refer to printers, scanners etc but these are more commonly known as peripherals. For example motherboards, modems, memory RAM, and graphics cards are all hardware


HTML: (HyperText Mark-up Language) is an application of the SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) which is the international standard for markup. It is a standard format for hypertext documents which includes web pages. HTML tags are special words which have different effects, a tag starts with the < symbol and ends with a > symbol, so for instance, the tag to create a title for a HTML document is written as <TITLE>, most tags require a second tag to stop the effect, these tags are started with </ and end with >, so for example the tag to denote the end of the page title is </TITLE>


HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) has been in use on the WWW since around 1990 and refers to a client-server protocol by which two computers can communicate over a TCP/IP connection. HTTPS refers to a secure protocol


This refers to a link embedded in a document, the link can point to a predefined position in the same document or another document/file stored locally or on a different server/computer. To use a Hyperlink you can simply click on it with the left mouse button, when clicked a browser will follow the link to its destination.

To create a hyperlink in HTML it is done with the use of the <a href=""> and </a> tags, the destination for the link is inserted inside the speech marks "" and the text for the hyperlink (the underlined link text) is placed between the <a href=""> and </a> tags. For example the destination for the hyperlink to the home page of this site is http://www.rdgoodies/cmptrguy/index.html and the text we used was HTML, so to create the Hyperlink we would use
<a href="http://www. rdgoodies/cmptrguy/index.html ">HTML</a>

IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics):

IDE, also known as ATA, refers to a standard used in hard drives and CD ROMs whereby the controller is integrated into the device, this standard saw the end of separate disk controllers for these types of devices. In the early days of PCs the disk controller electronics were located on a separate card that plugged into the motherboard. With this setup the drives had to be low-level formatted to match the hard drive to the controller card due to changes in environmental conditions. Once this was done then a normal high-level format was performed. Now that the drive controller electronics are physically mounted on the drive it self, the electronics and the drive experience the same environmental conditions removing the low-level formatting requirement for the user.


Refers to a world wide network of computer systems all using a special network protocol that allows communication between them. Commonly refers to the world wide web or WWW. A user can look (browse) at millions of pages of electronic data and research anything from U.S. Government offices to a favorite recipe. E-mail or electronic mail is sent over the internet also.


IP (Internet Protocol) address is a unique number split into 4 parts separated by full stops, every computer connected to the internet has an IP address, a typical IP address looks like this


ISP (Internet Service Provider) refers to a company which provides Internet services such as AOL, Spectrum or Frontier typical ISPs provide:

  • A server with which to connect to the internet along with a number, username and password.
  • An Email address.
  • A POP Server through which to receive emails.
  • An SMTP Server through which to send emails.
  • Some ISPs also provide web-mail (online email access) which allows you to access your emails from any computer.
  • Javascript scripting language for client/server applications. Javascript is used by browsers to perform tasks that HTML would not be able to achieve by itself. Javascript can be a very powerful and useful cross platform language when used correctly. It is fairly simple for someone with no programming experience to learn and can add some interesting features to a website, for those that have programming experience in another language such as C++ then it is very easy to pick up. For those who are not quite ready or don't have time to learn the language then there are plenty of places on the Internet to get FREE scripts that you can just paste into an existing web page.


    JPEG (Joint Photographics Experts Group) is an image format named after its developers that can compress images to very small file sizes, commonly used on the internet due to faster image transfer rates. JPEG images unlike its GIF counterpart can contain thousands of colors which makes the format ideal for compressing images such as photographs. The JPEG format can compress images up to around 10% of their original file size without losing too much quality although the image will lose its sharpness. JPEG files use the .jpg and .jpeg file extensions


    The keyboard is the prime input device used by the operator to input data into the computer. The keypad is divided into three (3) basic areas, letter keys, numerical keypad, and the function keys (F1 through F12)


    LAN (Local Area Network) is group of computer that are connected together to allow the sharing of files and resources such as printers. Therefore, LANs are commonplace in small and large companies. LANs provide high speed data transfer rates between 100Kbps to 100Mbps between directly connected machines. (See Ethernet and WAN)

    WLAN refers to a wireless LAN which uses radio waves instead of cables, this type of LAN is extremely useful but can be expensive depending on the amount of terminals involved. It is also less secure than the hardwired conventional LAN.


    LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) refers to a display technology used commonly in laptops, cell phones and TVs LCD technology has been around for years, used in everything from watches to thermostat displays. An LCD works by having two layers of polarized material with liquid crystal in between, when an electrical current is applied to the liquid crystal molecules they become scattered allowing light to pass through. Modern LCD displays use either passive or active (TFT) matrixes, the later producing a sharper image but at a higher cost


    Megahertz (Mhz) is a frequency measurement, referring to millions of cycles per second, for example a processor running at 500 MHz can handle 500 million cycles per second. One (1) Mhz is equal to 1,000,000 Hz


    The monitor is the device that has the screen much like a TV that displays your data. There are two types of monitors the older cathode ray tube (CRT) and the smaller and newer liquid crystal display (LCD). CRT monitors consume much more power and are bigger and heavier over the much smaller and lighter LCD panels.


    A modulator/demodulator (MODEM) is a communications device used to connect to  the internet or another computer. Modems come in various different types the older telephone modem and the broadband modem used for high speed cable or DSL connections. The most common type of telephone modem is the internal modem which connects to the motherboard. Another type of modem is the external, which, as the name suggests is not inside the case and has it's own power supply


    The motherboard is the main circuit board within a PC. All input/output cards (sound card, graphics card, modem network interface card (NIC) ) RAM memory, central processing unit (CPU) plug into it or are physically attached to the motherboard. The data drives (hard drive, floppy drive and CD-ROM drive) all interface to and are controlled by it


    A mouse is a pointing device used by the operator to interact with a PC. The mouse typically has two buttons located on top and to the front. As the user moves the mouse, the cursor in the shape of an arrow will move across the display screen of the monitor. Once the cursor arrow is positioned at the desired location, pressing one of the mouse buttons (left or right) will allow the user to perform some selected task


    MP3 (MPeg-1 audio layer 3) refers to an audio file which has been compressed using the MPEG compression standard. Using this standard greatly reduces the physical size of the audio file with little or no loss of sound quality



    MPEG (Motion Picture Experts Group) is a compression standard used for compressing video and audio files to a smaller physical size, the compression is achieved by not recording every frame but only the changes between the frames.
    MPEG files have either the .mpeg or .mpg file extension and are a very common format due to the high compression. The main implementations of MPEG are:

    • MPEG-1 - video resolution of 352x240px at 30 frames per second
    • MPEG-2 - video resolution of up to 1280x720 at 60 frames per second
    • MPEG-4 - is still an evolving standard and is divided into a number of parts