Think And Do

Tech - Glossary

App Found on cell phones and tablets, these colorful images launch programs when they are tapped with your finger. The word is derived from APPLICATIONS.

Application Program having a specific user function or set of functions. Adobe Photoshop and the calculator are both applications. Despite the fact that they are so different, the properties that they share are that they interface with a human being and have a specific set of functions.

  1. Term used to define a program not visible to the user. It operates with no user interface.
  2. Area behind icons on the desktop.

Backup To make an external copy of the contents of your internal drive.
In 2014, the best backup methods are to use online services

Boot / Reboot Start / restart the computer. When the computer is initially powered on, the system will go through a boot sequence.
Very often, something will go wrong while you are working on the computer, and you will have to re-boot it.

BPS Bits per second. This is the data transmission speed.

Browser Program used to view Web pages. Google Chrome and Internet Explorer are browsers. They are not the Internet.

Burn (CD) To record information onto a CD

Byte Computer representation of a letter, number, space, special symbol (like the question mark or colon or asterisk).

Cache Temporary storage area. For example, when you load a webpage, a copy of it is stored in a directory managed by the browser software.

Character The letter, number, space, whatever you can type at the keyboard. In addition, there are many invisible characters used for special functions.
For example, there are characters that define and control the transmission of information via the Internet.

Directory A designated place to store groups of information. You are familiar with a phone directory - organized alphabetically, thereby making it easy for you to scan through in order to find a particular entry.
The Yellow Pages is a categorized directory. Here, we look up, for example, "Restaurant", and then begin searching from there to find something of interest to us.

Directories on the computer work in much the same way. In Windows systems, directories are indicated by a an icon of a manila folder.
We create directories to hold information so that it is both organized and easily accessible. We might have a folder (directory) called "Spreadsheets" and another called "Cards".

Download To bring a file from a server to your computer

Flash Drive Often called THUMBNAILS. Very small storage devices that are inserted into the USB port on the computer. EVERYONE should have one! Copy your files to your flash drive every day. Keep yourself sane!

Foreground Program visible to the user - When you start Word, or Internet Explorer, or PhotoShop, they are all running in the foreground.

Giga One billion. A gigabytes is one billion bytes

Hard Drive Storage device - Non-removable Internal disk drive - can store larger amounts of data than a diskette

Hardware The physical components of the system - what you can see, touch, pick up
Examples are your printer, mouse, keyboard, monitor.

Kilo One thousand. A kilobyte is 1,000 bytes.

Mega One million. A megabyte is 1,000,000 bytes.

Memory Amount of information that your computer can hold and access at any one time.
This information is available only while the computer is powered on. This is usually identified as RAM.

Modem The device that allows you to transfer information to and from your computer. 33.6KBPS means that you have a transfer rate of 33,000 bits per second. Initially, telephone lines were used for the transmission of data. Now, we have DSL modems and cable modems. They use significantly higher speed transmission lines.

Pixel The teeny dots on your screen which, put together, create the characters and images.
For hi-resolution monitors, there are at least 1024 dots going across the screen and 768 going down.
By contrast, a low-res monitor has 600 across by 300 down.

Program Unified set of computer instructions. Windows is a program, Word is a program. Internet Explorer is a program.
There are also many programs that may actually be invisible to the user.
For example, a system could have a date validation program built in. The user enters the date in the application visible on the screen, but a program running in the background validates the date.

Resolution The quality of the image. The higher the numbers, the crisper and sharper your picture will be.
Many people are used to hi-res (thatís the shortened term) monitors. 1024x768 or better. Resolution also applies to images and printers.
But the rule is always the same - the higher the number, the better the quality of the output.

Search Engine Web page specifically intended to look up information that has been typed into a Search Window, and return the list of matching items.
Internet Explorer is not a search engine. AOL is not a search engine. Google is a search engine. Remember - Google Chrome is a BROWSER.

Software Programs and data

Storage Repository for all data and programs that you own. Think of this as the tape, videotape, CD, DVD, or even record which holds the song or the movie.
Normally, your storage device is your hard disk, which you cannot see because itís under the cover mounted on the chassis.
As a general rule, your hard disk is Drive C:

USB Universal Serial Bus
This technology allows a variety of devices to connect to a computer.
Flash drives, printers, cameras are some examples.

Upload To send a file to a server

Win Zip Program used to compress information.The smaller will send more quickly.