AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) slot - an Intel-designed expansion slot/port found on Pentium II and later
computers that allows a separate data path for display adapters. This is the port where your monitor is plugged into,
and enable you to images on the screen of the monitor.

BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) - software that includes the initialization programs stored on ROM (Read Only
Memory) chips. Used during the startup routine to check out the system and prepare to run the hardware.

Bit - the smallest unit of information that is recognized by a microprocessor. There are only two possible binary digits :
0 and 1.

Boot Partition - a hard drive partition containing the portion of the operating system needed to launch the operating

Bridge - a device that provides communication between two or more network segments, thereby forming one logical

Browser - software used to navigate the World Wide Web (www), such as Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape

Byte - a group of 8 bits that represents 1 character of information (for example, pressing any key on the keyboard).

CD-ROM (Compact Disc Read Only Memory) - a disc similar to an audio compact disc containing computer data.

Client - a computer that connects to a network and uses the available resources provided by the server.

CMOS Battery - a battery on the motherboard that prevents unique information about the setup of the computer from
being lost when the power is turned off. By the way, CMOS stands for Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor.

COM1,COM2 - the first two serial ports on a computer. A mice and keyboard is normally attached to each one.

CPU (Central Processing Unit) - the part of a computer that controls the arithmetic and logical operations and
decoding and executing instructions.

Defragmentation - running a program to organize the files on a hard drive so that the various clusters of data for
each file are once again contiguous. This also helps to speed up the hard drive.

Device Driver - a program that enables the operating system to support a device (printer, scanner, digital camera).

Direct Memory Access (DMA) - allows a peripheral device (scanner, printers) to access the memory of a computer
directly, without going through the CPU. This speeds up the transfer of data to or from external devices.

DOS (Disk Operating System) - a text based operating system used by most early PCs to manage hardware, data,,
and application.

Download - the ability to transfer a file or data from a remote computer to your computer.

DPI (Dot Per Inch) - unit used to measure the resolution of images on many printers and scanners.

Email (electronic mail) - the transmission of messages by computer from one person to another, often via the

Ethernet - a type of local area network (LAN), in which communication takes place by means of radio frequency
signals carried by a coaxial cable.

Expansion Slots - specialized sockets that allow additional devices (circuit boards/adapter cards) to be attached to the

Fiber-Optics cable - a cable that is made out of light-conducting glass or plastic fibers.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) - an application used for transferring files to and from another computer, usually over
the Internet. It's also the protocol by means of which these transfers of data takes place.

Floppy Disk Drive - low capacity magnetic removable storage drive. aka 3.5 inch floppy.

Keyboard - a primary input device much like a typewriter, used for entering text and command functions into a

Kilobytes - a unit of memory equal to 1024 characters or bytes (1KB = one kilobytes).

LAN (Local Area Network) - a network that covers a limited distance (such as a single building or facility) to allow
computers to share information and resources.

LPT1, LPT2,LPT3 - the names assigned to a parallel printer port on a PC.

Megabytes - amount of computer memory equal to 1024 kilobytes.

Megahertz (MHZ) - one million hertz (one million cycles per second). A measurement of CPU clock speed.

Monitor - the primary output devices, which resembles a television set. It visually displays text and graphics.

Motherboard - it's the large circuit board found inside the computer.

Mice - device used with graphical environments to point and select objects on the system's monitor.

Network - two or more computers connected together to share data and resources.

Network card - an expansion card that connects a computer to a group of computers so they can access information
and programs. Also known as a network interface card (NIC) and network adapter card.

Operating System (OS) - the program that controls a PC (Personal Computer) and makes it possible for users to run
their own applications.

Peripheral - an external device connected to a computer such as a printer or scanner.

Power Supply - takes alternating current (AC) power from a local source (a wall outlet) and converts it to direct current
(DC) power for on-board electronics use.

Printer - a peripheral device that transfers computer output to paper or other form of hard copy.

Resolution - a measurement of the detail of images produced by a monitor,printer, scanner, or digital camera.
Normally measured by a horizontal and vertical number of pixels. The higher the number (dpi or pixel), the better the

Router - a device that works like a bridge, but is able to select the best route from network to network based on traffic
load. A router can also connect dissimilar networks.

Scanner - a peripheral that converts information from the written page (or a printed graphic) to digital information that
can be used by the computer. Works in a similar manner to a photocopy machine.

Search engine - a program that searches indexes of Internet addresses using keywords. Examples of search engines
are MSN, Yahoo, and AltaVista.

Serial - transmission of one bit at a time over a single wire.

Server - the computer that runs the network operating system, manages security, and administers access to

Software - any program (set of instructions) that causes a computer to carry out a task or function.

Tape Drive - a high capacity removable magnetic data storage device ideal for backups and retrievals of large amount
of data. Works like a tape recorder and saves information in a linear format.

TCP/IP (Transfer Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) - the name given to a collection of protocols that were
designed in the 1970s for use on the large scale mixed platform that became the Internet.

UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) - acts as both a surge suppressor and a power leveler to provide the computer
with a constant source of power. It also provides power during a power failure or interruption so the user can safely
save data before shutting down the computer.

USB (Universal Serial Bus) - an  external expansion bus that is popular for use with mass storage devices (Zip
Drives), printers, scanners, digital camera, and Memory sticks.

Virtual Memory - hard drive space that can be used as additional memory for holding data not immediately required
by the processor.

WAN (wide area network) - a network that spans a large geographical area. The network is connected by means of  
telephone lines, ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) lines, DSL, cable, radio waves, or satellite links.

Computer Terms & Definitions
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