Computing

Listed below are common terms used in electrical appliances and devices with a brief explanation of their meanings.

For information on how to tackle and resolve faults and problems on a wide range of appliances see our other articles »
Adware

Software which automatically displays advertisements on your computer. This can often be installed with a free application.

Advanced Graphics Port (AGP)

A slot on the motherboard intended to house a graphics card.

Antivirus

Computer software intended to guard against viruses.

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)

This is the technology that carries broadband Internet into the home via a phone line.

B

Bandwidth

A measure of the amount of data sent over a specified amount of time. Bandwidth is often used to measure how busy a website is.

Bitmap (.bmp)

The default extension for images created in the "Paint" programme.

Burn

To 'burn' means to 'create' a CD or DVD.

C

Cache

A temporary storage component for recently used data, in order that future requests for this data may operate more quickly.

D

DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance)

A standard used by electronics manufacturers to allow entertainment devices within the home to share content with each other across a home network.

Download

The transferring of files from a server onto a computer, or of data from a computer to a portable device.

E

Ethernet

The name of the widely installed local area network (LAN) technology, used in homes or small offices.

F

Firewall

A technological 'barrier' that protects your computer from hackers.

G

Giga byte (GB)

One thousand Mega bytes.

GIF

A type of graphics format used for displaying pictures on a computer.

I

Internal Storage

A term used to describe any internal memory that does not involve the use of removable media such as a memory card.

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)

A way of transferring digital information across existing telephone networks.

J

JPEG

A file format that stores digital images, saving memory space and enabling large data files to be stored.

Jack

A term describing a slot on a computer for a cable to be plugged into.

K

Kilobyte (KB)

One thousand bytes.

Kbps (Kilobits per second)

This is generally used as the unit to measure the rate of data transmission.

L

Local Area Network (LAN)

A computer network covering the a small area that is 'local' to your computer such as a home, office or group of buildings

M

Megabyte (MB)

One thousand kilobytes.

MHz / GHz (MegaHertz / GigaHertz)

The measurement used to rate the speed of a processor. A higher MHz or GHz means a faster speed.

Memory Stick

A portable storage device to which data can be saved and transferred between computers.

MPEG (Motion Picture Experts Group)

A method of compressing moving picture files in order make them easier to store or transfer.

Modem

A Modem converts the analogue data from a telephone line back into digital data to be used by your computer when connecting to the Internet.

Mouse

A pointing device used to navigate and select on your computer screen

Motherboard

The central circuit board in a computer that holds many of the system's main components, and connects to all other parts of the system.

N

Norton

An Anti-Virus program created by Symantec

Notebook

The name given to a small portable computer, similar to a laptop but more compact.

O

Operating System

The main software system used on your computer, eg. Microsoft Windows.

P

PDA (Personal Digital Assistant)

A term used to describe many types of small electronic organiser.

Port

This term usually describes a "plug socket" situated on your computer, eg. a USB Port

Processor

The 'heart' of a computer, which performs all operations on the data stored in the computer.

R

RAM (Random Access Memory)

The name of the working memory of a computer, which is used to process data and determines the speed that information is sent around your computer

S

Sound Card

Hardware which controls the input and output of audio signals to and from a computer

U

USB (Universal Serial Bus)

USB was invented as a more universal method of connecting a variety of devices to a 'host', such as a personal computer. Most modern computers incorporate a USB port, to which devices such as a memory stick or those which include a corresponding USB lead, can be connected

V

Virus

A computer program that will 'infect' (usually via the Internet) and cause damage to your computer

W

Wi-Fi

The popular term used for wireless computer networking.

Windows

An Operating System created by Microsoft

* All information provided is a guide only. BuySpares accepts no liability for any problems occurred while attempting any advice shown. If in any doubt contact a qualified repair service.

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