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    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.