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 Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T U W Z

Adware: A form of spyware that collects information about the user in order to display advertisements in the Web browser. The method it uses is to collect information from the user's browsing patterns.

American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII): A representation of English characters as numbers in code form. Numbers are assigned to each letter from 0 to 127. For example, the ASCII code for 65 is an uppercase A.

Attachment: A file that is sent along with an electronic mail (e-mail) message.


Backup: To copy files to a second medium like a disk or tape in case the first medium fails. Backups are also used for archival purposes.

Blog: To write entries in, add material to, or maintain a weblog.

Bookmark: Web browser feature that allows the user to save an address (URL) of a Web page so that it can be easily re-visited at a later time.

Browser: Also referred to as a Web Browser. A computer application that is used to display web content. Examples of browsers are Internet Explorer (IE), Mozilla Firefox(FF), Opera, Google Chrome, and Safari.


Cache: A temporary storage place inside a user's computer for frequently or recently accessed data.

Control Key:A key on a keyboard labeled as Ctrl. The Control key is used in the same way the Shift key -- keeping it pressed down while pressing another character. On Macintoshes, the Control key is called an Apple key or Command key.

Cookies: Used to identify users and possibly prepare customized Web pages. When a user enters a Web site that uses cookies, the user may be asked to fill out a form providing such information as username and interests. This information is packaged into a cookie and sent to the user's Web browser which stores it for later use. The next time the user goes to the same Web site, the user's browser will send the cookie to the Web server. The server can use this information to present the user with custom Web pages. For example, instead of seeing a generic welcome page the user might see a welcome page with their name on it.

Copy: To copy a piece of data into a temporary location.

Cut: To remove an object or data from a document or webpage, and place it into a temporary location.


Data: Different pieces of information, formatted in numerous ways, which is stored in electronic memory or magnetic storage.

Desktop: The area on the display screen that displays all your icons. The desktop can also contain a background image.

Download: To transfer data from one device to another through a transfer medium.


Editor: A program that enables the user to create and modify files or documents.

E-mail: A transmission of composed messages that can be a combination of text or files sent over a communications network. E-mail is an abbreviation for Electronic Mail.


File: A collection of related data or program records stored in a folder.

Field: A space allocated for a particular item of information. Example of a field is where you would type your name, D.O.B, etc.

Firewall: An application used to prevent unauthorized access to or from a network.

Folder: An object that can contain multiple documents or files.


GUI: Short for Graphical User Interface, GUI is an computer interface that is based on graphics such as windows, icons, buttons, cursors and scroll bars, instead of text. For example, Windows Operating system is a GUI.


Hard drive: A magnetic disk which stores computer data on your system.

Hot spot: Hot spots are particularly common in multimedia applications, where selecting a hot spot can make the application display a picture, run a video, or open a new window of information.

Hotspot: A specific geographic location in which an access point provides public wireless broadband network services to mobile visitors through a WLAN.

Hyperlink: An element that is clickable in an electronic document that allows the user to link to another place in the same document or to an entirely different document.

HyperText Markup Language (HTML): The language used to create documents on the World Wide Web.


Interface: The communication point of two systems which have a boundary across them.

Internet Service Provider: Also known as ISP. An ISP is a company that provides users with access to the Internet for a fee. ISP's usually provides the user with login and password to access services that are provided, such as e-mail. Examples of ISP's are AOL, Comcast, EarthLink, Netzero, etc.


Java: An object-oriented programming language.

JavaScript: A scripting language that works with HTML to enhance web pages and make them more interactive.


Keyboard shortcut: Also called Shortcut Keys. A single or combination or keys pressed to quickly perform a given task. Examples - the F5 key refreshes a browser screen, Ctrl+C combination will copy selected material.


Local Disk: A disk or tape drive directly attached to the user's computer. The term would be used to differentiate the drive from one on a server in the network, which would be called a network drive.

Local machine: The particular computer a user is on, such as a home or personal computer.


Maximize: A button or command to enlarge a window to the full size of the display screen.

Memory: The electronic holding place for instructions and data that a computer's microprocessor can reach quickly.

Menu bar: A horizontal menu that appears on top of a window.

Minimize: A button used to hide an application that is currently displayed on the screen. The window is removed and represented with an icon on the desktop or taskbar.


Network: A collection of computers and devices interconnected by communications channels that facilitate communications among users and allows users to share resources.


Operating System: Also known as an "OS", this is the software that communicates with computer hardware on the most basic level.


Paste: To insert an object or data that was cut or copied in a document.

PDF: A file format developed by Adobe Systems, which makes it possible to send formatted documents and have them appear on the recipient's monitor or printer as they were intended. PDF is the abbreviation for Portable Document Format.

Plug-in: An auxilary program that works with a major software package to enhance the program's capability. Examples of Internet Explorer plug-ins are Flash and Shockwave.

Pop-up Blocker: A pop-up blocker refers to any software or application that disables any pop-up, pop-over, or pop-under advertisement window that you would see while using a Web browser.

Port: An interface on a computer in which a user can connect a device.


Refresh: Otherwise called reload; the refresh button at the top of Web browsers provides a quick and easy way to update the currently displayed Web page. The F5 key on the keyboard will also refresh/reload a browser'sweb page.

Right-click: To press the right-side (secondary) button on the mouse and release it. In Windows, the right mouse button can be used for several secondary tasks, which include displaying context menus, and viewing the properties (defaults, current status, etc.) of a file, folder, or other object.

RSS Feed: Used to publish frequently updated content such as blogentries, news headlines, and podcasts in a standardized format. An RSS document (which is called a feed, web feed, or channel) contains either a summary of content from an associated web site or the full text.


Secruity Software: Programs that are used to restrict access to the data and files on a computer.

Server: A computer on a network that is used to manage the network's resources.

Service Pack: Updates to previously released operating system that fixes bugs or provides enhancements. A package of combined recommended updates is called a Service Pack. For Windows XP, Service Pack 3 (SP3) is the latest. For Windows 7, Service Pack 1 (SP1) is the most recent update.

Spreadsheet: Data stored in a table format, and is arranged in rows and columns.

Spyware: Any software that secretly gathers user information through the user's Internetconnection without the user's knowledge, usually for advertising purposes.

Status bar: The status bar is the grey strip at the bottom of your web browser window. As a user interacts with the web page, this area provides the user with information about what is happening on the site. If the user moves the mouse over a hyperlink the address of that link is displayed. When a page is loading, this area shows a progress bar or "done" when the page is loaded. The Status bar also shows any error information, while the page is loading or if the page fails to load.


Tag: A term used to identify objects by something other than their proper name, often used to refer to HTML code.

Taskbar: The bar usually located at the bottom of Microsoft Windows operating systems, which displays the start button, system clock, programs that are currently running, as well as other open windows.

Temporary Internet file: A file located on a user's hard disk in which a browser stores the Web site data for every Web page or URL address that a user visits.

Toolbar: It's a series of selectable buttons in a GUI that give the user an easy way to select desktop, application or Web browser functions. Toolbars are typically displayed as either a horizontal row or a vertical column around the edges. An example is the Google Toolbar, typically incorporated with Internet Explorer, under the address bar.


Upload: To transfer data or programs from one's own computer or digital device to a server or host computer.

URL: A global address of documents and other resources on the World Wide Web. URL is the abbreviation for Uniform Resource Locator.


Wiki: A collaborative website whose content can be edited by anyone who has access to it.

Window: An enclosed, rectangular area on a display screen that allows the user to execute multiple programs at once. Generally, each program will run in it's own window.

Word Processor: A program that allows the user to create/edit a word document.

World Wide Web: is a system of Internet services that support formatted documents.


Zip: Multiple files that have been compressed into one file.

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