By Vivian Molick from the October 2010 Edition
I came across a web site the other day that had a list of computer terms. I thought there may be a lot of you that would like to know the definition of these terms so when your computer geek (or geeky friend) talks to you about computers you will have some idea of what they are talking about. Here are some terms you may hear listed in alphabetical order:
Boot: This means to start up your computer.
Browser: A browser is a program that you use to “browse” the web. If you’re at your computer and you get on the internet, you are using a browser. You cannot go to any web sites on the internet without a browser. Some examples of browsers are Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome, and Avant.
Desktop: The desktop on your computer is the screen (monitor) that contains folders, icons, files, etc. It’s like a file system. You can arrange them any way you like or even get rid of them by ‘throwing’ them in the Recycle Bin (like a garbage can). Here’s a picture of my desktop… of course, yours will probably not look exactly like mine.
Download: When you download something, you are transferring data from another computer to yours, usually over the internet. You are going to receive the data.
Font: A font is the style of lettering used for text. For example, if you want to compose a letter that looks like it has been written in calligraphy, you might want to use a font like Monotype Corsiva instead of the one I’m using here, called Times New Roman. Also, there’s a huge selection of fonts that you can download for free off of the internet.
Hard Drive: A hard drive is where all of your files, pictures, videos, programs, etc. are stored. (Think about it like a CD/DVD-RW that is a permanent piece of equipment inside your computer and can hold enormous amounts of information… it’s not exactly, but similar). The amount of how much stuff you want to store on your computer will determine how big the size your hard drive will need to be. For example, if you are a video editor, you need a very large hard drive (videos can be very big files). If you are only using your computer for; the internet, email, and do your taxes, you don’t need a very big hard drive. When you hear about people “losing their hard drive” it means that they have lost all of the data that was stored on their computer.
Icon: An icon on your computer screen is a very small image that represents an object or program that you have on your computer. Examples of icons…
Link: When you click on http://www.microsoft.com, you have clicked on a link.Link:A link is the address of wherever you want to go. The link can be to a file, an image, or a video as well as a website.
Operating System or O/S: An operating system (O/S) is the main program (software) that manages the hardware and software of the computer which allows you to use it. Operating systems you may have could include Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows XP, Linux, Windows Vista, and the new Windows 7.
PC: It’s your computer! The abbreviation stands for ‘personal computer’.
Reboot: This means to restart your computer
Search Engine: If someone tells you to “Google” it, they are telling you to go look it up on a search engine (in this case, it’s Google). A search engine is a program you use while on the internet that searches for documents with information based on the criteria it is given and returns the results. For instance, if I wanted to find some good recipes for making taco casserole, I would type ‘taco casserole recipes’ in the space provided and the search engine will return pages of web sites I can choose to go to check out recipes. Some other search engines you can use are: Yahoo, AskJeeves, or Altavista. If you want a list of search engines, you can go “Google” it!
Upload: When you upload something, you are going to transfer it from your computer to someone else’s, usually over the internet. You are going to give it to someone else.
Now, when it seems like “everybody” knows this stuff, you can feel confident that now you do too!