Computer Basics: Glossary
Last updated 14th July 2020
- A large technology company and even larger online shop. Amazon also provides a lot of the hardware that makes up the cloud.
- Short for application program, A complete computer program that performs a specific set of instructions for the user.
- A large technology company that makes and sells consumer electronics, computer hardware and software
- The rate of data transfer across a network or devices.
- A program which allows you to view web pages.
Central Processing Unit
- The part of the computer that carries out the instructions given in apps. The "brains" of the computer.
- Hardware or software that accesses information or processes stored on a server.
- The cloud - cloud computing is a vague term which basically means any system that lets you access your apps and files on the Internet instead of on your device. In this case your device is a client.
- A visually distinct mark on a computer indicating where you on the screen. The cursor can indicate for example where newly typed text will be inserted in a word processing document or where you are on the desktop.
- To copy information or files - from the Internet - to your computer. The opposite of upload
- Hiding information so that it cannot be read without special knowledge, usually done with a secret code. The hidden information is said to be encrypted.
- A large social media corporation
- A unique object on a computer (or the Internet) that stores data, information, settings, or commands used with an app. A file can be a document, image, presentation, spreadsheet, video etc.
- Special software that is "embedded" in hardware and tells it what to do.
- A computer storage space where files can grouped and organised.
- Google is a huge technology company that offers a search engine and other services like email, office software and online file storage.
- The solid and visible parts of the computer that you can actually touch, and includes the box, monitor, keyboard, mouse and so on.
- High-Definition Multimedia Interface - a standard for creating high-bandwidth connections between digital devices. Unlike VGA which only transfers video, HDMI can transfer audio and video.
HTML - Hypertext Markup Language
- The name of the format used for displaying webpages in a browser.
HTTP - Hypertext Transfer Protocol
- The name of the standard for sending and receiving webpages and files on the internet.
HTTPS - Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure
- A version of HTTP that encrypts the data sent so that no one can read the data that's being sent and received.
- A hub is a device for connecting several computer together in a network. Each computer connects to the hub and not to each other.
- Something that you can click on to jump to a new webpage or, less often, a new section on the current webpage
- A document or collection of documents that link to other documents that you can immediately access by clicking a link. The web is hypertext because you can click a link on one web page to visit another web page.
- A small picture which usually represents an app, computer file, folder, or an action for an app to perform.
- The process of extracting and moving all of the necessary files onto your device to have the app ready to run when you want it to.
- A vast, worldwide computer network.
- A computer's unique address or number on the Internet (equivalent to a house address or telephone number).
- Internet Service Provider - the company or organisation you you use to connect your device to the Internet.
- Short for hyperlink, a reference to the address of another web page. Click the link to visit that web page.
- A server that stores and delivers e-mail over a network, usually the Internet.
- "Malicious software" - intentionally harmful apps that install on computers without approval from the user.
- A temporary storage area that holds the data and instructions needed by the CPU when an app is running.
- A list of operations available to the user of an app
- Another huge technology company. Microsoft make the Windows operating system and office software.
- A screen like a TV that helps you use a computer by displaying information visually.
- The main circuit board in a computer to which all the components are connected.
- A device for moving a cursor around a desktop to help you operate the computer.
- A combination of the words network and etiquette, a set of rules for acceptable online behavior.
- A kind of free software where the source code can be viewed and changed by anyone.
- A group of computer apps that lets people interact with a computer and manages the computer hardware.
- An abbreviation for "peer-to-peer", a type of computer network where files and information are stored on each of the computers on the network and accessible to them all.
- A specialised outlet on a computer that is used to connect to other devices using a plug or cable.
- A number that indicates to which computer process or app information transferred across a network should be delivered. If an IP address represents a house address then a port would be a room number. By default, HTTP uses port 80 and HTTPS uses port 443.
- Software where the source code is not open to look at or change. Some proprietary software is free to use, but most has to be paid for.
- Random Access Memory is a very fast form of computer memory that can be read and changed in any order.
- A kind of malware that encrypts the information on your computer so that you can't access it and demands that you pay the creators money to remove the encryption.
- A device that connects different computer networks.
- An image of the data displayed on the screen of a computer or mobile device.
- A website that allows users to look up information on the World Wide Web.
- A server is a computer that stores information that is used by other computers.
- A web-based platform that allows you to create and share information and ideas with other users of the platform. People use it to keep in touch with family and friends .
- A specific set of instructions that tells a computer what to do or how to perform a task.
- The text of the app, written in a special programming language.
- A device, like a hub, that connects computers in the same network. Unlike a hub, which will send information to all connected computers, a switch will send information only where it's meant to go. A hub is like someone distributing an advertising leaflet - they'll deliver it to every house, but a switch is like a postman, who'll deliver letters only to specific addresses.
- A graphical representation of app activities; a row of icons indicating tasks in an app.
- A type of malware that pretends to be an app that does something else, but in reality is doing something harmful to your computer.
- The opposite of installing - the process of removing an app from your device.
- To copy files or information from your computer to the Internet
- Uniform Resource Locator - more commonly known as a "web address" - specifies the unique location of a resource on the web.
- Video Graphics Array - an industry standard for video display units like monitors. VGA ports are becoming obsolete, and and being replaced by HDMI
- A type of malware that is able to copy itself and and transfer itself to other computers. Some viruses are also designed to damage computers.
- An individual page making up part of a website
- A computer that stores information that is accessed on the web by other computers.
- A collection of webpages stored on the same web server, usually maintained by an individual or organisation and identifiable by a common domain name (e.g., the pages on the RTE website will all start www.rte.ie/...)
- The most commonly used computer operating system in the world today.
World Wide Web
- Usually shortened to web, the part of the Internet that contains websites and webpages.
- YouTube is a video sharing service that allows users to upload videos and watch videos uploaded by others