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Computer Basics: Glossary
An Introduction to ome information technology concepts
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