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Computer Glossary

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  • Gigabyte (GB)
    1024 megabytes. Also called gig.

  • Glitch
    The cause of an unexpected malfunction.

  • Gopher
    An Internet search tool that allows users to access textual information through a series of menus, or if using FTP, through downloads.

  • GUI
    Graphical User Interface. A system that simplifies selecting computer commands by enabling the user to point to symbols or illustrations (called icons) on the computer screen with a mouse.

  • Groupware
    Software that allows networked individuals to form groups and collaborate on documents, programs, or databases.

  • Hacker
    A person with technical expertise who experiments with computer systems to determine how to develop additional features. Hackers are occasionally requested by system administrators to try and .break into. systems via a network to test security. The term hacker is sometimes incorrectly used interchangeably with cracker. A hacker is called a .white hat. and a cracker a .black hat.

  • Hard copy
    A paper printout of what you have prepared on the computer.

  • Hard drive
    Another name for the hard disc that stores information information in a computer.

  • Hardware
    The physical and mechanical components of a computer system, such as the electronic circuitry, chips, monitor, disks, disk drives, keyboard, modem, and printer.

  • Home page
    The main page of a Web site used to greet visitors, provide information about the site, or to direct the viewer to other pages on the site.

  • HTML
    Hypertext Markup Language. A standard of text markup conventions used for documents on the World Wide Web. Browsers interpret the codes to give the text structure and formatting (such as bold, blue, or italic).

  • HTTP
    Hypertext Transfer Protocol. A common system used to request and send HTML documents on the World Wide Web. It is the first portion of all URL addresses on the World Wide Web

  • HTTPS
    Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. Often used in intracompany internet sites. Passwords are required to gain access.

  • Hyperlink
    Text or an image that is connected by hypertext coding to a different location. By selecting the text or image with a mouse, the computer .jumps to. (or displays) the linked text.

  • Hypermedia
    Integrates audio, graphics, and/or video through links embedded in the main program.

  • Hypertext
    A system for organizing text through links, as opposed to a menu-driven hierarchy such as Gopher. Most Web pages include hypertext links to other pages at that site, or to other sites on the World Wide Web.

  • Icons
    Symbols or illustrations appearing on the computer screen that indicate program files or other computer functions.

  • Input
    Data that goes into a computer device.

  • Input device
    A device, such as a keyboard, stylus and tablet, mouse, puck, or microphone, that allows input of information (letters, numbers, sound, video) to a computer.

  • Instant messenging (IM)
    A chat application that allows two or more people to communicate over the Internet via real-time keyed-in messages.

  • Interface
    The interconnections that allow a device, a program, or a person to interact. Hardware interfaces are the cables that connect the device to its power source and to other devices. Software interfaces allow the program to communicate with other programs (such as the operating system), and user interfaces allow the user to communicate with the program (e.g., via mouse, menu commands, icons, voice commands, etc.).

  • Internet
    An international conglomeration of interconnected computer networks. Begun in the late 1960s, it was developed in the 1970s to allow government and university researchers to share information. The Internet is not controlled by any single group or organization. Its original focus was research and communications, but it continues to expand, offering a wide array of resources for business and home users.

  • IP (Internet Protocol) address
    An Internet Protocol address is a unique set of numbers used to locate another computer on a network. The format of an IP address is a 32-bit string of four numbers separated by periods. Each number can be from 0 to 255 (i.e., 1.154.10.266). Within a closed network IP addresses may be assigned at random, however, IP addresses of web servers must be registered to avoid duplicates.

  • Java
    An object-oriented programming language designed specifically for programs (particularly multimedia) to be used over the Internet. Java allows programmers to create small programs or applications (applets) to enhance Web sites.

  • Javascript/ECMA script
    A programming language used almost exclusively to manipulate content on a web page. Common Javascript functions include validating forms on a web page, creating dynamic page navigation menus, and image rollovers.

  • kilobyte (K or KB)
    Equal to 1,024 bytes.


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