Software installed with another program that generates advertising revenue for the program's creator by displaying targeted ads to the program's user
Software that searches executable files for the sequences of characters that may cause harm and disinfects the files by erasing or disabling those commands. Also called virus protection software
Software that enables you to perform specific computer tasks, such as document production, spreadsheet calculations, database management, and presentation preparation
ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange)
The number system that personal computers use to represent character data
A Blu-ray disc on which you can record data as on a BD-R, and then delete or re-record data on it as needed.
Stands for basic input/output system, the set of instructions stored in ROM that the computer uses to check its components to ensure they are working and to activate the software that provides the basic functionality of the computer when you turn on the computer.
A wireless technology standard that allows electronic devices to use short range radio waves to communicate with one another or connect to the Internet; the radio waves can be transmitted around corners and through walls.
The set of events that occurs between the moment you turn on the computer and the moment you can begin to use the computer
Special high-speed memory chips on the motherboard or CPU that store frequently-accessed and recently-accessed data and commands; also called RAM cache or CPU cache.
A removable circuit board that is inserted into a slot in the motherboard to expand the capabilities of the motherboard.
CD-R (compact disc recordable)
A CD that on which you can record data with a laser that changes the reflectivity of a dye layer on the blank disk, creating dark spots on the disk's surface that represent the data; once the data is recorded, you cannot erase or modify it.
CD-ROM (compact disc read-only memory)
A CD that contains software or music when you purchase it, but you cannot record additional data on it.
CD-RW (compact disc rewritable)
A CD on which you can record data as on a CD-R, and then delete or re-record data on it as needed.
The medium, such as telephone or coaxial cable, over which a message is sent in data communications.
A montior display that divides the screen into a grid of rectangles, one for each typed character.
A rigid piece of insulating material with circuits on it that control specific functions.
When data, applications, and resources are stored on servers accessed over the Internet or a company's internal network rather than on user's computers.
complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) memory
A chip installed on the motherboard powered by a battery whose content changes every time you add or remove hardware on your computer system and that is activated during the boot process so it can identify where essential software is stored. Also called semipermanent memory.
An electronic device that accepts input, processes data, displays output, and stores data for retrieval later.
A card that plugs into a slot on the motherboard and connects to a port to provide an electrical connection to a peripheral device. Also called expansion card or interface card.
The words, numbers, figures, sounds, and graphics that describe people, events, things, and ideas.
The path between the microprocessor, RAM, and the peripherals along which communication travels.
The transmission of text, numeric, voice, or video data from one computer to another or to a peripheral device.
A file created by a user, usually with software, such as a report that you write with a word processing program.
A collection of information stored on one or more computers organized in a uniform format of records and fields.
A personal computer designed to sit compactly on a desk and run on power from an electrical wall outlet.
A computer program that can establish communication between two devices because it contains information about the characteristics of your computer and of the device. Also called driver.
A stop-start signal that your computer outputs into analog, or continuous wave, signals (sound waves) that can traverse ordinary phone lines.
document production software
Software, such as word processing software, desktop publishing software, e-mail editors, and Web authoring software, that assists you in writing and formatting documents, including changing the font and checking the spelling.
An optical storage device that stores between 4.7 and 15.9 GB of data, depending on whether data is stored on one or both sides of the disc and how many layers of data each side contains; was originally an acronym for digital video disc and later digital versatile disc.
A DVD on which you can record data as on a DVD-R, and then delete or re-record data on it as needed.
The capability to send a message from one user's computer to another user's computer where it is stored until the recipient opens it.
Designed to fit the natural placement of the body to reduce the risk of repetitive-motion injuries.
A port used to connect computers in a LAN or sometimes directly to the Internet; it allows for high-speed data transmission.
A file that contains the instructions that tell a computer how to perform a specific task, such as the files that are used during the boot process.
An electrical connector on the motherboard into which a card is plugged. Also called slot.
A standard for transferring information between digital devices developed by Apple Computer company and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE); was standardized as IEEE 1394 interface.
Hardware or software that prevents other computers on the Internet from accessing a computer or prevents a program on a computer from accessing the Internet.
Memory that is similar to ROM except that it can be written to more than once. Also called solid state storage.
flash memory card
A small, portable card encased in hard plastic to which data can be written and rewritten.
flat panel monitor
A lightweight monitor that takes up very little room on the desktop and uses LCD technology to create the image on the screen.
graphical user interface (GUI)
A computer environment in which the user manipulates graphics, icons, and dialog boxes to execute commands.
A card installed on the motherboard that controls the signals the computer sends to the monitor. Also called video display adapter or video card.
A monitor that is capable of displaying graphics by dividing the screen into a matrix of pixels.
A processor that controls the signals the computer sends to the monitor. Also called built-in graphics card.
A small computer designed to fit in the palm of your hand, generally has fewer capabilities than personal computers, and runs on battery.
A magnetic storage device that contains several magnetic oxide-covered metal platters that are usually sealed in a case inside the computer. Also called hard disk drive.
A place on a Web page that is programmed to connect to a particular file on the same network server, or even on a network server on the other side of the globe. Also called link.
information management software
Software that keeps track of schedules, appointments, contacts, and "to-do" lists.
A wireless technology in which devices communicate with one another using infrared light waves; the devices must be positioned so that the infrared ports are pointed directly at one another.
A printer that sprays ink onto paper and produces output whose quality is comparable to that of a laser printer.
The flow of data from the microprocessor to memory to peripherals and back again.
An instrument, such as a keyboard or a mouse, that you use to enter data and issue commands to the computer.
The most frequently used input device; consists of three major parts: the main keyboard, the keypads, and the function keys
A printer that produces high-quality output quickly and efficiently by transferring a temporary laser image onto paper with toner.
LCD (liquid crystal display)
A display technology that creates images by manipulating light within a layer of liquid crystal.
1) To create a connection between source data and the copy in a new file; the copy in the new file is updated every time a change is made to the source data; 2) a place on a Webpage that is programmed to connect to a particular file on the same network server, or even on a network server on the other side of the globe.
local area network (LAN)
A network in which the computers and peripheral devices are located relatively close to each other, generally in the same building, and are usually connected with cables.
A computer used by larger business and government agencies that provides centralized storage, processing, and management for large amounts of data.
A broad term that describes any program that is intended to cause harm or convey information to others without the owner's permission.
A silicon chip, located on the motherboard, that is responsible for executing instructions to process data; also called processor or central processing unit (CPU).
A pointing device that has a rolling ball on its underside and two or more buttons for clicking commands; you control the movement of the pointer by moving the entire mouse around on your desk.
A hand-held computer that is used primarily to play and store music, but that can also be used to play digital movies or television shows, allow you to listen to FM radio stations, and access the Internet and email.
multimedia authoring software
Software that allows you to record digital sound files, video files, and animations that can be included in presentations and other documents.
A type of subnotebook computer that is primarily designed to allow isers to access the Internet and check email.
Connects one computer to other computers and peripheral devices, enablingyou to share data and resources with others
network interface card (NIC
) The card in a computer on a network that creates a communications channel between the computer and the network.
Software that establishes the communications protocols that will be observed on the network and controls the "traffic flow" as data travels throughout the network
A small, lightweight computer designed for portability. Also called laptop computer.
object linking and embedding (OLE)
The ability to use data from a file created in one application in a file created by another application
An operating system, such as Microsoft Windows and MAC OS, that provides a graphical user interface that acts as a liaison between the user and all of the computer's hardware and software.
Software that allocates system resources, manages storage space, maintains security, detects equipment failure, and controls basic input and output
optical storage device
A polycarbonate disk coated with a reflective metal on which data is recorded using laser technology as a trail of tiny pits or dark spots in the surface of the disk; the data that these pits or spots represent can then be "read" with a beam of laser light.
A network in which all the computers essentially are equal, and programs and data are distributed among them.
The components of a computer that accomplish its input, output, and storage functions.
personal area network (PAN)
A network that allows two or more devices located close to each other to communicate or to connect a device to the Internet. In a PAN, devices are connected with cables or wirelessly.
personal computer (PC)
A computer typically used by a single user in the home or office for general computing tasks such as word processing, working with photographs or graphics, email, and Internet access.
To break into a DNS server and redirect any attempts to access a particular Web site to a spoofed site.
To send emails to customers or potential customers of a legitimate Web site asking them to click a link in the email and then "verify" their personal information; the link leads to a spoofed site.
A small, eraser-like device embedded among the typing keys that you push up, left, right, or down to move the pointer; buttons for clicking commands are located in front of the spacebar.
Software that allows you to display or project graphics and other information before a group, print them for quick reference, or transmit them to remote computers.
The peripheral computer component that produces a hard copy of the text or graphics processed by the computer.
The set of rules that establishes the orderly transfer of data between the sender and the receiver in data communications.
random access memory (RAM)
Chips on cards plugged into the motherboard that temporarily hold programs and data while the computer is turned on. Also called volatile memory or temporary memory.
read-only memory (ROM)
A chip on the motherboard that is prerecorded with and permanently stores the set of instructions that the computer uses when you turn it on. Also called nonvolatile memory or permanent memory.
A device that controls traffic between network components and usually has a built-in firewall.
A device that transfers the content on a piece of paper into memory; you place a piece of paper on the glass, a beam of light moves across the glass, similar to a photocopier, and stores the image or words on the piece of paper as digital information.
A computer on a network that acts as the central storage location for programs and provides mass storage for most of the data used on the network.
A thin computer used to read electronic books, view video, and access the Internet, and that does not have a keyboard or a mouse; instead users touch the screen or use a stylus to accomplish tasks.
A handheld computer used to make and received phone calles, maintain an address book, electronic appointment book, calculator, and notepad, send email, connect to the Internet, play music, take photos or video, and perform some of the same functions as a PC, such as word processing.
The intangible components of a computer system, particularly the programs that the computer needs to perform a specific task.
The feature in document production software that helps you avoid typographical and grammatical errors.
A Web site set up to look exactly like another Web site, such as a bank's Web site, but which does not actually belong to the organization portrayed in the site, with the goal of stealing the information people enter.
Software that track a computer user's Internet usage and sends this data back to the company or person that created it, usually without the computer user's permission or knowledge.
Notebook computers that are smaller and lighter than ordinary notebooks. Also called ultraportable computer and mini notebook.
The largest and fastest type of computer used by large corporations and government agencies for processing a tremendous volume of data.
synchronous dynamic RAM (SDRAM)
RAM that is synchronized with the CPU to allow faster access to its contents.
Any part of the computer system, including memory, storage devices, and the microprocessor, that can be used by a computer program.
A collection of programs and data that helps the computer carry out its basic operating tasks.
A computer designed for portability that includes the capability of recognizing ordinary handwriting on the screen.
The transmission of data over a comparatively long distance using a phone line or some other data conduit.
A touch-sensitive device on a laptop computer that you drag your finger over to control the pointer; buttons for clicking commands are located in front of the touch pad.
A display that shows you output and allows you to touch it with your finger or a stylus to input commands
The part of a desktop computer that stores the motherboard and the microprocessor, the hard disk, and the cards that expand the capabilities of the motherboard.
A pointing device with a rolling ball on the top side and buttons for clicking commands; you control the movement of the pointer by moving the ball.
USB (Universal Serial Bus) port
A high-speed port to which you can connect a device with a USB connector to have the computer recognize the device and allow you to use it immediately.
A small, rectangular plug attached to a peripheral device and that you connect to a USB port.
USB flash storage device
A popular type of flash memory most commonly used for secondary backup storage for data usually stored on a hard drive. Also called USB drive or flash drive.
A category of system software that augments the operating system by taking over some of its responsibility for allocating hardware resources.
video editing software
Software that allows you to edit video by clipping it, adding captions or a soundtrack, or rearranging clips.
A harmful program that instructs a computer to perform destructive activities, such as erasing a disk drive; variants are called worms and Trojan horses.
Communication software that you use to navigate the World Wide Web and display information on Web sites.
Information is stored as a special type of text file, which can include text, graphics, sound, animation, and video, and is meant to be viewed with a Web browser.
Web site creation and management software
Software that allows you to create and manage Web sites and to see what the Web pages will look like as you create them.
WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access)
A standard of wireless communication defined by the IEEE that allows computers to communicate wirelessly over many miles; signals are transmitted from WiMAX towers to a WiMAX receiver in a device.
The term created by the nonprofit Wi-Fi Alliance to describe networks connected using a standard radio frequency established by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE); frequently referred to as Wi-Fi.
wireless local area network (WLAN)
A LAN connected using high frequency radio waves rather than cables.
Refers to the number of bits—the smallest unit of information in a computer—that are processed at one time; for example, a 32-bit processor processes 32 bits at a time.
In spreadsheet software, a grid composed of columns and rows that create cells at their intersection; you type data and formulas into cells.