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Anti-Spyware Software

spyware keeps track of computer use and often share information to users. this helps prevent them from entering your system

Anti-Virus Software

attempts to keep a system free of computer viruses and malware. by scanning the system for files that match a known virus

BIOS (Basic Input Output System)

firmware located on the motherboard that instructs the processor how to power up the computer and locate the operating system


process of starting up a computer

Device Driver

small program that interfaces with an operating system to tell it how to use a particular piece of hardware

Diagnostic Utility

scans computer and compiles a report indicating hardware configuration and all system settings (helpful when trying to find and solve problems on a computer)

Embedded OS

designed to work on limited hardware such as in cell phones
EX: Windows CE, Windows Mobile, Palm OS, Symbian


process of converting data into an incomprehensible format that can only be decoded by those who know the correct key

File Manager

utility program that comes with most OS's that allow one to browse, copy, paste, move, delete, and work with files

Network OS

designed to be used within a network and much of its functionality is focused on being online. Most used to provide services and to manage over a network

Operating System (OS)

interface between the hardware, user, and application programs. responsible for coordinating most activities of a computer and for managing shared resources


name given to the fundamental measurement of how much memory has been swapped to the hard disk when using virtual memory. the OS swaps memory to and from hard disk in whole pages


indicates a combination of hardware along with the operating system that supports it

Plug and Play

a device that an operating system automatically recognizes and installs the correct driver for

POST (Power-On Self-Test)

collection of tests that are run by the BIOS at boot time in order to determine what resources that computer has available and which are working correctly


data structure that stores incoming elements so the first one removed is the first one to arrive - used to regulate the usage of various hardware resources in the computer


process of queuing up jobs to be output on a printer

Stand-Alone OS

designed so that it can function on its own without connecting to a network

Stand-Alone Utility Program

used to indicate any utility program that comes separate from the operating system

Swap File

location on the hard disk used to store elements that have been swapped out of RAM memory by an OS that supports virtual memory


occurs when the OS spends much of its time paging (virtual memory) instead of executing applications


computer operating system that was very popular in colleges and was one of the earliest multi-tasking operating systems - given rise to many modern systems such as Solaris and Linxus

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