Basic Computer Terms
Basic Computer terms – Here is a list of the basic of computer terms or computer-related terms used in the computing world, It relates to both computer software and Computer Hardware
Basic Computer Terms and Definitions
Application – a program in which you do your work.
Backup – a copy of a file or disk you make for archiving purposes.
Boot – to start up a computer.
Bug – a programming error that causes a program to behave in an unexpected way.
Byte – a piece of computer information made up of eight bits.
Command – the act of giving an instruction to your Mac either by menu choice or keystroke.
Command (apple) key – a modifier key, the Command key used in conjunction with another keystroke to active some function on the Mac.
Control panel – a program that allows you to change settings in a program or change the way a Mac looks and/or behaves.
CPU – the Central Processing Unit. The processing chip that is the “brains” of a computer.
Cursor – The pointer, usually arrow or cross-shaped, which is controlled by the mouse.
Download – to transfer data from one computer to another. (If you are on the receiving end, you are downloading. If you are on the sending end, you are uploading ).
Drag – to move the mouse while its button is being depressed.
Drag and Drop – a feature on the Mac which allows one to drag the icon for a document on top of the icon for an application, thereby launching the application and opening the document.
Driver – a file on a computer which tells it how to communicate with an add-on piece of equipment (like a printer).
Ethernet – a protocol for fast communication and file transfer across a network.
File – the generic word for an application, document, control panel or other computer data.
Folder – an electronic subdirectory which contains files.
Font – a typeface that contains the characters of an alphabet or some other letterforms.
Highlight – to select by clicking once on an icon or by highlighting text in a document.
Icon – a graphic symbol for an application, file or folder.
Initialize – to format a disk for use in the computer; creates a new directory and arranges the tracks for the recording of data.
Insertion point – in word processing, the short flashing marker which indicates where your next typing will begin.
Installer – software used to install a program on your hard drive.
Interrupt Button – a tool used by programmers to enter the debugging mode. The button is usually next to the reset button.
K – short for kilobyte.
keyboard shortcut – a combination of keystrokes that performs some function otherwise found in a pulldown menu.
kilobyte – 1024 bytes.
landscape – in printing from a computer, to print sideways on the page.
launch – start an application.
Measurements (summary) –
*a bit = one binary digit (1 or 0) *”bit” is derived from the contraction b’it (binary digit) -> 8 bits = one byte
*1024 bytes = one kilobyte
*K = kilobyte
*Kb = kilobit
*MB = megabyte
*Mb = megabit
*MB/s = megabytes per second
*Mb/s = megabits per second
*bps = bits per second
i.e., 155 Mb/s = 19.38 MB/s
MB – short for megabyte.
megabyte – 1024 kilobytes.
General Computer Terms
menu – a list of program commands listed by topic.
Menu Bar – the horizontal bar across the top of the Mac¹s screen that lists the menus.
Operating System – the system software that controls the computer.
partition – a subdivision of a hard drives surface that is defined and used as a separate drive.
paste – to insert text, or other material, from the clipboard or copy buffer.
print spooler – a program that stores documents to be printed on the hard drive, thereby freeing the memory up and allowing other functions to be performed while printing goes on in the background.
RAM – acronym for Random-Access Memory.
ROM – acronym for Read Only Memory; memory that can only be read from and not written to.
Root Directory – the main hard drive window.
UPS – acronym for Uninterruptible Power Source.
VPN – acronym for Virtual Private Network.
Virtual memory – using part of your hard drive as though it were “RAM”.
Server – a central computer dedicated to sending and receiving data from other computers (on a network).
Shut down – the command from the Special menu that shuts down the Mac safely.
Software – files on disk that contain instructions for a computer.
Office Automation Computer Terms
save – to write a file onto a disk.
save as – (a File menu item) to save a previously saved file in a new location and/or with a new name.
scroll – to shift the contents of a window to bring hidden items into view.
scrollbar – a bar at the bottom or right side of a window that contains the scroll box and allows scrolling.
scroll box – the box in a scroll bar that is used to navigate through a window.
Title bar – the horizontal bar at the top of a window which has the name of the file or folder it represents.