by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

A trackball is an alternative to a mouse or a stylus. It looks kind of like a mouse upside-down, and you use it by rolling the ball around with your fingers. It has one or more buttons to click, just like a mouse.

 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

SIMM stands for single inline memory module. Before you try to understand what a SIMM is, you should read and understand RAM and memory.

 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

A serial port is the socket (also known as an "input/output connector") where you plug in the cables to attach to a serial device, such as a printer or modem.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

A disk has two sides (a top and a bottom). Each side of the disk has tracks (concentric rings) on the surface. Each ring is divided into arc-shaped sectors, little units of storage space on the disk, usually 512 bytes on a floppy disk and up to several thousand bytes on a hard disk. Whatever the size, a sector is the smallest unit the computer can read or write at a time; it cannot deal with portions of a sector.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

SCSI (pronounced "scuzzy," not "sexy") stands for small computer systems interface. SCSI is a standard for interfacing, or connecting, personal computers to peripheral devices (like scanners, hard disks, or CD-ROM players) and having them send information to each other.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

A scanner is a device that takes a picture of an image that exists outside the computer, such as a photograph or a drawing on paper. As the scanner takes the picture, it digitizes the image (breaks it up into dots that can be recreated on the computer screen with electronic signals), and send this digital information to the computer as a file. Then you can take this file of the scanned image and use it in your work.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

These spoonfuls of alphabet-number soup designate different standards for connecting serial devices (like modems, mice, and printers) to the computer by plugging their cables into serial ports. Through a serial port, the computer exchanges information with the device back and forth "serially," or one bit at a time.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

A plotter is a graphics printer that literally uses ink pens to draw the images. The pens move around on the surface of the paper like something out of The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Plotters can only draw data in vector graphics format, graphics that are made of straight lines (the curved forms are actually drawn with many tiny straight lines). There are flatbed plotters where the pen moves across the page in the x and y axes.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

PCL, short for printer command language, consists of a large set of commands for controlling the Hewlett-Packard LaserJet and DeskJet families of printers, and compatible printers from other manufacturers. PCL commands are used to tell the printer where to place text or graphics on the page, which font to print, whether to print bold, italic or underlined text, and so on.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

You have probably heard of printer ports and modem ports and perhaps ADB ports or some other kind of port. A port is a plug, or receptacle (known in other computer dictionaries as an input/output connector). Once you insert one end of a cable into a port, information can flow between your computer and whatever device is attached to the other end of the cable.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

A CD, such as the kind you play to listen to music, is an example of an optical disc. So is a "video disc" (properly called a laser disk), such as the kind you can rent at the video store that has an entire movie on it. Optical discs for your computer can hold an incredible amount of information- up to 6,000 megabytes (which is 6 gigabytes) of data. Entire encyclopaedias, Shakespeare's works, or representations of the art in the Louvre have been recorded onto optical discs.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

Dos use the acronym LPT to refer to its three printer ports: LPT1, LPT2, and LPT3. The acronym is a contraction of line printer.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

A laser disc (also known as a "video disc") is similar to a music CD, but it holds visual images as well as music. In fact, laser discs can store entire movies, concerts, operas, recordings of live theatre, and a wide variety of educational material. Its signal gets fed right into your television or video monitor, just like the video tape movies you rent. Laser discs are typically 12 inches wide, just like a standard long-playing phonograph record (remember those?).

 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

Freeware is software made available for public use by the author, and it's free. You're not under any obligation to pay for it. Freeware is usually distributed in the same places you find shareware and public domain software: on bulletin boards, at user groups, and by commercial shareware distributors.

 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

File Allocation Table (FAT). A data structure employed in the FILESYSTEMS of Microsoft's MS-DOS and Windows operating systems to locate individual files stored on hard and floppy disks. When a disk is FORMATTED it is divided up into many physical SECTORS of equal size grouped together into CLUSTERS. Whenever a new file is created, the file system allocates a number of these clusters to hold that file's data - the FAT is a table that contains the name of each file and the addresses of the clusters that it occupies. When a file is deleted, only its FAT entry, rather than the data itself, is erased, which is why UNDELETE utilities can usually recover the file.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

An EGA is a video adapter for IBM-type personal computers. This means it has the electronic circuits your computer needs to display images on the screen. EGA stands for enhanced graphics adapter, but don't be fooled by the name: EGAS came out in about 1985, and what was "enhanced" then (compared to a CGA) is obsolete now. Yes, they still work, and if you get a computer that has one, don't throw the EGA board away.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

A driver is a piece of software that tells the computer how to communicate with or operate another piece of hardware, such as a printer, scanner, or mouse.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

A drive is the part of the computer that takes the disks or tapes you insert into the slot and spins them to make them work. You probably have at least two different kinds of drives in your system: floppy disk drives are the ones with the little slots where you insert floppy disks; the standard type of hard disk drive comes sealed inside a case, which in turn is stuck inside your computer or inside a separate box-you never even see the disk.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

Information that is digital is information represented by numbers (digits) or more broadly, information that can be measured in discreet, exact values. The opposite term is analog, which describes information represented along a continuous range, where there are an infinite number of possible values. Trite as it may be, the best way to understand the difference between digital and analog is to compare a digital clock to a traditional round clock with hands.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

A device driver is a piece of software designed for a particular device (printer, mouse, monitor, or what have you) and the particular application program or environment you're working with. The driver serves as a go between for the program (or environment) and the device, translating the software's desires into commands the device understands.



 

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About Dinesh Thakur

Dinesh ThakurDinesh Thakur holds an B.SC (Computer Science), MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, CCNP, A+, SCJP certifications. Dinesh authors the hugely popular blog. Where he writes how-to guides around Computer fundamental , computer software, Computer programming, and web apps. For any type of query or something that you think is missing, please feel free to Contact us.



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