by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

Computer products go through extensive testing before they can be released to the unsuspecting and trusting public. When a product has passed the in-house testing stage (see alpha testing), it goes into beta testing, often just called beta. Beta versions of the product are sent out for beta testing to "normal" people who don't work for the company. (These people are then, logically, called beta testers or beta sites.) The beta testers work with the software or hardware in real-life situations and report back the things that go wrong or that need improvement.

 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

Beep is the generic term for whatever sound a computer makes when it's trying to tell you something. If you press the wrong key or click on something you shouldn't, the computer will beep at you. Sometimes it beeps just to let you know that it has started or finished doing something (like copying a file). You can customize the beep sound in some computers. In particular, newer Macs and pcs with Windows 3.1 come with several sounds you can assign to various types of "events" in the system. Hundreds can be added, and you can even make your own sounds.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

Boot Sector The first sector on a FLOPPY DISK or HARDDISK formatted for the MS-DOS operating system, which records the number of HEADS,CYLINDERS and SECTORS per cylinder used on that disk. This information is needed by the disk controller to access data on the drive, and the boot sector is located at head 0, cylinder 0, sector 0, so the controller can always find it regardless of how the drive is formatted. Other operating systems such as UNIX also reserve a special sector for such initialization information, but it is typically in a different form, so one operating system can rarely boot from another's disk.



 
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

Similar to the architecture of a building, the architecture of a computer refers to the design structure of the computer system and all its details: the system, the circuits, the chips, the busses, the expansion slots, the system firmware, BIOS, etc. The architecture largely determines how fast the computer is and what it can do. It also decides whether one computer is compatible with another. Can the same boards be used? Yes, if the architecture is compatible. Different models will have basically the same uses, but with varying degrees of performance. The architecture is what ensures backward compatibility, which means that your old software can run on a new computer.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

Cylinder The set of all the TRACKS on a HARD DISK drive with multiple PLATTERS that may be read at the same time. All the tracks are the same distance from the central spindle, so they can be imagined as tracing a cylinder in space. The HEADS on all the platters move together in a parallel motion - a sequence of data stored within the same cylinder can be read at optimum speed without requiring any movement.

 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

Boot Drive: The disk drive of a computer system from which the operating system is loaded when the computer is first started up. Many operating systems allow the identity of this drive to be altered: for example on IBM compatible pcs it is determined by a setting in the machine's BIOS parameter area.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

A microprocessor is a single chip that is the central processing unit, or the brains of a computer. To function as a complete computer, it also needs memory, a clock) and a power supply. Well, a computer on a chip has its own built-in clock and its own memory, so all it needs is a power supply to function. These tiny things are used in all kinds of things, from car parts to children's toys.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor) The most popular fabrication process for modern INTEGRATED CIRCUITS, which employs LOGIC GATES made out of complementary pairs of FIELD-EFFECT TRANSISTORS called the P-CHANNEL and N-CHANNEL respectively. The p-channel transistor is made within a well of n-type silicon, while the n-channel is made directly in the doped silicon SUBSTRATE. These two transistors are arranged so that a current flows only momentarily while the gate is switching, and none flows in its on or off states, which enormously reduces power consumption as compared with older BIPOLAR processes. It is this benign property that permits the phenomenal improvement in chip performance over recent decades that is referred to as MOORE'S LAW.

 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

The Desktop is the background on your screen when you're using a Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, and similar graphical user interfaces. The idea is that this screen background is sort of like the top of your real desk, and your program windows are all lying on the desktop in a pile. Some programs may refer to their own "desktops." In this case, the desktop is what you see on the screen when the program is running but no document is open.

 

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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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