by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

CD-ROM (pronounced "see-dee rom") stands for compact disk, read only memory. A NON-VOLATILE OPTICAL DISK STORAGE medium based on the same physical disk format as the audio Compact Disc (CD), developed by Philips and Sony. A CD-ROM actually looks just like the CDs we play music with. To use one with your computer, you need a CD-ROM player, also called a CD-ROM reader. A CD-ROM can hold up to about 600 megabytes of information, which is the equivalent of about 700 regular floppy disks. There are CD-ROMs that hold the entire works of Shakespeare, complete dictionaries, histories, images of the works in the Louvre, etc., etc., ete. You can search the CD for the particular information you want to work with, copy it, then paste it into your own documents on your hard disk to do with what you will. You can only read from a CD-ROM, though-you can't store information onto it. The biggest complaint about CD-ROMs is that they are relatively slow.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

Before a disk can be useful in a computer, the disk must be formatted. Formatting, also called initializing, organizes the storage area on the disk-it magnetically marks the disk with tracks and sectors, each with indicated boundaries, so that the information you store can later be located easily. The process involves erasing all that is on the disk, testing the disk to make sure all of its sectors are reliable, and creating a directory-an internal address system used for locating information later.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

The B word. If something is wrong with a piece of software or hardware so that it stops working or destroys your data or just acts weird, the product is said to have a bug, or to be buggy. The term actually comes down to us from the real live crawling and flying bugs that used to get into those old giant-sized computers .

 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

Analog is the opposite of digital, and I can only explain analog in relation to digital. Analog refers to things that are in a continuous flow or that have an infinite number of values-things that are "analogous" to real life.

 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Also called a CASH POINT, a combined computer terminal and cash dispensing machine connected via a WAN to a bank's central computers, that enables customers to make cash withdrawals and inspect account details from public sites such as streets, airports, shops and petrol stations. ATMs typically provide a small display screen that presents menus to the user, surrounded by a small number of buttons to make menu selections, and a numeric keypad for entering the customer's PIN number - the latter is checked against that stored on the customer's cash card, which must be inserted into a slot as a means of AUTHENTICATION.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

CD-R (Compact Disc Recordable) AWRITE-ONCE version of the CD-ROM disc, which can be used to distribute and back up computer data or to copy music CDS. Though it follows the same data format and can be read in standard CDROM drives, CD-R employs quite a different physical storage process, based on an organic dye film that is selectively bleached by a laser beam, which explains the blue or green colour of the recording surface.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

To stop a program or computer command, before it has finished naturally. The term also covers an unexpected termination by the computer because of a bug or malfunction.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

An address on your computer is similar to the address on your house it's a way for the computer to know where to send its messages, and a way for the information or the device to know it is being called upon.



 
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

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

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.

 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

Biometrics: The measurement of parts of a person's body, for example fingerprints, voice timbre or unique patterns in the iris of the eye, to identify the person for security purposes. Computers can now process such data sufficiently fast for biometric methods to be used in real time as keys to gain access to a system. For example, when a finger is placed on a scanning pad, the print is immediately compared with one stored in a database of authorized persons.



 
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

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 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

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

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

(Dual In-line Memory Module) A small PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD with RAM chips mounted on both sides and a single edge connector, via which it can be plugged into a computer MOTHER BOARAD. DIMM differs from a SIMM in that the chips on either side have separate pins on the edge connector, permitting a wider 128-bit data path for faster access to the memory; hence they tend to be used in more expensive systems like servers.



 
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

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.



 

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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.