by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

A cluster is the smallest single unit of the space on a disk (a hard disk or a floppy or even an optical disc) that your computer's operating system keeps track of separately. The operating system keeps systematic records of which clusters are occupied by each file stored on the disk (in DOS, this is called the file allocation table, or FAT). Clusters usually consist of more than one sector, a sector being the smallest unit of disk space that the computer can read data from or write data on. There are too many sectors on a hard disk to keep track of them all individually, so the operating system deals with them in groups called clusters instead.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

Boot Record: A set of crucial data written on the BOOTSECTOR of a HARDDISK or FLOPPYDISK that contains the information required by the INITIAL PROGRAM LOADER to locate a copy of the operating system on the disk and load it into memory. Damage to the boot record can prevent the computer from booting from that disk, and render the disk's other contents inaccessible; many disk repair utilities work by preserving and restoring backup copies of the boot record. Some types of VIRUS hide themselves within the boot record.



 
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 bug is a problem in software or hardware; to debug is to diagnose and correct said problem. Software programs inevitably develop bugs due to mistakes in planning or simply from accidentally typing the wrong command. Before a program can run properly, all bugs have to be found and corrected. A debugger is an application developed for the specific purpose of finding these problems; it lets the programmer run the program one step at a time so that she can see exactly where the mistake occurs.

 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

A device just means any kind of component that's part of or attached to your computer. It can be located inside or outside the computer. A mouse, for example, is a device that sits outside the computer, while an internal disk drive (another device) is inside the computer. Devices need instructions on how to communicate with the printer or the rest of the computer, and sometimes those instructions aren't part of the computer's standard operating system.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

Sometimes, like in a school computer lab or in an office, you need to hook up several computers to one printer, or several computers need to connect to one file server, or maybe you have several devices (such as a scanner and a CD-ROM player) that you need to hook into one computer. Well, the only way to connect all these devices together, since there is only one port, or connecting place, on the back of the computer, is to connect each object (each device) to the next one in line, making a daisy chain.



 
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

clock cycle The basic unit of timing within a computer system, consisting of one of the stream of regular pulses generated by the SYSTEM CLOCK. Most of a computer's components, in particular its processor, bus and memory systems, operate in strict step with the clock, so the number of clock cycles their various actions occupy is of crucial importance to a computer designer.



 
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

The Desktop level is called a "level" because there is a hierarchy of different levels, kind of like different floors in a tall building. When you can actually see the Desktop, you can double-click to open folders and then you see that folder's window, right? That window is one level of the hierarchy. If you open another folder that is within that window, you go down one more level into the hierarchy. Well, the Desktop level is the very top of the hierarchy (or the root, some might say) because the first window (including the hard disk window) sits on the Desktop.

 
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

To understand what defragmentation IS, a person must first understand how data files are saved onto magnetic storage disks. Whether on a floppy disk or a hard disk, data is stored in a certain format. Formatting consists of dividing a disk into organized sections so that data can be located by the computer. Formatting organizes disks into concentric rings called tracks. Tracks are divided into sectors (pie shaped wedges) in which files and parts of files are stored.



 
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

Derived from Users Network this is, again, totally separate from the WWW. Briefly, the Internet is also home to what are called news groups which are broadly divided into several categories and which cater for every topic imaginable.

 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

As all search engines are different they all operate in slightly different ways. The good news is that the same search techniques can be applied to them all, but, as might be expected, each one is a variation around the same theme. To make it even worse not all search engines actually search the Internet, some are what is known as web directories. Then, just to confuse the picture even more some engines do keyword searches while others are concept based.

 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

The video card, as its name indicates is the component the computer whose role is to transmit data on the screen in the control of a microprocessor dedicated and integrated into the card. It is this microprocessor that calculates the position of points on the screen and processes the texture of restitution algorithms for display complex images such as those generated by video games.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

HDMI. The High-Definition Multimedia Interface has been around since the early 2000s, and was developed for consumer electronics devices such as Blu-ray Disc players and HDTVs. However, HDMI has also seen wide use in graphics cards and computer displays. Its connector’s wide rectangle with two beveled corners can be adapted to DVI.



 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

eSATA. The external SATA interface has been around longer than most of the ports we just described. Until USB 3.0 came along, this port was the fastest link to consumer storage peripherals such as external hard drives.

 
by Dinesh Thakur Category: Computer Terms

Essentially these are extra programs that can be installed and used as part of a Browser i.e. they plug into it. Typically these would provide extra facilities like the ability to handle sound files or advanced graphics. What this means in practice is that, should a web page incorporate sound as well as text, the relevant plug-in will be needed before it can be read by any Browser and the sound played through the computer's own speakers.



 

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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.