Computer Glossary

8.3 format
Adware
Bandwidth
Banner
Binary file
Bit
BIOS
BPS
Browser
Bug
Byte
Cache

CMOS
CPU
DHCP
Directory
DMA
Export / Import
FAT
FAT32
General Page Fault
Hacker
Hit
IOS Error

IP Address
IRQ
Key
I/O
Low Level Format
Malware
MFT
Memory Address
Memory Allocation
Menu Bar Item
Nanosecond
NTFS
Path

Page
Page Table Entry
Phishing
PTE
RAM
Slip Stream
Stacks
TCP/IP
Trojan
Virus
Worm
Zip

8.3 format: Long file names are not 8.3. The 8 means up to 8 characters for the file name and 3 means up to 3 characters for the file extension. A long file name is reduced to the first 6 characters (no spaces) and the "~" plus a number (Pro Name File.exe = Pronam~1.exe). The number is determined by the first 6 characters. If you have two files with the first 6 matching then the second file created in that folder will be a 2. It will not change back to a 1 if the first file is deleted.

Adware: Software that displays advertising (banners, popups, etc) or redirects URLs Often this software is combined with a application that is provided at no charge (Freeware) as long as the user agrees to accept the advertising software.

Bandwidth: The range of frequencies (data) a transmission line can carry and defined in bits (BPS). The larger the bandwidth, the greater the information capacity of a channel. Simple terms - amount a data transferred on a line, such as a modem.

Banner: An online advertising graphic. Usually located at the top of a web page.

Binary file: Any file that is not plain, ASCII text. For example: executable files, graphic files and compressed (ZIP) files.

Bit: (contraction of binary digit) A single unit of information that has two values, 0 or 1.

BIOS:An Acronym for Basic Input/Output system. A low level set of interactions that allows your operating system to talk to the computer and its devices, such as your hard drive and keyboard. The BIOS loads devices for the operating system ( DOS, Windows) and then loads the operating system.

BPS: Bits per second. Measurement of digital information transmission rates (can also mean bytes per second).

Browser: A software program for observing the World Wide Web; synonym for a Web client.

Bug: The first computer bug was found on September 9, 1945. It was a moth stuck in a relay in the US Navy's Mark I computer. Today all computer errors are called bugs.

Byte: Eight bits forming a unit of data. Typically, each byte stores one character.

Cache: A temporary storage bin in memory and on your hard drive. Cache can also be found in the CPU, and on chips on the mother board.

CMOS: Stands for Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor and refers to the physical makeup of the memory chips used to contain the CMOS memory settings. The CMOS memory settings are used to semi-permanently store information about your hardware: memory amount, number and type of hard drives and floppy drives, number and type of I/O ports (serial, parallel, SCSI, USB, etc.), system bus types (ISA, PCI, EISA, etc.) and some settings related to this hardware. With Plug-and-Play components, Windows 9x/2000 can update some of this information. CMOS memory is not the same as the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) memory which is stored in ROM (Read Only Memory) or PROM (Programmable Read Only Memory). In some systems the BIOS is stored in Flash EPROM (Flash-programmable Erasable/Programmable Read Only Memory) which is re-programmable without removing the chips from the system using special software.

CPU:Central Processing Unit. The heart of your computer. The CPU is the module that processes the data.

DHCP: Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol - the method for a device to dynamically assign IP addresses from a central server to each connected computer or device that uses TCP/IP protocol.

Directory: A directory is a Folder. Microsoft tried to make it easier for the user to understand what a directory is so it named them Folders

DMA: (Direct Memory Access) addressing used by some hardware. Your system should have 6 available addresses 00 to 05. No two pieces of hardware can share a DMA channel. Most new hardware no longer uses a DMA.
Microsoft Press's: A channel for direct memory access that does not involve the microprocessor, providing data transfer directly between memory and the disk drive.

Export / Import: A means of taking information out of the Registry and saving it as a text file in a format that can be put back in the Registry. Input this information is called Importing. This procedure is done by opening RegEdit clicking on the key you want to Export, then the Menu Bar Item "Registry" and then "Export", saving it to a file name without an extension. You should always save it within the Windows Directory so that you can Import it back in if need be. To save the entire Registry you need to click on "Computer" and then Export.

FAT: (File Allocation Table) This table information is stored in the Data section of a bootable disk (floppy or hard). It normally consists of the first 63 sectors. Information about each file, size, location, and number of sectors used to store the file are keep here. If the table (Table 1) becomes corrupted there is a backup table (Table 2). Windows uses Table 1 to read files, Scandisk for Windows can also read Table 2 if needed. Fdisk can read Table 2 also, if you use the MBR switch (fdisk /mbr) to repair the boot sector. If the Table becomes corrupted this is known as losing the FAT.
Microsoft Press's: A file system based on a file allocation table, maintained by the operating system, to keep track of the status of various segments of disk space used for file storage. The 32-bit implementation in Windows 9x is called the Virtual File Allocation Table (VFAT) More about FAT.

FAT32: File Allocation Table, available on OSR2 and higher. Correct name is HPFS (High Performance File System). Also see FAT

GPF: General Page Fault - When the OS cannot process a command generated by a program it falters and cannot continue without dropping the command from memory. GPFs are displayed as the Blue Screen of Death of by a System Error message. More information on this subject is available on our General Page Fault page. Also see Memory Address

Hacker: A person who delights in having an intimate understanding of the internal workings of a system, computers, software, and computer networks in particular.

Hit: A request from a browser for a single item from a web server. An overused term when discussing traffic on a Website, e.g. "We get 500,000 hits per month." Calling one page from a server could result in dozens of "hits" because each graphic is interpreted as a hit. In reality, counting only the "index.htm" page or "default.htm" page would be a more accurate gauge of traffic.

IP Address: IP is short for Internet Protocol, using TCP (Transmission Control Protocol). An address is 4 octets of numbers, each octet ranges for 0 to 255. The address is unique for each connection on the network. The network can be a local (LAN) or the Internet (WAN). The WAN connection can also be a direct phone line to another fiscal location.

IOS Error: (Initiating the Operating System, the true meaning is Input/Output Supervisor) These errors occur while Windows is first booting up, loading files into memory. There are logged in the bootlog. This error can be devastating, causing you to be locked out of Windows. IOS errors can not generally be repaired by reinstalling Windows. Usually you need to format. RegRepair 2000 can repair most of these errors as long as you are not locked out of Windows. Windows may not report these errors to you while booting. To find these errors use the Find IOS Errors in RegRepair 2000.

IRQ: (Interrupt Request) There are 15 IRQs available. No two pieces of hardware can share the same IRQ, with the exception of your PCI and IDE controllers. The IDEs are usually 14 and 15. A special card can be installed in your machine to make available more IRQs.
Microsoft Press's: Hardware lines over which devices can send signals to get the attention of the processor when the device is ready to accept or send information. Typically, each device connected to the computer uses a separate IRQ.

I/0: (Input / Output Range) The memory addressing range a device uses to communicate. No two devices may share an I/O range. If you have 3 or more Com ports then I/O s are shared which means that only one device may be used at a time.
Microsoft Press's: I/O request Packet: data structures that drivers use to communicate with each other.

Key: An index in the Registry's database. If you view the Registry using RegEdit you will see folder in the Left window and subfolders. These are Keys in the Registry. The Registry is a database. Entries in the database are found in the right window.

Low Level Format:Writing zeros to the entire hard drive which removes all partitions, clusters, boot sectors, all data is removed.

Malware: Malicious software that is intentionally installed to an operation system for harmful purposes, Trojans, viruses, worms. Adware that the computer user did not agree to or have knowledge that it was being installed.

MFT: Master File Table, use for NTFS file location and security information. There are two MFT files, one is the current file and the second is a mirror file located in the middle of the hard drive. The MFT is not like a FAT(File Allocagtion Table), it is used in place of a FAT.

Memory Address: Windows uses a demand-paged virtual memory system, a linear address space accessed using 32-bit addresses. Each process is allocated its own address space. No two processes can occupy the same address. When you get a Windows message that a program has performed an illegal operation and you click on details, you will see the memory addresses (014f:301678df) of the process that perform the illegal operation.

Memory Allocation: Windows uses the random access memory (RAM) and a virtual memory address (Swap File). Windows places information into RAM and then moves it to the Swap File when it need to make room in RAM. Or moves the information into the Swap File that is not needed immediately.

Menu Bar Item: The word that are printed across the top of this window about the tool bar (if any) Files Edit View Help. Menu Items are the items in the menu that pops up when you click on a Menu Bar Item

Nanosecond: One billionth of a Second .
From techtarget.com: In education, a Grace Hopper nanosecond is a prop used by a teacher to help students understand an abstract concept. The teaching tool got its name from the foot-long lengths of telephone wire that Admiral Grace Hopper used to give out at lectures. Admiral Hopper used the wires to illustrate how in one billionth of second (a nanosecond) an electronic signal can travel almost twelve inches.

NTFS: New Technology File System. Available on Windows NT, 2000, 2003, and XP, it allows for a greater file security than FAT or FAT32. Similar to a file allocation table used by Windows 9x, but it is not FAT. Each file or folder can be set to allow specific users

Page: The transfer of data, a logical block of memory, from virtual memory to physical memory, or from physical memory to virtual memory.

Page Table Entry: Also known as PTE . A 32 bit entry into the paging file table, the entry is valid and the page is present in physical memory. The entry defines the mapping of virtual memory to Physical memory.

Path: A file path contains the location of the file. C:\Windows\System is the path for the file name C:\Windows\System\Azt16.drv. A valid path must contain the drive letter, a full colon and backslash, the directory and a backslash, any sub directories and a backslash, and the file name and extension

Phishing: A site that falsely claims to be a legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering personal information, for the purpose of identity thief. Maybe via email or a link from another site.

RAM: Random Access Memory is temporary memory that your computer uses to store information. Text copied to the "clipboard" is stored in RAM until it is replaced by new information or the computer is turned off.

Slip Stream: A fix, enhancement, or upgrade made to software without creating a new version number to identify the changes. Commonly done by replacing some files but not all.

Stacks: Reserved memory that programs use for processing. An error message "stack overflow" is because there is not enough space in memory available to handle the calls being made to Windows.

TCP/IP: Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol - The protocol that computers use to communicate over the Internet. This protocol is common to all operating systems, so it can be used by Windows to communicate with Unix and all others for local networking as well.

Trojan: A computer program which carries within itself a means to allow the program's creator access to the system using it. A Trojan normally will not do any damage by itself.

Virus: A program that when loaded infects, alters or destroys other programs. Some virus programs cause major trouble and some are nothing more than annoying pranks.

Worm: A computer program, which replicates itself and is self-propagating. Worms, as opposed to viruses, are meant to spawn in network environments. Worms usually are designed to slow down a network or even crash it. See also: Trojan Horse, Virus.

Zip: A type of file compression used most often on the Internet. The file extension for a zipped file is .ZIP.

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