Jackie Stewart - PC Help


Computer Terms

Computer terms explained in easier, simpler to understand language


Antivirus software mainly prevent and remove computer viruses, including worms and trojan horses.


Bandwith is the rate of data transfer bit rate measured in bits per second.


A bit is a binary digit, taking a logical value of either "1" or "0"

Binary Code

Binary code is the system of representing text or computer processor instructions by the use of the Binary number system's two-binary digits "0" and "1"


Blue-ray Disc (also known as Blu-ray or BD) is an optical disc storage medium designed by Sony to supersede the standard DVD format. Its main uses are high-definition video and data storage with 50GB per disc. The disc has the same physical dimensions as standard DVDs and CDs.


A browser is the software used to access the inter such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari and Google Chrome


Broadband refers to data transmission over a fibre optic cable that can can huge amount of data at once at high speed


A byte is an ordered collection of bits, eight bits make 1 byte and 1 byte usually makes 1 letter of the alphabet


Cache is a collection of data duplicating original values stored elsewhere or computed earlier. In other words, a cache is the temporary storage area where frequently accessed websites are stored for faster access rather than downloading new content.


CGI mean Common Gateway Interface. It allows web page visitors to fill out form fields that interact with a database on the website owners server to store information, usernames etc.


A cookie consists of bits of information such as user preferences, shopping cart contents, that identify information about your computer and relay it back to the web site.


CPU means Central Processing Unit and is the main part of your computer that all information passes through making the computer work. The faster the CPU the faster your computer will process information.


A database is a collection of information such as names, address, etc. that are stored in a file for easy access and to run queries to pull similar information together.


The desktop is the main screen you will see when your computer starts up and where icons are displayed for ease of access such as your recycle bin, my documents and my computer. It can be customised to your own liking using display properties.


An eBook is a digital copy of information stored in a file and viewable using an electronic reader such as a computer, phone or dedicated hardware.


Email is electronic mail sent from computer to computer using an email @ address and read using an email program such as Outlook Express, Microsoft Outlook or it can be read online using webmail


Encryption is the process of protecting data by scrambling it and/or password protecting it to be read only by an authorised user


Firewire is high speed data transfer usually used to transfer video data through a port on your computer


A firewall is a piece of software designed to block intrusions in and out of your computer to protect private information and hi-jacks. A firewall can also be built into a router to prevent further access.

Graphics Card

A graphics card is the hardware device dedicated to processing the images you see on your computer monitor and changes the resolution settings. The more powerful the card the better the quality of games and applications can be used.


A hacker is a technical wizard that has the ability to break through into your computer system to infect or steal information.

Hard Disk Drive

The hard drive is the piece of hardware that stores all your files and folders on your computer and where the operating system is installed. It is basically the same as an old fashioned filing cabinet except it can hold thousands of files and folders digitally.


HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. A standard of text markup used on webpages and gives structure and formatting to pages so they are viewed in specific colours and text types.


HTTP means HyperText Transfer Protocol. A system used to request and send HTML documents on the internet it preceeds and web address


HTTPS means HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. This is much the same as HTTP and often used by sites requiring passwords and usernames to gain access such as banks use.


A hyperlink is a link attached to an image or tet that will link to a certain website or file. A hyperlink is usually underlined or appears different when the mouse moves over the hyperlinked image or text and a click will move you to the site or file automatically.


The internet is an international conglomeration of interconnected computer networks. Begun in the late 1960s, it was developed in the 1970s to allow government and university researchers to share information. The Internet is not controlled by any single group or organization. Its original focus was research and communications, but it continues to expand, offering a wide array of resources for business and home users.

IP address

IP Address is a code made up of numbers separated by three dots that identifies a particular computer on the Internet. Every computer requires an IP address to connect to the Internet. IP addresses consist of four sets of numbers from 0 to 255, separated by three dots.


The mouse is the pointing device attached to a computer by PS2 or USB and used to left or right click to open applications.


A network is when you have two or more computers connected to each other. The purpose of a network is to enable the sharing of files and information between multiple systems. They can be connected through cables, such as Ethernet cables or phone lines, or wirelessly, using wireless networking.


Operating System

The operating system is the main software on any computer and all computers need one to make it function. It performs important tasks like receiving input from the keyboard and mouse, sending information to the screen, keeping track of files and directories on the disk, as well as controlling the various units such as disks, printers, etc.


A partition is a segment of a hard drive. Hard drives can be divided into several segments to store different information and each partition is regarded as one logical storage unit. In windows the operating system assigns each drive a letter such as C: or D: and lookes like there are several hard drives on the computer.

Peer to Peer Networking

Peer to peer networking is a simple way to connect two or more PCs to share data.


PHP is a scripting language originally designed for producing dynamic web pages. It has evolved to include a command line interface capability and can be used in standalone graphical applications.


A printer allows you to print documents from your computer. There are many types of printers depending on the type of process you are trying to perform. Laser, Ink Jet and Photo Printers in different size.

RAM Memory

Ram is Random Access Memory. This has not to be confused with the hard drive memory that stores the information on a computer. The RAM is the memory temporarily used to process information. The more memory you have the faster your computer will respond when you have more than one application open.


A broadband router connects to your broadband enabled phone line and allows your computer to receive broadband. To set it up you will need your access details from your ISP and the instructions that came with your computer. It can also be used to setup a network to share files, printer and internet connection.

Screen Resolution

This refers to the amount of pixels (individual dots) that appear on the screen. Common resolution sizes are 1024x768 and 1280x800. The higher the resolution the more crisp the image will appear on your screen. Your graphics card and monitor combined will have an optimum resolution; try not to exceed this amount as it will affect the speed at which graphics can be rendered on your computer.

Sound card

A sound card is exactly what it says, a piece of hardware with its own specific software to produce sound from inside the computer and sent to internal or external speakers where you will be able to hear the sound.


SQL means Structured Query Language is a database computer language designed for the retrieval and management of data in relational database management systems (RDBMS)


URL Uniform Resource Locator is the address of a web site that you type into the address bar of your browser to view that web site.


USB stands for Universal Serial Bus. Devices that have a USB connection plug into the USB slots on your computer such as mouses, cameras, printers etc will have this connection type.

Wireless Access Point (WAP)

This connects to the Router and allows your wireless enabled computer to connect to the internet without the use of wires. If this device is set up right it will also allow you to communicate from one computer to another. Is a solution that enables your network to run without wires.