Here I have listed some of the most common glossary of computer terms. I am not saying that this is a complete list; however, these are the most popular computer terms found on the net.
Anti-virus program is an application developed to protect a computer from virus, worm, Trojan and other kinds of malicious codes. The application continuously checks for viruses entering into a system.
If a virus is detected, it will do one of the three methods: repair the infected file or quarantine the file so that it won’t be accessible to programs or delete the infected file.
Application software is a kind of software developed to carry out a specific task on a computer. Ex. AutoCAD, word processing, etc.
Bluetooth is a wireless network technology used to connect Bluetooth enabled devices at short distance (up to 40m) without using cables. It is a common communication method to transfer data between cell phones and laptops.
Broadband is high speed internet connection. Several types of broadband connection exist. DSL (digital subscriber line), satellite and leasing a line are among popular ones.
Cache memory is very high speed memory (RAM) type used to hold information frequently used by computer processor. Recent system units incorporate more than two levels of cache memory (L1, L2, L3 and L4).
Card Reader (Memory card readers)
It is a device which can be connected directly to a computer through USB and used to read flash memory cards inserted in it. Commonly it is used to copy data from cell phone and digital camera memory cards to a computer. Depending on the reader type and specification, it can hook different types of memory cards such as CF (compact flash), SD (secure digital), mini-SD, RS-MMC, SM, MS-Pro, MS Pro Duo and others.
Clock speed is a device that sends pulses to a CPU. It is measured in MHz and GHz. The higher the clock speed of a computer the faster the CPU.
A computer virus is a software program capable of destroying computer data. It spreads by copying itself without the knowledge of a user. It halts, disrupts and changes the normal operation of system. It also corrupts and damages files stored in a computer.
Desktop computer is a type of computer designed for users who work in an office or home. As the name implies it is put on desk or table. It is ideal for office workers.
Dial-up connection is used to connect to the internet using a standard telephone line. A computer connects with the telephone line via a modem. Its maximum transfer speed is 56 kilobytes per second. And it is the most slow internet connection.
Electronic commerce (E-commerce) is handling business transactions online. It is the exchange of goods and services through internet. In the modern world, it is possible to purchase and sell products online without leaving home.
Extranet is a type of network when limited content of intranet network is available for users outside company’s employees such as other businesses, clients or suppliers.
Firewall is a system used to secure or protect a computer or a network from unauthorized access by outside users. Usually, it is applicable when using internet and a network.
According to the type of firewall software, it is easy to configure so that each connection is monitored. Microsoft Windows has built-in Firewall in all versions of latest operating software (XP, Vista and 7).
Flash Memory (USB flash drive)
Flash memory is a device used to transport files between computers. It can be directly connected to a computer USB port. Flash memory is handy and store files like a normal hard disk. 4GB, 8GB, 16GB and 32GB are the most common sizes. It is recommended not to use flash memory as a backup media.
Freeware is any type of software available for free. However, it is copyrighted therefore can’t be changed or put for resale.
Graphics card (Video display adapter)
Graphics card is one of the expensive components in a computer system which serves as an interface between a computer and screen. It controls what we see on computer monitor.
Hard disk or hard drive is a device used to store all applications and data in a computer. It is housed in a computer case.
Different sizes of hard disks are available and its capacity is still increasing. Portable hard disk is the same with the standard disk, but handy to take it around. It is designed to take backups and personal data.
Internet is the largest wide area network in the world which links millions of computers. Through internet information can be shared, business can be conducted and research can be done.
Intranet is a company’s private network (internet) which encompasses one or more local area networks (LAN). It works the same like public internet, but the content is restricted to the company’s users only.
Keyboard is one of computer components which used to input data to a computer. It is called an input device.
Local Area Network (LAN) is the smallest type of network built at the office or home level.
Laptop (notebook) computer
Laptop is small and lightweight computer in which all the main parts fitted into single unit. It is designed to carry it around. Particularly, it is ideal for travelers, journalists, commentators and professionals who want to work both at the office and home.
Memory cards are used to serve as a storage media in digital cameras, mobile phones, video cameras and other digital devices. The cards differ in type and size. The most popular are MMC, CF (compact flash), SD (secure digital), mini-SD, RS-MMC, SM, MS-Pro and MS Pro Duo.
Metropolitan Area Network
Metropolitan area network is a type of network that connects computers and devices in the range of a campus or city.
Modem is a telecommunication device that converts digital signals to analog and vice versa. It is used in dial-up internet connection to connect telephone line to a computer.
When data is translated from digital to analog, it is called modulation; translating data from analog to digital is called demodulation.
Computer Monitor is an output device on which information is displayed. Two types of computer monitors are available: LCD and CRT.
Computer motherboard is the core of a computer system. It is the circuit board where all other parts connect. It communicates and controls the overall system. No motherboard means no computer system.
Computer mouse is a pointing input device which used to select and click icons on computer monitor.
MP3 player is a multimedia portable player which stores, organize and play music and videos. Apple product, iPod, is the most popular player available on the market.
Network card is a device fitted on computer motherboard which serves as an interface between computers to connect each other.
PAN (Personal area network)
Personal area network is a wireless network that connects devices in a short range, usually 30 feet.
Password is a series of characters used to protect resources in a computer from unauthorized access. It is one of the ways to secure computer information from unauthorized users.
Processor (CPU – central processing unit)
Processor is the most important computer component where all computing calculations executed. Commonly, it is called the “brain” of a computer.
Scanner is an input device used to convert hardcopy images and texts in to a digital format.
Server is a type of computer specifically designed for network and internet applications. The role of the server is to manage the network and provide services such as sharing files and devices to the workstation or client computers. Server is more powerful and sophisticated than the standard computer.
Shareware is copyrighted software available for free. The demo or the trial version can be downloaded freely and used for a limited time. You must pay to get the full version of the program. Trial version is one way of promoting application product.
Software is set of instructions developed by programming language which tells a computer what to do.
Speaker is a device that outputs computer sound. The sound generated by a computer depends on the type and quality of sound card fitted into the system.
System software controls the overall operation of a computer. Some of the activities include managing system memory, controlling system resources, executing computer hardware functions and interfacing a user with computer hardware and applications.
Commonly, it is called Operating System. Microsoft dominates the system software industry. Windows XP, Vista, and 7 are widely used system software. Other popular operating systems include Mac OS, UNIX, Solaris, Linux and Red Hat Linux.
Wide Area Network (WAN) is a type of network that connects large geographic zones. The connection is accomplished through satellite, microwave and cabling. Usually, Internet is referred as the largest wide area network.
Webcam (Web camera)
Webcam is a camera built in with laptop computer to generate images or see each other online when chatting. It can be purchased separately and put on desktop computers as well.