A-Z book

1080p Of the common types of high-definition video, this is the best quality: 1920×1080 pixels.

32bit A measure of how much information a computer can process at once. Most older computers are 32bit.

4K Video with a resolution of at least 3840×2160 pixels.

64bit A technology that processes information in larger chunks. Most modern computers are 64bit.

720p A common resolution of high-definition video: 1280×720 pixels.

AES 256 Advanced Encryption Standard. A form of encryption that scrambles information so it can only be read with the correct password.

AMOLED Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode. An alternative technology to LCD for creating flat-panel screens. Most commonly used in smartphones, tablets and smartwatches.

Band steering Detects whether a router is dual-band and, if so, directs it to 5GHz.

Browser hijackers Programs that change your default browser, its homepage and search engine, without prior warning, when you install them.

Cache A temporary space for storing information. Can be memory used on a computer processor, or space on a hard drive used by a web browser.

CAD Computer Aided Design. Software used to create 3D models.

Calibration The process of checking and adjusting a piece of equipment. Printers often need to calibrate themselves before use.

Client A program used to access and manage a user’s email.

Content-aware fill Fills a selected area with content or colour that matches its surroundings.

CPU Central Processing Unit. Another term for a computer processor.

Crowdsourcing Obtaining ideas, information or money from a large group of people, usually online, rather than from more traditional sources.

CSV Comma Separated Value. A standard file format, used for storing information in tables, that can be opened by most spreadsheet applications.

Direct 2D acceleration A Microsoft program for performing 2D graphics tasks using the graphics card.

DirectX A Microsoft technology required to run many games in Windows.

DivX A popular type of compressed video file.

DLL Dynamic Link Library. DLL resources can be made use of by one or more Windows programs.

DSLR Digital single-lens reflex. A digital camera that uses a moving mirror so its viewfinder looks out through the lens. DSLRs use interchangeable lenses and large sensors for high-quality photos.

Ethernet A standard used for almost all wired computer networks.

Extension A program that adds extra features to your browser.

Firmware Basic software stored on a device, such as a music player, to control its operation. Can sometimes be upgraded in a process often called flashing.

GHz Gigahertz. A measure of how many instructions a chip can process per second. 1GHz is equal to 1,000MHz.

Graphics card A component in a computer that produces the image shown on the monitor.

HDMI High-definition media interface. A type of connection that transmits high-definition video and audio signals.

IP address Internet Protocol Address. A unique set of numbers, separated by full stops, used to identify computers and websites on the internet.

LED Light-Emitting Diode. An electronic device that emits light. Used on almost all electronic devices, and to provide the backlight for some LCDs.

M.2 A standard specification for internal PC expansion cards and connectors.

Megapixel A measure of the amount of detail that can be recorded by a digital image. A one- megapixel image is made up of a million dots (pixels).

Mesh router Wireless network that uses multiple, connected routers to stretch Wi-Fi further than a traditional router.

SATA Serial ATA. An interface for connecting modern hard drives and optical discs to a computer.

Script A small program that is stored on a web server to control part of a website.

SD card Secure Digital card. A popular type of memory card.

Search operator Characters you can add to a search query to narrow the results.

Single-board PC A cheap, basic computer comprising a single circuit board, like the Raspberry Pi.

sRGB A standard RGB colour space for use on monitors, printers and the internet. RGB stands for red, green and blue.

SSD Solid-state drive. Storage that, unlike a hard drive, uses no moving parts.

Tag A keyword used to describe a file or web page. Many programs use tags to organise related information quickly.

Thunderbolt A very fast port for connecting external storage to a computer. Can be used to connect monitors, a network and more.

USB 2.0/3.0 Faster successors to USB that are used by devices such as external hard drives.

USB Type-C A new connector that’s reversible, letting you plug it in upside down.

VPN Virtual private network. A technology for keeping all internet communication safe and private even on insecure networks.

Widget A small program such as a calendar that runs on the Windows desktop.

ZIP file A file that can contain compressed documents or files.


PATA Parallel ATA. An interface for connecting hard drives and optical drives to a computer.

Plug-in A small program that adds extra features to software or to your web browser.

PS/2 Personal System 2. A set of standards for such things as mouse and keyboard interfaces, originally used by IBM.

PUP Potentially unwanted program. A program that may
not be desired, despite the user consenting to it being downloaded.

RAM Random-access memory. e computer’s working area, used for data storage while the PC is switched on.

Raw A format for digital photos that stores the image exactly as the camera captured it, without compression or optimisation, but which is not compatible with all image editors.

RCA plug Part of an RCA connector used to carry audio and video signals.

Root To perform tasks on Android devices that aren’t permitted by the manufacturer.

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