Basic Information Technology Terminology ACPI - Advanced Configuration and Power Interface enables the operating system to control the amount of power given to each device attached to the computer. Address Bus - A unidirectional pathway that carries addresses generated by the CPU to the memory and I/O elements of the computer. Also see I/O, Bus, Data Bus, Internal Bus. AGP - Accelerated Graphics Port is a dedicated high- speed bus that is used to support the high demands of graphical software. This slot is reserved for video adapters only. Also see Bus, PCI, Expansion Slot.
Algorithm - A systematic procedure that performs a specific task. Computers use algorithms to speed up and simplify procedures. ALU - Arithmetic/Logic Unit is the component of the CPU that performs both the arithmetic and the logical operations for the computer. Also see -CPU, Control Unit. Analog - A type of device that represents data by continuously variable physical quantities, such as length, mass, temperature or pressure. Analog Modem - A modulator-demodulator that converts the computer's digital pulses to tones that are carried over analog telephone lines. Also see Modem.
AP - 1) Application process. 2) Application processor. Application - A program that performs a function directly for a user ASCII - American Standard Code for Information Interchange is a code for representing English characters as numbers, with each letter assigned a number from 0 to 127, making it possible to transfer data from one computer to another. Asynchronous - In terms of data transmission, asynchronous means that no clock or timing source is needed to keep both the sender and the receiver synchronized. AT - Advanced Technology is an IBM PC model with an Intel processor. This term is used to describe the form factor of one type of computer motherboard, power supply and case. TM - Asynchronous Transfer Mode is a network technology based on transferring data in cells or packets of a fixed size. The small, constant cell size allows ATM equipment to transmit video, audio and other data over the same network, assuring that no single type of data hogs the line. Also see Network.
AVI - Audio Video Interleave is the standard audio/video format for Microsoft Windows. AVI files, which end with an avi extension, require a special player. Backbone - The main wire that connects nodes. The term is used to describe the main network connections composing the Internet. Also see Commercial Backbone, Internet Backbone. Baud - The number of signaling elements that occurs each second, which is named after the inventor of the Baudot telegraph code, J.M.E. Baudot. BBS - Bulletin Board System is an electronic message centre that serves specific interest groups. Binary - A number system using two unique digits. Because of a computers electrical nature, all operations are performed using a representation of an open or closed circuit (0 for off, and 1 for on); therefore, computers use the binary
Bios - Basic Input / Output System. The program stored in a ROM chip in the computer that provides the computer with basic code to control the computers hardware and perform diagnostics on it. The BIOS prepares the computer to load the operating system. Also see Chip, ROM, CMOS. Bit - Binary Digit is the smallest unit of information in a computer. A bit can take the value of either one or zero, and it is the binary format in which data is processed by computers. Also see Byte. Bitmap-Based - A type of printer font that is represented as a graphics image with rows and columns of dots. This type of font is also known as raster-based. Also see Font. Boolean - A form of algebra where all values are reduced to "true or "false. Boolean logic is used with computers due to its similarities with the binary numbering system. Also see Binary, Numbering System.
Boot - To start a computer. This refers to pulling on the bootstraps on the top of your boots to help get your boots on, and compares the action to taking the first step in a process. Also see Cold Boot, Warm Boot. Boot Disk - A disk that can be used to start up a computer. The boot disk contains the files needed for an operating system to run. Also see Boot. Bootstrap Program - A small program located in the BIOS chip that tests the computers hardware then locates and loads the operating system into RAM. Also see BIOS, Chip, RAM, Boot.
Broadcast Domain - Set of all devices that receive broadcast frames originating from any device within the set. Broadcast domains typically are bounded by routers because routers do not forward broadcast frames. Bus - The media through which data is transferred from one part of a computer to another. The bus can be compared to a highway on which data travels within a computer. Also see Address Bus, Control Bus, Data Bus, Expansion Bus, Internal Bus. Byte - A byte is a unit of measure used to describe an amount of data. One byte consists of eight bits of data. Also see Megabyte, Gigabyte, Bit, File.
Cable - The media that connects electrical components. Cable consists of a group of mutually insulated conductors usually bound or sheathed together and carrying an electrical or other type of signal. Cable Modem - Modulator-demodulator device that is placed at a subscriber location to convey data communications on a cable television system. Cache - The storage of instructions or data for future use. Also see RAM. CAD - Computer-aided design describes the use of computers to design products. CAD systems are high-speed workstations or desktop computers with specialized CAD software. Category 1 Cable - A type of power limited UTP cable used for alarm systems and basic communications. Also see UTP. Category 2 Cable - A low performance UTP cable used for voice and other low speed data applications. Also see UTP. Category 3 Cable - A type of UTP cable used for hardware with transmission characteristics up to 16 MHz. Typical applications include 10BASE-T Ethernet, 4-
CLI - Command-line interface is an interface that allows the user to interact with the operating system by entering commands and optional arguments. The UNIX operating system and DOS provide CLIs. Client - An application that runs on a computer relying on a server to perform certain operations. Also see Server, Client Operating System, Client/Server. Client Operating System - Also referred to as a desktop operating system, it is the operating system software that runs on the network's workstations that can access resources on the network. Also see Operating System, Resources, Network. Client/Server - The relationship between computers on a network where the "client computer uses the resources on a "server computer. Also see Client, Server, Resources.
CMOS - Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor is a type of semiconductor that requires very little power. Personal computers use this device to store the date, time and system configuration data. Also see Semiconductor, ROM, Chip. CMTS - Cable Modem Termination System is a component that exchanges digital signals with cable modems on a cable network. A cable modem termination system is located at the local office of a cable television company. Coax - Coaxial cable is copper-cored cable surrounded by a heavy shielding that is used to connect computers in a network. Either thin or thick coax can be used.