Computer Definitions

TxKenJanuary 1, 2013

Adware: Computer script, code, or program which delivers banners or other types of advertising to a users computer. Delivery of the adware is often accomplished when program developers include the script, code or program as part of an application, and can also be contained within cookies received from some websites.

Adware should not be confused with the free program "Ad-Aware" from Lavasoft, which can detect and remove adware and many other types of intrusions.

AntiVirus: A software program which helps protect a computer against being infected by a virus.

BIOS Basic Input/Output System is the program which runs when you start your computer, and which communicates between the devices in your computer. The system BIOS is normally stored in an EPROM chip (Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory) located on the motherboard.

Browser: A software program used for viewing Internet websites. Popular programs include Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Opera, Firefox and Netscape Navigator.

Cache: A place to store something (more or less) temporarily. Web pages youve visited are stored in your browsers "cache" directory on your hard drive. ISPs (Internet Service Providers) sometimes cache web pages, which speeds up access times for users since the page is being read from cache memory and not downloaded from the actual web site. Web browsers usually have an option to let you adjust the size of your browser cache file.

CD: Compact Disc. Most often used for music and photo formats, but also used to store other types of data. See below.

CD Burner: A CD drive that is capable of writing data to a CD (Compact Disc). The process if often referred to as "burning".

A small laser is used and the process does generate a small amount of heat, hence the term.

CD-R (Read Only). Once data is burned to a CD-R, the CD cannot be over-written with new data.

CD-RW (Read and Write). Can be used repeatedly. Data may be erased and re-written, much like the older floppy disks.

Client: A software program that is used to obtain data from a software program on another computer. For example, Internet Explorer, Nestcape and Firefox are a type of Client.

Codec: Video and Audio. Short for compressor/decompressor, a codec is a program used for compressing and decompressing data. Codecs can be used in software, hardware, or a combination of both. Some popular codecs for computer video include MPEG, Indeo and Cinepak. It is normal to have multiple Codecs for audio and video installed on your computer.

Cookies: Cookies are small text files that Web sites place in the browser cache, so it can recall specific information. Typically passwords and user IDs are stored. They are also used to recall preferences for page content or personalized pages. Cookies can also be used to build a profile of which sites you visit and which banner ads you click, if any. Advertisers use this information to deliver targeted ads. Some sites use temporary cookies...

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