Simple terms and tips to read before you hammer your computer

by techtiptom

Originally posted on on 10/26/2009:

I hope to be able to put a weekly list of computer terms here, so that when I write about stuff, you will know what I am talking about……

Simple terms and tips to read before you hammer your computer.
(Adapted from Lohr, L. (2003). Creating graphics for learning and performance: Lessons in visual literacy. Cleveland OH: Prentice-Hall. )

Key Terms

Browser – a type of software that can display information (graphics, text, animation) on the Internet; Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox and Safari are popular browsers.

Byte – unit of measure for the space in memory required for images, documents, files, etc.; each byte has 8 bits

Bytes Broken Down
1 Byte = 8 bits
1 Kilobyte (KB) = 1,024 Bytes
1 Megabyte (MB or “Meg”) = 1,024KB
1 Gibabyte (GB or “Gig”) = 1,024MB

Flash Drive/Thumb Drive – (sometimes called a “portable hard drive”) a small storage device usually about the size of a lip balm tube, inserted into any USB port in a computer as portable storage; can hold large amounts of memory (from 16MB to over 5GB) and are very handy for transferring large files and for traveling

Hardware – the physical equipment such as the monitor, central processing unit (the “tower” underneath your desk), printer, and scanner that makes up your computer system

Memory – computer components for storing data; RAM (random access memory) provides temporary memory to run programs like MS Word or Outlook

Search Engine – a program that finds information on the Internet based on words you type into the browser (Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.)

Software – computer programs like Microsoft Office (PowerPoint & Word) that provide instructions to make the hardware work

Virtual Private Network (VPN) – a way to connect 2 secure sites with a secure link over a public, unsecured network (the Internet)
Essentially it is connecting a home computer or laptop, when traveling, with high-speed access to your company’s office network. It enables you to be inside the company’s Internet firewall and utilize services identical to those you have at the office.