Definitions M to Z


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Glossary of Definitions Page 2

Glossary - a way to find out what the techie or geek said...

Glossary page 2, still with me? How is the headache?  Smile...

This is a small definitions and terms - Page two, M to Z to help  lower the confusion level.  .


MMemory module

Memory - Two types of memory - non -volatile - read only, or volatile - changeable. Non volatile is a type of write once, once it is written it can not be changed, like a CD or DVD. Volatile memory is memory that can be changed, you write to it, change your mind and erase it, then write to it again. Your Computer ram is writeable memory.

Modem - A device that communicates with another device across a long distance. Dial up modems connect to a phone line, this is a analog signal, theDial up modem modem converts a digital signal from the computer to analog to send the data and back to digital when it receives data. (Modem transfer speed is measured in KBPS).

MBPS - Data transfer speed, Mega Bytes Per Second. (Network transfer speed is measured in MBPS).


Non-Volatile - Something that can not be changed with out destroying it.

NERD - A person that is totally involved in a field of endeavor to a point where they are the preferred go to expert. Most computer repair techs are nerds, some go further and are geeks ...

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OS - Operating System, high level program that controls the computer, allows for input and output.

Overclocking - A process of making a chip (memory or processor) perform beyond the manufactures specifications from when the device was made. Say you have a processor that is rated at 800 MHz you if change this to 850 MHz the computer may run faster. Overclocking the memory or processor can lead to damage of the component or the main board or both.
See this page for a short e-course about Overclocking.


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Partition - Before a raw hard drive can be formatted it has to have physical pointers applied to the hard drive physical disk platters, these are the starting and ending points for the format program to its job.

PCB - Printed Circuit Board - A multi layered sheet of fiberglass with copper traces (flat thin copper wires) embedded between the layers. All electronic devices have a PCB to mount and connect the individual components.

Port - A term used for any opening that the computer can use to communicate with a external device, program, or data. Computers have connections for external devices, these connections are called ports.

POST - Power On Self Test - Most computer manufactures provide a way to test the computer when it is powered up, checking components for malfunctions, this function is built into a program called BIOS.

Processor - Or CPU - The brains of the outfit. ThisIntel Core 2 Extream processors - How fast do you want to go today? :) small thin silicon wafer has millions (soon to be Billions!) of transistors embedded in it. Each transistor has two power states, off and on, the state represents a number, one ( 1 ) is on  and zero ( 0 ) is off. The state of this transistor is called a bit, this bit to humans is represented as data. The processor processes the 1's and 0's and the result is displayed on your video screen. There is a lot more to it than this but it will fill two large volumes of printed books.

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Quad - Four, as in Core 2 Quad, this is a four processor PCB that installs into one socket on the motherboard giving the motherboard four processor capability.


RAM - Physical Random Access Memory. RAM is a silicon chip that is electronically charged and discharged to retain data.

RAM Drive/Disk - A software solution that takes a portion of physical memory and makes it a drive, very useful, very fast.

Pure memory, no mechanics involved with a Solid State Drive (also know as a SSD!)

SSD - Solid State Drive, this is a storage device that uses memory, it emulates a mechanical hard drive and will retain data when the power is removed. The memory is a special type of memory that does not lose it's charge when power is removed much like a pen or flash drive.

Storage - Physical devices that retain data when power is removed from the device. The video card or device (embedded).

SVGA - Super Video Graphics Adapter: The VGA adapter allowed for memory and a processor to be incorporated on the card.  The resolution went from thousands of colors to millions of colors.


Turbo Boost - Originally a way to change the clock speed of a processor with a switch on the computer case. First used with the Intel 486 DX processor, the first and only processor you could double the frequency of the processor with changing one circuit.

Uusb card

USB - Universal Serial Bus. USB is used for connecting external devices to your computer, it is an upgrade to the serial bus specification allowing for more than one device to connect to the bus at one time..

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VGA - Video Graphics Adapter: The first video adapters were mono chrome and didSuper VGA Video card, dispays over 6 million colors! not display graphics, characters only. Then came the CGA, Color Graphics Adapter. This adapter displayed 16 colors then 256 colors. The VGA adapter allowed for memory and a processor to be incorporated on the card. The resolution went from 256 colors to thousand of colors over night.

Virtual - In the computing world virtual means emulation, there are numerous virtual devices, CD or DVD Drives, Network connections, even computers. These software programs emulate the device making them easier, faster, and cheaper to use.

WThe orginal "Winchester" drive looked like this, this drive is an image of the 1983-86 MFM format drive.

Winchester: The first hard drives were called Winchesters, this was the code name for the development of the small hard drive for PC's by Western Digital. (Small is relative, the original IBM hard drive was 5 1/4 inches wide, 7 inches long, and 3 inches high and weighed approximately 9 pounds!)


Xenon - Intel
high end processor for servers.



Zip - A file compression algorithm.

So far this is the end of Glossary page 2

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