I have been working in and on computers for over 50 years, and yes, I am a Geek. When I lapse into computer terminology, my wife's eyes glaze over, and I hear "borrrrrrrrrrrring" from her. Suspecting she is not the only person that is illiterate when it comes to computers, I have developed a simple terminology to use when speaking to a non-geek.
First, an analogy: A computer is made of many components. They fall into 3 groups:
Memory or RAM:
Memory or RAM is your work bench. It is where the work gets done. The more memory you have, the more things you can do at the same time. Ram is measured in mega (mega= million) bytes.
CPU or Processor
Your CPU or Processor is your motor. The more powerful your motor, the faster you can get things done. Processor speed is measured in GHZ or giga (Giga= A million million) hertz.
The Hard Drive is your file cabinet, the more data you can save for future use. Hard Drive space is measured in mb or mega (millions of) bytes.
See? Nothing mystical about those terms is there?
Now on to the Definitions.
Adware Those unwanted ads that appear on your browser.
Software that can detect and block viruses from entering your computer. It is vital that you have this and run it regularly to protect your data.
Bit A Single piece of data.
Byte A block of bits, usually 8 bits. An example of a byte would be a single letter as "A".
Browser The software that helps find what you are looking when you surf the internet.
Computer A high speed moron. It does exactly what it is told. This is not necessarily what you want it to do.
CPU Central Processing Unit. This is the heart, engine, motor of your computer.
DVD+R A format used to burn a DVD. Usually not compatible with a DVD-R drive.
DVD-R A format used to burn a DVD. Usually not compatible with a DVD+R drive.
Firewall A vital device that can be either software or hardware that hides your computer from the outside world. Windows has a built in firewall.
Firewire A type of connection to a computer. Used for connecting a device such as a camcorder to a PC. It is also known as IEEE1394. Sony calls their version "I-link".
Floppy disk A type of storage media. Floppies are no longer popular due to the limited capacity and slow speed.
Gamer A person that uses a PC primarily for playing video games. It requires a fast PC and a high level graphics card.
GHZ Giga hertz. Abbreviated as ghz. This is the speed of a processor. A hertz is a cycle.
Gigabyte A billion (thousand million) bytes of data.
Graphics Processor The component that processes and sends images to the monitor. Many demanding programs use the graphics processor as an additional processor to help the main CPU.
Hard Drive A storage unit. The hard drive is where data or applications are stored until needed again. It has non destructive readout meaning reading it does not destroy the data as in RAM.
Hi-Def High Definition as in TV. It is a very high resolution device and requires a lot of storage space.
IEEE1394 A type of connection to a computer. It is usually used by digital camcorders or external hard drives. Also known as "Firewire".
Internet The internet is a superhighway with information at waypoints scattered everywhere. In order to find where you are going, you need a browser, a url or a search engine such as Google or Yahoo.
LAN Local area network. The connection of several PCs together. They can also share an internet connection. An example of a LAN would be the 3 PCs in my house connected together. Data can be shared between the PCs.
Megabyte A million bytes of data.
Memory Also known as RAM. It is where data and programs are kept whle working or being worked upon. It is a destructive readout deivce, meaning that if you want to keep it, you must restore it. This is a concern only for programmers not users.
OS OS stands for operating system. Windows and Linux are examples of operating systems.
Processor The unit that does the work in a computer. Also known as CPU.
RAM Ram stands for random access memory. Random because you can pull data from any address, not wait flr sequential as in a hard drive.
Ram Drive A very fast retrieval device for storage. It uses memory as its media, where as a disk uses a metallic storage.
Router A device for connecting to the network. It allows several PCs to share a single network connection.
Scanner A peripheral device for reading a document, converting to a digital data stream and sending it to the computer.
Software A compilation of instructions to the processor telling it what to do in order to complete its taks. Remember, the high speed moron does only what it is told.
Spyware A snippet of instructions that is stored on your hardware without your knowledge. It then reports back to its originator what you are doing. Anti-spyware software can prevent this.
Switch A device used in a network. It usually has a router integrated into it. It also is an excellent firewall.
Terabyte Terabyte is a million million. That is a "1" followed by 12 "0"s.
Trojan Horse A snippet of software (usually malicious) that gets into your computer as a part of a legitimate message, such as email. Once activated, it can wreak havoc, even ruining a hard drive. Most anti-virus software also blocks trojans.
USB Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a type of connection to your PC. It is used to connect devices to your PC.
Virus A virus is a piece of malicious that enters your computer, usually against your knowledge that can corrupt your hard drive and thus your data.
Virus Checker Software that blocks viruses from entering your PC. Also known as anti-virus software.
Vista Vista is the latest operating system (OS) from Microsoft.
WAN Wide area network. Usually a connection of systems in several locations off the main premise or campus. For example, if you work at a company that has several locations in various cities that are connected via high speed lines, this is a WAN.
Web cam A small camera that is connected to your PC via USB or firewire can record what is going on within its view and send to your PC. From there, you can allow relatives in another location to view what is going on at your home.
Wireless In computerese, a method of connecting several PC's together. Each computer would require a wireless adapter. Routers and switches can offer a wireless connections. This eliminates the need to run cables between the various units.
Worm A snippet of programming language that is covertly slipped into your computer. When activated, it can corrupt your files, take over your browser, etc. Generally, anti virus software blocks worms.
WYSIWYG What you see is what you get. In other words, this is how your output will look.
XP Microsoft Windows operating system. XP is the predecessor to Vista.
My name is Rick. I am 74 years of age and have worked in computers since 1957. I became hooked on what you can do with a good computer and camcorder a couple of years ago. I have purchased most of the video editing software available including 3 chromakey programs. I am an Adobe Community expert and have all of the Adobe software. I also have special effects software that allows you to create special effects in your video during the editing process. I also use animation software. You should hear my poodles talk!
Visit my website at http://computersprintersandmonitors.com Here you can see other articles I have written along with computers and peripherals for sale.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Richard_Blackmon