Tech Dictionary

For tech wizards and n00bs alike. Questions, answers, or just general hoo-haa.

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Tech Dictionary

#1 Post by Ashpool » Wed Oct 05, 2005 9:27 pm

This is a place for you to post technical jargon with an understandable explanation, for other peoples benefit. I have a set way that you are to post them, however.
-
First: Make sure the term has not already been posted before, and if you are posting multiple terms, keep them all in the same post.
-
Second: Syntax:
Term - Definition
The term comes first, in bold, then the definition, separated from the term by a dash. Each term needs to be on a separate line.
Example:
Variable - A location in memory which stores a piece of data for a program.

If it's and abbreviation:
Abb. - Unabbreviated Form - Definition
The abbreviation should be bolded, with the underlined unabbreviated form following after a dash. After this, the definition following a dash.
Example:
RAM - Random Access Memory - A type of data storage for a computer which holds data until the computer shuts off.

So, yeah, post some! XDD
Here are a few to start with:

Harddrive - The main data storage device for most computers. Size is most often measure in Gigabytes.
CPU - Central Processing Unit - The main compenent of the computer which reads, interprets, and moves data, it is the main controller of data flow within the computer.

There ya go!

EDIT: And make sure your post includes a definition or two, to keep this cleanish. ^^;
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#2 Post by Takyoji » Wed Oct 05, 2005 9:41 pm

BIOS - Basic Input/Output System
I/O - Input/Output - Consist of inputting data such as using the keyboard, mouse, microphone, and etc. Output devices consist of speakers, the moniter, and etc. A modem is considered a general I/O device as it signals its data to the network and recieves the website data ad such.
56K - An Internet connection that is run through a modem that connects through the usual phone line. Requires a username and password to access their providers Internet
Service. 56K is also referred as Dial-up as other people may refer to it as.
DSL - Digital Subscriber Line - Internet connection through phone line, using frequencies not used by normal voice connections. Unlike 56k, it does not cause a busy signal. It is generally unavailable more than 10 miles from the local telephone company's Central Office, and is rarely available in rural areas due to older phone lines. Capable of achieving speeds up to 6 megabytes a second downstream, 1 megabyte a second upstream.
LAN - Local Area Network - A term referring to several computers in a small area which are generally connected through a fiber optic cable system. It is capable of achieving extremely high speeds of up to 100 megabytes a second, both upstream and downstream. Is free except for equipment costs, but can only be used for data transfer between the connected computers, and not with the Internet.
Platform - (Def. from dictionary.com) Computer Science. The basic technology of a computer system's hardware and software that defines how a computer is operated and determines what other kinds of software can be used.

Just so you know, I put in the correct definitions for DSL and LAN, so people don't get mixed up. -DK

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#3 Post by Yash » Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:16 pm

WAN - Wide area network - A computer network that spans a relatively large geographical area. Typically, a WAN consists of two or more local-area networks (LANs).

Computers connected to a wide-area network are often connected through public networks, such as the telephone system. They can also be connected through leased lines or satellites. The largest WAN in existence is the Internet.

MAN - Metropolitan Area Network - A data network designed for a town or city. In terms of geographic breadth, MANs are larger than local-area networks (LANs), but smaller than wide-area networks (WANs). MANs are usually characterized by very high-speed connections using fiber optical cable or other digital media.

WEP - Wired Equivalent Privacy - A security protocol for wireless local area networks (WLANs) defined in the 802.11b standard. WEP is designed to provide the same level of security as that of a wired LAN. LANs are inherently more secure than WLANs because LANs are somewhat protected by the physicalities of their structure, having some or all part of the network inside a building that can be protected from unauthorized access. WLANs, which are over radio waves, do not have the same physical structure and therefore are more vulnerable to tampering. WEP aims to provide security by encrypting data over radio waves so that it is protected as it is transmitted from one end point to another. However, it has been found that WEP is not as secure as once believed. WEP is used at the two lowest layers of the OSI model - the data link and physical layers; it therefore does not offer end-to-end security.

WPA - Wi-Fi Protected Access - A Wi-Fi standard that was designed to improve upon the security features of WEP. The technology is designed to work with existing Wi-Fi products that have been enabled with WEP (i.e., as a software upgrade to existing hardware), but the technology includes two improvements over WEP:

* Improved data encryption through the temporal key integrity protocol (TKIP). TKIP scrambles the keys using a hashing algorithm and, by adding an integrity-checking feature, ensures that the keys haven’t been tampered with.
* User authentication, which is generally missing in WEP, through the extensible authentication protocol (EAP). WEP regulates access to a wireless network based on a computer’s hardware-specific MAC address, which isrelatively simple to be sniffed out and stolen. EAP is built on a more secure public-key encryption system to ensure that only authorized network users can access the network.

Wi-fi - Wireless Fidelity - Meant to be used generically when referring of any type of 802.11 network, whether 802.11b, 802.11a, dual-band, etc. The term is promulgated by the Wi-Fi Alliance.

Any products tested and approved as "Wi-Fi Certified" (a registered trademark) by the Wi-Fi Alliance are certified as interoperable with each other, even if they are from different manufacturers. A user with a "Wi-Fi Certified" product can use any brand of access point with any other brand of client hardware that also is certified. Typically, however, any Wi-Fi product using the same radio frequency (for example, 2.4GHz for 802.11b or 11g, 5GHz for 802.11a) will work with any other, even if not "Wi-Fi Certified."

Formerly, the term "Wi-Fi" was used only in place of the 2.4GHz 802.11b standard, in the same way that "Ethernet" is used in place of IEEE 802.3. The Alliance expanded the generic use of the term in an attempt to stop confusion about wireless LAN interoperability.





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#4 Post by Ashpool » Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:18 pm

Yay! ^_^ Hopefully this will be a big help to people, who might not know a term or acronym.
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#5 Post by Takyoji » Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:21 pm

Anyone go ahead and correct others! As we don't want to learn the wrong definitions, right? :wink: Anyways Kan-Kerai, thanks for correcting me or adding. :D But man I finally edited my first message to have the exact file size conversions which took a while.. although I'm not the most sure about the nibble thing, I heard it was some measurement used for the really old computers.

[EDIT] Ah whatever I'll put the conversion down here so it gets more attention:
Conversions:
Nibble - A nibble is the smallest measurement of file size. About 5-8 nibbles make a byte.
Byte - Second smallest file size measurement. About 5-8 nibbles make a byte and 1,024 bytes make a kilobyte.
Kilobyte - Third in file size measurement. 1,024 bytes make a kilobyte and 1,024 kilobytes make a megabyte.
Megabyte - Fourth in file size measurement. 1,024 kilobytes make a megabyte and 1,024 megabytes makes a gigabyte.
Gigabyte - Fifth in file size measurement. 1,024 megabytes make a gigabyte and 1,024 gigabytes to make one terrabyte.
Terrabyte - Sixth in file size measurement. 1,024 gigabytes make a terrabyte and 1,024 terrabytes make a petabyte.
Petabyte - Seventh in file size measurement. 1,024 terrabytes make petabyte and 1,024 petabytes make one exabyte.
Exabyte - Eighth in file size measurement. 1,024 petabytes make a exabyte and 1,024 exabytes make one zettabyte.
Zettabyte - Nineth in file size measurement. A zettabyte is the grand daddy of all bytes! 1,024 exabytes make one zettabyte. The conversion cannot go any higher as zettabyte is the biggest.

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#6 Post by Yash » Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:36 pm

Binary - (No Abbreviation) - Pertaining to a number system that has just two unique digits. For most purposes, we use the decimal number system, which has ten unique digits, 0 through 9. All other numbers are then formed by combining these ten digits. Computers are based on the binary numbering system, which consists of just two unique numbers, 0 and 1. All operations that are possible in the decimal system (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) are equally possible in the binary system.

We use the decimal system in everyday life because it seems more natural (we have ten fingers and ten toes). For the computer, the binary system is more natural because of its electrical nature (charged versus uncharged).

In the decimal system, each digit position represents a value of 10 to the position's power. For example, the number 345 means:

3 three 100s (10 to the 2nd power)

plus

4 four 10s (10 to the first power)

plus

5 five 1s (10 to the zeroth power)

In the binary system, each digit position represents a value of 2. For example, the binary number 1011 equals:

1 one 8 (2 to the 3rd power)

plus

0 zero 4s (2 to the 2nd power)

plus

1 one 2 (2 to the first power)

plus

1 one 1 (2 to the zeroth power)

So a binary 1011 equals a decimal 11.

Because computers use the binary number system, powers of 2 play an important role. This is why everything in computers seems to come in 8s (2 to the 3rd power), 64s (2 to the 6th power), 128s (2 to the 7th power), and 256s (2 to the 8th power).

Programmers also use the octal (8 numbers) and hexadecimal (16 numbers) number systems because they map nicely onto the binary system. Each octal digit represents exactly three binary digits, and each hexadecimal digit represents four binary digits.





Hex - Hexadecimal - Refers to the base-16 number system, which consists of 16 unique symbols: the numbers 0 to 9 and the letters A to F. For example, the decimal number 15 is represented as F in the hexadecimal numbering system. The hexadecimal system is useful because it can represent every byte (8 bits) as two consecutive hexadecimal digits. It is easier for humans to read hexadecimal numbers than binary numbers.

To convert a value from hexadecimal to binary, you merely translate each hexadecimal digit into its 4-bit binary equivalent. Hexadecimal numbers have either an 0x prefix or an h suffix. For example, the hexadecimal number

0x3F7A

translates to the following binary number:

0011 1111 0111 1010
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#7 Post by Takyoji » Thu Oct 06, 2005 2:37 am

Malware - Short for maliciuos software. Refers to any sort of software designed to damage a single computer, server, or computer network.
Spyware - Generally software that steals personal data, recruits dataminers, and steals data from cookies. Then all the information is sent to a specific website, email, or whatever.
Trojan horse - In general is pretty much like malware but completly unoticable. Or sometimes acts as if it needs to download a "Microsoft Update" which is actually more virus junk, so be cautious people, when installing updates! But I'm assuming they were able to make a patch that disables that. It usually edits or destorys data the moment they open. It is considered the most destructive software out there.
Virus - Mainly has the characteristics of the words above, although has control over you computer, makes it act odd etc. Like for example my brother got a virus that had the same task name as a usual Microsoft task and when you'd close it, it would give you just 30 seconds to save all your work then would restart, and no you couldn't stop it or click a Cancel button or anything

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#8 Post by Yash » Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:02 pm

DEP - Data Execution prevention - helps prevent damage from viruses and other security threats that attack by running (executing) malicious code from memory locations that only Windows and other programs should use. This type of threat causes damage by taking over one or more memory locations in use by a program. Then it spreads and harms other programs, files and even your e-mail contacts. DEP monitors your programs to determine if they use system memory safely. To do this, DEP software works alone or with compatible microprocessors to mark some memory locations as "non-executable". If a program tries to run code, malicious or not, from a protected location, DEP closes the program and notifies you.

DEP can take advantage of software and hardware support. To use DEP, your computer must be running Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) or later, or Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 or later.
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#9 Post by Takyoji » Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:23 pm

Yet some simple acrynoms:

CD-RW - Compact Disc-ReWritable
CD-R - Compact Disc-Recordable
HD - Harddrive
DL - DownLoad
A/V - Audio/Video
RGB - Red, Green, Blue
IE - Internet Explorer
PS - PhotoShop (short for Adobe Photoshop)
IRC - Internet Relay Chat
AIM - AOL Instant Messenger
MSN - MicroSoft Network

Curcuit components
LED - Light-emmiting Diode - Mainly a smaller light bulb that is about 5mm and smaller. Usually used for indicating a true/false statement. Like when the "Online" LED is turned on, it means it is connected, if it isn't.. then it isn't connected. Anything that emmits light and is bigger than 5mm is considered a bulb.
IC - Integrated Ciruit - Generally a simple component to an electronic that has enclosed curcuitry to do a specific task. I suppose a BIOS would be considered an IC.
Resistor - Used in curcuitry to decrease the amount of volts that come out of the resistor, resistors have over 5 different colored marks on them to indicate how much voltage they lower out of the circuit. Depeneding on the amount of volts given to the resistor, it may get burnt or combust if it gets more than it can take. For explaination on how to read resistors go to http://www.reprise.com/host/circuits/re ... rcodes.asp

(More of these words to come soon!)

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#10 Post by Ashpool » Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:29 pm

Takyoji wrote:LED - Light-emmiting Diode - Mainly a smaller light bulb that is about 5mm and smaller. Usually used for indicating a true/false statement. Like when the "Online" LED is turned on, it means it is connected, if it isn't.. then it isn't connected. Anything that emmits light and is bigger than 5mm is considered a bulb.
I'd just like to elaborate on something, An LED is made of a crystal which, when pulsed with electricity, emits light, and that is why it is good for electronics, because it fits in a much smaller package than a conventional lightbulb. However, many LEDs do not emit as much light as a conventional lightbulb. =D

Takyoji: Do you want me to just edit this into your post?
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#11 Post by Takyoji » Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:35 pm

The more we know!! *phrase drifts above takyoji's head, sparkling*
Once again more information from everyone whom posted *looks at posts* Yeah.. just 3 people, come on everyone else, post!!

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#12 Post by Takyoji » Fri Oct 07, 2005 12:40 am

Hmm.. that wardriving thing sound interesting.. *grins, runs to lab*
Anyways, I thank Rouge Agent, Yosh, DK, and myself so far.. more people, get involved! We want to know what you know! (Depends on what it is LOL)

#13 Post by KI » Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:36 pm

Kan-Kerai wrote:
LAN - Local Area Network - A term referring to several computers in a small area which are generally connected through a fiber optic cable system. It is capable of achieving extremely high speeds of up to 100 megabytes a second, both upstream and downstream. Is free except for equipment costs, but can only be used for data transfer between the connected computers, and not with the Internet.
Although this might not be right but im pretty sure that it is actually measured in Megabits not bytes. so in actuall fact the actual speed would be about 12.5 Megabytes/sec. i may be wrong but im almost certain that is what it is. Same with firewire, wireless and USB.

#14 Post by KI » Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:50 pm

Just thought i shoult mention these while im here

USB - Universal Serial Bus - Is the most commonly used connection with printers microdrives and cameras. Its speeds are for USB 1.1 is about 40megabits/sec and for USB 2.0 it is 480megabits/sec.

FireWire - Fire Wire is a less commonly used computer connection cable and is mainly used on external harddrives that are higher then 200gig. Fire wire can transfer ap to 200Mb/sec 400Mb/sec and 800Mb/sec.

Ethernet - is what is used to connect to lan and comes n a variety od different cables. it can transfer upto 10Mb/sec 100Mb/sec and 1000Mb/sec.

Wireless - Wireless is a connection that uses radio waves to transfer data and is commonly in laptops due to its portability. It has 3 different modes B G and N. B transfers at 11Mb/sec G tranfers at 54Mb/sec and N transfers at 108Mb/sec.

Correct me if im wrong. and i will creat an acount after this.

Please use the given syntax for posting the definitions. It's on the first page. ^_^ - DK

#15 Post by Ken Vermette » Wed Oct 19, 2005 11:02 pm

Pixel - a 1x1 square of colour used in visual operating systems. There are various levels of colour, such as 2-bit colour (black and white) and 32-bit colour. Odd are you have 16 or 32 bits of colour.

FLOPS - Floating Point Operations Per Second - A flops is the number of calculations an object can preform every second. A desktop computer can reach about 3 Gflops. Humans operate at an average of .0000001 flops (being generious). The Blue-Gene/P, to go online in 2006, will have and estimated speed of over 1 petaflops, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times faster than a human doing long division.

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