Member Eva Milstead wrote
to the editor of the PC Alamode with a list of acronyms that she
culled from a recent edition of the magazine. “It would be a great help
to the beginners,” she wrote, “if these terms could be defined.” She’s
right! Here are some of the terms that Eva stumbled over. I have to admit,
there were a few I had to look up myself. She missed one, though. Dennis
Stacy used the term SUV in his column. That’s a Sports
Utility Vehicle. I heard that term on the news for a year before I
cottoned onto what it meant.
The CPU is the brains of the computer. On personal computers the CPU
is housed in a single chip called a microprocessor.
This is a way to get high speed, or “broadband” Internet access into
homes and small businesses over ordinary copper telephone lines. Traditional
telephone service is often referred to as POTS, or “Plain
You may also see FDD, or Floppy
This is the coding that is used to organize and format many web pages.
It is also the file extension used on many web page files.
This is the protocol, or set of technical instructions, which is used
to move web pages over a network. Other Internet protocols are mail, news,
gopher, telnet and chat, to name a few.
This is the company from which you contract for your Internet service.
but that’s not crucial. Pronounced “Jay-Peg.” JPG or JPEG is
a graphics file format that is used to display images, mainly photographs,
on the Internet and in other applications. Another graphics file format
often seen on the Internet is a GIF, which stands for Graphical
Format. Gang wars
have broken out over whether this is pronounced with a hard or soft G.
This is software that makes it possible to browse documents on the
Web written in languages such as Japanese, Chinese, Greek, or Russian,
without installing fonts for these languages.
NT: Shorthand for Windows NT
A version of Windows that is used in networks. Windows 2000 is replacing
The ability to scan a printed page and turn it into a computer file
that can be manipulated in a word processor.
This is a hand-held computing device such as a Palm.
This usually refers to a hand-held computer used in business and industry,
such as the portable bar code scanners used in stores.
This is the memory that is used to temporarily store files and run
programs while you are working with them, as opposed to the permanent storage
you get on a hard drive or floppy disk. Most new computers today come with
at least 64 MB (megabytes) of RAM. When speaking, say “ram.”
Memory used to store the background routines that boot the computer
and perform diagnostics. Most personal computers have a small amount of
ROM (a few thousand bytes). When speaking, say “rom.”
This is a technical networking term that means a procedure that operates
a server from a remote workstation.
This is an Alamo PC class or study group that meets periodically to
learn more about a selected computer topic. When speaking, say “sig,”
as in cigarette.
Sometimes seen as TIFF. This is a graphic file format that is
used for printed images; a TIF file cannot be displayed on a web page.
When speaking, say “tiff.”
URL: Uniform Resource
This is an Internet address. The most commonly known one is a web page
address, which will begin with http://, but other protocols can
also have their addresses express as URLs, such as telnet:// and
gopher://. Most people say “u-r-l” but some insist on pronouncing
it as “earl.”