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Glossary of Internet and Computer Terms


Below, you will find a comprehensive glossary of Internet and Computer terms with definitions that are helpful and easy to understand. To find a term, click the letter of which the word begins with and scroll alphabetically to find your term. For example, to find the definition for the word "Media", click the letter "M", then scroll the list alphabetically until you find "Media".




  • Object: 
    Something that contains both the data and the application that operates on that data.

  • ODBC Administrator:
    Developed by Microsoft for its Windows operating systems. The icon for the ODBC is named "Data Sources" and is located in the Control Panel under Administrative Tools in the Windows 2000 and XP operating systems. This Data Source Administrator is responsible for managing database drivers and configuring the user and system Data Source Names (DSN). A UNIX system does not use this method, its data source information is stored in text configuration files.

  • OEM:
    (Original Equipment Manufacturer) This is a designation for companies that manufacture equipment that is then marketed and sold off to other companies under their own names. 

  • OOP: 
    Stands for Object Oriented Program. A larger program made up of smaller objects.

  • Opacity:
    The quality that defines how much light passes through an objectís pixels. If an object is 100 percent opaque, no light passes through it. 

  • Operating System:
    The most important program that runs on a computer. Every general-purpose computer must have an operating system to run other programs. Operating systems perform basic tasks, such as recognizing input from the keyboard, sending output to the display screen, keeping track of files and directories on the disk, and controlling peripheral devices such as disk drives and printers. 

    For large systems, the operating system has even greater responsibilities and powers. It is like a traffic cop -- it makes sure that different programs and users running at the same time do not interfere with each other. The operating system is also responsible for security, ensuring that unauthorized users do not access the system. 

    Operating systems provide a software platform on top of which other programs, called application programs, can run. The application programs must be written to run on top of a particular operating system. Your choice of operating system, therefore, determines to a great extent the applications you can run. For PCs, the most popular operating systems are DOS, OS/2, and Windows, but others are available, such as Linux. 

    As a user, you normally interact with the operating system through a set of commands. For example, the DOS operating system contains commands such as COPY and RENAME for copying files and changing the names of files, respectively. The commands are accepted and executed by a part of the operating system called the command processor or command line interpreter. Graphical user interfaces allow you to enter commands by pointing and clicking at objects that appear on the screen.

  • Oracle:
    A high-end database management software created by Oracle Corporation. Oracle's relational database pioneered the support of the SQL language which is now an industry standard.

  • OSI Reference Model (Open Systems Interconnect):
    A network communications software standard that consists of a seven layer structure of specified protocol and services.

  • Overclock:
    To run a microprocessor faster than the speed for which it has been tested and approved. Overclocking is a popular technique for eking out a little more performance from a system. In many cases, you can force your CPU to run faster than it was intended simply by setting a jumper on the motherboard. Overclocking does come with some risks, however, such as over-heating, so you should become familiar with all the pros and cons before you attempt it. 

    Overclocking is sometimes called speed margining.  

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