Free Computer Support...and much more!

5 Star Support - Free Computer Help and Technical Support


5 Star Support Home
Computer Help Forums
Computer Tutorials
Tips, Tricks & Tweaks
Troubleshooting FAQ

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".




  • 32-bit/16-bit:
    There are many advantages that 32 bit has over the 16 bit applications. 32 bit application have their own address space which creates a stable environment for a computer system. Whereas the 16 bit version runs in a shared address space which means if you experience a 16 bit application crash, it can crash the entire system. In addition, 32 bit runs much faster, it can handle multitasking and can handle much longer filenames than can the 16 bit application.
  • Absolute Address:
    The exact memory location of data or a specific location within a device.
  • Absolute Reference:
    A formulated cell reference that will not adjust when used to calculate the sum of specific cells. Most commonly used in spreadsheet applications.
  • Access Point:
    A networking connection device that is also known as the base station. This is a wireless hardware connection device that connects to a wired network to create wireless operation. Its point of access is a local area network (LAN). 
  • AI:
    Stands for Artificial Intelligence. This is the area of computer science focusing on creating machines that can engage on behaviors that humans consider intelligent. The ability to create intelligent machines has intrigued humans since ancient times, and today with the advent of the computer and 50 years of research into AI programming techniques, the dream of smart machines is becoming a reality. Researchers are creating systems which can mimic human thought, understand speech, beat the best human chess player, and countless other feats never before possible.
  • ACPI: 
    Advanced Configuration and Power Interface. This interface was first introduced in 1996 and was developed to control computer devices power distribution. For example, if a device was currently not in use, the ACPI would turn this device off to create more power where necessary for smoother operation.
  • Active Matrix:
    A type of LCD (liquid crystal display) structure that is actively controlled by a diode or transistor. This allows for each pixel to be independently controlled which produces excellent color resolution.
  • Active X:
    A software technology developed by Microsoft. This is based on other technology Microsoft developed such as; COM (Component Object Model) and OLE (Object Linking and Embedding). Active X defines how applications share information. While Active X gives much more freedom as to how certain applications are viewed, it has inherent security risks.
  • Actuator:
    Device that performs an action or outputs a signal in response to a signal from a computer.
  • Addressing:
    A method of identifying a resource (such as a program) or piece of information (such as a file) on a network. Methods of addressing vary considerably from network-to-network.
  • Adware:
    A software program that is designed to run once a web page has been accessed. This is usually in the form of banner or popup advertisements. Adware can also be designed to be installed on your system without your consent or knowledge. These forms of adware are usually referred to as "spyware" and are used to monitor your surfing habits so that their software can deliver better targeted advertisements. In other instances, the software can be designed to monitor your keyboard keystrokes so that the author of the software can gain access to your password protected accounts. This type of adware is referred to as "malware" due to its malicious intent.
  • Aero:
    Aero is the name of Windows Vista's new graphical interface that gives users an exciting new desktop look and feel. It stands for: Authentic, Energetic, Reflective and Open. It is designed to be very aesthetically pleasing. It's effects include:

    -Glass effects
    -Advanced Window Management features
    -Desktop Composition which creates a more stable experience
  • AGP:
    Stands for Accelerated Graphics Port. This interface specification was developed by Intel Corporation. It was designed to give lower costing graphics cards much faster access to the main memory on personal computers.
  • AGTL Signaling:
    (Assisted Gunning Transistor Logic) AGTL and AGTL+ use the same signaling protocol only at different voltage levels. AGTL+ operates at 1.5V signaling levels, while AGTL operates at 1.25V. 
  • Algorithm:
    A formal set of instructions that can be followed to perform a specific task, such as a mathematical formula or a set of instructions in a computer program.
  • Alias:
    A shortcut or 'friendly name' that points to a file folder or application. As an example, when you enter in a user name for an application, this user name would be an 'alias'.
  • Aliasing:
    This refers to the distortion in a sound or image generation. A sound distortion occurs when digitally recording high frequencies with a low sample rate. An image distortion occurs when a printer, monitor or graphic file has an insufficient amount of resolution to display an image properly.
  • AMD:
    (Advanced Microchip Devices) A semiconductor manufacturer and is a major competitor of Intel. They manufacture the Athlon, Duron, and K6 CPU chips. 
  • Analog: 
    Anything whose behavior corresponds with the behavior of something else, especially if the correspondence varies continuously rather than in steps. For example, the height of the liquid in a thermometer is an analog of the temperature. The signals that go from a computer to a composite monitor are analog voltages.
  • AppleTalk: 
    A protocol suite developed by Apple Computer in the early 1980s, was developed in conjunction with the Macintosh computer. AppleTalk's purpose was to allow multiple users to share resources, such as files and printers. The devices that supply these resources are called servers, while the devices that make use of these resources (such as a user's Macintosh computer) are referred to as clients. Hence, AppleTalk is one of the early implementations of a distributed client/server networking system.
  • AppleScript: 
    It is a kind of English-like language that is used to write specific script files which have the ability to automate the actions of the computer systems and applications that run on it.
  • AppleShare: 
    This is Apple's network system. It is to the Macintosh what FTP is to the PC.
  • Applet: 
    An applet is a small program generally written in the Java programming language that was designed to provide interactivity on web pages.
  • Application: 
    An application is a program that is designed to perform specific tasks. A few examples of some popular applications are:

    -Microsoft Windows
    -Microsoft Word
    -Adobe Photoshop
    -Internet Explorer
  • Application Server:
    This is a specialized server based in a client/server network that has the sole responsibility of running specific applications within that network.
  • Archie: 
    Or ArchiePlex which is an Archie gateway for the World Wide Web. It can locate files on Anonymous FTP sites in the Internet.
  • Archive:
    This usually defines old files that are no longer in use and are stored for possible future use or reference.
  • Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU):
    Arithmetic Logic Unit. This is a mathematical core circuitry that applies to all computers central processing units (CPU). ALU mathematically and logically calculates the results of binary data.
  • ASCII: 
    It stands for "American Standard Code Information Exchange" and is pronounced (ask-ee). A standard code or protocol for displaying characters and transferring data between computers and associated equipment. It was developed for the purpose of information exchange among the following: 

    -Associated equipment 
    -Data communications systems 
    -Data processing systems

There are 128 standard ASCII codes each of which can be represented by a 7 digit binary number: 0000000 through 1111111.

  • Asynchronous: 
    1 : not synchronous; not occurring or existing at the same time or having the same period or phase. 
    2 : of, used in, or being digital communication (as between computers) in which there is no timing requirement for transmission and in which the start of each character is individually signaled by the transmitting device.
  • ASP:
    In computing, this stands for "Active Server Pages". Developed by Microsoft and is designed as a web server extension which is a default scripting language for writing VBScript.
  • ATA:
    Short for "Advanced Technology Attachment", this is a disk drive implementation developed by the Small Form Factor (SFF) Committee that integrates the controller on the disk drive itself. There are many versions of ATA, which include: 

    -ATA: Also known as as IDE, supports one or two hard drives, a 16-bit interface and PIO modes 0, 1 and 2.
    -ATA-2: Supports faster PIO modes (3 and 4) and multiword DMA modes (1 and 2). Also supports logical block addressing (LBA) and block transfers. ATA-2 is marketed as Fast ATA and Enhanced IDE (EIDE).
    -ATA-3: Minor revision to ATA-2.
    -Ultra-ATA: Also called Ultra-DMA, ATA-33, and DMA-33, supports multiword DMA mode 3 running at 33 MBps.
    -ATA/66: A version of ATA proposed by Quantum Corporation, and supported by Intel, that doubles ATA's throughput to 66 MBps.
    -ATA/100: An updated version of ATA/66 that increases data transfer rates to 100 MBps.
  • ATM:
    "Asynchronous Transfer Mode". This is an International standard for cell relay where multiple service types (such as data, video or voice) are communicated in cells that are of a fixed length (53-byte).
  • ATX:
    This doesn't stand for anything that I could find. It is a very popular specification for motherboards in computing. It was designed to take the older AT motherboards, often referred to as "Baby AT" (an earlier standard) and rotating it 90 degrees to allow for more available space for add-in cards.
  • autoexec.bat:
    A root directory batch file that is responsible for executing commands at system startup.
  • AVI: 
    Stands for "Audio/Video Interleaved". To date, AVI is the most common format for audio/video data on the personal computer.


   Site Map  | About 5 Star Support  | Links | Comments
    Privacy Policy  | Terms of Use  | Newsletter Archive  | Awards
Usage of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Use
Copyright 2000-2014  5 Star Support All rights reserved.