Glossary of Terms: Q to T
A to D
E to H
I to L
M to P
Q to T
U to Z |
- Documents lined up and waiting to be printed, or commands lined up and waiting to be serviced. Use the Printer window to view the print queue for a printer.
- Refers to the standard English language keyboard configuration. The name QWERTY is formed by combining the first six letters on the top row of keys
- Random Access Memory (RAM)
- This is the memory used by your computer to perform tasks, like running programs, doing calculations etc and its analogous to short-term memory in humans. When you run a software program, your computer copies it to the RAM and does all the work there. This allows the computer to run the software faster. RAM needs power (electricity) to work, however, so when your computers power is turned off, the RAM is erased. The software program is still on your system because your computer copied the working parts of it to
RAM but any new information that you created whether text, spreadsheets, graphics is kept in RAM until you save it. That is why you need to continuously save your information to your hard drive or disk.
- Read Only Memory
- A solid-state microchip programmed at the time of its manufacture, that cannot be reprogrammed by a user. Any type of storage media that is manufactured with data in storage that cannot be reprogrammed.
- Recycle Bin
- A special folder in Windows where deleted files are sent when the user gives the command to delete them. They reside in the recycle bin until the user gives the command to permanently erase them (Empty Recycle Bin), giving the user the chance to recover any information accidentally deleted.
- A database of configuration information central to Windows or other Operating Systems operations. This file contains program settings, associations between file types and the applications that created them, as well as information about the types of OLE objects a program can create plus hardware detail information.
- A term used to describe the amount of information a computer screen can display. The resolution is expressed in pixels. A common resolution is 800x600 pixel which means the
screen is 800 pixels wide by 600 pixels tall. The higher the resolution, the better the graphic image since pixels will be smaller and closer together.
- To return data on a disk to its previous state, typically by using a backup copy of the files. You can restore files that have been damaged or corrupted back to the state they were in when you backed them up.
- Restore Button
- In Windows environments, a button usually in the upper right corner of a Window that, when clicked, returns the window to its previous size. When the window is at its previous size, the restore button switches to the maximize button, which resizes the window to its maximum size
- (On a mouse that has more than one button) To quickly depress and release the right mouse button.
- ROM BIOS
- Read Only Memory Basic Input Output System. A special chip used to send instructions to the computer when it is turned on and before the operating system is loaded.
- Safe Mode
- A special mode for starting Windows that uses simple, default settings so that you can at least get into Windows and fix a problem that makes it impossible to work with
Windows otherwise. The default settings use a generic VGA monitor driver, no network settings, the standard Microsoft mouse driver, and the minimum device drivers necessary to start Windows.
- An optical input device that creates a photographic copy of text, drawings, and images for storage and manipulation by graphic and wordprocessor programs in the computer.
- Screen Saver
- A varying pattern or graphic that appears on the screen when the mouse and keyboard have been idle for a user-definable period of time. Originally used to prevent a static background from being "burned into" the screen phosphorus, this is rarely a problem with modern monitors.
- Scroll Arrow
- Located at either end of a scroll bar, it can be clicked to scroll up or down (vertical scroll bar) or left or right (horizontal scroll bar). Clicking the scroll arrow will move your window in that direction.
- Scroll Bar
- Scroll bars allow you to select a value within a range, such as what part of a document to see, or what value to set the Red, Green, and Blue components of a color to.
- Scroll Box
- A small box located in the scroll bar that shows where the visible window is located in relation to the entire document, menu, or list. You can click and drag the scroll box to make other portions of the document, menu, or list visible.
- SCSI (SKU-zee)
- Small Computer Systems Interface. SCSI is a standard for connecting peripherals and other computers to a computer. SCSI, used extensively in Macintosh computers, and growing in use among PCs, is very fast and can support several devices on a single card. (Contrast with IDE)
- To specify a section of text or graphics for initiating an action. To select also can be to choose an option in a dialog box.
- Serial Port
- A port through which only one unit of data can pass at a time on a single wire. Contrast with Parallel Port.
- Most common in Windows, the practice of copying a programs files to a computers disk drive and setting the operating system to run it.
- Refers to a method of software distribution. Shareware are programs that are written and distributed for free for users to install and try out. If a user likes the program and decides to use it, they are expected to "register" the program with its creator for a small fee. If the user decides not to register, they are expected to remove it from their system, and pass it on to another userthus the "share" in shareware.
- Another name for a Hotkey Combination (also called a keyboard shortcut). In Windows, a file used to "point" to a file or object in another location. When you open the shortcut, you are, in effect, opening the file the shortcut points to the Target.
- Single Inline Memory Module. A SIMM is a piece of computer hardware that holds pre-assembled RAM chips. The SIMM is plugged into your computers motherboard to give you more RAM.
- Generic term for any computer program or file. Instructions that make the computer work.
- Sound Card
- A hardware device that makes it possible for the computer to play digitally recorded or created sounds, and CD audio. Creative Labs Soundblaster sound card is the standard in PC audio, therefore, most manufacturers will label their sound cards as "Soundblaster compatible".
- Source Code
- The original copy of a software program as it is written by programmers in a language they understand. The source code is then compiled (converted) into machine language, a language that computers understand. Now the program is able to work on a users computer in a language the user understands.
- A program that uses a grid of rows and columns to perform calculations on numerical data. Spreadsheets are widely used in most businesses to perform both simple and complex financial computations, to organize data in tables and graphs, and perform statistics.
- Start Menu
- A feature of Windows located the task bar. Clicking the button marked "Start" opens a popup menu that makes Help, the Run command, settings, find, shutdown, a list of programs (actually, program shortcuts) and a list of recently accessed documents available for you to run with a single click. For some items (such as the Documents item), a submenu opens to the side of the main item to display the list of choices. You can configure the Start menu to specify which programs are available to run from it.
- Startup Folder
- A folder that contains shortcuts to any programs that you want Windows to automatically run whenever you start your computer.
- Swap File
- A file that gives Windows the ability to use a portion of hard drive as memory. With the use of a swap file, you can load and run more programs in Windows than you actually have RAM memory for. A swap file allows Windows to "swap" chunks of memory containing currently unused information to disk, making room in RAM memory for information you need to run the currently selected program. Using a swap file is slower than holding everything in RAM memory, however.
- Syntax (SIN-tacks)
- A set of formal rules governing the ways words are put together to make phrases and sentences, and the use of punctuation. On the computer, syntax refers to the rules that must be followed in writing and executing software programs. A syntax error indicates either a programming error or an incorrect response to some software inquiries.
- In Windows, any object pointed to by a shortcut.
- An area that runs across the bottom of the Windows desktop. The Start button is at the left end of the task bar, and the clock can be displayed at the right end of the task bar. Running applications are represented as buttons on the task bar, the current window is shown as a depressed button, all other applications are displayed as raised buttons. Clicking the button for an inactive application activates that application and displays its window as the current window.
- The transfer of information from one place to another over large distances using phone lines, microwaves and/or satellites.
- Telephony (tell-eff-uh-nee)
- Term used to describe the combined use of a computer and telephone to transmit voice, data, video, or image signals over long distances.
- Terminate and Stay Resident
- Term used to describe a program that loads into memory, then performs functions in the background, without the direct control of the user or operating system.
- Text Box
- A space in the dialog box where text or numbers can be entered so that a command can be carried out.
- Text File
- A file containing only text characters.
- A miniature rendition of a graphic file. A thumbnail gives a idea of what the full-size graphic looks like, and is usually used as a gateway to view the full-size graphic.
- To reduce and move windows so that they can all be seen at once.
- Title Bar
- The bar at the top of a program or document window that shows you what its title is. The control menu, maximize, minimize, restore, and task bar buttons can be accessed in the title bar.
- To switch an option to one of two positions (either on or off). The "caps lock", "scroll lock", and "num lock" keys are examples of toggle switches.
- Tool Bar
- A collection of buttons that typically make the more common tools for an application easily accessible. Although often grouped in a line under the menus, a toolbar can be located on the left or right side of the working area--or even be relocatable to any area of the screen the user wishes. In some applications (for example, MS Office applications such as Word), the toolbar is user-configurable--the user can display different toolbars, and add or remove tool buttons from the bar.
- Refers to a physical configuration of PC cases. The tower case is taller than it is wide and is usually designed to sit on the floor, rather than on a desk. Towers usually feature more bays for disk drives and slots for peripheral devices than other configurations.
- Trash Can
- A special folder in the Macintosh operating system where deleted files are sent when the user sends the command to delete them. They reside in the trash can until the user gives the command to permanently erase them, thus giving the user the chance to recover any information accidentally deleted.
- True Type Fonts
- A type of font, pioneered by Microsoft that can be used across platforms and on the internet. True type fonts appear on the display screen exactly how they will be printed or transmitted.
- A communication standard used with most scanners.
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