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Computer Terms & Definitions

Don't know what a certain computer term means? On this page, you can find all the articles about specific computer terms from a range of topics and subtopics. These articles consist of detailed definitions that will help you learn a specific computer term. If there is a question that you have that is related to computing and ICT, you can browse the computer questions & answers page, which contains all the computer questions that have been answered on this site, from a range of topics and subtopics.

All the definitions on this site, including the ones about complex terms that are rarely used, are designed to be easy to understand and informative with no overly complex wording or different-to-read sentences. This supports the main aim of this site, which was to define computer terminology and answer people's questions in a way that is easy for other people to understand, provide quizzes for people to test their knowledge and find their knowledge gaps, and provide fun activities for people to complete. Some of these definitions are supported by real-world examples, where possible.

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What Is System Software

What Is System Software?

Difficulty: Medium

System software is the most important type of software installed on a computer that directly controls the hardware and provides an environment or platform for all the other types of software to work in.

What Is Application Software

What Is Application Software?

Difficulty: Medium

Application software is a type of software designed to fulfil a specific need or perform specific tasks other than one relating to the operation or maintenance of a computer.

What Is Big Data

What Is Big Data?

Difficulty: Medium

Big data is a digital technology which allows businesses to collect and combine data from multiple sources.

What Is Public Domain

What Is Public Domain?

Difficulty: Medium

The public domain consists of work that is available to the public as a whole and not subject to copyright.

What Is Troubleshooting

What Is Troubleshooting?

Difficulty: Easy

Troubleshooting is the process of discovering and resolving problems with hardware, software, and other products.

What Is Webmail

What Is Webmail?

Difficulty: Medium

Webmail is an email service that can be accessed through a web browser without the need to download any software.

What Is Bricking

What Is Bricking?

Difficulty: Medium

Bricking happens when an electronic device loses its functionality, making it unusable. This term comes from the fact that the electronic device is as useful as a brick.

What Is An iFrame

What Is An iFrame?

Difficulty: Medium

An iframe, also known as an inline frame is used to load a separate webpage within a HTML document. It is supported by HTML5 and is included in the latest HTML5 specifications.

What Is Green Software

What Is Green Software?

Difficulty: Medium

Green software, also known as sustainable software is a type of software that is designed to minimise environmental impact. Green software tends to be faster, whilst using less energy, meaning lower energy costs and increased efficiency.

What Is A Memory Leak

What Is A Memory Leak?

Difficulty: Medium

A memory leak is a programming error that happens when a program fails to release memory that is no longer needed, gradually consuming more memory until none is left.

What Is Social Sharing

What Is Social Sharing?

Difficulty: Easy

Social sharing is the process of posting or reposting web content on a social media website to allow others to view and engage with it, increasing its reach and exposure.

What Are Media Queries

What Are Media Queries?

Difficulty: Medium

Media queries are a CSS functionality that allows different style rules to be defined based on the width and height of the viewport, orientation of the viewport, and screen resolution.

What Is HEIC

What Is HEIC?

Difficulty: Medium

Stands for High Efficiency Image Container. HEIC is a file format used to store photos in a compressed format in order to save space.

Top 10 Most Common Mistakes Internet Users Make

What Is WebP?

Difficulty: Medium

WebP is an open-source raster graphic image format developed by Google intended to reduce the size of images on the web.

Top 10 Most Common Mistakes Internet Users Make

Top 10 Most Common Mistakes Internet Users Make

Difficulty: Easy

When using the internet, there are some common mistakes that people make over and over again, often without realising it.

What Is A Data Breach

What Is A Data Breach?

Difficulty: Medium

A data breach is an intentional or unintentional exposure of confidential or sensitive information to unauthorised people.

What Is Cryptography

What Is Cryptography?

Difficulty: Medium

Cryptography is the practice of securing information by transforming it into a secure format. This ensures that only the person who is meant to see the information can view it and no unintended recipients can understand it.

What Is POST

What Is POST?

Difficulty: Medium

Stands for Power On Self Test. POST is a series of checks to ensure that all hardware is working properly before starting the boot process.

What Are System Resources

What Are System Resources?

Difficulty: Medium

System resources are physical or virtual components of a computer system that provide the capabilities and are used to perform tasks efficiently.

What Is Source Code

What Is Source Code?

Difficulty: Medium

Source code is a set of instructions, functions, and other statements written in a programming language used to make a website, app, or computer program work as intended.

What Is Vapourware

What Is Vapourware?

Difficulty: Medium

Vapourware is a type of software or hardware that has been announced to the general public, but is not yet released and is unlikely to be released any time soon, if ever.

What Is Hypertext

What Is Hypertext?

Difficulty: Medium

Hypertext is a text format that provides references (hyperlinks) to other text, allowing users to navigate from one page to another in a web browser.

What Is An Advertising ID

What Is An Advertising ID?

Difficulty: Medium

An advertising ID is a unique user ID assigned to a device that enables third-party tracking across multiple apps. This advertising ID is stored on the operating system and used to create profiles to provide personalised ads in apps.

What Is Green Computing

What Is Green Computing?

Difficulty: Medium

Green computing, also known as green IT, or sustainable computing, is the environmentally responsible and eco-friendly use of computers and resources.

What Is A Screen Reader

What Is A Screen Reader?

Difficulty: Medium

A screen reader is an accessibility software application that converts on-screen text to speech. This helps people with visual impairments to understand digital content and navigate the web.

What Is E-Learning

What Is E-Learning?

Difficulty: Easy

Short for electronic learning, e-learning is a type of learning that takes place electronically over the internet.

What Is A Hard Copy

What Is A Hard Copy?

Difficulty: Easy

A hard copy is a physical copy of a document printed on paper. Unlike a soft copy, a hard copy is no longer editable and can be considered a permanent version.

What Is A Taskbar

What Is A Taskbar?

Difficulty: Medium

A taskbar is a bar located at the bottom of a display of a graphical user interface (GUI) that shows which windows are currently open and allows quick access to favourite applications.

What Is A Soft Copy

What Is A Soft Copy?

Difficulty: Easy

A soft copy is an electronic copy of a document that can be viewed on a phone, tablet, or computer. Unlike a hard copy, a soft copy does not...

What Is A Screenshot

What Is A Screenshot?

Difficulty: Easy

A screenshot is a digital image that shows the contents of a computer screen at a given point in time. It is created by the operating system and may include the whole screen or a section of it.

What Is Web Application Development

What Is Web Application Development?

Difficulty: Medium

Web application development is the process of building, designing, and testing web applications that will be stored on web servers and provided to other users over the internet.

What Are System Requirements?

What Are System Requirements?

Difficulty: Easy

System requirements refer to a list of specifications a device must have in order to run software or hardware needed to perform tasks.

What Is A Web Application?

What Is A Web Application?

Difficulty: Medium

For new users, using a computer can sound hard at first, especially without much experience of using a computer. Below are 15 general computer tips for new users.

What Is The HTML U Tag

What Is The HTML <u> Tag?

Difficulty: Medium

In HTML, the <u> tag is used to specify a section of text to be underlined. The text is styled differently from normal text to draw attention to it.

What Is The HTML Output Tag

What Is The HTML <output> Tag?

Difficulty: Medium

In HTML, the output tag is used to display the output of a calculation. Even though a fixed calculation can be written in plain text, it is harder to display more complex calculations.

What Is The HTML Mark Tag

What Is The HTML <time> Tag?

Difficulty: Medium

In HTML, the <time> tag is used to represent a time period. It is used to tell web browsers that the text is time-related and helps users with assistive technologies.

What Is The HTML Mark Tag

What Is The HTML <mark> Tag?

Difficulty: Medium

In HTML, the <mark> tag is used to define highlighted text. It was introduced in HTML 5 and is used to quickly make text of interest or relevance stand out to visitors.

What Is A User Account

What Is A User Account?

Difficulty: Easy

A user account is an identity created by a person which allows them to use a computer system, network, or service.

What Is A Login

What Is A Login?

Difficulty: Easy

A login is a set of credentials that enables access to an electronic account or system. The user credentials are usually a username or password, but may also consist of a PIN.

What Is Rich Text Format

What Is Rich Text Format?

Difficulty: Medium

Rich text format (RTF) is a file format that combines the features of files found in a full word processor with plaintext files.

What Is Non-Volatile Memory

What Is Non-Volatile Memory?

Difficulty: Medium

Non-volatile memory is a type of memory that retains its data even after the power is turned off. This means that power is only required to read and write data, not to maintain the storage state.

What Is Computer Ethics

What Is Computer Ethics?

Difficulty: Easy

Computer ethics is a set of moral principles and procedures regarding the use of computing technology.

What Is Volatile Memory

What Is Volatile Memory?

Difficulty: Medium

Volatile memory is a type of memory that only retains its data when the power is turned on. It erases its contents when the power is turned off or interrupted for any reason.

What Is A Root Directory

What Is A Root Directory?

Difficulty: Medium

IT (information technology) and ICT information and communication technology) look similar, but they are two different fields.

What Is A Network Interface Card

What Is A Network Interface Card?

Difficulty: Medium

A network interface card (NIC) is a hardware component that provides networking capabilities to a computer, allowing a computer to connect to a network.

What Is Flash Memory

What Is Flash Memory?

Difficulty: Medium

Flash memory is a type of non-volatile memory that can be read from and written to. It is fast to read and write to and can be written to and overwritten like RAM, but is not as fast as RAM.

What Is A Storage Device

What Is A Storage Device?

Difficulty: Medium

A storage device is a piece of hardware used to store data. In order for a computer to save or remember settings, data, or information, a storage device is required.

What Is TIFF

What Is A RAW File?

Difficulty: Medium

A RAW file is an uncompressed and unprocessed photo captured by a digital camera. Due to lossless quality, RAW files are usually large in size.

What Is TIFF

What Is TIFF?

Difficulty: Medium

Stands for Tagged Image File Format. TIFF is an image file format used to store raster graphics. They allow users to tag up extra information and data, and support layers, transparency, and multi-image files.

What Is A Passkey

What Is A Passkey?

Difficulty: Medium

A passkey is an authentication technology that allows users to authenticate without a password. Passkeys are tied to a specific account.

What Is A Graphics Processing Unit

What Is GDPR?

Difficulty: Medium

Stands for General Data Protection Regulation. GDPR is a European law which protects the personal data of individuals in the EU and introduces rules on how personal data is used by businesses and organisations.

What Is A Graphics Processing Unit

What Is A Graphics Processing Unit?

Difficulty: Medium

A graphics processing unit (GPU) is a processor designed to render all graphics and images on the computer screen.

What Is Data Logging

What Is Data Logging?

Difficulty: Medium

Data logging is the process of capturing and storing data over time to analyse activity, trends, and predict future events.

What Is Data Mining

What Is Data Mining?

Difficulty: Medium

Data mining is the process of searching and analysing large amounts of data to discover patterns, trends, and other valuable information.

What Is The Difference Between A Web Host and An ISP?

What Is The Difference Between A Web Host and An ISP?

Difficulty: Medium

Although a web host may also act as an ISP (internet service provider), some people get these two terms confused. A web host is an organisation that maintains, configures, and provides the server space that stores websites.

What Are File Permissions

What Are File Permissions?

Difficulty: Medium

File permissions define who can view, write, and edit files and directories. They most commonly apply to files stored on a web server, but can also apply to files stored on a hard drive.

What Is A Computer Case

What Is A Computer Case?

Difficulty: Easy

A computer case is the housing that organises and protects all the components inside a computer, such as the motherboard, hard drive, optical drive, power supply, RAM, and CPU.

What Is A Tablet Computer

What Is A Tablet Computer?

Difficulty: Easy

A tablet is a handheld, portable computer with a touchscreen display that runs off battery power. It is larger than a smartphone but smaller than a laptop, making it easy to carry around and transport.

What Is Alpha Software

What Is An All-In-One Computer?

Difficulty: Easy

An all-in-one computer is a type of computer that integrates the internal components of the system into the same case as the monitor, taking up less room than desktop computers with a tower case.

What Is Alpha Software

What Is Alpha Software?

Difficulty: Medium

Alpha software is a pre-release version of software in the early testing phase. It has enough basic functions to be used, but lacks most of the features that will be included in the final version.

What Is Customer Relationship Management

What Is Customer Relationship Management?

Difficulty: Medium

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) refers to strategies and technologies that businesses use to analyse and manage relationships with customers and customer interactions.

What Is A Browser Extension

What Is A Browser Extension?

Difficulty: Medium

A browser extension is a small add-on that adds extra functionality or capabilities to a web browser. Extensions are usually used to add new...

What Is A User Interface

What Is A User Interface?

Difficulty: Medium

A user interface, often abbreviated to a UI, is the space that allows users to interact with a software application, website, or hardware device.

What Is Multimedia

What Is Multimedia?

Difficulty: Easy

Multimedia refers to the combination of different content forms, such as text, audio, images, animations, and video into a single presentation.

What Is Metadata

What Is Metadata?

Difficulty: Medium

Metadata is data that gives information about other data to help understand the structure, nature, and context.

What Is The Open Accessibility Framework

What Is The Open Accessibility Framework?

Difficulty: Medium

The Open Accessibility Framework (OAF) was released by the AEGIS as a guideline for ensuring that any IT system is accessible, including desktop and mobile devices.

What Is Web Publishing

What Is Web Publishing?

Difficulty: Easy

Web publishing, also known as online publishing, refers to the process of publishing content on the internet. This includes developing and uploading websites, updating webpages, and blogging.

What Is Viral Content

What Is Viral Content?

Difficulty: Easy

Viral content refers to content that has received a high level of awareness, popularity, and shares, within a short period of time and quickly spreads around the internet.

What Is BSOD

What Is BSOD?

Difficulty: Medium

Stands for Blue Screen of Death. A BSOD is a full-screen, blue error message displayed by Windows when it has run into a critical error that causes the computer to stop responding.

What Is BIOS

What Is BIOS?

Difficulty: Medium

Stands for Basic Input/Output system. BIOS, pronounced "bye-oss" is a firmware program stored on a ROM chip on the motherboard that provides a user interface for accessing and setting up the computer at the most basic level.

What Is A Vector Graphic

What Is A Vector Graphic?

Difficulty: Medium

A vector graphic is a digital image that consists of points, paths, curves, geometric shapes, and mathematical relationships that connect them to create an image.

What Are Raster Graphics

What Are Raster Graphics?

Difficulty: Medium

Raster graphics, also known as bitmaps, are computer graphics made up of tiny rectangular pixels arranged in a grid formation that can represent an image.

What Is Firmware

What Is Firmware?

Difficulty: Medium

Firmware is a type of software embedded in the ROM that contains the programming needed to boot a device and the instructions it needs to operate and communicate with other hardware.

What Is Database Software

What Is Beta Software?

Difficulty: Medium

Beta software is a pre-release of software that is in the process of being tested. It is not officially released and may contain bugs or performance issues.

What Is Database Software

What Is Database Software?

Difficulty: Easy

Database software is a type of productivity software used to create, edit, and manage databases. Databases can be about absolutely anything, including inventory, customer details, sales transactions, etc.

What Is A WIMP Interface

What Is A WIMP Interface?

Difficulty: Medium

Stands for Windows, Icons, Menus, and Pointers. WIMP describes a GUI that uses a pointer, such as a mouse cursor, to navigate and interact with the computer using windows, icons, and menus.

What Is A Keystroke

What Is A Keystroke?

Difficulty: Easy

A keystroke is an instance of pressing a key on a keyboard. This includes both physical and on-screen keyboards. Every keystroke sends a signal to...

What Is Net Neutrality

What Is Net Neutrality?

Difficulty: Medium

Net neutrality is the principle that ISPs should treat all internet traffic equally. Regardless of the device, application, platform, or protocol...

What Is Internet Censorship

What Is Internet Censorship?

Difficulty: Medium

The dark web is part of the World Wide Web content that is intentionally hidden and can only be accessed by special software, configurations, or authorisation."

What Is The Dark Web

What Is The Dark Web?

Difficulty: Medium

The dark web is part of the World Wide Web content that is intentionally hidden and can only be accessed by special software, configurations, or authorisation."

What Is Presentation Software

What Is Presentation Software?

Difficulty: Easy

Presentation software is a type of productivity software to create and edit slideshows in order to present information to an audience.