Baffled by bytes, browsers and bookmarks? If you’re new to computers, this handy guide will help you decipher technospeak.
? bookmark (or favorite): An electronic marker, placed by hitting Ctrl-D on PCs or Apple-D on Macs, that allows you to note Web sites of interest and return to them instantly.
? byte: One character of information. A character is any keystroke, such as a space, letter or number.
? CD-ROM: A small disc containing information that you can access and copy, but not change.
? database: A searchable computerized list of information sorted by category, such as surname or record type.
? download: To copy a file from the Internet onto your own computer.
? e-mail: Stands for electronic mail; messages primarily text sent electronically to other e-mail users all over the world.
? GEDCOM: Stands for CEnealogical Data COMmunication. This is the universal family tree file format compatible with most genealogy software.
? gigabyte (GB): Equivalent to r billion bytes.
? hard drive: A magnetic disk inside the computer that stores data.
? home page: The main page of a Web site.
? HTML: Stands for hypertext markup language, the standard language used to create and format World Wide Web pages. HTML documents are essentially text documents (similar to those created in a word processing program) that have embedded in them tags containing coding for text formatting, graphics and hyperlinks.
? hyperlink: A graphic or different-colored text that a user can click on to go to another page on the same Web site or a different Web site entirely.
? icon: A small graphical representation of a program function.
? megabyte (MB): One megabyte is equal to i million bytes. Sometimes, computer systems’ hard-drive capacities are listed in megabytes. For example, a hard-drive size may be listed as 850MB, meaning 850 megabytes (or 850 million bytes).
? megahertz (MHz): This measurement tells you how fast your computer will run. The higher the number, the faster your computer is supposed to go.
? network: A connection between two or more computers. Two or more networks create an internet.
? RAM: Stands for random-access memory. Your computer puts information into RAM for easier and faster access. This area can be written and rewritten many times during a single session on the computer. RAM is your computer’s workspace.
? ROM: Stands for read-only memory. This type of memory stores basic operating system files. Data stored in ROM can only be read or copied; you cannot change it.
? search engine: A site designed to help you find specific pages on the Internet. By evaluating certain keywords, the site displays a list of Web pages that it determines meet your search criteria.
? shareware: Software you can try before you buy. Unlike demos, shareware usually does not stop working after a set amount of time.
? upload: To transfer a file from a local computer to a remote host. Upload is synonymous with transmit, while download is synonymous with receive.
? URL: A Web page’s address, usually preceded by http://.
? Web browser: A software application used to navigate the Internet, To access a Web site, type the Web address, or URL, into the browser.
?Web page: A document on the World Wide Web that is formatted with HTML.