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access control
The technologies used to control who or what has access to a computer system or network.
access time
The amount of time that elapses between a PC’s request for data from the CD and the drive’s delivery of the first part of that data.
active cooling system
A cooling system that contains moving parts, such as a fan.
Active Directory
A user- and identity-management system in Windows servers that controls user login.
ActiveX
A Microsoft technology that uses the Microsoft .NET programming framework. It enables a web browser to interact with the OS to run mini-applications.
ActiveX controls
An ActiveX program that runs a mini-application.
add-on
A browser extension that adds to your browser the capability of handling new content types. Also called a plug-in.
ADSL
See asymmetric DSL.
adware
A category of application that displays unasked-for ads on your computer.
allocation units
See clusters.
amplification
A means of making the sound louder as it comes out of a PC or other device.
antispam
Software that detects and removes or segregates spam email.
antispyware
Software that detects and removes spyware.
antistatic mat
A mat onto which you set a component to drain away any built-up static charge that might result in ESD damage.
antistatic wrist strap
A wrist strap that keeps you connected to a component, constantly equalizing the voltage potential between you and the component so that ESD isn’t a problem.
antivirus software
Software that helps protect your system against malware such as viruses, worms, and Trojan horses.
APIPA
See automatic private IP addressing.
asymmetric DSL (ADSL)
DSL service in which the upload speed is slower than the download speed.
automatic private IP addressing (APIPA)
A means of assigning IP addresses without a DHCP server on a network within a certain range of addresses.
bandwidth
A network connection’s ability to send data swiftly and in large quantities.
BD
See Blu-ray disc.
binary
A numbering system with only two states
biometric devices
Devices that identify users by scanning for one or more physical traits, such as fingerprints or retina.
bit
A binary digit, either 0 or 1.
bits per second (bps)
A measurement of data transfer throughput.
Blue Screen of Death (BSOD)
See STOP error.
Bluetooth
A short-range wireless networking protocol, separate from Wi-Fi, also known as IEEE 802.15. It’s used for cell phones, home theatre devices, and gaming consoles.
Blu-ray disc (BD)
An optical disc that uses Blu-ray technology and is read with a blue laser.
bps
See bits per second.
broadband
A wide pathway capable of carrying data at a high rate of speed, such as on the Internet.
broadband router
A router used to help share Internet connectivity. It may come with software, instructions, or other extras.
brownout
See sag.
browser cache
A holding area on the hard disk that maintains a copy of some of the files required to display web pages you have visited. When you revisit a page, the browser may be able to reload certain files from the stored cache.
BSOD
See Blue Screen of Death.
bubble jet
See thermal inkjet printer.
buffer
A simple version of a cache, holding recently used data in case it’s needed again.
bus width
The width of a data pathway.
byte
Eight binary digits of data.
cache
A temporary storage area for recently used data, located near the processor and connected to it by an extremely high-speed pathway.
carcinogen
A product or substance that causes cancer.
CardBus
An older type of expansion slot and card for notebook computers. CardBus was replaced by ExpressCard, the current standard.
case
The rectangular outer shell of a computer, into which everything else connects.
Cat5 cable
A type of UTP cable that can carry data at up to 100 Mbps.
Cat5e cable
A type of UTP cable that can carry data at up to 1 Gbps.
Cat6 cable
A type of UTP cable that can carry data at up to 10 Gbps.
cathode ray tube (CRT)
A type of monitor that is large and boxy, like an old-style television. It uses an electron gun to light up phosphors on a screen to create the image.
CAV
See constant angular velocity.
CCD
See charge-coupled device.
CD-R
See Compact Disc Recordable.
CD-ROM
See Compact Disc Read-Only Memory.
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