Frequently Used Terms PC Hardware RAM – Random Access Memory – This refers to the amount of data that can be moved across the PC at any given time. If RAM is low, the computer will be slow. The more RAM that is accessible, the quicker and easier jobs are completed. RAM also allows more than one program to operate. RAM directly correlates to PC speed. HD – Hard-drive – Refers to the amount of internal storage the device possesses. HDD – Hard Disk Drive – A magnetic, mechanical device that has been the primary internal storage for more than a quarter century. (This is what elicited the fact that magnets + PCs = Bad!) Flash RAM – Silicon chips that hold data without an electric current, making them useful for storage. (This is what made magnets + PCs okay) SSD – Solid State Drive – Flash memory packaged like a Hard-drive, to be used in place of a hard drive. Typically this is faster than a HDD, uses less power, and is less likely to be damaged by fall or shock. However, this is the more expensive option. (But magnets + PCs = ok!) RAID – Redundant Array of Independent Disks – Two or more drives that work together to enhance performance or redundancy. USB – Universal Serial Bus – An external system that allows communication between devices for storage or transmission purposes. USB Flash Drive – a USB device that is designed for the storage and transfer of information when a network or internet connection is not present. OS – Operating System – Refers to Windows 7/8/8.1/10, Linux, or Mac Audio / Video (A/V) VGA – Virtual Graphics Array – transmits lower-quality analog signals to a display. DVI – Digital Visual Interface – transmits high-definition video digitally to a display. HDMI – High Definition Multimedia Interface – A connector for simultaneous, high-definition video and audio. One cable replaces the typical 3 red/white/yellow A/V cords utilized in most other devices requiring a display unit (i.e. DVD/VHS/game systems). Network / Internet LAN – Local Area Network – A local area network allows several computers to share files, printers, games, or other applications. It’s a method of interior data communication. Ethernet – A type of LAN technology utilizing a Cat Cable and a hardline port. Ethernet is the standard for LAN-based communications. Cat5/Cat5e/Cat6/Cat6a – Categories (Cat) of networking cables. Cat5 is the slowest and verging on becoming obsolete; Cat 5e is the present standard able to handle 1000 Mbps; Cat6 will be the new business standard suitable up to 10gigabit Ethernet; Cat6a can handle the same information flow as the Cat6 cable, but has a longer ft. capacity (380ft. vs. 164ft.). DSL – Digital Subscriber Line – A high-speed connection that uses the same wires as a regular telephone line. WLAN – Wireless Local Area Network – The wireless variant of the traditional LAN. WiFi – Wireless Fidelity – A technology that allows electronic devices to connect to a WLAN. Hot Spot – A physical location where internet access may be obtained via a WLAN. A hot spot may be projected from other mobile devices or from a dedicated device. A hot spot is frequently used when chaining devices together (i.e. you obtain internet access using a tablet, which obtains access from a wireless hot spot projected from a cell phone, which is obtaining internet access from either the WLAN it can receive, its own interior data plan). Bluetooth – Wireless personal area networking technology. Bluetooth is a global wireless communication standard that connects devices together over a finite distance. (i.e. headset/phone, speaker/pc). It uses radio waves instead of cables to connect and pair with another device. Server – A computer or program that provides services to other computers and/or programs. Cloud – Cloud computing refers to a type of computing reliant on sharing computing resources rather than having local servers or personal devices handle and store the information. Cloud directly relates to the internet. Therefore, Cloud Computing is a type of internet-based computing where different services are delivered via the internet. Cloud computing has started to obtain mass appeal in corporate data centers as it enables the data center to operate like the Internet through the process of enabling computing resources to be accessed and shared as virtual resources in a secure and scalable manner. E-Mail IP – TCP/IP – Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol – set of networking protocols that allows two or more computers to communicate. SMTP – Simple Mail Transfer Protocol – This defines the method that handles the process of email exchange and delivery across various IPs. OWA – Outlook Web Access – HTTP interface that allows resources from an exchange server to be accessed from a web browser. PST – Personal Storage Table – Outlook specific file extension for the primary data file format used by the software to store personal data.