Commonly Used Computer Terms in ICT | UGC NET Exam

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UGC NET Paper 1


Commonly Used Computer Terms:

Abort: To stop a program or function before it has finished.

Algorithm: A set of instructions that provides a solution to a given problem.

Animation: A simulation of movement created by displaying a series of pictures, or frames. For example, cartoons on television.

ANSI: American National Standards Institute, a powerful industry association of USA, promoting Programming language standards.

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Antivirus: Program A utility that searches a hard disk for viruses and removes any, that is found.

Architecture: A design. It can refer to either hardware or software or to a combination of hardware and software. The architecture of a system defines its broad outlines.

ASCII: American Standard Code for Information Interchange. This is a seven/eight bit code widely used in computers for the transfer of data.

Bandwidth: The amount of data that can be transmitted in a fixed amount of time. It is usually expressed in bits per second (bps) or bytes per second.

Bit: The smallest unit of information in computer system. Bit is short for binary digit; either a “1” or a “0”.

Boot: The process of getting the computer started.

Byte: A byte is made up of 8 bits. The amount of memory it takes to store a single character.

Cache: A separate area of Primary Memory (RAM) where the computer stores a copy of the frequently used information for quick access. This is meant to speed up the operation of the hard disk.

CD-ROM: Compact Disk-Read Only Memory. This is a permanent storage device used to store large quantities of information that need not be changed.

CGA: Color Graphics Adapter. Low-resolution screen (640×200 pixels) with color capability.

Character: A number, letter, symbol, or punctuation mark.

Chip: A small piece of silicon-containing thousands or millions of electrical elements. Also called an Integrated Circuit (IC).

Compatible: The ability of one device or program to work with another device or program. For example, a printer and a computer are said to be compatible if they can be connected to each other.

Conventional Memory: The first 640K of electronic Memory (RAM) in a computer used to run OS and applications.

Debug: In computer related systems, fixing software related problem is known as debugging.

DOS: It stands for Disk Operating System. It is a single user operating system.

DVD: Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc

Dynamic: Refers to actions that take place at the moment they are needed rather than in advance.

EDP: Electronic Data Processing.

E-Mail: Electronic Mail. A facility to send electronic messages to another person on a computer network.

End-User: The end user is the individual who uses the product after it has been fully developed and marketed.

EPROM: Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory. A type of ROM that can be programmed or reprogrammed usually by exposing a normally covered sector to UV-Light.

Extended Memory: Memory in addition to conventional memory used to run and manage applications; together with expanded memory, it helps PCs to address increased amounts of data in memory.

Fax/Facsimile: A way of transmitting copies of documents over telephone lines. Fax is short for Facsimile.

Gigabyte: Abbreviated as GB, is equal to 1024 MB. GUI Graphical User Interface. A user interface that works visually and is based on the selection of actions using a mouse or a similar pointing device to click on icons or to pick options from menus; see also icon.

Hertz: A unit of frequency that means Cycles per Second.
High Density: The amount of information a disk can hold. High Density disks hold more information than Double Density disks.

Hypertext: A method of presenting information so the user can view it in a non-sequential way, regardless of how the topics were originally arranged. It has now evolved as a flexible software technology to create electronic books provides fast and flexible access to search criteria and provides quick access to information in large documents.

HTML: Hyper Text Markup Language. A markup or structuring language used to describe Web and Intranet documents. It is used to define structure, appearance and placement of HTML elements including, fonts, graphics, text, hypertext links to other sites and many more details.

IBM: International Business Machines, a USA based multinational Company.

Icon: A graphical screen element that executes one or more commands when selected with a mouse or other pointing device

IDE: Integrated Device Electronics, a standard used for connecting hard drive to a computer. IDE hard drives are very common and relatively inexpensive.

Intel: The manufacturer of the most popular microprocessors or CPUs.

Intelligent: Printer Printer combining laser, computer and photocopying technology.

Internet: The world’s largest computer network that links many of the scientific, research and educational computers as well as commercial networks. The internet uses TCP/IP protocols, and computers on Internet can run on any operating system, like, several variations of UNIX, Windows NT, and VMS etc.

Intranet: In the most general sense, a private corporate network that uses Internet technology based software and TCP/IP protocol standards. Many companies use intranets for tasks as simple as distributing a company letter and for tasks as complex as posting and updating technical support bulletins to service personnel worldwide. An intranet does not always include permanent connection to Internet.

Kilobyte (K, KB) Approximately one thousand characters; actually 1024bytes.

LAN: An acronym for local area network. A system of PCs that are located relatively near to each other and connected by wire so that individual users can cooperatively process information and share resources; see also WAN.

Laptop Computer: A portable computer, small enough to be held on a lap,but slightly larger than a notebook computer.

LED: Light Emitting Diode. An electronic device that lights up when electricity is passed through it.

Light Pen: An input device that allows a user to write on or point to a special pad or the screen of a pen-based computer, such as a PDA.

Macintosh: A PC based on a Motorola microprocessor employing GUI. Apple Macintosh has been in use since late eighties.

Macro: A symbol, name, or key that represents a list of commands, actions or keystrokes.

Math co-processor: Part of the microprocessor; a companion chip designed to perform complex calculations.

Megabyte (M, MB): Approximately one million characters; actually 1,048,576 bytes. A measure of memory or storage.

Megahertz (MHz): A measure of processing speed. The higher the value, the faster a computer can work.

Microprocessor: A single chip containing all the elements of a computer’s CPU.

MIPS: Million Instructions Per Seconds, a unit for measuring the speed of a computer.

Mother Board: The main circuit board of a computer, which carries electrical signals to and from various parts of the computer.

Multimedia: A computer system that combines text, graphics, animation, music, voice and video media; may include stereo speakers as an output device.

Multiprocessing: It refers to a computer system’s ability to support more than one process at the same time. It is also called multitasking.

Nibble: Half a byte i.e. 4bits.

Non-Volatile Memory: This is data storage that does not lose its contents on power off; for example, ROM.

Notebook Computer: A portable computer, approximately 8½ by 11 inches, that fits inside a briefcase.

Numeric keypad: The part of a keyboard that looks like an adding machine, with 10 digits and mathematical operators; usually located on the right side of the keyboard.

Office-Automation: The use of computer systems to execute a variety of office operations, such as word processing, accounting and Email.

Parallel Port: An outlet on a computer used to attach a device, such as a printer. A parallel port sends data (bits) down the wire side by side (parallel to each other).

Pentium: The fifth generation of microprocessors. The Pentium is 2 to 3 times faster than the 80486, the fourth generation of microprocessors.

Peripheral: Any piece of hardware attached to the outside of a computer. Examples are printers and modems.

Pixel: Short for “Picture Element”. A Pixel is the smallest dot the computer can control on the screen.

Portable computer: A small computer that usually runs on batteries. In the categories of portable computers are laptop, notebook, sub-notebook and palmtop.

Protocol: In networking and communications, the formal specification that defines the procedures to follow when transmitting and receiving data. Protocol defines the format, timing, sequence and error checking used on the network.

Resolution: The size and quantity of dots that make up a printed page, screen or scanned image.

Runtime: Error An error that occurs during the execution of a program.

Scanner: An input device used to copy a printed document into a computer’s memory in digital form, without requiring manual keying.

SCSI: Small Computer System Interface. A standard for connecting a hard drive to a computer.

Serial Port: An outlet on a computer used to attach a device, such as a modem. A serial port sends data (bits) down the wire one at a time (in a series).

Service Pack: It is an update to a software version that fixes an existing problem, such as a bug or provides enhancements to the product that will appear in the next version of the product.

TCP/IP: Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol is a set of communication protocols that encompass media access, packet transport, session communications, file transfer, e-mail, and terminal emulation. TCP/IP is supported by a large number of H/W and S/W vendors and is available on many computer systems, from PCs to mainframes.

Troubleshoot: To isolate the source of a problem and fix it. In case of computer systems, troubleshooting is usually used when the problem is hardware related.

UNIX: A multi-user operating system.

Upgrade: A new version of a software or hardware product designed to replace an older version of the same product.

UPS: Uninterruptible Power Supply. It is a power supply that includes a battery to maintain power in the event of a power cut for several minutes to some hours.
Utility: A program that performs a very specific task, usually related to managing system resources.

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