Monday, August 13, 2012

Learning Geek - the language of computers

People trying to catch up with the digital age quickly realize they need to learn more than just how to turn the device of their choice on. They need to learn a new language as well. Words that have perfectly good meanings in basic English suddenly mean something else with technology. And then there are the words that were made up specifically by and for tech people. So, just to keep things interesting and allow you sound like you know what you're doing even if you don't, some vocab to get you started....

Active window: the window that is currently selected and allows you to either type or click on things. A new window automatically becomes the active window. Same thing applies to new tabs (not to be confused with the Tab key on the keyboard).

Attachment: a file or picture linked to an email message. A caveat about attachments...make sure the person at the other end can open whatever you are adding as an attachment. If you are sending a document in an application the receiver doesn't have, they won't be able to open your file. If you're not sure, it's better to send the content within the email message itself. The formatting may not be as pretty, but at least it will save frustration, or worse, lack of interest, on the other end.

Back up: a verb meaning to copy important files from your hard drive to something like a CD, a DVD, an external hard drive, a flash drive or whatever new backup device comes in the future. Backing up documents and pictures saves heartache when/if your computer crashes. Now you can even back up to the Cloud, a fancy way of saying storage space on the Internet.

Backup: a noun meaning the copy of files you have saved to a portable storage device or the Cloud.

Bandwidth: a measurement of how much information can be transmitted at a time - the higher the bandwidth, the faster you can send and receive information. There is no such thing as too much bandwidth.

Broadband: High-speed Internet connection using coaxial cable or fiber optic cable. Short for broad bandwidth.

Stay tuned for more.