Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Can You Stand It? More Geek Speak.

With our two lessons so far, you should be sounding more like an expert. And we still have a few more letters of the alphabet to go, so let's get cracking.

Desktop: A metaphor for the background on your screen that appears to hold your icons and windows. Think of it as your physical desk at home which holds papers and other stuff you can't live without.

Desktop publishing: Producing high-quality printable or electronic documents. More and more, individuals and small business are producing their own brochures, advertising materials and numerous other items that used to be sent out for production. And, of course, there is the rise in self-published books because of publishing software.

Dialog box: A window or box which appears on your screen asking for information. The box will usually disappear after you type in your answer or click on the the appropriate button.

Download: To move data from the Internet or another computer to your own computer. Most of us have downloaded songs to add to our Mp3 players (note I am carefully not mentioning brand names).

Drag and drop: You can move an object or text around on a page by selecting it (left-click and hold the button on the mouse), dragging your mouse (and whatever you selected along with it) and releasing the mouse button when you're happy with the new location. This is a huge time saver when editing or doing desktop publishing.

Drop-down menu: With the advent of touch screens and icons (those pictures that represent something), drop-down menus are used less. There are enough around however that you need to know what they are. It's a type of menu that reveals more options when you click on the menu title and would look like this - the red circle is added to highlight the menu.

E-mail or Email: Of course, most people have heard of email even if they aren't quite sure what it is. Electronic mail is a typed message sent from one computer to another. Setting up an email account is free and very easy. Our tutorial on YouTube takes you step-by-step through the process with Yahoo mail.

Encryption:  Coding information so it can't be read without special software or permission.

Error message: A notice from your computer that something as gone wrong with a program or your system. Alas, often these messages mean something so obscure only a tech can understand it, but if you do have to call a help line, try to have the error message as accurate as possible to help the tech on the phone with you.

Extension: Letters or numbers following the dot (period) in a file name. For example, a file created in Microsoft Word might be GeekSpeak.doc, or a picture from your camera you load onto your computer might be menus.jpg. Just by looking at the extension, you can tell which one is a text document and which one is a picture.

OK, if your brain is ready to explode, we're going to stop here for today. Don't be shy about using the comments section to ask for clarifications or add to definitions. 

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