Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Geek Speak F through H

OK, you may be tired of it, but we have more vocabulary to learn. So let's get cracking.

Field: An area on your screen for entering and/or storing specific information. So when you're filling in the form for opening an email or retail account, the little boxes that ask for your name, address, etc. are fields.

Firewall: Technology that protects computers from unauthorized access. The City of Monrovia maintains a firewall to protect information on its servers.

Font: Properly called typeface, it describes a particular style of lettering. There are two basic types - serif and sans-serif. The serif refers to the little feet added to letters. On the printed page, they help guide the eye from letter to letter. On a computer screen, sans-serif letters  (sans is without in French), are easier to read. Sans-serif is also used for highway signs and in airports.

Freeze: Suddenly nothing will move on your computer or respond to input from your mouse or keyboard. To become unfrozen, you generally have to reboot (restart) your computer.

Function keys: The set of keys on the topmost row of the keyboard. They are labeled F1 through F12 and basically provide shortcuts by giving special instructions to your currently running program.

GIF: Acronym for Graphics Interchange Format which is a common type of image file often used on Web pages.

Graphic: Picture or other image displayed on a computer.

Hacker: Anyone who's ever watched or read the news or watches movies or television knows hackers are people with super ninja computer skills that enable them to break into computer networks without permission, usually to steal personal information like credit card numbers, but in movies, to save the world from the evil cartoon villain.

Hard drive: The storage area of your computer that contains the operating system (the thing that makes your computer work) and programs. Also called the hard disk drive and on PCs, the C drive.

Highlight: Highlighting text or graphics on a page alerts the computer you're about to do something like copying and pasting, cutting and pasting, moving stuff around on the page, editing or deleting. To highlight text or cells, you generally click and drag over the sections you wish to change. If you want to select/highlight an entire page, you simply have to press the Ctrl and A keys on the keyboard.

Home page: The main or introductory page of a web site. The home page will vary from computer to computer depending on who wants what to come up first. At Monrovia Library, our home page on our public access computers is the Library's website. Each staff member, though, has a different home page depending on which web site they visit most frequently.

Hover: When you leave your pointer sitting on an object on the screen for a moment, often a brief description will display in a small box next to the pointer. OK, putting that into English...say you're not sure what a certain icon is. Place the pointer on the icon and just let it rest there - no clicking or anything - and most of the time, a little box appears describing what you're hovering on.

Enough for this lesson. Just think, you're almost halfway through the geek alphabet and you're still awake. Yea you! More next time.

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