|Address Box||The text box at the top of the browser where you type the web address you want to visit. A web address is also known as a URL (Uniform Resource Locator).||Typing http://www.boomersurf.com into the address box and pressing Enter on your keyboard takes you to the BoomerSurf website.||Address Box|
|Alias||The name the user chooses to identify his/herself when logging in to applications, aka username.||John Smith sets up an email account and sets the name Smithy as his alias, or username. Every time he logs in to his email program, he types Smithy in the username text box (unless he selected the Remember me checkbox, in
which case Smithy is displayed in the username text box automatically).
|Username text box|
|Android||An operating system developed by Google and used in smartphones and tablets. See also iOS for iPhone and iPad||The Android operating system is used with smartphones, such as Samsung Galaxy, Nexus, LG, etc.||Android symbol
|Apple||An American corporation headquartered in Cupertino that develops and sells consumer software and computers, including the Macintosh, iPads and iPhones.See also: Google; Microsoft; OS X
|App||Short for application. Refers to software that enables a computer / smartphone / tablet to perform certain tasks.See also: Program / Software||WhatsApp is an app. Waze is an App. All computer games are apps. An App is a software program that allows you to write text, edit graphics, check your bank account, etc.|
|App Store||An online location where users can purchase apps that are compatible with Apple products.||Apple products include iPhones, iPads, Macintosh computers, iPods, etc.You can find apps like WhatsApp and Waze at the App Store.||App Store button|
|Backup||Copying all the files you have on your computer to a location, other than your computer. Backing up the files you have on your computer is a practice worth getting used to. In fact, it should be second nature because hard disks
sometimes break down and all the data you stored there can be lost.
|There are a number of backup options available. You can store files you have on your computer on the cloud, sometimes for a small fee. You can also back up your files on a portable USB drive. See also:
Disk-on-Key; Flash Drive; Thumb
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth is a computer protocol developed to exchange data over short distances.||Use Bluetooth on your mobile device to transfer video and photos to your laptop.|
|Boot / Reboot||Refers to loading the first piece of software that starts a computer, usually the operating system.||Sometimes, a computer can freeze and you cannot continue with your task, in which case it’s recommended to reboot – restart – the computer (sometimes by pulling the computer plug from its socket in the electricity).|
|Browser||The program that allows users to access different websites on the World Wide Web (WWW). There are many browsers available and most can be downloaded for free.||The most popular browser is Google Chrome. Other browsers include Firefox Mozilla, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE), Opera and Safari.||From left to right, browser icons: Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Explorer
|Bug||A mistake in the software code that makes it behave incorrectly.||Trying to fill in data in a form which doesn’t update is an indication that the software is buggy.|
|Button||A screen element that you click to perform an action on the computer. There are two types of buttons:
See also: Checkbox. The difference between radio buttons and checkboxes is that with the former you can select only one option in the list and with the latter, you can select one or more.
|Button examples: Single buttons (Select / Cancel); Radio buttons: Yes, No, May be (sic)|
|Capacity||Capacity refers to the amount of storage available to store your data. Capacity, folder and file size are measured in KBs, MBs, GBs or TBs.bits (b): 8 bits = 1 byteBytes (B): 1024 Bs = 1 KBKilobyte (KB): 1024 KBs = 1 MBMegabyte (MB): 1024 MBs =
1 GBGigabyte (GB): 1024 GBs = 1 TBTerabyte (TB) See also: File Size
|Photographs are usually large files of at least 1 MB. A Word file containing only text is much smaller, usually measured in KBs. Tip for PC users: You can find out the size of a folder or file by selecting the folder or file, right-clicking and
choosing Properties from the pop-up menu.
|Case sensitive||Capital letters and small letters. A remnant from the age of typesetting when capital letters were placed in the upper part of the case and the small letters in the lower part of the case.||Sometimes, a password must consist of both upper case and lower case characters. If you use the correct character but in the wrong case, the password is not recognized.|
|Click (PC mouse)||A sharp press on the left button on your mouse on an on-screen object. The object can be a file, a folder, a checkbox in a form, etc. Double-click means to press the left button twice in quick succession. Right-clicking means to press the right
button on your mouse or the right side on a Mac. See also: Press; Tap
|You can click the mouse to select a menu item, checkbox, button, radio button, etc. You can double-click the left mouse button to select a word or to open an app. Three sharp clicks in quick succession select a paragraph. You can right-click the mouse
to display a pop-up menu. You then click once to select an item on the menu.
|PC computer mouse with right and left buttons and a scroll button in the center|
|Click (touchpad)||Used in laptops instead of a mouse (although you can connect a mouse to the laptop and use it instead of the touchpad.You move the cursor around by moving your finger over the pad. The two buttons work in the same way as the buttons on a PC mouse.||Typical touchpad|
|Cloud||Describes the concept of using a program and storing files on a computer over the internet instead of installing program or storing files directly on your PC or Apple computer. Cloud refers to the number of computers connected to each other in the
internet. Sometimes, you are charged a fee for accessing computers on the cloud.
|Instead of opening a program, for example MS Word, locally on your PC or Apple computer, you can open MS Word from a remote computer, located somewhere on the internet – or cloud. After writing your document, you can save it to the remote internet
computer and also opt to save it to your local computer. In this way, you have a backup of your document on both computers. You access your documents in the cloud by connecting to the internet in the usual way.
|Cloud connected over the internet to different digital devices|
|Checkbox||An on-screen element that you mark to indicate you want to select the option it corresponds to.||Unlike radio buttons where you can select only one button in a list, you can select one or many checkboxes in a list.See also: Buttons. The difference between checkboxes and radio buttons is that with the former you can select
one or more options in the list and with the latter, you can select only one.
|Clipboard||A holding area for text or graphics that you cut or copied and want to paste into another location in the same or different document. The text or graphic remains on the clipboard until it is replaced with new material.|
|Computer||Refers to any system that performs specific technological operations, such as processing and storing complex data according to instructions given to it by a program, such as writing and sending an email.||Although in all senses of the word a smartphone and a tablet are computers, the term usually refers to a PC, Macintosh, laptop, etc. However, as smartphones and tablets perform the same functions as a PC or Mac, they too can be said to be computers
(because they compute).
|CPU||Central Processing Unit. The CPU is the brains of the computer that calculates and performs the instructions it receives from the computer programs installed in the system.||
Two examples of CPUs
|Cursor||Also referred to as a pointer, the cursor is an object that indicates an element on the screen. The cursor appears in different forms, depending on what the object it is pointing to does.||An arrow, which indicates where you are positioned on the screen. An I-beam, often blinking, which marks a place on the screen where you can enter or select text.A pointing hand, which indicates that you are hovering over a link. An hourglass, which
indicates that the computer is doing a task. You must wait until it disappears before you can proceed.
|Desktop||The main screen you see after you open Windows. The desktop is where you can place your items such as files, pictures, folders and shortcuts of software programs and files. Double-clicking any of these items opens a file, a picture, a folder (that
contains files), and a software program.
|You can change the desktop picture to your favorite picture.||Traditional Windows desktop screen (wallpaper)|
|Dialog Box||The on-screen box that allows you to choose different options. Think of a dialog box as a way of having a dialog with your computer where you can choose to accept the options the computer is offering to perform for you – or not.||Sometimes dialog box options are no more than Save and Cancel. In other cases, a dialog box can offer you the option of choosing a font, font size, font color, etc. Some dialog boxes also include tabs.||Word’s Table Properties dialog box includes a number of options as well as tabs for options affecting different parts of the table.
|Disk-on-Key||A portable data storage device that plugs into a device, such as your computer, through a USB connection and allows you to copy data to or from the device. This small device can be bought with a range of storage capacities, including more than a
|There are many names for this device, but they all perform the same function – store files. Use them to back up your important documents; have one always available so you can copy a file from or to someone else’s computer.See also:
Thumb Drive; Memory Stick
|Document||Written, printed or electronic matter that provides information.||Sometimes, document and file are used interchangeably. However, best practice is to use ‘file’ for the type of file (such as text or graphic) that you open to view the document. See also:
Open the file (left) to see the document
|Drag and Drop||Using the mouse – or other pointer – to drag text, an object (such as a graphic) a folder or a file from one location to another location.||In Gmail, you can attach a photo to your email by dragging it from its folder and dropping it into the body of the email. This is an alternative to attaching a file by clicking the paper clip button, navigating to the location of the file and selecting
Insert. In a Word file, you can select text with the mouse and then drag it to a different location in the document. This is an alternative to cutting / pasting the text.You can select a file in a folder and drag it to another folder. This is
an alternative to cutting / pasting the file.
|Although usually used to move text / graphics / files from one location to another, this cartoon expresses the frustration of some Windows users|
|Dropdown List||A list of options from which you can select one item. The item you select from the list is then displayed as the default option.||You could be filling out a form that asks for your date of birth and displays dropdown lists for you to select the day, month and year you were born.||Dropdown lists|
|Extensions||The three (sometimes four) characters that appear after the period in the file name indicate the type of file it is.||xxxx.jpg indicates that this is a graphic file. xxxx.docx indicates that this is a Microsoft Word file.|
|FAQs||Frequently Asked Questions. A list of questions and answers giving basic information for users of a website.||Most websites have a FAQs section. Clicking a question displays the answer.|
|File||Stores data which is available to the user when opening it.||Sometimes, the words ‘file’ and ‘document’ are used interchangeably. However, best practice is to use ‘file’ for the type of file (such as text or graphic) that you open to view the document. See also: Document||
Open the file (left) to see the document (right)
|File Size||File size is measured in bytes, KBs, MBs, GBs and TBs.Capacity refers to the amount of storage available to store your data. bits (b): 8 bits = 1 byteBytes (B): 1024 Bs = 1 KBKilobyte (KB): 1024 KBs = 1 MBMegabyte (MB): 1024 MBs = 1 GBGigabyte (GB):
1024 GBs = 1 TBTerabyte (TB)See also: Capacity
|Photographs are usually large files of at least 1 MB. A Word file containing only text, is much smaller, usually measured in KBs.Tip: You can find out the size of a folder or file by selecting the folder or file, right-clicking and choosing Properties
from the pop-up menu.
|Flash Drive||A portable data storage device that plugs into a device, such as your computer, through a USB connection and allows you to copy data to or from the device. This small device can be bought with a range of storage capacities, including more than a
|There are many names for this device, but they all perform the same function – store files. Use them to back up your important documents; have one always available so you can copy a file from or to someone else’s computer.See also:;
Memory Stick; Thumb Drive
|Folder||Place any number of files into a folder and give it a name that describes the files it contains||A folder named: Grandkiddies Pictures_Picnic contains photos of a family outing.||An example of a folder. Folders look different depending on your operating system|
|A company that began as a search engine and has evolved into a serious challenge to Microsoft and Apple in dominating the computer field. See also: Apple; Microsoft||Google products include a search engine, email (gmail), translation, maps, and a myriad number of other products. Google also developed the Android operating system for smartphones and tablets, establishing itself as a serious
rival to iOS (Apple).
|GUI||Graphical Users Interface. Also called UI, or User InterfaceSee: Interface|
|Hard Disk / Drive||Sometimes referred to as a hard disk drive, the HD (or HDD) is the storage device installed in your computer where all your data is stored. Data includes all the computer’s software, applications, files and documents. HDs are connected to the motherboard
in your computer.
|There are other drives where you can store your data that are external to the computer, such as a thumb drive. aka a disk-on-key. memory stick. flash drive.
etc. External drives usually connect to your computer with a USB connector.See also: Storage
|Hardware||The physical parts of the computer, tablet and smartphone, such as circuit boards, batteries, hard drives, etc. See also:
|Home Page||The first page of a website. It provides information about the site and has links to other pages on the site.||BoomerSurf’s original home page|
|Hot Spot||There are two definitions for hotspot:
|Icon||A small picture that represents an object
or a program.
|Most popular icons used in software programs are recognized internationally.||
Standard icons, from left to right: Power, Email, Print and Save
that respond to users’ commands. Typical interactive programs include word processors,
graphic and video editing programs, spreadsheets, etc.
|When you save a document by clicking the Save button, the program is responding to your command. When you click a tab to display a different view of the window or dialog box, the program is again responding to your command.|
|Interface||A set of commands or menus through which the user can communicate with a program.||Sometimes, an interface is so confusing and badly designed, you can’t find where the Save button is. Other times, the interface is so well designed and intuitive, it’s so easy to use, you don’t need to resort to Help or the User’s Manual.|
|iOS||Apple operating system used in the iPhone and iPad.See also: Google; Microsoft; OS X||Apple logo|
|Java||A high-level programming language developed by Sun Microsystems.||Java programming is used in the web. Some websites do not function properly or display all the options because the Java version is outdated.If your system offers to update the Java version currently running on your computer, it’s a good idea to
accept in order to be able to get the maximum from the websites you visit.
|Keyboard shortcuts||A combination of keystrokes on the keyboard that you press to command the computer to perform a certain task.||There’s more than one way to give a computer a command and sometimes, using the keyboard instead of the menus is more convenient. Standard keyboard shortcuts include:Ctrl + S (Save on a PC)Command + S (Save on a Mac)Ctrl + P (Print on a PC)Command
+ P (Print on a Mac)
Control (Ctrl) key on the PC (left); command (⌘) key on the Mac (right)
|Link (hyperlink)||Clicking a link opens another document or moves to a location in the same document it is linked to. A link typically appears in blue font and underlined. The cursor becomes a pointing hand when you hover a mouse of it.||Link with pointing hand cursor http://www.boomersurf.com
|Log On / Login||To log in to a website or program, you need to first register, providing a user name and password. The next time you visit this website or program, you type in the corresponding text boxes the user name and password you chose when you registered.||Typical login screen
|Lurk||To hang around chat rooms and other social media forums, but not contribute to the conversations.|
|Malware||Software that has a malevolent purpose, such as destroying all the files on your computer.See also: Virus|
|Memory Stick||A portable data storage device that plugs into a device, such as your computer, through a USB connection and allows you to copy data to or from the device. This small device can be bought with a range of storage capacities, including more than a
|There are many names for this device, but they all perform the same function – store files. Use them to back up your important documents; have one always available so you can copy a file from or to someone else’s computer.See also:
Disk-on-Key; Thumb Drive
|Motherboard||The main circuit board of a computer to which all additional circuit boards and chips are attached.||Typical motherboard|
|Menu bar / Menus||A list of options for the user to choose from. Menus are a standard user interface component in most programs and are usually located on the bar at the top of the program’s window.||Most programs abide by menu conventions. For example, The File menu usually contains options to open a new or existing file, close the file and quit the program. Most, even simple programs, include an Edit menu, a View menu and a Help menu.||Skype menu bar
|Microsoft||An American multinational
corporation headquartered in Redmond,
Washington, that develops, manufactures, licenses, supports and sells
electronics and personal
computers and services. Its best known software products are the Windows
operating system, Office
suite, and Internet
browser. The company was founded by Bill Gates in 1975.See also: Apple; Google
Microsoft logo (top); Windows logo (bottom)
|Modem||A device through which an incoming analog signal is converted to a digital signal and transmitted to a digital device, such as a computer, over telephone lines. The process is repeated in reverse for outgoing signals.||
|Monitor||Another name for the computer screen. Some monitors are built into the computer, such as the Mac Classic and the new All-In-Ones. Modern monitors are flat comprising a thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD). The old, bulky monitors
used a cathode ray tube (CRT).
LCD monitor (left); CRT monitor (right); Mac Classic (bottom)
|Cats don’t agree that all progress is good|
|Nested||Refers to embedding objects within other objects.||Nested folders means that a folder called Tommy (containing photos of Tommy) is located within a folder called Grandchildren that is contained within a folder called Photos.||Nested folders|
|Operating System||Every computer has an operating system to run programs. Operating systems perform basic tasks, such as recognizing input from the keyboard, sending output to the monitor, keeping track of folders and files and controlling devices such as external
disk drives and printers.
|The Microsoft operating system is called Windows. The Apple operating system is called OS X (the X indicating the version) for desktop computers and laptops. The Google operating
system for phones and tablets is Android and the Apple operating system for for iPhones and iPads is iOS.
|OS X||The operating system used in Apple desktop computers and laptops. See also: Google; Microsoft; iOS||Apple logo|
|Portable Document Format. PDF files can be read using a PDF reader, the Adobe Acrobat reader being the most popular. (The reader can be downloaded from the Adobe site for free.)In some programs, such as Word, you can select Save as PDF to convert
your document to PDF.The system then scans, processes and compresses the file’s contents. PDF files are platform independent, which means that the file can be read on any system (PC or Mac), using the Reader that is compatible with that system.
You can download Acrobat Reader from the Adobe website.
|PDF is a useful format to use when you want to distribute a document to a number of people. You don’t know what system they are using or what software is available on their computer, if they will be able to open your document and how the information
in your document will be displayed.PDF is a format that solves this because the document contents are ‘fixed’ – which means that they are displayed in the same way regardless of the system or software versions. In addition, the file is compressed,
which means that it’s smaller than the source file and easier to distribute over email or some other communication channel.
|Acrobat PDF icon|
|Phishing||Involves sending emails which falsely claim to be from a legitimate source in order to lure the user into submitting private information, such as credit card details and passwords.||Sometimes, the user is directed to a website which, to all intents and purposes, appears to be the official website of, for example, your bank. You then feel safe entering sensitive information.|
|Photoshop||A graphics editing program from Adobe that allows sophisticated manipulation of images, including enhancing, altering, applying special effects – and fabrications.||Photoshop is a neologism that has entered English as a verb and is used as a metaphor for image manipulation. For example, a photo of a slim, svelte person known to be on the plump side can said to have been photoshopped.||
Photoshop image manipulations
|pixel||Short for Picture Element, a pixel is a single point in a (raster) graphic image. Each picture on the monitor is composed of thousands (or millions) of pixels, arranged in rows and columns. Each pixel is so close to the one next to it, they appear
connected. Each pixel contains three dots, red, green and blue (RGB).
|Each square is a pixel|
|Play Store / Google Play||An online location where users can purchase apps that are compatible with Android (Google) tablets and smartphones.||Play Store button|
|Press||Refers to what you do to the keys on your keyboard to execute a command, such as Save or Print. (You click an on-screen element on your PC or Mac; you tap a item on a touch screen on your phone or tablet). See also: Click;
|Program / Software||Any data that can be stored electronically is software. A program / software is a list of instructions that, when executed, causes the computer to behave in a prescribed manner. Without programs, computers have no purpose.|
|RAM||Random-access memory (RAM) refers to a type of computer memory that allows you to read / write to a number of applications simultaneously. The more RAM you have, the more applications you can run at the same time. You can add RAM boards to your
computer to increase your RAM capacity.
|The more RAM you have installed in your system, the more programs you can keep open and run simultaneously.||RAM
|Remote / Local||Remote indicates any computer connected to your computer over the internet.Local indicates any activity on your home computer.||Whenever you open a web page from your computer, you are accessing a file that is stored remotely in a computer on the internet. Storing data locally means that data is stored on your hard disk in your home computer.|
|Router||A device that forwards data packets over networks. A router is connected to at least two networks, usually a local area network (LAN) and your service provider’s network. Routers forward the data, communicating with other routers to determine the
most efficient route between any two computers.
|ROM||Read Only Memory (ROM) refers to data that, once it has been written on to a ROM chip, cannot be removed, only read.||Data burned onto a DVD is ROM because it cannot be modified or removed.|
|Scroll / Scroll Bar||Roll the scroll button on your mouse to view consecutive lines of data or an image on the monitor’s screen. Once the screen is full, each new line appears at the edge of the screen and all other lines move up one line. Horizontal and vertical scroll
bars appear on the window when the contents of the document are larger than can be viewed through the current window size.
Scrolls bars and mouse’s scroll button
|Server||A computer or some other electronic device on a network that manages resources, such as network software. Servers are often dedicated, meaning that they perform no other tasks besides the ones they are programmed to perform.||There are many different types of servers. For example:
|Shortcut||A folder or file image, placed in a convenient location on your computer (usually your desktop), that opens the folder or file – perhaps nested deep in your system – that it belongs too.||Shortcuts mean you don’t have to remember where in the computer you placed the original file.||A shortcut to a folder (left): a shortcut to a file (right). Shortcuts can be identified by the arrow on the image|
|Shut-down or Sleep?||Shut-down means to switch the computer off completely. Sleep, is an energy-saving mode in which all unnecessary components are shut down but the computer remains on.|
|Smartphone||A handheld device that integrates mobile phone capabilities with the more common features of a handheld computer or tablet.|
|Spam||Electronic junk or even unsolicited mail. Most email software allows you to define rules so that spam goes automatically to the Spam folder, from where you can delete it.|
|Storage (portable)||See: Disk-on-Key; Flash Drive; Hard Disk; Thumb Drive; Memory Stick|
|Streaming||A technique for transferring data in a steady and continuous stream. Most users do not have fast enough access to the internet to download large multimedia files in one go. With streaming, the data can be displayed before the entire file has been
|Tab||There are two types of tabs:
||Tabs on a dialog box (top); tabs in a browser window (bottom)|
|Tap||Refers to what you do to an on-screen element on your smartphone or tablet to execute a command, such as Save or Print. (You click an on-screen element on your PC or Mac; you press a key on your keyboard). See
|Tether||Tethering allows you to connect your Internet-enabled mobile device to other devices, such as laptops or tablets, to provide these devices with Internet access to the Internet via Bluetooth or a USB cable in locations where other
Internet access options, such as Wi-Fi. aren’t available.
|Thumbnail||A miniature display of a page. This is especially helpful to help identify which photos
you want to open.
|Thumbnails of the graphics used in this glossary|
|Thumb Drive||A portable data storage device that plugs into a device, such as your computer, through a USB connection and allows you to copy data to or from the device. This small device can be bought with a range of storage capacities, including more than a
|See also: Disk-on-Key; Flash Drive; Memory
|troll||To deliberately post derogatory or inflammatory comments to a community forum,
and/or a blog
in order to bait other users into responding.
|USB||Universal Serial Bus. USB is an industry standard used to supply electric power and to connect between computers and other electronic devices, such as keyboards, camera, disk drives, etc.|
|Virus||A program or piece of code that invades your computer without your knowledge and – usually – causes damage to your files.|
|VPN||Virtual Private Network. Created over the Internet to connect to a private network, such as a company’s network.||A VPN enables international companies with many employees and partners to share data over the internet that only approved users can access.|
|Web Address (URL)||What you type in the address box at the top of your browser in order to access a website.||The web address contains the following:
|Web Address Extensions||The extensions indicate the website’s type and country.||
Other endings indicate the country which owns the website. For example:
|Window||A rectangle area displayed on the monitor that can be enlarged or minimized and moved around the screen. The window contains the GUI of the currently active program.|
|Wi-Fi||The term used to describe awireless networking technology that uses radio waves to provide wireless high-speed Internet and network connections.|