It is hard to believe that in this technology-driven world, there might still be people who d0n’t know what a computer is or does. But as owning or using a computer is not such a big deal in 2013 and there are a lot of IT experts inventing every day new software and new hardware ready to improve our lives and help humanity develop on all levels of knowledge, it is also true that the regular home-user might find himself in the position of not understanding some specific terms linked to the computer use. We stumble upon them every day and still, not all of us know or have the time of finding out what do they stand for. And boy, are they many! Acronyms are the most used in our computers usage and since this is a very fast developing world, we may fall behind on following. So here are the most used IT (which, by the way, stands for Information Technology) acronyms you will find in your daily common computer work.
1. BIOS – Basic Input/Output System
This is the software component of computers, which links the hardware to your operating system. Mainly, this is what you see first when turning on your computer. Its main roles consist of verifying your computer components to see if they work properly, loading your operating system on your hard-drive and connecting all the software to its hardware counterparts.
2. CGI – Common Gateway Interface
You may have heard this acronym commonly used when people are talking about movie special effects and complex dynamic images generation. The CGI is mainly a communication standard with any Web file, allowing programmers to create more interactive and dynamic web-pages. But this is just the basics. It also allows programmers to create data base, an HTML web-page, animation, complex images or even search engines. CGI applications can be written in almost any programming language by those who are good at them, of course. But for the home-user, yes, Avatar and many other visually spectacular movies, it’s safe to say that CGI technology was heavily used.
3. CPU – Central Processing Unit
This is actually the core of your computer. It is a logical machine that can execute programs. You probably know by know that the better the processor is, the more efficient the computer works. It is a not so large piece of equipment, if we are talking about personal computers or laptops that runs your programs and makes all sort of complicated calculations in order for you to have the best results, no matter what programs or how many of them you run simultaneously. Also, linked to the CPU is the matter of overheating, which is a constant issue of research even in our modern times.
4. DRAM – Dynamic Random Access Memory
You accessed your computer, the processor is fine, now you want to work with it. Or who knows, watch a movie or surf the Internet. The Dynamic Random Access Memory is another very important piece of hardware you should know more about, especially when buying a new computer or upgrading your old one. Basically, the DRAM is a memory stocking device, but different from your hard drive, as it consists of an integrated circuit system that allows you to access random information constantly and at any given time, no matter where the information is physically located.
5. HDD – Hard Disk Drive
Well, maybe it is pointless to explain what the HDD stands for, since there is no computer on this planet not having one, no matter its size, shape and functions, but still, if you are a newbie in the computer world, you must know that the HDD will eventually hold encrypted inside all your life, work, passions and even future. This stocking device and its sizes have an interesting history from their first days up until now and it’s important for everybody to take good care of them.
6. Kbps – Kilobits Per Second
The standard information speed, when it comes to computers, is the 1 bit. It is the data transfer speed and it represents the quantity of data sent during a time frame of a second. The problem with this speed and its acronym, mostly, is that many people mistake the Kbps with the KBps, which, in turn, stands for kilobytes per second. The bit and the byte difference is actually quite simple: the byte consists of 8 bits. So a speed of 1 KBps means the data travels with the speed of 8 kbps. Same goes for the difference between Mbps and MBps. You will mostly find the Kbps or the Mbps speeds when dealing with your Internet providers and your Internet data traffic, which measures the downloads and the uploads in bits.
7. LAN – Local Area Network
Monday morning. A new day, a new week at the office. Ready to work and change the world, you want to access a common data base that you share with your colleagues or to print an urgent report. Unfortunately, your computer seems to ask you to check your LAN or to do something with it. Anyway, things are not working. The LAN is a system that allow multiple stations and calculation devices to interconnect and share information. It may be used home or in the office, while using a shared printer, an Internet router or common information storage partitions. And since it allows these connections by cable (electrical or optical) or by radio (wireless), when it stopped working… first check the wires…
8. PSU – Power Supply Unit
Did you ever pushed you computer ON button and found out nothing happens? Firs, check if it’s plugged in, sometimes silly accidents happen. If it is in and it still doesn’t show any type of electricity running its circuits, then most people, probably you included, start to panic. If you happen to have a call’s center phone number, ready to help you figure thing out and you already told them about your problem, they will tell you that the PSU may present some issues. The UPS is basically that box in the back of your PC unit where the plug-in cable goes and which turns AC into DC. Many of them, not all, feature and ON / OFF button of themselves which powers them up separately. If it’s OFF, out it back on and you might have your computer back. If it doesn’t work, it’s time to go to the specialists, just to be sure.
9. UPS – Uninterruptible Power Supply
Because you don’t want to fry your PSU, or your hard disk or your processor. Because electric power fluctuates. The UPS has the main function of protecting your computer from the power fluctuations and, if the case, or worse, in the context of a sudden power failure, it may keep your computer (or any other home appliance for that matter) still functioning for some minutes (20 to 40, depending on the model), just so you can turn off your computer properly, without risking anything.
10. URL – Uniform Resource Locator
This is the web address where you can find a certain site. It is called uniform, because everybody in the world uses this same system. If people ask you for the URL of a site and you just commonly the term link, it’s alright. The URL consists of a protocol, a site address, a path and a file name. You may find out that some URL look like a series of numbers. Nothing wrong there either. For people ro remember a long series of digits would be next to impossible, but the real face of an URL is the numbers series turned into an alphanumeric form.