Bust more jargon in our A-Z book: www.snipca.com/21616
32bit A measure of how much information a computer can process at once. Most older computers are 32bit.
4K Video with a resolution of at least 3840x2160 pixels.
64bit A technology that processes information in larger chunks. Most modern computers are 64bit.
720p A resolution of highdefinition video: 1280x720 pixels.
ACE An old file format for compressing data, overtaken by RAR in popularity.
Add-in Microsoft’s name for tools that can be added to Office software.
Add-on A program that adds extra features to programs and browsers.
AMOLED Active-matrix Organic Light-emitting Diode. An alternative technology to LCD for creating flat-panel displays.
Antivirus engines The core component of an antivirus program that detects malware.
Aspect ratio A measurement of the shape of a display. Traditional computer screens are 4:3. Widescreen displays are 16:9.
Batch file A set of instructions that runs in Command Prompt.
Benchmarking Comparing software and products with an accepted standard.
Beta Software that’s being tested. Beta versions are often released so problems can be ironed out.
BIOS Basic Input-output System. Essential software built into every PC that connects the vital components.
Boot loop A flaw which sees your device constantly booting into recovery mode.
Cache A temporary space for storing information.
Clone A feature found in some backup programs that makes an exact copy of a drive on to another drive.
Codec A file that tells a computer how to play a type of media file.
CPU Central Processing Unit. A computer processor.
CSV Comma Separated Value. A standard file format, used for storing tabulated information.
DLL Dynamic Link Library. DLL resources can be made use of by one or more Windows programs.
Driver A file that tells Windows how to work with a peripheral device.
EXE A program file designed to run in Windows.
Extension Adds extra features to programs and browsers.
Firewall Software or hardware that prevents unauthorised access to a computer over a network.
Gesture Finger movements on a screen that perform an action, such as pinching to zoom.
Gorilla Glass Scratch-resistant glass that’s used to protect the screens of tablets and phones.
GPT GUID Partition Table. A way of partitioning data that allows for bigger drives than the older MBR.
Graphics card A component in a computer that produces the image shown on the monitor.
Greyscale The range of grey shades from white to black, used on monochrome printouts.
HDR High-dynamic range. Taking several photos at different exposure levels, then merging them to create a better picture.
Heat sink A block of metal used to help dissipate heat.
High-dynamic range See HDR.
HTML5 The latest version of the Hypertext Markup Language used to create most web pages.
HTTPS Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. The secure version of HTTP, the technology that sends data between your browser and the web.
LCD Liquid-crystal display. The technology used to create almost all flatscreen monitors.
MBR Master Boot Record. The area on a hard drive that is checked by a computer when it first starts.
Megapixel A measure of the amount of detail that can be recorded by a digital image.
Microsd card A small type of memory card. Can be converted to SD size using an adapter.
NTFS New Technology File System. A file system used by all recent versions of Windows.
OCR Optical character recognition. The process by which printed text is scanned and converted into documents that can be edited.
Opengl A programming standard used for work such as 3D modelling.
Partition A large hard drive can be split into two or more partitions or ‘virtual’ drives.
Plug-in A small program that adds extra features to software or to your web browser.
Product key A unique serial number that must be typed in by the user before a program will launch for the first time.
PUP Potentially unwanted program. A program that may not be desired, despite the user consenting to it being downloaded.
QHD Quad High Definition.
Quad core A computer that has four processors on a single chip.
RAM Random-access memory. The computer’s working area, used for data storage.
Ransomware Malware run by hackers who lock files on your PC and demand a payment to release them.
RAR Roshal Archive. A format for storing compressed files.
Read speed How long it takes a hard drive to ‘read’ data, and respond to it.
Scaling How operating systems display text from different programs to make it readable on screen.
SIM Subscriber Identity Module. The smart card used by mobile phones.
Sound card An expansion card that lets a PC create game sound effects, music, and so on.
Source code Program instructions in a language that are readable by people but not computers.
Spambot Software that roams the internet looking for email addresses to which commercial offers can be sent.
SRGB A standard RGB colour space for use on monitors, printers and the internet.
SSD Solid-state drive. Storage that uses no moving parts.
System restore point The collection of system files stored on a given date and time to which Windows can revert if a problem occurs.
Telemetry Microsoft’s system in Windows 10 that tracks how the operating system is used in order to improve it.
Thunderbolt Made by Intel, a very fast port for connecting external storage to a computer.
Two-step verification A system that uses two different means to identify the user.
TXT A basic file format that contains nothing but text.
UEFI Unified Extensible Firmware Interface. A modern replacement for the BIOS (see above).
Unibody Term used to describe a smartphone or tablet case made from a single piece of metal.
USB Type-c A new connector that’s reversible, letting you plug it in upside down.
Volume An area of PC storage containing data that can be accessed using a single file system.
Write speed How long it takes a hard drive to save data.