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Archive for the ‘Computer Terms’ Category



Virus, Trojan, Worm

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Q:
What is the difference between a Virus, Trojan, and Worm?

A:
Basically, they all fall under the generally category of “viruses”. However, there are a few distinctions.

Virus – Technically, a virus infects another file (attaches or inserts itself into it). They usually infect program files or MS Office documents. From there, it can replicate, do damage, etc. Unlike a worm, these do not function as a… Continue reading

What is TWAIN

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Q:
I just got a digital camera and was trying to download my photos on to my computer when I received a “not TWAIN compliant” error? What is TWAIN?

A:
TWAIN is an industry wide standard that allows a computer to communicate with a graphic device, such as a scanner or digital camera. Nearly all scanners, digital cameras, and web cams are TWAIN compliant.

Devices that are not… Continue reading

What is “UPS”?

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Q:
What is “UPS”?

A:
Well, if you need to ship a package across the country, around the world, or down the street, you might choose UPS as your carrier. The United Parcel Service began in 1907 by 19-year-old James E. Casey, who delivered packages via bicycle! He and his brother, George, then expanded their business to…

Oh, wait! You probably want the computer term “UPS” seeing as… Continue reading

Business versus Home

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Q:
What are pros and cons of getting a “business workstation” vs. the “home systems”? They look about the same, but are the “business” computers better for business?

A:
In my opinion, most of that stuff is just marketing. Sometimes the business versions include more office oriented software, but for the most part, they’re pretty much the same in quality (unless the manufacturer actually states that the business… Continue reading

What are folders

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Q:
What are Folders?

A:
“Folders,” also known as “directories,” on your computer work in much the same way that file folders in the real world work. You use them to store stuff and help keep organized. Without them, your hard drive would have thousands of files just floating around on it, making it more than a little difficult to find something you’re looking for.

Folders can contain… Continue reading

What is a Network?

Friday, November 19th, 2004

Q:
What is a Network and why do I have a whole Neighborhood of them on my Desktop?

A:
A network is simply a group of computers that are hooked together. A network can be as small as having two computers hooked up and sharing information to something as vast and complex as the Internet.

The Network Neighborhood icon on your Windows desktop lets you browse through the… Continue reading

What’s “IDE”?

Friday, November 19th, 2004

Q:
What’s “IDE”?

A:
IDE, or Integrated Drive Electronics, describes a drive that has its controller components built in (in the real old days, these components were on a card or similar device) . It’s probably safe to assume that’s the type of hard drive you have built into your computer.

Most newer computers can have up to 4 IDE devices attached. These normally come in the form… Continue reading

What is the Windows Registry?

Friday, November 19th, 2004

What is the Windows Registry, anyways? Steve explains. Continue reading

What does SSL mean?

Friday, November 19th, 2004

Q:
What does SSL mean?

A:
SSL, or Secure Socket Layers, is what makes secure sites secure.

Here’s how it works:

When you log onto a secure server it communicates with your browser for a few seconds. During this communication, it sends your browser encryption information that only it and your browser can read.

Once this encryption… Continue reading

What does

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Q:
What does “DPI” mean?

A:
Digital images are essentially made up of little “dots”. We use DPI (Dots Per Inch) as a measure of resolution. Generally speaking, the higher the number, the higher the resolution and the sharper the picture.

300 DPI is considered (by most of us) to be photo quality. Generally speaking, you won’t notice… Continue reading

What are Interrupts?

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Q:
What are Interrupts?

A:
Interrupts are what your 4 year old generates every time you try to have any kind of conversation with someone (just couldn’t resist).

It’s also a computer term (surprise). Normally called Interrupt Requests (IRQ), they are basically calls made from a hardware device to get the “attention” of the CPU (similar to the way a 4 year old gets an adult’s attention, just… Continue reading

What is spam ?

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Q:
What is spam ?

A:
Most people are familiar with the canned luncheon meat product called SPAM . It became associated with the act of sending unsolicited commercial email (UCE), “spamming”, or in reference to the UCE itself, “spam”. Internet legend says that this association was inspired by the Monty Python skit in which SPAM was part of every menu item at a restaurant—similarly… Continue reading

What is a browser?

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004


Q:
What is a browser?

A:
A browser is what you use to surf the web.

There are all sorts of them out there. The most common is Microsoft Internet Explorer, but you also have Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari, Google Chrome and others. In addition, your Internet Service may have a built in browser, like America Online.… Continue reading

What Are DLL Files?

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

What are DLL files? Well you’re in luck, because the man himself (Steve) explores and defines in this tip! Continue reading

Q:
What does it mean when software is a “beta” version?

A:
A beta version is basically a test version of a software program. The program has been written and the author(s) think that it is probably bug free, but they aren’t 100% sure. So they release a test version. Sometimes the test version is open to the public, sometimes just to a select group.… Continue reading

What is Java?

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Q:
What is Java/Javascript?

A:
Javascript is a scripting language that web designers use to perform various tasks. For example, if you’ve ever seen buttons on a web page that light up when your mouse goes over them, you’ve probably seen Javascript in action (in case you’re wondering, those are called “Java Rollovers – our site uses them at the top of every page).… Continue reading

Many of Worldstart’s tips will refer to the Windows Desktop at one point or another. If you don’t know what it is, that’s okay, because we’re here to help!

So here we go!

The Desktop, basically, is where all your icons live (stuff like the Recycle Bin sit on the Desktop).

It’s the “background” area you see when your computer first… Continue reading

What does ASCII mean?

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Q:
What does ASCII mean?

A:
ASCII is short for “American Standard Code for Information Interchange.”

This is what an ASCII chart looks like:

ASCII is basically a non-formatted text document that can be read by any application that can read text, unlike say, a Word document. If you have a Word document, you have to open it… Continue reading

What is BIOS?

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Q:
What is BIOS?

A:
BIOS (basic input / output system) is basically the “software” the computer uses for it’s most basic operations (accessing memory, disks, processors, etc.). This “software” is built into the computer’s motherboard, so don’t worry about losing it if your hard drive crashes.

Note that these are NOT Windows

What is the Windows Clipboard?

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Q:
What is the Windows Clipboard?

A:
The Windows clipboard is used to temporarily store stuff. This “stuff” can come in the form of just about anything. Images, files, documents, etc.—they can all be placed on the clipboard. Once something has been copied to the clipboard it can be pasted into another location.

The clipboard isn’t a program you can actually access and play with. It’s a built-in… Continue reading

What is a Buffer?

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Q:
What is a “Buffer?”

A:
A buffer is basically an area of memory a hardware device or software program uses when it needs a constant, uninterrupted flow of information.

For example, if you ever listened to any kind of streaming audio, the program you use probably “buffers” the signal a little before the music starts to play.… Continue reading

The difference between DVD-R and DVD+R

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004


Q:
What is the difference between DVD-R and DVD+R?

A:
Short answer? Not much.

Anyone who was around twenty years ago might remember the battle between the two video tape formats: VHS (Victor Home System) and Betamax (Sony). Fast forward to the twenty-first century and we have a similar battle of the formats with DVD.

The… Continue reading

What is a cache?

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Hello, I’m Johhny Cache! Sorry, I couldn’t help it! I was wearing black today, plus this will remind you to say it the right way.

Cache files are used to store information on a temporary basis for quick access. The physical location of this can be either on a hard drive or in RAM memory.

The idea behind it is… Continue reading

What does it mean to configure?

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Q:
What does it mean to “configure”?

A:
That’s one of those computer words that you see tossed about. It can refer to the set-up of your computer hardware: memory and devices. It can be your combination of software: operating system, utilities, and applications. It can also mean the adjustment of your software: options or preferences.

Many computer problems are caused by poor configuration and can often be… Continue reading

What is an OS?

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

“OS” is short for “Operating System.” Windows is an “OS,” as is Linux and Mac OS X. Whatever flavor you enjoy, they all do pretty much the same thing – they give you a way to run programs and work with your computer. Continue reading

What are plug-ins?

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Q:
What are plug-ins?

A:
A plug-in is a small application that works with your browser to display certain types of web media. For example, some web sites use Shockwave to allow you to play interactive games. However, in order to play these games, you need to have a Shockwave plug-in. Oh, if you want to check out some of these games and more, head to:

What Drivers Do

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Drivers are basically instructions that tell your computer how to use its hardware. Each hardware device in your computer has a driver. Continue reading

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