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Archive for the ‘Computer Terms’ Category



What is a Hard Drive

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Q:
Someone was telling me that they just bought a bigger hard drive. I am almost embarrassed to ask this, but what’s a hard drive?

A:
Don’t be embarrassed; it’s an awesome question!

I don’t know about your computer, but my computer has an enormous amount of “stuff’ on it. Pictures, videos, software, downloads, documents of all kinds…when it goes down I… Continue reading

Slipstreaming

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Q:
I have been seeing the word “slipstreaming” a lot. What is it?

A:
Let’s just say, with the problems I had reinstalling Windows last week, slipstreaming would have made the installation a lot easier and I would have gotten to bed a lot earlier the night I did the installation.

If you have ever had to reinstall Windows, then you know… Continue reading


Q:
What’s the difference between a text-editor and a word processor?

A:
Good question, and a tricky one as well!

At first glance, it would seem like they are both the same. They both edit text, but a word processor does it more extensively than a text editor. Let’s go into a little detail and see what we come up… Continue reading

Bits, Bytes, and Beyond

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Q:
My computer has a 200 GB hard drive. What’s GB stand for? What’s a MB? How much data can my computer hard drive hold?

A:
If I asked you how many ounces are in a cup, you would be able to say that there are eight ounces in a cup and that would be it. And it should be that way for your hard… Continue reading

Basic Computer Terms

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Until I explained it to her, my mother did not know what a browser is. The woman has been on the computer for years, yet when I said, ‘Close out your browser” the other day, she asked (a bit testily, I might add), “Is that the place where I get my mail?”

Okay, maybe some of us know a little more than that – and… Continue reading

Notepad Vs. Wordpad

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010


Q:
What’s the difference between Wordpad and Notepad?

A:
That’s an excellent question! They look basically the same, but in certain ways they are very different. The main thing to remember about these programs is that they are both very basic programs and can perform only basic tasks. If you want a lot of bells and whistles, you will probably do better with… Continue reading

What’s an MP4?

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Q:
What is an MP4?

A:
By now we all know what an MP3 is, but what about the next slot over – the MP4?

The short answer is that an MP4, otherwise known as mpeg-4, is an invention of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and is based off Apple’s Quicktime .MOV format. It is a compression method, much… Continue reading

What’s a Dialog Box?

Monday, January 25th, 2010


Q:
I was talking to someone the other day who was having a problem with one of her computer programs and that a “dialog box stating the error” had helped fix it. I acted like I knew what she was talking about, but – what is a dialog box?

A:
I had no idea what it was when I first heard the term… Continue reading

Cut vs. Delete & Backspace

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Ever wonder what the difference was between these ways to remove information from your document, presentation, worksheet or whatever?

For that matter, is there a difference?

I mean, really, when I use Ctrl + x (cut) or the delete key or the backspace key I get the same result… the information is gone.

Well, while you may not realize it there… Continue reading

Windows XP SP2 Support to End?

Thursday, December 17th, 2009


Q:
So, Microsoft is going to end support to Windows XP SP2? What does that mean?

A:
Earlier in the week, my news article mentioned that Microsoft would be ending support for Microsoft XP SP2 in July 2010. Before the day was over, my inbox was stuffed with emails from readers worried about what would happen to their computer: Will my computer stop… Continue reading

What Does “Download” Mean?

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Q:
What does the term “download” mean, and how do I do it?

A:
When you download something, you are transferring data from another computer to your computer, usually over the internet.

Say you are a solitaire player and have decided that you would like to have a variety of solitaire games to play on your computer. You browse the… Continue reading

All About MAC Addresses

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

What is Your MAC Address?

No it is not the address of your friendly neighborhood McDonalds! Your MAC (Media Access Control ) address (also known as your Ethernet Hardware Address (EHA), adapter address, or physical address) is a unique identifier assigned, in most cases physically printed, on most network adapters or NICs (Network Interface Cards) or LAN (Local Area Network) cards and managed by the IEEE (Institute… Continue reading

Definition – Abandonware

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Abandonware, in short, is software that is no longer marketed or distributed by the company that originally created it. It is, however, usually obtainable from another source – legally, even!

Computer games are perfect examples of abandonware, and there are actually sites on the Internet that host hundreds of forgotten games of days past. Do a Google search for “abandonware” sometime and I’m sure you’ll… Continue reading

Definition – SSL

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

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 is set, it acts like a normal web… Continue reading

Definition – Buffer

Monday, June 29th, 2009

If you’ve ever wondered what the term “buffer” meant, then here’s the skinny! Continue reading

What is Rundll32.exe?

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Throughout the course of Windows history, one process has always stood out to me the most. It runs silently in your task manager, calmly taking up memory with little explanation as to what it does. Of course, I’m speaking of rundll32.exe. In fact, you may have seen it crop up a time or two when a program crashes, but other than that, it’s just something

Why Call it Windows 7?

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Now, because I’ve been running a lot of info on Windows 7 a few questions are bound to spring up. How much does it cost? Will my old programs work with it, etc. However, the biggest query that fills my inbox is always “Why is it called Windows 7?”

With so many different versions of Windows throughout Microsoft’s course, where’s the sense? We had Windows 3.0, 3.1, 95… Continue reading

What is “svchost.exe”?

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Svchost is kind of a catch-all. It is used to host multiple services within one process. This helps to actually conserve memory in your system by having one process govern many. Continue reading

What Does The Term “Pinned” Mean?

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Q: What does the term “Pinned” mean?

A: In the world of computers, the term “Pinned” is a lot like the physical act of pinning something up on a cork board. In our case, it refers to items within a window that are kept in the same place for easy access. Programs, applications, web sites, etc. can all be stuck up in a… Continue reading

Missing Vista Recycle Bin

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

I had yet another distressed Worldstart reader contact me yesterday to tell me that their recycle bin had pulled a Harry Houdini and escaped from their desktop. This is worrisome, to say the least, but, as always, there is a solution. Actually, there are a couple of solutions depending on your Operating System, so let’s get to them!

In Windows Vista and 7, Right-Click on your Desktop… Continue reading

How to Disable Autorun

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Autorun is a feature that’s been included with Windows since 1995, and what it does is looks for a file on an inserted CD called Autorun.inf. If it finds it, then it executes any program associated with it. This is fine for trusted software, but it can also execute malicious programs like viruses and spyware, too. The safe computer user disables Autorun altogether.

Steve’s Warning: Messing around in… Continue reading

How to Rip DVDs with ImgBurn

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

If you know about using the VLC player to rip a DVD to an MPEG-1 file, then remember it’s not the only way. Technically, this gets the job done, but there are other options available. Storage is very cheap, so why not retain the full image quality and size as well as all the menus, languages, subtitles and bonus material from the original DVD? Using ImgBurn for… Continue reading

Windows Experience Index

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Do you Vista and 7 users out there wonder what the Windows Experience Index is? Well, search no further, folks! This tip outlines what it is, and what it means to you! Continue reading

What’s that Key?

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

We ran an article awhile back that focused on the Print Screen Key, a.k.a. “Prt Scn”. We got a really great response from this, but at the same time I had a lot of folks asking me what the heck “SysReq” was and what it was doing on the same key!

So, what does it all mean? Well, SysReq stands for System Request, which, at one… Continue reading

Hotkey Refresher Course

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Today we’re going to have a refresher course on Hotkeys! I bring this subject up because the article I wrote on determining 32 and 64 bit processors brought the Win+Pause properties shortcut to my attention. I thought this was so cool that I should take it a step further and list some more useful hotkey shortcuts! So, if your mouse ever breaks, or if you want to impress those around… Continue reading

32 bit or 64 bit Operating System?

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Ever need to know what kind of operating system you have on your computer? Sure, we know the flavors of Windows (XP, Vista, 7, Etc.), but what if you need to know if they’re 32 bit or 64 bit? Check this out! Continue reading

What is dwm in Windows Vista?

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Q: What is dwm.exe and why is it running in Windows Vista?

A: Desktop Window Manager (dwm.exe) is the compositing window manager that gives you all those pretty effects in Windows Vista: Transparent windows, live taskbar thumbnails (that you can resize now), and even the Flip3D switcher that you can disable and replace with Switcher. What happens in Vista is that applications write the picture of their… Continue reading

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