Technical Jargon Decrypted – Part 1
Technology and its use of jargon can be confusing and frustrating, especially for new users (newbies). Understanding the terminology early on will help lessen these feelings and improve the overall user experience from the start. While starting from the most basic level and building a foundation, each post will advance, as we progress through this series.
Bit – A basic unit of information which can only have one of two values; off (zero) or on (one).
CPU (Central Processing Unit) – The brains of a computer, responsible for interpreting and executing commands from other hardware and/or software.
Byte – A unit of information containing 8 bits or the equivalent of one character.
WWW (World Wide Web) – Invented in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee and is a global space where documents, pictures, movies, applications, etc., can be accessed via the internet by a URL.
KB (Kilobyte) – One thousand Bytes is the equivalent of one Kilobyte.
RAM (Random Access Memory) – Stores frequently accessed information for quick retrieval by the CPU. All data stored in RAM is lost if the device loses power.
IP (Internet Protocol) – An identifier assigned to a device or node allowing network communication.
URL (Universal Resource Locator) – Identify the resources (documents, pictures, movies, etc.) and are interlinked by HyperText.
HDD (Hard Disk Drive) – A fixed disk that uses magnetic technology to store and retrieve data.
HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) – The foundation for communication on the World Wide Web. Uses logical links allowing navigation between resources and nodes.
GUI (Graphical User Interface) – A visual interface allowing interaction with the underlying hardware.
HTML (HyperText Markup Language) – Used to create webpages and is the building block of the World Wide Web.
CLI (Command Line Interface) – A text based interface allowing interaction with the underlying hardware by issuing commands.
ISP (Internet Service Provider) – A company that provides a service for accessing the internet; for example; AT&T, Spectrum, Comcast, etc.
ROM (Read Only Memory) – Like RAM with the exception that data is not lost when the device loses power.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) – A standard used to establish secure links between hosts. For example: a web server and a client web browser.
We have only scratched the surface by defining some of the commonplace terminology used in tech speak today. There are literally hundreds of great resources available for free on the web and best of all they are only a mouse click or two away.