Computer and IT Glossary of Terms

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World Wide Web


Microsoft's Operating system. Originally launched in the early 1990's to counteract Apple's graphical OS.


Malicious code, often attached or hidden within other 'hosts', such as an application or zip file. The effects of virus can differ greatly, from deleting files through to causing your PC to run slow.

Virtual Machine

Term used to describe software that can create a virtual computer inside your existing operating system. Multiple VMs can run on a single computer independently of each other and completely securely - if one gets corrupted/hacked it is totally separate from any others or the host PC.


Universal Serial Bus. Term used for the interface found on most computers and other devices to provide data connectivity and power charging. USB was a replacement for RS232.


Measured in 1000's for disc storage and 1024's for RAM. 1 Terabyte equals 1024 Gigabytes (GB). 1 Gigabyte (GB) equals 1024 Megabytes. 1 Megabyte (MB) equals 1024 Kilobytes (KB).  1KB is 1024 bytes. 1 byte is one character or binary digit.


The lead person of the 3D crew. He/she oversees all the 3D alignment before the shooting begins and then during filming oversees the quality of the 3D output feeding comments to his crew.


Solid State Disc. Essentially this is a hard disc, but uses flash ram instead of magnetic material to store data. They are much faster than traditional hard discs, but also more expensive.


Term given to a virus which has the intention of sending back information such as keyboard strokes with the aim of finding usernames/passwords to commit fraud with.


Serial interface, now replaced by USB.


A type of network connector.


The term used for a virus which encrypts a an infected PC's files and demands cash for the unlock code. Failure to comply within a given time period results in the files automatically being deleted.


Random Access Memory. A type of computer memory where any part of it can be accessed randomly. RAM is the most common type of memory found in computers and other devices, such as printers, smartphones and tablets. Measured in kilobytes, megabytes, gigabytes and terabytes.


Pixels Per Inch. (Or Payment Protection Insurance, depending on context!)


Pretty Good Privacy. An email encryption program.


Separation on the screen plane between left and right images of an object. Determines the perceived depth of objects relative to the screen plane.

Open Source

Denotes the license applied to software source code, meaning that anyone can freely download, copy or modify it for their own uses. This web site is built using Open Source tools.


Object-oriented programming is a programming language model organized around objects rather than "actions" and data rather than logic. Historically, a program has been viewed as a logical procedure that takes input data, processes it, and produces output data.


Optical Character Recognition. Term used for software that can scan a page of text and turn it from a digital image into an editable piece of text.


Measured in 1000's for disc storage and 1024's for RAM. 1 Megabyte (MB) equals 1024 Kilobytes (KB).  1KB is 1024 bytes. 1 byte is one character or binary digit.


Term given to software infected with viruses that aim to sell you products, often fake antivirus products.


Apple's brand for their computers, which run MacOS. Apple give names to their operating systems, such as Mavericks, Leopard, Lion etc.


An operation system based on UNIX. Most Linux OS' are available to download free of charge.


Measured in 1000's for disc storage and 1024's for RAM. 1 Kilobyte (KB) is 1024 bytes. 1 byte is one character or binary digit.


'Crowd-Funding' website, where individuals or companies can promote a product and get people to back/fund it in exchange either for recognition or, most often, the end product at a discounted rate.


JavaScript is a scripting language that was created by Netscape, originally known as LiveScript. JavaScript is a distant cousin of Java in that it is also an OOP language. Many of their programming structures are similar. However, JavaScript contains a much smaller and simpler set of commands than Java and is easier to understand for many.


Java is a free programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. Many applications and websites will not work unless you have Java installed.


iOS. Formerly iPhone OS. Apple's proprietary operating system used on iPhones, iPods and iPads.


Also referred to as interaxial. Horizontal displacement of the lenses of the cameras.


HyperText Markup Language. The language that all web sites are displayed using.


Name given to a bug found in the OpenSSL encryption software in 2014. The nickname was given because it was found within the 'Heartbeat' part of the code.

A standard for connecting high-definition video devices. Also includes built in encryption/copy protection.

Hard disc drive. A magnetic storage device found in PCs and laptops.


Graphics Processing Unit. Works alongside a CPU to take care of all screen processing.


Measured in 1000's for disc storage and 1024's for RAM. 1 Gigabyte (GB) equals 1024 Megabytes. 1 Megabyte (MB) equals 1024 Kilobytes (KB).  1KB is 1024 bytes. 1 byte is one character or binary digit.


An Adobe product that allows you to build more functionality into a website, such as games or playing video. Being superceded by HTML5 and does not run on Apple's iOS.


Flash also describes a type of memory that stores information even when there is no power available. Used on USB sticks, memory cards, and to store BIOS information on the motherboard of any computer.


Electronic paper. Often used on e-reading devices such as Amazon Kindle and Pebble watch. E-paper is not as vibrant as other screensh, such as LED/LCD, but only requires power to change the image. As a result the battery lasts much longer than other technologies.


Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc. Can store 4.7GB or 8.5GB, depending on whether the disc is single or dual layer.


Desk Top Publishing. Software products such as Adobe InDesign, Microsoft Publisher and CorelDraw, which allow the user to design posters, brochures etc.


1. Disc Operating System - OS used in the 80's and 90's

2. Denial of Service - a form of attack, where a web server is flooded with fake requests in order to shut it down. (Also referred to as Distributed Denial of Service attack).

Dolby 3D

The proprietary system for 3D cinema projection from Dolby, this passive glasses variant uses filters that block different specific frequencies of red green and blue light for each eye, allowing full colour 3D to be produced without polarization. 


Digital Light Processing. A Texas Instruments process of projecting video images using a light source reflecting off of an array of tens of thousands of microscopic mirrors.


'Distributed Denial of Service' Attack. A method of bringing a web server to a halt by bombarding it with fake page requests, thereby overloading it.


Cascading Style Sheets. A text file generally downloaded alongside a HTML web page containing styling information (such as the position of content, text styling etc).


Central Processing Unit. The 'brain' inside a computer (PC, tablet or smartphone) that performs calculations.


Content Management System: A 'website to build a website', designed to allow easy creation and categorisation of content. Many available for free, such as Joomla, XOOPS, Wordpress, Drupal etc.


A method of adding a sense of depth to printed or screen-based images. Chromadepth makes red colours look closer than the page or screen and blues look further away. 


The process of creating a CD, DVD or Blu-Ray disc.


Blue Screen of Death! Referred to the error screen that appears on Windows operating system PC if something goes terminally wrong.


A wireless technology for exchanging information across small distances. Commonly used in mobile phones, tablets and computers to connect devices such as headphones or share data.

A format of DVD designed for the storage of high-definition video and data.

Software designed to stop viruses attacking your PC. Various brands available, such as AVG, Norton, ESET Nod32, Avira, McAfee etc.


Google's Open Source mobile phone operating system.

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Accessibility: There are lift facilities and toilets on the same floor.

Parking: There is ample parking outside the centre, which is free after 6.30pm

Cheshunt Computer Club

Laura Trott Leisure Centre
Windmill Lane, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire  EN8 9AJ