The drive designator for floppy disk drive A.
A DOS prompt which indicates that the current drive is A and the current
directory is the root directory.
A prescribed set of well-defined rules or processes for the solution of a
problem in a finite number of steps.
Active window is the term used to denote the application window which is
currently selected. It is sometimes said that the active window "has the
focus". Windows for other applications which may be open at the
same time are said to be inactive, or in the background.
All keys on the keyboard which produce characters and numbers.
A program written for or by a user that applies to his own work.
Freeing up space on the active storage system by moving infrequently-used data
files to off-line storage.
American Standard Code for Information Interchange. A standard format for
storing and exchanging information between binary-based computers.
A disk file containing only ASCII characters 32 - 126, ie. only alpha-numeric
characters and punctuation. Also known as a DOS or text file.
Keyboard key which moves the cursor back one space, erasing the character
(or code) which occupied that place.
The measurement of the rate at which information can be transferred across a
network or the Internet. A wider bandwidth means more information can be
transferred during a given amount of time.
Abbreviation for binary digit. The smallest unit of information storage
in a binary computer system. Eight bits constitute one byte
Selection of existing text (data) for manipulation such as copy, delete, move,
underline, print, etc.
Term describing the individual components of document assembly.
The emphasis of text by printing it darker than normal.
Booting is the process of loading an operating system
into computer primary memory (RAM).
Networks of compromised computers (robots) used to perpetrate eFraud and
Software for navigating the World Wide Web and retrieving hypertext documents
as well as other files.
Bus is an electrical term which denotes a conductor used in common by several
circuits. A computer system's data bus is a set of conductors which connect
input and output devices, the microprocessor (or CPU), and primary and
secondary memory so that they can communicate among themselves.
One byte (or eight bits
) is the amount of storage space
needed to represent one character on a binary computer system.
The DOS prompt indicating that the current drive is C (the first hard disk on
a hard disk system) and the current directory is the root.
Command and Control (C&C)
The method of using a computer or computer network (peer-to-peer) to
exercise control over a botnet.
A data processor that can perform substantial computation, including
numerous arithmetic or logic operations, without intervention by a human
operator during the run.
A central processing unit, with main storage, input/output channels, control
units, direct access storage devices, and input\output devices connected to
A series of computer instructions that are designed to accomplish a
task or achieve a particular result.
The DOS command used to make an exact duplicate of a disk file.
Central Processing Unit. A CPU consists of a microprocessor and a
certain amount of onboard RAM. Using built-in instructions as well as
those from software programs, the CPU controls and coordinates the functions
of other hardware devices and performs arithmetic calculations.
Cathode Ray Tube. An output device. The component of a computer
monitor which displays text or images.
Efraud involving the encryption of an individual or organization's data
using malware in order to extort money for it's safe return.
Indication of current data-entry point on the computer screen. Usually a
flashing rectangle or bar of light.
A floppy diskette used for saving and storing data files.
A set of meaningful symbols.
Word processing feature which automatically aligns columns of numbers on
the decimal point.
A default setting is a preset, or "out of the box" setting, as opposed
to a setting which has been customized by the user.
The keyboard key which deletes the character at the cursor location.
Dot pitch is the amount of (empty) space surrounding each
on a computer monitor. The smaller the dot
pitch rating of a monitor, the closer the pixels can be displayed together
and the sharper the resulting image. Typical dot pitch ratings are
.26, .32, .45, etc., with the smallest number being the best quality.
Subdivision of a floppy diskette or hard disk drive. Used to organize data
files much as folders within a filing cabinet.
Storage on direct access devices that record data magnetically on rotating
disks. Secondary storage.
Electromechanical device which records and reads information to and from
magnetic media (diskettes).
Magnetic media used for secondary storage. Floppy diskette.
The process of creating word processing documents by combining segments
of text stored separately as files or macros.
The DOS environment is like a bulletin board where messages can be left by
and for DOS and some application programs. It is a reserved portion of memory
which is 512k by default. This size is often inadequate and can be increased
by using the SHELL command.
dot matrix printer
Output device which prints characters by impacting the paper with clusters
(matrix) of individual pins (dots).
An ellipsis (...) appears after commands on a Windows application's menu
which indicates that more information will be required in a dialogue box
in order for the command to be carried out.
The process of ensuring the privacy of sensitive information being transmitted
across the Internet.
In a record, a specified area used for a particular category of data.
A document or collection of related records treated as a unit and stored on
See file extension below.
An optional three characters separated by a period from a file name to
further identify a disk file. In MS-Windows file extensions such as .DOC,
.TXT, .HTM, .XLS, etc. are associated with a particular application
program, enabling a user to launch the appropriate application and load a
file by simply double-clicking on a file in Windows Explorer or My Computer.
The process of deleting, copying, moving, and generally organizing files
logically in folders in a hierarchic disk structure.
In DOS, between one and eight characters which identify a disk file.
MS-Windows permits file names up to 256 characters.
A term used to describe the instructions which have been permanently
burned into a ROM (Read Only Memory) chip.
floppy disk, or diskette
Magnetic media secondary storage. A flexible mylar plastic disc coated
with a magnetic material.
The word processing text alignment which positions text flush against a
specified right margin, creating a ragged left margin.
A folder is a location on a disk drive where files can be stored. The term
folder is interchangeable with the term directory.
A set of characters whose appearance is defined by a combination of
typeface, style, weight, and size elements.
Text printed in the bottom margin of each page in a word processing document.
The character used to separate the structure levels of a URL. Adopted from
the UNIX computer operating system.
File Transfer Protocol. The protocol used to upload and download
files on the Internet.
functions of hardware
See hardware functions
The group of keyboard keys labeled F1 -- F10 or F12. Used to enter
commands or access program features.
A graphical file format used for simple graphics with relatively few
colors. Compare with .jpg
A measurement of data storage capacity: one thousand megabytes, or
1,000,000,000 bytes. Abbreviated G. or sometimes Gb.
global search & replace
Search and replace every occurance of specified text or codes.
graphical user interface (GUI)
A visual, icon-driven interface for an operating system
or application program.
A paragraph format in which the first line begins with one or more tab stops to
the left of the remaining lines.
Information in a readable form on paper. Printed copy.
hard page return
A manually placed page break, usually inserted with the Control-Enter keystroke
combination. Hard page returns are represented by the [HPg] code in WordPerfect
and by double-dashed lines in MS-Word.
A secondary storage device in which the storage medium is several rigid
aluminum platters coated with a magnetic material. Characterized by very
large storage capacity and speedy retrieval.
Physical equipment, as opposed to the computer program or method of use.
Mechanical, magnetic, electrical, or electronic devices. Examples: keyboard,
system unit, monitor, disk drive, printer, etc. Contrast with software.
The five functions of computer hardware and examples of each:
- input (keyboard, mouse, microphone, digital camera, modem)
- output (monitor, printer, speakers, modem)
- primary storage (Random Access Memory)
- secondary storage (magnetic media, optical media, digital memory)
- processing (microprocessor)
Text printed in the top margin of a document.
(1) the default page loaded by a browser, or (2) a website's main page.
HyperText Markup Language. HTML formatting tags
tell browsers how a World Wide Web document should be displayed.
HTML documents have the extension .HTML on Unix servers and .HTM on
MS-Windows servers. See also Hypertext.
HyperText Transfer Protocol. The protocol used by
World Wide Web servers and browsers to exchange information. The most
common transfer protocol on the Internet.
Hypertext, or hyperlink
A method of formatting which permits documents to be linked by causing
specified words (or images) to "jump" to other documents when they are clicked
Designation for any make of computer which is hardware and software
compatible with the IBM family of microcomputers.
Data which has been processed or organized.
To set counters, switches, and addresses to zero or other starting values at
the beginning of, or at prescribed points in a computer routine.
The DOS internal commands, which are the smaller, most frequently used
commands, are all included within COMMAND.COM. Since COMMAND.COM is loaded
into secondary memory, or RAM, when the computer system is booted, internal
commands do not need to be located on disk and therefore can always be
executed from any DOS prompt.
An internet is a group of networks connected together. Used with a capital "I"
it refers to the global interconnection of networks.
A program which distributes so many copies of itself to Internet servers that
they often crash.
Internet Protocol. A protocol which determines how packets (discrete quantities
of information) are addressed and routed. The second part of TCP/IP.
A high-level, object-oriented programming language developed by Sun
Microsystems. Programs written in Java are cross-platform because they are
compiled into bytecode which is interpreted to different hardware
platforms by a virtual machine: the Java interpreter, or the Java
runtime. Java applets can also be integrated into World Wide Web
pages and provide features such as interactivity and animation.
A scripting language developed by Netscape Communications which is used to add
interactivity and animation to World Wide Web pages. It is not the same as
A type of graphical file format used for photographs or other graphics
which are complex and have many colors. Compare to
Text which lines up straight on the left margin (left justified), the right
margin (right justified), or both margins (full justification).
One thousand bytes. Also K or Kb.
Output device which prints an entire page at a time by attracting toner
particles to static charges on the paper surface.
Comparing, branching, and testing true or false to continue or to repeat
A common feature of application programs which "plays back" a sequence
of commands and/or data entry with a single command.
A word processing feature which creates standard documents by combining
a template document and a database.
main frame computer
A large, fast, multiuser computer system with centralized processing and
One million bytes (characters). Measurement of data storage capacity.
Abbreviated M. or sometimes Mb.
One million cycles per second. Used to measure the CPU's clock rate or
speed. Abbreviated MHz.
An electronic device capable of performing arithmetic and logic operations
on data, according to a stored program of instructions.
A self-contained desktop computer system utilizing a microprocessor.
A programmable processing circuit built on a single silicon chip.
Input/output device that converts computer signals (digital) to telephone
system signals (analog) and back again to facilitate the transmission of data
between computer systems.
Output device which displays characters and graphic images.
The main printed circuit board in a computer. At the minimum, a motherboard
includes the microprocessor with its supporting chip set and RAM. Other
circuits, such as video adapter, modem, network interface card, sound
card, etc. are frequently plugged into the motherboard via expansion
slots. This modular approach make computer hardware more easily and
economically maintained and upgraded.
The word processing or computer program feature which enables selected text
to be moved within a document or between two documents. Windows programs use
the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+X.
The family of Microsoft operating systems
MS-Windows 95, 98, ME, NT4, 2000, XP, Win7, and Win8. Three of the most important
characteristics of the MS-Windows operating systems are:
- Multitasking (load multiple applications and switch among them)
- Windows clipboard (easily transfer information from one application to another)
- WYSIWYG output (What You See Is What You Get)
mules (money mules)
Work-at-home employees hired by cybercriminals.
Multitasking is a feature of operating systems which allows a user to
load multiple applications programs into memory (RAM) at the same time and then
switch between them (task switching).
In a word processor document, the style of columns in which text is
arranged from the top of the page to the bottom and then continues at the
top of the page in the next column.
A processing location on a network. A workstation (client) or server.
operating system (os)
An operating system is a collection of software programs which
performs special functions on behalf of applications programs.
The three functions of all computer operating systems are to manage:
A user interface is a special class of computer program running under the
supervision of the operating system that allows a user to communicate with the
Examples of operating systems include MS-Windows, Apple System X, Unix,
Linux, and DOS.
- Computer resources (i.e. "run the hardware")
- Processes (i.e. assign resources to and launch applications programs)
- Files (save, retrieve, and provide tools for the management of files)
The first line of a paragraph appearing by itself at the bottom of a page. See
To send information over a packet-switched network, the information is divided
into small "packets" which are identified and labeled with their source and
The technology that makes possible large-scale computer networking. Instead of
a dedicated connection between two computers, messages are divided up into
packets and transmitted over a decentralized network. Once all of the packets
arrive at the destination, they are reassembled.
The division of a document into pages of predetermined length, either
manually or automatically.
A confidential set of characters which restricts access to a document,
program, or computer system.
Attempting to induce individuals to divulge personal information which
can then be used for fraudulent purposes. Also, spear-phishing, or sniping
where a specific individual or company is targeted.
pinned list items
The pinned list is the portion of the MS-Windows Start Menu at the top
of the left column, just above the most frequently used programs list.
Users can add an item to the pinned list by putting a shortcut to a
document, application, or printer, etc. in the Start Menu folder.
A pixel (picture, or "pix", combined with element) is generally
defined as the smallest area on a monitor's display which can
be lit up independently.
On a color monitor, a pixel is actually composed of three sub-pixels
(red, blue, and green) and is therefore the smallest area which can be
lit up as a color.
See also resolution
and dot pitch
A graphical WYSIWYG display of a document in a word processing program.
A protocol is a format or a set of rules for communications between either
computer hardware and software.
In an application program, a short on-screen message which assists the user
by requesting information necessary to continue processing.
Request for information from a database based on specific criteria.
Random Access Memory. RAM is temporary, or primary, computer memory which is
used to store instructions and data during processing. RAM is
said to be volatile because its contents are lost when electricity is
no longer being applied to it.
In database structures, a record is the collection of related data items (fields)
which relate to one entity (such as a person, transaction, or inventory item)
and are treated as a unit.
Resolution is the maximum number of pixels which can be
displayed or reproduced by a computer monitor. Resolution is expressed as
the number of pixels a monitor can display on one line by the number of lines
which can be displayed. Therefore, a resolution of 1024 x 768 means a monitor
can display 768 lines on the screen, each containing 1024 pixels.
The greater the number of pixels which can be displayed in a given area, the
smaller each pixel is and the better the quality of the resulting image.
See also pixel
and dot pitch
Read Only Memory. A type of computer memory which contains permanent
instructions, said to be "burned-in". ROM programs are used to control hardware at a
very low level and are considered to be part of an operating system
ROM is sometimes referred to as firmware because it has some
characteristics of hardware (it is a chip) and some of software (it contains
A server, or network server, is a computer system which shares hardware
and software resources, such as secondary storage, printers, application
programs, etc., with network clients, or workstations.
The upward, downward, or sideway movement of information on a
A set of instructions in a disk file which directs a computer to perform a
specific set of functions. A program.
Unsolicited email messages. Leading source for eFraud and malware.
A word processing function which searches for and corrects misspellings by
comparing a document's words with those in a built-in spelling dictionary.
SPAM delivered by instant messaging.
The word processing feature which permits the simultaneous display of
(parts of) two or more documents.
See operating system
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. The protocol first used on
the Internet which has now become the most widely-used network protocol.
Telnet is a terminal emulation protocol used to allow a user at a computer to
log on to a remote computer and enter commands at a prompt as if they were
Temporary Internet Files
Copies of web pages stored on a computer by a browser.
A model for other documents or files. Can contain formatting, styles, macros,
A word processing feature that provides synonyms and antonyms from a
built-in dictionary for specified words in a document.
The data entry mode in which new characters replace those already in the
A computer operating system
developed by Kerrighan and Richie at AT&T Bell Labs
in the late 1960's. It was written entirely in the C programming language,
which made it more easily ported between different hardware platforms. The
Internet was originally built entirely upon Unix-based servers.
Universal Resource Locator. The address of a document or other resource on the
Internet. A URL has three components: the protocol (http, for example), the
server domain name (e.g. www.hermit.cc), and the file name and location
on the server (e.g. /it/def/gloss.htm).
One of the original Internet services, Usenet makes possible Newsgroups, which
are like world-wide bulletin boards arranged by subject.
Virtual memory is an operating system
feature which uses secondary storage
(the hard disk drive) to free up primary storage (RAM) in order to enable
application programs to access more RAM than which is physically available.
Email services, usually free, which make it possible to send and receive email
using a browser.
The last line of a paragraph at the top of a page by itself. See orphan.
window control buttons
In an MS-Windows application window, the control buttons, which are
located at the right-hand side of the window's title bar, are used to
control the mode in which the application is running or to close the
- The left-most control button is the Minimize button. Clicking on
this control causes an application to run minimized. An application
which has been minimized is still open, but its window does not appear
on the desktop, although its icon will still appear on the task bar.
- The center control button is called the Restore Down button when an
application is running full-screen. Clicking on the Restore Down
button switches the application from full-screen to window mode. When an application
is running in window mode, this control is called the Maximize
button. Clicking on the Maximize button makes the application run in
- The right-hand control button is called the Close button. It is used
to exit an application.
The word processing feature which automatically adjusts the length of text
lines to maintain the specified left and right margins.
A workstation, or network client, is a machine which is connected to a
network server for the purpose of utilizing hardware and software
resources being shared by the server.
World Wide Web. The Internet service
which uses the HTTP protocol to facilitate the exchange of both text and
graphical information using hypertext links. The World Wide Web was
developed in 1991 and although among the most recent Internet services, it
has become the service with the most traffic.
The on-screen rendering of documents which is faithful to their printed
format: What You See Is What You Get.