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Tech Savvy June 12

by Aaron Harper

    This week′s Tech Savvy is all about the unique language techie types have.  We seem to be developing new terms as fast as new technology comes out, so stay tuned for updates to this list.

•Authenticate: To verify your identity.

•Biometrics: The use of physical characteristics such as fingerprints to authenticate a user.

•BIOS/CMOS: The basic instructions and data given to a computer necessary to turn on and use peripherals.

•Blog: A online diary or journal. Literally a Web log. Also to write

something in this log.

•Broadband: A fast internet connection. Typically more than 128KBps.

•Browser: A method of visualizing and accessing information on the internet.

•Burn a Disk: To record data on a CD.

•Cache: To speed up access to information, frequently used data is stored or “cached.” It is stored in a cache.

•Cat-5/Ethernet: A network connection made with 4-pair cable.  It is capable of 10, 100, or 1000 Mbps, and typically has modular connectors at the ends.

•CDRW: A Compact Disk ReWriter. These are typically bundled with a DVD

player these days. If you want to “Burn” a disk, you need one of these.

•Cookie: A small bit of information left on your computer by a website so that it may recognize you on your return. The purpose is to record your previous purchases/interests and target the info you see.

•DNS: Domain Name System.  This is the system that replaces the IP Address ( with a Domain Name (  It translates one into the other.

•Fiber optic: Glass fibers used to transmit information. While they are fragile, the information can travel many thousands of miles and still be read.

•FTP: File Transfer Protocol. If you need to move chunks of info to a server, you will probably use FTP to get it there.

•Google: One of many search engines. You can almost find anything anywhere on this site. Also to use a search engine to find information.

•GUI: Graphical User Interface. Instead of typing long strings of arcane commands on a black screen, you can point, click, drag, and drop on a background of your choosing.

•Hacker: A computer enthusiast who is skilled enough to perform seemingly impossible tasks with basic tools. Originally, one who makes furniture with an axe. Most use the term incorrectly for a person who breaks into computer systems (a cracker).

•HTML: Hypertext Markup Language. The basic language a web page is written in, though other languages may be used within it as well.

•I/O: Input/Output. This may be referring to capabilities (the computer has 2 ports for serial I/O) or a speed metric (the port is capable of 115200bps of I/O).

•IP: Internet Protocol.  Usually used to refer to an IP Address such as

•ISP: Internet Service Provider. A company which provides internet service.

•IT: Information Technology. Usually used to refer to a department within a company or a type of information.

•Login: The name a secured system knows you by. It will generally be paired with a password and/or biometric authentication.

•Open Source: Software which follows a specific license which allows free use and modifications within certain guidelines.

•Peripherals: Items which attach to your computer (internally or externally) to extend its capability.

•RSS: Really Simple Syndication. An automated way to gather relevant information and put is in one place on the web.

•Search Engine: A website specifically designed to help you find information on the internet.

•Server: A computer used to store information and give it to anyone who meets certain criteria.  See authentication.

•URL: Universal Resource Locator, more commonly called a web address such as

•Warez: Software or other media acquired illegally.  Also used to describe web sites where these are available (warez sites).

•WiFi: Wireless internet service. This service is usually set up in an area to promote the sale of goods or services in an airport hotel or coffee shop. Can be for pay or free.

•Wiki: A form of blogging where the logging is a collaborative effort of multiple people for a certain purpose. Have a look at for an example of wiki′s multiple applications.

•ZIP: To compress information so that it may be stored or transmitted with less resources.