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Glossary of Internet & Computer Terms

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Select the first letter of the word from the list above to jump to appropriate section of the glossary or type the term on which you want to search.

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(Bulletin Board System) a computerized meeting and chat system where subscribers can exchange ideas and information, as well as upload and download files. Since the early 1990s the functions of BBSs have been much replaced by the Internet.

abbreviation for blind carbon copies. When composing email, the writer has the option of sending copies to others so the recipients cannot see each other’s email addresses and are not aware that copies are going to addresses other than their own.

bells and whistles
advanced features available on both computer hardware and software. In the past, bells and whistles referred to features that made the computer or program more difficult to use. Now, however, bells and whistles often refer to desirable or state-of-the-art features.

a program used to test the performance of software and/or hardware. A benchmark is a standard that is not entirely objective because of the possible bias of the individual who developed the test, or the equipment settings determined by the tester.

(beta testing) software that is in the preliminary or testing stage where glitches or bugs may still be undetected. Users involved in beta testing are often required to run the application extensively and record findings such as ease of use, and any problems encountered, and report back to the developer with suggestions as to how the software might be improved.

the ability to transmit data in two directions. Contemporary parallel ports are bi-directional because of their ability to communicate with printers as well as disk drivers.

a number system that uses two distinct digits. Computers use the binary number system which is comprised of the numbers 0 and 1. Digital data of every imaginable type is encoded using the binary system.

a method for converting binary data into ASCII. see ASCII.

(Basic Input Output System) built-in software that controls a number of routine functions of a computer such as the display screen, keyboard, disk drives, and the real time clock.

(binary digit) the most basic unit of data in the binary numeral system. Computers are often classified by the number of bits they can process at one time.

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