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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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a combination of software and hardware that is stored in a fixed form such as read-only memory (ROM). Firmware can be found in many common appliances such as fax machines and telephones. see embedded chip.

fixed-pitch type
a font in which each letter has the same width and requires the same amount of space.

a particularly intense insult or derogatory comment made via email, in a chat room, bulletin or message board or another online public forum.

flame war
any type of online discussion that turns to a vigorous exchange (often from many sources) of insults and angry remarks. Some of the more popular stock message boards have been known to play host to heated flame wars.

flash memory
a rewritable memory chip that holds its content without power. Flash evolved from the EEPROM chip, and its name was coined by Toshiba to express how much faster it could be erased ("in a flash"). See EEPROM. Flash is widely used for storage modules such as USB drives and digital camera memory cards.

floating toolbar
a set of tools appearing on a computer desktop that can be dragged with the mouse cursor to another desktop location at the user’s convenience.

slang word for money in ancient Persia, a means of monetary exchange online. Flooz is being touted as the online gift currency. For example, you could purchase $50 in Flooz and give it to a friend as a gift (or keep it for yourself). Your friend would then have $50 in buying power at online Websites that accept it.

floppy disk
a portable magnetic storage disk, the term is somewhat of a misnomer. The 5 1/4 inch storage disk used in early model PCs was flexible, thus called a floppy disk. Today, the most common portable disk still called a floppy is the 3 1/2 inch variety. Unlike the earlier 5 1/4 inch version, the 3 1/2 inch floppy is rigid, but the name floppy has managed to stick. Floppy disks usually store 1.44 MB of data.

text or images aligned along a border or margin. For example, the terms in this book are flush left, or lined up in a column against a left border.

an object within a software application that may contain files and/or other folders. The use of folders can be helpful in the organization of data stored in a computer. see directory.

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