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Glossary of Internet & Computer Terms

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z - 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

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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virtual
an imaginary conceptualization of something real. For example, many feel that the Internet is a virtual world unto itself. The term takes on many uses in the computer world as a wide variety of devices and software exist for the sole purpose of providing simulations of reality.


virtual desktop
a computer desktop displayed on an external monitor allowing for better resolution and larger display size. Sometimes the desktop image sent to an outside monitor from a portable computer such as a laptop or notebook is referred to as a virtual desktop.


virtual hosting
a server that stores more than one Website on its hard disk and offers them to users on the Internet is said to be a virtual hosting service provider. Virtual hosting is the opposite of dedicated hosting. This is an arrangement where a single Website is stored on a single server and does not have to share space with other sites. Problems do not usually arise unless a site being hosted by the virtual server begins to pick up a significant amount of new traffic. This can slow access to all pages hosted there. Offering Web pages using virtual hosting is far less expensive than using a dedicated service.


virtual memory
a way of expanding the memory capabilities of a computer by using disk space for memory functions. With virtual memory, a program stores memory addresses on the hard disk, called pages, and are only used when called upon. It is the job of the operating system to distinguish which addresses reside in memory and which must be called up from the disk.


virtual reality
a realistic environment often used for entertainment, created using computer hardware and software that stimulates the human senses of sight, sound, touch an occasionally taste and smell. The user wears special glasses or goggles, gloves, and headphones. A virtual reality experience uses three dimensional images, stereo sound, and tactile stimulation to give the user a feeling of actually living through a physical experience.


virtual server
a server that stores and delivers more than one Website. see virtual hosting.


virus
a program or string of code that gets inside a computer and replicates itself often causing destruction along the way. Even if not designed for destruction, such as erasing or changing data, a virus can be dangerous because as it continues to duplicate, it uses up valuable disk space until it crashes the system. Viruses can be found on any computer storage medium such as a hard disk, floppy, zip, or CD-ROM. As viruses become more widespread, prudent computer owners should protect themselves by installing virus scan software. These programs are designed to search the computer’s disk drives each time the machine is booted and destroy any virus found. As many viruses are introduced through email (a virus cannot be introduced simply by reading an email message, only by opening attachments), users should only open attachments received from people they know, and even then, do so with caution.


virus protection software
also called virus scan software and vaccine, utility software installed on a computer designed to locate, identify, and eliminate viruses. Each time a computer is booted the virus scan searches the system for viruses and destroys them. No vaccine is 100 percent guaranteed effective because new viruses are being created all the time. Many virus protection programs offer periodic updates for free. McAfee and Norton Utilities are popular software makers offering virus protection software.


Visual Basic
a type of object-oriented programming language and environment developed by Microsoft for the Windows operating system. Visual Basic allows programmers to create applications quickly by writing code to accompany onscreen objects such as buttons and windows.


Voice Over IP
see VoIP


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