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Personal computing

Terms related to personal computers, including definitions about computers sold as consumer products and words and phrases about laptops, tablets and smartphones.

$10 - CHR

  • $100 laptop (XO) - XO is the first version of the $100 laptop expected to reach a substantial number of users.
  • 2D barcode (two-dimensional barcode) - A 2D (two-dimensional) barcode is a graphical image that stores information both horizontally -- as one-dimensional bar codes do -- and vertically.
  • 3-D scanner - A 3-D scanner is an imaging device that collects distance point measurements from a real-world object and translates them into a virtual 3-D object.
  • 3270 (Information Display System) - The 3270 Information Display System, a product from IBM, was, prior to the arrival of the PC, the way that almost the entire corporate world interfaced with a computer.
  • 360-degree photograph - 360-degree photos simulate being in the shoes of a photographer and looking around to the left, right, up and down as desired as well as sometimes zooming.
  • 360-degree VR (360-degree virtual reality) - 360-degree VR (360-degree virtual reality) is an audiovisual simulation of an altered, augmented or substituted environment that surrounds the user, allowing them to look around them in all directions, just as they can in real life.
  • 3D audio (three-dimensional audio) - 3D audio is a simulation of the natural positioning of sounds for various applications including video presentations and games, virtual environments and sound stages.
  • 3D gaming - 3D gaming is interactive computer entertainment that is graphically presented in the three dimensions of height, width and depth; the addition of depth to 2D gaming enabled the exploration of virtual worlds with more realistic representation.
  • 3D mouse - A 3D mouse is a pointing and control device specialized for movement in virtual 3D (three-dimensional) environments.
  • 404 error page - A 404 page is the webpage served to a user who tries to access a page that is unavailable.
  • A+ (A Plus) - A-Plus (A+) is the name of a process, developed by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), a large trade group, that certifies individuals for knowledge about and competency in installing, maintaining, customizing, and operating personal computers.
  • accelerometer - An accelerometer is a device that measures changes in gravitational acceleration in a device it may be installed in.
  • ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) - ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) is an industry specification for the efficient handling of power consumption in desktop and mobile computers.
  • active man-in-the-middle attack (MitM) - Active man-in-the-middle (MitM) is an attack method that allows an intruder to access sensitive information by intercepting and altering communications between the user of a public network and a requested website.
  • active matrix display (thin film transistor or TFT) - Active matrix (also known as thin film transistor or TFT) is a technology used in the flat panel liquid crystal displays of notebook and laptop computers.
  • ad blocker - An ad blocker is a software product that prevents advertisements from appearing with the content the user is intentionally viewing.
  • ADF (automatic document feed) - In printer specifications, ADF stands for automatic document feed.
  • adulting - Adulting is the assumption of tasks and behaviors associated with normal grown-up life, along with the implication that the individual in question does not particularly identify as an adult.
  • AI hearing aid - An AI hearing aid is a wearable device that can incorporate capabilities such as fitness tracking, audio streaming and translation in addition to the conventional function of enhancing sound for the user.
  • AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format) - AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format) is one of the two most-used audio file formats used in the Apple Macintosh operating system.
  • Alexa Voice Services (AVS) - Alexa Voice Service (AVS) is Amazon's suite of services built around its voice-controlled AI assistant for the home or other environments.
  • Altair - The Altair was the world's first personal computer (PC) to attract a substantial number of users.
  • Amazon - Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer.
  • Amazon Prime Air drone - Amazon's Prime Air drone is a delivery system in development that uses remote-controlled robotic vehicles to transport goods from the warehouse to the consumer.
  • ambient intelligence (AmI) - Ambient intelligence is the element of a pervasive computing environment that enables it to interact with and respond appropriately to the humans in that environment.
  • ambient temperature - Ambient temperature is the air temperature of any object or environment where equipment is stored.
  • Amiga - Amiga is a personal computer designed especially for high-resolution, fast response graphics and multimedia applications, especially games.
  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) - Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) is a version of Google’s mobile operating system.
  • Android Factory Reset - Android Factory Reset is a feature that erases all device settings, user data, third-party applications, and associated application data from an Android device’s internal flash storage to return the device to the condition it was in when shipped from the factory.
  • anthropomorphism - Anthropomorphism (from the Greek anthrôpos, for human, and morphé, for shape) is the tendency for people to think of other animals or inanimate objects as having human-like characteristics.
  • app - App is an abbreviated form of the word "application.
  • Apple iOS in the Car - iOS in the Car is Apple technology that integrates the iPhone with an automobile's built-in dashboard display, audio system and controls.
  • Apple iPad Pro - Apple iPad Pro is the company's large, powerful, high-resolution tablet, aimed at users who require graphics-heavy applications and a PC-like screen and interface.
  • Apple Retina display - The Apple Retina display is a backlit LCD (liquid crystal display) that provides resolution levels of 220 to 326 pixels per inch.
  • Apple Watch OS (Apple Watch operating system) - The operating system for Apple Watch is designed to take advantage of the wearable nature of the device with features such as Glances that cater to the smaller screen and its location on the user's wrist.
  • appliance (network appliance) - An appliance or "network appliance" is a term used to denote a relatively low-cost PC designed for Internet access and specialized business use, but without the capabilities of a fully-equipped PC.
  • areal density - Areal density measures the amount of data that can be stored on a given amount of physical space on a disk drive.
  • artificial personality (AP) - An artificial personality (AP) is a collection of characteristics, tendencies and behavioral quirks assigned to a chatbot, digital assistant, robot or video game character.
  • ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) - ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) is the most common format for text files in computers and on the Internet.
  • ASPI driver (Advanced SCSI Programming Interface driver) - In a personal computer, an ASPI driver is a software driver or program that uses the Advanced SCSI Programming Interface (ASPI) protocol to interface with the Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) bus.
  • attention economy - The attention economy is the collective human capacity to engage with the many elements in our environments that demand mental focus.
  • attention management - Attention management is an area of endeavor seeking to optimize the way people allocate their limited capacity for focused mental engagement.
  • ATX - ATX is an industry-wide specification for a desktop computer's motherboard.
  • audio - Audio is sound within the acoustic range available to humans.
  • augmented reality (AR) - Augmented reality (AR) is the integration of digital information with live video or the user's environment in real time.
  • augmented reality app (AR app) - An augmented reality app (AR app) is a software application that integrates digital visual content (and sometimes audio and other types) into the user’s real-world environment.
  • augmented reality gaming (AR gaming) - Unlike virtual reality gaming, which often requires a separate room or confined area to create an immersive environment, augmented reality gaming uses the existing environment and creates a playing field within it.
  • auto-correct - Auto-correct is a type of software program that identifies misspelled words, uses algorithms to identify the word most likely to have been intended, and edits the text accordingly.
  • auto-correct fail (auto-correct error) - An auto-correct fail is an error created when the software created to detect and correct misspelled words replaces a user-generated mistake with a different, and possibly worse, error.
  • autoplay video - Autoplay video is audiovisual content that starts automatically when someone goes to the host web page.
  • Back Orifice - Back Orifice is a rootkit program designed to expose the security deficiencies of Microsoft's Windows operating systems.
  • backslash - The backslash ( \ ) is a typographic and/or keyboard mark that is widely used in programming languages and other computing contexts.
  • backup robot - A backup robot is an automated external USB storage device that supports multiple removable SATA hard drives.
  • bait and switch - Bait and switch is a fraudulent practice in which a seller advertises a special deal but makes only a very small number of the items available for purchase.
  • bandwidth test (testing your bandwidth) - A bandwidth test is a program that sends one or more files of known size over a network to a distant computer (for example, your own computer), measures the time required for the file(s) to successfully download at the destination, and thereby obtains a theoretical figure for the data speed between two or more points, usually in kilobits per second (Kbps) or megabits per second (Mbps).
  • barter economy - A barter economy is a cashless economic system in which services and goods are traded at negotiated rates.
  • battery - A battery is an electrochemical cell (or enclosed and protected material) that can be charged electrically to provide a static potential for power or released electrical charge when needed.
  • battery life - Battery life is a measure of  battery performance and longevity, which can be quantified in several ways: as run time on a full charge, as estimated by a manufacturer in milliampere hours, or as the number of charge cycles until the end of useful life.
  • Bcc (blind carbon copy or blind courtesy copy) - In Eudora and perhaps other email facilities, you'll see the abbreviations "Fcc" and "Bcc".
  • big data CRM (big data customer relationship management) - Big data CRM (big data customer relationship management) refers to the practice of integrating big data into a company's CRM processes with the goals of improving customer service, calculating return on investment on various initiatives and predicting clientele behavior.
  • bioplastic - A bioplastic is a substance made from organic biomass sources, unlike conventional plastics which are made from petroleum.
  • BIOS (basic input/output system) - BIOS (basic input/output system) is the program a personal computer's microprocessor uses to get the computer system started after you turn it on.
  • BIOS attack - A BIOS attack is an exploit that infects the BIOS with malicious code and is persistent through reboots and attempts to reflash the firmware.
  • BIOS rootkit - A BIOS-level rootkit is programming that exists in a system's memory hardware to enable remote administration.
  • Bitcoin ATM - A Bitcoin ATM is an automated teller machine that lets users buy, sell and transfer the cryptocurrency, just as regular ATMs provide financial services related to traditional currencies.
  • Bitcoin mining - Bitcoin mining is the processing of transactions in the digital currency system, in which the records of current Bitcoin transactions, known as a blocks, are added to the record of past transactions, known as the block chain.
  • BlackBerry - The BlackBerry is a handheld device made by RIM (Research In Motion) that is widely used in the enterprise for its wireless email handling capability.
  • Blogger - Blogger is a free Web log service from Google that allows users to share text, photos and videos.
  • body area network (BAN) - A body area network (BAN) is the interconnection of multiple computing devices worn on, affixed to or implanted in a person’s body.
  • bone-conducted audio - Bone-conducted audio is a sound technology that relies upon vibrations resonating through bone surrounding the ear.
  • bonephones - Bonephones are headphones that are based on bone-conduction audio technology.
  • bookmarklet - A bookmarklet is a JavaScript applet that runs directly in the browser.
  • Boolean operator - Boolean operators are a common type of search operator, sometimes referred to as a search parameters, which are characters or strings of characters – including words and phrases – that are used in a search engine query to narrow the focus of the search.
  • brain hijacking - Brain hijacking is the application of principles from fields including neuroscience, behavioral psychology and sociology to develop compulsive elements for consumer technologies.
  • bring your own apps (BYOA) - Bring your own apps (BYOA) is the trend toward employee use of third-party applications and cloud services in the workplace.
  • bring your own cloud (BYOC) - BYOC is a movement whereby employees and departments use their cloud computing service of choice in the workplace.
  • bring your own everything (BYOx) - Bring your own everything (BYOx) is a term that refers to employees' use of personal technology to perform work tasks.
  • bring your own smart machine (BYOSM) - Bring your own smart machine (BYOSM) is a business environment in which employees bring their own smart machines to the workplace.
  • bring your own wearables - Bring your own wearables (BYOW) is a trend toward the use of employee-owned wearable computing devices in a business setting.
  • built-in duplexing - In printer specifications, built-in duplexing is the ability a printer has to print on both sides of the paper.
  • burn-in - Burn-in is a test in which a system or component is made to run for an extended period of time to detect problems.
  • bus master - A bus master is the program, either in a microprocessor or more usually in a separate I/O controller, that directs traffic on the computer bus or input/output paths.
  • BYOD (bring your own device) - BYOD (bring your own device) is the increasing trend toward employee-owned devices within a business.
  • card dipping (EMV card dipping) - Dipping can be contrasted with swiping.
  • CardBus - CardBus is the trade name for an advanced PC Card (also known as PCMCIA card) specification.
  • catfish - A catfish is someone who creates a false identity online to deceive victims, often as a means of attracting romantic interest.
  • CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) - CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) is a virtual reality environment consisting of a cube-shaped room in which the walls, floors and ceilings are projection screens.
  • CCTV (closed circuit television) - CCTV (closed-circuit television) is a television system in which signals are not publicly distributed but are monitored, primarily for surveillance and security purposes.
  • CD-ROM - .
  • Centrino - Centrino is a technology package from Intel that provides built-in wireless support for laptop computers while making it possible to run a laptop all day (up to seven hours) without a battery recharge.
  • certification - In information technology as in other fields such as teaching, accounting, and acupuncture, certification is a formal process of making certain that an individual is qualified in terms of particular knowledge or skills.
  • CES (Consumer Electronics Show) - CES (International Consumer Electronics Show) is an annual technology conference for the consumer electronics industry.
  • change management - Change management is a systematic approach to dealing with the transition or transformation of an organization's goals, processes or technologies.
  • Chernobyl virus - The Chernobyl virus is a computer virus with a potentially devastating payload that destroys all computer data when an infected file is executed.
  • chip - "Chip" is short for microchip, the incredibly complex yet tiny modules that store computer memory or provide logic circuitry for microprocessors.
  • chipset - A chipset is a group of integrated circuits (microchips) that can be used together to serve a single function and are therefore manufactured and sold as a unit.

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