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The PC Glossary

Definitions of Computer and Internet Terms

Computer Terms Beginning with "A"

Abend Short for "Abnormal end." An abend is an unexpected or abnormal end to a process. In computer software, it typically...
Access Microsoft Access, often abbreviated "MS Access," is a popular database application for Windows. Access allows users to...
Access Point An access point provides wireless access to a network. Devices connected to an access point can communicate with other...
ACL Stands for "Access Control List." An ACL is a list of user permissions for a file, folder, or other object. It...
Active-Matrix Active-matrix technology is used in high-quality flat-panel displays, such as laptop screens and thin computer...
ActiveX This Microsoft-based technology was built to link desktop applications to the World Wide Web. Using ActiveX...
Ad Hoc Network "Ad Hoc" is actually a Latin phrase that means "for this purpose." It is often used to describe solutions that are...
ADC Stands for "Analog-to-Digital Converter." Since computers only process digital information, they require digital...
Add-on An add-on is a software extension that adds extra features to a program. It may extend certain functions within the...
ADF Stands for "Automatic Document Feeder." An ADF is used in copiers and scanners to feed pages into the machine. It...
ADSL Stands for "Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line." ADSL is a type of DSL, which is a method of transferring data over...
Adware Adware is free software that is supported by advertisements. Common adware programs are toolbars that sit on your...
Affiliate Website affiliates are what drive Internet marketing. Companies run affiliate programs to generate leads and sales...
AGP Stands for "Accelerated Graphics Port." This is a graphics card expansion port designed by Intel that resides on the...
AIFF Stands for "Audio Interchange File Format." AIFF is an audio format originally developed by Apple Computer for storing...
AIX Stands for "Advanced Interactive Executive," though some Linux fans have been known to refer to it as "Ain't UNIX...
Alert Box An alert box, sometimes called a message box, is a small window that pops up on your screen to warn you that your...
Algorithm An algorithm is a set of instructions, sometimes called a procedure or a function, that is used to perform a certain...
Analog As humans, we perceive the world in analog. Everything we see and hear is a continuous transmission of information to...
Android Android is Google's mobile (operating system|operating_system) (OS) that is used by several smartphones, such as the...
ANSI Stands for "American National Standards Institute." ANSI's primary goal is to enhance the global competitiveness of...
Antivirus Antivirus (also written "anti-virus" or simply "AV") is software designed to prevent, detect, and remove viruses from a...
API Stands for "Application Program Interface," though it is sometimes referred to as an "Application Programming...
Apple Apple is the company that makes Macintosh computers, such as the iMac, Mac mini, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and...
Applet This a Java program that can be embedded in a Web page. The difference between a standard Java application and a Java...
Application An application, or application program, is a software program that runs on your computer. Web browsers, e-mail...
Archie Archie is a program used for finding files stored on FTP (File Transfer Protocol) servers. Archie is not used very...
Archive An archive contains multiple files and/or folders within a single file. Archives can be saved in several different...
ARP Stands for "Address Resolution Protocol." ARP is a protocol used for mapping an IP address to a computer connected to...
Array An array is a data structure that contains a group of elements. Typically these elements are all of the same data...
ASCII Stands for "American Standard Code for Information Interchange." ASCII is the universal standard for the numerical...
ASP Just to confuse ordinary people like you and me, there are two equally important definitions of ASP. The term can...
ASP.NET ASP.NET is a set of Web development tools offered by Microsoft. Programs like Visual Studio .NET and Visual Web...
ATA Stands for "Advanced Technology Attachment." It is a type of disk drive that integrates the drive controller directly...
ATM Stands for "Asynchronous Transfer Mode." Most people know of ATMs as automated teller machines -- those friendly boxes...
Autoresponder An autoresponder is a program or script on a mail server that automatically replies to e-mails. Though it is run from...
Avatar An avatar is an online character that represents a person. For example, games like World of Warcraft and the Sims...

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