Tech Slang (For newbies)

In the real world, many people have their own lingo, or way of saying this to get ideas across. In the tech world, we have that too. However, not many people understand it. Turn out, around 50% (Made up Statistic) do not know any tech slang at all. So to clue the rest of you in. Here goes the most commonly used tech words….

Computer: Also referred to as:”rig” “Machine” “pc” “box” “the thing” and so on.

CPU: Central Processing Unit. The square thing inside your PC that processes “all” the information that goes through, in and out. To speed things up. Getting a faster processor always helps. It usually has a Heat Sink (Metal thing that dissipates heat) and usually a fan ontop of it.

RAM: Random Access Memory, The free space your computer has to run around in. Not to store stuff, nothing is stored in the ram permanently, it’s just to let programs run free in there. Think of it as a Parking lot. Except the cars are always moving in the parking lot. No car stays in there forever, just temporarily. The more space (RAM) you have, the less likely there is to be a traffic jam. PS also, Vista and 7 is like a Hummer SUV in a parking lot. Needs at least 2 spaces, or 2GB to run comfortably. :)

HD: not High Definition, usually it means Hard Drive. eg. I got 2 hd’s in my pc! Hard drives store stuff, you know this. Info, data, software, games, everything on your pc, is stored in here. HD’s inside your computer usually have rotating disks and magnets. Hard drives can fail, or you can ruin your pc yourself. Make sure to always back up your important information! Always worth the extra cost.

Back up: Not the reverse thing. It means saving information or data, from your pc, to somewhere else. No this does not mean in another folder in your computer, it means like on a DVD, external HD, or Flash Drive.

USB: Universal Serial Bus, this stands for the little square thing on your computer you plug it into. Not the Cable, not the Flash drive, but the plug. Most newer USB’s are 2.0, like up to 50 MB’s real speed. Older and slower 1.1 is like 10 MB’s and the earliest is like 1.5 MB’s. My old Laptop. These speeds are not 100% accurate but they are what you’ll usually get.

Flash Drive: The little USB thing that stores info. Flash stands for it being of Flash memory, as in non-moving memory. No rotating disks in there, just solid, on-off transistors. One rule of thumb, if it’s silent, it’s flash drive, it it makes noise, (wirring, clicking) It’s a Disk drive.

SSD: Yet another type of Hard drive. this stands for Solid State Drive. It’s like the mega Flash drive. It goes inside your computer and accesses the data much faster than spinning drives. All tech dudes want to have one or two of these. But sadly, there are expensive.

SATA or PATA: These are the connections to connect to the Hard drives to the motherboard. basically, SATA = Newer drives. PATA = Older drives. SATA faster, PATA slower. You will only see this when you are shopping for a hard drive. I don’t think they sell PATA Hard drives anymore. You have to get those used.

Motherboard: The place where everything connects on your computer. Every device must connect to your motherboard one way or another. Some call it the Logic board, but bla! Motherboard is the correct term. Also known as MOBO

OS: Operating System. It is the System that Operates your pc. Huh? Well, the software that runs your pc. For example. your couldn’t use your computer if it didn’t have Windows? right? Windows XP, Vista and 7 are all operating systems. They let you control the hardware by clicking on imaginary buttons. Wee! (Warning: Keyboard and Mouse are not part of the operating system) Linux Mint, FreeBSD, Mac OSX, Win Server 2008. Are also other OS’s. Some free, some, crazy expensive. Your operating system can be replaced and broken just like hardware, but is more easy to fix. Most of the times. It is Software though and not necessarily permanent on the HD. you can move it from one HD to another.

Linux: Read the bottom posts of my blog.

DVD and CD: These are two different things! you have no idea how many times i’v had to teach that. A DVD will not work in a CD only drive. but a CD will Work in a DVD drive and CD drive and in a Bluray. think of the ladder. CD, DVD, Bluray.

HDDVD: ? Unknown. Ancient, gone, dead.

Virtual Machines: Read below some of my other blog posts.

Internet Browser: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, are all internet Browsers, they allow you to browse the internet, you already know that. But remember that,, MSN, Yahoo, are not internet browsers. They are Websites and Search engines.

Servers: A bunch of computers whose only purpose in life is to serve data. not humans, but data. Whether they serve it out to the internet or to our school, they only dish out data and files and keep track of the computers and User accounts. they do a lot more, but this is usually what they are most commonly used for. Servers can also host websites for you and download stuff for you. You have a server in your very own house. or somewhere where you’ll never see it. Like across the country hosting your website out to the internet. PS. most Servers run some sort of Linux OS. Windows = too expensive.

Peripherals: Say it with me now, Pear-if-air-uls. I think that’s how you say it. :) this refers to anything that connects to your computer. EG, Webcams, Keyboard, mouse, USB stuff, like camera external, and USB drive, monitors. Anything basically that’s not part of the box.

CRT and LCD Monitor: you know what Monitors are. LCD = Liquid Crystal Display. these are the flat panel monitors. CRT = Cathode Ray Tube, these are the huge bulky things. They provide better quality picture than LCD, but LCD is catching up and getting better quality picture all the time.

Router: You should know this too. That little box that your ISP (Internet Service Provider) gives you to connect to the internet. Basically, it routes packets from them to your computer, enabling you to connect and browse the web. Simple to use. But sometimes people forget that you can also use it to connect multiple computers together and share information. Called…

Networking: No we don’t mean people networking. We mean computer networking. We use routers, sometimes big ones that connect up to 20 PC’s on one router. The Server usually keeps track of who is where and what they share. But the router is where they all connect, they used to be called hubs,  but those where lame and got better so we named them routers. Networking can be done in your very own home, all you need is two computers, a router and some Ethernet cable.

Ethernet: Something used to catch the ether bunny. haha Just kidding. No, it’s a type of cable that is used to connect computers and routers. it has 4 pairs of twisted cable inside and a bigger plug than your average phone cord. There are some standards such as CAT5e and CAT6 Ethernet cable. 5e is nice, but 6 is faster, remember that. Also more expensive.

OK I ran out of time today. If you liked it I can continue and make another article with more and equally informative data for you. I hope this has been of some help to anyone. Also, email me if you have any questions.



About Zerin

But can you show me the source code?

Posted on October 26, 2010, in Virtualization and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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