About this course
- ‘Content is king’ – bill gates – my career, linked to wide range of technology taking about the changing face of technology over the years include things theory of every 2 years tech improves
- Your never too old to learn – my NTU internships
- Be an expert – ‘the expert’ video – talk about role in BY and how the changing. Tech changed my job – link in change management.
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Search terms and definitions Search terms only Hide Definitions
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A wireless standard that operates at 5GHz and provides wireless speeds up to 54Mbps.
A wireless standard that operates at 2.4GHz and provides wireless speeds up to 11Mbps.
A wireless standard that operates at 2.4GHz, is backward compatible with 802.11b, and provides data transmission of up to 54Mbps.
An IEEE standard that defines a physical bus topology network that uses a 50-ohm coaxial baseband cable and carries transmissions at a minimum of 10Mbps. (The current standard supports speeds up to 10Gbps.) This standard groups data bits into frames and uses the Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) cable access method to put data on the cable. Ethernet is a common implementation of this standard.
An IEEE standard that specifies a physical star, logical ring topology that uses a token-passing technology to put the data on a network cable. IBM’s Token Ring is the most common implementation of this standard.
access control list (ACL)
The set of rules that determines which traffic gets through a firewall and which traffic is blocked.
access point (AP)
The device that allows wireless devices to talk to each other and the network. It provides the functions of network access as well as security monitoring.
The replacement for NT Directory Service (NTDS) that was first included with Windows 2000 and is now a core part of Windows. It acts similarly to Novell Directory Services (NDS), which is now known as eDirectory because it’s a true X.500-based directory service.
A type of hub that uses electronics to amplify and clean up the signal before it is retransmitted to the other ports.
Involves an attacker gaining access to a host in the network by injecting traffic onto the network in order to obtain data that would otherwise be unavailable.
Address Resolution Protocol (ARP)
A TCP/IP protocol used to resolve IP addresses to MAC addresses.
In an unattended installation, this file contains all of the correct parameters (time zone, regional settings, administrator username, and so on) needed for installation.
antivirus (or antivirus software)
A category of software that uses various methods to identify the presence of a virus and remove or quarantine the virus on a computer. It typically also protects against future infection.
A proprietary network protocol for Macintosh computers.
Any collection of data that is removed from the system because it’s no longer needed on a regular basis.
An attribute of the file that is cleared during backup. Windows Backup works by looking at this bit.
A virus that is protected in a way that makes disassembling it difficult. The difficulty makes it “armored” against antivirus programs that have trouble getting to and understanding its code.
AT system connector
The 12-pin power connector found on older motherboards that receives the P8/P9 pair of 6-conductor connectors from the power supply.
Any unauthorized intrusion into the normal operations of a computer or computer network. The intrusion can be carried out to gain access to the system or any of its resources.
An installation where a user is required to provide answers to options during the installation process.
ATX system connector
The 20-pin power connector found on ATX motherboards to which ATX power supplies connect. These connectors have been replaced by the 24-pin ATX12V connector.
Files that hold information about a resource’s access by users.
A process that proves that a user or system is actually who they say they are.
Automatic Private IP Addressing (APIPA)
A TCP/IP standard used to automatically configure IP-based hosts that are unable to reach a DHCP server.
Automated System Recovery (ASR)
Creates a backup of your system partition and then creates a recovery disk. Using these two components, you can recover from a system crash and restore the system to a functional state.
The ISDN channel that carries 64Kbps of data; also known as a bearer channel.
back door (backdoor)
An opening left in a program application (usually by the developer) that allows additional access to data. Typically, these are created for debugging purposes and aren’t documented. Before the product ships, the openings are closed; when they aren’t closed, security loopholes exist.
A small fluorescent lamp placed behind or below an LCD display to provide light.
A copy of files stored in a location other than where they originally came from.
Rules that dictate what information should be backed up and how it should be backed up.
In communications, the difference between the highest and the lowest frequencies available for transmission in any given range. In networking, the transmission capacity of a computer or a communications channel stated in megabits or megabytes per second; the higher the number, the faster the data transmission takes place.
An often handheld unit that scans barcodes into a computer, replacing the need for a user to type the data in by hand.
basic rate interface (BRI)
An ISDN line with two B channels. Each channel can be used separately for voice and/or data transmissions.
A measurement of the “heaviness” of paper. The number is the weight, in pounds, of 500 17″ x 22″ sheets of that type of paper.
A series of beeps from the computer’s speaker that indicate a problem. The number, duration, and pattern of the beeps can sometimes tell you what component is causing the problem.
Bell-La Padula model
A model designed for the military to address the storage and protection of classified information. This model is specifically designed to prevent unauthorized access to classified information. The model prevents the user from accessing information that has a higher security rating than they are authorized to access. It also prevents information from being written to a lower level of security.
The smaller power connector that most often provides power to floppy diskette drives and other small devices that require less current to power their motors than provided by a Molex connector.
A model similar in concept to the Bell-La Padula model but more concerned with information integrity (an area the Bell-La Padula model doesn’t address). In this model, there is no write up or read down. If you’re assigned access to top-secret information, you can’t read secret information or write to any level higher than the level to which you’re authorized. This model keeps higher-level information pure by preventing less-reliable information from being intermixed with it.
Any device that scans a unique human trait, such as fingerprints or voice, in order to authenticate the identity of the user.
The science of identifying a person by using one or more of their features. The feature can be a thumbprint, a retina scan, or any other biological trait.
The firmware embedded in a ROM chip that is responsible for running POST, booting the system, and presenting an interface for its own configuration.
Pieces of metal or plastic that come with the case and cover the expansion slot openings to help keep dust and other matter from the inside of the computer.
blue screen of death (BSOD)
A condition that occurs when Windows encounters a critical error from which it cannot recover and is followed by a dump of physical memory. The name comes from the fact that the error screen is blue and you have no choice but to attempt to reboot the computer.
A popular standard for wireless communication that operates in the 2.4GHz range. The current standard is Version 2.1, which can support data transmissions of up to 3Mbps.
Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG)
The consortium of companies that developed the Bluetooth technology.
Blu-ray disc (BD)
A newer optical disc format that holds more information than a standard DVD.
A type of connector used to attach stations to a Thinnet network.
Combining two bearer channels into one 128Kbps data or voice connection to maximize throughput.
Logs all boot information to a file called ntbtlog.txt. You can then check the log for assistance in diagnosing system startup problems.
A type of connectivity device that operates in the Data Link layer of the OSI model. Similar to a switch.
The general designation for higher-speed Internet connections.
To send a signal to all entities that can listen to it. In networking, it refers to sending a signal to all entities connected to that network.
A type of attack that relies purely on trial and error.
BSB (backside bus)
When present, the bus between the Northbridge and the cache controller. Often implemented in SECCs and multicavity modules (MCMs), where the CPU and L2 cache are collocated.
A type of sprayed-ink printer. It uses an electric signal that energizes a heating or vibrating element, causing ink to vaporize and be pushed out of the pinhole and onto the paper.
A parallel set of communications lines that act as a cohesive unit and optionally have multiple arbitrary insertion points.
Internet access across a common cable television service.
A device used to obtain broadband Internet access through a cable television provider.
One of two or three levels of fast silicon memory of limited size most often forged from static RAM and positioned between the CPU and RAM.
The process by which a device such as a printer (or a scanner) is brought within functional specifications.
The thickness measurement of a given sheet of paper, which can affect a printer’s feed mechanism.
The printer belt placed around two small wheels or pulleys and attached to the printhead carriage. It is driven by the carriage motor and moves the printhead back and forth across the page during printing.
A stepper motor used to move the printhead back and forth on a dot-matrix printer.
carriage stepper motor
The printer motor that makes the printhead carriage move.
Also known as CD-R, a CD that can be written to one time.
Also known as CD-RW, a CD that can be written to, erased, and rewritten to multiple times.
A shorthand term for a cellular phone network.
A network processing scheme in which all “intelligence” is found in one computer and all other computers send requests to the central computer to be processed. Mainframe networks use this type of processing.
A common form of authentication.
Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP)
An authentication protocol that challenges a system to verify identity.
characters per second (cps)
A rating of how fast dot-matrix printers can produce output.
The wire or roller that is used to put a uniform charge on the EP drum inside a toner cartridge.
The second step in EP printing, at which a special wire or roller in the toner cartridge gets a high voltage from the high voltage power supply (HVPS). It uses this high voltage to apply a strong, uniform negative charge (around -600VDC) to the surface of the photosensitive drum.
Movement of components, such as Integrated Circuits, RAM chips, and expansion cards, out of their sockets.
Commonly one or two integrated circuits comprising Northbridge and Southbridge functionality, allowing the CPU to communicate with I/O components of various speeds and capabilities.
An integrity model for creating a secure architecture.
A set of steps the bubble-jet or inkjet printer goes through in order to purge the printheads of any dried ink.
The first step in the EP print process, at which excess toner is scraped from the EP drum with a rubber blade.
A computer that requests resources from a network, often referred to as a workstation.
Software that allows a device to request resources from a network.
Also known as allocation unit, the collection of sectors that is treated as a single unit by the operating system. Only one file can occupy this unit at a time.
The extremely small storage space that holds user settings and dynamically discovered parameters for the BIOS.
CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black)
The four standard colors used in printers. Some printers will have all colors on the same cartridge. Others will have separate black and CMY cartridges, while higher-end (mostly laser) printers will have separate cartridges for each color.
A medium for connecting computer components that contains a center conductor, made of copper, surrounded by a plastic jacket, with a braided shield over the jacket.
Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA)
A cellular standard of Qualcomm. It allows for multiple transmissions to occur at the same time without interference.
cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL)
A common type of backlight used in laptop computers.
When two or more stations transmit onto a shared medium simultaneously, invalidating the data sent from each station.
A virus that creates a new program that runs in place of an expected program of the same name.
A feature that gives you the option of compressing existing files in a particular folder. If the feature is turned on, Windows automatically compresses the subfolders and files. If not, only new files created in the directory are compressed.
A small handheld device designed for sucking up dust and other little particles without causing ESD problems.
Keeping data secret.
Any device that facilitates connections between network devices. Some examples include hubs, routers, switches, and bridges.
Competition between two or more network devices for the same bandwidth.
A type of transfer corona assembly that uses a charged roller to apply charge to the paper.
A type of transfer corona assembly. Also, the wire in that assembly that is charged by the high-voltage power supply. It is narrow in diameter and located in a special notch under the EP print cartridge.
The main integrated circuit of a computer system that interfaces with almost all other components and runs application and system processes. Intel and AMD are the most common manufacturers of this circuit for PC-compatible computers.
The collection of similarly numbered tracks across all writable surfaces of a hard disk assembly.
An impact printer that uses a plastic or metal print mechanism with a different character on the end of each spoke of the wheel. As the print mechanism rotates to the correct letter, a small hammer strikes the character against the ribbon, transferring the image onto the paper.
Data Over Cable Service Internet Specification (DOCSIS)
The standard used by most cable systems for transmitting Internet traffic to a subscriber via television cable.
The signaling channel of an ISDN circuit; also referred to as the Delta channel.
A type of SDRAM that doubles the data rate of standard SDRAM by transmitting a single bit on both edges of each FSB clock cycle.
A type of SDRAM that uses both edges of each cycle, transferring two bits per edge.
A form of DDR2 memory that populates a PC2-5300 module and is made for a 667MHz FSB.
A type of SDRAM that uses both edges of each FSB clock cycle, transferring four bits per edge.
A form of DDR3 memory that populates a PC3-12800 module and is made for a 1600MHz FSB.
The server that is assigned to perform a specific application or service.
Latin translation for “by fact.” Any standard that is a standard because everyone is using it.
Latin translation for “by law.” Any standard that is a standard because a standards body decided it should be so.
Water that has had minerals and impurities removed; it does not leave residue and is recommended for cleaning keyboards and other non-metal computer parts.
denatured isopropyl alcohol
Also known as electronics cleaner, a liquid found in electronics stores and used to clean contacts.
denial-of-service (DoS) attacks
Attacks that prevent access to resources by users authorized to use those resources.
Department of Defense (DOD) model
A four-layer networking model loosely corresponding to the OSI model, upon which the basis for the TCP/IP protocol suite was developed.
The roller inside a toner cartridge that presents a uniform line of toner to help apply the toner to the image written on the EP drum.
The fourth step in the EP print process, at which the image written on the EP drum by the laser is developed — that is, it has toner stuck to it.
A software file that allows an operating system to communicate with a hardware device. Also called a driver.
A special program for dial-up networking that initiates the connection with the ISP, takes the phone off hook, dials the ISP’s access number, and establishes the connection.
An Internet connection wherein the computer connecting to the Internet uses a modem to connect to the ISP over a standard telephone line.
The act of attempting to crack passwords by testing them against a list of dictionary words. With today’s powerful computers, an attacker can combine one of many available automated password cracking utilities with several large dictionaries or “wordlists” and crack huge numbers of passwords in a matter of minutes. Any password based on any dictionary word is vulnerable to such an attack.
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
A broadband Internet access technology that uses the existing phone line from your home to the phone company to carry digital signals at higher speeds.
A memory module packaging style that features a circuit board with independent pins on both sides of the module’s card edge.
Another term for folders that can contain files on your storage devices.
distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack
A derivative of a DoS attack in which multiple hosts in multiple locations all focus on one target to reduce its availability to the public.
A computer system in which processing is performed by several separate computers linked by a communications network. The term often refers to any computer system supported by a network, but more properly refers to a system in which each computer is chosen to handle a specific workload and the network supports the system as a whole.
Domain Name System (DNS)
A system which resolves computer hostnames to IP addresses.
Also referred to as a client-server networking model, a network where security is managed by a centralized server, often known as a domain controller.
An impact printer that has a printhead containing a row of pins (short, sturdy stalks of hard wire) that are used to strike the ink ribbon to create an image.
A memory module that comprises two modules in one.
The poorest quality standard of output from a dot-matrix printer, suitable only for early document review.
A pervasive type of volatile memory that requires a periodic refresh signal to keep its contents.
A type of SDRAM from Rambus implemented on RIMMs.
An interface and related circuitry designed to connect one of a few possible drive types to a motherboard or adapter card; often manifests as a header on the motherboard.
A software file that allows an operating system to communicate with a hardware device. Also called a device driver.
The device used to access DSL, commonly referred to mistakenly as a DSL modem.
Also known as D-sub, a trapezoidal connector and port pairing that features an interface that is broader on one edge than the other with angled sides connecting the edges. It is commonly found on classic I/O ports, such as RS-232 serial and parallel.
A RAM implementation scheme in which the memory controller requires two paired standard memory modules to read from or write to simultaneously. RIMM offers a single module that alone satisfies both channels on compatible motherboards.
A printer that uses heat to diffuse solid dyes onto the printing surface as a gas that resolidifies without ever going through a liquid state.
Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)
A protocol (and service) in the TCP/IP protocol suite that automatically configures network clients with IP configuration information when they join the network.
An error-checking scheme that is able to discover one or two bits in a byte that contain errors, and correct single-bit errors.
electromagnetic interference (EMI)
Any electromagnetic radiation released by an electronic device that disrupts the operation or performance of any other device.
electronic stepper motor
A special electric motor in a printer that can accurately move in very small increments. It powers all of the paper transport rollers as well as the fuser rollers.
electrostatic discharge (ESD)
Occurs when two objects of dissimilar electrical charge come in contact with each other; the charge can damage electronic components.
emergency repair disk (ERD)
A disk that contains backup copies of portions of your Registry. It can be used to recover the system in the event of an operating system failure.
A special device for feeding envelopes into a printer.
A variable used by the operating system that holds a value defining the computing environment.
EP print process
The process by which an EP laser printer forms images on paper.
An external interface for the attachment of SATA devices that requires a shielded cable and different connector from the one used with internal SATA attachment.
A network technology based on the IEEE 802.3 CSMA/CD standard. The original implementation of this type specified 10MBps, baseband signaling, coaxial cable, and CSMA/CD media access. These standards now support data transmissions of up to 10Gbps.
A daughter card that is inserted into a bus slot in the motherboard to expand the native capabilities of a computer system.
One of the arbitrary insertion points in an expansion bus, based on a specific technology — PCI, for example.
A device that feeds paper or other media into a printer.
The rubber roller in a laser printer that feeds the paper into the printer.
field-replaceable units (FRUs)
Parts that are designed to be able to be replaced by a technician working in the field.
A feature of many network operating systems that “locks” a file to prevent more than one person from updating the file at the same time.
These serve the purpose of controlling who has access and what type of access they have to what files or objects.
Servers on a network designed to hold and store files for clients.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
A protocol in the TCP/IP protocol suite that is optimized for file transfers. It uses ports 20 and 21.
A device on a printer that performs such final functions as folding, stapling, hole punching, sorting, or collating the documents being printed.
Software or hardware used to limit traffic based on a set of rules, usually an access control list.
Apple’s original implementation of IEEE 1394b, a high-speed serial I/O interface, ideal for video applications between a computer and an external video source or destination. It is a competing standard of USB.
Systems programming software embedded in a hardware device, such as a ROM chip; often used to control the low-level functionality of the system in which it is installed.
A nonvolatile form of solid-state memory similar in makeup to primary RAM but used for semi-permanent storage, similar to writable disks.
Also known as floppy diskette, an older removable magnetic secondary-storage medium that requires a floppy diskette drive for access.
floppy diskette drive (FDD)
A disk drive that reads from and writes to floppy diskettes.
The typestyle used for printing a document. It can be loaded onto the hard drive of the computer or the onboard memory of the printer.
To prepare a volume (such as a hard drive) to receive files and folders by defining the file structure.
The process of preparing the partition on a storage device such as a hard drive or flash memory to store data in a particular fashion.
The Data Link layer product that includes a portion of the original user data, upper-layer headers, and the Data Link header and trailer.
The high-speed bus controlled by the Northbridge on which RAM, cache (in the absence of the backside bus [BSB]), PCIe slots, AGP slots, and other local-bus components are interconnected with the CPU and, in some cases, each other.
Communications where both entities can send and receive simultaneously.
Key marked with the letters Fn that produces particular functions when pressed and held while pressing one of the function keys.
A device on an EP printer that uses two rollers to heat the toner particles and melt them to the paper. It is made up of a halogen heating lamp, a Teflon-coated aluminum fusing roller, and a rubberized pressure roller. The lamp heats the aluminum roller. As the paper passes between the two rollers, the rubber roller presses the paper against the heated roller. This causes the toner to melt and become a permanent image on the paper.
The sixth and final step in the EP printing process, when the toner image on the paper is fused to the paper using heat and pressure. The heat melts the toner, and the pressure helps fuse the image permanently to the paper.
general protection fault (GPF)
A fault in Windows that happens when a program accesses memory that another program is using or when a program accesses a memory address that doesn’t exist.
Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM)
The most popular cellular standard. It uses a variety of bands to transmit. The most popular are 900MHz and 1800MHz, but 400, 450, and 850MHz are also used.
Communications that occur when only one entity can transmit or receive at any one instant.
hard disk drive
A disk drive that contains magnetically coated platters in a sealed case and is often used as the main secondary-storage medium.
The process of reducing or eliminating weaknesses, securing services, and attempting to make your environment immune to attacks.
In hardware, a technology-specific connector on a circuit board for cabling an internal peripheral device to the board. In software, protocol-specific control information added to the original data or to the protocol data unit from the next-higher protocol in the stack. Information attached to the beginning of a network data frame.
A block of aluminum or other metal, with veins throughout or fins, that sits on top of a heat-producing component, drawing its heat away.
A flat heat sink of sorts that adds surface area to a heat-producing component, allowing better heat transfer to the surrounding air; often coupled with a fan for devices that run at a higher temperature.
hermaphroditic data connector
A connector that is both male and female.
A tool with a very large needle, a gauge that indicates volts, and a wire with an alligator clip used to discharge electricity from electronic devices.
In networking, an intermediate device and cabling between two other devices.
Any computer or device on a TCP/IP network that has an IP address.
A firewall implemented on a single machine. It is usually a software implementation. Contrast with network-based firewall.
Another word for a patch. When Microsoft rolls a bunch of these together, they become known as a service pack.
A device that can be inserted and removed without removing power from the host component.
A basic connectivity device used to link several computers together into a physical star topology. It repeats any signal that comes in on one port and copies it to the other ports.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
A protocol in the TCP/IP protocol suite that is the backbone for Internet (web) traffic. It uses port 80.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS)
Secure protocol for most Internet traffic; it uses port 443 by default.
IBM data connector (IDC)
A unique, hermaphroditic connector commonly used with IBM’s Token Ring technology and Type 1 or 2 STP cable.
An attack that occurs by triggering a response from the Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) when it responds to a seemingly legitimate maintenance request.
illegal operation error
An illegal operation error usually means that a program was forced to quit because it did something Windows didn’t like.
Any printer that forms an image on paper by forcing a character image against an inked ribbon. Dot-matrix, daisy-wheel, and line printers are examples, whereas laser printers are not.
An attempt to violate a security policy, a successful penetration, a compromise of a system, or unauthorized access to information.
Information Flow model
A model concerned with all the properties of information flow, not only the direction of the flow.
A type of wireless transmission between devices that use radiation in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Infrared Data Association (IrDA)
The association that creates and maintains infrared standards.
Wireless transmission between devices that use radiation in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum.
A reservoir of ink and a printhead, in a removable package.
A type of sprayed-ink printer. Often called a bubble-jet.
Making the computer resistant to computer viruses.
A device, such as a keyboard or mouse, that allows information outside the computer system to be read into the system.
Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)
A worldwide digital communications network emerging from existing telephone services, intended to replace all analog systems with a completely digital transmission system.
integrated system board
A motherboard that has I/O interfaces and their circuitry built in.
The point of connectivity between a port in the system unit and a cable with an opposite-gender compatible connector. The port or connection through which a device attaches to an external component, such as a printer’s parallel or USB port for connection to a computer, as well as the software that enables the port to communicate with the external component, such as a Windows XP driver for an HP LaserJet.
The operating system-specific driver that enables communication between the computer and a peripheral.
Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP)
A message and management protocol for TCP/IP that transmits error messages and network statistics. The ping utility uses this protocol.
Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP)
A protocol commonly used to retrieve e-mail from e-mail servers.
Internet Protocol (IP)
The underlying communications protocol on which the Internet is based. It provides addressing on a TCP/IP network and allows a data packet to travel across many networks before reaching its final destination.
Internet service provider (ISP)
A company that provides Internet access and e-mail addresses for users.
Internetwork Packet Exchange/Sequenced Packet Exchange (IPX/SPX)
The default communication protocol for versions of the Novell NetWare operating system before Net-Ware 5. IPX and SPX correspond loosely to IP and TCP, respectively, in the TCP/IP protocol suite.
A small circuit board installed behind the LCD panel that takes AC power and converts (inverts) it for the backlight.
An attack during which a hacker tries to gain access to a network by pretending their interface has the same network address as the internal network.
ISDN terminal adapter
The device that connects a computer to an ISDN line.
An authentication scheme that uses tickets (unique keys) embedded within messages. Named after the three-headed guard dog that stood at the gates of Hades in Greek mythology.
A device that switches a single keyboard/video/mouse set among multiple computer systems.
Cache memory that is built into the processor die (the CPU’s silicon wafer).
Cache memory that can be collocated with the CPU in the same packaging or placed on the motherboard, external to the CPU packaging. This cache is not built into the processor die.
Cache memory on the motherboard that is named as such only when L2 cache is in the CPU packaging. This cache is the new name, in such a situation, for what used to be termed L2 cache.
In PCIe, a switched point-to-point signal path between any two PCIe components. The designation x16, for example, in PCIe represents a component’s ability to communicate over 16 of these simultaneously.
A generic name for a printer that uses the electrophotographic (EP) print process.
Last Known Good Configuration
An advanced boot option that lets you restore the system to a prior, functional state, which will allow you to log in again.
The amount of delay between sending a network data request and receiving a response.
LCD cutoff switch
Switch for changing the display state on a laptop accessed by pressing the function key and another key, often F8 or F4.
letter quality (LQ)
A category of dot-matrix printer that can print characters that look very close to the quality a laser printer might produce.
In PCIe, the single lane or combined collection of lanes that the PCIe switch interconnects between devices. Two PCIe devices can only request these as wide as the narrowest lane rating between the two, such as four lanes between an x4 component and an x16 component.
A cooling method used to keep CPUs and other hot-running components from overheating by pumping a liquid from outside the system through tubing that leads to blocks that mount to the components like heat sinks.
local area network (LAN)
A group of computers and associated peripherals connected by a communications channel, capable of sharing files and other resources among several users.
The topology that defines how the data flows in a network.
Used to test basic TCP/IP functionality for your network card. The IP address 127.0.0.1 is reserved as this.
The unique physical address for each NIC.
A software exploitation virus that works by using the macro feature included in many applications.
A printer stepper motor that is used to advance the paper.
Provides a zero position for an ink- or bubble-jet printhead and keeps the print nozzles clear between print jobs.
An attack that occurs when someone or something that is trusted intercepts packets and retransmits them to another party. These attacks have also been called TCP/IP hijacking in the past.
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
A document that contains safety information about a given product. Information provided includes safe handling procedures, what to do in case of an accident, and disposal information.
Media Access Control (MAC)
One of two layers of the Data Link layer in the OSI model.
A requirement of a CPU and memory controller, based on system-bus width and single/dual-channel support, that reflects on the minimum number of memory chips or modules required to satisfy a single read or write cycle. Leads to physical constraints that must be observed during initial installation or upgrading of the system’s RAM, such as the ability to install single modules or a minimum of a pair, quad, and so forth.
A type of logical topology in which each device on a network is connected to every other device on the network. This topology uses routers to search multiple paths and determine the best path.
A floppy diskette that has a 31/2 inch form factor.
A solid-state, or flash, memory card format related to SD cards.
A floppy diskette that has a 5 1/4 inch form factor.
A solid-state, or flash, memory card format related to SD cards.
A contraction of the term modulator/demodulator. These connect digital devices over analog connections. The term has been adapted for any device that connects personal computers and personal networks to a service provider’s network, such as DSL modems and cable modems, for instance.
The larger power connector that most often provides power to hard disk drives and other devices that require more current to power their motors than offered by a Berg connector.
A laser printer that includes copier-like functions (coalition, stapling, and so on), so each “copy” is essentially an original.
The main system board on which the primary components of the computer, such as the CPU and RAM, are manufactured or installed.
A cushioned pad used to provide a proper tracking surface for mouse usage, large enough for the mouse to control the cursor’s motion across the entire screen.
The CPU technology that places multiple processor dies in the same packaging, or the equivalent thereof.
The term employed anytime more than one factor must be considered.
A peripheral that is essentially a printer, copier, scanner, and fax machine all in one.
A solid-state, or flash, memory card format.
A virus that attacks a system in more than one way.
A server that has more than one use. For example, it can be both a file server and a print server.
multistation access unit (MAU)
The central device in a Token Ring network that provides both the physical and logical connections to the stations.
Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI)
A technology that daisy-chains components to one another with a 5-pin standard DIN connector and uses special packets to communicate with other MIDI devices and the computer’s audio subsystem.
near-letter quality (NLQ)
A category of dot-matrix printer that can come close to the quality of a laser printer, but still is lacking somewhat in print quality.
NetBEUI (NetBIOS Extended User Interface)
A network device driver for the transport layer supplied with Microsoft’s LAN Manager.
NetBIOS (network basic input/output system)
In networking, a layer of software, originally developed in 1984 by IBM and Sytek, that links a network operating system with specific network hardware. It provides an application program interface (API) with a consistent set of commands for requesting lower-level network services to transmit information from node to node.
A group of computers and associated peripherals connected by a communications channel capable of sharing files and other resources between several users.
Network Address Translation (NAT)
The process of translating private, nonroutable IP addresses into public IP addresses.
A firewall designed to protect an entire network of computers instead of just one system. It’s generally a stand-alone hardware device with specialized software installed on it to protect your network.
network interface card (NIC)
In networking, the PC expansion board that plugs into a personal computer or server and works with the network operating system to control the flow of information over the network. It is connected to the network media (twisted-pair, coaxial, or fiber optic cable, or wireless), which in turn connects all the network interface cards in the network.
A computer that can be both a server and a workstation. In practice, by performing the functions of both server and workstation, this type of server does neither function very well. They are typically used in peer-to-peer networks.
nonintegrated system board
A motherboard that has no I/O interfaces built in, except for a keyboard and possibly mouse interfaces.
A model intended to ensure that higher-level security functions don’t interfere with lower-level functions.
A memory subsystem that does not support parity checking, possibly resulting in fewer chips populating the memory module.
The functional part of the chipset that controls local-bus communication among components connected to the frontside bus, such as the CPU and memory.
The Microsoft implementation of Novell’s IPX/SPX protocol.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
A United States federal agency in charge of administering the Occupational Safety and Health Act. It is responsible for ensuring that employees have a safe work environment.
open access point
A wireless access point that employs no encryption or authentication, allowing any device that receives the signal potential access to the connected network.
Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model
A seven-layer theoretical networking model developed by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO).
A group of bits ready for transmission over a network. It includes a header, data, and a trailer.
Describes the whole page being printed. The controller in the printer interprets these commands and turns them into laser pulses or firing print wires.
A printer that gets its instructions one page at a time, such as a laser printer.
paper feed mechanism
The portion of the printer that picks up paper from the paper drawer and feeds it into the printer.
paper feed sensors
The sensors on the paper feed mechanism that detect when the printer has paper or is out of paper.
paper pickup roller
A D-shaped roller that rotates against the paper and pushes one sheet into a printer.
The tray that holds paper until it is fed into a printer.
A legacy port and cable-connector pairing based on a DB25 interface most commonly used for attaching a printer to a computer.
Storing an extra bit with and based on each byte in memory. When a byte is accessed, the validity of the parity bit is checked. If the check shows an error, the byte is rejected because there is no way to determine the nature of the error.
When the printhead is in the locked, resting position.
A logical grouping of data organized to fall under a single drive letter for primary ones and multiple drives for extended ones.
The process of assigning part or all of a hard drive for use by the computer.
A type of hub that electrically connects all network ports together. This type of hub is not powered.
Password Authentication Protocol (PAP)
An authentication protocol that offers no true security, but it’s one of the simplest forms of authentication. The username and password values are both sent to the server as clear text and checked for a match.
Attempting to enter a password by guessing its value.
A fix for a known software problem.
The location to a file or folder.
An SDR SDRAM module based on a 100MHz FSB.
A DDR2 SDRAM module capable of 3200MBps of throughput and populated with DDR2-400 memory chips and based on a 400MHz FSB.
A DDR SDRAM module capable of 2700MBps of throughput and populated with DDR333 memory chips and based on a 333MHz FSB.
A DDR SDRAM module capable of 3200MBps of throughput and populated with DDR333 memory chips and based on a 333MHz FSB.
A virus that modifies and alters other programs and databases.
A description that identifies how the cables on a network are physically arranged.
pickup stepper motor
The motor that turns the pickup roller in a printer.
A Bluetooth network. A Bluetooth-enabled device can communicate with up to seven other devices in a single one. Devices can also be members of multiple ones.
The physical discs on which magnetic or optical data is stored.
When referring to coaxial covering, a designation that means the coating does not produce toxic gas when burned (as PVC does) and is rated for use in air plenums that carry breathable air.
Plug and Play (PnP)
A standard set of specifications that was developed by Intel to enable a computer to detect a new device automatically and install the appropriate driver.
An attribute of some viruses that allows them to mutate and appear differently each time they crop up. The mutations make it harder for virus scanners to detect (and react) to the viruses.
The part of an interface found on the computer side to which an opposite-gendered connector from a cable attaches.
Configuring an ACL, or setting up rules that determine what gets through a firewall.
Allowing packets that meet the criteria in the ACL to pass through the firewall to their destination.
The logical channel that TCP/IP-based protocols use to communicate.
An automated form of port forwarding. It allows traffic to enter the network on a specific port after a computer makes an outbound request on that specific port.
A circuit board that fits into an ISA or PCI expansion slot in the motherboard and reports numeric codes as the boot process progresses. By looking up the number where the card stops, you can identify the source of problems.
Post Office Protocol (POP)
A TCP/IP protocol optimized for the receiving of e-mail. The current standard is POP3, which uses port 100.
A Plain Old Telephone Service line, the original analog technology for phone lines still in use today for standard phone service.
The set of conductive pathways that converts 110V or 220V house current into the voltages a bubble-jet printer uses (usually 12V and 5V) and distributes those voltages to the other printer circuits and devices that need it.
power-on self-test (POST)
Part of the boot process controlled by the BIOS that verifies the working condition of the hardware the BIOS knows about.
A component that converts an external power source to the power required by the other components of the system it powers.
The first partition created in an operating system.
Primary Rate Interface (PRI)
A form of ISDN that contains 23 64-bit B channels and 1 64-bit D channel for a total combined speed of 1536Kbps.
A small amount of memory located on the printer used to hold print jobs.
Products a printer uses in the print process that must be replaced occasionally. Examples include toner, ink, ribbons, and paper.
printer control circuits
Runs a printer’s stepper motors, loads paper, and so on. Monitors the health of the printer and reports that information back to the computer.
printer controller assembly
A large circuit board in a laser printer that converts signals from the computer into signals for the various parts in a printer.
Fonts that are installed into the onboard memory of the printer.
A fabric strip that is impregnated with ink and wrapped around two spools encased in a cartridge. This cartridge is used in dot-matrix printers to provide the ink for the print process.
Electromechanical output devices that are used to put information from the computer onto paper.
The part of a printer that creates the printed image. In a dot-matrix printer, it contains the small pins that strike the ribbon to create the image, and in an inkjet printer, it contains the jets used to create the ink droplets as well as the ink reservoirs. A laser printer creates images using an electrophotographic method similar to that found in photocopiers and does not have one.
The process by which the printhead is calibrated for use. A special utility that comes with the printer software is used to do this.
The component of a bubble-jet printer that moves back and forth during printing. It contains the physical as well as electronic connections for the printhead and (in some cases) the ink reservoir.
Another name for the media being printed on. Examples include paper, transparencies, and labels.
The line of all print jobs.
A network server that hosts one or more printers for clients to use.
A service that formats print jobs in the language that the printer needs.
In satellite Internet, the delay caused by the length of time required to transmit data and receive a response via satellite.
In networking and communications, the specification that defines the procedures to follow when transmitting and receiving data. They define the format, timing, sequence, and error-checking systems used.
Also called a proxie, the server that makes requests of a computer for another computer.
A 6-pin mini-DIN connector named after the second generation of IBM personal computers and still a choice today, trailing behind USB in popularity, for mouse and keyboard attachment.
public switched telephone network (PSTN)
The network that carries standard, nonpacketized voice and data traffic from subscribers. Traffic can originate from POTS, ISDN, and DSL lines but does not include DSL’s data-band traffic.
radio frequency interference (RFI)
Another term for electromagnetic interference (EMI).
The process of converting signals from the computer into signals for the various assemblies in a laser printer.
A CD-ROM set or DVD that comes with a particular model and brand of computer and usually contains an image of the entire Windows installation, along with applications, utilities, and drivers specifically for that computer. Also called by other names, such as restoration CD or reinstallation DVD.
In Remote Desktop, the computer that you are not sitting at; the one you make a connection to while sitting at the home computer.
A feature of Windows that allows you to connect to another computer and take control over that computer as if you were sitting in front of it. Also the name of the software that lets your computer be a remote computer in a remote desktop connection.
Remote Desktop Connection
The software that lets a computer act as a home computer in the Remote Desktop application.
Any attack where the data is retransmitted repeatedly (often fraudulently or maliciously). In one such possibility, a user can replay a web session and visit sites intended only for the original user.
On a network, any device that clients can access, such as printers or shared drives.
A copy of your system configuration at a given point in time.
A virus that attacks or bypasses the antivirus software installed on a computer.
The container that holds the printer ribbon.
A daughter card with expansion slots that inserts into a motherboard; used in low-profile cases.
The first directory on a logical file system, such as C:\.
In networking, an intelligent connecting device that can send packets to the correct local area network segment to take them to their destination. They link LAN segments at the Network layer of the OSI model for computer-to-computer communications.
Starts Windows using only basic files and drivers, such as mouse (except serial mice), monitor, keyboard, mass storage, base video, and default system services.
A type of Internet connection that uses a satellite dish to receive data from a satellite and a relay station that is connected to the Internet.
An optical device used to digitize images such as line art or photographs, so that they can be merged with text by a page-layout or desktop publishing program or incorporated into a CAD drawing.
A network of two or more piconets.
A form of DRAM that is synchronized to the system clock. Varieties include SDR, DDR, DDR2, DDR3, and DRDRAM.
A portion of a track that most often stores 512 bytes (1/2 KB).
Secure and Fast Encryption Routine (SAFER+)
The encryption protocol used by Blue-tooth devices.
Secure Digital (SD)
A solid-state, or flash, memory card format.
Secure Shell (SSH)
A protocol developed to allow encrypted data exchange between two computers.
A log file used in Windows to keep track of security events specified by the domain’s audit policy.
Rubber patches that help keep the paper in place so that only one sheet goes into a printer.
Major patches or upgrades to the Windows operating system released in groups.
service-set identifier (SSID)
The identifier (name) of a wireless router or wireless access point. The unique name of a wireless network that differentiates it from other wireless networks that are also in range of a wireless client.
shielded twisted-pair (STP)
Copper network cable which has two or four pairs of twisted wires, shielded by a braided mesh and covered with an outside coating.
A memory module packaging style that features a circuit board with identical pin functions on both sides of the module’s card edge.
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)
A TCP/IP protocol optimized for sending e-mail. It uses port 25.
A RAM implementation scheme in which the memory controller allows standard memory modules to be installed one per bank.
A server that is dedicated to one purpose (for example, a file server or a printer server).
A memory module that has chips and pin functions that match the specification for a single module.
A software license that is valid for all installations at a single site.
An attack in which large volumes of ICMP echo requests (pings) are broadcast to all other machines on the network and in which the source address of the broadcast system has been spoofed to appear as though they came from the target computer. When all the machines that received the broadcast respond, they flood the target with more data than it can handle.
An attack where an attacker obtains information from people by deceiving them.
A small-form factor memory module based on DIMM principles and designed for the mobile computing sector.
In daisy-wheel printers, the small electromechanical hammer that strikes the back of the petal containing the character.
A printer that uses ink in a waxy solid form, rather than in liquid form. This allows the ink to stay fresh and eliminates problems like spillage.
solid-state drives (SSD)
A newer-style drive that has no moving parts, but uses flash memory to emulate a conventional hard disk drive.
Sony/Philips Digital Interface (S/PDIF)
A digital audio technology that attaches by coaxial or fiber-optic cable.
The functional part of the chipset that controls non-local bus communication among components connected to the various I/O buses, including PCI, IDE, USB, RS-232, and parallel.
Unwanted, unsolicited e-mail sent in bulk.
Permissions in Windows operating systems, including Read, Write, Execute, Delete, Change Permissions, Take Ownership, and Full Control.
An attempt by someone or something to masquerade as someone else.
A faster type of volatile memory that does not require a periodic refresh and is commonly used for cache memory.
A small metal bar on a printer that holds the printer carriage as it crosses the page.
Collection of special permissions, including Full Control, Modify, Read & Execute, Read, and Write. Each of these automatically assigns multiple special permissions at once.
A networking topology characterized by endpoints wiring directly to a central concentrating device, thus not affecting other endpoints when they have connectivity issues.
static-charge eliminator strip
The device in EP process printers that drains the static charge from the paper after the toner has been transferred to the paper.
A virus that attempts to avoid detection by masking itself from applications.
A very precise motor that can move in very small increments. Often used in printers.
straight tip (ST)
One of the most common fiber-optic connectors similar in style to the BNC connector used in 10Base2 Ethernet.
To go from a solid state to a gaseous state without passing through a liquid state.
A required part of any TCP/IP configuration, used to define which addresses are local and which are on remote networks.
subscriber connector (SC)
A type of fiber-optic cable connector.
Devices that attempt to keep power surges at bay. They often look like a power strip, but they have a fuse inside them which is designed to blow if it receives too much current, and not transfer the current to the devices plugged into it. They may have plug-ins for RJ-11 (phone), RJ-45 (Ethernet), and BNC (coaxial cable) connectors.
Also called the page file, the virtual memory in Windows.
A Layer 2 device similar to a hub in its port count but more advanced with the ability to filter traffic based on the destination MAC address of each frame. Option used with commands to specify operations that command should perform.
The correct format for interacting with a command.
Located on the Windows Taskbar, contains a clock by default, but other Windows utilities (for example, screensavers or virus-protection utilities) may put their icons here when running to indicate that they are running and to provide the user with a quick way to access their features.
TCP ACK attack
An attack that begins as a normal TCP connection and whose purpose is to deny service. It’s also known as a TCP SYN flood.
An attack in which the attacker commandeers a TCP session from a legitimate user after the legitimate user has achieved authentication, thereby removing the need for the attacker to authenticate himself.
TCP sequence attack
An attack wherein the attacker intercepts and then responds with a sequence number similar to the one used in the original session. The attack can either disrupt a session or hijack a valid session.
temporary file (temp file)
A file designed to store information for a short period of time and then be deleted.
A solid-state device with USB attachment that takes the place of older floppy diskettes and holds much more data than floppies ever did.
A media-access method that gives every NIC equal access to the cable. The token is a special packet of data that is passed from computer to computer. Any computer that wants to transmit has to wait until it has the token, at which point it can add its own data to the token and send it on.
A local area network with a logical ring structure that uses token passing to regulate traffic on the network and avoid collisions.
A carbon substance mixed with polyester resins and iron oxide particles. During the EP printing process, it is first attracted to areas that have been exposed to the laser in laser printers and is later deposited and melted onto the print medium.
The layout of a network. Basic LAN examples are bus, ring, and star. WAN examples include full and partial meshes. It can describe either the logical or physical layout.
The concentric rings on a platter where data is stored. They are subdivided into sectors.
transfer corona assembly
The part of an EP process printer that is responsible for transferring the developed image from the EP drum to the paper.
The fifth step in the EP print process, when the developed toner image on the EP drum is transferred to the print medium using the transfer corona.
A device that takes one type of electrical current and turns it into a different type of electrical current.
Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)
A core protocol in the TCP/IP protocol suite that establishes connections and guarantees packet delivery.
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suite
A set of computer-to-computer communications protocols that encompasses media access, packet transport, session communications, file transfer, e-mail, and terminal emulation. It is supported by a very large number of hardware and software vendors and is available on many different computers from PCs to mainframes. It is the protocol of the Internet and the most widely-used communications protocol in existence today.
A modified networking topology that interconnects the concentrators of a star topology to form tiers of connectivity for endpoints to reduce the number of concentrators between any two endpoints.
Any application that masquerades as one thing in order to get past scrutiny and then does something malicious. One of the major differences between these applications and viruses is that these applications tend not to replicate themselves.
TV tuner card
A class of internal and external devices that allows you to connect a broadcast signal, such as home cable television, to your computer and display it.
An installation method that does not require human intervention once started and is frequently used when installing over the network. These use answer files to supply the necessary parameters to Windows Setup.
uninterruptible power supply (UPS)
A device designed to protect everything that’s plugged into it from power surges, power sags, and even power outages. The device contains one or more batteries and fuses. Energy is stored in the batteries, and if the power fails, the batteries can power the computer for a period of time so the administrator can then safely power it down.
universal data connector (UDC)
Another name for an IBM data connector.
unshielded twisted-pair (UTP)
Networking cable that has four twisted pairs of copper wire and a flexible outer coating.
User Datagram Protocol (UDP)
Part of the TCP/IP suite that performs a similar function to TCP, with less overhead and more speed but with lower reliability. It is a connectionless protocol, meaning that it does not guarantee packet delivery.
video capture card
A stand-alone device that is often used to save a video stream to the computer for later manipulation or sharing.
A general term for a type of computer technology where hard disk space is used to supplement a computer’s physical memory. The memory controller uses a swap file on the hard drive to offload the least recently used contents of RAM to make room for additional applications and data.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A secure network where computers that are not local to the network appear to be local. Used frequently to securely connect LANs together across a WAN or for network users to remotely access the network.
A small, deviously genius program that replicates itself to other computers, generally causing those computers to behave abnormally.
voice-over IP (VoIP)
The technology that encapsulates voice traffic into IP packets and transmits it across a TCP/IP network.
voltage selector switch
The switch on a power supply that allows you to manually change the input voltage between 60Hz, 110VAC to 50Hz, 220VAC.
A software application that checks your network for any known security holes.
The unit of measure for power, equal to the number of volts in a circuit times the number of amps.
A video-only camera that connects to a computer so that the video it captures can be sent across the Internet in real time.
wide area networks (WAN)
A network that expands LANs to include networks outside of the local environment and also to distribute resources across distances.
A collection of IEEE 802.11x standards.
WiFi Protected Access (WPA)
An enhancement of 802.11 encryption that secures WiFi communications. The current standard is WPA2.
A list of all the hardware that works with Windows that also details which versions of Windows the hardware works with. The new name for the Hardware Compatibility List.
A feature designed to keep Windows current by automatically downloading updates such as patches and security fixes and installing these fixes automatically.
Wired Equivalency Protocol (WEP)
An old security protocol developed for WiFi. It has security flaws and is easily compromised.
wireless access point (WAP)
A central hub that looks nearly identical to wireless routers and provides central connectivity like wireless routers, but doesn’t have nearly as many features.
Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN)
Another name for a Bluetooth network.
A collection of peer-to-peer computers with no dedicated server or centralized security.
An area on the hard disk where programs store their temporary files while they work.
In networking, any personal computer (other than the file server) attached to the network. A high-performance computer optimized for graphics applications such as computer-aided design, computer-aided engineering, and scientific applications.
A program similar to a virus. They, however, propagate themselves over a network.
The third step in the EP print process, during which the items being printed are written to the EP drum. In this step, the laser is flashed on and off as it scans across the surface of the drum. The area on which the laser shines is discharged to almost ground (-100V).
zero insertion force (ZIF)
A mechanism on which chip sockets are mounted that allows insertion of the chip with no HTML.
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