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Jargon Buster

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  1. AAC

    Advanced Audio Coding. A type of lossy compressed music file that’s more efficient than mp3 (better quality for same size file).

  2. Access point

    Links wireless network users to a wired network.

  3. Address bar

    An area of a web browser into which internet addresses can be typed. Pressing enter then directs the browser to that exact page. The address bar is sometimes confused with a search bar. Typing addresses into a search field will produce a list of websites that may or may not match what you are looking for.

  4. ADF

    Automatic Document Feeder. A device that feeds each page of an original document into a photocopier or scanner, one by one.

  5. ADSL

    Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. A technology that converts a standard phone line into a broadband internet connection.

  6. ADSL2

    A newer, faster type of ADSL broadband.

  7. Adware

    Software that displays adverts.

  8. Aero

    The technology that provides fancy window effects in Windows 7 and some versions of Vista.

  9. AGP

    Accelerated Graphics Port. A slot used to connect graphics cards in older computers.

  10. AI

    Artificial Intelligence. A computer program designed to mimic the behaviour of humans or animals.

  11. AIFF

    Audio Interchange File Format. A digital audio format often associated with Apple Mac computers.

  12. Ajax

    Asynchronous Javascript and XML. A technology that allows websites to fetch fresh information from the web without loading a new page.

  13. Amoled

    Active-matrix organic light-emitting diode. A type of flat-panel display technology where each pixel/sub-pixel is self illuminating, negating the need for a backlight like on LCDs. The technology allows for very thin displays, which are low power and – as each pixel can be turned off completely – have very high contrast. They’re commonly found in phones and cameras and will soon be the choice for TVs too.

  14. Analogue

    A signal whose value can be any point within set bounds, as opposed to a digital signal which is either on or off.

  15. Android

    An operating system for portable computers and mobile phones, developed by Google, based on the Linux system and freely available for anyone to use and tinker with.

  16. Animated GIF

    A type of image file format that can store multiple frames along with a time of when to show each frame. It can be used to create simple animations, often used online to add animation to a webpage.

  17. Annotation

    A comment on a document, rather like a note jotted down on a paper document.

  18. Anti-virus

    Software that protects against and removes computer viruses.

  19. Aperture

    An opening that controls the amount of light entering a camera lens.

  20. API

    Application Programming Interface. A system built into a program so that other programs can work with it.

  21. App

    A small program designed to run on a phone or handheld computer (short for application). Could be a game, utility or any other type of program.

  22. Applet

    A small program, often one that runs within a larger program to perform a specific task.

  23. Application

    A computer program that performs a specific task, such as Microsoft Word for creating documents.

  24. Aspect ratio

    A measurement of the shape of a display. Traditional computer screens are 4:3. Widescreen displays are 16:9 or 16:10.

  25. ATRAC

    Adaptive Transform Acoustic Coding. A type of music file used by some older Sony players.

  26. Attachment

    A computer file, such as a word-processing document, sent along with an email.

  27. Audible

    A company that sells downloadable audio books. Also used to describe the files it uses.

  28. Audio book

    A book read aloud and recorded on tape, CD or as a digital file.

  29. Autocorrect

    A technology that corrects words as you type them.

  30. Autoplay

    A Windows feature that allows a program to be automatically started when a disk is connected to a computer

  31. Autosum

    A tool in Excel that provides a quick total of the selected cells.

  32. Autotrace

    A tool in some photo editors that attempts to trace an image, converting it into vector graphics that can be resized.

  33. AV

    Audio/Visual. Anything to do with devices that can show/record video or play/record sound.

  34. Avatar

    A graphic or icon used to represent a computer user, either online or in a video game.

  35. AVCHD

    Advanced Video Coding High Definition. A standard for storing high-definition video. AVCHD discs can be played by most Blu-ray players.

  36. AVI

    Audio Video Interleave. A type of video file. AVI is known as a container format, as it can hold many types of audio and video.

  37. AV Sender

    A device that sends audio and video signals wirelessly.

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