A text editor is any word processing program that you can use to type and edit text. Hey, they don’t call it a text editor for nothing… Word Pad and NotePad for Windows and SimpleText and TextEdit for the Mac are common text editors. Larger programs such as Microsoft Word and Word Perfect are also text editors, but they have many more features. You can actually write HTML code and create HTML pages with a simple text editor, as long as you know the correct HTML syntax.
Stands for “Plastic Pin Grid Array” (not the Pretty People Golfer’s Association). PPGA is a type of processor design or “form factor” used by the Intel Celeron processor. The design allows the heat generated by the chip to dissipate more quickly. This enables the processor to use more transistors and run at higher speeds without burning a hole in the side of your computer. If you’d like to know more about PPGA, check out Intel’s own documention.
A keystroke is typing one character on a keyboard (not stroking your keyboard like a cat). Every time you hit a key, you perform a keystroke. Therefore, 5400 keystrokes in one hour means hitting 5400 keys in one hour, or 90 keys a minute (5400 ÷ 60 minutes).
Sometimes keystrokes per hour (KSPH) or keystrokes per minute (KSPM) are used to measure typing speed instead of words per minute (WPM). After all, typing the word “hi” 50 times doesn’t take quite as long as typing “Nebuchadnezzar” 50 times.
C is a high-level programming language that was developed in the mid-1970s. It was originally used for writing Unix programs, but is now used to write applications for nearly every available platform. Compared to most previous languages, C is easier to read, more flexible (can be used for a wide variety of purposes), and more efficient at using memory.
C++, pronounced “C plus plus,” is a programming language that was built off the C language. The syntax of C++ is nearly identical to C, but it has object-oriented features, which allow the programmer to create objects within the code. This makes programming easier, more efficient, and some would even say, more fun. Because of the power and flexibility of the language, most software programs today are written in C++.
E-commerce (electronic-commerce) refers to business over the Internet. Web sites such as Amazon.com, Buy.com, and eBay are all e-commerce sites. The two major forms of e-commerce are Business-to-Consumer (B2C) and Business-to-Business (B2B). While companies like Amazon.com cater mostly to consumers, other companies provide goods and services exclusively to other businesses. The terms “e-business” and “e-tailing” are often used synonymously with e-commerce. They refer to the same idea; they are just used to confuse people trying to learn computer terms.
Structured Query Language,” and can be pronounced as either “sequel” or “S-Q-L.” It is a query language used for accessing and modifying information in a database. Some common SQL commands include “insert,” “update,” and “delete.” The language was first created by IBM in 1975 and was called SEQUEL for “Structured English Query Language.” Since then, it has undergone a number of changes, many coming from Oracle products.
Today, SQL is commonly used for Web database development and management. Though SQL is now considered to be a standard language, there are still a number of variations of it, such as mSQL and mySQL. By using a scripting language like PHP, SQL commands can be executed when a Web page loads. This makes it possible to create dynamic Web pages that can display different information each time they load.
Perl actually stands for “Practical Extraction and Report Language,” but you don’t really need to know that unless you want to impress your nerd friends. Perl is a scripting language which uses a syntax simliar to C/C++. It is commonly used by Web programmers to create scripts for Web servers. Perl is especially good at parsing text, so programmers often use it for reading and searching through text files.
As a regular computer user, you won’t get to see Perl in action, since it does most of its work “behind the scenes.” Perl scripts are run on the server computer before any information is sent to your Web browser. Oh well, the code looks like hieroglyphics to most people anyway.
Stands for “Personal Digital Assistant.” These are the little electronic devices you see people jotting stuff down on in public. Usually, when you see someone with a PDA, they will be holding it out far front of them for everyone to see. Fortunately, as PDAs become more common, more people will have them and we won’t have to deal with the people who make sure everyone else sees that they have one.
The first PDA, called the Newton, was created by Apple in 1993. Since then, numerous other companies have jumped on the bandwagon and have added many new designs and options to the PDA market. The Palm Pilot, Handspring Visor, HP Jordana, Compaq Aero, Sharp Mobilon, and Sony Cli? are all common PDAs. Ironically, Apple’s Newton was discontinued when the company was having financial difficulties in 1998. Today’s PDAs allow you to organize your schedule, take notes, do math calculations, play games, write memos, and even surf the Internet and send e-mail. They are cool things to have, but if you decide to get one, please do us all a favor and don’t show it off in public.
PDA also stands for “Public Display of Affection,” and though this term is all too relevant at college campuses, it has nothing to do with this definition.
This refers to high-speed data transmission in which a single cable can carry a large amount of data at once. The most common types of Internet broadband connections are cable modems (which use the same connection as cable TV) and DSL modems (which use your existing phone line). Because of its multiple channel capacity, broadband has started to replace baseband, the single-channel technology originally used in most computer networks. So now when you see companies like AT&T and SBC pushing those fancy “broadband” ads in your face, you’ll at least know what they are talking about.
This is an Internet service that finds information about a domain name or IP address. If you enter a domain name in a WHOIS search engine, it will scour a huge database of domains and return information about the one you entered. This information typically contains the name, address, and phone number of the administrative, billing, and technical contacts of the domain name. WHOIS can also be used to simply check if a certain domain name is available or if it has already been registered. To see the WHOIS service in action, check out Allwhois.com or BetterWhois.com.