Month: July 2016

Tech Terms: File

A file is a collection of data stored in one unit, identified by a filename. It can be a document, picture, audio or video stream, data library, application, or other collection of data. The following is a brief description of each file type.

Documents include text files, such as a Word documents, RTF (Rich Text Format) documents, PDFs, Web pages, and others. Pictures include JPEGs, GIFs, BMPs, and layered image files, such as Photoshop documents (PSDs). Audio files include MP3s, AACs, WAVs, AIFs, and several others. Video files can be encoded in MPEG, MOV, WMV, or DV formats, just to name a few.

A library file is a unit of data that is referenced by a specific program or the operating system itself. These include plug-ins, components, scripts, and many others. An application is a program, or executable file. Programs such as Microsoft Internet Explorer and Apple iTunes are both applications, but are also files.

Files can be opened, saved, deleted, and moved to different folders. They can also be transferred across network connections or downloaded from the Internet. A file’s type can be determined by viewing the file’s icon or by reading the file extension. If the file type is associated with a specific application, double-clicking the file will typically open the file within the program.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/file

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Tech Terms: ReadMe

A readme file, often named “READ ME” to get the user’s attention, is a text file containing useful information about a software program. It often accompanies the program’s installer or is installed with the program. A typical readme file contains instructions on how to install the program, how to use the basic functions of the program, and what the program does. It may also include a list of recent updates made to the program. Sometimes the readme file will include warnings and other important notices regarding the operation of the program. So when you see a readme file accompanying a new software program, it is best to do what the file says and read it!

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/readme

Tech Terms: Offline

When a computer or other device is not turned on or connected to other devices, it is said to be “offline.” This is the opposite of being “online,” when a device can readily communicate with other devices. For example, if you try to print to your printer and you get one of those frustrating errors saying, “The specified printer could not be found,” the printer is probably offline. You should check to see if the printer is connected properly and, yes, turned on as well.

Offline can also mean not being connected to the Internet. When you disconnect from your ISP or pull out the Ethernet cable from your computer, your computer is offline. Some programs, such as Web browsers and e-mail programs, have an option to “Work Offline.” This option disables the program’s network connection, meaning no data can be transmitted to or from the computer. This option was more useful when most people used dial-up connections. They didn’t want their computer automatically dialing their ISP whenever a program tried to access the Internet. However, since most people now have “always on” connections such as DSL and cable modems, there usually is no reason to work offline.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/offline

Tech Terms: Online

In general, when a machine is “online,” it is turned on and connected to other devices. For example, when a network printer is online, computers connected to that network can print from it. Other devices, such as scanners, video cameras, audio interfaces, and others are said to be online when they are running and connected to a computer system.

Recently, however, the term “online” usually means being connected to the Internet. The connection can be through a phone line, using a dial-up or DSL modem, a cable line via a cable modem, or through a wireless connection. A computer can also be online via a connection to a computer network. Technically, computers that are on a network are online even if they are not connected to the Internet. But most networks are routed to a T1 line or other Internet connection anyway. When a computer or other device is not online, it is said to be offline.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/online

Tech Terms: DVD-RW

Stands for “Digital Versatile Disk Rewritable.” A DVD-RW is like a DVD-R but can be erased and written to again. Like CD-RWs, DVD-RWs must be erased in order for new data to be added. DVD-RWs can hold 4.7GB of data and do not come in double-layered or double-sided versions like DVD-Rs do. Because of their large capacity and ability to be used mulitple times, DVD-RW discs are a great solution for frequent backups. To record data onto a DVD-RW disc, you’ll need a DVD burner that supports the DVD-RW format.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/dvd-rw

Tech Terms: DVD+R

Stands for “Digital Versatile Disc Recordable.” DVD+R discs look the same as regular DVDs, but can be used to record data. Single-sided, single-layer DVD+R discs can store 4.7GB of data, while double-layer discs can store 8.5GB and double-sided DVD-Rs can store 9.4GB. The DVD+R format is not quite as common as the DVD-R format, but is still supported by most current DVD players and DVD-ROM drives. Drives that can read both DVD+R and DVD-R discs are often referred to as DVD?R drives.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/dvdr

Tech Terms: DVD-R

Digital Versatile Disc Recordable.” A DVD-R looks the same as a regular DVD, but like a CD-R, it can be used to record data. Once a DVD-R has been “burned,” or written to, it cannot be written to again. A basic single-sided, single-layer DVD-R disc can store 4.7GB of data. Double-layer discs can store 8.5GB, while double-sided DVD-Rs can store 9.4GB.

DVD-R is the most common format of writable DVDs (compared to the DVD+R and DVD-RAM formats). Most DVD players and DVD-ROM drives can read DVD-R discs. That means you can use a DVD-R disc to back up several gigabytes of data on your computer or make your own video DVD. The Apple SuperDrive used in many Macintosh computers supports the DVD-R format.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/dvd-r

Tech Terms: DVD-RAM

Stands for “Digital Versatile Disc Random Access Memory.” DVD-RAMs are writable DVDs that can be erased and rewritten like DVD-RW and DVD+RW discs. Unlike the other two writable DVD formats, DVD-RAM discs support advanced error correction and defect management. While these features slow down the maximum data transfer rate for DVD-RAM discs, it also makes the discs more reliable.

Early DVD-RAM discs required an enclosing cartridge, which meant they would not fit in most DVD players or DVD-ROM drives. Therefore, you would need a DVD-RAM drive to use DVD-RAM discs, as well as burn them. Newer DVD-RAM discs, however, can be used without a cartridge. These discs can be played in any DVD player that supports the DVD-RAM format. While the first DVD-RAM media could only hold 2.6GB on a single-sided disc, newer double-sided discs can store up to 9.4GB.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/dvdram

Tech Terms: CD-ROM

Stands for “Compact Disc Read-Only Memory.” A CD-ROM is a CD that can be read by a computer with an optical drive. The “ROM” part of the term means the data on the disc is “read-only,” or cannot be altered or erased. Because of this feature and their large capacity, CD-ROMs are a great media format for retail software. The first CD-ROMs could hold about 600 MB of data, but now they can hold up to 700 MB. CD-ROMs share the same technology as audio CDs, but they are formatted differently, allowing them to store many types of data.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/cdrom

Tech Terms: CD

Stands for “Compact Disc.” CDs are circular discs that are 4.75 in (12 cm) in diameter. The CD standard was proposed by Sony and Philips in 1980 and the technology was introduced to the U.S. market in 1983. CDs can hold up to 700 MB of data or 80 minutes of audio. The data on a CD is stored as small notches on the disc and is read by a laser from an optical drive. The drives translate the notches (which represent 1’s and 0’s) into usable data.

The first CDs were audio CDs, which eventually replaced audio tapes (which earlier replaced records). Audio CDs have the advantage of allowing the user to jump to different places on the disc. CDs can also be listened to an unlimited number of times without losing quality. Audio tapes can start to lose quality after listening to them as few as ten times. This is because the laser that reads the data on a CD doesn’t put pressure on the disc, whereas the playheads on a tape deck slowly wear away the magnetic strip on the tape.

In 1985, CD-ROMs hit the computer market. Because they could store far more information than floppy discs (700 MB compared to 1.4 MB), CDs soon became the most common software format. In 1988, the CD-R (CD-Recordable) technology was introduced, allowing computer users to burn their own CDs. However, this technology did not become mainstream until the late 1990s. A smaller 3″ CD, called “CD-3” is also available and is readable by most tray-loading CD-ROM drives. For a timeline of the history of the CD, visit OneOff Media, Inc.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/cd