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Tech Terms: GUI

Graphical user interface is abbreviated GUI and pronounced GOO-ee. GUI is a A program interface that takes advantage of the computer’s graphics capabilities to make the program easier to use. Well-designed graphical user interfaces can free the user from learning complex command languages. On the other hand, many users find that they work more effectively with a command-driven interface, especially if they already know the command language.

Basic Components of a GUI
Graphical user interfaces, such as Microsoft Windows and the one used by the Apple Macintosh, feature the following basic components:

  • Pointer: A symbol that appears on the display screen and that you move to select objects and commands. Usually, the pointer appears as a small angled arrow. Text -processing applications, however, use an I-beam pointer that is shaped like a capital I.
  • Pointing device: A device, such as a mouse or trackball, that enables you to select objects on the display screen.
  • Icons: Small pictures that represent commands, files, or windows. By moving the pointer to the icon and pressing a mouse button, you can execute a command or convert the icon into a window. You can also move the icons around the display screen as if they were real objects on your desk.
  • Desktop: The area on the display screen where icons are grouped is often referred to as the desktop because the icons are intended to represent real objects on a real desktop.
  • Windows: You can divide the screen into different areas. In each window, you can run a different program or display a different file. You can move windows around the display screen, and change their shape and size at will.
  • Menus: Most graphical user interfaces let you execute commands by selecting a choice from a menu.

In addition to their visual components, graphical user interfaces also make it easier to move data from one application to another. A true GUI includes standard formats for representing text and graphics. Because the formats are well-defined, different programs that run under a common GUI can share data. This makes it possible, for example, to copy a graph created by a spreadsheet program into a document created by a word processor.

Many DOS programs include some features of GUIs, such as menus, but are not graphics based. Such interfaces are sometimes called graphical character-based user interfaces to distinguish them from true GUIs.

The First Graphical User Interface
The first graphical user interface was designed by Xerox Corporation’s Palo Alto Research Center in the 1970s, but it was not until the 1980s and the emergence of the Apple Macintosh that graphical user interfaces became popular. One reason for their slow acceptance was the fact that they require considerable CPU power and a high-quality monitor, which were prohibitively expensive.

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Tech Terms: Key Fob

A fob, commonly called a key fob, is a small security hardware device with built-in authentication used to control and secure access to network services and data. The key fob displays a randomly generated access code, which changes periodically, usually every 30 to 60 seconds. A user first authenticates themselves on the key fob with a personal identification number (PIN), followed by the current code displayed on the device.

History of the Phrase
Key fob is also a word used to describe a key chain and several other similar items and devices. The word fob is believed to have originated from watch fobs, which existed as early as 1888. The fob refers to an ornament attached to a pocket-watch chain. Key chains, remote car starters, garage door openers, and keyless entry devices on hotel room doors are also called fobs, or key fobs.

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Tech Terms: Server

(serĀ“ver) (n.) A server is a computer or device on a network that manages the network resources. Servers are often dedicated, meaning that they perform no other tasks besides their server tasks. On multiprocessing operating systems, however, a single computer can execute several programs at once. A server in this case could refer to the program that is managing resources rather than the entire computer.

Different Types of Servers
Different servers do different jobs, from serving email and video to protecting internal networks and hosting Web sites. There are many different types of servers, for example:

  • File server: a computer and storage device dedicated to storing files. Any user on the network can store files on the server.
  • Print server: a computer that manages one or more printers, and a network server is a computer that manages network traffic.
  • Database server: a computer system that processes database queries.

Are Servers Just Desktop Computers?
Many people mistakenly believe that a server is a typical desktop computer, but simply running a server operating system on a desktop computer isn’t a replacement for real server hardware. For the average home user looking for a basic, infrequently used server, one built from a desktop computer could work but most businesses will find that a ready-made, dedicated server is a better choice. Learn more about the difference between servers and desktop PCs in this Webopedia article.

Server Hardware: One of the best choices for a small business is a dedicated server built from the ground up as a file server to provide features and expansion options that a desktop computer lacks. Before investing in server hardware, you need to consider many things including the server operating system, applications, storage, processor, form factor, memory and more to help you choose wisely.

Top 5 Server Definitions to Know

  1. What is a Web server? Web servers are computers that deliver (or serve up) Web pages. Every Web server has an IP address and possibly a domain name. There are many Web server software applications, including public domain software and commercial packages.
  2. What is a proxy server? A proxy server is a server that sits between a client application, such as a Web browser, and a real server. Proxy servers have two main purposes: to improve performance and to filter requests.
  3. What is a dedicated server? A dedicated server is a single computer in a network reserved for serving the needs of the network. For example, some networks require that one computer be set aside to manage communications between all the other computers. 
  4. What is an application server? An application server is a program that handles all application operations between users and an organization’s back-end business applications or databases. This type of server is typically used for complex transaction-based applications.
  5. What is a cloud server? Cloud servers are services made available to customers on demand via the Internet. Rather than being provided by a single server or virtual server, cloud server hosting services are provided by multiple connected servers that comprise a cloud.

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Tech Terms: Peripheral Device

A peripheral device is defined as a computer device, such as a keyboard or printer, that is not part of the essential computer (i.e., the memory and microprocessor). These auxiliary devices are intended to be connected to the computer and used.

Types of Peripheral Devices
Peripheral devices can be external or internal. Examples of external peripherals include mouse, keyboard, printer, monitor, external Zip drive or scanner.

Examples of internal peripherals include CD-ROM drive, CD-R drive or internal modem. Today’s new devices, such as tablets, smartphones and wearable computing devices are considered peripherals as they can be connected and used on a computer system. The difference, however, is that these devices can run independently of the computer system, unlike a computer mouse, for example.

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Why Use eDocs?

What is eDocs?

eDocs is a document management system that provides an easy way for your business to share and sync important data across multiple platforms while keeping security a top priority. If employees are using consumer- grade sync services, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive, your business might be at risk of data theft, data loss, corrupted data and compliance violations. Discover how file access can be easy, safe, and secure.

Why eDocs?

  • File access and syncing across all devices
  • Team Shares
  • Comprehensive usage reports
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  • Remote wipes of desktops and devices
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  • Managed file sharing for internal and external parties
  • Continuous, real-time backups. WannaCry, no more
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Tech Terms: DBMS

A database management system (DBMS) is a collection of programs that enables you to store, modify, and extract information from a database. There are many different types of database management systems, ranging from small systems that run on personal computers to huge systems that run on mainframes.

Examples of Database Applications
The following are examples of database applications:

  • computerized library systems
  • automated teller machines
  • flight reservation systems
  • computerized parts inventory systems

DBMS Organization
From a technical standpoint, database management systems can differ widely. The terms relational, network, flat, and hierarchical all refer to the way a DBMS organizes information internally. The internal organization can affect how quickly and flexibly you can extract information.

Requests for information from a database are made in the form of a query, which is a stylized question. For example, the query
SELECT ALL WHERE NAME = “SMITH” AND AGE > 35 requests all records in which the NAME field is SMITH and the AGE field is greater than 35. The set of rules for constructing queries is known as a query language. Different DBMSs support different query languages, although there is a semi-standardized query language called SQL (structured query language). Sophisticated languages for managing database systems are called fourth-generation languages (or 4GLs for short).

DBMS Formats
The information from a database can be presented in a variety of formats. Most DBMSs include a report writer program that enables you to output data in the form of a report. Many DBMSs also include a graphics component that enables you to output information in the form of graphs and charts.

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Tech Terms: Moore’s Law

(n.) Moore’s Law is the observation made in 1965 by Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since the integrated circuit was invented. Moore predicted that this trend would continue for the foreseeable future.

In subsequent years, the pace slowed down a bit, but data density has doubled approximately every 18 months, and this is the current definition of Moore’s Law, which Moore himself has blessed. Most experts, including Moore himself, expect Moore’s Law to hold true until 2020-2025.

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Tech Terms: Query

(n.) A query is a request for information from a database. There are three general methods for posing queries:

  • Choosing parameters from a menu: In this method, the database system presents a list of parameters from which you can choose. This is perhaps the easiest way to pose a query because the menus guide you, but it is also the least flexible.
  • Query by example (QBE): In this method, the system presents a blank record and lets you specify the fields and values that define the query.
  • Query language: Many database systems require you to make requests for information in the form of a stylized query that must be written in a special query language. This is the most complex method because it forces you to learn a specialized language, but it is also the most powerful.

(v.) To make a request for information from a database.

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Tech Terms: DNS

(1) Short for Domain Name System (or Service or Server), an Internet service that translates domain names into IP addresses. Because domain names are alphabetic, they’re easier to remember. The Internet however, is really based on IP addresses.

Every time you use a domain name, therefore, a DNS service must translate the name into the corresponding IP address. For example, the domain name http://www.example.com might translate to 198.105.232.4.

The DNS system is, in fact, its own network. If one DNS server doesn’t know how to translate a particular domain name, it asks another one, and so on, until the correct IP address is returned.

(2) Short for digital nervous system,a term coined by Bill Gates to describe a network of personal computers that make it easier to obtain and understand information.
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Tech Terms: OOP

Object-oriented programming (OOP) refers to a type of computer programming (software design) in which programmers define not only the data type of a data structure, but also the types of operations (functions) that can be applied to the data structure.

In this way, the data structure becomes an object that includes both data and functions. In addition, programmers can create relationships between one object and another. For example, objects can inherit characteristics from other objects.

The Basics: Object Oriented Programming Concepts
If you are new to object-oriented programming languages, you will need to know a few basics before you can get started with code. The following Webopedia definitions will help you better understand object-oriented programming:
Abstraction: The process of picking out (abstracting) common features of objects and procedures.

  • Class: A category of objects. The class defines all the common properties of the different objects that belong to it.
  • Encapsulation: The process of combining elements to create a new entity. A procedure is a type of encapsulation because it combines a series of computer instructions.
  • Information hiding: The process of hiding details of an object or function. Information hiding is a powerful programming technique because it reduces complexity.
  • Inheritance: a feature that represents the “is a” relationship between different classes.
  • Interface: the languages and codes that the applications use to communicate with each other and with the hardware.
  • Messaging: Message passing is a form of communication used in parallel programming and object-oriented programming.
  • Object: a self-contained entity that consists of both data and procedures to manipulate the data.
  • Polymorphism: A programming language’s ability to process objects differently depending on their data type or class.
  • Procedure: a section of a program that performs a specific task.

Advantages of Object Oriented Programming
One of the principal advantages of object-oriented programming techniques over procedural programming techniques is that they enable programmers to create modules that do not need to be changed when a new type of object is added. A programmer can simply create a new object that inherits many of its features from existing objects. This makes object-oriented programs easier to modify.

OOPL – Object Oriented Programming Languages
An object-oriented programming language (OOPL) is a high-level programming language based on the object-oriented model. To perform object-oriented programming, one needs an object-oriented programming language. Many modern programming languages are object-oriented, however some older programming languages, such as Pascal, do offer object-oriented versions. Examples of object-oriented programming languages include Java, C++ and Smalltalk.

The First OOPL
Simula, developed in the 1960s at the Norwegian Computing Center in Oslo, is considered to be the first object-oriented programming language. Despite being first, Smalltalk is considered to be the only true object-oriented programming environment and the one against which all others must be compared. It was first developed for educational use at Xerox Corporation’s Palo Alto Research Center in the late 1960s and released in 1972.

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