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.
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.
(ser´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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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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
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).
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.