Technology / Computers Glossary
FireWire: IEEE standard number 1394. A serial I/O interface boasting transfer rates up to 400MB/sec, 800MB/sec, or 3.2 GB/sec.
Firmware: Software (programs or data) that has been written onto read-only memory (ROM). Firmware is a combination of software and hardware. ROMs, PROMs and EPROMs that have data or programs recorded . . . View Full Definition
Flash Memory: This type of non-volatile memory has the ability to retain its information even when there is no power source. Flash Memory is best known for its use in hand help devices where it is used to . . . View Full Definition
Floppy Disk: A removable disk using a flexible magnetic media in a plastic case. 3.5'' floppy disks are sometimes seen in modern computing, but are quickly being replaced as their predecessors were.
Flow Chart: A graphical representation of planned activities, operations or tasks. Usually, flow charts are used to show the progress of a certain activity. They can also be used to show the variance be . . . View Full Definition
Folder: As displayed in a graphical user interface, simulates a file folder that contains other objects, similar to how one would use a file in a file cabinet.
Form Factor: The physical dimensions of a given device. If two devices are said to have the same form factor then they are physically interchangeable. Often used when referring to the form factor of a PC . . . View Full Definition
Formal Specification: These specifications exist to satisfy predefined properties of a device or program. The word 'formal' in Computer Science is referring to the act of being 'precise'. It takes three language . . . View Full Definition
Format: The organizing and allocation of sectors on a disk adhering to the chosen format standard. Formatting must take place before any data can be written to the disk.
Forms: A web page element that uses text fields, radio buttons and check boxes to process predefined data. Forms also allow users to interact with an application by allowing information to be passe . . . View Full Definition
FORmula TRANslator (FORTRAN): Developed in 1954 by IBM, it is a high-level programming language, most widely used for scientific and engineering applications because it has excellent mathematical functions. Many programm . . . View Full Definition
Freeware: This is a shortened version of Free Software. Programmers offer their work without wanting pay in return.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): An FAQ is a file or document where a moderator or administrator will post commonly asked questions and their answers.
Front Side Bus: This is the main pathway for data transfer in a PC. It connects all of a computers major components, such as; memory, AGP socket and chipset.
Full Duplex: Refers to the transmission of data in two directions simultaneously. For example, a telephone is a full-duplex device because both parties can talk at once. In contrast, a walkie-talkie is a . . . View Full Definition
Gateway: A hardware or software tool that converts between two dissimilar applications. For example, an email gateway may convert between SMTP and MHS. A gateway on a network can convert between two . . . View Full Definition
General Protection Fault: GPF, short for General Protection Fault, is a computer condition that causes a Windows application to crash. The most common cause of a GPF is two applications trying to use the same block o . . . View Full Definition
Gigabyte (GB): 2 to the 30th power (1,073,741,824) bytes. One gigabyte is equal to 1,024 megabytes.
Glyph: A graphic symbol whose appearance conveys information; for example, the vertical and horizontal arrows on cursor keys that indicate the directions in which they control cursor movement.
Gopher: A method of distributing information by computers that has waned in popularity to ftp. Most gopher files contain only text information with few images, audio, or video components. Files can . . . View Full Definition
Graphical Interchange Format (GIF): Pronounced 'jif.' It is an image format created by Compuserve.
Graphical User Interface (GUI): 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 co . . . View Full Definition
Half-Duplex: Refers to the transmission of data in just one direction at a time. For example, a walkie-talkie is a half-duplex device because only one party can talk at a time. In contrast, a telephone i . . . View Full Definition
Handshaking: The process by which two devices initiate communications. Handshaking begins when one device sends a message to another device indicating that it wants to establish a communications channel. . . . View Full Definition
Hard Boot: A hard reboot (also known as a cold reboot) is when power to a computer is cycled (turned on and off) or a special reset signal to the processor is triggered (from a front panel switch of so . . . View Full Definition