Technology / Computers Glossary
Semiconductor: This refers to a material that is not a good conductor of electricity (copper) nor a good insulator (plastic). Silicon and germanium are the most common semiconductor materials. Semiconducto . . . View Full Definition
Serial: The transfer of data characters one bit at a time, sequentially, using a single electrical path.
Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA): A computer bus designed to transfer data to and from a hard drive using serial signaling technology. Because SATA cables are thinner than its ribbon type counterpart, they can be connected t . . . View Full Definition
Serial Port: A port, or interface, that can be used for serial communication, in which only 1 bit is transmitted at a time. Most serial ports on personal computers conform to the RS-232C or RS-422 standa . . . View Full Definition
Serialization: A sequence of commands that execute orders in a database.
Server: This is a mainframe computer that serves the other computers attached to it.
Service ID (SID): Used in the DOCSIS standard to defines a particular mapping between a cable modem (CM) and the CMTS. The SID is used for the purpose of upstream bandwidth allocation and class-of-service management.
Shadowing: A technique used to increase a computer's speed by using high-speed RAM memory in place of slower ROM memory (RAM is about three times as fast as ROM). On PCs, for example, all code to contr . . . View Full Definition
Shareware: Software distributed on the basis of an honor system. Most shareware is delivered free of charge, but the author usually requests that you pay a small fee if you like the program and use it . . . View Full Definition
Sheet Tab: In spreadsheet applications, this would refer to a tab at the bottom of a work sheet that acts as a means to identify or access different sheets within a workbook.
Shell: Just like the shell of an egg is the outermost layer, in computer technology, this refers to the outermost layer of a program. Operating systems and applications sometimes provide an alterna . . . View Full Definition
Shielded Twisted Pair: The same as UTP network cabling only that it has a metal sheath or braid around it to reduce interference.
Short Message Service (SMS): A popular wireless service that is used for sending and receiving short messages up to a maximum of 160 characters. The service is used for text messaging between cell phones that are on a G . . . View Full Definition
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP): When you're exchanging electronic mail on the Internet, SMTP is what keeps the process orderly. It's a protocol that regulates what goes on between the mail servers.
Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP): Stands for 'Simple Network Management Protocol'. It was developed in 1988 and has become a standard for Internet work management and used almost exclusively in TCP/IP networks.
Simplex: A one directional communications circuit that can only either transmit or receive, but not both. Two good examples of simplex devices would be your TV or an FM radio.
Single In-Line Memory Module (SIMM): A small circuit board that can hold a group of memory chips. Typically, SIMMs hold up 8 (on Macintoshes) or 9 (on PCs) RAM chips. On PCs, the ninth chip is often used for parity error checki . . . View Full Definition
Single In-Line Package (SIP): Abbreviation of single in-line package, a type of housing for electronic components in which the connecting pins protrude from one side. Compare with DIP and PGA. A SIP is also called a Sing . . . View Full Definition
Skype: This is a peer-to-peer voice over Internet protocol (VoIP). This Internet telephony network was created by the same people that created Kazaa (Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis). It was devel . . . View Full Definition
Slot: A physical connector on a motherboard to hold an expansion card or memory module. In older models, CPUs were installed on circuit boards that fit into a slot as well.
Small Computer System Interface (SCSI): It is pronounced 'scuzzy,' and is a parallel interface standard used by Apple Macintosh computers, PCs, and many UNIX systems for the purpose of attaching peripheral devices to computer syst . . . View Full Definition
Small Outline Dual Inline Memory Module (SODIMM): These memory modules are typically used in laptop and notebook computers where space and low power consumption is a major consideration. SODIMM's are about half the size of its DIMM counterpart.
Socket: A receptacle on a motherboard that processors or chips can be plugged into. The slot varies by the type of chip it was designed to receive, usually based on pin count.
Socket 7: Socket 7 is a connection format used on older processors such as the Cyrix M2, AMD K6 and K6-2.
Socket 8: The Socket 8 connection format was exclusively used on Intel Pentium Pro and Pentium II OverDrive processors.