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Technology Dictionary

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An alphabetical listing of General terms and items.

DAC   Dico Tools
DAC, in accounting, is an acronym for Deferred Acquisition Costs.

Data   Dico Tools
Any information created by a user, such as documents, pictures or sound recordings.

Database   Dico Tools
A program used for organising any kind of information on a computer into a searchable form, anything from a list of contacts to a complex stock control and accounts system.

DDR   Dico Tools
(Double Data Rate) A fast type of RAM for a PC, originally only used on high performance graphics cards but now being used for general memory in most high-end PCs. DDR2 is a yet faster version.

Default   Dico Tools
A default setting is one you haven't changed - what a program will do (or use) if you don’t tell it any different. "Accept the defaults" means leave any settings as they are.

Desktop   Dico Tools
A computer designed to sit on a desk (as opposed to a laptop). In Windows, it also means the screen you see when you aren't running any programs, with "My Computer", the Recycle Bin and so on.

Digital   Dico Tools
Literally "to do with numbers". Often used to describe a device using computer technology to replace older, traditional technologies. For example, a digital camera is one that stores images electronically rather than on chemical film.

DIMM   Dico Tools
(Dual In-line Memory Module; pr. "dim") A module of RAM (memory) for a PC, replacing the older SIMM specification.

Directory   Dico Tools
An area on a disk for storing files, particularly in DOS. Usually called a folder in Windows.

Disk   Dico Tools
Generic term for a type of storage device, such as a hard disk or a floppy disk (diskette). So called because the important part, where the information is actually stored, is circular, although you can't see it because it is hidden away inside a protective shell.

Diskette   Dico Tools
Also known as a floppy disk. Called a diskette because it was smaller than the original huge floppy disks, now long obsolete.

DNS   Dico Tools
(Domain Name Service/System) An internet service that converts a human web address such as www.jonstorm.com into the numeric address that computers use, called the IP address. "Can't resolve DNS" usually means that this conversion has failed and therefore the website can't be found.

Domain   Dico Tools
An internet address owned by a company, organisation or individual, such as jonstorm.com, nasa.gov or bbc.co.uk.

Dongle   Dico Tools
A small hardware device used for copy protection with some software. The dongle must be plugged in to a port on the computer, often the printer port, or the software won't function. They are often unpopular with users because if the dongle gets lost or broken, the software won't function.

DOS   Dico Tools
(Disk Operating System; pr. "doss") Usually refers to MS-DOS, which was the standard operating system for PCs until Windows 95 came out, now pretty much obsolete. Controlled by typing in text commands and has several serious limitations, but requires a much less powerful computer than Windows 95.

DoS   Dico Tools
(Denial of Service) A form of attack on (usually) an internet service, which aims to prevent the service from operating properly, often by bombarding it with more information than it can process. See also Mailbomb.

Download   Dico Tools
To transfer information (files) from a network (such as the Internet) onto a user's PC. See also upload.

Dpi   Dico Tools
(Dots Per Inch) A measure of picture quality, often used to measure printer capabilities. The higher the number, the better the quality.

Driver   Dico Tools
A small program used by the operating system to control hardware such as a sound or video card. Often downloading the latest driver for a device from the manufacturer's website will improve its functionality.

DRM   Dico Tools
(Digital Rights Management) Software intended to prevent the unauthorised duplication of copyrighted video or audio, usually built into a computer's operating system.

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Dual Core   Dico Tools
PC processors which have two complete processors on the same chip, allowing computers to handle multiple tasks faster. See also quad-core.

Dual Layer   Dico Tools
A technology allowing two layers of data to be written to a DVD instead of the usual one, thus increasing its capacity.

DVD   Dico Tools
(Digital Versatile Disk) A more advanced version of the standard CD which can hold far more information, now standard on most new PCs. Widely used for high-quality digital movies. DVD drives can usually also read ordinary CDs.

DVD RW   Dico Tools
(Digital Versatile Disk ReWriter) A DVD drive that can create ("write") rewriteable DVDs. There are several competing formats at the moment, but most recent drives support more than one format. It is likely that one of these formats will become standard in time, but at the moment it is not clear which. To add to the confusion, they tend to have very similar names : for example DVD+RW and DVD-RW are completely different formats, and incompatible with each other.

DVI   Dico Tools
(Direct Video Interface) A special type of connector for computer monitors, particularly flat panels.

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