THE IT A-Z: POPULAR IT AND TECH TERMS (PART 2)

February 17, 2021

Want some letter-based IT trivia?

In this post we look at a different IT term for each letter of the alphabet.

Last time we did A-M which you can read here, so this time we’re finishing off the alphabet.

Hopefully you’ll come across some terms that you weren’t 100% sure on the meaning.

So, kicking off with N…

NETWORK

Pretty much everything IT related that begins with an N, is something to do with a Network.

A network is simply a group of interconnected computers capable of exchanging info. It could be something as small as a few personal computers sharing a LAN (see A-M) or it could be a world-wide network of computers.

The Inter-net, right!

Every device in a network has a network adapter allowing it to connect to a network and a network hub is a connection point for devices on that network.

OS

An OS or Operating System is the software that allows you to use applications and perform functions on a piece of hardware. Windows and MacOS are the most popular with Linux also being a highly customisable OS often used to create other platforms.

It’s a bit like a desk. Sure, you’ve got the table legs holding it up and it wouldn’t work without them, but if there’s nothing on top, you’re not going to be able to do any work.

Also: On-Site, OpenType

PATCH

This is one of those words that pretty much means what you think it means, even though it might seem like it means something more technical.

A patch is a piece of software released to – you guessed it – patch up a problem or improve an existing program. Patches will be released to fix security vulnerabilities and improve usability or performance.

One of the benefits of cloud-based software is that patches can be added as part of regular updates, reducing the blockage on the consumer end and ensuring that people are using the latest and best version.

Also: Pop-up, Phishing, Protocol, PaaS, Plug-in, Proxy, Password

QWERTY

There’s not much for Q, other than the well-known name for the standard English language keyboard layout.

There are other layouts used around the world such as the AZERTY layout in French speaking countries, but QWERTY is probably the most popular layout.

It was invented by Christopher Sholes, generally considered one of the inventors of the typewriter, who was attempting to avoid the jamming of type bars in his machine.

Obviously, this isn’t an issue anymore but the placing of commonly used letter combinations further apart, arguably helps fast typing. In reality it’s not perfect but the format stuck and we still use it today.

You may also notice that the letters for ‘Typewriter’ are all on the same line!

Also: QuickTime

RAM

Random Access Memory – also known as just memory.

This is the short-term memory of a computer as opposed to the long-term memory of the hard drive.

Giving your computer a lot of tasks to do and programs to run can overload the RAM. Excess memory is taken from any remaining space on the hard drive which can result in the computer’s operation slowing down.

Generally speaking, the more RAM your computer has the more data it will be able to process at once.

Also: Ransomware, Remote Desktop, Router

SERVER

This is a word that gets thrown around a lot but is perhaps not quite as self-explanatory. A server is a computer that is responsible for responding to requests made by a client program.

Basically, it provides a service to other computers connected to it by a network.

Servers allow people to access the same information, work on projects simultaneously, save data, play games at the same time and much more.

Also: Spyware, SaaS, Software, SSL, Spam, Spear Phishing

TROJAN HORSE

A form of malware that disguises itself as a harmless piece of software or program but turns into a more malicious or destructive software once it has been downloaded onto your computer.

Also: Teams (Microsoft), Two Factor Authentication

USB

Pretty much the universal mode of connection between a device and a host controller such as a computer. Upon connection with a device, you can instantly communicate with and make use of that device.

It’s most common use until recently was in USB drives which hold storage but due to cloud storage and file transfer, these are seeing less use. However, variations of USB still see daily use in connecting devices such as external storage, keyboards, mice, Bluetooth receivers and more

Stands for Universal Serial Bus.

Also: Unified Threat Management, URL, Username

VOIP

We’ve talked about VoIP on the blog before, so head there for more on this.

VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is a modern form of business telephony communication.

It allows you to talk over the internet and provides numerous additional features including the ability to have a unique number attached to your business that isn’t dictated by the landline.

Also: VPN, Virus, Virtual Classroom

WLAN

LAN or Local Area Network is something we covered in part 1 (A-M).

WLAN is simply a wireless local area network. I.e. computers and devices all existing on one local wireless network.

Which is probably what your business uses (but not necessarily) and is certainly one of the most popular forms of network.

Also: Wi-Fi, Windows, WAN, WWW, WYSIWYG

XEROX

Now we’re into the difficult X, Y, Z territory. For X the best option was Xerox.

Xerox are a well-known US company formed in 1906. One of the earliest computing companies, they are world renowned for photocopiers, printers and office software.

Also: XML (coding language)

YAHOO!

Ok, we’re really scaping the barrel with Y.

We all know Yahoo. A pioneer of the early internet along with Google and others, it was once one of the most popular sites in the US.

Most famous for being a search engine alternative to Google and Ask, as well as providing News, email and other media.

It has declined in prominence over the years and is now owned by Verizon but its domains are still some of the most popular in the world.

ZIP

A common file compression format, that compresses files to make them smaller. Zipped files end with the .zip extension.

To access zipped files or decompress them, you have to unzip. This can be done with special tools on Windows and Mac which activate automatically when the file is clicked on.

Also: Zoom

AND THAT’S IT…

So, there you go, our A-Z of IT terminology is complete.

We hope you enjoyed going through it and learnt something along the way.

To check out posts on a variety of topics, some of which are covered briefly here, check out the rest of our blog, updated regularly.

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