Tech Terms are meant to help with communicating with a Tech expert.

Basic Computer Terms and Definitions


A computer is a device that executes a program or programs.


The central processing unit or CPU, also known as the microprocessor or processor

is the brain of the computer.

Operating System – Windows

The operating system (OS) is the software that communicates with the computer

hardware. No software can be run on the computer without the operating system

Software – A program application Software is a program application; which

provides the computer with step- by-step instructions to perform a specific task.

A computer cannot function without software.


The computer monitor is computer screen or display unit. Types of monitors are CRTs

(large & heavy ) and flat screens (compact & light).

Desktop Is the display on the monitor /screen


An icon is a small, clickable picture that opens programs on a computer.


Is a hand held device that helps you

control the pointer on the desktop/screen.


Is the device used in typing in the words, numbers and to perform tasks. You can also

use shortcuts using the keyboard to perform tasks quicker.

CD (Compact Disc) & USB Flash Drive

used for storage

of computer files or for media


A file is a block of information includes word documents , pictures, music, etc. Each file

is differentiated with the help of a unique file name.


The folder is a system that helps in organizing the files, programs

and projects on the  computer. It is similar to organizing files on a shelf in your cabinet.

Hard Drive

The hard drive is the device where the information is stored.


Is the physical pieces of a computer ; monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer, computer unit,

scanner, etc.


The web browser is software that you use to access the internet/

World Wide Web Microsoft ’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s Firefox are 2

examples of the browsers. Internet The Internet is a worldwide network that helps connect millions of users around the world to share and exchange data, information, opinions, etc.

World Wide Web (WWW)

also known as just the web Is a service that is provided on the Internet for the users


Peripherals are the input /output devices that are connected to the computer. The keyboard, mouse and printer are computer peripherals.


A network is a physical or logical construction that connects different computers

together and helps them communicate.


A computer virus is a program that is designed to harm the

computer. They are

basically the same thing as human viruses.


or Downloading

A download is a file, program or document that is transferred from one computer to


Spam Mail & Scams

Spam mail is pretty much business or people sending advertisements of their get rich

quick schemes or their products to try. They are designed to trick you into giving away your money or your personal details.

Surfing the internet

Jumping from page to page on the Web. Just as in "TV channel surfing," where one

clicks the remote to go from channel to channel.


A modem is something that is connected to a computer to connect it to the internet or

other networks. This is typically in the form of a small box

that you get from your



To restart your computer.

To do a soft reboot to your computer. Go to Start Menu, and select either Shut Down or Restart.

Or if that doesn’t work - press the Ctrl, Alt and Del buttons at the same time.

A task window will appear, click Shut Down. The last resort, turn it off; hold in the power button until it shuts off, this is called a hard shut down.


A serious computer failure;

the computer itself stops working or that a program aborts unexpectedly. A crash signifies either a hardware malfunction or a very serious software bug. If your computer crashes, it is usually not

your fault.


ABC ABC Flowcharter


ASF Streaming Media

AVI Animated Video

BAT DOS Batch File

BMP Bitmap Graphic

CAB Compressed Archive

CH3 Harvard Graphics

COM Program

DAT Data file

DLL Dynamic Link Library

DOC Microsoft Word Document

DOT Microsoft Word Template

DGN Microstation Drawing File

DWG AutoAD Drawing File

EPS Encapsulated PostScript

EXE Program

FLA Flash Movie

GIF Image

HQX Compressed Archive (MAC)

HTM HTML Hyper Text Markup Language

ICO Icon

INI Windows Initialization

JPG Image

LDB Microsoft Access Lock File

LOG Text Log

MAX PaperPort Scanned Image

MDB Microsoft Access Database


MOV Quicktime Movie

MP3 Audio

MPC Microsoft Project Calendar

MPG Media

MPP Microsoft Project

MPV Microsoft Project View

NSF Lotus Notes Database

NTF Lotus Notes DB Template

OCX Microsoft Object Linking and Embedding

OST Microsoft Outlook Offline folder

PAB Microsoft Outlook Personal Address Book

PCX Graphic

PDF Adoble Acrobat Portable Document

PIC Bitmap Graphic

PIF Windows Program Information File

PM3 PageMaker 3

PM4 PageMaker 4

PM5 PageMaker 5

PNG Graphic

PPD Postscript Printer Description

PPS Microsoft PowerPoint Slide Show

PPT Microsoft PowerPoint

PST Microsoft Outlook Personal folder

PT3 PageMaker 3 Template

PT4 PageMaker 4 Template

PT5 PageMaker 5 Template

PWL Pass word List

RAW 24-bit Graphic

REG Windows Registry Data

RM Real Media

RTF Rich Text Format

SAM AmiPro Document

SAV Backup File

SCR Screen Saver

SVG Scalable Vector Graphics

SWF Flash Player Movie

SWP Swap File

SYS System Files

TIF Image

TMP Temporary File

TTF Image


VBS Visual Basic Script

VSD Visio Drawing

VXD Virtual Device Driver

WAV Audio File

WK1 Lotus Spreadsheet

WK3 Lotus Spreadsheet

WKS Lotus Spreadsheet

WPD WordPerfect Document

XLS Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet

XLT MIcrosoft Excel Template

XLW Microsoft Excel Workspace


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