The world of technology is full of jargon.

Roughly speaking, jargon is a way of trying to describe things in a way that people within the industry might understand. As a more senior person in the community, the use of jargon might intimidate or frighten you, but technology is not something to be frightened of; there are many ways that it can help you.

The purpose of this page is to try to explain for you, in simple terms, what the jargon means. There is no need to be afraid of the tech.

 

ADSL Modem

This is a special kind of modem. It lets you connect your home computers and network to an external phone line. This, in turn, is how you connect to the internet.

 

Cursor

A cursor is a display element that shows you where, on the computer’s screen, the current point of focus is. It may be an icon or menu selection, or it may be a place in a document, or it may be some other selection within the screen’s display elements.

 

Ethernet

Ethernet is a means by which various components within a network are joined, using a special cable.

 

Hertz rate (Hz rate)

It’s generally defined as the number of cycles per second that something occurs, and, with reference to a tv set, for instance, this is the rate at which your tv set will refresh the image on the screen. Basically, the higher the number, the better the picture should look.

 

LCD

Liquid Crystal Display – this is a method of rendering a display onto a device, and refers to a specific type of technology in use. You will often see LCD displays used in TV sets, computer monitors, mobile phones and cameras. LCD’s often need to also have a separate source of illumination, and thus you might come across something like a back-lit LCD. To add some element of confusion, the backlighting may be provided through the use of light emitting diodes (LEDs).

 

LED

Light Emitting Diode – this is a method of rendering a display onto a device, and refers to a specific type of technology in use. You will often see LED displays used in TV sets, computer monitors, mobile phones and cameras. Newer technology is also seeing LEDs being put to use in place of light bulbs in the home and in torches, as well as in cars for tail light and turn indicators. Where an LCD being used in a tv or computer monitor may need backlighting in order for you to be able to see what’s being displayed, LEDs are self-illuminating.

 

Modem

A modem is a device that lets you connect your computer or network to an external system, such as the phone network or the television cable system.

 

Monitor

In a typical computer, this is the part that you look at, where everything is displayed for you.  It may be similar to a TV screen, and some monitors have touch capabilities, which means that the screen may react to your touch, passing your gestures back to the programs being run.

 

Mouse

A mouse is a device that is used for moving your cursor around on the screen. It is used to point at items on the screen so that you can select and use them. You move your mouse around on your desk, and that movement is sensed by the mouse, and details of the movement is sent to the computer. A mouse may have no buttons, or it may have many. By clicking the buttons you can indicate certain actions that you wish to take.  A touchpad is often used on laptops instead of a mouse.

 

Network

A network is a collection of devices that have been linked together. They will usually be related to one another, perhaps by being within the same household. They may be connected through the use of wires (Ethernet) or by wireless.

 

Plasma Display

This is a method of rendering an image onto a TV, referring to a specific type of technology in use. Plasmas are widely considered to offer the best TV viewing experience for sport, as they are believed to keep the images crystal clear. Plasma displays may have higher power consumption demands than alternative display techologies.

 

Printer

A printer is a device that lets you produce a copy of a document, or a picture such as a photo, onto paper. You may take this with you, or display it.

 

Program.

This is a set of instructions that your computer understands, and that you tell the computer to run. It will often be displayed in a menu, or perhaps represented as an icon on your screen. Typically, you don’t get to see the instructions, but they’ll be there, just the same.

 

Router

A router is a device that directs your internal network’s traffic between the different components within that network.