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Glossary

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EDO RAM
Extended Data-Out RAM. EDO RAM is about 10 per cent faster than regular RAM.
EIDE
Enhanced Intelligent Drive Electronics. The protocol used to connect specific hardware devices, such as disk drives, to the computer. EIDE is newer, faster, and more versatile than its predecessor, IDE.
E-Mail
Electronic Mail, one of the most popular features of the internet. E-Mail allows users to send messages and files to one another, via modems almost instantly.
Embedded Object
Data stored in a document that originated from another application. Differing from a linked object, this type of object doesn't have its own file on the disk. However, it runs its source application for editing when you double-click it. For example, a Paint Shop Pro graphic embedded in a Word 97 document.
Emulation
A technique that allows a piece of software or hardware to ‘act’ like another in order to cooperate with otherwise incompatible products. A very common use of emulation is using a printer with certain types of software.
Encryption
A technique of scrambling transmitted data, using special software, so that only a party with the ability to unscramble the message has access to it.
 Enter
A key on the keyboard that, when pressed, instructs the computer to do something with the data just typed in. In word processing applications, the Enter key is analogous with the ‘return’ key on a typewriter.
Esc
The escape key. Used to exit or stop a program immediately, or to cancel what is being done at that moment and return to a previous screen. The effects of the escape key are usually controlled by the software and, are different with various programs.
Expansion Card
A circuit board that plugs into a computer and gives it additional specialized functions (e.g. advanced graphics, video, sound, modem).
Expansion Slot
A socket on the main board of a computer where expansion cards are inserted.
Explorer
A program that comes with Windows 95 and 98 that helps you view and manage your files (Replaces the "File Manager" in older Windows programs, such as 3.1).
FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions. Usually found on the internet and new software, FAQs are helpful resources that contain the answers to the most frequently asked questions about a topic.
Fax
A method of digitally copying a document then converting the copy to an analog signal to be transmitted to a remote location using standard phone lines. Because faxing isn’t exact, what is received at the other end is rarely a perfect copy, and usually just a "reasonable facsimile thereof" (thus the term facs—er, fax).
File
A computer file is similar to a paper document holding related information. For example, each computer program or document is stored in a separate file, designated by its own filename.
File Extension
The final part of an MS-DOS filename that denotes the file format. The extension is usually three to four letters set apart from the rest of the file name by a period. Examples of file extensions are: .gif, .html, .doc, .txt, .wav, wpd and so on.
File Format
File format refers to files’ type based on a files’ structure, layout or how a particular file handles the information contained within that file. A files’ format is usually indicated by the three or four letter file extension in the MS-DOS filename. All of these file formats handle different information (sounds, words, images) in different ways.
Filename
A name, specified by either the user, programmer, or software, comprised of alphanumeric characters, to identify a file and its contents. Different programs and operating systems have their own naming rules. A basic MS-DOS filename contains up to eight letters or numbers, followed by the file’s three- or four-letter file extension, in this format: "filename.ext". Windows95 and 98 allow users to specify a filename of up to 255 characters.
File Transfer Protocol
Also called FTP. FTP is the standard protocol for uploading and downloading files to the internet, for instance for building a webpage.
Floppy
One of several types of magnetic storage media. The term "floppy" refers to any disk that is made of a flexible material, such as Mylar, instead of some type of metal. Almost all floppy disks used now are 3 inch (which hold a maximum of 1.44 megabytes). The smaller, higher capacity disks have become the industry standard, with their older, larger counterparts disappearing into obscurity.
Folder
A collection of files. In graphical user interfaces, such as Windows and MACs, folders are the same as DOS directories. Folders can hold files and other folders for organizational purposes.
Font
A description of how to display a set of characters. The description includes the shape of the characters, spacing between characters, effects (for example, bold, italics, and underline) and the size of the characters.
Format
To magnetically prepare a disk to receive data. A diskette or hard disk must be formatted before it can be used. Formatting a diskette erases all data previously stored on it. MS-DOS and Windows format disks differently than does the Macintosh System, therefore you can rarely use a disk formatted for a Mac in a PC. Most disks can be purchased pre-formatted, so that you do not have to format them.
Freeware
A method of software distribution where a programmer creates a program and makes it available for free.
Function Keys
A set of programmable keys on a keyboard (typically across the top of the keyboard),labeled F1 through F12, that perform different tasks, determined by the various software programs.
Gigabyte or GB
A unit of data measurement equal to approximately one billion bytes. Hard drive manufacturers use an even number as a multiplier. In this case 1 GB would be 1,000,000,000 Bytes.
Glitch
A slang term for an unexpected problem, found in either the software or hardware, which usually does not occur in a regular pattern.
Graphical User Interface (GUI)
The name given to an operating system or operating environment that uses pictural representations (icons) and menus, with a pointing device concept to execute commands and other tasks, rather than requiring the user to type commands. The Macintosh operating system and Microsoft Windows are examples.
Hard Copy
Refers to a document printed on paper, rather than saved in "soft" form on a disk or displayed on a screen.
Hard Disk
Commonly refers to a form of magnetic media that uses a hard metal disk to store data. Unlike its "floppy" counterparts, a hard disk can typically hold much more data and is much faster, but is non-removable, or "fixed" to your computer. This is typically where the computer’s operating system and other software is installed. The terms "hard disk" and "hard drive" are often used interchangeably since the disk and the drive are usually contained in the same unit.
Hard Drive or Hard Disk Drive
A device used to read data from a hard disk.
Hardware
The physical devices that comprise a computer system.
Help
A program that gives you information about how to run Windows 95 or 98 and its programs, including how to use the Help program. Help programs are also available in most currently released programs.
Hertz
A measurement of timing expressed in cycles per second. It measures electrical current, sound pitch, or the clock speed of a computer’s CPU.
Host
A computer connected to the internet that allows users to connect to it.
Hotkey or Hotkey Combination
A hotkey is a combination of keyboard strokes used by software programs to save the user some time. The hotkey combination "Ctrl+S" is commonly used to save a file. Hotkeys can also be used to access programs running on your computer, for example, in Windows the hotkey combination "Alt+Tab" will allow the user to switch to another program running in Windows.
HTTP
HyperText Transfer Protocol. The standard for transferring World Wide Web documents and Web-based content over the internet.
Hyper Link
A command embedded in the contents of a HyperText document that, when accessed by a user, automatically opens a designated resource.
HyperText Markup Language
Also called Hypertext (HTML). Hyper Text Markup Language is a document creation language used to create hyper links between documents. This language is used extensively on the World Wide Web.

2002. Onramp to Online Instruction Project for UBC: ETEC 510
Tanya Bezzasso, June Kaminski, Christine Marin, Hazel Prince
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