Computer troubleshooting & maintenance: 20 useful vocabulary words

  1. Browser: Software used to navigate the Internet. Popular ones include Microsoft Explorer, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and Mozilla Firefox.
  2. Desktop: The opening screen you see when you turn your computer on. The computer desktop usually contains icons that represent links to items such as programs, documents, a network (if any), and a trash or recycling for files that are deleted. You can also display icons of frequently used applications.
  3. Download: The process of transferring information from an internet site to the computer. You can "download a file" to your computer or “upload a file,” such as a photograph, from your computer, to the internet.
  4. Email: E-mail messages, including notes or letters, electronically sent between computers.
  5. Internet: Begun in the 1960s, the Internet developed in the decade of 1970 to allow government and university researchers to share information. The Internet is not controlled by a single group or organization. Its original purpose was research and communications. It is still growing, offering a wide range of resources for business and home users, from research to communications to shopping.
  6. Mouse: A small device containing a scroll wheel, which is used to control the position of the cursor on the screen. Mouse movements with your hand correspond to movements of the cursor on the screen.
  7. Window: A framed area of a computer screen containing the content from a computer program. You can have more than one window open at once and move between them.
  8. CPU (Central Processing Unit): Also known as “the main,” or the "brains," of a computer. The CPU interprets and executes program instructions.
  9. Scroll Bar: Typically appearing on the side of a window, the scroll bar is used to move the text and other information on a screen up, down, or sideways.
  10. Link: A highlighted or underlined feature on a web page that, when clicked, takes you to another website. A link most often appears on underlined words or an image.
  11. Keyboard: A keyboard typically has characters engraved or printed on the keys, and each press of a key typically corresponds to a single written symbol. Some symbols can only be produced by pressing several keys simultaneously or in sequence.
  12. Shortcut: A shortcut is an icon, or picture, that when clicked will perform a particular function (e.g., open a document, connect to a network, install a program). Shortcuts typically appear on the computer desktop and are indicated by an arrow next to the icon for a program. Shortcuts can be removed without removing the program itself.
  13. Shutdown: Typically found in the art menu or control panel, this control shuts down your computer.
  14. Copy: Used to make an exact copy of the information in the document so that you can place the copy elsewhere in the document.
  15. Paste: This control can be used to move information between documents and to insert the last information that has been cut or copied into a document or file.
  16. Wireless: This is a mechanism that allows users to wirelessly connect electronic devices to the internet. A device must be enabled to receive a wireless signal, also known as “Wi-Fi,” and it must be in the presence of a wireless signal in order to connect to the internet wirelessly.
  17. Toolbar: A row or strip of icon or buttons that activates certain required functions in a program.
  18. Control panel: The name for the program on your computer that contains the manual controls to regulate the operations of the computer. Typically accessed through the start menu, the control panel allows you to install or uninstall programs, connect to networks, and change your privacy settings.
  19. Anti-virus: An application or program designed to scan for viruses on disks or hard drives. It seeks to prevent “mal-ware” from affecting your computer and to repair files that it finds.
  20. Save: A command used to store data for later use. Remember to save your work often to ensure that the latest changes are safely recorded. Data can be saved to your computer, to a flash drive or disc, or to the internet.

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