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Glossary of Computer and Internet Terms

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255 - The highest value that a byte can hold. In hexadecimal it is represented as FF.

Access Point - A device that allows wireless (WiFi) devices to connect to a network or the internet so they may communicate with other devices on the network.

Adware - Free software that is supported by displaying advertisements. Most Adware is safe to use, but some contain Spyware, software that keep track of keystrokes, things you search for or information from your computer and sends it over the Internet to another company.

AGP - Accelerated Graphics Port. This is a type of slot inside your computer, on the motherboard, that accepts a AGP graphics card. Since the card has it's own processor and memory, the graphics are faster and don't slow down the main processor in the computer.

ASCII - "American Standard Code for Information Interchange" is the standard character set used with all PCs and MACs. Each of the first 128 values a byte can hold can be represented by a character. For example the ASCII character for 65 is "A". This standard makes program and data compatibility much simpler.

Analog - The transmission of information with unlimited fractional parts, like what we see and hear. It is hard to store analog information in a computer, so it is approximated and stored digitally as 1's and 0's. A VCR records analog information to tape but CD's and DVD's store digital information.

Bandwidth - The measurement of how fast data can be transmitted, typically measured in bits per second or bps. The more bandwidth you have the more data can be transferred.

Bits - the smallest unit of data a computer can represent. It can be on or off, meaining either a value of 0 or 1. 8 of these make a byte.

Byte - A unit of data storage that can hold a value from 0 to 255. This value can represent anything the programmer wants it to, like a computer instruction, a color, a letter, etc. It is made up of 8 bits.

Hexadecimal - A base 16 numbering system used by computers. Each digit represents a value from 0 to 15. This is done by using digits 0-9 for 0-9 and A, B, C, D, E and F for values 10 through 15. This works well for computers because each digit represents the value of 4 bits. Since a byte has 8 bits, a byte's value can be represented by 2 hex digits. Bytes can have a value from 0 to 255 decimal or x00 to xFF hexadecimal. Hexadecimal numbers are usually preceeded by a x. This is necessary because it may not be obvious that a number is hexadecimal. A 20 in hexadecimal actually has a value of 32 decimal.

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