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Computer Glossary




When an Operating System that uses a Graphical User Interface (GUI) is finished loading, the screen that is initially displayed is called the Desktop. When you run a program or open a folder it appears in a window on the Desktop.
Your computer can slow down when files become fragmented. This means that the clusters the file is stored in are not physically next to each other on the disk. The read/write heads have to travel further to read the file. By defragmenting, files are rewritten to the disk in contiguous clusters thus speeding up data retrieval.
A technique to create a gray-scale image. Pixel patterns aren't set; they change gradually throughout the image.
Digital Video Disk. A type of CD-ROM format that is faster and can hold more data than a regular CD-ROM. It still has the ability to read older CDs, but a DVD disk can hold more than 8 gigabytes (as opposed to 750 Mb) and can display full-motion picture videos.
DriveSpace is a Microsoft utility that is supposed to increase the amount of space on your hard drive. What it actually does is compress the files on your drive and create a single large file that contains all the compressed. The compression and decompression takes place in the background, unnoticeable to the user.
Dynamic Random Access Memory. The most common type of system RAM. It comes in several different flavors, EDO, FPM, SDRAM. It uses less space, less power, and is cheaper than static RAM, but it has to be refreshed every millisecond or it loses its information.
Dot Pitch
The distance between pixels of the same color on a monitor screen.
Display Adapter
An adapter board or interface card that fits into a slot on the motherboard and controls the video signal sent to the monitor.
DIP Switch
A small switch on a circuit board or some other device that holds configuration or setup information for that device.

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