Computing terms explained in plain English
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Optical character recognition. The process by which printed text is scanned and converted into documents that can be edited.
ODF is the Open Office file format. This plug-in lets Word read Open Office documents.
File format for Open Office Calc documents. ODS files can be read by Microsoft's Excel program.
Original Equipment Manufacturer. Refers to components or software installed by the manufacturer.
A bundle of useful programs sold in one package. Lotus Smartsuite, Microsoft Office and Roxio Creator are prime examples.
Working with internet software, such as an email program, without being connected to the internet.
A free alternative to the MP3 standard for compressing digital audio.
Organic light-emitting diode. A thin-film organic light-emitting diode used in computer displays and television screens.
Already fitted to your PC as part of the main circuitry on the motherboard. So 'onboard AGP graphics' would mean the PC has built-in AGP graphics facilities. The alternative is a separate expansion card attached to the motherboard via a special socket.
Computers that don't have a separate graphics card are said to have onboard graphics, where a part of the motherboard handles the graphics processing.
Being connected to the internet.
Many games allow multiple players to compete or co-operate with each other over the internet.
A read-me text file that will be installed on your computer during the installation of software, or will be present on the CD-Rom for future reference. Think of it as an electronic manual.
A company that provides its own online content that is accessible only to fee-paying members, as well as access to the internet proper. AOL is an online service.
A programming standard used for work such as 3D modelling. Setting a game to use OpenGL can greatly improve the quality of the graphics.
Software that is developed, released to and used by the public, free as an alternative to software from large companies.
A method for storing fonts suitable for Mac and Windows computers.
Governs the way hardware and software components in a computer work together.
A socket that provides a high-quality sound signal between computers, amplifiers, CD and DVD players and more.
A high-quality audio connection found on some computers, amplifiers and speaker sets.
Any kind of circular disc used for storing computer data, video or music – includes CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs.
A computer device for reading or writing 5in discs, including CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs. Not all drives read or write all kinds of disc.
The true amount of detail a scanner can 'see' as it passes across a document.
A small window on the back of a camera that shows the view that the camera is 'seeing' through the lens.
A system of magnifying the size of an image by physically adjusting the camera's lens elements.
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