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Technology terms explained

There is such a wealth of modern products on the market nowadays we all need advice and information to keep up to date.

Here you will find out what each technology term means, and it is all explained in a nutshell to make life easier.





HowStuffWorks is widely recognized as the leading source for clear, reliable explanations of how everything around us actually works.


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A knowledge exploration and self-education tool about information technology


One in three over 60's regularly use computers or the internet in their spare time - a hobby which is receiving increased interest from all ages . According to a recent survey, retirees spend an average of six hours a week online; sending emails, reading the news, banking and even shopping for groceries! In fact, they found that the UK ranks fourth highest in the world for the amount of time spent online by the over 60s.

For those just getting started, we have prepared a mini-dictionary to help you master the basics of surfing the world-wide web.

1 SURFING - The name given to the pastime of browsing the internet and visiting different websites.

2 DIAL-UP - The traditional method of accessing the internet through your phone line: however, your phone line will be engaged and the pages will load quite slowly.

3 BROADBAND - A popular way of connecting to the internet through your phone line, where you can still receive phone calls and pages load very quickly.

4 W1RELESS - The newest way of getting online, without the need for wires connecting your computer to your phone socket. Instead a signal is sent to your computer, meaning you can access the internet from anywhere in the home or even garden.

5 WEB ADDRESS - Every page that appears on the internet has a unique web address; for
example, try typing in the address www.mabels.co.uk and you will be taken straight to the Mabels over 50's new website.

6 EMAIL - A way of communicating with friends and family over the internet. Typed messages are sent instantly and can be read from any computer connected to the internet. Instead of a postal address, you
use an email address; for example, addressing an email to [email protected] will send your emails, comments or tips straight to Mabels.

7 DOWNLOAD - A way of transferring information from the internet onto your computer. Many musicians now allow you to pay for and download new music from the internet, rather than heading to the shops to buy the CD.

8 ISP - An internet service provider is a company that gives you access to the internet. Companies such as Virgin, BT and AOL can provide programs for you to load onto your computer, which allow you to get online.

9 GOOGLE - The internet's most popular search engine. By visiting www.google.co.uk and typing in what you want to search for, you are presented with a list of matching websites. Typing in 'internet tips' brings up over 400 million web sites packed with useful internet tips.

10 MP3 - This is a music file that is stored on your computer and can then be transferred onto a portable music player such as an MP3 player or iPod.

Now that you are armed with the basics why not explore further? Don't forget the internet can be used for free in many libraries and community centres.

Do you have any tips or great websites for Mabels readers using the internet?
email them to [email protected]

Happy Surfing !


Other Terms

Advanced Audio Coding, a digital music format.

The next-generation DVD recordable standard, expected soon in Japan.

A digital connection for audio that uses electrical conduction.

The best-quality video connection - it separates red, green and blue signals.

Basic video connection.

Digital television - Free view in the UK. Offers more channels and better audio and video.

Digital Versatile Disc. Eight times the storage of CDs - perfect for pin-sharp video and audio.

DVD-Audio. A new 5.1 music format with top-notch sound quality.

Digital Visual Interface. A digital-quality connection found on PCs, projectors and plasmas.

The four main DVD recordable formats. DVD-Rs are write-once discs that are more widely compatible than the other(incompatible and competing)rewritable formats.

Liquid crystal display - a flat-screen technology.

Stands for Sony's Mini Disc audio format.

Short for MPEG Audio Layer3. MP3 is still the most popular digital audio format in the world.

Super Audio Compact Disc. The rival high-resolution format to DVD-Audio.

A Europe-only connection that provides top-drawer pictures for TVs.



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