NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, November 2011
Tech Terms
By Sandy Berger, CompuKISS Newsletter

sandy (at) compukiss.com (click to email author)

If you want to be knowledgeable in today’s world, you have to understand some high tech terms. Here are few of popular terms for 2011.

For the last few years, we have talked about the amount of storage that a computer has in terms of gigabytes. Now we are starting to see computers offering terabyte drives. A terabyte is 1,024 gigabytes. Or to test your mathematical abilities, it is equivalent to 2 to the 40th power or 1,099,511,627,776 bytes. You don't need to know the details, just know that a terabyte hard drive can store thousands and thousands of documents, songs, and other data.

SSD stands for Solid State Disk. This is a storage device like a hard drive. Unlike a hard drive, however, it contains no moving parts. SSDs are much faster than hard drives and so they improve the performance of a computer or other device.

In terms like "cloud computing," "cloud storage," and "cloud services," the cloud simply means the Internet. In cloud computing, applications that run on the Internet replace desktop programs that are usually stored and run locally on your own computer. When working "in the cloud," your computer or your mobile device is simply the conduit that connects with your data and with a program that accesses your data.

Bing is a search engine that was developed and is run by Microsoft. It is a Google search engine competitor and performs a very similar function. Note the name. This may well be the first decent name that Microsoft has chosen since it put out Microsoft Office and Microsoft Word. You can check out Bing's search capabilities by going to http://www.bing.com.

Video Streaming
Streaming is a technique for transferring data so that it can be processed as a steady and continuous stream. It is commonly used for video and movies. With streaming, the device you are using to view the videos can start displaying the video before the entire file has been transmitted. That means that you get to enjoy the video or movie more quickly. Today's streaming techniques also play movies more smoothly than previous technologies.

Land Line
A land line is an old-fashioned telephone line that gets service from a telephone company and allows you to talk via telephones that are attached to the wall. People are giving up their land lines in droves to take advantage of cell phones and Internet telephone services.

FarmVille is a Facebook game by Zynga. Millions of people play FarmVille. They raise flowers and crops, feed the animals, and organize and decorate their farms. It is a truly incredible game and judging by the numbers of players, it is also quite addictive. Ask around. If any of your friends are playing this game, have them show you their farms. I guarantee that you will be amazed.

Netflix is the leading subscription service for renting DVDs and streaming movies and television episodes over the Internet. It currently has more than 20 million members who pay $8.95 or more a month for this service.

If you haven't heard of a Tablet or a Tablet PC, you have been living under a rock. Tablets are a very easy way to work with email and to browse the Internet. Tablets have touch screens and run small Apps that perform tasks like playing games, getting the weather, sports scores, and other information. Currently Apple's iPad is the most popular tablet, but competitors are starting to appear. Blackberry has a tablet called the Playbook. Motorola has the Xoom. Samsung has one caked the Tab. HP recently introduced a tablet called the TouchPad.

Now that you are up-to-date on some of the technologies out there, it won't be long before you buy a tablet to view your Netflix movies and buy a computer with a terabyte hard disk to tend to your FarmVille farm while doing most of your computing in the cloud. Technology is moving fast. Jump aboard and join the fun!

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