Technology Dictionary

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An alphabetical listing of General terms and items.

FAQ   Dico Tools
(Frequently Asked Questions). A document on a website or in a newsgroup which gives answers to common problems and questions. Look for an FAQ if you have a problem with something, before you email or phone support.

FAT   Dico Tools
(File Allocation Table; pr. "fat") A sort of index of where data is stored on a hard disk, used by the operating system.

FDD   Dico Tools
(Fixed Disk Drive, Floppy Disk Drive). The slot on the PC which accepts floppy disks, almost always referred to as "Drive A:" by the computer.

File   Dico Tools
All information on a computer is stored in files, whether it is part of a program, a document created by a user, a picture, or anything else. Most software is made up of dozens, sometimes hundreds, of different files.

File Server   Dico Tools
A type of computer used on networks to provide files and other services to other computers. Often just called a server.

Filter   Dico Tools
A device which allows you to use an ordinary phone over a telephone line set up for an ADSL internet connection. Also called a micro-filter.

Firefox   Dico Tools
A popular alternative browser, available free from Mozilla, which you can use instead of Internet Explorer. It has a number of useful extra features, but perhaps the best is that it doesn't support Windows' ActiveX, thus preventing rogue websites from using ActiveX to hijack your computer.

Firewall   Dico Tools
Originally a dedicated computer between you and the internet, preventing hackers, spammers and similar undesirables from taking over your PC. Now often just a program running on your PC, performing the same task. Absolutely essential if you have an always-on internet connection such as ADSL or cable.

Firewire   Dico Tools
A standard for very fast data transfer, popular for applications that use very large files, particularly video editing. Requires special hardware, generally added to a computer as an expansion card.

Flame   Dico Tools
Internet slang for an email or newsgroup post insulting or telling someone off. They range from elegant rapier wit to obscene profanity.

Flamewar   Dico Tools
A public trading of insults in a newsgroup or forum. Sometimes flamewars get so out of hand that there are hundreds of flames in the newsgroup and almost nothing else.

Flash   Dico Tools
A technology for displaying animations (mostly) on webpages, created by the Macromedia Corporation. The Flash Player is a plugin which enables internet browsers to display the animations.

Flash Drive   Dico Tools
A removable data storage device, usually thumb sized and plugged into a PC's USB port.

Floppy Disk   Dico Tools
Also known as a diskette. Originally called floppy disks because they were round and non-rigid, but modern floppies might as well be called rigid squares, as the actual floppy disk is enclosed inside a rigid, almost square protective casing. Most programs used to be released on floppy disks, but modern programs are so large that they are now released on CD ROM instead. Despite a capacity of only 1.44 Meg per diskette, until recently all new computers were fitted with them as standard, and many still are.

FOAD   Dico Tools
(<bleep> Off And Die) Internet slang. Pretty self-explanatory really.

Folder   Dico Tools
An area on a disk for storing files in. Folders can also contain other folders, which in turn can contain more folders, and so on almost to infinity. Also called a directory, especially by people used to DOS.

Forum   Dico Tools
A public or semi-public area on a website or bulletin board where you can read and post messages on a particular topic, allowing public debate. See also Usenet, newsgroups.

FPS   Dico Tools
1 (Frames Per Second) A measure of the smoothness and quality of animations, particularly in computer games. The more frames per second, the better the quality. 2 (First Person Shooter) A computer game where you shoot things, played from a first person perspective, ie with you standing behind the gun(s). Also known as a shoot-'em-up.

Frag   Dico Tools
Shoot someone in a computer game.

FTP   Dico Tools
(File Transfer Protocol). A way of transferring files to or from an internet server. Often how you upload webpages to the internet.

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