Common Computer Acronyms ::


  • ACPI - Advanced Configuration and Power Interface. Power management controlled by the OS.
  • ADC - Analogue to Digital Converter. Changes analogue signals into digital ones.
  • ADSL - Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. Broadband through the phone line.
  • AGP - Accelerated Graphics Port. Where you would plug in a graphics card
  • AMD - Advanced Micro Devices. The company that makes CPU's
  • AMR - Audio Modem Riser. A specific modem port on a motherboard
  • AUTOEXEC - Automatic Execution. When a program is executed on it's own.
  • AUX - Auxiliary. Another option to use.
  • AV - Audio/Video. Term used for equipment that uses both.


  • BIOS - Basic Input/Output System. The basic settings of your PC. Keeps information such as drives, time, and ram latency.
  • BIT - Binary Digit. A single digit in the PC's operating.
  • BLOG - Web Log.


  • CAD - Computer Aided Design. Using a computer to develop a product or item.
  • CAM - Computer Aided Manufacture. Building an item with the use of a computer
  • CAPS - Capital letters.
  • CASE - Computer Aided Software Engineering. Gives software developers a structure to work with.
  • CAT5 - Category 5 Networking cable.
  • CCD - Charged Coupled Device. Converts light into electrical current.
  • CCFL - Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamps. Tubes that give off light, used by modders
  • CD - Compact Disc. What your software may be saved on.
  • CD-A - Compact Disc Audio. An audio CD.
  • CD-R - Compact Disc - Recordable. You can write data on to these once.
  • CD-RW - Compact Disc - Re-Writeable. You can write data to these again and again.
  • CISC - Complex Instruction Set Computing. Used in Intel and AMD CPU's to do tasks.
  • CLI - Command Line Interface.
  • CMOS - Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor. Used to save data for your BIOS and used in low quality digital cameras as a replacement to film.
  • CNR - Communications Network Riser. Very similar to AMR.
  • CODEC - Coder/Decoder or Compression/Decompression. Used to aid play back audio/video files.
  • CPU - Central Processing Unit. The 'brain' of your computer.
  • CRT - Cathode Ray Tube. The older type of monitor.


  • DAC - Digital to Analogue Converter. Changes digital signals into analogue.
  • dB(A) - Decibel (Adjusted) - measurement of power or audio.
  • DBBD - Dynamic Bass Boost System. Add a nice level of bass to your music.
  • DDR - Double Data Rate. Sends data through at twice the speed.
  • DEFRAG - Defragment. Move data into one clump on the disk drive.
  • DHCP - Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. Used in networks to set up IP addresses.
  • DIVX - Digital Video Express. A video format.
  • DMA - Direct Memory Access. A means of handling data transfer between memory and a peripheral device that bypasses the central processing unit.
  • DOA - Dead On Arrival. Term given to goods that don't work from when the user gets them home.
  • DOS - Disk Operating System. A basic operating system in command line.
  • DRM - Digital Rights/Distributed Resource Management. Controversial way of editing music and videos so they cannot be copied or distributed.
  • DSL - Digital Subscriber Line. Broadband Internet.
  • DSP - Digital Sound Processing. Adjusting audio to make the output change.
  • DTD - Document Type Definition. A statement that contains the document's encoding
  • DTMF - Data Tone Multiple Frequency. Used with modems to put more data down one line.
  • DUN - Dial-Up Networking. Creating a WAN over dial-up internet.
  • DVD - Digital Versatile Disc. Used originally to save movies on.
  • DVI - Digital Visual Interface. A digital connection from your PC to monitor


  • EEPROM - Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory. A type of ROM that can be wiped and re-written using electronics.
  • EIDE - Enhanced Integrated Drive Electronics. A better form of IDE.
  • E-MAIL - Electronic Mail. Messages sent electronically.
  • EPP - Enhanced Parallel Port. An enhanced mode for your parallel port.


  • FAT - File Allocation Table. File system for Har Drives.
  • FDD - Floppy Disc Drive. An archaic form of data storage. Still used to load S-ATA drivers.
  • FPS - Frames Per Second. How many images are shown on the screen every second. Used as a measure of graphics card performance.
  • FTP - File Transfer Protocol. The way that files are moved over the internet.


  • Gb - Gigabyte. 1,073,741,824 bytes.
  • Ghz - Gigahertz. 1000 MHz
  • GIGO - Garbage In, Garbage Out. If a program is given rubbish, the result will be rubbish.
  • GIMP - GNU Image Manipulation Program. Great free alternative to Photoshop.
  • GNU - Gnu's Not Unix (operating system). A free software ideology.
  • GUI - Graphical User Interface. A way for a user to interact with the computer with buttons and windows
  • GPS - Global Positioning System. Tells the user where they are in the world.
  • GPU - Graphical Processing Unit. The 'brain' of your graphics card to add realism to games


  • HD - High Definition. High quality display.
  • HDCP - High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection. Another way to stop you making 'backups' of your DVD's
  • HDD - Hard Disc Drive. Where your programs and files get stored. Equivalent to long-term memory.
  • HDMI - High Definition Multimedia Interface. The type of cable used with HD displays.
  • HID - Human Interface Device. Fancy term for Keyboards, Mice and other peripherals a human uses to interact with a computer.
  • HP - Hewlett Packard. A computer company.
  • HTML - HyperText Markup Language. Language used to build web sites.
  • HTTP - HyperText Transfer Protocol. The actual communications protocol that enables Web browsing.
  • HTTPS - HTTP Secure. Used for online banking and secure data transfer. Hoax sites won't generally use this, an easy way to spot a con.
  • HUD - Head Up Display. A display that is usually projected to a position where the user only has to look up to see.


  • IDE - Integrated Drive Electronics. An interface for your disk drives.
  • IM - Instant Messenger. MSN Messenger, AOL Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, etc.
  • IMEI - International Mobile Equipment Identifier. Unique code given to mobile phones to identify them. The code is locked to the phone and not the sim.
  • IPX - Internetwork Packet Exchange. Data transfer over networks.
  • IR - Infrared. Sending data with light.
  • IrDA - Infrared Data Association. The people that regulate IR
  • IRQ - Interrupt Request. Allows hardware to interrupt the current process if an error occurs.
  • ISP - Internet Service Provider. A company that gives you a connection to the internet.


  • JDK - Java Development Kit. Allows the programming of Java
  • JPEG - Joint Photographic Experts Group. A photo file type.
  • JRE - Java Runtime Environment. Allows the user to run Java programs.


  • Kb - Kilobyte. 1024 Bytes.
  • KVM - Keyboard, Video, Mouse. A switch to use more than one PC on a single keyboard, monitor and mouse.


  • LAN - Local Area Network. A network of computers on one site.
  • LCD - Liquid Crystal Display. A display that works by passing current through liquid Crystals. Found in watches and screens.
  • LED - Light Emitting Diode. A little light.
  • LMB - Left Mouse Button.


  • MAC - Multiple Access Computers. Unique address given to network cards.
  • MALWARE - Malicious Software. Programs with the intent to cause problems.
  • Mb - Megabyte. 1024 Kb.
  • MHz - Megahertz. A measurement of frequency equal to one million cycles per second.
  • MMC - Multi-Media Card. Storage card found in some digital camera's
  • MMX - Multimedia Instructions. Enhanced multimedia support on CPU's.
  • MOBO - Motherboard.
  • MODEM - Modulator/Demodulator.
  • MP3 - Mpeg Layer 3. Audio file type.
  • MPEG - Moving Picture Experts Group. File format for videos.
  • MSDN - Microsoft Developers Network. Group of software developers linked to Microsoft.
  • MSN - Microsoft Network.


  • NDIS - Network Device/Driver Interface Specification. Rules for network cards and their interface to the network and computer.
  • NIC - Network Interface Card. Allows a computer to connect to a network.
  • NTFS - New Technology File System. File System for hard drives.
  • NTSC - National Television Standards Committee. Television format for the US


  • OEM - Original Equipment Manufacturer. Non-retail version of products. "White Box."
  • OLED - Organic Light Emitting Diode. A light made of carbon molecules.
  • OS - Operating System. Foundation software on a computer.


  • PAL - Phase-Alternating Line. TV Format for most of the world.
  • PAN - Personal Area Network. Usually for Bluetooth networks. A very small network, usually of two clients.
  • PC - Personal Computer. A computer.
  • PCI - Peripheral Component Interconnect. Where you would plug your add-on card into on the motherboard.
  • PCMCIA - Personal Computer Memory Card International Association. Add-on cards for laptops. Also known as PC-Cards.
  • POP3 - Post Office Protocol, Version 3. Used for sending e-mails.
  • POST - Power-On Self Test. Test performed by the BIOS at start-up.
  • PPP - Point-to-Point Protocol [Internet]. Protocol between two clients on the internet.
  • PPPOE - Point-to-Point Protocol Over Ethernet. PPP over Ethernet rather than the internet.
  • PSU - Power Supply Unit. Converts mains voltage into 12V, 5V and 3V.



  • RAID - Redundant Arrays of Independent Disks. Using multiple drives. There are various configurations.
  • RAM - Random Access Memory. Quick to access memory, data is lost when power is taken away. Equivalent to short-term memory.
  • R&D - Research and Development.
  • RDRAM - Rambus DRAM. DDR's predecessor.
  • RMA - Return to Manufacturer Authorization. Sending faulty goods back to the manufacturer.
  • ROM - Read Only Memory. Data that can only be read and not modified.
  • RS-MMC - Reduced Size Multi-Media Card. Found mostly in camera phones.


  • S-ATA - Serial Advanced Technology Attachment. A way to connect hard drives to the motherboard for data transfer.
  • SD Card - Secure Digital Card. Found in some camera's and PDA's
  • SDRam - Synchronous DRAM. A type of RAM.
  • SIMM - Single In-line Memory Module.
  • SQL - Structured Query Language. Programming language for databases.
  • SVCD - Super Video Compact Disk. A CD with video saved on it.
  • SVGA - Super Video Graphics Array. Successor of VGA, runs at 800x600.


  • TCP/IP - Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. Networking communication.
  • TFT - Thin-Film Transistor. Used in thin monitors.
  • TWAIN - Technology Without an Industry/Interesting Name (There are mixed feeling about the correct version, but I believe Industry Name to be true). This refers to scanners and digital camera's, allowing them to connect to the PC.


  • UPS - Uninterruptible Power Supply/System. Keeps power stored in-case of a power cut/spike.
  • USB - Universal Serial Bus. A popular way to connect external peripherals.


  • VDU - Visual Display Unit. A monitor.
  • VESA - Video Electronics Standards Association. A group of manufacturers trying to create standards.


  • W3C - World Wide Web Consortium. Group who aim to standardise the internet.
  • WAN - Wide Area Network. A network that extends over more than one site. The Internet is the best example.
  • Wi-Fi - Wireless Fidelity. Communication between PC's using wireless signals.
  • WIMP - Windows, Icons, Menus and Pulldowns. Standard GUI components.
  • WMP - Windows Media Player.
  • WWW - World-Wide Web.


  • XML - Extensible Markup Language. A form of coding used to build web pages


  • Y2K - Year 2000