MacMost: Technical Terms

Technical Terms: GIF
GIF is an image file format that is commonly used to post images to the web, social media or messages. They are not ideal for photos, but are often used for graphics. Animated GIFs are commonly used to convey emotion on social media and messages. You can find free animated GIF images online and from tools right inside social media apps and messaging apps.
Technical Terms: GPU
The GPU, or Graphics Processing Unit, is one of the most important components of any computer or device. Macs come with a variety of different GPUs. For many users, the GPU power doesn't matter much, but for anyone working with graphics, video or playing games, the GPU is very important. Some MacBook Pros come with two GPUs and will switch between them to save battery life.
Technical Terms: HTML
HTML, Hypertext Markup Language, is the primary code behind most web pages. Hypertext is the idea that set can contain links to other documents. A markup language is one that includes instructions for styling, links and media along with text. HTML was created by scientist Tim Berners-Lee and has grown quite a bit more complicated over the years.
Technical Terms: Bandwidth
The term Bandwidth is used to describe data transferred over time. However, it is often misused to define a limit on total data transfer. Bandwidth is measured in bits per second, usually using kilo or mega-bits to make the numbers more reasonable. Marketing departments often distort bandwidth to only show maximum or one-sided numbers.
Technical Terms: URL
A URL, or Uniform Resource Locator, is also known simply as a web address. It consists of a scheme, such as http, a web site domain name, and a page. Often it also includes a longer path and sometimes a query as well. A URL is both an initialism and an acronym as it is occasionally verbally pronounced as a word instead of letters.
Technical Terms: IP Address
Every device connected to the Internet has an IP address. Your computer, phone, tablet and anything else you have connected is either using a unique IP address or one shared by your household, company or building. Web servers and services also have IP addresses and domain names are automatically translated to IP addresses in order for you to access sites. You IP address can be used to trace you, but it isn't easy.
Technical Terms: Internet Meme
A meme is a humorous image, caption, idea or action that spreads on online. Memes have been around since the beginning of the Internet and are usually just harmless fun.
Technical Terms: Internet Troll
An Internet Troll is someone who posts online with the intent of starting a distracting argument. Trolls can be found all over the Internet in forums, message boards, comments sections and any other place where people discuss anything. The term comes from both the fantasy creature and the fishing technique. There are effective ways to deal with trolls whether you are a member of a community or the moderator of a discussion. Patent Trolls are another type of technology trouble-maker.
Technical Terms: Kilobyte, Megabyte, Gigabyte, Terabyte
Multiples of the byte are used to define the size of memory and storage in your computer, and the size of files and data. Each one is a multiple of 1024, although, sometimes multiples of 1000 are used instead, particularly in the marketing of storage and drives.
Technical Terms: CAPTCHA
When you sign up or log in to a web site, or fill out a form, you will often be asked to complete a task such as typing some random characters from an image or selecting images from a group. This is called a CAPTCHA. These are used to protect web sites from automatic systems that try to log into accounts or create new ones.
Technical Terms: JavaScript
JavaScript is a programming language commonly used for making web pages interactive. Almost every web page on every major site uses JavaScript as it is one of the three fundamental web technologies along with HTML and CSS. JavaScript should not be confused with Java, which is a different programming language entirely. Using the term Java when you mean JavaScript could lead to misunderstandings that cause problems.
Technical Terms: Hashtag
Hashtags are a way of tagging posts and images on social media. They are used heavily on Twitter, Instagram and other services. You can search for posts by hashtag, and use them in your own posts. You don't need to do anything special to create a hashtag, just start using it. Sometimes hashtags are used to express an emotion or something more complex to put an ambiguous post into context, or just for humorous effect.
Technical Terms: Serif and Sans-Serif
Most fonts can either be called Serif or Sans-Serif fonts. The difference is that Serif fonts have extended strokes at the ends and corners whereas Sans-Serif fonts do not. The use of this term predates computers, and the existence of serifs even predates modern printing. Today it is useful to know the difference when choosing a font for a document or graphic element.
Technical Terms: HTTP, HTTPS, SSL, TLS and Certificate
When you are browsing web pages you are using either HTTP or HTTPS. The latter is the more secure way to view websites. HTTPS uses TLS and certificates to insure security, privacy and integrity.
Technical Terms: Augmented Reality
Apple is using the term Augmented Reality to describe the combination of camera, 3D graphics and motion detection to view the world through your iPhone and see additional added elements. This can be used for practical purposes or entertainment.
Technical Terms: Hard Disk Drive and SSD
Computers come with one of two types of internal storage, either a Hard Disk Drive or a Solid-State Drive, also called an SSD. Hard Drives are older and cheaper technology, but also slower. SSDs are newer, smaller, faster, but more expensive. You can also get Macs with a Fusion Drive, that is a hybrid of the two.
Technical Terms: The Internet and the Web
People sometimes use the terms Internet and Web interchangeably. But the Web is just one of the many ways you can use the Internet. The Internet is the global network of computers, whereas the Web is just the part of the Internet we use when we browse web pages using a browser such as Safari. The history of the Internet goes back further than you may think.
Technical Terms: Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi is a made-up term that refers to the way we connect wirelessly to our networks and the Internet beyond. People use a variety of terms to describe Wi-Fi Base Stations, but each has a subtly different meaning.
Technical Terms: Virus and Malware
People often use the term Virus when what they really should be saying is Malware. A computer virus is a very dangerous type of malware that can spread from computer to computer on its own. Malware is a more general term that can be correctly used to describe viruses, trojan horses, adware, spyware and more. It is better to use the term Malware unless you know for a fact that the problem is a virus.
Technical Terms: Storage and Memory
People often confuse storage and memory, but they are two different things in your computer and mobile devices. Memory is temporary and helps your device perform complex tasks. Storage is persistent and determines how much data you can keep on your device.