Athlon: a high-power microprocessor, made by AMD.
Atom: a type of processor made by Intel and usually found in Netbooks.
Backup: keeping a copy of files and software on rewriteable DVDs/CDs, USB flash devices or external hard drives. Because computers are not infallible, it’s good practice to safeguard your work.
BD (Blu-ray) drive: a drive that can read Blu-ray discs containing high definition video or data. Will normally be able to read video or data DVDs as well as audio or data CDs. With a storage capacity of up to 50 gigabytes (GB) of information, Blu-rays discs can store much more data than a DVD. Many BD drives can also write (record) to Blu-ray, DVD or CD media.
Bay: receptacle for storage systems, such as DVD and other drives.
BD-R disc: a Blu-ray disc that can have data writen to it just once.
BD-RE disc: a Blu-ray disc that can be written to and erased and re-recorded multiple times
BIOS (Basic Input/Output System): the BIOS is a version of ROM used in start-up procedures when the computer is first switched on.
Bluetooth: allows you to connect compatible devices wirelessly, such as keyboards and headsets.
Caching: for storing frequently used data in fast RAM connected directly to the CPU.
Compact disc (CD) drive: storage drive for reading CD-ROMs. Comes in a variety of speeds represented as multiples of X, where X = maximum speed of the drive.
CD-R disc: a CD disc that can have data written to it just once.
CD-RW Disc: a CD disc that can be written to, erased and re-recorded multiple times.
Central Processing Unit (CPU): also known as the microprocessor, the CPU is the brain of any computer, controlling all functions and actions. Its speed is measured in megahertz (MHz) or gigahertz (GHz), respectively millions or billions of cycles per second. The faster the CPU, the quicker the machine.
Core Duo/ 2 Duo: a high-power microprocessor, made by Intel.
Digital Video Disc (DVD) drive: a drive that can read DVDs as well as audio CDs and software CD-ROMs. With a storage capacity of up to 4.7 gigabytes (GB) of information, DVDs can store much more data than a CD-ROM. The majority of DVD drives nowadays will also write to DVD-R, DVD-RW, CD-R and CD-RW discs.
Email: see Internet/email
Gigabyte (GB): standard data measurement unit. One gigabyte contains 1,024 megabytes
Gigahertz: gigahertz (GHz) are used to express the speed of a central processing unit (CPU). 1 gigahertz equals 1000 megahertz (MHz). CPU speeds are increasing as technology improves; faster units have now reached speeds of over 2GHz.
Graphics (or video) card: the card that allows your computer to communicate with your monitor, the video card has its own dedicated memory and is directly responsible for calculating the colour, position and size of all objects on the screen. 3D cards are often a pre-requisite for many of today's best-selling games. Some computers come with a video card already incorporated into the mother card
Hard drive: the computer's central storage system built into the computer. The bigger the hard drive, the more applications can be stored.
MacBook: Apple Macintosh laptop, equivalent to iMac or MacPro desktop computer.
Internet/email: a network that enables computers to be connected together in a 'web'. With access to the internet you can access data from anywhere in the world for the price of a domestic phone call. The same technology facilitates email (electronic mail), typed messages that can be routed to any email address anywhere in the world almost instantaneously. Emails can also incorporate photos, audio recordings or video.