IT Jargon Explained

IT Jargon Explained S

Scanner Equipment which takes pictures of pieces of paper for storage in a computer system. Scanners can be used to grab photographs for desktop publishing or to store electronically-accessible copies of incoming letters, invoices and so on. Once you have digital copies of documents you can cut the amount of paper you need to store, you can get access to them from anywhere on your network and, with the right software, you can search for information faster and more accurately.

Search Engine – Search Engines are complex systems comprising of spiders that crawl and index web content and display web pages showing relevant results. Initially search engines indexed and ranked web pages but now also allow search for images, videos, maps, news, shopping, books, blogs and documents. Popular search engines are Bing, Google and Yahoo. Specialist search engines include Wolfram Alpha, although they prefer to call themselves a "computational knowledge engine".

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation. Optimising pages and websites to perform well in the search engines.

SERPS – Search Engine Results Pages e.g. the first page of Google when performing a search is a search engine results page. SEO and SEM attempts to improve websites’ ranking so that they appear higher in the SERPs.

SCSI Pronounced ‘scuzzy’, a SCSI (Small Computer System Interface) port is a specification for connecting hard disks., CD-ROMs, printers, etc., to a computer.

Search Engines Search Engine software packages (such as Yahoo, Alta Vista, WebCrawler or Lycos) helps you find what you are looking for on the Web. You can type in a word or phrase to describe what you are looking for and the search engine matches this against it’s index, recording all likely matches. Most search engines are free.

Shareware Shareware is a way of distributing and paying for software. Generally shareware software is distributed free via the Internet or CD-ROM. You can use it for evaluation but are trusted to send money to the authors if you want to use if regularly. Sometimes sending a payment brings a more capable version of the software together with technical support and future upgrades. For small software firms, shareware give access to markets without investing heavily in marketing and distribution. Share ware is not necessarily ‘worse’ than conventional software made by large firms, though it carries the same risk as buying anything from a smaller supplier.

Software Also called programs – software is the instructions that tell a computer what to do. There are two basic types of software: the ‘operating system’ which controls the basic workings of a computer, and the ‘application software’ which allows you to do particular jobs. There are other types of software – for example network software which enables a group of computers to communicate with one another, and language software which enables programmers to write other software.

Sound card A device that allows a computer to play sophisticated audio.

Spreadsheet Software that allows you to store, compare and analyse large amounts of numeric data. Spreadsheets are commonly used for budgets, forecasting and accounts. Data is entered in a similar way to writing a ledger. The software then enables you to analyse, track, plan and project possibilities.

SSID Service Set IDentifier is a name that identifies a particular 802.11 wireless LAN (Local Area Network)

Surfing Slang for the process of moving around the Web.

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