Recently there have been several posts of members not understanding what is being said in technology threads. So I thought I would start a thread and pin it on terms used in today's technology for reference.
This by no means is all inclusive so Please feel free to add to it. When adding please note what technology your are referring to. Also if you could add a brief description of what the term means would be helpful to those not familiar with the industry.
Here are a few terms that I thought of off the top of my head:
OS = Operating system - An operating system is a series of instructions tell the computer how to function as a computer. Without the OS you would have nothing but a dump box. There are/have been many different Operating systems through out the years. DOS (Disk Operating System), Windows, Windows NT, Unix, Solaris, Linux, BSD, OS X, Apple OS and the list goes on.
HDD = Hard Disk Drive - This is the storage device inside a computer that stores your data, OS, and applications. It is basically considered old school since this design has been since the inception of Hard drives in computers. It uses metallic disks coated with a magnetic material and an arm that hovers over the disk. Due to its design, mechanical, it is relatively slow compared to an SSD.
SSD = Solid State Drive - This is like the HDD but does not use moving parts and totally electronic. Which make is much faster then the HDD. This design is relatively new compared to how long the HDD has been around and is still maturing and growing. An SSD can be anything from an internal storage device to a thumb drive. Smart phones also use SSD storage.
ROM = Read Only Memory - Rom is a chip on your mother board that contains just enough instructions to tell the box (computer) to look for an HDD or SSD to get started. The instructions are flashed on to the chip and are considered permanent.
RAM = Random Access Memory - This is the memory we usually talk about when discussing computers. It is generally considered the more memory the better because the more data you can load. This memory is also dynamic in that it is wiped clean on shut down or power failure so this is why it is recommended you save your work on a regular schedule to the storage device.
Cloud = "Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources" In other words basically cloud computing allows you to store your data on another computers storage device some where on the internet. Some examples are Dropbox, photo bucket etc. Also Google Docs is a form that is becoming popular because it not only will store your documents but is also provides the applications to create them so you will always have the latest stable version of the software. Cloud storage is nice for storing documents you want to share with others or access on different computers. I use Dropbox to store my technical documents so I have access to them on both my shop and office computer's. I can also create a shared folder and send someone a link to it so they can have access to the document.
URL = Uniform Resource Locator - in easy terms this is the street address for web sites on the internet. Just like you need a street address to find a business or a friend the computer needs an address to find a web site.
IP = Internet protocol address - An IP is the address of your computer on a network. Just like the URL the IP does the same thing except it give each computer a unique address so the network software can find the computer it is supposed to. An IP is not only used on the internet but also on closed networks like a business would use or one you may have in your home.