Welcome to IT Matters

Jargon and other techie stuff

Welcome to the first ever article in a series of blogs about IT.  Jargon.  Do you need to know it, understand it?  Worse still, do you have to remember it?


Why bother then?

Because it will make your life with computers a little bit easier if you are talking to a tame techie who starts using Jargoneese.  At least you’ll have somewhere to turn as you say ‘Wait a minute.  ‘Cookies will be stored on my device’, did you say?‘  Reach out for JargonBuster, it is here to help you.

Let’s do the ones I love to hate.

  • Device – according to the Free Dictionary, it is:  An object designed and manufactured to perform one or more functions.  However, according to your local, neighbourhood techie, it is any piece electronic of equipment.  A rather lazy, all-purpose word.  Instead of saying, for example, “Switch your phone on” or “click the Start button on your tablet” they will use the word device for laptop, phone, mobile, tablet, etc., etc., etc..
  • Populate – bring people into a new town…?  Not when a techie says it.  If you scroll down to the bottom of this page you’ll find a form inviting you to subscribe to my newsletter.  To subscribe you have to fill in the form. ‘Populate the form‘ is what techies say when they want you to enter information into an online form.
  • Pop-ups – in the good old days of early the internet usage, advertisers hit upon a cunning wheeze.  When a ‘user’ (that’ll be you) happened upon a site to get information, wallop, bang!  An additional window popped up, in yer face, trying to flog you something.  Or, less intrusive initially, but equally annoying is the pop-under.  This is a window that is generated as soon as you land on a site, but it’s placed behind it and you don’t see it until you close the window.  Nowadays, thanks to GPDR, companies have been forced to request permission to send you a newsletter, so, you access the site and, bang, wallop, there’s a pop-up imploring, cajoling or even demanding that you sign up for their newsletter.  If you don’t want to, either click on the Close button (the X in the top right of the window) or if this isn’t available, click outside of the box and it will go away.  If it doesn’t, close the site and go to another, less intrusive one.  Unusually, Wikipedia is quite techie in its explanation of pop-ups, but still an interesting read.
  • Client – someone who buys something from you…?  Nope.  Microsoft make software.  That includes the word-processor, MS Word, the spreadsheet ‘calculating’ application, Excel and many others.  In the old days you would buy the software on several Floppy Disks.  Nowadays, you simply download it from the internet.  Microsoft obligingly give you two types of their application.  For example Word Online as well as the equivalent of the floppy disk version which sits on your computer.  The version that is kept on your computer is called the client version.  If you are using your work computer, then MS Word, etc. will probably be stored on a bunch of computers known as servers, but it is still the ‘client‘ version as you do not access it online.

That’s enough for now.  I’ll update JargonBuster from time to time.  I hope it helps you.

Important Note:

Any links given are given in good faith and no responsibility is taken for any adverse results should you click on text or a graphic that acts as a link to another area. If you are concerned, close the Window –   in the top left-hand corner of the window – if you find yourself in a window or a site in which you are not comfortable. Push comes to shove, switch the computer off – but be aware, you may lose unsaved work in other applications.

No site or company is personally recommended – they are simply places where you may (or you may not) get more help.

Many of the links in this blog are specifically from a free online encyclopedia called Wikipedia. As far as ‘trustworthy information’ goes, Wikipedia is probably the best one. Founded by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger (and others) in… but hey, click on the links to find out more. Oh yes, and there’s the BBC (in the UK) but I don’t know the news channels in other countries to be able to comment.

This series is specifically about PCs (Personal Computers) and Windows 10 and not about Apple Macs.

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