SPEEDY Tech Terms 101 – ICTC - Focus on Information Technology (FIT)

Tech Terms 101

Just in case you didn’t want to be left behind in the 19th century, FIT has compiled some of the top terms you’ll need to know. Whether you just want to understand how things work or know what people are talking about, we’ve got you covered with Tech Terms 101.
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‘App’ is really the short form for ‘Application’. It is a piece of software that runs on a variety of electronic devices. ‘Apps’ became a household name when they started being used on the iPhone 3g in 2008. Some of the most famous phone Apps includes Instagram, Angrybirds, Shazam and Vine.


A Bit is a binary digit and is the smallest unit used to measure data. You’ll often hear, “ Bits and Bytes;” however, do not interchange the two for one another – 1 Bytes is comprised of 8 Bits. Bits are only represented by ‘1’ or ‘0’ and are the foundation of computer data.

Cloud Computing:

Often represented by the shape of a Cloud, Cloud Computing is the delivery of applications and services over the internet. Storage and SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) are among the most common services Cloud Computing offers. Instead of saving files and software to your Hard Drive you may access these files and programs over the ‘Cloud’ (as it is often referred to). Pretty neat when you think about it!!!


CMS is the short form for ‘Content Management System’. This is software that is used to organize dynamic material for websites, such as design templates and content. Also known as an Online Publishing System- CMS’ generally have User friendly interfaces (dashboards) that easily allow a user to upload new content like videos, photos, or text. One of the most popular CMS’ is WordPress – if you’re a blogger you’ll already know that name!

Domain Name:

This is the name that identifies the website. “FocusIT.ca” is the domain name of the Focus on Information Technology website. For other people to have access to your website, you must connect your Domain Name to a ‘Web Server’ (see definition). For fun, check out www.webnames.ca and see if your name is a registered Domain Name!


You may have been told, “You should really learn HTML” but have no clue what people are talking about. ‘Hyper-Text Markup Language’ (HTML) is the coding language that Web pages are written in. If you want a Web Page to be displayed properly on a Web Browser, you must apply HTML rules. HTML is devised of a series of ‘Tags’ that describe the page’s format. Try it yourself!!!


Is a link embedded within a photo, word, or document that allows you to navigate around a webpage and/or to an external page or file. Web pages include numerous Hyperlinks so that users may choose what they would like to view next. They are often displayed by being highlighted or underlined like this: HYPERLINK HERE


Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is comparable to IT (information technology) but stresses the inclusion of communications. These technologies include computers, Internet, broadcast technologies, wireless networks and any medium used for communications purposes. ICT changes rapidly as innovative technologies evolve.


Pronounced “My S-Q-L”. This Open Source relation database system is based in ‘SQL’, a Structured Query Language, which is used modifying information in a database. Applications that use MySQL in-clude: Joomla, PHPBB, MyBB, Drupal, WordPress. Other high-profile products that use MySQL include Wikipedia, Google, Twitter and Facebook. MySQL is written in C and C++ programming languages. For more information visit the MySQL website.


If you connect two computers together you have a Network. Net-works allow computers to share information with one another. Schools, universities and large companies usually have a large Network where they can access shared files. These Networks are established through cables or using wireless ‘networking’ cards; allowing data to be sent and received.

Open Source:

Here’s a term you’ll hear A LOT!! Open Source is when a software program’s source code is available to the public. What does this mean? It means FREE access to programs and software that are available online. The opposite of Open Source is Proprietary Software and you have to pay for the license to use it, other-wise, you could be accused of Copyright infringement. (That’s breaking the law)


A Permalink is a URL (web address) that permanently links to a specific web page, forum or blog entry. A Permalink is made up of a base URL and includes other unique identifiers at the end like, date/time/year/page etc. Example: <http://rookiemag.com/2012/03/lindsay-edit/>


The short form for ‘Picture Element’, a Pixel is what makes up displays and images on a computer screen. Pixels are tiny dots and when combined they display a picture to the viewer. Each Pixel is one colour only. When there are not enough Pixels used to display an image, often an image will look ‘Pixelated’ – meaning you can see the Pixels. Don’t get it?! Look at this Pixelated image.

Programming Language:

A Programming Languages is comprised of a set of commands and instructions that communicated and ‘translated’ into action by a machine. This is used to create programs and software that can control the behaviour of a machine. Some well-known languages include PHP, C, C++, Java, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, SQL, Perl etc.


A Server is a computer that provides data and ‘serves’ other computers. Acting as a center for programs and software to run; there are multiple types of Servers for various services – Web Servers, Mail Servers and File Servers. For example – A File Server uses file sharing software, which allows you to share files with other computers over a network. Ever heard someone say, “The Server is down”? – This is what they’re talking about.


Software is essentially a computer program. Photoshop and Word are examples of Software and were created by computer programmers using lines of code. Software must be installed onto a computer’s Hard Drive, where it can run and utilized by the user. A computer game is another example of Software – it was designed by a computer programmer and runs on your Hard Drive.


Tags are used to determine what and how something is displayed on a Web Page. Tags are the foundation of HTML code and are used for design and content structuring. For example, if you wanted your text to be the Arial font your Tag would be .Tags are easy to understand because the action is often represented by the logical word.


These are words used to describe content such as, documents, photos, Web Pages, Databases and help you search your way through the Internet. People may Tag images or text files that are relevant to their content, which, ensures their target audience may reach them. Keywords are extremely important to Web Developers who must Tag the content appropriately so the website their developing shows up in a Search Engine.

User Interface:

Have you ever seen ‘UI’ anywhere? Well this is referring to User Interface. ‘UI’ is what people see when they are using software applications. For example, when you use word-processing software like Word, to navigate and use the program you have to look at the “User Interface”. A User Interface that is easy to use is often referred to as a “user-friendly experience”.


You may see these two letters together often but have no idea what they are referring to. Well UX really means ‘User Experience’. UX is the amount of enjoyment or satisfaction a ‘user’ gets out of a Web Page, game, system, or product. For example, when you use a cell phone, how easy is it to use? If it’s easy to navigate you would refer to your UX as being a ‘User-Friendly Experience’. If you found your phone’s interface confusing to use, you probably had a ‘Bad UX’. Get it?


A URL is short for ‘Uniform Resource Locator’ and is the web address of a specific Website or file location. An example of a URL is: <http://www.FocusIt.ca> The beginning of the Web Address displays to you what type of resource it is:

HTTP: Hypertext directory, i.e. Web page.
GOPHER: A gopher document or menu.
WAIS: Wide area information search (database).
FTP: File or files you may download.
FILE: A file located on your hard drive.
NOTE: This is sometimes pronounced ‘Earl’, like Earl Grey Tea…

Web Server:

A Web Server is a computer system that hosts Websites using Web Server Software. They must be connected to the Internet and run at a high-speed in order to host multiple Web Sites. All computers can act as a Web Server; however, they must have the Web Server Software installed.

Looking for More definition and information about general ICT? Check these sites out:

1) http://www.techterms.com

2) Web Design Glossary @ about.com

3) Business Terms @ Quizlet