Author Topic: Computer Terms Beginning with "M"  (Read 2893 times)

Offline MysteRy

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "M"
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2014, 07:32:31 AM »
Megabyte

A megabyte is 2 to the 20th power, or 1,048,576 bytes.

It can be estimated as 10 to the 6th power, or one million (1,000,000) bytes. A megabyte is 1,024 kilobytes and precedes the gigabyte unit of measurement. Large computer files are typically measured in megabytes. For example, a high-quality JPEG photo from a 6.3 megapixel digital camera takes up about 3MB of space. A four minute CD-quality audio clip takes up about 40MB of space and CDs can hold up to 700MB of space.

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "M"
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2014, 07:33:25 AM »
Megahertz

One megahertz is equal to one million cycles per second. It is used to measure transmission speeds of electronic devices. The most common area you will see Megahertz used is in measuring processor clock speed, such as an 800 Mhz Pentium III.

It is important to know that megahertz only measures the clock speed of the processor (how many cycles it can handle per second) ? not the overall performance. Because megahertz measures only a single aspect of the CPU, it is possible that one processor may be faster than another that has a slightly higher megahertz reading. For example, a Mac with a 500 MHz PowerPC G4 can perform some calculations faster than a PC with a 800 Mhz Pentium III. This is because the G4 can process more instructions per clock cycle than the Pentium. Mac users would often stress this point, but it is irrelevant now since Macintosh computers also use Intel processors.

Abbreviation: Mhz.

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "M"
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2014, 07:34:12 AM »
Megapixel

A megapixel is one million pixels. It is commonly used to describe the resolution of digital cameras. For example, a 7.2 megapixel camera is capable of capturing roughly 7,200,000 pixels. The higher the megapixel number, the more detail the camera can capture. Therefore, the megapixel count is a significant specification to look for when buying a digital camera.

A camera's megapixel number is calculated by multiplying the number of vertical pixels by the number of horizontal pixels captured by the camera's sensor, or CCD. For example, the original Canon Digital Rebel captures 2048 vertical by 3072 horizontal pixels, for a total of 6,291,456 pixels (2048 x 3072). Therefore, it is estimated to be a 6.3 megapixel camera. The Sony T10 captures 3072 x 2304 pixels, totaling 7,077,888, which makes it a 7.2 megapixel camera (because not all the pixels are used).

Megapixels are helpful in marketing digital cameras, because it is easier to say, "6.3 megapixels" than "6,291,456 pixels." It is also a little easier to remember. However, while megapixels are important, it is helpful to know the other specifications of a camera as well. For example, shutter speed, shooting modes, start-up time, flash quality, and color accuracy can also make a big difference in the camera's performance. After all, it doesn't matter how many megapixels your camera has if all your pictures turn out blurry and have poor color. Therefore, while you should check the megapixel count on a camera before buying it, make sure you check the other specs too.

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "M"
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2014, 07:35:18 AM »
Memory

Just like humans, computers rely a lot on memory. They need to process and store data, just like we do. However, computers store data in digital format, which means the information can always be called up exactly the way it was stored. Also, unlike our memory, the computer's memory doesn't get worse over time.

While memory can refer to any medium of data storage, it usually refers to RAM, or random access memory. When your computer boots up, it loads the operating system into its memory, or RAM. This allows your computer to access system functions, such as handling mouse clicks and keystrokes, since the event handlers are all loaded into RAM. Whenever you open a program, the interface and functions used by that program are also loaded into RAM.

RAM is a very high-speed type of memory, which makes it ideal for storing active programs and system processes. It is different than hard disk space in that RAM is made up of physical memory chips, while hard disks are magnetic disks that spin inside a hard drive. Accessing RAM is much faster than accessing the hard disk because RAM access is based on electric charges, while the hard drive needs to seek to the correct part of the disk before accessing data. However, all the information stored in RAM is erased when the computer's power is turned off. The hard disk, on the other hand, stores data magnetically without requiring any electrical power.

Another common type of memory is flash memory, which is typically used for small devices such as digital cameras, USB keychain drives, and portable music players like the iPod nano. This kind of memory, known as "electrically erasable programmable read-only memory" (EEPROM), is convenient for portable devices, since it stores information even when its power source is turned off, but is smaller and more resilient than a hard drive.

To summarize, memory is a vital part of the way computers and many electronic devices function. While memory and RAM can often be used synonymously, it is good to know about other types of memory as well. Hopefully you will be able to store the information you've learned in your own memory.

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "M"
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2014, 07:35:58 AM »
Memory Bank

Example: "The program was designed to store cached data in a memory bank for easy access."

A memory bank is an individual section of data stored in a computer's memory. It typically contains data that only needs to be stored temporarily and is commonly used as a memory cache. Memory banks are ordered consecutively, which provides easy access to individual items stored in RAM.

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "M"
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2014, 07:36:52 AM »
Memory Leak

A memory leak is like a virtual oil leak in your computer. It slowly drains the available memory, reducing the amount of free memory the system can use. Most memory leaks are caused by a program that unintentionally uses up increasing amounts of memory while it is running. This is typically a gradual process that gets worse as the program remains open. If the leak is bad enough, it can cause the program to crash or even make the whole computer freeze.

The most common reason programs have memory leaks is due to a programming error where unused memory is not allocated back to the system. This means the amount of RAM the program uses is always growing. Therefore, the program is constantly "leaking" memory. A memory leak may also be caused by a program that requests new memory too frequently, instead of using available memory. This means each time more memory is requested, the program takes up additional RAM instead of using memory that has already been made available to the program.

Fortunately, memory leaks are not as messy as oil leaks and can be more easily fixed. Software development applications often include debuggers that can check programs for memory leaks. Once the source of the leak is found, the programmer can modify the code so that the program uses memory more efficiently. If you are using a program that has a memory leak, you can temporarily fix the problem by simply quitting the program and opening it again. Once the program has been quit, the memory is automatically allocated back to the system. Of course, if the leak continues to be a problem, the best solution is to let the developer know about the issue so it can be fixed.

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "M"
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2014, 07:37:35 AM »
Memory Module

A memory module is another name for a RAM chip. It is often used as a general term used to describe SIMM, DIMM, and SO-DIMM memory. While there are several different types of memory modules available, they all serve the same purpose, which is to store temporary data while the computer is running.

Memory modules come in different sizes and have several different pin configurations. For example, the original SIMMs had 30 pins (which are metal contacts that connect to the motherboard). However, newer SIMM chips have 72 pins. DIMMs commonly come in 168-pin configurations, but some DIMMs have as many as 240 pins. SO-DIMMs have a smaller form factor than standard DIMM chips, and come in 72-pin, 144-pin, and 200-pin configurations.

While "memory module" is the technical term used to describe computer memory, the terms "RAM," "memory," and "RAM chip" are just as acceptable. But remember, while memory terms may be interchangeable, the memory itself is not. This is because most computers only accept one type of memory. Therefore, if you decide to upgrade you computer's RAM, make sure the memory modules you buy are compatible with your machine.

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "M"
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2014, 07:38:15 AM »
Memory Stick

Memory Stick is a type of flash memory developed by Sony. It is used to store data for digital cameras, camcorders, and other kinds of electronics. Because Memory Stick is a proprietary Sony product, it is used by nearly all of Sony's products that use flash media. Unfortunately, this also means Memory Stick cards are incompatible with most products not developed by Sony.

Memory Stick cards are available in two versions: Memory Stick PRO and Memory Stick PRO Duo. Memory Stick PRO cards are 50mm long by 21.5mm wide and are 2.8mm thick. Memory Stick PRO Duo cards are 31mm long by 20mm wide and are only 1.6mm thick. High-speed versions of Memory Stick media support data transfer rates up to 80Mbps, or 10 MB/sec, which is fast enough record high-quality digital video.

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "M"
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2014, 07:39:00 AM »
Menu Bar

A menu bar is a horizontal strip that contains lists of available menus for a certain program. In Windows programs, the menu bar resides at the top of each open window, while on the Mac, the menu bar is always fixed on the top of the screen. Despite this major difference, the menu bar serves the same purpose on each platform.

Nearly all programs have a menu bar as part of their user interface. It includes menu items and options specific to the particular program. Most menu bars have the the standard File, Edit, and View menus listed first. The File menu includes options such as Save and Open File..., the Edit menu has items such as Undo, Copy, Paste, and Select All, while in the View menu you'll find viewing options such as changing the layout of open windows. Word processing programs, such as Microsoft Word, also include menu options such as Insert, Format, and Font which you will most likely not find in a Web browser's menu bar. But a Web browser may contain menu options such as History and Bookmarks, which you will not find in a word processing program.

Many items located within the menu bar often have keyboard shortcuts that enable you to choose menu options by just pressing a key combination. For example, to copy an object or text selection, most programs allow you to press Control-C (Windows) or Command-C (Mac) instead of selecting Copy from the Edit menu. When browsing through the items in a program's menu bar, you should see the keyboard shortcuts located next to each option that has a shortcut available. The menu bar is a fundamental part of the graphical user interface (GUI), so it is worth you time to get familiar with it. You may even discover features you did not know about before.

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "M"
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2014, 07:39:44 AM »
Meta Search Engine

Meta search engines are search engines that search other search engines. Confused? To put it simply, a meta search engine submits your query to several other search engines and returns a summary of the results. Therefore, the search results you receive are an aggregate result of multiple searches.

While this strategy gives your search a broader scope than searching a single search engine, the results are not always better. This is because the meta search engine must use its own algorithm to choose the best results from multiple search engines. Often, the results returned by a meta search engine are not as relevant as those returned by a standard search engine.

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "M"
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2014, 07:40:41 AM »
Meta Tag

This is a special HTML tag that is used to store information about a Web page but is not displayed in a Web browser. For example, meta tags provide information such as what program was used to create the page, a description of the page, and keywords that are relevant to the page. Many search engines use the information stored in meta tags when they index Web pages.

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "M"
« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2014, 07:41:20 AM »
Metadata

Metadata describes other data. It provides information about a certain item's content. For example, an image may include metadata that describes how large the picture is, the color depth, the image resolution, when the image was created, and other data. A text document's metadata may contain information about how long the document is, who the author is, when the document was written, and a short summary of the document.

Web pages often include metadata in the form of meta tags. Description and keywords meta tags are commonly used to describe the Web page's content. Most search engines use this data when adding pages to their search index.

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "M"
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2014, 07:41:57 AM »
Metafile

A metafile can refer to two different types of computer files. The first is a file that describes the contents of other files. This type of metafile may contain metadata, which defines a group other files and gives a summary of what data they contain.

The second type of metafile is most often used in computer graphics. These files define objects and images using a list of coordinates. They are typically used for vector images, such as Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, and EPS files, but can include raster images as well.

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "M"
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2014, 07:42:39 AM »
MIDI

Stands for "Musical Instrument Digital Interface." It is a connectivity standard that musicians use to hook together musical instruments (such as keyboards and synthesizers) and computer equipment. Using MIDI, a musician can easily create and edit digital music tracks. The MIDI system records the notes played, the length of the notes, the dynamics (volume alterations), the tempo, the instrument being played, and hundreds of other parameters, called control changes.

Because MIDI records each note digitally, editing a track of MIDI music is much easier and more accurate than editing a track of audio. The musician can change the notes, dynamics, tempo, and even the instrument being played with the click of button. Also, MIDI files are basically text documents, so they take up very little disk space. The only catch is that you need MIDI-compatible hardware or software to record and playback MIDI files.

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "M"
« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2014, 07:43:19 AM »
Mini DV

Most digital camcorders record video and audio on a Mini DV tape. The cassettes measure 2.6 x 1.9 x 0.5 inches (L x W x H), while the tape itself is only 0.25 inches thick. A Mini DV tape that is 65 meters long can hold an incredible 11GB of data, or 80 minutes of digital video.

The small size of Mini DV tapes has helped camcorder manufacturers reduce the size of their video cameras significantly. Some consumer cameras that use Mini DV tapes are smaller than the size of your hand. Because Mini DV tapes store data digitally, the footage can be exported directly to a computer using a Firewire (IEEE 1394) cable. So if you want to record video and edit it on your computer, avoid the SVHS and Hi-8 options and make sure to get a camera that uses Mini DV.

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