Address BookAddress Book: An application that comes with Mac OS® X. The Address Book application lets you store information about your contacts, including name and title, phone numbers, and addresses, as well as email, iChat, and website information. Because Address Book is integrated with other Mac OS® X applications, all the information in the Address Book is available from the Mail, iChat, and Safari applications.

AIFF audio File: A digital audio file that can be used by iMovie® and many other applications. AIFF stands for Audio Interchange File Format.

AirDrop: When you’ve got something you want to share, AirDrop shows you your contacts close by. Just select who you want to share with and AirDrop does the rest. AirDrop transfers are peer-to-peer so you can use it anywhere, without any network or set up required, and transfers are fully encrypted so your content is protected and private.

AirPort®: Name for Apple® Computer's wireless networking technology products. Apple® AirPort® wireless technology uses the IEEE 802.11b standard and is compatible with all Wi-fi wireless networking equipment. AirPort®-equipped Macintosh® computers can connect to the same wireless networks as Windows PCs in thousands of hotel rooms, coffee shops, dorm rooms, and airports. Also, a single Macintosh® with an AirPort® card can serve as a wireless access point for up to 50 PCs.

AirPort® Ready: A Macintosh® computer with AirPort® antennae installed and a slot that accepts an AirPort® Card.

AirTunes™: Software from Apple Inc. that lets a computer on an AirPort network use iTunes to send music wirelessly to up to three music systems.

alias: A file that stands for and points to a file, application, folder, or disk that you use as if it were the original. When you open an alias it opens the original file, applications, folder or disk that it points to.

all-in-one computer: A term used to describe the original Macintosh®, iMac® computers and Intel iMac® computers which have the computer and monitor combined in the same case. This is in contrast with the desktop and tower style computers that have the monitors separate from the computer.ADB

Apple Desktop Bus (ADB): Input port built into many Apple computers to attach the keyboard, the mouse, and other input devices, such as graphics tablets and bar code readers. Universal Serial Bus (USB) has replaced ADB.

Apple IIApple II®: The second in a series of 3 early table top computers introduced by Apple.

  • The Apple® I was a kit sold as a motherboard, was the first product, and was introduced in April 1976 andput on sale in July of 1976 with a 1 MHz MOS 6502 processor and 4 kB of RAM. About 200 units were produced and sold for $666.66.
  • The Apple II® went on sale on June 5, 1977 with the same processor as the Apple® I. It sold for $1,298 for the basic unit and needed a TV to use as a monitor. The Apple II® displayed the multicolor Apple® logo which was used until 1998.
  • The Apple III® was introduced in May 1980 with a 2 MHz Synertek 6502A processor at a price of $3,500. Problems with early models such as overheating killed sales. An updated model in 1983 was a failure due to its poor reputation. About this time IBM and Microsoft were taking the lead in the personal computer business. Apple® hung on by maintaining a close relationship with schools.Apple III

apple key: Same as command key.

apple menu: Menu at the upper-left corner of the screen, used to open System Preferences, set Dock preferences, select a network location, open recent documents and applications, shut down and restart your computer, and log out. Apple® System Profiler Application that displays the specifications, such as processor speed, hard disk capacity, and memory size, for your Macintosh®. To open Apple® System Profiler, choose About This Macintosh® from the Apple® (K) menu, then click More Info.

Apple Remote: It is a device to remotely control Front Row and access and play iTunes music and playlists, iPhoto slide shows, and videos and DVDs on a Macintosh® or TV. It can change the sound volume, navigate lists and menus, start and pause playback, and more. It can control Keynote presentations from across the room. It can also put a computer to sleep by pressing and holding the Play/Pause button. It works with Macintosh® computers that have an infrared receiver.

AppleTalk Network: A network system that runs on a variety of cable systems and protocols. It facilitates communication between network devices, such as your computers, file servers, and printers, which may be a mixture of Apple and non-Apple products. Several elements make up an AppleTalk network system: AppleTalk software and AppleTalk hardware; the latter includes computing components and connectivity components.

Apple TVApple TV®: A set-top box from Apple Inc. that wirelessly receives a video signal and plays it on any enhanced-definition or high-definition widescreen TV. Apple TV can sync with any computer running Mac OS® X or a Windows computer running iTunes and play movies, TV shows, music, and podcasts from the iTunes library on the TV. Apple TV can store up to 50 hours of movies and TV shows. It can also play movie trailers from Apple.com and display digital photos from the computer as a slide show.


AppleWorks®: Originally created as ClarisWorks, AppleWorks® contains a database, word processing, a drawing application, a painting application, a spreadsheet, and a terminal application for communications. All the components are integrated to provide a seamless suite that worked in concert; for example, spreadsheet frames could be embedded in a word processing document, or formatted text into drawings, etc. The latest version, AppleWorks 6, replaced the communications feature with a presentation feature. It was written to work on Mac OS® X, but it does not take advantage of many of the newer features of Mac OS® X. AppleWorks can create, open, and save files in a number of file formats. For example, word processor documents can be saved in Word format, and spreadsheet files can be saved in Microsoft Excel format. Although AppleWorks for Mac OS® X is available for purchase, it is no longer bundled with new Macintosh® computers and has not been updated since 2004. Apple® considers that iWork® will eventually be a replacement for AppleWorks, but iWork® does not include drawing or database features.

application: Software designed for a particular purpose, such as database, home finance, education, spreadsheet, or word processing.

applications folder

Applications folder: Mac OS® X stores applications in the Applications folder at the root level of your hard drive (the area of your hard drive that you see when you double-click on the hard-drive icon either on your desktop or in the Finder´s sidebar). Applications stored here are available to anyone using your Macintosh®. You can also store applications in the Applications folder inside your user folder (the user folder is the folder in the Users section that´s represented by a house icon). Only you can use an application stored in this folder.

Application menu: In each application, the menu item to the right of the Apple® menu, named after the application. The application menu is used to access the application's preference settings and to quit the application.

Archive and Install: A method of upgrading or re-installing the Mac OS X operating system. The existing system files are moved to a Previous System folder, and new system folders are created. You can optionally preserve your existing user accounts and data with this method. Also see Erase and Install.

arrow keys: The keys in the lower-right corner of most keyboards that you can press in most applications to move the cursor insertion point in the direction indicated.

aspect ratio: The ratio of an image's width to its height expressed either as two numbers width: height or as a value equal to the height divided by the width. Standard video uses 4: 3 0.75 while 24P video uses 16: 9 0.56. Film aspect ratios depend on the format and lenses used.

attachment: A file sent by email is "attached" to the email. An attachment can be a picture, a processor document, a program or any other type of file. You should never open an attachment if you are not sure what it is, because some viruses propagate as email attachments; but they can't infect your machine if you don't open the attachment.

audio Inputaudio input: Use this port to input audio from analog microphones, tape decks, and other hardware. I usually uses a 1/8inch mini jack plug.

Audio Outputaudio output: Use this port to plug your headphones or standard computer speakers into this port, using a 1/8-inch mini jack plug.

autocorrect: A feature in MS Word and other applications which automatically corrects your spelling, and even your grammar, as you type.Automator

Automator: An application that comes with Mac OS® X. The Automator application lets you create workflows for automating repetitive tasks. Automator works with many applications, including the Finder, Safari, iCal, Address Book, Microsoft Office, and Adobe Photoshop.


backup copy: A duplicate of a disk. Making a backup copy of a disk is like making a photocopy of a paper document.

bit: The smallest unit of information in a computer, can either equal 0 or 1. Eight bits equal one byte.

bitmap: A pixel-by-pixel representation of an object.


Bluetooth: A standard to make a wireless connection between a computer or other device and other devices such as PDA's, phones, printers, modems, keyboards, mice, and headsets. A Bluetooth is connection is normally used in place of cables to connect device.

boot: To start up a computer.

Boot Camp: A utility included with Mac OS® X v10.5 that assists users in installing Microsoft Windows XP or Windows Vista on Intel-based Macintosh computers.

browser: Software that is designed to retrieve information from the internet.

browser plug-in: Software that you attach to an internet browser to enable it to display specific data formats such as PDF.

bug: An error in an application or a problem with hardware. The expression comes from the early days of computing when a moth flew into a room-size computer and caused a breakdown.

byte: A basic unit of measurement for pieces of information; the space required to store one character. See also bit, kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte, terabyte.


cache: The act of storing copies of information in memory so that the information can be used in the future without retrieving it again. This is frequently done with web pages. The area where information is cached is also called a cache. Caches can usually be deleted with no harm.Calculator

Calculator: A calculator application that comes with Mac OS® X and on the iPhone and the iPod Touch. The calculator application has basic, scientific, and programmer modes and supports Reverse Polish notation.Calendar

Calendar: A calendar application on the iPhone and the iPod Touch that synchronizes with iCal.

Cheetah®: The code name for Mac OS® X v 10.0 which was introduced on March 24, 2001.


Chess: A game application included with Mac OS® X which permits playing chess against your Macintosh®, against another person or to watch your Macintosh® play against itself.

Chime: The “bong” sound that your Mac makes when it starts up.

click: To position the cursor on something, then press and quickly release the mouse button.

clipboard: An area in the computer's memory that functions as a holding place for what you last cut or copied. Information on the clipboard can be pasted into documents.


Clock: A clock application on the iPhone and the iPod Touch that displays time in various time zones.

Combo drive: Apple’s name for the older, cheaper optical drives that can read and write CDs, but only read DVDs. These days practically all Macs come with SuperDrives.Command Key

command key: The Apple® Key on the keyboard located next to the Space Bar. The key with the Apple and/or clover-leaf (⌘) symbol. Pressed with other keys to enter keyboard shortcut commands to Macintosh® applications.

computer: A machine for manipulating data according to a list of instructions called programs. Personal computers such as the Macintosh® are microcomputers whose price, size, and capabilities make it useful for individuals.

configuration: A general-purpose computer term that can refer to the way you have your computer set up that is, the devices you have attached to it or to the way you have your computer set up to send information to a printer, a modem, or some other peripheral device.

Console: A Mac OS X diagnostic tool (Applications > Utilities > Console) that allows you to view various log files, such as the system log and mail server log.Contacts

Contacts: An address book application on the iPhone and the iPod Touch that synchronizes with Address Book.

Control Center: iOS 7 introduces Control Center. With just one swipe from the bottom of the screen, you access Clock, Camera, Calculator, the Flashlight; controls for Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Do Not Disturb; and the ability to adjust screen brightness, pause or play a song, jump to the next track and stream your music with AirPlay®.

Control-clicking: Refers to holding down the Control key and clicking the left (or single) mouse button. Has the same effect as right-clicking with a 2-button mouse.Control

control key: The Apple® Key on the keyboard located next to the Option Key. Pressed with other keys to enter keyboard shortcut commands to Macintosh® applications.

control panels: Programs that let you change various Macintosh® features, such as sound, mouse movement, and keyboard options. Control panels are located inside the System folder.

cookie: A small data file stored on your computer by a website, in theory to allow it to "remember" your preferences, but in practice mostly used to track which adverts you have seen.

copy: To copy text or pictures from a document by using the Copy command. The most recent copy is stored on the clipboard so you can paste it somewhere else if you want.

CPU: A CPU-Central processing unit, a type of microprocessor. In newer MacBook®, MacPro, Power Mac®, iMac®, PowerBook, and iBook® computers, the CPU is an Intel Zenon, or IBM PowerPC G3, G4 or G5 chip. Earlier models contained PowerPC 601, 603, 604, 604e and Motorola 680x0 chips.

crash: A system malfunction of the operating system, application, or hardware device that causes the computer to quit or to restart. A freeze or lockup is a system error that causes the cursor to lock in place. In this case, the computer must be forced to quit and restarted. In Mac OS® X, each application operates independently and if one application crashes, it doesn't crash the entire computer. If one application freezes or locks up, it can be forced to quit with the Force Quit command in the Apple® Menu.

cursor: Also known as a pointer, usually arrow or cross shaped, which is controlled by the mouse, trackpad, trackball, stylus, or joystick. When editing text it is called the insertion point.

cut: To remove text or pictures from a document by using the Cut command. The most recent clipping is stored on the clipboard so you can paste it somewhere else if you want.

cut and paste: To move something from one place in a document to another. It's the computer equivalent of using scissors to clip something and glue to paste the clipping somewhere else.


Darwin: The core operating system on which Mac OS X is based. It is derived from BSD Unix, NeXTSTEP, and other open source projects. Darwin is Free (open source) software.


Dashboard: A floating, semi-transparent window that provides contextual access to commonly used tools in software programs and on the desktop. The interface is used to greatest effect in full-screen editing modes. The following applications use dashboards: Aperture, Apple® Motion, iMovie® HD 6, iPhoto 6, iDVD® 6, QuickTime® Pro and the desktop. The dashboard applications used on the desktop are called Widgets.

database: A type of application that helps you keep track of lists of information. It makes it easy to recall, update, and cross-reference information.

default: A value or setting that a device or program automatically selects if you do not specify a substitute. For example, processors have default margins and default page lengths that you can override or reset. You can select the default action by pressing Return or Enter. The default action in a Mac OS® 9 dialog is usually represented by the button with a double outline. The default action in Mac OS® X is represented by the button that is pulsing.

desktop: Your working environment when you are using the Finder interface on the computer (the menu bar and the background area on the screen), on which you work with icons and windows.

desktop computer: A computer in a box shaped case which is designed to fit under the monitor such as the Mac® II, and Mac® LC.

device: An accessory that is connected to the computer, like a printer or a modem.Dictionary

Dictionary: An application that comes with Mac OS® X. The Dictionary application lets you look up definitions and synonyms in a variety of sources including the Oxford American Dictionaries and the Apple Dictionary.

digital: Literally "to do with numbers". Often used to describe a device using computer technology to replace older, traditional technologies. For example, a digital camera is one that stores images electronically rather than on chemical film.

directory: A list of all the files on a disk. Sometimes called a catalog. A subdirectory-is a directory within a directory that usually contains related documents; used to organize the information on large-capacity disks.

disk: A platter made of magnetic or optically etched material on which data can be written.

Disk Copy: Disk Copy is included with Mac OS® X, and can open disk image files, which means it can make them appear on the desktop or in the Finder as disks. When you download a file of this type, Disk Copy may open automatically, and the opened disk image file may appear on the desktop as a plain, white "volume" icon. In newer versions of Mac OS® X, it is part of Disk Utility.

Disk First Aid: is a program that comes with most Mac OS®'s that will check a disk's integrity and repair it, and verify and repair permissions. In newer versions of Mac OS® X, it is part of Disk Utility.

disk image: A file that when opened using Disk Copy creates an icon on a Mac OS® desktop that looks and acts like an actual disk or volume. Using NetBoot, client computers can start up over the network from a server-based disk image that contains system software.Disk Utility

Disk Utility: is an application that comes with OS X 10.3 and newer and replaces Disk Copy and Disk First Aid. It will also check permissions and file structure, and do erasing, formatting, partitioning, and check the status of disks.

display: A general term to describe what you see on your screen when you're using a computer.

Dock: A thin bar with a row of icons at the bottom of your screen. The Dock gives you instant access to the things you use most. You use the Dock to quickly launch and switch between applications. and more. When you click and hold or control-click on any icon in the Dock, you´ll open a contextual menu with a number of options.

document: Information you create with a computer program. It could be a memo, a picture, a budget. Also called a file.DogCowDogCow

dogcow: Originally a character from the Cairo font with no name. It was used with the LaserWriter® as part of page orientation Logo and was nicknamed "dogcow" and was said to utter the sound, "Moof".

double-click: To position the cursor where you want an action to take place, and then press and release the mouse button twice in quick succession without moving the mouse.

down arrow: A key that you can press in some applications to make the cursor move down one line.

download: Transferring data from one computer to another. Downloading is receiving; uploading is sending.

DPI: Dots per inch; the number of dots that can be placed horizontally and vertically. This is also known as printer resolution.

drag: To position the cursor on something, press and hold the mouse button, move the mouse, and release the mouse button. When you release the mouse button, you either highlight a selection or move an object to a new location.

driver: A file that tells a computer how to communicate with a peripheral such as a CD-ROM drive or printer.

Drop Box folder: A folder in each Mac user’s Public folder that is writable (by not readable) by all other users on the same Mac (or another Mac on the same network). This allows other people to “send” you files or folders.

DVD: Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc. Most movie DVD's can be opened on computers and some computer DVD's can be opened on DVD players. DVD-R is a single-writeable format (similar in nature to CD-R). DVD-RW is a rewriteable format (similar in nature to CD-RW). DVD-RW has a read-write capacity of 4.7 gigabytes per side. It can be rewritten up to about 1000 times. Both DVD-R and DVD-RW were developed and approved by the DVD Forum (http: //www.dvdforum.org), of which Apple® is a member. Once written, DVD-R and DVD-RW discs can be used in many different drives and players. Check with the manufacturer of, or consult the documentation which came with, your player to find out if it is compatible with DVD-R media.DVD Player

DVD Player: A utility included with Mac OS® X which plays commercial and homemade DVDs on your computer.

DVD-RAM: Digital Versatile Disc-Random Access Memory. A high storage capacity, writeable version of DVD technology good for backing up hard disk data.

DVD-ROM: Short for digital versatile disc or digital video disc, a new type of CD-ROM that holds a minimum of 4.7 gigabytes, enough for a full-length movie. Often shortened to DVD. The DVD specification supports discs with capacities of from 4.7GB to 17GB and access rates of 600KBps to 1.3 MBps. One of the best features of DVD drives is that they are backward-compatible with CD-ROMs. This means that DVD players can play earlier CD-ROMs as well as later DVD-ROMs. Newer DVD players can also read CD-R discs.

DVIDVI: Digital Visual Interface is the external monitor port. DVI is a technology developed by a consortium of companies that enables a system to store and display moving video images. A DVI connector is more advanced than a standard VGA connector. With DVI all content transferred over the interface remains in the loss-less digital domain from start to finish for high-quality digital images.

DVIVGADVI/VGA: This port is found on the iMac® and MacBook®, and allows you to connect an extra display to your system, with the help of a special adapter.


Easter egg: A hidden message or feature in an object such as a computer program. They were introduced in UNIX computer programs in 1971. One that is currently in Mac OS® X is:  Hold down CTRL + COMMAND + OPTION + 8. The video on you monitor will be inverted. Do this again go back.

eject: To remove a disk from a disk drive.

email: Stands for electronic mail. A network service that allows users to send messages and files to each other. Email often includes abilities to send, receive, sort, and save messages.

enter: A key on the numeric keypad that usually has the same function as Return; that is, it confirms a choice or tells a program you're ready to proceed. In a word processing application, usually Enter differs from Return by not causing a line feed.

Erase and Install: A method of upgrading or re-installing the Mac OS X operating system. The entire hard disk is erased, and a fresh copy of Mac OS X is installed. You should back up your hard disk first, and you’ll have to set up all your applications and settings again after the install. Also see Archive and Install.

error message: The computer's way of alerting you to a failure in the communication process; often accompanied by a beep.

esc: The escape key. A key you can press in some applications to get back to the menu or to cancel a procedure that's in progress.


Ethernet: This is the networking port using the 10/100/1000 megabits-per-second Mbps network standard originally developed by Digital Equipment Corporation, Intel Corporation, and Xerox Corporation. The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers helped develop the specifications for the Ethernet standard IEEE 802.3. A protocol for communication and file transfer across a network. Ethernet connectors usually resemble phone connectors but are slightly larger.Expose

Exposé: A feature of Mac OS® X that lets you temporarily move windows out of the way or off the screen entirely, normally by pressing the F11 keyboard key. The Exposé feature helps you see particular windows or the desktop.


FAX: An image of a document made by electronic scanning and transmitted as data over a telephone line.

fiber-optic cable: A transmission medium that uses light to send a signal through a glass-based fiber.

field: A word you'll run across in database applications and ads for database applications. It refers to a category of information. If your database is an address book, name and address will be two of the fields.

file: A collection of information that you store on a disk. Also called a document.

file management: A general term for copying files, deleting files, and for other housekeeping chores involving the contents of disks.

file menu: A menu in mouse-based applications that lists commands that affect whole documents, commands like Save, Print, and Quit.FileMaker

FileMaker Pro: An easy-to-use database application with a graphical front-end, popular on Macs. The publisher, FileMaker Inc, is now owned by Apple (though the software is cross-platform).

filename: The name you give your file document before you save it on a disk.


Final Cut Pro: Apple’s professional video editing software, only available for Macs. Comes as part of Final Cut Studio. A cut-down version, Final Cut Express, is also available. FCP’s main competitors include Avid Media Composer and Sony Vegas Pro.

Finder™: The application program that maintains the Macintosh® desktop and starts up other programs at your request. You use it to manage documents and programs, and to get information to and from disks. The Finder is what you see when you start up your computer.

firewall: Software that protects the network applications running on your server. IP Firewall service, which is part of Mac OS® X Server software, scans incoming IP packets and rejects or accepts these packets based on a set of filters you create.

FirewireFireWire®: FireWire® is the high speed port for connecting peripheral devices. FireWire® is Apple® Computer's cross-platform implementation of a high-speed serial data bus defined by IEEE Standard 1394-1995 that is able to transfer large amounts of data between computers and peripheral devices. FireWire® features simplified cabling and hot swapping, and provides a single plug-and-socket connection to which up to 63 devices can be attached with data transfer speeds up to 400 megabits per second. FireWire® is designed to support much higher data rates than USB 1.0; both standards are expected to exist together, serving different device types. After the introduction of the FireWire® 800 standard, Apple® refers to the original standard as FireWire® 400.

firmware: Software programs or data that has been written onto read-only memory ROM. Firmware is a combination of software and hardware. ROMs, PROMs and EPROMs that have data or programs recorded on them are firmware.

flash memory: A removable data storage device, usually thumb sized and plugged into a USB port.

folder: An icon that represents a subdirectory. A way to group related documents together on a disk.

font: A typeface that contains the characters of an alphabet, numbers, and some other letterforms such as punctuation marks. Size and style of characters bold, italic, and so on.Font Book

Font Book: A font management application that comes with Mac OS® X. The Font Book application lets you preview and install fonts, group fonts into collections, activate or deactivate individual fonts or collections, and export fonts to another computer.

Force Quit: When an application freezes, that application can be forced to quit by using the Force Quit command in the Apple® Menu to bring up the Force Quit Applications window

freeze: A system malfunction of the operating system, application, or hardware device that causes the cursor to lock in place.Front Row

Front Row: An application that comes with Mac OS® X. The Front Row application lets you browse movies, music, and photos on your computer using the Apple Remote.

function: A built-in formula you can use to calculate an average, a square root, maximum, minimum, and the like. Functions range in type including mathematical, statistical, financial, date & time, text, logical, and information. Most commonly used functions are available in spreadsheet applications such as Numbers.


function key: A key that tells the application to carry out a particular activity or function such as print a document, save a document, and so on. Some applications use the number keys on the numeric keypad as function keys.Fusion Drive

Fusion Drive: A data storage technology developed by Apple in 2012 that combines flash solid-state storage elements with conventional hard drives to achieve much higher speeds in repeative operations.


G3, G4 and G5: Generation 3, 4 and 5 PowerPC microprocessors, including the PPC 750, PPC 7400 and PPC 970. The RISC-based PowerPC processing chips designed by Apple®, IBM, and Motorola.GarageBand

GarageBand®: A a software application that allows users to create music or podcasts. It is part of the iLife® suite of applications.

garbage: A string of meaningless characters that bears no resemblance to your document. It's an indication that your computer and peripheral device has corrupted data or is using the wrong data format.

GB: Gigabytes.

gigabyte: 1024 megabytes. A term used to describe RAM or hard disk storage space. Abbreviation-GB, Gig.

gigahertz: Abbreviated as GHz. One GHz represents one billion cycles per second. It is a measure of the clock speed and hence the computer speed.Grab

Grab: Grab is a Mac OS® X "Screen Capture" utility that lets you take a picture of all or part of your computer screen.


Grapher: Grapher is a Mac OS® X utility that will 1) calculate and graph a variety of equations including parametric curves, differential equations, piecewise equations, etc.; 2) customize the appearance of graphs by changing line color, adding patterns, etc.; and 3) creating animations and images after you've created a graph.

graphics: Information presented in the form of pictures or images.

graphics tablet: A device for drawing pictures. A special pen sends out signals that are detected by wires in the tablet and sent as X and Y coordinates to the screen.

graphical user interface (GUI): Is a computer interface that uses windows, icons, menus, and a pointing device to trigger system commands. Prior to GUI's, the interface was a command line in which each of the many commands had to be typed, spelled correctly. This was very powerful when mastered, but had a long, steep learning curve. The GUI made leaning to use a computer much faster and more intuitive.


hacker: A person who is on a first-name basis with RAM, ROM, and the microprocessor. A person who'd rather write application programs than use store-bought programs.

hard disk drive, or hard drive: Large-capacity, permanent storage for the computer used for storing applications and files, made of multiple disks housed in a rigid case.

hardware: Those parts of the computer that you can see and touch. The computer and the machines that attach to it-the disk drive, printer, and other peripheral devices. This is in contrast to software.

HFS+: hierarchical file system plus, also known as Mac OS® Extended format, a data storage format.

HFS: hierarchical file system, also known as Mac OS® Standard format, a data storage format.

highlight: To select by clicking once on an icon or by clicking and dragging the insertion point across text in a document.

home finance application: An application that helps with budgeting, portfolio management, tax planning, and so on. Like a spreadsheet, only easier to use.

html: HyperText Markup Language-A set of simple tags that tells a computer how to display the text, graphics, and other objects that comprise a Web page.

http (Hypertext Transfer Protocol): An application protocol that defines the set of rules for linking and exchanging files on the World Wide Web.

Hz: Hertz. It is equivalent to cycles per second.


I/O: Stands for input/output. Information is being exchanged with peripheral devices.

iBook®: A discontinued line of laptop computers that was developed and sold by Apple® Inc. between 1999 and 2006.iCal

iCal®: An Apple calendar application that lets you keep track of appointments and To-Do lists and synchronize information between computers, phones, and other devices. The iCal application is part of Mac OS® X.

iChat: An AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) client by Apple Inc. for their Mac OS® X operating system.iCloud

iCloud: iCloud replaced MobileMe. Introduced on June 6, 2011, it works seamlessly with iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac, and PDs to automatically and wirelessly store content and push it to all related devices.

icon: A small pictorial representation of a file, disk, menu, option, or other object or feature.

iDisk: On line storage space that is used to share files. It is supported by MobileMe but is also makes files available to download using a web browser on any computer.iDVD

iDVD®: A DVD creation software application made for Mac OS® X. iDVD® allows the user to add QuickTime® Movies, MP3 music, and digital photos to a DVD that can then be played on a commercial DVD player. It is part of the iLife® suite of applications.

iLife®: A suite of program including iPhoto, iMovie®HD, iDVD®, GarageBand™ and iWeb™. These programs are used to create, organize, view and publish digital content, such as pictures, movies, music, and web pages.iMac

iMac®: A desktop computer designed and built by Apple® Inc which encloses the display and processors in the same case.Imovie

iMovie®: A video editing software application which allows users to edit their own home. It is part of the iLife® suite of applications. movies.

initializing: Formatting a disk for use in the computer. Initializing creates a new directory and arranges the tracks for the recording of data. Initializing erases all data on the disk.

input: Information traveling into the computer, like key presses and mouse moves.

input/output: Abbreviated I/O. Refers to the means by which information is sent between the computer and its peripheral devices. Also known as I/O. I/Os either use a port or are wireless.

insertion point: The place where the next character will appear when you type. See cursor.

installer: Software used to install a program on the hard disk of a computer.

integrated circuit: An electronic circuit including components and interconnections entirely contained in a single piece of semi-conducting material, usually silicon. Often referred to as a chip.

Intel Core 2 Duo: Core 2 is the name for a range of Intel CPUs, or processor chips – the “heart” of modern Macs and PCs. Most current Macs use 2-core Intel Core 2 Duo chips, while Mac Pros use 4-core Intel Xeon processors.

Intel iMac®: iMac computers are based on Intel Xeon microprocessors and a PCI Express architecture.

IntelMac®: Mac computers are based on Intel Xeon microprocessors and a PCI Express architecture.

Internet Connect: An application that comes with Mac OS® X. The Internet Connect application lets you start a dial-up, Ethernet (PPPoE), or Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection, or have your AirPort Base Station connect to the Internet. You can also use Internet Connect to manage connections to Bluetooth equipment such as printers.

iOS: A operating system developed and distributed by Apple Inc. Originally unveiled in 2007 for the iPhone, it has been extended to support other Apple devices such as the iPod Touch (September 2007), iPad (January 2010) and second-generation Apple TV (September 2010).

IP (Internet Protocol): A connectionless protocol used to transmit packets of data from one machine to another. TCP and UDP use IP for their host-to-host data communications.

IP address-Internet Protocol Address: A computer's unique Internet address such as that identifies it on a TCP/IP-protocol network. Many computers also have a domain name assigned to them, which represents IP addresses as words that are easier to remember such as, apple.com.iPad

iPad: A tablet computer introduced on April 3, 2010, the iPad lets users browse the web, read and send email, enjoy and share photos, watch HD videos, listen to music, play games, read ebooks and much more, all using iPad’s revolutionary Multi-Touch™ user interface. iPad is just 0.5 inches thick and weighs just 1.5 pounds—thinner and lighter than any laptop or netbook—and delivers up to 10 hours of battery life. On March 11, 2011, the “slimmed-down iPad 2” made what was already “splendid” even better, citing front- and rear-facing cameras with FaceTime and PhotiPhotooBooth, a “snappier” Apple A5 dual-core processor, and “really cool” Smart Cover.

iPhoto: A software application for Mac OS® X. It is part of the iLife® suite of applications. iPhoto can import, organize, edit, print and share digital photos.

iPhone™: An iPod MP3 music player/mobile phone combination which incorporates Bluetooth connectivity, color picture viewing, video viewing, flash memory, Wi–Fi, Safari, Calendar, Clock, Contacts, Mail, Maps, Stocks, YouTube, Calculator, Weather, Notes and a touch screen.

iPhone 3G: iPhone 3G which support the high speed 3G cellular networks and high speed Wi-Fi was introduced on July 11, 2008.

iPhone 3GS: introduced in June 2009 with 16 to 32 GB of memory. The 3GS added support for the advanced "2G" GSM networks and upgraded the camera to 3 MP.iPhone

iPhone 4®: introduced on June 24, 2010, the iPhone® 4 featured FaceTime, which makes the dream of video calling a reality, and Apple’s stunning new Retina display, the highest resolution display ever built into a phone, resulting in super crisp text, images and video. In addition, iPhone 4 features a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, HD video recording, Apple’s A4 processor, a 3-axis gyro and up to 40 percent longer talk time—in an all-new design of glass and stainless steel that is the thinnest smartphone in the world.

iPhone 4S®: introduced on October 4, 2011, it features Apple's dual-core A5 chip, 8 MP camera with HD video, and is compatible worldwide. It was the first device to use iOS 5.

iPod®: A portable MP3 music player was introduced by Apple® in October 2001 with either 5 or 10 GB of memory, FireWire connectivity, and a rotating scroll wheel. Subsequent iPods incorporated a touch-sensative wheel, a dock, USB connectivity, color picture viewing, video viewing, the 'mini' with flash memory, the 'Shuffle™' with no screen, and the 'touch' with flash memory, Wi–Fi, Safari, Calendar, Clock, Contacts, Mail, Maps, Stocks, YouTube, Calculator, Weather, Notes and a touch screen.

iSight Camera: A webcam developed to be used with iChat AV, Apple's video-conferencing client. The term is also used to refer to the camera built into Apple's iMac, MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro computers.iSync

iSync: An application that comes with Mac OS® X. The iSync application synchronizes data in iCal and the Address Book with .Mac and with devices including iPods, mobile phones, and handheld organizers.


iTunes®: A digital media player application for playing and organizing digital music and video files. The program is also an interface to manage the contents on Apple® Computer's popular iPod® digital media players. Additionally, iTunes® can connect to the iTunes® Store (provided an internet connection is present) in order to download purchased digital music, music videos, television shows, iPod® games, audiobooks, various podcasts, and feature length films. iTunes® is available as a free download for Mac OS® X, Windows Vista, Windows XP and Windows 2000 from Apple® Computer's website. It is also bundled with all Macintosh® computers.

iTunes® Radio: A free Internet radio service featuring over 200 stations and music from the iTunes Store®. When you tune into iTunes Radio on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac®, PC or Apple TV®, you’ll have access to your favorite stations as well as Featured Stations curated by Apple and genre-focused stations that are personalized just for you. iTunes Radio evolves based on the music you play and download. iTunes Radio also gives you access to exclusive “first listen” premieres from top selling artists, Siri integration plus the ability to buy anything you hear with just one tap.

iWeb™: A WYSIWYG template-based website creation tool for Mac OS® X. It is part of the iLife® suite of applications. iWeb™ creates websites and blogs, and publishes them via .Mac® and other webhosting services.

iWork®: A suite of applications containing a word processing and page layout application (Pages®), a spreadsheet application (Numbers®), and a presentation package (Keynote®). iWork® does not replicate the functionality of AppleWorks spreadsheet, database and drawing tools. It is designed to integrate with existing applications from Apple® Computer's iLife® Suite. Although iLife® comes free on every Macintosh®, iWork® needs to be bought separately.


java script; A scripting language used to add interactivity to web pages.

jpeg (jpg): Joint Photographic Experts Group, a standard for the data compression of still pictures. JPEG compresses image files to yield a smaller file size. The trade off is that some image data is lost in the compression process. JPEG is therefore termed as a lossy format. JPEG is recommended when exporting a still image from a DV clip if the intent is to send the picture through email or use it on the World Wide Web.

Jaguar®: The code name for Mac OS® X v10.2 which was introduced on August 24, 2002.


keyboard: One way to communicate with the computer. It looks like the keyboard on a typewriter, but programmers can make the keys do anything they want them to.

Keyboard Commands: Are combinations of keys that substitute for a command in menu. The keys most commonly used in conjunction with other keys are Command Command, Shift Shift, Option Option, and Control Control.Keychain

Keychain® Access: The Apple password management system. The Keychain Access feature is built into Mac OS® X. A keychain stores all the passwords, keys, and certificates required for applications, servers, and websites. When you open an item or connect to a device that requires a password, the keychain provides it so you don't have to type it.Keynote

Keynote®: A presentation software application for its Mac OS® X operating system. Keynote® is part of the iWork® productivity suite.

kHz: kilohertz, 1024 Cycles per second.

kilobit: One thousand (actually 1024) bits. Abbreviation-Kb.

kilobyte: One thousand (actually 1024) bytes.

K: Stands for kilobyte. The unit of measurement for computer memory-1 K equals 1024 bytes, and it takes one byte to make one character. The Apple® IIgs has 256K of RAM random-access memory, expandable by 1 to 8 megabytes with a memory expansion card, and 128K of ROM read-only memory.


LAN (local area network): A network maintained within a facility, as opposed to a WAN (wide area network) that links geographically separated facilities.DogCow

landscape: Page orientation is the way in which a rectangular page is oriented for normal viewing. Landscape orientation is where the width of the page is greater than the height. See portrait.

laptop: A microcomputer that is portable and suitable for use while traveling. Sometimes they are called notebook computers. This would include , MacBook® Pro, MacBook®, iBook®, PowerBook, and even might include the 15 pound Macintosh® Portable introduced in 1989.

laser printer: A printer that produces typeset-quality printing using laser technology.

LED: light emitting diode.

left arrow: A key you can press in most applications to move the cursor one character to the left. In some applications, as the cursor moves to the left, it erases characters.

Leopard®: The name for Mac OS® X v10.5 which was released on October 26, 2007. It introduced Time Machine™, Front Row, Photo Booth®, Spaces, Spotlight™, Quick Look, Webclip, and iCal® sharing and also has Boot Camp® for running Windows XP or Vista on Intel-based Macs.

line break: The end of a line of text on the screen or on a printed page. You can force a line break by pressing Return, or you can let the application break lines for you.


Lightning: A proprietary computer bus and power connector introduced by Apple in 2012 on iPhone 5 and subsequently on all iPod Touch (5th gen.), iPod Nano (7th gen.), iPad Mini and iPad (4th gen.).

line feed: Abbreviated LF. An advance to the next line.

Lion®: The name for Mac OS® X v10.7 which was released on July 20, 2011. It introduced some features seen in iOS 5. These include Game Center, support for iMessage in the new Messages messaging application, and Reminders as a to-do list app separate from iCal. It also includes support for storing iWork documents in iCloud.

load: To read data or programs into the computer from a disk.

local area network LAN: A communications network that serves users within a defined geographical area, usually for sharing access to files, printers, storage devices, and Internet- and intranet-based services. Local Domain-A directory domain that can be accessed only by the computer on which it resides.

locking: A mechanism to ensure that data isn't modified by more than one user at a time and that data isn't read as it is being modified.

lockup: A system malfunction of the operating system, application, or hardware device that causes the cursor to lock in place. Also see freeze.

log in: When you first set up Mac OS® X, you do not need to log in to your computer. If you want to log in each time you start up your computer, open System Preferences, click Login, click Login Window, and deselect Automatically log in. You can also turn off automatic login when you create a new user for the computer.

log on: To establish contact with a computerized information service or other remote computer.

logic board: Also called the motherboard. The main circuit board of a microcomputer. The logic board contains the connectors for attaching additional boards. Typically, the logic board contains the CPU, BIOS, memory, mass storage interfaces, serial and parallel ports, expansion slots, and all the controllers required to control standard peripheral devices, such as the display screen, keyboard, and disk drive.

Login Items: Applications, documents, or other things that you want to open automatically whenever you log in. To set up a login item choose Apple menu > System Preferences > Accounts > Login Items, then click the + button.


.Mac®: A suite of Macintosh®-only Internet services. .Mac® includes email, online storage (iDisk), web home pages, Internet postcards (iCards), calendar sharing with iCal, information synchronizing with iSync, and backup and virus protection software. It was replaced by MobileMe.

Mac® (or Macintosh®): A range of personal computers designed, developed, manufactured, and marketed by Apple® Inc.. Named after the McIntosh variety of apple, the original Macintosh® was released on January 24, 1984. It used a graphical user interface (GUI) and mouse instead of the then-standard command line interface.

Mac OS® X: The latest version of the Apple® operating system, which combines the reliability of UNIX with the ease of use of Macintosh®. It has had a number of versions: Mac OS® X 10.0 (Cheetah®), Mac OS® X 10.1 (Puma®), Mac OS® X 10.2 (Jaguar®), Mac OS® X 10.3 (Panther®), Mac OS® X 10.4 (Tiger®), Mac OS® X 10.5 (Leopard®), and Mac OS® X 10.6 (Snow Leopard®).

Mac OS®: Macintosh® Operating System.

Mac® Pro: A workstation computer manufactured by Apple® Inc. The machines are based on Intel Xeon microprocessors and a PCI Express architecture.MacBook

MacBook®: A family of laptop computers, they became available in May 2006 with a 1.83 to 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, and 13" screen for $1,099 and up. It weighs 5.1 pounds. The processor of the MacBook is as fast as the MacBook Pro. The MacBook is easily serviced by the owner with many modular components.

MacBook AirMacBook Air™: An extremely thin laptop, it was introduced on January 30, 2008. It is part of the MacBook family and features a solid-state hard drive. It weighs 3.0 pounds (1.36 kg) and is 0.76 inches (1.93 cm) thick at its thickest point and 0.16 inches (0.4 cm) at its thinnest, making it the thinnest notebook currently in production.

MacBook ProMacBook Pro®: A family of upscale laptop computers, theybecame available in February 2006 with 1.67 to 1.83 MHz Intel Core Duo Processors, 15" monitor, and 80 to 160 GB hard drives. The 17" monitor was offered in April 2006. Both were updated to the Intel Core 2 Duo Processor in June 2007. However the MacBook Pro has many features that don't appear on the MacBook such as a better graphics card, lighter weight, larger screen size, high resolution output for an external monitor, illuminated keyboard, and FireWire® 800.

macro: A command defined by you (user-defined) that tells the application to carry out a series of commands when you type the macro.Mail

Mail: An Apple email application that comes with Mac OS® X, the iPhone and the iPod Touch.

mail-merge application: An application that takes names and addresses from a database and puts them into form letters.Maps

Maps:An application that retrieves maps on the iPhone and the iPod Touch.

mass storage device: A device, like a hard disk, that can store the equivalent of dozens of disks.

Mavericks®: The name for Mac OS® X v10.9 was announced on June 10, 2013. OS X Mavericks brings Maps and iBooks® to the Mac®, introduces Finder® Tags and Tabs, enhances multi-display support for power users, delivers new core technologies for breakthrough power efficiency and performance, and includes an all new version of Safari®.

MB/sec.: Megabytes per second.

Mbit: Megabit.

MB: Megabytes.

Mbps: Megabits per second.

media: Content such as DV clips, sound effects, music tracks, or still images.

megabit: -One thousand kilobits. Abbreviation-Mb.

megabyte: -One million bytes. A term used to describe RAM or hard disk storage space. Abbreviation-MB, Meg.

megahertz: Abbreviated as MHz. One MHz represents one million cycles per second. The speed of microprocessors, called the clock speed, is measured in megahertz. In addition to microprocessors, the speeds of buses and interfaces are also measured in MHz.

memory: Integrated circuits chips that store instructions for the microprocessor. There are two kinds of memory-temporary memory called random-access memory RAM and permanent memory called read-only memory ROM. The contents of RAM disappear when you turn off the power; the contents of ROM do not. The temporary holding area where data is stored while it is being used or changed; the amount of RAM a computer has installed.

menu bar: In mouse-based applications, the horizontal strip at the top of the screen that contains menu titles.

menu: A list of choices.

microprocessor: The brain of the computer the processor of information. It is composed of one or more integrated circuit chips interconnected together and to ports which connect to input, output and memory storage devices.

MIDI: Stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. A software and hardware standard set by the music industry that allows different electronic instruments to communicate with each other and with computers.

Mighty Mouse™, a multibutton USB mouse was introduced by Apple® on August 2, 2005. This was Apple's first multibutton mouse. On July 25,2006, Apple® released the wireless Mighty Mouse which uses Bluetooth 2.0.

MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension): An Internet standard for specifying what happens when a Web browser requests a file with certain characteristics. A file's suffix describes the type of file it is. You determine how you want the server to respond when it receives files with certain suffixes. Each suffix and its associated response make up a MIME type mapping.MDP

Mini Display Port, is a miniature audio-visual interface introduced in 2009. It supports WQXGA displays. It was used on on MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and the 24-inchCinema Display.mobileme

MobileMe: MobileMe replaced .Mac. It had all of the features of .Mac but will also had the ability to automatically and immediately synchronize calendars, address books, photo libraries, mail, contacts and iDisk files. It was replaced by iCloud.

modem: A contraction of modulator-demodulator. A device that enables a computer or terminal to transmit over telephone lines by modulating, or converting, data from a digital to an analog form. When originating a call, a modem modifies its analog carrier signal to carry a digital signal; when answering a call, the modem extracts the digital signal from the modified carrier.

monitor or display: Another term for display screen. The term monitor, however, usually refers to the entire box, whereas display screen can mean just the screen. In addition, the term monitor often implies graphics capabilities. You may encounter CRT cathode-ray tube displays, or flat panel displays.

Mountain Lion®: The name for Mac OS® X v10.8 was announced on February 16, 2012. It will include touch pad gestures, Mission Control, the Mac App Store, Launchpad, a new Mail app, Resume, Auto Save, Versions, and AirDrop. It was only available as an Apple Store download or preinstalled on new Macs.


mouse: A device that controls the movement of the cursor on a display screen. A mouse is a small object you can roll along a hard, flat surface. Its name is derived from its shape, which looks a bit like a mouse, its connecting wire that one can imagine to be the mouse's tail, and the fact that one must make it scurry along a surface. As you move the mouse, the cursor on the display screen moves in a corresponding direction.

mouse button: The button on top of the mouse. You press it to choose from menus or when you want to move items around on the screen.

movie: A structure of time-based data that is managed by QuickTime®. A QuickTime® movie may contain sound, video, animation, or a combination of data types. A QuickTime® movie contains one or more tracks; each track represents a single data stream in the movie.

MOV: The Apple® QuickTime® movie file extension used to name both movie redirect files and actual QuickTime® media files.

MP3 (MPEG layer 3): A popular format for compressing music.

MPEG-4: An ISO standard based on the QuickTime® file format that defines multimedia file and compression formats.

MPEG: Short for Moving Picture Experts Group, and pronounced m-peg, a working group of ISO. The term also refers to the family of digital video compression standards and file formats developed by the group. There are three major MPEG standards-MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4. The most common implementations of the MPEG-1 standard provide a video resolution of 352-by-240 at 30 frames per second fps. This produces video quality slightly below the quality of conventional VCR videos. MPEG-2 offers resolutions of 720x480 and 1280x720 at 60 fps, with full CD-quality audio. This is sufficient for all the major TV standards. MPEG-2 is used by DVD-ROMs.

music application: An application that can teach you how to read music, help you compose music or play music.


nanosecond: One billionth of a second.

network: A pane in System Preferences used to enter settings to connect to a network, and an icon users see when they click the Computer button in a Finder window. Two or more computing devices connected together by wiring, cable, digital circuit, or other means. The Internet is a network that comprises thousands of computer networks.

Notification Center: A feature in iOS and OS X that provides an overview of alerts from applications. It displays notifications until the user completes an associated action, rather than requiring instant resolution. Users may choose what applications appear in Notification Center, and how they are handled. Initially released alongside iOS 5 in October 2011, Notification Center was made available on Mac as part of OS X Mountain Lion in July 2012.

notebook: A microcomputer that is portable and suitable for use while traveling. Sometimes they are called laptop computers. This would include , MacBook® Pro, MacBook®, iBook®, PowerBook, and even might include the 15 pound Macintosh® Portable introduced in 1989.image

Notes: An application that stores and retrieves notes on the iPhone and the iPod Touch.

ns: Nanoseconds.

NuBus: A bus architecture that lets you add a variety of components to some Macintosh computers by installing cards into expansion slots (such as video capture cards and networking).Numbers

Numbers®: A spreadsheet and page layout application sold as a part of the iWork® productivity suite.

numeric keypad: The number keys, on the right side of many keyboards, that are laid out like the keys on an adding machine. You can use them interchangeably with the number keys on the top row of the keyboard. Also known as keypad.


on-line: The condition of a device being connected or of data being accessible to the computer.

operating system (OS): Software that coordinates the internal activities of the computer and its peripheral devices. An operating system performs basic tasks such as moving data to and from devices and managing information in memory.image

option key: A key on some keyboards that, when pressed in conjunction with another key, creates a special effect. May be labelled, Alt, Option, or ⌥.

OS: Operating system.

OS X: See Mac OS® X

output: Information traveling out of the computer.

owner: The person who created a file or folder and who therefore has the ability to assign access privileges for other users. The owner of an item automatically has read and write privileges for an item. An owner can also transfer ownership of an item to another user.

P     Pages

Pages®: A processor and page layout application sold as a part of the iWork™ productivity suite.

Panther®: The name for Mac OS® X v10.3 which was introduced on October 24, 2003.


Parallels Desktop: A Mac application that lets you install Microsoft Windows in a virtual machine (computer) on your Mac. You can then run Windows apps and Mac apps at the same time. See also VMware Fusion.

Partition: A data area on a hard disk. A hard disk can contain a single partition spanning the whole disk, or it can contain multiple partitions.

password: A secret word that gives you, but no one else, access to your data or to messages sent to you through an information service.

paste: To put a copy of the contents of the clipboard whatever was last cut or copied at the insertion point.

pathname: The complete name of a document beginning with the name of the disk, also called the volume name, the name of the subdirectory it's in if it's in one, and the name of the document. The pathname begins with a slash, and the parts of the pathname are separated with slashes. It's called a pathname because it describes the route to the document. Volume name is the name of a disk or its main directory.

PDA: (Personal digital assistant) A handheld computer frequently also called a pocket computer or palmtop computer.

PDF: Short for Portable Document Format, a file format developed by Adobe Systems. PDF captures formatting information from a variety of desktop publishing applications, making it possible to send formatted documents and have them appear on the recipient's monitor or printer as they were intended. To view a file in PDF format, you need Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free application distributed by Adobe Systems.

peripheral device: A device that is connected to the computer, like a printer or a modem.

Photo Booth: A small software application for Mac OS® X for taking photos and (since Mac OS® X v10.5) video with an iSight camera or other webcams.

PICT: A Macintosh® picture file format that does not apply compression to an image. It is therefore termed a lossless format. PICT file format maintains the same quality level from copy to copy. The PICT file format is recommended when exporting a still image from a DV clip if the intent is to reuse the image in a movie in iMovie®.

pixel: Contraction of the words picture and element. In graphics mode, text and graphics are formed by patterns of dots called pixels.

playback controls: In iMovie®, the controls under the monitor and on the music palette. These controls are Play, Pause, Fast Forward, Rewind/Review, and Stop.

playlist: A set of media files in the QTSS or DSS media folder specified to play one after the other or in random sequence.

pointer: A marker that moves across the screen when you move the mouse across your desk in mouse-based applications. Also known as a cursor.

POP (Post Office Protocol): A protocol for retrieving incoming mail. After a user retrieves POP mail, it is stored on the user's computer and usually is deleted automatically from the mail server.

port: A port serves as an interface between the computer and other computers or devices. Physically, a port is a specialized outlet on a piece of equipment to which a plug or cable connects. See Audio Input, Audio Output, DVI or DVI/VGA, Ethernet, FireWire®, and USB

portables: Apple® hardware you can take easily from place to place, such as Apple® Computer's iBook® and PowerBook. Windows PC manufacturers sometimes refer to portables as laptops or notebooks.DogCow

portrait: Page orientation is the way in which a rectangular page is oriented for normal viewing. Portrait orientation is where the height of the page is greater than the width. See landscape.

PostScript: A language that is used to describe graphic objects on a printed page. A PostScript interpreter is software that executes a PostScript language program and turns the description of an object into bits in a frame buffer. PostScript is a trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated.

PowerBook®: The first line of Apple® Macintosh® laptop computers that was designed, manufactured and sold by Apple® Computer.

power light: A light that tells you whether or not the computer is on.Power Mac

Power Mac®: A discontinued line of Apple® Macintosh® workstation-class personal computers based on various models of PowerPC microprocessors that was developed, marketed, and supported by Apple® Inc. from March 1994 until August 2006.

power strip: A device that plugs into one three-hole, grounded outlet, but that can accommodate four or six three-pronged plugs. A must if you have more than two devices that need to be plugged into a grounded, three-hole outlet.

Power Strip

power switch: A rocker switch or push button switch on the back of the computer that you use to switch on or off the computer.

PowerPC: Any one of the RISC-based processing chips 601, 603, 604, 604e, 750, 7400 or 970 designed by Apple®, IBM, and Motorola.

PRAM: Parameter RAM. PRAM stores date and time settings and other Mac settings such as display settings and speaker volume, even when the Mac is switched off. Sometimes you need to reset the PRAM to fix various Mac issues.

preferences: So that one does not have to enter their personal settings from control panels, applications, printers and other external devices, and the operating system, these settings are saved in the Preferences Folder. OS X login has its own preferences Folder and remembers the personal settings of the person logged in. Unfortunately, when preferences get corrupted, they can cause strange problems. It is fairly common procedure when something doesn't work, to drag its preferences to the Trash. Preferences can always be reconstructed so this procedure doesn't cause any serious problems.

preferences cache: A storage place for computer preferences and preferences for groups associated with that computer. Cached preferences help you manage local user accounts on portable computers.Preview

Preview: An Apple application that lets you view PDF files, images, text documents, and many other types of files on computers running Mac OS® X.

printer: A device that produces a paper copy of the information you create using the computer.

privileges: Settings that define the kind of access users have to shared items. You can assign four types of privileges to a share point, folder, or file-read and write, read only, write only, and none no access.

processor: Also called a CPU-Central processing unit, a type of microprocessor. In newer MacBook®, MacPro, Power Mac®, iMac®, PowerBook, and iBook® computers, the CPU is an Intel Xeon, or IBM PowerPC G3, G4 or G5 chip. Earlier models contained PowerPC 601, 603, 604, 604e and Motorola 680x0 chips.

programmer: A person who writes computer programs.

program: To write instructions for the computer to talk to the computer in terms it understands. A set of instructions that tells the computer what to do.

progressive download: Movie data that is pushed via HTTP to the client. The movie can be viewed by the user as it is being transferred. This is not a form of media streaming.

prompt: A character displayed on the screen to prompt the user to take some action. For example, a bracket prompt character is used in the Applesoft BASIC programming language.

proxy server: A server that provides an indirect network connection. A computer connects to the proxy server and requests a connection to a network. The proxy then connects to the specified network. Proxy servers are often used to provide network security. In Mac OS® X, you specify proxy server information using the Network pane of System Preferences.

public-domain software: Software that is free for the taking. You can get it at users-group meetings or through computer bulletin boards.

Public folder: A folder in each Mac user’s Home folder that is readable (but not writable) by all other users on the same Mac (or another Mac on the same network). This allows you to share selected files and folders with other people.

pull-down menu: A menu that is hidden until you press on its title with the mouse.

Puma®: The code name for Mac OS® X v10.1 which was introduced on September 25, 2001.


QuickLook: A framework allowing documents to be viewed without opening them in an external application and can preview it in full screen. It was introduced with Mac OS® X v10.5.

QuickTimeQuickTime®: A system software extension that allows the playing of synchronized video and sound clips on a Macintosh® or PC. A technology from Apple® for handling video, sound, animation, graphics, text, music, and 360-degree virtual reality VR scenes. QuickTime® lets you experience more than 200 kinds of digital media with your Macintosh® or PC including images, music, MIDI, and MP3.

QuickTime® Player: An application, included with the QuickTime® system software, that plays QuickTime® movies.

QuickTime® Pro: A version of QuickTime® Player with advanced features, primarily the addition of editing capabilities.

quit: The Macintosh® command for quitting an application. Quitting an application on the Macintosh® is the same as exiting it in Windows.


RAM: Random-access memory, sometimes referred to as main memory. The Macintosh® RAM provides memory for system software and applications. In sleep mode, the contents of RAM are maintained. Shutting down the computer erases RAM contents. There are various types of RAM, including DRAM dynamic random-access memory and SDRAM synchronous random-access memory.

RAM Disk: A cross between a disk and random-access memory. Like a disk, it must be formatted before you can put files on it; also like a disk, it must be addressed by its volume name, disk name or by its slot number. As with RAM, the computer can access the information on it very quickly. Also like RAM, what's stored on it is stored temporarily; when the power is turned off, the information on it is lost.

read: To get information from a disk and put it in memory.

read-only memory: Abbreviated ROM. Permanent memory. Applesoft BASIC is stored in ROM along with other preferences that regulate communication between the microprocessor and other parts of the computer system.

record: A term you'll run across in database applications and ads for database applications. It refers to an entry of information. If your database is an address book, each set of a name and corresponding address, phone, etc., will one record.

reset: The key with a triangle on it that you can press in combination with Control and Apple® key to restart an application.

reset switch: A switch that restarts the computer in the event of a crash or freeze.

resolution: The degree of clarity of your display. A monitor has better resolution than a television set used as a monitor. An RGB color monitor has better resolution than a composite color monitor.

Retina Display: An Apple brand name for liquid crystal displays that have a high enough pixel density that the human eye is unable to notice pixelation at typical viewing distances. This means a pixel density of 326 ppi on iPhone and iPod Touch, 264 on iPad, and 220 on MacBook Pro Typically icons must be double in width and height to be useable with a Retina Display. .

return: A key that you can press to move the cursor to the beginning of the next line. Also used in many applications to accept choices or indicate that you've finished doing something and are ready to proceed.

RGB Color Monitor: Stands for Red Green Blue. A type of color monitor that can do what is impossible on most types of color monitor display text in color and in 80-column format.

right arrow: A key you can press in most applications to move the cursor one character to the right.

ROM disk: ROM chips on a memory expansion card that can contain application programs.

ROM: Read-only memory. The Macintosh® boot ROM contains system command sets.

root user: The superuser, or administrator account on your Mac. The root user has full control over all aspects of the Mac, including reading and writing system files – with potentially dangerous consequences! For this reason the root user is disabled by default; however you can enable it if required.

router: A device that connects networks together, isolating traffic within each network. The networks can be of the same type for example, two Ethernet networks or of different types for example, Token Ring and Ethernet. A router receives data transmitted from other networks and retransmits it to its proper destination over the most efficient route. A bridge-is a device that connects two networks of the same type together such as two Ethernet networks. The connected networks form a single large network.

RSS: Abbreviation for Really Simple Syndication, an alternative way of viewing a webpage. Websites that change frequently, such as news sites, often have RSS views. An RSS page viewed through the Safari web browser presents the titles of new and recent articles in a list, showing a line or two of each article's content. If Safari detects an RSS view for a website, an RSS button, which you click to view the feed, appears in the address bar. The term RSS is used interchangeably with feed, news feed, RSS feed, and XML feed.

S     Safari

Safari™: Apple's internet browser which is available for both for Mac OS® & Windows.

SATA: Serial AT Attachment. An interface for connecting storage devices, such as hard drives, to computers. Most modern Macs use SATA. Older Macs and PCs used the slower PATA (Parallel ATA).

save: To store an application or data on a disk, as opposed to storing it temporarily in the memory of the computer.

scanner: A device which makes high-resolution copies of printed images and text to use on a computer.

Scrapbook: A desk accessory in which you can save frequently-used graphics, text, and sounds. The scrapbook can store multiple images. You can cut or copy images from the Scrapbook and paste them into documents.

screen: The part of the monitor where information is displayed. Like a movie screen, it's the place where things are projected.

scroll: To move a document so you can see a different part of it.

scroll arrow: An arrow on either end of a scroll bar. Clicking the scroll arrow moves the document one line. Holding down the scroll arrow causes continuous scrolling.

scroll bar: A rectangular bar that may be along the right or bottom of a window. Clicking or dragging in the scroll bar causes the view of the document to change.

scroll box: The inverse box in a scroll bar. The position of the scroll box in the scroll bar indicates the position of what's in the window relative to the entire document.


SCSI: (Small Computer Systems Interface) A specification of mechanical and electrical standards for connecting certain peripheral devices (such as CD-ROM drives, external storage drives, and scanners) to a computer.

search and replace: To look for a particular word or phrase throughout a document and exchange it for another word or phrase you specify.

server or host: A central computer dedicated to sending, storing, and receiving data from other computers on a network. The server or host provides services to other client computers on a network. On the Internet, a single computer often provides multiple host functions, such as processing e-mail, serving Web pages, and running applications.

server: A network device that provides a service to network users, such as shared access to a file system a file server, control of a printer a print server, or storage of messages in a mail system a mail server.

shift: imageA key that you can press in combination with another key to get an uppercase letter or the upper character on a two-character key.

size box: A box on the bottom-right corner of some active windows that lets you resize the window.

slash: A character used to separate the parts of a pathname.

Sleep: Allows you to “turn off” your Mac, conserving power, without actually having to restart the Mac from scratch when you turn it back on. Macs support various sleep modes: Quick sleep, which keeps the memory powered up; Deep sleep (or hibernation), which writes the memory contents to disk and completely powers off the Mac; and Safe sleep, which keeps the memory powered but also writes the memory contents to disk in case there’s a power failure. Most desktop Macs default to Quick sleep, while most MacBooks default to Safe sleep. Various 3rd-party apps such as Deep Sleep let you choose which sleep mode to use for your Mac.

slide-show option: A feature of some applications that lets you arrange displays in a sequence so you can use them in presentations. The application changes slides after a certain time interval or when you press a certain key.

Smart Folder: A type of folder on Macintosh® computers. A Smart Folder automatically finds items that match one or more specified criteria. For example, you can create a Smart Folder that contains pointers to all spreadsheets on a computer. The actual location of the files listed in a Smart Folder doesn't change, so one item could be listed in many Smart Folders.

Smart Mailbox: A type of mailbox (mail folder) used by the Mail application on Macintosh® computers. A Smart Mailbox automatically finds email messages that match one or more specified criteria. For example, you can create a Smart Mailbox that contains pointers to all messages from family members, or all messages on the subject "Hawaii." The actual location of the email messages listed in a Smart Mailbox doesn't change, so one item could be listed in many Smart Mailboxes.

SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol): A protocol used to send and transfer mail. Its ability to queue incoming messages is limited, so SMTP usually is used only to send mail, and POP or IMAP is used to receive mail.

Snow Leopard®: The name for next version of Mac OS® X after Leopard. It is very similar in features to Leopard, but supports Intel's 64-bit processors and multiple processor configurations. It is smaller, makes applications smaller, uses less RAM and runs faster. It also supports MobileMe and its ability to automatically and immediately synchronize calendars, address books, photo libraries, mail, contacts and iDisk files.

software: Computer instructions, usually stored on disks, that tell the computer what to do. Compare with hardware.

software pirate: A person who copies applications without the permission of the author.Software Update

Software Update: An application on Macintosh® computers that checks for updates to software applications. Software Update can be set to automatically notify you when an update is found.

space: A space is a long period of silence encountered during a modem connection.Spaces

Spaces: Spaces organizes windows into groups. When working in a space, the desktop contains only the windows assigned to that space.

spam: Unsolicited email; junk email.

Wait Cursor

Spinning beach ball: Officially known as the “spinning wait cursor”. The rainbow-coloured spinning disc that signifies that an app has become unresponsive.

spreadsheet: A computer application used chiefly for accounting, in which figures arranged in the rows and columns of a grid can be manipulated and used in calculations.


Spotlight™: Mac OS® 10.4 introduced the Spotlight™ feature that lets you search for files, email messages, calendar events, and other items stored on your Macintosh®.

Stacks: Folder icons in the Dock that, when clicked on, reveal their contents in a fan, grid, or list format. It’s a great way to quickly access the contents of a folder while reducing visual clutter. To change the appearance of a stack, right-click (or Control-click) its icon in the Dock and choose from Fan, Grid, List, or Automatic.

start up: To load an application from a disk into the memory of the computer. Also called boot.

startup device: The device, typically a hard disk, that contains a valid OS.

startup disk: A disk used to start up the computer.

static IP address: An IP address that is assigned to a computer or device once and is never changed.

streaming: Delivery of video or audio data over a network in real-time, as a stream of packets instead of a single file download.Stickies

Stickies: Stickies is an utility included with newer versions of Mac OS® X to jot notes, write reminders, create lists, leave messages for others using your computer, or store frequently used text. Options include different note colors, the color and appearance of text, and adding graphics to a sticky note. Sticky notes can be used to move text and graphics between applications.


Stocks: An application that retrieves stock market quotes on the iPhone and the iPod Touch.

subdirectory: A directory within a directory that usually contains related documents; used to organize the information on large-capacity disks.

subscript: Text that appears slightly lower than the text around it. Superscript is text that appears slightly higher than the text around it.

SuperDrive®: A combination CD-RW/DVD-R drive that can read and write CDs as well as DVDs that can be played in consumer DVD players.

superscript: Text that appears slightly higher than the text around it. Subscript is text that appears slightly lower than the text around it.

sync: Short for synchronization. When audio is in unison synchronized with the picture, they are said to be in sync.

system: A basic computing system including a monitor, a keyboard and mouse or trackpad, and a box that houses the computer's central processing unit CPU or microprocessor, memory RAM chips, disk drives, external ports, and video circuitry.

system disk: Disk containing an application with programs that copy, delete, rename and in other ways manipulate files and disks.Preferences

System Preferences: An application used to configure settings for your network, mouse cursor speed, desktop background, user accounts, display resolution, and more. System Preferences has functionality similar to that of the Windows Control Panel.

System Profiler: A utility program that comes with Mac OS® X. The System Profiler program provides detailed information about your computer's installed software, built-in hardware, and attached devices.


tab: A key that, when pressed, moves the insertion point to the next tab marker.

table: A two-dimensional set of values corresponding to an entity. The columns of a table represent characteristics of the entity and the rows represent instances of the entity.

Target Disk Mode: A Mac startup mode whereby, instead of booting into Mac OS X, the Mac’s hard disk appears as an external disk on another Mac connected via a FireWire cable. This allows the contents of the first Mac’s hard disk to be accessed even if the Mac isn’t capable of booting (for example, if the OS has become corrupted). To activate, hold down the T key while starting the Mac.

TCP/IP: Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. These are two of the main protocols of the Internet. To connect a computer to the Internet, it must have some kind of TCP/IP communication software installed on it.

terabyte: 2 to the 40th power 1,099,511,627,776 bytes. This is approximately 1 trillion bytes or one thousand gigabytes.

Terminal: A Mac OS® X application that lets you use a command-line interface which allows direct use of BSD UNIX utility programs. BSD is a version of UNIX developed at UC Berkeley.TextEdit

TextEdit: A word-processing application that comes with Mac OS® X.

thumbnail: In iMovie®, the single-frame preview image of a DV clip. This is commonly seen on the shelf or in the clip viewer.Thunderbolt

Thunderbolt: A hardware interface that uses the same interface as Mini Display Port. It was introduced on February 24, 2011. It supports data rates of 10 Gbites/s.

Tiger®: The name for Mac OS® X v10.4 which was introduced on April 29, 2005.

Time CapsuleTime Capsule: The Mac OS® X application that backs up and preserves anything on the computer, including system files, applications, accounts, preferences, music, photos, movies, documents. It backs up your computer on a regular basis. Backups are stored by date and can be browsed as it appeared on any date. Individual files, whole folders, or the entire system can be recovered from past backups.

Time Machine

Time Machine: The Mac OS® X application that backs up and preserves anything on the computer, including system files, applications, accounts, preferences, music, photos, movies, documents. It backs up your computer on a regular basis. Backups are stored by date and can be browsed as it appeared on any date. Individual files, whole folders, or the entire system can be recovered from past backups.

toolbar: A row of icons at the top of windows in the Finder and other Mac OS® X applications. In the Finder, toolbar buttons take you instantly to specified folders, disks, servers, applications, documents, and more. In most applications that have a toolbar, you can customize the contents.

touchpad: An input device commonly used in laptop computers to move the cursor in place of a mouse. It is operated by sliding your finger on a small smooth rectangular pad. Also called a trackpad.

tower computer: A computer in a box shaped case which is designed to fit beside the monitor or under the desk such as the Power Mac® G5 and Mac® Pro.

track: A QuickTime® data structure that represents a single data stream in a QuickTime® movie. A movie may contain one or more tracks. Each track is independent of other tracks in the movie and represents its own data stream.

trackball: A ball set in a holder that can be rotated by hand to move a cursor on a computer screen. It can be used in place of a mouse.

trackpad: An input device commonly used in laptop computers to move the cursor in place of a mouse. It is operated by sliding your finger on a small smooth rectangular pad. It was introduced in 1994 on the PowerBook 500 series. Also called a touchpad.

trash: The Trash is located at the end of the Dock in Mac OS® X. The first step in removing a file is moving it to the trash. The second step is emptying the trash.

Trojan horse: A computer program which appears to doing something innocuous but is secretly trying to breach the security of a computer system. Also see Virus.

troubleshooting: Diagnosing a problem and hopefully solving it. It's best to get peripheral devices that work automatically with the Apple® IIgs so you won't have personal experience with this activity.


Universal Access

Universal Access: An Apple feature for people who have difficulty seeing, hearing, or controlling your computer, to make your computer easier to use.

up arrow: A key you can press in some applications to make the cursor move up one line.

URL: Uniform Resource Locator. A term for the address of an Internet site or other resource.

USBUSB (Universal Serial Bus): USB is a high speed port for attaching peripheral devices. It is a plug and play interface between a computer and add-on devices (such as printers, scanners, digital cameras, keyboards, mice, etc.). There is also a higher speed versions called USB2 & USB3.

user group: A computer club whose members share programs they've written and information they've learned.

user ID: A number that identifies you as a subscriber to an information service.

user interface: The way a computer application communicates with you.

user name: The long name for a user, sometimes referred to as the user's real name.

utility (utility program): An application that controls and manipulates the information on disks.


VGA and SVGA: Abbreviation of video graphics array, a graphics display system developed by IBM. VGA has become one of the de facto standards for personal computers. SVGA stands for Super VGA, a set of graphics standards designed to offer greater resolution than VGA.

video RAM: Video random-access memory. Supplies display memory additional to that provided in main memory. With more VRAM, more colors and higher screen resolutions are available.

virtual Memory: Virtual memory is hard disk space that the computer uses as if it were RAM. Disk space used for virtual memory is not available for storing files. Data stored in virtual memory is lost on shut down as with physical RAM.

virus: A computer program hidden in emails or downloaded files that is capable of copying itself and typically has a detrimental effect, such as corrupting the system or destroying data. Also see Trojan horse.VMwareFusion

VMware Fusion: A Mac application that lets you install Microsoft Windows in a virtual machine (computer) on your Mac. You can then run Windows apps and Mac apps at the same time. See also Parallels Desktop.VoiceOver

VoiceOver: An alternate interface available on Macintosh® computers for people with visual disabilities and others who need to hear what's on the screen. VoiceOver describes aloud what appears on the screen, and speaks the text in documents and windows. Using VoiceOver, you control the computer primarily with the keyboard instead of the mouse.

volume Name: The name of a disk or its main directory. Pathname is the complete name of a document beginning with the name of the disk, also called the volume name, the name of the subdirectory it's in if it's in one, and the name of the document. The pathname begins with a slash, and the parts of the pathname are separated with slashes. It's called a pathname because it describes the route to the document.


WAV: A Windows format for sound files.


Weather: An application that retrieves weather forecasts on the iPhone and the iPod Touch.

webcast: A broadcast of live video or audio on the Internet.

Web Clip: A feature introduced in Safari 3 which permits making any webpage into a widget for Dashboard.

widget: A desktop Dashboard application. They were formerly implemented as Desk Accessories before Dashboard.

Wi-Fi: An alternative name for the 802.11 HR DSSS standard. Apple® uses the name AirPort®.

window: With mouse-based applications, one or more areas on the screen showing one or more documents at a time.

wireless: A radio connection between two devices such as a computer, PDA's, phones, printers, modems, routers, and headsets. The two primary standards for wireless connections are Bluetooth and AirPort®/Wi-Fi

wireless LAN: A logically separate network that provides all the functionality of a wired LAN without the physical constraints of the wire itself. A wireless LAN connects to a wired network through a physical base station. The base station communicates to the computer on that network through airwaves using radio frequency data transmission techniques, as compared with wired LAN's that communicate through physical wire.

word processing application: A type of application designed to make writing and editing easier and faster.

workstation: A full-featured desktop computer which is designed for use by one person.

word wrap (or wraparound): In some word processing applications, the automatic jump to the start of the next line bringing the word you're typing with it when the cursor reaches the right margin, without your pressing Return.

World Wide Web: A system of linked servers that distribute pages of hypertext html, graphics, and multimedia information to users all over the world. Frequently shortened to the Web or Internet.

write: To record information on a disk.

WWW: World Wide Web

WYSIWYG: What you see is what you get. This phrase is used to describe how Macintosh computers worked. They display the actual fonts and what you get when you print is what you see on the screen.


XML (Extensible Markup Language): A specification developed by the W3C World Wide Web Consortium that defines the set of rules for the definition, transmission, validation, and interpretation of data on the World Wide Web.

Y YouTube

YouTube: An internet site which offers commercial and amateur videos for viewing. Also, an application that retrieves YouTube videos on the iPhone and the iPod Touch.


Zip Disks: High-density removable disks that store 100, 200, or more megabytes of data. The computer industry has adopted these disks and their associated drives in place of the older floppy disk media. Zip is a registered trademark of Iomega Corporation.

Zoom: A feature on Macintosh® computers for people with visual disabilities. Zoom permits the user to quickly magnify the screen image and enlarge the cursor (pointer).


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