More acronyms

After about a week, I’ll enter all of these on a page in alphabetical order.  In about a month, there should be a nice complete list.  Some of these, like ISO and NEC, used to be very difficult to look up for some reason.  Now they’re on Google.

Organization acronyms, in the Net+ book:

IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers – Sets standards for, for example, wireless and ethernet.

ANSI – American National Standards Institute – Since 1918, has been setting standards.  Most recently known for ANSI graphics, a pre-video graphics display technology using colored text characters.

ISO – International Organization for Standardization – Sets international standards to make international trade easier.  Following these standards ensures that plugs, nuts and bolts, etc. that are made in different countries fit each other all over the world.

NEC – Nippon Electric Company – One of the most important chip makers in the world.  “Nippon” is a traditional Japanese name for “Japan.”

ASCII – American Standard Code for Information Interchange – the characters represented by one byte of data.  This is the standardization of how a letter, number, punctuation mark, or other character is digitally represented in a modern computer.

IANA – Internet Assigned Numbers Authority – Founded by the US Government in 1988, this is the entity that oversees IP (Internet Protocol) address assignments by category, region, etc.


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More acronyms, all realting to basic PC terms:

PC – Personal Computer

CPU – Central Processing Unit – The chip that does all the computing

RAM – Random Access Memory – Memory within the computer that is only active when the computer is turned on.

MoBo – Mother Board – The circuit board which holds the Central Processing Unit, the computer memory, and the built-in wiring that goes to and from these.

HD – Hard Drive or disc – This is a spinning disc that holds stored memory for the computer and retains it even when the system is turned off.

DIMM – Dual In-line Memory Module – A set of two small memory circuit boards that make up the physical structure of Random Access Memory in some computers.

SODIMM – Small Outline Dual In-line Memory Module – A set of two small circuit boards that hold Random Access Memory components for laptop computers.

TWAIN – Rumored to mean “Technology Without Any Interesting Name,” it is actually from Rudyard Kipling’s “Ballad of East and West”:  “East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,” at least according to the software authors.  TWAIN is software that interfaces between scanner hardware and computer software.

Have an acronym?  A defined acronym that you would like to post?  Go ahead; that’s what this section of the blog is here for.

Compare the following two sentences:

“Joe installed two DIMMs on his MoBo, but still didn’t have enough RAM to support his CPU”

“Joe installed two Dual In-line Memory Modules on his mother board, but still didn’t have enough Random Access Memory to support his Central Processing Unit”

…and you can see why I like to have all these definitions readily available.

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Today’s Acronyms

When I was reading computer texts, and I actually read the Network+ and Security+ texts from cover to cover, I found nothing more annoying than the alphabet soup of acronyms that were used.  So I am assembling a glossary of all computer and Internet business acronyms into a nice reference list, for computer and Internet students and book readers.  Here are five for today, and some technical jargon, also:


ROI – Return On Investment


PPC – Pay Per Click – Means something like a link or an ad that requires the advertiser to pay the site owner with the link or ad, every time a mouse click on the link or ad is registered.


Click fraud – A site operator clicks on links or has others click on links, not because anyone is interested in the advertised product, but just to total up more clicks on Pay Per Click links, to drive up the number of clicks and get paid more by the advertiser.


SEO – Search Engine Optimization – Getting your web site ranked higher in Search Engine results, a Search Engine being a site like Google or .


IBM – International Business Machines – Major mainframe computer manufacturer and Personal Computer manufacturer.


IP address – Internet Protocol address, consisting of four numbers in the format xx.xx.xx.xx , for example, .


Hex – Hexadecimal or base 16 numbers, using the digits 0123456789ABCDEF .  The number system most people use is base 10, meaning each place represents that many times a power of ten, for example, 127 = (1 x 102) + (2 x 101) + (7 x 100) , and base 10 uses the digits 0123456789 .  127 in base 10, represented as 12710 , is 7F in base 16, represented as 7F16 .  7F16 = (7 x 161) + (F x 160) , where F represents a value of 1510

(7 x 161) + (F x 160) = (7 x 16) + (15 x 1) = 127 .  Hex is a common computer number system.

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Computer Equipment Recommendations for Beginners

My credentials in the field:  CompTIA A+, Security+, Net+.


My instructor recommends (and I agree):


  • Western Digital hard drives
  • Asus motherboards
  • Asus laptops
  • AMD processors
  • Any Internet browser other than Internet Explorer
  • Mac computers
  • Kingston RAM


Here’s a short discussion of why:  The above all have statistically better performance rates than other equipment, backed by the best warranties on the planet.  You can afford to offer long-term warranties and generous repair/replacement policies IF YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO IT AS MUCH.  This doesn’t mean that you, the reader, personally, have not had bad experiences with some of the above equipment, having the huge pain in the butt of replacing a malfunctioning component with a new one, only to have it, too, fail to work right out of the box.  What it does mean is that there are a lot more victims of crappy equipment than the above equipment.  Seagate hard drives seem to be pretty reliable, these days, although I recall reading a review years ago that said they were good for throwing into a bay, and that was about it.  A friend of mine lost his legal reference library when a Seagate hard drive failed without warning—no funny noises, no nothing, just total failure.  This doesn’t mean he didn’t drop it earlier—I didn’t follow him around all the time, and I can’t guarantee he didn’t.  He should have had it backed up.  He didn’t.  I had a Western Digital Caviar 200 GB hard drive fail, right out of the box.*  At the time, Western Digital had a 5-year guarantee.  I did their diagnostics, as they required, and they then replaced it for free with a 250 GB hard drive.  Out of the 50 or so Western Digital hard drives I have used since, none have ever failed suddenly.  Some of the worn out ones, 10, 20, 30, and 40 GB drives from ten years ago, have bad sectors and I’ve taken them out of service, but I’ve never seen a sudden total failure.  Some of the other brands I’ve used, Fujitsu, Maxtor, and whatever brands are in properly functioning computers that I’ve never had to take apart, were all fine, too.  No sudden failures.  But Western Digital has the best guarantee.


* I suspect it was programmed for use as something other than a Personal Computer hard drive, and shipped as a PC hard drive by mistake.  It functioned perfectly after formatting, but it wouldn’t return file space to use when files were deleted, and Windows XP continuously accesses and modifies its operating system files and registry.  So the amount of disk space would slowly shrink while I watched.  After I’d reformat it, I could use it again, and the same thing would happen.  If this disk was programmed to be used as a write once/read many digital library component, then this behavior would make sense.

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