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Continuation of the Mac Glossary Available on BrightHub

written by: Joli Ballew•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 11/14/2011

Mac terms that start with the letter “D" that are used often in the BrightHub Mac channel.

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    The Letter D

    Dashboard – A special place on a Mac where a user can run widgets. By keeping widgets on the dashboard, they are separated from other parts of the operating system thus protect the system from rogue widgets. The Dashboard was first introduced in the Mac OS X Tiger edition.

    Default – In Mac terms, default means the action that will be taken automatically or when the user presses the Enter or Return key on the keyboard. Programs also are configured using “defaults" which define the settings for the program or application (like where files are saved or what color the interface is).

    Defragment – Files are “fragmented" when they are scattered across the hard drive. By defragmenting the hard drive the files that should be placed together are together, and thus, provide faster access and better hard drive performance.

    Desktop – What you see on your monitor when no applications or windows are open. The Desktop can have a background applied and offers links and icons to the areas of the hard drive you need to access.

    Digital Files – Files on a computer. The term digital files is often used synonymously with picture, music, and video files though, not generally word documents or spreadsheets (although these are also “digital" in nature).

    Digitize – The process of taking something in analog form and converting it to digital form. Artists often digitize graphics from clients for use in a computer application.

    Directory – Like a filing cabinet, a computer directory organizes data into folders where the data can then be accessed easily. Directories can contain subdirectories, creating tree-like digital filing systems.

    Disk Image – A exact copy of a hard disk. Disk images are often used to restore a computer after a hard drive crash or other computer mishap.

    Dock – Usually located on the bottom of a Mac’s desktop, the Dock holds icons, minimized and running applications, the Finder, and other common applications, folders, and files.

    Dongle – Most often the term “dongle" is used to denote a USB drive that can hold data, provide Bluetooth functionality, or hold a security key.

    Download – To move or copy files from one hard drive, memory, card, or Web site to another. You might download a file from the Internet for instance, or “upload" digital photos from a camera to a computer’s hard drive.

    Driver – Software that allows a hardware device to communicate with a Mac. Drivers may need to be updated if the operating system is updated.

    DVD – Optical media that can be written to and read from for the purpose of backing up, archiving, or sharing digital data.

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    DashboardDashboard in ActionThe Dock


  • The images here were taken by the author.