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A Glossary of Windows Terms – “B”

written by: Joli Ballew•edited by: Bill Fulks•updated: 10/13/2008

Windows terms that start with the letter “B” and are used often in the BrightHub Windows channel.

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    Background – the picture shown on the desktop of a Windows-based PC. You can enable multiple backgrounds with the Microsoft Virtual Desktop Manager.

    Backup – to make a copy of data for recovery purposes should something happen to the PC. You can create a backup in XP with the Windows Backup Utility.

    Backup Strategy – a plan created for the purpose of creating useful backups of data. A strategy includes choosing a backup device and creating a plan for how often you will back up your data (and how).

    Bandwidth – the amount of data that can be transferred over a network. Usually this is measured in bits per second.

    Bit – a single digit number in base-2, either a one or a zero. Bits are the smallest unit of data that a computer can use. Bandwidth is calculated in bits per second.

    Bluetooth – a technology that uses radio waves to transmit data. Generally, Bluetooth is used to transmit data only short distances, such as between a cell phone and a listening device one wears in the ear.

    Boot Process (booting, boot time) – the process of starting a computer. Boot time (how long it takes the computer to get to the Welcome screen after pressing the power button on the PC) varies depending on the computer’s installed hardware, software, and configuration.

    BitLocker Drive Encryption - BitLocker encryption is a feature available in Windows Vista Ultimate and Enterprise editions that lets you encrypt data on your hard drive with the strongest encryption technology available. Encrypting scrambles the data, and only a user with the appropriate key can unscramble it and access it.

    Bridge – a hardware device that connects two or more networks for the purpose of forwarding data between them.

    Broadband – in networking, this term refers to how users connect to the Internet. Broadband is used to represent cable, DSL, and even satellite connections for home users.

    Browse (Browsing) – the process of looking for a file or folder on a hard drive or a specific item on the Internet.

    Buffering – when downloading media from the Internet, a certain amount of data must be downloaded (in the buffer) before media can play. Waiting for the entire media to be downloaded before playing it will reduce the amount of “skipping” that occurs when playing media prior to all media being buffered.

    Burn (Burning) – the process of copying data from a computer to a CD or DVD.