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A Glossary of Windows Terms – “P”

written by: Joli Ballew•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 12/31/2008

Windows terms that start with the letter “P” and are used often in the Bright Hub Windows channel.

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    Packet – A unit of data sent from one computer to another. Packets are created when the data that needs to be sent is large. Packets are created by breaking up large amounts of data, sent across a network, and then reassembled by the recipient’s PC.

    Parental Controls – A feature in Windows Vista that allows an administrator to place controls on a PC for standard users, specifically, children. Parental controls allow parents to control what games a child plays, what programs they can access, what hours they can use the PC, and more.

    Passphrase – A group of letters, numbers, and characters used to log into a computer or network. Often a passphrase is assigned during the configuration of a wireless network.

    Password – A security measure applied with a user ID to authenticate a user on a computer, web site, application, or network.

    Peer-to-Peer – A network topology used in a workgroup. In this type of network, there is no network server, and computers share their resources with one another using a router, hub, or switch, or, a direct connection.

    Permission – A security measure applied to a file, folder, or computer resource to name and/or limit who can access a resources and what they can do with it (often Read, Write, or Full Control).

    Ping – A command used at a command prompt to test connectivity between a computer and an external resource.

    Pixel – The smallest unit of data used on a monitor. When a screen’s resolution is set to 800 X 600, it means the monitor displays 800 pixels horizontally and 600 pixels vertically. By increasing the number of pixels, you increase the quality of the picture.

    Playlist – A list of songs in Media Player matching specific criteria. Playlists can be burned to CDs if desired.

    Pop-Up – Most often, an unwanted advertisement that appears in its own window while accessing a web site.

    Port – A place where data enters or exits a computer resource or a device. There are printer ports, USB ports, and FireWire ports, to name a few.

    Product ID – A number or letter combination that is assigned to a software program and is used to unlock it. Product IDs guarantee the user has paid for the software and has the right to use it.

    Program – In computer terms, an application. Familiar programs include Microsoft Office, Photoshop, and Norton Anti-Virus.