Definitions and Explanations of Computer and Networking Hardware Terms Starting with the Letter D

Dancing with D

Daisy Chain

The act of stringing devices together in such a way that the signal travels serially from one to the other. For example, you can daisy chain 127 USB devices so long as each has a port and they are self-powered.

DC

Direct Current. The type of electricity produced from a transforming device, such as the power supply in a computer, that electronics rely on.

Dedicated Line

A communications line that connects specific computers or network devices within an area, like in a building. It is not publicy accessible.

Default

Any setting in a device or piece of software that is the assumed setting, as unchanged by the user or other software. The assumed position when no other parameters are defined.

Defragmentation

The process of rearranging disk sectors so files are stored on consecutive sectors in adjacent tracks.

Desktop

1) A personal computer that sits on a desk, usually with a monitor sitting on top of it.

2) The virtual workspace offered by an operating system where one would place commonly accessed files or programs and often decorated by a chosen image.

Device Driver

A program that resides in memory and is loaded to control a device. Most devices like sound cards, graphics cards, and often printers, require device drivers to help the computer operate the device properly.

Diagnostics

Programs used to check the operating levels of a computer system and determine if and where there are any problems.

Disk

Typically refers to a magnetic or optical storage medium on which information can be accessed, for example, the Hard Disk, Floppy Disk, CD, or DVD.

Disk Cache

A portion of memory on the motherboard or another card or controller that is used to store information that is frequently accessed in order to speed up disk access. The large the cache, the greater amount of data that can be accessed instantly without worrying about seek delays.

Display Adapter

The interface between the computer and the monitor. Transmits the signals that, in turn, appear as images on the display. This can be an expansion card or an integrated chip on the motherboard.

Docking Station

Equipment that allows a laptop or notebook computer to use peripherals and accessories normally associated with desktop systems without the hassle of plugging and unplugging each device.

DVI – Digital Video Interactive

A standard that integrates digital motion, still video, sound, graphics, and special effects in a compressed format. It is a highly sophisticated hardware compression technique used in many interactive multimedia applications.

This post is part of the series: Computer and Network Hardware Glossary of Common Terms

Complete glossary of terms and definitions for common computer and network hardware. Learn the meanings of things relevant to your life as a computer user or professional.
  1. Glossary of Computer Hardware Terms: Numbers and Symbols
  2. Glossary of Computer Hardware Terms – The Letter A
  3. Glossary of Computer Hardware Terms – The Letter B
  4. Glossary of Computer Hardware Terms – The Letter C
  5. Glossary of Computer Hardware Terms – The Letter D
  6. Glossary of Computer Hardware Terms – The Letters E & F
  7. Glossary of Computer Hardware Terms – The Letters G & H
  8. Glossary of Computer Hardware Terms – The Letter I
  9. Glossary of Computer Hardware Terms – The Letters J, K, and L
  10. Glossary of Computer Hardware Terms – The Letter M
  11. Glossary of Computer Hardware Terms – The Letters N & O
  12. Glossary of Computer Hardware Terms – The Letter P
  13. Glossary of Computer Hardware Terms – The Letters Q & R
  14. Glossary of Computer Hardware Terms – The Letter S
  15. Glossary of Computer Hardware Terms – The Letters T & U
  16. Glossary of Computer Hardware Terms – The Letters V, W, & Z