Pin Me

Glossary of Computer Hardware Terms - The Letters T & U

written by: Jesma•edited by: J. F. Amprimoz•updated: 12/30/2008

Definitions and explanations of common computer hardware and networking terms beginning with the letters U and T. Here we look at terms such as Terabyte, Twisted Pair, UPS, USB and URL.

  • slide 1 of 2

    The Letter T

    TCP/IP - Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol

    A set of protocols to link dissimilar computers across many kinds of networks. The primary protocol used by the Internet.

    Temporary File

    A file temporarily created by a program for its own use. Typically set to be hidden from the user.


    A unit of information storage equal to 1,099,511,627,776 bytes, or, 1000 Gigabytes.


    A device whose keyboard and display are used for sending and receiving data over a link. A terminal has no internal processing capabilities, and is used in combination with a system or network.

    Token Ring

    A type of LAN in which workstations relay a data packet called a token in a logical ring configuration - known as token passing. A station may only transmit if it is in possession of the token. Token Ring tends to use slower technologies and so isn't used much anymore, though its method of avoiding data collisions on the lines does save time, and the technology hasn't been abandoned because of this.


    An ultra-fine colored plastic powder used as the printing media in laser printers and photocopiers. The fuser heats it to such high temperatures that it melts and fuses to the paper.


    The act of determining the cause of a problem through a series of tests and/or queries.

    Twisted Pair

    A type of cabling in which two small insulated copper wires are wrapped and twisted around each other to minimize interference. Twisted pair is used in UTP and STP cabling on Ethernet networks.

  • slide 2 of 2

    The Letter U

    Uninterruptible Power Supply - UPS

    A device that you plug a computer into that provides a constant and steady stream of electricity to the computer. It powers devices off of batteries that are constantly recharged from a wall socket.

    URL - Uniform Resource Locator

    The naming scheme used to identify sites and files on the Internet. URLs combine information about the protocol in use (http, ftp, etc), the address of the site, the subdirectory location, and the file being requested.

    USB - Universal Serial Bus

    A 12Mbit/sec interface over a four wire connection. Can support up to 127 daisy chained devices. Very common interface for peripherals like keyboards, mice, and printers.

    UTP - Unshielded Twisted Pair

    The most common and inexpensive network cabling, available for multiple category standards such as 3, 5, 5e and 6. Utilizes twisted copper wires to try and avoid interference on the line.