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B is for Browser: Mac Glossary of Terms

written by: Joli Ballew•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 11/15/2011

Mac terms that start with the letter “B” that are used often in the Bright Hub Mac channel.

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    The Letter B

    Backup – An extra copy of data used for “insurance” purposes. If something happens to the original data, this copy can be used to recover.It is important to keep reliable backups and to test them regularly.

    Bandwidth – A measurement of how much data can be sent through a digital link over a specific period of time. The higher the bandwidth, the faster data is (and can be) transferred.

    Base Station – Base Station is a piece of hardware made by Apple and other manufacturers that serve as wireless access points. Base stations are used in wireless networks to allow wireless access to the network by PCs, Macs, and laptops, among others.

    Beta Software – Software that is still being tested by often made available to the public for the purpose of finding and reporting on bugs. Manufacturers can then fix the bugs before offering a final release of the product.

    Bit – The smallest unit of data that can be stored on a Mac or PC. A bit is either a 1 or an 0, and combined with other bits, form bytes (larger units of computer data).

    Bluetooth – A wireless technology used to create a temporary connection between two blue-tooth enabled devices. Bluetooth technology is used in instance where the two devices are in close proximity, such as a cell phone and headset.

    Boot Disk – The hard disk, CD, DVD, or network drive from where the computer “boots” or starts up. Usually the boot disk is the Macintosh HD.

    Bot – Automated software programs used on web sites that perform functions related to that web site. (A bot can monitor chat room activity, for instance, and look for users not following stated rules.)

    Bridge – A bridge is a hardware device that connects two local area networks. Bridges are faster than routers but offer less functionality.

    Browser – In general terms a browser is a Web browser, which is an application for accessing web pages on the Internet. Macs come with Safari, which is a Web browser.

    Buffer – A place on the computer, usually RAM, where data is stored temporarily until it is needed. Online video is often buffered to RAM to provide a smoother video experience, allowing the user to watch buffered video while additional video is buffered during the transmission.

    Bug – A glitch, problem, or issue with a piece of software or software code that causes a problem, unexpected shut down, or causes hardware to fail.

    Burn – The process of copying data from a Mac to a CD or DVD. Using an optical drive, the data is “burned” to the media using a laser, which if from where the term originates.

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    Safari is a Time Machine is a


  • The author took these images from a Mac OS X Lion computer.