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A Glossary of Windows Terms – “D”

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

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

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    Desktop – in Windows, what you see on the computer screen when using a computer. You can change the desktop background using Control Panel’s personalization options.

    Device Manager – a Windows utility that allows you to access the properties of the computer’s hardware devices such as network adapters, modems, and disk drives.

    Digital Media – pictures from a digital camera, downloaded music and movies, and similar data that is stored on a computer for the purpose of archiving, sharing, or viewing.

    Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) – a popular method for moving data over phone lines to access the Internet. DSL requires a DSL modem and monthly subscription to a DSL provider.

    Direct Connection – a connection between two devices, sometimes temporary (using a crossover cable between two PCs) and sometimes permanent (a computer to a network).

    Disk Cleanup – a Windows utility that is used to delete unwanted files on the PC that are difficult to locate, such as temporary files, unnecessary installation files for software already installed, and offline files.

    Disk Defragmenter – a Windows utility that scans the files on the hard disk and reunites files that are “fragmented”. A file is fragmented when parts of it are stored on various areas of the hard drive. Defragmenting allows the disk to work more efficiently and produce results faster.

    Domain – on the Internet, a domain is a set of network addresses organized in levels. Microsoft is a domain name.

    Domain Name System – the system used to translate Internet domain names into IP addresses. DNS is what allows you to type instead of a complicated IP address that is hard to remember.

    Driver – software that allows a hardware device like a camera, printer, or TV tuner to communicate with a PC and vice-versa.

    Dual Monitors – having two monitors connected to one PC for the purpose of extending or mirroring the desktop.

    Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) – a protocol used to assign IP addresses automatically from a network server to the networks devices. Assignments can be dynamic (changeable) or static (unchanging) and allow devices to communicate on the network.

    Dynamic IP Address – a temporary IP address assigned to a computer or other network resource that allows the device to communicate on the network for one session.