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A Glossary of Windows Terms – “F"

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

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

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    Fast User Switching - a feature of both Windows XP and Windows Vista that allows multiple users to be logged on to the PC simultaneously. With fast user switching, even if someone else is logged on to the PC, any other user can log on using their own user account, without closing the programs that the currently logged on user has open.

    Favorites – in Windows, a list of web sites you’ve saved in the Favorites list for the purpose of revisiting easily and quickly.

    File Allocation Table (FAT) – a file system used by Windows to organize and keep track of files on the hard drive. FAT is not as secure as NTFS, and FAT is slowly fading away.

    File and Folder Sharing – the sharing of files and folders among users of a single PC or among users on a network. In Windows, you can begin the sharing process by right-clicking the file or folder to share.

    File Association – the program associated with a particular file type. For instance, Paint may be associated with BMP files, while Photoshop may be associated with PSD files.

    File Server – a computer used to store and backup network data, and, allow access to information on the network server and/or other network resources.

    File Transfer Protocol (FTP) – a technology that offers a way to send large files over the Internet without using e-mail. You’ll need an FTP client to use this technology, like CuteFTP.

    FireWall – a hardware or software solution to secure a computer or network. Firewalls scan incoming and outgoing data and deem it safe or harmless, and then allow it to pass (or block it from passing).

    FireWire – a method of connecting peripherals (especially fast peripherals) to a PC using a serial data stream. FireWire was developed by Apple Computer in the early 1990s and was established as the IEEE 1394 standard by 1995. FireWire is a much-superior alternative to USB, and offers lighting-fast data transfer.

    Firmware – software and instructions written on read only chips on a computer motherboard.

    Flash Memory – memory in the form of an SD card, USB stick, flash drive, or even in cell phones.

    Flip 3D – a Windows Aero feature that lets you move among open windows with an exciting three dimensional user interface.