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A Glossary of Windows Terms – “U and V"

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

Windows terms that start with the letters “U and V" and are used often in the Bright Hub Windows channel.

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    Uniform Resource Locator (URL) – An Internet address such as

    Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) – A backup power unit that engages when the power to a computer has been disrupted.

    Universal Serial Bus (USB) – A technology used to connect peripherals such as mice, printers, scanners, cameras, and various USB gadgets, and can transmit data more quickly than serial or parallel ports can.

    UNIX – An operating system created by AT&T which provided the spin off, Linux.

    Upload – To transfer files from one piece of hardware to another. You might upload files from a home computer to a web site or upload pictures from a digital camera to a PC.

    User – A person operating a computer. Users log on to their user account using their user password.

    User Account Control (UAC) – A technology introduced in Windows Vista that requires the user to input administrator’s credentials before applying a system wide change to a PC.

    Video Card – A piece of hardware that is seated on a computer motherboard for the purpose of managing video data.

    Virtual Machine – An operating system environment where one operating system can run on a computer that already has an operating system installed on it. For instance, you might run Windows on a Virtual Machine inside an Apple PC.

    Virtual Memory – An area of the hard drive used as memory when RAM is full. This is often referred to as a swap file.

    Virtual Private Network (VPN) – A network that uses the Internet to transmit data that is encrypted, making this virtual network appear private (vs. public). VPNs are much more secure and hard to hack into than public networks.

    Virus – Harmful computer code that replicates itself by attaching to programs, files, and e-mail messages. Viruses can be benign and simply change home page preferences, or, they can destroy personal data stored on the computer’s hard drive.

    Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) – A newer technology used to make telephone calls using the Internet instead of regular telephone lines.

    VRAM – Video Random Access Memory. This memory is stored on the video card and offers better video performance than without such memory.

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