Electronics Dictionary

Electronics Dictionary - Category D

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Database - Files of information stored on one or more computers.

Datacasting - TV broadcasting that offers special options such as downloading data to a DTV. Also called enhanced tv.

Data logger - A device used to measure and record input from sensors such as temperature or pressure. Read more about data loggers.

DAT - Digital Audio Tape

dB - Decibel

DBS - Direct Broadcast Satellite

DCE - Data Communications Equipment.

DC voltage - Direct current voltage. This is the type of voltage commonly used in electronics. The power supply in a computer converts 110 AC voltage to DC voltage that can be used by the electronic components inside the computer.

DDR Memory - Dual Data Rate Memory. Used for system and video card memory.

Debugger - A program that allows the user to detect errors in a program. Internet explorer comes with a simple script debugger that can be turned on in the advanced options. This IE debugger allows web site developers to "debug" web sites.

Debugging - The process of tracking and correcting errors.

Decibel - A measurement in strength of sound or voltage.

Decomposition - In computer programming terms, it means to take a problem and break it into smaller parts.

Dedicated servers - A server that is built and used for a specific task. For example - file servers (sends and receives files), fax servers (dedicated to receiving and sending faxes only), email servers (sending and receiving emails only).

Default User - The profile that serves as the basis for all other user profiles.

Defragging - This is a housekeeping utility for a hard disk. After time, data becomes scattered across a hard drive and causes the system to not respond as quick. A defrag utility puts all the data back in a structured order that makes data easier and faster to access. It is recommended that you do this at least once a month to keep your system running at top speed. Windows comes with this utility. Go to my computer, right click on the drive you wish to defrag, then click on the tools tab. There you will see the utility. Click here to see an in-depth article on defragging. | Here are 10 tips to speed up your PC.

Delete - To remove data.

DES - Data Encryption Standard.

Desktop - The computer screen work area where graphics, menus, and dialog boxes appear.

Device - Any piece of equipment with a specific or special purpose.

Dialog box - A window that opens up offering the user input options to the task / program that they are using. This is not the same as a popup on the internet.

Digital - Devices that use calculation directly with digits instead of measurable physical quantities. Data signals are one of two levels corresponding to either 1 or 0 digit.

DIMM - Dual Inline Memory Module. A memory chip design that is most commonly found with 144 pin (notebooks) and 168 pin (desktops) configurations.

Diode - An electronic part that restricts and directs electrons (or electricity) to flow in only one direction. Click here for more information about the uses of diodes.

DIP Switches - Dual Inline Pin. Some older pieces of hardware, namely modems, required one to flip a set of small switches to set the COM port.

Dissipation - The release of heat from electrical components. i.e. - A cpu dissipates heat through a  heat sink and fan.

Disk cache - A portion of a hard drive that is used to cache data (see cache). It is not as quick as physical memory, but does help speed up computer processing. Settings are controlled automatically in Windows XP. We recommend to sticking with the automatic setting.

Display Device - Hardware devices that convert electrical signals into visible signals. Here is more information about display devices.

DLC - Data Link Control

DLL - Dynamic Link Library. A file that is loaded by relevant programs to access information needed to run the software. A single DLL file can be shared by multiple relevant programs.

DLP - Digital Laser Projector. Here is more information about DLP's.

DMA - Direct Memory Access. This function allows the CPU to gain immediate access to buffers from another piece of hardware.

DNS - Domain Name System.

DOCSIS - Data Over Cable System Interface Specification. Method cable modems use to communicate over coax cable.

Dolby Digital - The digital surround sound system used in most movie and home theater systems.

Domain name - A unique name which identifies a individual site on the internet. Although we see "user friendly" names, the web address is actually a set of numbers (ip address). Click here to see an article about domain names.

Download - To receive a file from a remote server.

DOS - Disk Operating System. Ahh, the good ole days! This is were it all started. Just a command prompt and a black screen. You can still get the effect by going to the command prompt in Windows XP but it's just not the same.

Dot Matrix Printer - A printer that produces dots to form characters. Dot matrix printers are still in use and mainly for character output - meaning letters and numbers. They are not well suited for graphics or high quality letters.

DPI - Dots Per Inch. A measure of the computer monitor screen resolution.

DRAM - Dynamic Random Access Memory.

Draft - A 'rough' version of a document.

Drag and Drop - The process of dragging an item (icons) with a mouse. For example, left click on a zip file, while holding the left button, move the mouse pointer to a zip program icon and release the button. Then the zip program will open the zip file that was clicked on.

Driver - Software used to control a piece of hardware in a computer.

DSL - Digital Subscriber Line.

DSP - Digital Signal Processor.

DSS - Digital Satellite System.

DTE - Data Terminal Equipment.

DTV - Digital Television.

Duplex - A term that refers to transferring data in two directions (see full duplex and half duplex).

DVD - Digital Video Disk. Click here for an article about DVD history and the advantages of using this type of media.| Click here for some DVD burning tips.| DVD formats are explained here.

DVI Cables - Digital Video Interface Cables. Click here for more information about DVI cables


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