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University of VictoriaIntroduction to IT English
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Glossary

Unit 2 IT Lesson Terms

CD-ROM

noun

Unit 2 — IT Lesson

Definition
A compact disc with music, pictures, or other information.

Example
I have a dictionary on a CD-ROM. I can look up words that I don't understand on the CD-ROM.

command

noun

Unit 2 — IT Lesson

Definition
An instruction.

Example
When you type in a command, you are telling the computer what to do.

command line interface

phrase

Unit 2 — IT Lesson

Definition
A software interface in which you type instructions.

Example
Many years ago, the only way to use a computer was to type in a command using a command line interface.

copyright laws

noun

Unit 2 — IT Lesson

Definition
Laws that require you to get permission before copying software, books, or movies.

Example
Each country has its own copyright laws. Some countries do not control how you can use other people's materials, and some have very tight controls.

graphical user interface (GUI)

noun

Unit 2 — IT Lesson

Definition
A software interface in which you use the mouse to point at pictures and words that represent commands and files.

Example
Common operating systems like Linux or Windows use a graphical user interface.

installer

noun

Unit 2 — IT Lesson

Definition
Software that adds other software to your computer.

Example
When you add new software to your computer, you often use an installer.

interface

noun

Unit 2 — IT Lesson

Definition
Tools you use to give instructions to, or receive information from, a machine — for example, the dials and gauges on a stove.

Example
The dashboard on the car is a simple interface, because it provides information to the driver.

licence

noun

Unit 2 — IT Lesson

Definition
A document that gives you permission to use certain software. It usually contains restrictions on what you are allowed to do with the software. For example, you might only be allowed to install the software on one computer.

Example
The school has a licence to use certain software in its computer. If the school does not have a licence, it is not allowed to use that software.

pre-install

verb

Unit 2 — IT Lesson

Definition
To put software on a computer before it is sold.

Example
Before a new computer is sold, the manufacturer pre-installs the software you will need to run the computer.

prompt

noun

Unit 2 — IT Lesson

Definition
The spot where you type commands in a command line interface.

Example
When you type in your command at the prompt, the computer will do what you have told it to do..

reverse-engineer

verb

Unit 2 — IT Lesson

Definition
To study software to learn its source code.

Example
The main reason that companies do not allow people to reverse-engineer software is that they don't want the software to be copied and sold illegally.

site licence

noun

Unit 2 — IT Lesson

Definition
A licence to install software on many computers.

Example
Now that we have a site licence, we can install the software on five of our computers.

software interface

noun

Unit 2 — IT Lesson

Definition
The onscreen tools you use to give instructions to, or receive information from, software — for example, a button or a pop-up box.

Example
The software interface allows the user to control the software on the computer. It makes it easier to interact with the computer.

table

noun

Unit 2 — IT Lesson

Definition
A list of information that is divided into rows and columns. Each column contains a different type of information.

Example
Creating a table or a chart to organise information can make it easier for readers to understand the material.

user interface

noun

Unit 2 — IT Lesson

Definition
Another term for “software interface”.

Example
The user interface is useful because it provides onscreen tools you can use to give instructions to, or receive them from, software. It allows the user to control the software on the computer.