Computer Terminology - F

This web page looks at some of the terminology associated with the Computer Industry. This appendix is not to be deemed as complete but does cover a large range of common terminology.

If you find a term not covered in this file you may Email Button and list the word (computer connected terminology ONLY). We will endeavour to locate the meaning and respond to you. If we consider it a common enough term, we will add it to our list. New terminology (with explanation) may also be submitted for consideration.

Index SIZE Numeric A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

facilitated chat: In a facilitated chat, a host or facilitator controls the messages that appear on the chat screen. Usually used when there is a guest speaker. Facilitated chats provide an orderly environment for the guest speaker and ensure that she is not overwhelmed with dozens of questions all being asked at once. See also chat. FAQ: Frequently asked questions. These initials regularly appear on home pages for a number of sites. It simply refers to a section on that particular site of the questions that people have most frequently asked about the site. If there are questions you have about a particular site and it has an FAQ access part, then check this section first, chances are your question may have already been asked and the answer is already there.

FAT: File Allocation Table. A table near the beginning of a disk that identifies the location of everything on the disk.

FDD: Floppy Disk Drive.

FidoNet: A worldwide hobbyist network of personal computers started in 1984 that exchanges mail, discussion groups, and files.

File: A set of data that is stored in the computer.

file compression: Reducing the size of files for ease of storage and transfer. WinZip is an example of an application that compresses files; the UNIX compress utility is another.

file transfer: The process of moving or transmitting a file from one location to another, as between two programs or from one computer to another.

File Transfer Protocol: (abbreviation: FTP) An Internet protocol that enables you to transfer files between computers on the Internet. See also anonymous FTP.

finger: A UNIX utility that reports information about other users who have UNIX accounts. Finger can tell you, for example, where and when a person last logged in to the system. It can also be used on a single host or across the Internet.

Firewall: Computer software and hardware that limits access to a computer. It is primarily used to allow free access to web users but privileged access to those who have the right to change the contents of the computer itself.

Flame: The act of sending messages to people in order to "burn" them. It is a vindictive method of taking to someone you dislike.

flame bait: An inflammatory post that is designed to provoke a flame war or flame responses.

flame on/flame off: Notifiers that surround a flame message and let readers know that the message they are reading is a flame. Although you don't see these as much as you used to, they would most commonly be used by an individual known to a particular online group who wishes to do a little ranting and then return to the topic at hand. Note that the original usage of "flame on" was derived from Marvel Comics' Human Torch character.

flame war: A series of public posts in which people flame one another rather than contribute useful information.

flash session: A feature of America Online that automatically performs online tasks at a designated time. Flash sessions are often used to send/receive email and download large files.

flat-file: 1. As a noun, an ASCII text file consisting of records of a single type, in which there is no embedded structure information governing relationships between records.
2. As an adjective, describes a flattened representation of a database as single file from which the structure could implicitly be rebuilt.

font: A typographic style used to display or print characters. Times Roman, Courier, and Helvetica are three examples.

forum: A topically-focused discussion group or area. From the traditional Roman forum -- a community area where ideas and proposals are discussed.

forwarding: Sending an email message or post from one person to a third party.

frame: 1. An HTML feature that allows web designers to segment the window of a web browser into distinct sections.
2. A single complete picture in a moving picture sequence.

freenet: A community-based bulletin board system that serves a local geographic community on a non-profit basis.

freeware: Shareware that is openly available to the public without the requirement of user registration fee.

fried: To be totally destroyed or otherwise unusable, as in "my hard drive is fried" or "the network is totally fried."

Front-side Bus: A bus (or path) found on the CPU and used to connect the CPU to RAM. The speed rate of the bus is generally measured in Megahertz (MHz) with the higher value indicating the faster rate.

FTP: File Transfer Protocol - the system used to transfer files across the Internet and other networks.

FUD: Abbreviation for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. A set of sales tactics employed by market leaders to cast aspersion on competing products.

FWIW: Abbreviation of For What It's Worth.

FYI: Abbreviation of For Your Information.

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