Computer Terminology - H

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

hacker: An expert programmer who likes to spend a lot of time figuring out the finer details of computer systems or networks, as opposed to those who learn only the minimum necessary. See also cracker.

handle: A nickname used in online communications.

hang: 1. An unexpected halt of a computer, usually while running an application program. A hung machine is characterized by a total lack of response from the mouse and keyboard. The user can almost never effect a recovery except by turning the computer off and restarting it.
2. In the construction "hang off", to attach a peripheral device to a computer via a cable. "I'm going to hang another hard drive off my home box."

Hard Disk: Shortened form of Hard Disk Drive - a large volume storage device for the computer.

Hardware: The physical and mechanical components of a computer system. They include electronic circuitry, chips, screens, disk drives, keyboards, modems, and printers.

hardwired: A function or capability that is hardcoded into a system. Generally, anything that can not be modified or customized.

HDD: Hard Disk Drive.

Hexadecimal: A numbering system which uses a base of 16. The first ten digits are 0-9 and the next six are A-F. Hexadecimal numbers are used to colour web pages. For example, the hexadecimal equivalent for White is #FFFFFF.

hit: A single user accessing a single file from a web server. A unit of measure often used erroneously to evaluate the popularity of a web site.

holy wars: Ubiquitous online disputes that never end. Common holy wars are fought over Macintosh vs. Windows, UNIX vs. Windows NT, and everyone vs. Microsoft, as well as over societal issues such as abortion, gun control, and pornography. See also flame war.

home page: A web page that is topically the main source of information about a particular person, group, or concept. Many people on the web create home pages about themselves for fun; these are also known as vanity pages.

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

host: 1. A computer that allows users to communicate with other host computers on a network.
2. A chat term for someone who is managing a chat. Hosts often act as referees and have the power to turn participants into spectators and vice versa.

HotBot: An Internet search engine at

HTML: See Hypertext Markup Language.

HTTP: See Hypertext Transmission Protocol

hype: Marketing messages that overstate the truth (as in "Don't believe the hype!").

hyperlink: A highlighted word or picture within a hypertext document that when clicked takes you to another place within the document or to another document altogether.

Hypertext: This is a special system, originally developed for the Internet, which allows certain words to be "activated" and move automatically to another spot in either the document or even elsewhere on the Internet. Hypertext words are generally in a different text colour than the bulk of the text in the document (hence the need for colour monitors). For example you can be reading a document about steam trains from a source in Australia and clicking on a certain word could take you to a site in Scotland for the additional information, such is the power available to hypertext.

Hypertext Markup Language: (abbreviation: HTML) The tag-based ASCII language used to create pages on the World Wide Web. See also hypertext.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol: (abbreviation: HTTP) The protocol used by the World Wide Web to transfer HTML files.

Hyper-Threading Technology: This is where a single processor is allowed to act as though it was two processors. This allows the processor to execute two sets (or threads - hence the name), of instructions at once, thus improving performance and system responsiveness. Further explanations can be found at: DETAILS

© Design by Compsale - May 2005