Computer Terminology - W

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

WAIS: Pronounced "ways", an abbreviation for Wide Area Information Server. A system which allows you to search over 400 WAIS databases located throughout the Internet for information.

WAN: See Wide Area Network.

wannabee: A would-be hacker.

Warm Boot: Holding down the and keys while pressing, then releasing, the <Del> key.

webliography: A listing of source World Wide Web sites.

webmaster: The person in charge of administrating a World Wide Web site. By convention, the webmaster of Internet domain can be reached at the email address

wetware: Hacker slang for the human central nervous system, especially the brain. Most computing systems have three essential components: software, hardware, and wetware.

whois: A program located at that queries the InterNIC's database of domain names. Want to put a home page up at Better check whois to make sure that the name is not taken.

Wide Area Network: A communications network that covers a wide geographic area, such as state or country.

window: An old term for a framed active area displayed on a bit-mapped computer display.

Windows: A graphical environment developed by Microsoft Corp. that enables users to select commands by pointing to illustrations or symbols with a mouse.

Wintel: Contraction of Windows and Intel. The hardware and software combination of an Intel CPU running Microsoft Windows. Often used with the word "platform" in opposition to the UNIX or Macintosh platforms. Sometimes used in a derogatory sense to connote the monopoly powers that Intel and Microsoft yield.

wired: 1. The state of being connected.
2. Capitalized: a popular magazine that caters to the digerati.

wizard: 1. A software routine that allows for easy "yes or no" answers to configuration, installation, and set-up questions.
2. Someone who is adept at making computers perform their "magic".

wizzywig: See WYSIWYG.

Word Processor: A computer system or programme for setting, editing, revising, correcting, storing, and printing text.

Workstation: A terminal connected to a network where people actually work.

World Wide Web: (abbreviation: WWW) A distributed hypertext system invented by Tim Berners-Lee on a NeXT Computer. This is the general name given to the graphics domain of the Internet. The usual abbreviation found is www (when used as part of a site name) or WWW when used in context of a document or instructions).

worm: 1. An insidious and usually illegal computer program that is designed to replicate itself over a network for the purpose of causing harm and/or destruction. While a virus is designed to invade a single computer's hard drive, a worm is designed to invade a network. The most infamous worm was created by Robert Tappan Morris in November 1988; it infiltrated over 6,000 network systems around the globe.
2. Acronym for "Write Once Read Many". Used to describe optical disk drives that can only be written once, usually for archival purposes.

Write Protect: To cover a notch or move a tab on a floppy disk so the contents of the disk cannot be changed. WWW: See World Wide Web.

WXGA: Wide eXtended Graphics Array, is a video resolution that supports a max resolution of 1366 horizontal pixels by 768 vertical pixels

WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Get. When what appears on the screen looks the same as what comes out of the printer.

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