Our A-Z will help you understand the IT terms that are now being used every day in the modern day world
The Jargon Buster explains technical and computing terms with which you might not be familiar.
Palmtop - a tiny computer that can be easily held in one hand (hence the name).
Packet - when files are sent along the internet the data in them is divided into lots of small packets which are then reassembled in the correct order at the other end.
PC - short for personal computer. Used to talk about computers which are IBM-compatible rather than Apple Macintosh computers.
PDA - stands for personal digital assistant and refers to small pocket sized computers.
PDF - stands for portable document format. These files will print exactly as they appear on the screen. You need the free Acrobat Reader program to open a PDF file.
Perl - a script programming language which provides interactivity and more complex features on websites. It is often used on websites which have discussion forums or chat rooms.
Pixel - the tiny little dots which make up the images on computer screens and printouts.
Platform - the type of machine and operating system you have. Common platforms include the Intel PC with Microsoft Windows as an operating system or the Apple Macintosh with Mac OS.
Plug-in - a mini program that adds extra functions to a program that you already have installed. Without it, a site which requires those downloads won't fully work. So, for example, to listen to music on BBCi your browser requires the RealOne plug-in.
POP - short for Post Office Protocol. The current technical standard for retrieving your e-mails from your ISP.
Portal - a website which acts as a gate to the internet by directing you to information elsewhere. Search engines are one example.
Programming Code - a set of instructions written in a programming language such as Java, C+ or Perl.
Protocol - a set of rules that tell computers how to transfer data between themselves.
Proxy Server - a computer owned by your ISP which stores copies of popular web pages. This means that when you try to load up certain pages, rather than going to the original web server of the web page your computer retrieves it from the proxy. This loads pages more quickly