Below is a list of terms you that can help demystify some of the common ( and not so common) acronyms you are bound to come across. Currently geared towards the A+ material, separate network and security  terminology sections are on the way.

 A+ Terminiology


ACPI                                      advanced configuration and power interface

ACT                                       activity

ADSL                                     asymmetrical digital subscriber line

AGP                                        accelerated graphics port

AMD                                      advanced micro devices

AMR (Slot)                                      audio modem riser

APIPA                                    automatic private internet protocol addressing

APM                                       advanced power management

ARP                                        address resolution protocol

ASR                                        automated system recovery

AT                                          advanced technology

ATA                                       advanced technology attachment

ATAPI                                   advanced technology attachment packet interface

ATM                                      asynchronous transfer mode

ATX                                       advanced technology extended


BIOS                                      basic input/output system

BNC                                       Bayonet-Neill-Concelman or British Navel Connector

BRI                                        basic rate interface

BTX                                       balanced technology extended


CARP                                     Common Address Redundenancy Protocol

CCD                                       charged coupled device

CD                                          compact disc

CD-ROM                               compact disc-read-only memory

CD-RW                                  compact disc-rewritable

CDFS                                     compact disc file system

CMOS                                   complementary metal-oxide semiconductor

CNR                                       communication network riser

COM1                                    communication port 1

CPU c                                     entral processing unit

CRIMM                                continuity-rambus inline memory module

CRT                                       cathode-ray tube


DAC                                       discretionary access control

DB-25                                    serial communications D-shell connector, 25 pins

DB-9 9                                   pin D shell connector

DC                                          direct current

DDOS                                     distributed denial of service

DDR                                       double data-rate

DDR RAM                            double data-rate random access memory

DDR SDRAM                       double data-rate synchronous dynamic random access memory

DFS                                        distributed file system

DHCP                                    dynamic host configuration protocol

DIMM                                   dual inline memory module

DIN                                        Deutsche Industrie Norm

DIP                                         dual inline package

DLT                                        digital linear tape

DLP                                        digital light processing

DMA                                      direct memory access

DNS                                        domain name service or domain name server

DOS                                        disk operating system or denial of service

DPMS                                    display power management signaling

DRAM                                   dynamic random access memory

DSL                                        digital subscriber line

DVD                                       digital video disc or digital versatile disc

DVD-RAM                            digital video disc-random access memory

DVD-ROM                            digital video disc-read only memory

DVD-R                                   digital video disc-recordable

DVD-RW                               digital video disc-rewritable

DVI                                        digital visual interface


ECC                                       error correction code

ECP                                        extended capabilities port

EEPROM                              electrically erasable programmable read-only memory

EFS                                         encrypting file system

EIDE                                      enhanced integrated drive electronics

EISA                                      extended industry standard architecture

EMI                                        electromagnetic interference

EMP                                       electromagnetic pulse

EPROM                                 erasable programmable read-only memory

EPP                                         enhanced parallel port

ERD                                       emergency repair disk

ESD                                        electrostatic discharge

ESDI                                      enhanced small device interface

EVGA                                    extended video graphics adapter/array

EVDO                                    evolution data optimized or evolution data only


FAT                                        file allocation table

FAT12                                   12-bit file allocation table

FAT16                                   16-bit file allocation table

FAT32                                   32-bit file allocation table

FDD                                        floppy disk drive

FERPA                                   Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Fn                                           Function (referring to the function key on a laptop)

FPM                                       fast page-mode

FRU                                        field replaceable unit

FTP                                         file transfer protocol

FQDN                                     fully qualified domain name


Gb                                           gigabit

GB                                          gigabyte

GDI                                        graphics device interface

GHz                                        gigahertz

GUI                                        graphical user interface

GPRS                                     general packet radio system

GSM                                       global system for mobile communications


HAL                                       hardware abstraction layer

HCL                                       hardware compatibility list

HDD                                       hard disk drive

HDMi                                     high definition media interface

HPFS                                      high performance file system

HTML                                   hypertext markup language

HTTP                                     hypertext transfer protocol

HTTPS                                   hypertext transfer protocol over secure sockets layer


I/O                                          input/output

ICMP                                     internet control message protocol

ICS                                         internet connection sharing

ICR                                        intelligent character recognition

IDE                                         integrated drive electronics

IEEE                                      Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

IIS                                          Internet Information Services

IMAP                                     internet mail access protocol

IP                                            internet protocol

IPCONFIG                            internet protocol configuration

IPP                                          internet printing protocol

IPSEC                                    internet protocol security

IPX                                         internetwork packet exchange

IPX/SPX                                internetwork packet exchange/sequenced packet exchange

IR                                           infrared

IrDA                                       Infrared Data Association

IRQ                                        interrupt request

ISA                                         industry standard architecture

ISDN                                      integrated services digital network

ISO                                         Industry Standards Organization

ISP                                          internet service provider



Kb                                           kilobit

KB                                          kilobyte


LAN                                       local area network

LBA                                       Logical block addressing

LC                                          Lucent connector

LCD                                       liquid crystal display

LDAP                                     Lightweight directory access protocol

LED                                        light emitting diode

LIP or LiPoly                        lithium-ion polymer

Li-on                                      lithium-ion

LPD/LPR                               line printer daemon / line printer remote

LPT                                        line printer terminal

LPT1                                      line printer terminal 1

LPX                                        low profile extended

LVD                                       low voltage differential


MAC                                      media access control

MAN                                      metropolitan area network

MAPI                                     messaging application programming interface

Mb                                          megabit

MB                                         megabyte

MBR                                      master boot record

MBSA                                    Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer

MCR                                      multivariant curve resolution

MFD                                       multi-function device

MFP                                       multi-function product

MHz                                       megahertz

MicroDIMM                         micro dual inline memory module

MIDI                                      musical instrument digital interface

MIME                                    multipurpose internet mail extension

MLI                                        multiple link interface

MMC                                     Microsoft management console

MMX                                     multimedia extensions

MP3                                       Moving Picture Experts Group Layer 3 Audio

MPEG                                    Moving Picture Experts Group

MSCONFIG                          Microsoft configuration

MSDS                                    material safety data sheet

MUI                                       multilingual user interface


NAS                                        network-attached storage

NAT                                       network address translation

NetBIOS                                networked basic input/output system

NetBEUI                               networked basic input/output system extended user interface

NFS                                        network file system

NIC                                        network interface card

NiCd                                       nickel cadmium

NiMH                                     nickel metal hydride

NLI                                         not logged in or natural language interface

NLX                                       new low-profile extended

NNTP                                     network news transfer protocol

NTFS                                      new technology file system

NTLDR                                  new technology loader

NWLINK                               Netware Link


OCR                                       optical character recognition

OEM                                      original equipment manufacturer

OMR                                      optical mark recognition

OS                                           operating system

OSR                                        original equipment manufacturer service release


PAN                                        personal area network

PATA                                     parallel advanced technology attachment

PC                                           personal computer

PCI                                         peripheral component interconnect

PCIe                                       peripheral component interconnect express

PCIX                                      peripheral component interconnect extended

PCL                                        printer control language

PCMCIA                               Personal Computer Memory Card International Association

PDA                                        personal digital assistant

PGA                                        pin grid array

PGA2                                     pin grid array 2

PIN                                         personal identification number

PKI                                         public key infrastructure

PnP                                         plug and play

POP                                        post office protocol

POP3                                      post office protocol 3

POST                                      power-on self test

POTS                                      plain old telephone service

PPP                                         point-to-point protocol

PPTP                                      point-to-point tunneling protocol

PRI                                         primary rate interface

PROM                                    programmable read-only memory

PS/2                                        Personal System/2 connector

PSTN                                      public switched telephone network

PVC                                        permanent virtual circuit

PXE                                        preboot execution environment


QoS                                        quality of service


RAID                                     redundant array of independent (or inexpensive) discs

RAM                                      random access memory

RAS                                        remote access service

RBAC                                    role-based access control or rule-based access control

RDRAM                                RAMBUS® dynamic random access memory

RF                                           radio frequency

RFI                                         radio frequency interference

RGB                                       red green blue

RIMM                                   RAMBUS® inline memory module

RIP                                         routing information protocol

RIS                                         remote installation service

RISC                                      reduced instruction set computer

RJ                                           registered jack

RJ-11                                     registered jack function 11

RJ-45                                     registered jack function 45

RMA                                      returned materials authorization

ROM                                      read only memory

RS-232 or RS-232C            recommended standard 232

RTC                                       real-time clock



SAN                                        storage area network

SATA                                     serial advanced technology attachment

SC                                           subscription channel

SCSI                                       small computer system interface

SCSI ID                                 small computer system interface identifier

SD                                           card secure digital card

SDRAM                                 synchronous dynamic random access memory

SEC                                        single edge connector

SFC                                        system file checker

SGRAM                                 synchronous graphics random access memory

SIMM                                    single inline memory module

SLI                                         scalable link interface or system level integration or scanline interleave mode

SMB                                       server message block or small to midsize business

SMTP                                     simple mail transport protocol

SNMP                                    simple network management protocol

SoDIMM                               small outline dual inline memory module

SOHO                                    small office/home office

SP                                           service pack

SP1                                         service pack 1

SP2                                         service pack 2

SPDIF                                    Sony-Philips digital interface format

SPGA                                     staggered pin grid array

SPX                                        sequenced package exchange

SRAM                                    static random access memory

SSH                                        secure shell

SSID                                       service set identifier

SSL                                         secure sockets layer

ST                                           straight tip

STP                                         shielded twisted pair

SVGA                                     super video graphics array

SXGA                                     super extended graphics array


TB                                          terabyte

TCP                                        transmission control protocol

TCP/IP                                   transmission control protocol/internet protocol

TDR                                       time domain reflectometer

TFTP                                      trivial file transfer protocol


UART                                    universal asynchronous receiver transmitter

UDF                                        user defined functions or universal disk format or universal data format

UDMA                                   ultra direct memory access

UDP                                        user datagram protocol

UL                                          Underwriter’s Laboratory

UNC                                       universal naming convention

UPS                                        uninterruptible power supply

URL                                       uniform resource locator

USB                                        universal serial bus

USMT                                    user state migration tool

UTP                                        unshielded twisted pair

UXGA                                    ultra extended graphics array


VESA                                     Video Electronics Standards Association

VFAT                                     virtual file allocation table

VGA                                       video graphics array

VoIP                                       voice over internet protocol

VPN                                        virtual private network

VRAM                                   video random access memory


WAN                                      wide area network

WAP                                       wireless application protocol

WEP                                       wired equivalent privacy

WIFI                                      wireless fidelity

WINS                                     windows internet name service

WLAN                                   wireless local area network

WPA                                       wireless protected access

WUXGA                                wide ultra-extended graphics array


XGA                                       extended graphics array



ZIF                                         zero-insertion-force

ZIP                                         zigzag inline package


 Network Terminology

More to Come Soon!

 Security Terminology

More to Come Soon!


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