Ian Urquhart (Lead Developer, E-Haus, LLC.) gives expert video advice on: What is a "mouse"?; What is "RAM" and how much do I need?; What is a "hard drive" and how do I know what size is best for me? and more...
What is a "mouse"?
A mouse is a pointing device that is connected to the computer, that helps you point your cursor around on the desktop.
What is "RAM" and how much do I need?
RAM is Random Access Memory. You need a lot of it. RAM is memory that comes with your computer. The standard today is 512, but the more the merrier. You can always upgrade to a gig of RAM if you really use a lot of photographs. It's always better to have more than less.
What is a "hard drive" and how do I know what size is best for me?
Your hard drive is a storage device that comes with every computer. That's where you store your applications and your files. If you play with a lot of photographs, audio files or video, then you're going to want a bigger hard drive. Most computers have space for a second drive, so if you want you can always add more space. When you're getting a second hard drive, just remember that bigger is always better.
What is a "CPU"?
CPU stands for Central Processing Unit, and both Macs and PCs have one. They're basically the brain of the computer; without one, your computer won't work. The new CPUs have what is called a dual core system, which basically tricks your computer into thinking its got two brains instead of just one, and just like as for storage, more is always better.
What is a "Gigabyte"?
A Gigabyte is a unit of measure that describes storage. For example, you could fit approximately 120 minutes of audio onto a gigabyte of storage space.
What is a "Terabyte"?
A terabyte is another unit of measure that describes storage. A terabyte is a thousand gigabytes. To give you an idea, it's a hundred and twenty minutes of audio onto one gigabyte, so if you're talking about one terabyte, imagine this: the entire library of Congress could fit into approximately five hundred terabytes.
What is "compression"?
Compression applied to files, just means that you're taking something that is bigger in size and scrunching it down so its smaller in size, so you use less storage space.
What is "Codec"?
Codec stands for compression/decompression. Codec usually applies to video files. The video on the web that you see is mostly comprised of three codecs: Xvid, DivX and flash video. All these are downloadable off the web for free.
What is "hardware"?
Hardware means the physical components of your computer. Hardware includes your computer itself, your monitor, your keyboard, your mouse, your printer, your scanners, your digital camera and the wires. Anything that you can attach is basically hardware.
What is "software"?
Software is what runs your computer. If you did not have any software on your computer, when you fired it up all you would see is a blank screen. The things that you need to listen to your audio, to watch your video or to play with your pictures: all that is software.
What is a "tablet PC"?
A tablet PC is essentially an entire computer that's shrunk down onto what looks like just a LCD screen. People whose professions involve a lot of mobility usually have tablet PCs, like doctors, engineers or architects, or anybody who needs to input a lot of information on the fly without using a keyboard.