Glossary of Computer Terms

Computer Terms Glossary

This page is meant to serve as a guide to the vast quantity of computer terms and acronyms in common use for the casual computer user. It is divided into two main sections, the first is dedicated to the basics and is meant more for beginners, while the second is meant instead to be used as a reference. In reality many of the terms in the second section are still quite common; the first section was deliberately kept as short as possible.

Terms in the second section may be looked up by either using the "find in page" function of your browser, or by appending "#term" (without the quotes and where term is the term of interest) to the "URL" or "go to" section of your browser, keeping in mind that case matters. The best method of searching for a term though is to use the Search Interface that will return not only the specific term sought but also other entries that reference it. Be aware that the terms referenced in the second part of this page will freely assume familiarity with the first part.

If you are instead actually trying to figure out what a particular filename extension means, you might instead try the filename extensions page.

If you want something added or see a problem with something already here (but keep in mind this guide is not meant to be overly technical) please send .


A virtual machine optimized for running interactive fiction, interactive tutorials, and other interactive things of a primarily textual nature. Z-Machines have been ported to almost every platform in use today. Z-machine bytecode is usually called Z-code. The Glulx virtual machine is of the same idea but somewhat more modern in concept.
The Z80 series of processors is a CISC design and is not being used in too many new stand-alone computer systems, but can still be occasionally found in embedded systems. It is the most popular processor for CP/M machines.
The Zaurus is a brand of PDA. It is generally in between a Palm and a Newton in capability.
There are three common zips in the computer world that are completely different from one another. One is a type of removable removable disk slightly larger (physically) and vastly larger (capacity) than a floppy. The second is a group of programs used for running interactive fiction. The third is a group of programs used for compression.
The Zoomer is a type of PDA. Zoomers all use GEOS for their OS and are / were produced by numerous different companies and are thus found under numerous different names. The "classic" Zoomers are known as the Z-7000, the Z-PDA, and the GRiDpad and were made by Casio, Tandy, and AST respectively. Newer Zoomers include HP's OmniGo models, Hyundai's Gulliver (which may not have actually been released to the general public), and Nokia's Communicator line of PDA / cell phone hybrids.