Glossary - W

Wallpaper

Computer wallpaper (also known as a desktop picture or desktop background) is a custom image displayed on the background of a graphical user interface on a computer screen or any other communication device. Almost every operating system displays an image or color on the screen and typically allows users to modify it. People can use their family photos or graphic images as a desktop background. Historically the X Window System was one of the earliest systems to include support for an arbitrary image as wallpaper in 1985. Nowadays various types of wallpapers and background are available including Live wallpaper application used on mobile devices via Android™ operating system or Dynamic background in Mac OS® X, Windows® 7, GNOME® and more.

Web browsing history

The web browser history contains all recently visited web pages and sites used by a particular web browser on a specific computer. Web browser software is meant as a convenience for users by remembering the websites they visited previously so they can easily go back if necessary.

This type of web browsing retrieval can be taken a step further with the Google® Toolbar. Once installed, Google® Toolbar will keep a list of all pages that a user visits while logged in to Google®. Users then have the capability of reviewing and searching through their entire web browsing history on any computer.

Users always have the option of deleting their web browsing history as well as temporarily stopping the web browser software from monitoring and collecting this data.

Webcam

A webcam, or web camera, is a computer input device that captures images like a camera or scanner. Images are often displayed instantaneously on the Internet. Users with a fast Internet connection can capture and send images more frequently and view continuous images like video.

As prices for webcams have decreased, these devices have gained popularity. Today, many home users and companies use webcams for video communication and to protect property or people. Many cities, municipalities, cultural and sports facilities and individuals make the images captured by their webcams freely available to the public in an effort to support tourism. For this purpose, webcams are placed mainly in locations where people gather frequently, such as public squares, railway stations, famous streets, swimming pools, etc.).

The web camera was first used in 1991, when it was placed in what was known as the "Trojan room" in the Department of Computer Science at Cambridge University. The camera displayed an image of the coffee pot in an effort to save people from getting up to get coffee when the pot was empty. At the turn of the century, computer hardware manufacturers began integrating webcams directly into laptop screens and desktop computers, to eliminate the need for external USB or FireWire® cameras. Nowadays, webcams are used primarily for communication between two or more people, as opposed to capturing images for public display on the Internet.

Website

A website refers to a collection of web pages, images, videos and other files that are stored on one or more web servers and are accessible via the Internet. These files form a logical unit in content, purpose, ownership, administration, business model (for commercial websites) and others.

Website pages are usually available from a single URL that refers to the home page, which hosts links to its other available pages.  Each website has an assigned address on the Internet, known as its domain, which identifies its location.

Some websites are accessible only with a fee, a login (username and password) or inside an intranet within an organization.

Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi (or Wi-Fi, WiFi, Wifi, wi-fi, wifi) in the information technology science is a term for several standards describing the IEEE 802.11 wireless communication for computer networks (sometimes called Wireless LAN, WLAN). The name WiFi was created by the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance©. This technology uses unlicensed frequency band, which is why it is ideal for building inexpensive, yet powerful networks without laying cables.

The original purpose of the Wi-Fi networks was to provide mutual wireless connectivity between portable devices and the local area network (LAN). Later, it was used to connect wirelessly to the Internet within hotspots. Wi-Fi devices are found in practically all laptop computers and even some mobile phones. The success of Wi-Fi is in using anunlicensed band, which has negative consequences in the form of strong interruption of the spectrum and frequent security incidents. The successor of the Wi-Fi would be wireless technology WiMax, which focuses on improving the signal transmission over long distances.

Windows® Aero®

Windows® Aero® is the graphical user interface (GUI) used in almost all versions of Microsoft Windows Vista® and Windows® 7. Aero® was officially introduced with the release of the Windows Vista® Beta 1 in July 2005. “AERO” is an acronym for Authentic, Energetic, Reflective and Open. It differs from its predecessors primarily via more effective graphic design and attractive effects, such as transparent window frames and Windows® Flip 3D which allows you to organize opened windows in three-dimensional columns, and simply browse or preview opened windows on the taskbar. However, this functionality creates higher demands on memory and the graphics card. The minimum requirements recommended by Microsoft® for Windows Vista® and Windows® 7 are:

  • 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Minimum 128 MB of graphics memory that supports DirectX® 9, Windows® Display Driver Windows® Driver Model, Pixel Shader© 2.0

Windows® Aero® is not available for the following operating systems:

  • Windows Vista® Home Basic
  • Windows® 7 Starter
  • Windows® 7 Home Basic

Windows® Operating System

The Windows® operating system is produced by Microsoft® Corporation.  First introduced on November 20, 1985, the Windows® operating system made computer systems user-friendly by providing a graphical display and organizing information so that it could be easily accessed.  The early versions of the Windows® operating system ran on top of the MS-DOS® operating system and utilized icons and tools to simplify the complex operations performed by the computer. Today, an estimated 90% of personal computers use the Windows® operating system, overtaking Mac OS® which had been introduced in 1984.  The most recent client version is Windows® 7, the most recent server version is Windows Server® 2008 R2 and the most recent mobile version is Windows® Phone 7. Windows® 8 and Window Server® 8 versions are expected to be released in 2012.

Windows® registry

The Windows® registry is a system for storing keys and system passwords in the Microsoft Windows® operating system. They were first introduced in the Windows® registry 3.11, and they gained popularity with Windows® 95. The registry system is a substitution for “.ini” files, which have serious shortcomings. Logically, the registry is divided into several components called "hives." Improper interference with the registry can cause damage to the registry and fatal consequences for the functionality of Windows® itself.

The registry contains keys and values. The maximum length for a key name is 255 characters. Registry keys can contain subkeys and values. The keys and subkeys form a tree structure. Values containing data can be stored in the key and are accessed by their names. Keys in the highest level of this hierarchy are called root keys. There are a number of programs that work with the registry (such as Regedit) and can be used to backup or edit the registry, or for registry defragmentation. This enables users to change, delete, or create subkeys and values ​​contained in the registry. Performing a defragmentation reorganizes the registry entries in order to increase system performance.

Windows® service

A Windows® service is a process executed in a Windows® environment that is designed for a specific function and requires no interaction from the computer user. This service usually starts and runs at startup (boot) of the operating system and continues to run as the system is active. This concept is similar to the Unix® daemon. Services that are currently running can be managed through the "Administrative Tools" control panel via “Windows® services” or by running "Services.msc" from the "Start" menu. On the console, "Services" displays a brief description of the installed services, as well as the path to their executable files (.exe), current status, types of launch and accounts from which they were started.

 

In addition, the console enables the user to:

  • Start, stop, pause or restart the service
  • Define service parameters
  • Setting the type of run
  • Change the account to start
  • Reconfigure after error recovery

 

From the console, users can export a list of services to a text file in several formats, including csv.

Programming Windows® services can be accomplished by using Visual Studio®.


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