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Home > Software > Glossary




AntiVirus - This type of software employs several methods to detect malicious codes, or viruses, in layers of network and system communication. The antivirus software attempts to recognize and match virus signatures. Depending on the software, the antivirus program may notify you when it has found something, attempt to delete the virus, or quarantine the virus code (or some combination of all three) in order to protect your computer from damage.


Database Management - A category of software that provides programs to help track, organize, and update digital records. These databases can contain contact information, donation records, financial or medical data, and any number of other factors. Some database management software is designed to cater to specific kinds of information and databases.

Distribution Media - The format your software will arrive in. Usually CD-ROM, though DVD-ROMs are also common.


License Quantity - The number of users the software is designed to be used by. Most software packages have a license quantity of one. Multiple licenses are indicated by quantity as well.

License Type - The license type indicates whether your software package is a complete version or an upgrade/expansion meant to boost your current software.


Operating System - The software that allows you to navigate and operate your laptop. Using a Graphical User Interface (GUI), the software is the go between connecting you and the laptop. The most common operating systems are the Microsoft Windows family, Linux, and MAC OS.

Optical Drive - The optical drive is a read and store device. It uses lasers to read from CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs. CD-RW and DVD-RW drives are able to write, or "burn"; data onto writeable CDs and DVDs. Some DVD burners allow you to write onto Dual Layer DVDs. The newest optical drives feature HD-DVD drives or Blu-Ray Disc drives.


Package Type - Usually listed as "Retail," this indicates the type of box your software will come in. Retail indicates that the box shipped to you will be the same kind of box you will find in the store, rather than, say, a shoebox covered in newspaper.

Peer-to-Peer - This software helps to manage P2P (peer-to-peer) networks, which are used most often in file sharing (whether it is audio, video, data, or other digital files). P2P networks rely less on servers than they do on the computing power and bandwidth of the participants in the network.

Platform - The operating system you will need in order to properly install your software. Some software will work exclusively with Windows (or Windows and Linux) or Mac whereas others are compatible with both.


Suite - A software/application suite is a collection of programs that are related through functionality. They usually share a common user interface and the ability to easily exchange data among each other. And example of this is the Microsoft Office suite, which contains programs for Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and others.

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