Desktop: the whole computer screen, representing your workspace. You manipulate objects (ICONs) with the mouse in much the same way that you work with papers and other objects on your physical desktop.
On the Macintosh, the desktop is also a special file containing information about the arrangement of icons, the programs you are using, and the like. This information is saved whenever you shut the computer down and retrieved when you turn it on again.
In Windows, the desktop is a special directory for each user. It normally contains many SHORTCUTs to program files in other locations. The shortcuts are represented by files with the extension .lnk.
The desktop is not identical with the ROOT DIRECTORY of a disk; it is more like a directory containing everything on the computer, including the disk drives. In Windows, the disk drives are accessed through a desktop icon called “Computer.”
Dialog box: a window that appears in order to collect information from the user. When the user has filled in the necessary information or clicked on the appropriate buttons, the dialog box disappears. Figure 76 shows a dialog box containing several different kinds of elements. There is almost always an OK button for the user to click after filling in the information.
DNS: (domain name server) a server responsible for translating domain addresses, such as www.example.com, into IP (Internet Protocol) numbers such as 127.192.92.95. Domain name servers are interconnected so that if the nearest one cannot look up a name, it will query several other servers at various locations. Normally, when a computer is attached to the Internet, the IP address of a DNS has to be given to it as part of the setup information. However, computers that receive IP addresses through DHCP are also given DNS information automatically.
- A portion of the Internet distinguished by a particular final part of the name. For instance, www.covingtoninnovations.com and ftp.covingtoninnovations.com are two servers in the domain covingtoninnovations.com, which is a subdomain of .com, its top-level domain (TLD).
- In Windows NT and its successors, a group of networked computers that share a server and a set of user accounts.
Device driver: a program that extends the operating system in order to support a specific device, such as a disk or tape drive, video card, or printer. Device drivers are a very important part of Microsoft Windows. They insulate application programs from the hardware so that, for example, the manufacturer of a word processing program does not have to know what kind of printer you are going to be using, and if a new printer is invented in the future, you can use it even if it wasn’t anticipated when the program was written. Installation of device drivers usually happens automatically when hardware or software is installed; you can also add and remove device drivers from the Control Panel