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  • Writer's pictureJeff Bohr

Tech Terms

Often, you see or hear an abbreviated term such as AI or OLED and wonder, “What does that stand for?” This list will explain some of the most common terms and abbreviations you may encounter. These are all covered in my digital book, Balance: Finding Your Place Between Life and Technology. The book is available for all Apple devices using the Books app. You can pick up a copy here:


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the ability of machines to act in a manner similar to human problem-solving. Watson, the computer that beat Ken Jennings at Jeopardy! and Facebook’s software that can describe photos to blind people are both forms of AI.

AI predicted my flight delay, and I was able to spend an extra hour at the beach before heading back to Wisconsin.


A blog is a regularly updated website or web page, usually run by an individual or small group. They are often written in an informal or conversational style.

My daughter-in-law has a blog about her pet-sitting business, it is quite entertaining to read!


Bluetooth is a standard for the short-range wireless interconnection of mobile phones, computers, and other electronic devices.

You can connect a portable Bluetooth speaker to your phone to listen to music at the beach.


A bookmark, or favorite, records the address of (a website, file, etc.) to enable quick access in the future.

You can create a bookmark for quick access to an airline or shopping site so you can get there with one click.

The Cloud

The cloud is just someone else’s computer. You can usually access it from any device connected to the internet.

I used iCloud to share my 1,000-page family history with all my living relatives.


Cookies are small bits of data left on your computer after visiting websites. Cookies are what cause ads for black boots to appear on every page you visit, just after you were searching for black boots on Google. The searches left cookies that the new website read so they could suggest ads. For the most part, there is no personal information in cookies, though they could reveal your browser and other information that you enter into a website, even your email address.

I deleted my cookies to help clean up some digital cobwebs.

Digital Cobwebs

Digital cobwebs are what I call the data and temporary files that accumulate in devices over time, and usually can be solved with a restart.

Restarting your computer can clear up digital cobwebs that are causing slow email or internet.


The Domain Name System, or DNS, serves as the reverse phone book for the Internet by translating human-friendly computer hostnames into IP addresses. For example, the domain name translates to the IP address of, they both take you to the same site. It’s a lot easier to type and remember than a string of numbers!

The DNS for translates to the IP address


Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is a computer language devised to allow website creation. If you look at the raw data of a web page, it will look like a lot of gibberish, this is HTML.

My son learned HTML; he is now a millionaire designing web pages.


Internet Mail Access Protocol, or IMAP, is a method of email delivery useful when accessing email on multiple devices. With an IMAP account, mail that has been read shows as read on all devices, and sent messages are shown on all devices, as are draft messages. IMAP refers to the incoming mail settings, and SMTP settings are for outgoing emails.

I was able to pull up a message sent on my MacBook on my iPad because I have an IMAP mail service.


The internet is the globally connected system of networks using Internet Protocol (IP) to link devices around the world. It is also referred to as the World Wide Web.

The internet at our cabin in North Carolina is a lot slower than in our home in Naples.

IP address

An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication.

Your computer has a unique IP Address assigned by your Internet Service Provider (ISP).


Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is the company you pay a fee to for access to the internet. No matter the kind of internet access (cable, DSL, dial-up), an ISP provides you or your business with a piece of a larger pipe to the internet.

Xfinity, Summit, and HotWire are ISP providers in the Naples, Florida area.

Keyboard Shortcut

A keyboard shortcut is a combination of keys that, when pressed simultaneously, perform some task that ordinarily requires the use of a mouse or other input device.

+ Shift + 5 takes a screenshot on any Mac.


MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging Service. It was built using the same technology as SMS to allow SMS users to send multimedia content such as photos, videos, audio files, and other media. In the real world, no one says SMS or MMS, they usually just say ‘text message’ or ‘text’

The message from the birthday party showed my granddaughter blowing out her candles.


Phishing is a cybercrime in which a target or targets are contacted by email, telephone, or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords. See Chapter Five for more information on Phishing.

I almost fell for a phishing attempt; it looked like Chase Bank but was a fraudulent website.


Post Office Protocol, or POP, is a method of mail delivery where the device that downloads the message is where it stays, it is not available on other devices and is removed from the server. POP mail was more common when everyone just had one computer that they read email on, most modern email uses IMAP service.

Because I have POP service, the email I sent on my iPhone does not appear in the sent messages on my MacBook.


SMS stands for Short Message Service. It is the method by which most text messages are sent between cell phones. Note: in the real world, no one says SMS or MMS, they usually just say ‘text message’ or ‘text’

I was sent a text message from my daughter about the birthday party.


Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is the method used for sending email messages. SMTP is for outgoing mail; IMAP is for incoming mail.

My SMTP port was set to 25, and it should have been set to 587. Once I fixed that, my email was working again!


A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is simply the address of a World Wide Web page. is a URL.


Typing “www” before a web address is a habit that is no longer necessary. Before the current URL system was fully implemented, this was a requirement for getting to a web page.

I no longer type “www” before the web page name, I just type in “”


5G is the fifth-generation cell phone technology, replacing 4G in the coming years. Using a higher frequency than current 4G phones, the 5G networks may eventually deliver download speeds of up to ten gigabits per second.

With the 5G signal I was getting in Dallas; it only took 90 seconds to download the new James Bond movie.


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