Using ETUDES: A Self-Paced Tutorial

  By Gayle L. Fornataro, Virtual Valley Student Success Coordinator



     Lesson 1
     Lesson 2
     Lesson 3
     Lesson 4
     Lesson 5
     Lesson 6
     Lesson 7
     Lesson 8
     Lesson 9
     Lesson 10
     Lesson 11
     Lesson 12
     Lesson 13
     Lesson 14
     Lesson 15
     Lesson 16
     Lesson 17
     Lesson 18
     Lesson 19
     Lesson 20
     Lesson 21
     Lesson 22
     Lesson 23
     Lesson 24
     Lesson 25
     Lesson 26
     Lesson 27
     Lesson 28







Glossary of Computer Terms

Alternate File Format: By default, every computer program saves files in its “home” format.  What this means is that if you are working in Microsoft Word, when you click “save as” the program will save your document as a Microsoft Word file.  It will have the extension “.doc”. 

Often, this is fine.  However, if you are sending attachments for others to open and read, you may need to save your file in an alternate format.  This is because not all programs and computers can read Microsoft Word files.  If the person who is trying to open your file does not use Microsoft Word, then he or she will most likely not be able to open your attached file. 

“Rich Text,” and “ASCII” are two such universal formats that most computers can open.  When you click, “save as,” one of the boxes will say “Save as type.”  The window will say “ Word Document.”  However, if you click on the arrow to the right of the window, it will list all the file types you can save your document as.  “Rich Text Format” will be one of them.  Fore detailed instructions on saving documents in Microsoft Word, see the following Microsoft Word 2000 Tutorial.

Cable ConnectionThis is a high-speed Internet connection provided by cable companies.  Also known as “broadband,” these cable lines can transmit more data than regular phone lines can.  Therefore, they provide faster Internet connections.

Basically, this is a memory file that your computer can access quickly.  When you visit a website, the cache remembers certain information, such as passwords and usernames.  If set improperly, your computer won’t remember essential data to let you access the ETUDES webpage.  Read below for more information about cache from

<memory management> /kash/ A small fast memory holding recently accessed data, designed to speed up subsequent access to the same data. Most often applied to processor-memory access but also used for a local copy of data accessible over
a network etc.

When data is read from, or written to, main memory a copy is also saved in the cache, along with the associated main memory address. The cache monitors addresses of subsequent reads to see if the required data is already in the cache. If it is (a cache hit) then it is returned immediately and the main memory read is aborted (or not started). If the data is not
cached (a cache miss) then it is fetched from main memory and also saved in the cache.

The cache is built from faster memory chips than main memory so a cache hit takes much less time to complete than a normal memory access. The cache may be located on the same integrated circuit as the CPU, in order to further reduce the access time. In this case it is often known as primary cache since there may be a larger, slower secondary cache
outside the CPU chip.

"cache." The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing. Denis Howe. 31 Oct. 2006. <>

This is a temporary memory file that your computer needs to correctly access web pages.  For more detailed information, read the definition below:

A system invented by Netscape to allow a web server to send a web browser a packet of information that will be sent back by the browser each time it accesses the same server. Cookies can contain any arbitrary information the server chooses to put in them and are used to maintain state between HTTP transactions, which are otherwise stateless. Typically this is used to authenticate or identify a registered user of a website without requiring them to sign in again every time they access it. Other uses are, e.g. maintaining a "shopping basket" of goods you have selected to purchase during a session at a site, site
personalization (presenting different pages to different users) or tracking which pages a user has visited on a site, e.g. for marketing purposes.

The browser limits the size of each cookie and the number each server can store. This prevents a malicious site consuming lots of disk space. The only information that cookies can return to the server is what that same server previously sent out. The main privacy concern is that, by default, you do not know when a site has sent or received a cookie so you are not necessarily aware that it has identified you as a returning user, though most reputable sites make this obvious by displaying your user name on the page.

After using a shared login, e.g. in an Internet cafe, you should remove all cookies to prevent the browser identifying the next user as you if they happen to visit the same sites.

"http cookie." The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing. Denis Howe. 31 Oct. 2006. < cookie>

Diskette: Many computers use a small disk to save files from a computer, so you can take them and open them on a different computer.  Here is a definition from



a small plastic magnetic disk enclosed in a stiff envelope with a radial slit; used to store data or programs for a microcomputer; "floppy disks are noted for their relatively slow speed and small capacity and low price" 

"diskette." WordNet® 2.1. Princeton University. 22 Jan. 2007. <>

Electronic Database: This is a database, or collection, of documents that can be found on the Web. The LAVC library, for example, has several databases that students can access from any computer on campus as well as on your home computer (with the proper password).  For more information, see the LAVC Library homepage.

This is a high speed internet connection provided by phone companies. Also called "broadband," these lines can carry more data than regular phone lines and, therefore, provide faster Internet connections.

Flash Drive: This is a type of storage device that plugs into your computer's USB port.  Most new computers do not come with a diskette port.  Instead, they make use of this external storage device, which is safer and can contain more information than a diskette.  Here is a lengthier description from the USB Flash Drive Alliance:

USB flash drives are compact and easy-to-use devices that are similar in use to your computer hard drive. USB flash drives slip into your pocket, conveniently around your neck or on a keychain for ultimate portable storage. USB flash drives finally fulfill the real promise of the digital age: complete freedom and mobility.

For more information, visit the USB Flash Drive Alliance on the web.

Hard Drive: This is actually where all the information is stored on your computer.  When you are working on a document, for example, the program you use is stored on your computer’s hard drive.  When you save that document, the document is also saved on your hard drive, unless you insert a diskette or flash drive and tell your computer to save the document there. 

On a PC, your hard drive is usually referred to as your “c” drive.  A diskette may be referred to as an “a” drive, and a flash drive is often called the “e” drive. 
Here is a definition of hard drive from

“The bulk of the memory of a personal computer's magnetically stored on hard disks that constitute the hard drive. Information in the hard drive is durable, in that it remains magnetically stored when the computer is turned off.”

“hard drive." The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005. 22 Jan. 2007. < drive>

Javascript: A small scripting program that runs from the website you are logged in on to make it work properly.  You really don’t need to know any more than that about javascript, expect that it must be “enabled” on your computer for the ETUDES website to work.  For directions on how to do this, see the ETUDES System Requirements webpage.  If you really want to know more about javascript, see the definition below – but beware, there’s a lot of jargon!

JavaScript language
(Formerly "LiveScript") Netscape's simple, cross-platform, World-Wide Web scripting language, only very vaguely related to Java (which is a Sun trademark). JavaScript is intimately tied to the World-Wide Web, and currently runs in only three environments - as a server-side scripting language, as an embedded language in server-parsed HTML, and as an embedded language run in web browsers where it is the most important part of DHTML.
JavaScript has a simplified C-like syntax and is tightly integrated with the browser Document Object Model. It is useful for implementing enhanced forms, simple web database front-ends, and navigation enhancements. It is unusual in that the scope of variables extends throughout the function in which they are declared rather than the smallest enclosing block as in C.
JavaScript originated from Netscape and, for a time, only their products supported it. Microsoft now supports a work-alike which they call JScript. The resulting inconsistencies make it difficult to write JavaScript that behaves the same in all browsers. This could be attributed to the slow progress of JavaScript through the standards bodies.
JavaScript runs "100x" slower than C, as it is purely interpreted (Java runs "10x" slower than C code). Netscape and allies say JavaScript is an "open standard" in an effort to keep Microsoft from monopolising web software as they have desktop software. Netscape and Sun have co-operated to enable Java and JavaScript to exchange messages and data.

"Javascript." The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing. Denis Howe. 07 Aug. 2007. <>.

An accessory software or hardware package that is used in conjunction with an existing application or device to extend its capabilities or provide additional functions.
"plug-ins." The American Heritage® Science Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Company. 22 Jan. 2007. <>


Search Engine: This is the program or website you use to search fro information on the Internet.  Here is a definition from

Web sites or software that search the Internet for documents that contain a key word, phrase, or subject that is specified by the user to the search engine. Each engine has its own method of searching for information.

"Search Engine." The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005. 22 Jan. 2007. < Engine>

Supported Browser: This is simply a web browser that is compatible with whatever software program you are using -- in this case, ETUDES-NG. A supported browser will allow all the program's tools to function properly, while a non-supported browser will cause the program to malfunction in important ways. A browser must be the correct version, as well as the correct browser. To find out which browsers (and which versions of them) are supported by ETUDES_NG for a PC click here. To supported browsers if you are using a Mac, click here.

tai chi
Tai Chi is a wellness practice, which originated China, that uses slow movements, breathing, and stretching. The movements are hundreds of years old and follow prescribed patterns, known as "forms." It is sometimes described as "moving meditation."

Web Browser
This is the program you use to view Internet sites.  Examples are Microsoft Internet Explore (IE), Mozilla Firefox, Netscape Navigator, and AOL. 

Wireless Internet:
This is an Internet connection that, instead of plugging into a phone jack on your computer, uses a wireless receiver to send Internet signals to your computer without the need for a wired connection.  This means that you can work virtually anywhere in your house, but the further away from the receiver you are, the weaker your signal will be.

Word Processing is simply using a computer program to write a letter, paper, or other text.  The following definition is from

word processing

writing, editing, and production of documents, as letters, reports, and books, through the use of a computer program or a complete computer system designed to facilitate rapid and efficient manipulation of text. Abbreviation: WP

Also, word-proc·ess·ing.
Modern Language Association (MLA):
"word processing." Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 22 Jan. 2007. < processing




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