Technical Terms Confusing? Here’s An Explanation!

As a technician for over 20 years, I have heard a variety of terms being thrown around and I am sure a lot of these are terms you have heard at one time or another and never knew the true meaning of the word. I thought that a list of terms most people have heard along with the definitions would help to understand the variety of things that can happen to a computer, but hopefully not yours.

Hang: A totally unresponsive computer is said to be hung, or hanged. You could also use the term frozen, though hang is the accepted term used by computer nerds for generations.

This very thing happened to me just the other day. I was home on my personal PC and I needed to view a webinar on Windows Server 2008. I got ready for the webinar and when the webinar started my computer just froze. I checked with a co-worker to make sure there was nothing wrong with the website. I had to reboot my computer and when I did I was able to view the webinar. My computer had totally hung. But once the PC came back up I discovered I had a glitch…

Glitch: Whenever the computer does something strange or unexpected or behaves in a manner inconsistent with normal operation, that’s a glitch. Glitches happen to everyone.

In this case, my sound did not work. As far as I knew it was working. The sound may have not been working for weeks but you notice it missing only when you otherwise would expect it. Such is the agony of the glitch. When I asked my wife if she had any problems with the computer I got the classic “Oh yeah, I meant to tell you I think the sound is out.” Often, you fail to notice a glitch unless it does something that directly affects what you’re doing.

Bug: A bug is an error in a computer program. Despite the efforts of the best programmers, most computer software is riddled with bugs. Bugs are what cause computer glitches. Bad bugs can cause a computer to hang or crash.

Note that most of the worst bugs happen when you mix two programs together and they interact in some new and unexpected way. The term comes from the early days of computing, when a real bug (a moth) got stuck in the circuitry.

Crash: Crash is another term for a dead computer — specifically, what happens to a hard drive when it ceases operation. A crash is typically more sensational than a hang.

Remember that a hang is a freeze. A crash is typically accompanied by spectacular warning messages or weird behavior (and may indicate more than just a dying hard drive). In fact, a crashed computer may still be teasingly functional. Only the foolhardy continue to use a crashed computer.

If you have been experiencing any of the bugs, glitches, hangs or crashes make sure to visit a professional at Tech Experts as soon as possible so we can do our best to protect your vital information from disappearing forever. You can reach us at (734) 457-5000.