Computers: Jargon buster

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The Independent Online
Communications protocol: A set of rules or standards designed to enable computers to connect with one another and exchange information with as little error as possible.

Communications software: The programs needed to transmit and receive data over a network.

E-mail: Electronic mail - messages sent over a computer network.

Modem: (modulator/demodulator) communications equipment that enables a computer to transmit information over a telephone line or receive information from it.

Optical Character Recognition: The process by which printed characters which have been transformed by a scanner or fax into digitised, computer-readable form are 'recognised' by matching patterns of light and dark in the digitised images with stored sets of characters.

Thermal printer: A non-impact printer that uses heat to generate an image on specially treated paper.

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