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Hard Disk: A magnetic disk on which you can store computer data (also called a hard drive). Unlike floppy disks, hard disks cannot be easily removed from the computer and, hence, are not portable. Hard disks hold more data and are faster than floppy disks. A hard disk, for example, can store anywhere from 10 megabytes to several gigabytes, whereas most floppy disks have a maximum storage capacity of 1.4 megabytes.

Hard-Disk Loading: When a computer hardware reseller loads unauthorized copies of software onto the machines it sells.

Hardware: The physical components of a computer system.

Intellectual Property Rights: The legal rights persons have to prevent others from using without permission certain kinds of intangible property. The objective of laws protecting intellectual property rights is to promote innovation and creativity. These laws take a number of different forms, including laws protecting “patents,” which govern rights in inventions; “copyrights,” which govern rights in software, books, movies and music; “trademarks,” which protect the reputation of the entity that owns a mark and “trade secrets,” which safeguard valuable business information.

LAN: Local-area network. A computer network that spans a relatively small area. A LAN lets you share files as well as devices such as printers or CD-ROM drives. A LAN can be connected to other LANs over any distance via telephone lines and radio waves; a system of LANs connected in this way is called a wide-area network (WAN).

License: A legally binding agreement in which one party grants certain rights and privileges to another. In the computer field, a software publisher will typically grant a nonexclusive right (license) to a user to use one copy of its software and prohibit further copying and distribution of that software to another user.

License Misuse: When software is distributed in channels outside those allowed by the license, or used in ways restricted by the license.

Malware: Software such as viruses or Trojans designed to cause damage or disruption to a computer system

Modem: A device or program that enables a computer to transmit data over telephone or cable lines.

NFR: NFR (not for resale) is software that is distributed by some publishers for demonstrations or other limited purposes.

Network Operating System: An operating system that includes special functions for connecting computers and devices into a local-area network (LAN). A network operating system coordinates a network’s primary functions, such as file transfer and print queuing.

OEM: Original equipment manufacturer. This is distributed with hardware, generally a new PC. The license usually prohibits distribution without a new PC.

Online Software Theft: When individuals download unauthorized copies of software from the Internet.

Operating System: The master control program that translates the user’s commands and allows application programs to interact with the computer’s hardware. Every general-purpose computer must have an operating system to run other programs. Operating systems perform basic tasks, such as recognizing input from the keyboard, sending output to the display screen, keeping track of files and directories on the disk and controlling peripheral devices such as disk drives and printers. Common operating systems include DOS, Windows and Mac OS.

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