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alternating current Current that cycles back and forth rather than traveling in only one direction. In the United States, the AC voltage from a standard wall outlet is normally between 110 and 115 V. In Europe, the standard AC voltage from a wall outlet alternating current
antistatic wrist strap A strap you wear around your wrist. The strap has a cord attached with an alligator clip on the end. Attach the clip to the computer case you are working on to prevent static electricity. It is also called an antistatic wrist strap antistatic wrist strap
ampere or amp A unit of measurement for electrical current. One volt across a resistance of one ohm will produce a flow of one ampampere or amp
ATX The most common form factor for PC systems presently in use, originally introduced by Intel in 1995. ATX motherboards and cases make better use of space and resources than did the AT form factor ATX
ATX12V power supply A power supply that provides a 12 V power cord with a 4-pin connector to be used by the auxiliary 4-pin power connector on motherboards used to provide extra power for processorsATX12V power supply
brownouts Temporary reductions in voltage, which can sometimes cause data loss. Also called sags. brownouts
BTX (Balanced Technology Extended) The latest form factor expected to replace ATX. It has higher quality fans, is designed for better air flow, and has improved structural support for the motherboard.BTX (Balanced Technology Extended)
capacitor An electronic device that can maintain an electrical charge for a period of time and is used to smooth out the flow of electrical current. Capacitors are often found in computer power supplies. capacitor
clamping voltag The maximum voltage allowed through a surge suppressor, such as 175 or 330 volts. Ø compact case: A type of case used in low-end desktop systems. Compact cases, also called low-profile or slim-line cases, follow either the NLX, LPX,clamping voltag
data line protector A surge protector designed to work with the telephone line to a modem.data line protector
daughter card A subordinate extension of a motherboard. daughter card
diagnostic card A card that is useful when troubleshooting errors with hardware.diagnostic card
diode An electronic device that allows electricity to flow in only one direction. Used in a rectifier circuit diode
DIP (dual inline package) switch On/off switches used on older motherboards to configure the boardDIP (dual inline package) switch
direct current (DC) Current that travels in only one direction (the type of electricity provided by batteries). Computer power supplies transform AC to low DC direct current
electromagnetic interference (EMI) A magnetic field produced as a side effect from the flow of electricity. EMI can cause corrupted data in data lines that are not properly shielded electromagnetic interference
electrostatic discharge (ESD) An electrical charge at rest. Also known as static electricity electrostatic discharge
Created by: Dgrobelny