PC Hardware

Technical Terms Beginning With F

fiber-optic cable

A cable that is made out of light-conducting glass or plastic fibers. Multiple fiber cores can be bundled in the center of its protective tubing.

filenames (also filespec)

Ways to designate files. A filename is made up of three parts-a name of up to eight characters, a period, and extension of up to three characters. The name can include any number, character, or the following symbols: _()~'!%$&#. For example: "myfile.doc." Spaces cannot be used in MS-DOS filenames.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

1) An application used for transferring files to and from another computer, usually over the Internet.

2) The protocol by means of which these transfers take place.


A gateway with special security software. It intercepts and inspects packets of data moving between an organization's main computer system and the Internet. It allows only authorized access and is a major defense against certain types of hacker attacks.

floppy disk drive

Low-capacity magnetic removable storage drive.

form factor

The standard physical configuration of a typical device such as a motherboard or a 3.5-inch hard disk drive.


Scattering of data in files throughout a disk drive caused by the continual addition and deletion of files. Although not harmful to the computer, fragmentation will slow down a hard drive because it causes the computer to access two or more places to retrieve a file.