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  • virtual
    Something which exists only in software; a representation of something, rather than the real thing. Virtual reality is a representation of the real, physical, world.
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  • virtual learning environment (VLE)
    A piece of software used in education which provides certain features such as a place to store content, discussion groups, assessment tools, and learner tracking. Accessible via an intranet or the internet, it enables people to access classes outside the normal face to face lessons.
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  • virtual memory
    Virtual memory is used when there isn't sufficient immediate access store available. Part of a disk drive is allocated to be used as if it were main memory. When accessing these memory locations the software has to copy the contents of the relevant disk block into a reserved area of main memory, having first copied its existing contents back onto disk. This is very slow and the software will attempt to use the immediate access store if possible.
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  • virtual network
    A network where a specified group of computers can communicate with each other without detecting the presence of other stations on the physical network. Several virtual networks could share the same physical connections, without the user realising any of the other virtual networks exist. Similarly a virtual network could exist across several local area networks, or even across the internet, but other stations could not get access to it.
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  • virtual private network (VPN)
    A way of implementing a virtual network by ensuring two-way secure communications between the stations. The virtual private networking system allows a client station to communicate with the server, using the internet, to verify authenticity. The data is encrypted during transmission over the internet. It provides extra security compared with ordinary communications.
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  • virtual reality
    A computer generated environment which provides the user with the illusion of being present in that situation. Virtual reality is produced by providing feedback to our various senses: vision, hearing, movement and sometimes smell. As the user moves or acts, the image seen will change along with appropriate sound and movement.
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  • virus
    A program designed to copy itself between and within computers, and designed to cause harm to the system in some way. The virus includes instructions to do the copying automatically, via a disk or network. The virus may also include instructions to damage data (in the memory or on a disk) or affect the computer
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  • virus check
    The process of checking a computer, using anti-virus software, to ensure that it is not infected by viruses.
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  • virus definitions
    Virus definition files are used by anti-virus software to detect viruses on a computer.
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  • visual display unit (VDU)
    Any device that displays information using a display screen.
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  • vlog
    A blog that uses video.
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  • voice over internet protocol (VoIP)
    Using the internet protocol to carry voice signals. Also called internet telephony.
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  • voice recognition
    Software which recognises a voice pattern, e.g. when used to dictate directly to a computer, rather than entering data with a keyboard.
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  • voice synthesis
    Speech (or voice) synthesis is the artificial production of human speech, and a speech synthesiser (or voice synthesiser) achieves this either by the use of software or by using standard sound-generating hardware. An example of speech synthesis is a talking word processor.
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  • voice-over
    The act of putting a narration on a video after it has been filmed.
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  • volatile memory
    Volatile memory loses its data when there is no power supply to it, whereas permanent memory does not require power.