Tech Term: Boot

Here’s a tech term you may not have heard. It’s actually one of the first ones I learned when I started working in television back in the late 1980s.

It’s called “boot.” As in , “rebooting your computer or booting your computer up. What does it mean to “boot” your computer?

Well, it doesn’t mean kicking it to the curb, though sometimes you could be tempted when it acts up.

It simply means turning it on or turning it off and on. Starting up a computer or any other device is called “booting.”

When you turn on a computer, you’re booting it up. If you press the off button to turn your device completely off, that’s a “cold boot.”

When you select restart on a computer, that’s a re-boot also known as a “warm boot.”

It’s a running joke that tech support people ask you if you’ve tried turning it off and on, but sometimes it’s the quickest way to fix what’s ailing you.

2 thoughts on “Tech Term: Boot

  1. A few years ago I had arranged to meet someone at our library to solve a problem on her laptop. It was a very hot day. As I walked from my car to the library, I heard someone call my name and saw a hand waving from a car window. It was the woman I was meeting. Because it was a very hot day and her side of the car was in the sun, I went to the passenger’s side which was in the shade.

    The passenger window was down, and I figured she had lowered it to talk to me. I was wrong. She told me she couldn’t get out and come into the library because that window wouldn’t go down. She tried pushing the down switch a couple of times while I watched. I couldn’t see anything blocking the window, and I tried grabbing the inch or so sticking up and pulling the glass as she pushed on the switch once again. Still no luck.

    I asked her if she belonged to the state auto club. She didn’t. I said to her, “I guess you’ll have to call a mechanic. I don’t know what else we can do. Everything’s computerised these days.”

    As I said that, something clicked in my brain. I said to her, “I just thought of something else we can try. Turn off the engine.”

    She did. I said, “Now we’ll talk for a couple of minutes.”

    We did. Then I said, “Turn the engine back on and try the window switch again.”

    She did. The window rolled up.

    The thing that clicked in my brain was “turn it off and back on again”.

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