'computer: terms used in computing'
absolute addressaccessto obtain or retrieve (information) from a storage deviceaccess timethe time required to retrieve a piece of stored informationaddressa number giving the location of a piece of stored information address busADSLasynchronous digital subscriber lineadwarea type of computer software that collects information about a user's browsing patterns in order to display relevant advertisements in his or her Web browser algorithma logical arithmetical or computational procedure that if correctly applied ensures the solution of a problem alpha-testan in-house test of a new or modified piece of computer software analogue computerAND gatean electrical circuit that combines two signals so that the output is on if both signals are presentantivirusa piece of software designed to prevent viruses entering a computer system or network appleta computer program that runs within a page on the internet application programa computer program that is written and designed for a specific need or purpose architecturethe internal organization of a computer's components with particular reference to the way in which data is transmitted archival storagea method of retaining information outside of the internal memory of a computer areaany part of a computer memory assigned to store data of a specified type arraya regular data structure in which individual elements may be located by reference to one or more integer index variables, the number of such indices being the number of dimensions in the array artificial intelligence or AIthe study of the modelling of human mental functions by computer programs ASCIIa standard computer code used to facilitate the interchange of information among various types of data-processing equipment assembleto run (a computer program) that converts a set of symbolic data, usually in the form of specific single-step instructions, into machine languageassemblera type of computer program that converts a program written in assembly language into machine code assembly languagea low-level programming language that allows a programmer complete control of the machine code to be generated audio responsea computer response that is audible rather than textual or graphical automatic repeata key on the keyboard of a typewriter, computer, etc, which, when depressed continuously, produces the character repeatedly until the key is released backbone(in computer networks) a large-capacity, high-speed central section by which other network segments are connected backing storea computer storage device, usually a disk, that provides additional storage space for information so that it can be accessed and referred to when required and may be copied into the processor if needed backupa file or set of files copied for security purposes bandwidththe rate at which information can be transmitted along or to an electronic communications line, device, etc.base addressbatch processinga system by which the computer programs of a number of individual users are submitted to the computer as a single batch beta-testa test of a new or modified piece of computer software by customers who volunteer to do so binary notationa number system having a base of two, numbers being expressed by sequences of the digits 0 and 1: used in computing, as 0 and 1 can be represented electrically as off and on bit or binary digita unit of capacity of a computer, consisting of an element of its physical structure capable of being in either of two states, such as a switch with on and off positions, or a microscopic magnet capable of alignment in two directions BitTorrent(trademark)a file transfer protocol which enables users to upload and download large files on the internet in the form of software, games, film, video, music, etc, from other users rather than from a central server black boxa self-contained unit in an electronic or computer system whose circuitry need not be known to understand its function Bluetootha short-range radio technology that allows wireless communication between a computer and a keyboard, between mobile phones, etc boilerplatea set of instructions incorporated in several places in a computer program or a standard form of words used repeatedly in drafting contracts, guarantees, etc bombboot or bootstrapa protective covering over a mechanical device, such as a rubber sheath protecting a coupling joining two shafts bottom-up processinga processing technique, either in the brain or in a computer, in which incoming information is analysed in successive steps and later-stage processing does not affect processing in earlier stages bpibits per inch (used of a computer tape or disk surface)branch instructiona machine-language or assembly-language instruction that causes the computer to branch to another instruction broadbanda transmission technique using a wide range of frequencies that enables messages to be sent simultaneously, used in fast internet connectionsbuffera memory device for temporarily storing data bugan error or fault, as in a machine or system, esp in a computer or computer program buggy(of a system or machine, esp a computer program) containing errors or faultsbulletin boarda facility on a computer network allowing any user to leave messages that can be read by any other user, and to download software and information to the user's own computer bundle to sell (computer hardware and software) as one indivisible package bus or busbar an electrical conductor, maintained at a specific voltage and capable of carrying a high current, usually used to make a common connection between several circuits in a system a group of such electrical conductors at a low voltage, used for carrying data in binary form between the various parts of a computer or its peripheralsbus masterbytea group of bits, usually eight, processed as a single unit of data cache memorya small area of memory in a computer that can be accessed very quickly CADCAMcomputer-aided design and computer-aided manufactureCAIcomputer-aided instructionCALcomputer-aided (or -assisted) learningCAMcomputer-aided manufactureCATcomputer-aided teachingcapturethe act or process of inserting or transferring data into a computer CD-ROMcompact disc read-only memory; a compact disc used with a computer system as a read-only optical diskcharacterany letter, numeral, etc, which is a unit of information and can be represented uniquely by a binary pattern chipseta highly integrated circuit on the motherboard of a computer that controls many of its data transfer functions CIMcomputer input on microfilm; computer integrated manufactureclip arta large collection of simple drawings stored in a computer from which items can be selected for incorporation into documents clockan electronic pulse generator that transmits streams of regular pulses to which various parts of the computer and its operations are synchronized codeto write computer programs COMa process in which a computer output is converted direct to microfiche or film, esp 35 or 16 millimetre film commanda military unit or units commanding a specific area or function, as in the RAF command languagethe language used to access a computer system communicationsthe system of routes and facilities by which forces, supplies, etc, are moved up to or within an area of operations compatiblecapable of being used together without special modification or adaptationcompilera computer program by which a high-level programming language, such as COBOL or FORTRAN, is converted into machine language that can be acted upon by a computer complex instruction set computer or CISCcomputer-aided design or CADthe use of computer techniques in designing products, esp involving the use of computer graphics computer-aided engineeringthe use of computers to automate manufacturing processes computerateable to use computersCBTcomputer-based trainingcomputer conferencingthe conduct of meetings through the use of computer-based telecommunications computer graphicsthe use of a computer to produce and manipulate pictorial images on a video screen, as in animation techniques or the production of audiovisual aids computerizeto cause (certain operations) to be performed by a computer, esp as a replacement for human labourcomputer sciencethe study of computers and their application computer typesettinga system for the high-speed composition of type by a device driven by punched paper tape or magnetic tape that has been processed by a computer concordancean index produced by computer or machine, alphabetically listing every word in a text concurrent processingthe ability of a computer to process two or more programs in parallel condition codesa set of single bits that indicate specific conditions within a computer. The values of the condition codes are often determined by the outcome of a prior software operation and their principal use is to govern choices between alternative instruction sequences configurationthe particular choice of hardware items and their interconnection that make up a particular computer system connectivitythe state of being connected to the internet; computing the capacity of a machine or appliance to be connected to other machines, appliances, or facilitiesconstanta specific quantity that is always invariablecontrol commandskeyed instructions conveyed to a computer by using the control key in conjunction with the standard keys cookiea piece of data downloaded to a computer by a website, containing details of the preferences of that computer's user which identify the user when revisiting that website core memorythe main memory of a computer that uses the magnetization of small ferrite rings to store dataco-routinea section of a computer program similar to but differing from a subroutine in that it can be left and re-entered at any point corrupt(of computer programs or data) containing errorscrash(of a computer system or program) to fail suddenly and completely because of a malfunctioncross assembleran assembler that runs on a computer other than the one for which it assembles programs cursorany of various means, typically a flashing bar or underline, of identifying a particular position on a computer screen, such as the insertion point for text cut and pastea technique used in word processing by which a section of text can be moved within a document cybercaféa café with computer equipment that gives public access to the internet cyberpunka genre of science fiction that features rebellious computer hackers and is set in a dystopian society integrated by computer networks cyberspaceall of the data stored in a large computer or network represented as a three-dimensional model through which a virtual-reality user can move cycleone oscillation of the regular voltage waveform used to synchronize processes in a digital computer DACdatathe information operated on by a computer program data bankdatabasea systematized collection of data that can be accessed immediately and manipulated by a data-processing system for a specific purpose database managementthe maintenance of information stored in a computer system databusthe electrical pathway used to transfer data between components of a computer data captureany process for converting information into a form that can be handled by a computer dataflow architecturea means of arranging computer data processing in which operations are governed by the data present and the processing it requires rather than by a prewritten program that awaits data to be processed data processinga sequence of operations performed on data, esp by a computer, in order to extract information, reorder files, etc data protection(in Britain) safeguards for individuals relating to personal data stored on a computer data structurean organized form, such as an array list or string, in which connected data items are held in a computer Datel(trademark)a British Telecom service providing for the direct transmission of data from one computer to another debuggingthe process of locating and removing faults in computer programs decision support systema system in which one or more computers and computer programs assist in decision-making by providing information decision tablea table within a computer program that specifies the actions to be taken when certain conditions arise defaultthe preset selection of an option offered by a system, which will always be followed except when explicitly altered desktopthe main screen display on a personal computer, from which windows may be opened and programs run desktop publishing or DTPa means of publishing reports, advertising, etc, to typeset quality using a desktop computer development systema computer system, including hardware and software, that is specifically designed to aid in the development of software and interfaces devicea piece of computer hardware that is designed for a specific function digitany of the ten Arabic numerals from 0 to 9digital computeran electronic computer in which the input is discrete rather than continuous, consisting of combinations of numbers, letters, and other characters written in an appropriate programming language and represented internally in binary notation digital founta typeface of which the letter-shapes have been converted into digital form so that they can be used in computer-aided typesetting digital imagingdigital mappinga method of preparing maps in which the data is stored in a computer for ease of access and updating digital watermarkdigitizeto transcribe (data) into a digital form so that it can be directly processed by a computerdigitizedrecorded or stored in digital formdirect access or random accessdirect memory access or DMAa process in which data may be moved directly to or from the main memory of a computer system by operations not under the control of the central processing unit directoryan area of a disk, Winchester disk, or floppy disk that contains the names and locations of files currently held on that disk disassemblera computer program that translates machine code into assembly language distributed array processora type of computer system that uses a coordinated array of separate processors applied to a single problem distributed logica computer system in which remote terminals and electronic devices, distributed throughout the system, supplement the main computer by doing some of the computing or decision making documenta piece of text or text and graphics stored in a computer as a file for manipulation by document processing software document readera device that reads and inputs into a computer marks and characters on a special form, as by optical or magnetic character recognition DOS or disk operating system (trademark)an operating system that resides on a disk dot-matrix printera printer in which each character is produced as an array of dots by a printheaddownloada file transferred onto a computer from another computer or the internet downsize to upgrade (a computer system) by replacing a mainframe or minicomputer with a network of microcomputersdowntimethe time during which a computer or computer system is down, or inoperative, due to hardware or software failuredumb terminala computer terminal without an independent data-processing capacity dumpa place or area where waste materials are dumped dpidots per inch: a measure of the resolution of a typesetting machine, computer screen, etcdrivera computer program that controls a device dumpa place or area where waste materials are dumped duplexpermitting the transmission of simultaneous signals in both directions in a radio, telecommunications, or computer channelEBCDIC or extended binary-coded decimal-interchange codea standard computer code for the alphanumeric representation of data echoto display (a character) on the screen of a visual display unit as a response to receiving that character from a keyboard entrye-commercebusiness transactions conducted on the interneteditto modify (a computer file) by, for example, deleting, inserting, moving, or copying texteditora computer program that facilitates the deletion or insertion of data within information already stored in a computer EPROMerasable programmable read-only memoryelectronic flight information systems(in an aircraft) the computer-operated visual displays on the flight deck, showing information about the aircraft's state and performance in flight electronic mail or E-mailthe transmission and distribution of messages, information, facsimiles of documents, etc, from one computer terminal to another electronic officeintegrated computer systems designed to handle office work electronic publishingthe publication of information on magnetic tape, disks, etc, so that it can be accessed by a computer emulatorsoftware or hardware that allows one computer to perform the functions of, or execute programs designed for, another type of computer encryptionany system for security and fraud prevention which automatically breaks up and reorders information before it is sent via telephone lines or the Interneterror messagea message displayed on a visual display unit, printout, etc, indicating that an incorrect instruction has been given to the computer escape routinea means of leaving a computer-program sequence before its end, in order to commence another sequence exclusive OR circuita computer logic circuit having two or more input wires and one output wire and giving a high-voltage output signal if a low-voltage signal is fed to one or more, but not all, of the input wires expansion slota physical electronic interface provided in a computer system to enable extra facilities to be added easily at a later date expert systema computer program that can offer intelligent advice or make intelligent decisions using rule-based programs extranetan intranet that is modified to allow outsiders access to it, esp one belonging to a business that allows access to customers fail-safedesigned to return to a safe condition in the event of a failure or malfunctionfielda set of one or more characters comprising a unit of informationfifth-generationdenoting developments in computer design to produce machines with artificial intelligencefilea named collection of information, in the form of text, programs, graphics, etc, held on a permanent storage device such as a magnetic disk file managera program that organizes and arranges files in a computer filenamean arrangement of characters that enables a computer system to permit the user to have access to a particular file file sharingthe practice of sharing computer data or space on a network firewalla computer system that isolates another computer from the internet in order to prevent unauthorized access FireWirea proprietary name for the internationally agreed standard IEEE1394, a high-performance interface which allows for the connection of peripherals such as modems, printers, and mass storage devices firmwarea fixed form of software programmed into a read-only memory flagan indicator, that may be set or unset, used to indicate a condition or to stimulate a particular reaction in the execution of a computer program flops or floating-point operations per seconda unit for measuring the number of floating-point operations that a computer can perform in a second flowcharta diagrammatic representation of the sequence of operations or equipment in an industrial process, computer program, etc freewarecomputer software that may be distributed and used without payment front-end processora small computer that receives data from input devices and performs some initial processing tasks on it before passing it to a more powerful computer for final processing FTP or file transfer protocolfile transfer protocol; the standard protocol used to transfer files across the internet, or a similar network, between computer systems function an operational instruction for programming an electronic device, as a digital watch, computer, etc.; also, an operation performed by such a device as a result of such an instructionfunction keya key on the keyboard of a microcomputer, etc. that gives special commands to the computer fuzzy(of a computer program or system) designed to operate according to the principles of fuzzy logic, so as to be able to deal with data which is imprecise or has uncertain boundariesgatea logic circuit having one or more input terminals and one output terminal, the output being switched between two voltage levels determined by the combination of input signals gatewayhardware and software that connect incompatible computer networks, allowing information to be passed from one to another GIFa standard compressed file format used for picturesgiga-gigabyteone thousand and twenty-four megabytes global searcha word-processing operation in which a complete computer file or set of files is searched for every occurrence of a particular word or other sequence of characters graphical user interfacean interface between a user and a computer system that involves the use of a mouse-controlled screen cursor to select options from menus, make choices with buttons, start programs by clicking icons, etc graphicsthe information displayed on a visual display unit or on a computer printout in the form of diagrams, graphs, pictures, and symbols greyed out(of a navigation button, menu item, etc on a computer screen) not highlighted, indicating that the function is unavailable at a given timehackera person who breaks into the computer system of a company, government, etc handshakehard carda card or device which fits into a computer's expansion slot, with the purpose of increasing memory, graphics capacity, etc hard copycomputer output printed on paper, as contrasted with machine-readable output such as magnetic tape hardwarethe physical equipment used in a computer system, such as the central processing unit, peripheral devices, and memory hard-wired(of a circuit or instruction) permanently wired into a computer, replacing separate softwarehelp screenscomputer instructions displayed on a visual display unit hexadecimal notationa number system having a base 16; the symbols for the numbers 0–9 are the same as those used in the decimal system, and the numbers 10–15 are usually represented by the letters A–F. The system is used as a convenient way of representing the internal binary code of a computer high-level languagea computer programming language that resembles natural language or mathematical notation and is designed to reflect the requirements of a problem; examples include Ada, BASIC, C, COBOL, FORTRAN, Pascal hosta computer connected to a network and providing facilities to other computers and their users hot keya single key or combination of keys on the keyboard of a computer that carries out a series of commands hotspota place where wireless internet, esp broadband, services are provided to users of portable computers through a wireless local area network, such as in an airport, railway station, or libraryhousekeepingthe general maintenance of a computer storage system, including removal of obsolete files, documentation, security copying, etc HTMLhypertext markup language: a text description language that is used for electronic publishing, esp on the internethybrid computera computer that uses both analogue and digital techniques hypermediacomputer software and hardware that allows users to interact with text, graphics, sound, and video, each of which can be accessed from within any of the others hypertextcomputer software and hardware that allows users to create, store, and view text and move between related items easily and in a nonsequential way; a word or phrase can be selected to link users to another part of the same document or to a different document icona pictorial representation of a facility available on a computer system, that enables the facility to be activated by means of a screen cursor rather than by a textual instruction idle timetime during which a machine or a worker could be working but is not, as when one job has been completed and tooling or materials for the next are not complete or available IM or instant messagingthe online facility that allows the instant exchange of written messages between two or more people using different computers or mobile phones image enhancementa method of improving the definition of a video picture by a computer program, which reduces the lowest grey values to black and the highest to white: used for pictures from microscopes, surveillance cameras, and scanners incremental plottera device that plots graphs on paper from computer-generated instructions incremental recordera device for recording data as it is generated, usually on paper tape or magnetic tape, and feeding it into a computer infectto affect with a computer virusinformation technologythe technology of the production, storage, and communication of information using computers and microelectronics initializeto assign an initial value to (a variable or storage location) in a computer programinputthe data fed into a computer from a peripheral device input devicea peripheral device that accepts data and feeds it into a computer input/output or I/Othe data or information that is passed into or out of a computer installto transfer (computer software) from a distribution file to a permanent location on disk, and prepare it for its particular environment and applicationinstructiona part of a program consisting of a coded command to the computer to perform a specified function intelligent knowledge-based system or IKBSa computer system in which the properties of a database and an expert system are combined to enable the system to store and process data and make deductions from stored data intelligent terminala computer operating terminal that can carry out some data processing, as well as sending data to and receiving it from a central processor interactiveallowing or relating to continuous two-way transfer of information between a user and the central point of a communication system, such as a computer or televisioninteractive videoa computer-optical disk system that displays still or moving video images as determined by computer program and user needs Internetthe single worldwide computer network that interconnects other computer networks, on which end-user services, such as World Wide Web sites or data archives, are located, enabling data and other information to be exchanged interpretera program that translates a second program to machine code one statement at a time and causes the execution of the resulting code as soon as the translation is completed interruptthe signal to initiate the stopping of the running of one computer program in order to run another, after which the running of the original program is usually continued intranetan internal network that makes use of internet technology ISDNintegrated services digital network: a rapid telecommunications network, combining data transfer and telephonyiTunes(trademark)a computer application enabling users to download music from the internet, create and order playlists, etc joba unit of work for a computer consisting of a single complete task submitted by a user JPEG a standard file format for compressing pictures by disposing of redundant pixelskey into enter (information or instructions) in a computer or other device by means of a keyboard or keypadkilo-kilobyte1024 bytes LANlocal area networklanguage lapheld(esp of a personal computer) small enough to be used on one's lap; portablelaptopa personal computer that is small and light enough to be operated on the user's lap legacysurviving computer systems, hardware, or software linked lista list in which each item contains both data and a pointer to one or both neighbouring items, thus eliminating the need for the data items to be ordered in memory livewarethe programmers, systems analysts, operating staff, and other personnel working in a computer system loada device that receives or dissipates the power from an amplifier, oscillator, generator, or some other source of signals local area networkthe linking of a number of different devices by cable within a system locationthe act or process of locating or the state of being located logic bomban unauthorized program that is inserted into a computer system; when activated it interferes with the operation of the computer logic circuitan electronic circuit used in computers to perform a logical operation on its two or more input signals. There are six basic circuits, the AND, NOT, NAND, OR, NOR, and exclusive OR circuits, which can be combined into more complex circuits logic programmingthe study or implementation of computer programs capable of discovering or checking proofs of formal expressions or segments loginthe process by which a computer user logs in log outthe process by which a computer user logs out loopa series of instructions in a program, performed repeatedly until some specified condition is satisfied low-level languagea computer programming language that is closer to machine language than to human language machine codeinstructions for the processing of data in a binary, octal, or hexadecimal code that can be understood and executed by a computer machine learninga branch of artificial intelligence in which a computer generates rules underlying or based on raw data that has been fed into it machine readable(of data) in a form in which it can be fed into a computermachine translationthe production of text in one natural language from that in another by means of computer procedures macroa single computer instruction that initiates a set of instructions to perform a specific task magnetic bubblea small round magnetic domain induced by a magnetic field in a thin film of magnetic material, used in certain types of computer memories mailbox(on a computer) the directory in which e-mail messages are stored; also used of the icon that can be clicked to provide access to e-mails mainframea high-speed general-purpose computer, usually with a large storage capacity main memorythe central memory-storage facility in a computer malwarea computer program designed specifically to damage or disrupt a system, such as a virus managera computer program that organizes a resource, such as a set of files or a database mega-megabyte220 or 1 048 576 bytes memory mappinga technique whereby computer peripherals may be addressed as though they formed part of the main memory of the computer menua list of options displayed on a visual display unit from which the operator selects an action to be carried out by positioning the cursor or by depressing the appropriate key menu-driven(of a computer system) operated through menusmicrocomputera small computer in which the central processing unit is contained in one or more silicon chips microprocessora single integrated circuit performing the basic functions of the central processing unit in a small computer midia generally accepted specification for the external control of electronic musical instrumentsminicomputera small comparatively cheap digital computer modulea self-contained unit or item, such as an assembly of electronic components and associated wiring or a segment of computer software, which itself performs a defined task and can be linked with other such units to form a larger system morphinga computer technique used for graphics and in films, in which one image is gradually transformed into another image without individual changes being noticeable in the process MPEGa standard file format for compressing video images and audio soundsMP3a format for processing a digital audio file so as to remove unneeded data and produce a smaller file for transmission on the Internet, for use in portable players, etc. multiaccessa system in which several users are permitted to have apparently simultaneous access to a computer multiprogramminga time-sharing technique by which several computer programs are each run for a short period in rotation multi-threadedmulti-user(of a computer) capable of being used by several people at onceNAND circuit or gatea computer logic circuit having two or more input wires and one output wire that has an output signal if one or more of the input signals are at a low voltage networka system of interconnected computer systems, terminals, and other equipment allowing information to be exchanged neurocomputer or neural computera type of computer designed to mimic the action of the human brain by use of an electronic neural network nodean interconnection point on a computer network NOR gatea digital logic gate that gives an output of 0 when any of its inputs are 1, otherwise 1notebook computera portable computer smaller than a laptop model, often approximately the size of a sheet of A4 paper NOT circuita logic circuit that has a high-voltage output signal if the input signal is low, and vice versa: used extensively in computersobject programa computer program translated from the equivalent source program into machine language by the compiler or assembler OEM or original equipment manufacturerofflinedisconnected from a computer; switched offonlineof or relating to the internet online shopping; of, relating to, or concerned with a peripheral device that is directly connected to and controlled by the central processing unit of a computeropen(of software or a computer system) designed to an internationally agreed standard in order to allow communication between computers, irrespective of size, manufacturer, etcopen source intellectual property, esp computer source code, that is made freely available to the general public by its creatorsoperating systemthe set of software that controls the overall operation of a computer system, typically by performing such tasks as memory allocation, job scheduling, and input/output control optimizeto write or modify (a computer program) to achieve maximum efficiency in storage capacity, time, cost, etcOR gatea digital logic gate that gives an output of 1 when any of its inputs are 1, otherwise 0outputthe information produced by a computer overflowa condition that occurs when numeric operations produce results too large to store in the memory space assigned to it packagea set of programs designed for a specific type of problem in statistics, production control, etc, making it unnecessary for a separate program to be written for each problem packeta unit into which a larger piece of data is broken down for more efficient transmission packet switchingthe concentration of data into units that are allocated an address prior to transmissionpalettethe available range of colours or patterns that can be displayed by a computer on a visual display unit palmtop computera computer that has a small screen and compressed keyboard and is small enough to be held in the hand, often used as a personal organizer parallel processingthe performance by a computer system of two or more simultaneous operations parity checka check made of computer data to ensure that the total number of bits of value 1 (or 0) in each unit of information remains odd or even after transfer between a peripheral device and the memory or vice versa parsera program or part of a program that interprets input to a computer by recognizing key words or analysing sentence structure passworda sequence of characters used to gain access to a computer system patcha small set of instructions to correct or improve a computer program patchboarda device with a large number of sockets into which electrical plugs can be inserted to form many different temporary circuits: used in telephone exchanges, computer systems, etcPC or personal computera small inexpensive computer used in word processing, playing computer games, etc PDAa hand-held, electronic device equipped with a microprocessor, for storing personal information PDFportable document format: a format in which documents may be viewedpersonal computer or PCa small inexpensive computer used in word processing, playing computer games, etc piggybacka system whereby a vehicle, aircraft, etc, is transported for part of its journey on another vehicle, such as a flat railway wagon, another aircraft, etc pixelany of a number of very small picture elements that make up a picture, as on a visual display unitplatforma specific type of computer hardware or computer operating system plug compatible(of a peripheral device) designed to be plugged into computer systems produced by different manufacturerspodcastan audio file similar to a radio broadcast, which can be downloaded and listened to on a computer, mp3 player, mobile phone, etc pointerpolymorphic functiona function in a computer program that can deal with a number of different types of data pop-upsomething that appears over or above the open window on a computer screen portable(of software, files, etc) able to be transferred from one type of computer system to anotherpower downto shut down (a computer system) in a methodical way, concluding by switching the power offpower upto switch on the power to (a computer system)printouta piece of paper on which information from a computer or similar device has been printed procedureanother name for subroutineprocessa distinct subtask of a computer system which can be regarded as proceeding in parallel with other subtasks of the system programa sequence of coded instructions fed into a computer, enabling it to perform specified logical and arithmetical operations on data program generatora computer program that can be used to help to create other computer programs programmable read only memory or PROMa type of ROM chip that can be programmed to a particular user's needs programmera person who writes a program so that data may be processed by a computer programming languagea simple language system designed to facilitate the writing of computer programs program statementa single instruction in a computer program promptan aid to the operator of a computer in the form of a question or statement that appears on the screen showing that the equipment is ready to proceed and indicating the options available protocolthe set form in which data must be presented for handling by a particular computer configuration, esp in the transmission of information between different computer systems query languagethe instructions and procedures used to retrieve information from a database queuea list in which entries are deleted from one end and inserted at the otherqueuing theorya mathematical approach to the rate at which components queue to be processed by a machine, instructions are accessed by a computer, orders need to be serviced, etc, to achieve the optimum flow random access memory or RAMsemiconductor memory in which all storage locations can be rapidly accessed in the same amount of time. It forms the main memory of a computer, used by applications to perform tasks while the device is operating rasterto use web-based technology to turn (a digital image) into a large picture composed of a grid of black and white dotsread into read (data) into a computer memory or storage deviceread outthe act of retrieving information from a computer memory or storage device read only memory or ROMcomputer memory whose contents can be read but not altered real-time processingdata-processing by a computer which receives constantly changing data, such as information relating to air-traffic control, travel booking systems, etc, and processes it sufficiently rapidly to be able to control the source of the data rebootto shut down and restart (a computer system) or (of a computer system) to shut down and restartrecord(in some computer languages) a data structure designed to allow the handling of groups of related pieces of information as though the group were a single entity remote accessaccess to a computer from a physically separate terminal rerunthe repeat of a part of a computer program reserved worda word in a programming language or computer system that has a fixed meaning and therefore cannot be redefined by a programmer reseta device for resetting instruments, controls, etc restricted users groupa group of people who, with knowledge of a secret password, or by some other method, have access to restricted information stored in a computer retrievala computer filing operation that recalls records or other data from a file RISC or reduced instruction set computera computer that works on a kind of architecture that has a relatively small set of computer instructions that it can perform robustnessthe ability of a computer system to cope with errors during execution routinea program or part of a program performing a specific function runa period of time during which a machine, computer, etc, operates run timethe time during which a computer program is executed screensavera computer program that reduces screen damage resulting from an unchanging display when a computer is switched on but not in use by blanking the screen or generating moving patterns, etc screenshotan image created by copying part or all of the display on a computer screen at a particular moment, for example in order to demonstrate the use of a piece of software scrollto move (text) from right to left or up and down on a screen in order to view text that cannot be contained within a single display imageSCSI or Small Computer Systems InterfaceSmall Computer Systems Interface: a system for connecting a computer to peripheral devices search enginea service provided on the internet enabling users to search for items of interestsenseto test or locate the position of (a part of computer hardware) sequential accessa method of reaching and reading data from a computer file by reading through the file from the beginning serial access memory or SAMserial processingservera computer or program that supplies data or resources to other machines on a network SGMLstandard generalized mark-up language: an international standard used in publishing for defining the structure and formatting of documentssharewaresoftware available to all users without the need for a licence and for which a token fee is requested shell programa basic low-cost computer program that provides a framework within which the user can develop the program to suit his personal requirements skinningsmart carda plastic card with integrated circuits used for storing and processing computer data softwarethe programs that can be used with a particular computer system software engineeringthe process of writing computer programs sortto arrange (computer information) by machine in an order convenient to the computer user source documenta document that has been or will be transcribed to a word processor or to the memory bank of a computer source programan original computer program written by a programmer that is converted into the equivalent object program, written in machine language, by the compiler or assembler spamunsolicited electronic mail or text messages sent in this way speech recognitionthe understanding of continuous speech by a computer spreadsheeta computer program that allows easy entry and manipulation of figures, equations, and text, used esp for financial planning and budgeting spritean icon in a computer game which can be manoeuvred around the screen by means of a joystick, etc spywaresoftware installed via the internet on a computer without the user's knowledge and used to send information about the user to another computer stackan area in a computer memory for temporary storage statementa computer instruction written in a source language, such as FORTRAN, which is converted into one or more machine code instructions by a compiler storage capacitythe maximum number of bits, bytes, words, or items that can be held in a memory system such as that of a computer or of the brain storage devicea piece of computer equipment, such as a magnetic tape, disk, etc, in or on which data and instructions can be stored, usually in binary form storethe state of being stored (esp in the phrase in store) store and forwardto store (information) in a computer for later forward transmission through a telecommunication networkstringa group of characters that can be treated as a unit by a computer program subroutinea section of a computer program that is stored only once but can be used when required at several different points in the program, thus saving space supercomputera powerful computer that can process large quantities of data of a similar type very quickly syntaxthe structure of statements in a computer language systeman organization of hardware and software, often together with personnel, that function together as a unit systems analysisthe analysis of the requirements of a task and the expression of those requirements in a form that permits the assembly of computer hardware and software to perform the task systems diska disk used to store computer programs, esp the basic operating programs of a computer taskbara row of selectable buttons and icons typically running along the bottom of a computer screen, displaying information such as the names of running programs teleprocessingthe use of remote computer terminals connected to a central computer to process data telesoftwarethe transmission of computer programs on a teletext system terabyte1012 or 240 bytes terminala device having input/output links with a computer but situated at a distance from the computer text processingthe handling of alphabetic characters by a computer 3-Dproducing or designed to produce an effect of three dimensions; three-dimensionalthroughputthe quantity of raw material or information processed or communicated in a given period, esp by a computer time outa condition occurring when the amount of time a computer has been instructed to wait for another device to perform a task has expired, usually indicated by an error message time sharinga system by which users at different terminals of a computer can, because of its high speed, apparently communicate with it at the same time toggleto switch to a different option, view, application, etc toolbara horizontal row or vertical column of selectable buttons displayed on a computer screen, allowing the user to select a variety of functions topologythe arrangement and interlinking of computers in a computer network touch screena computer screen that allows the user to give commands to the computer by touching parts of the screen rather than by using a keyboard or mouse. transcribeto transfer (information) from a computer to an external storage devicetranslatora computer program that converts a program from one language to another transputera type of fast, powerful microchip that is the equivalent of a 32-bit microprocessor with its own RAM facility tristate(of a digital computer chip) having high, low, and floating output statesTrojan horsea bug inserted into a program or system designed to be activated after a certain time or a certain number of operationsturnkey systema computer or computer system supplied to a customer in such a complete form that it can be put to immediate use underflowa condition that occurs when arithmetic operations produce results too small to store in the available register UNIX(trademark)a multi-user multitasking operating system found on many types of computer uptimetime during which a machine, such as a computer, actually operates USBUniversal Serial Bus: a standard for connection sockets on computers and other electronic equipmentuser-defined keya key on the keyboard of a computer that can be used to carry out any of a limited number of predefined actions as selected by the user user groupan organized group of people who use a particular appliance or service and contact each other and the manufacturers of the appliance or providers of the serviceutilitya piece of computer software designed for a routine task, such as examining or copying files vaccinea piece of software designed to detect and remove computer viruses from a system variablea named unit of storage that can be changed to any of a set of specified values during execution of a program virtual address spacevirtual memorya computing technique in which you increase the size of a computer's memory by arranging or storing the data in it in a different wayvirtual realitya computer-generated environment that, to the person experiencing it, closely resembles reality virtual storagea computer system in which the size of the memory is effectively increased by automatically transferring sections of a program from a large capacity backing store, such as a disk, into the smaller core memory as they are required virusan unauthorized program that inserts itself into a computer system and then propagates itself to other computers via networks or disks; when activated it interferes with the operation of the computer visual programming languagevoice inputthe control and operation of computer systems by spoken commands voice recognitionthe control of a computer system by a voice or voices that the computer has been instructed to accept voice responseoutput of information from a computer system in the form of speech rather than displayed text volatile memoryWANwide area network: a computer network of geographically distant computers, terminals, etc. WAPWireless Application Protocol: a global application that enables mobile phone users to access the internet and other information serviceswarezillegally copied computer software which has had its protection codes de-activated webcasta broadcast of an event over the World Wide WebWi-Fia system of accessing the internet from remote machines such as laptop computers that have wireless connections wild carda symbol that can represent any character or group of characters, as in a filename WIMP windows, icons, menus (or mice), pointers: denoting a type of user-friendly screen display used on small computerswindowan area of a VDU display that may be manipulated separately from the rest of the display area; typically different files can be displayed simultaneously in different overlapping windows wirelesscommunicating without connecting wires or other material contactswizarda computer program that guides a user through a complex task worda set of bits used to store, transmit, or operate upon an item of information in a computer, such as a program instruction word processora computer program that performs word processing work stationa device or component of an electronic office system consisting of a display screen and keyboard used to handle electronic office work World Wide Weba vast network of linked hypertext files, stored on computers throughout the world, that can provide a computer user with information on a huge variety of subjects worma program that duplicates itself many times in a network and prevents its destruction. It often carries a logic bomb or virus WYSIWIGwhat you see is what you get: referring to what is displayed on the screen being the same as what will be printed outXMLextensible markup language: a computer language used in text formatting ▷ See computer
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