Chapter 13 – Computer Glossary


A
Access Time : Access time is the time from the start of one access of the storage device to the time when the next access can be started.
Accessory : An Accessory is a device attached to a host computer, but not part of it, and is more or less dependent on the host. It expands the host’s capabilities, but does not form part of the core computer architecture.

Examples are computer printers, image scanners, tape drives, microphones, loudspeakers, webcams, and digital cameras.

Active Cell : The cell that continues the value being used or modified in a spreadsheet program, and that is highlighted by the cell pointer. Also known as current cell.
Active Window : The window in Microsoft Windows with which the user may interact.
Accumulator : The computer register in which the result of an arithmetic or logic operation is formed (related to arithmetic and logic unit).
Analog Computer : A computer in which numerical data are represented by measurable physical variables, such as electrical.
Antivirus : Computer antivirus refers to a software program that can protect your computer from unwanted viruses and remove any that penetrate your computer’s defenses.
Artificial Intelligence : Artificial intelligence (AI) is the intelligence of machines and the branch of computer science that aims to create it. AI textbooks define the field as “the study and design of intelligent agents” where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chances of success.
ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) : ASCII, a code for information exchange between computers made by different companies; a string of 7 binary digits represents each character; used in most microcomputers
Abstraction : The separation of the logical properties of data or function from its implementation in a computer program.
Address : (1) A number, character, or group of characters which identifies a given device or a storage location which may contain a piece of data or a program step. (2) To refer to a device or storage location by an identifying number, character, or group of characters.
Algorithm : A finite set of well-defined rules for the solution of a problem in a finite number of steps. (2) Any sequence of operations for performing a specific task.
Alphanumeric : Pertaining to a character set that contains letters, digits, and usually other characters such as punctuation marks.
Analog : Pertaining to data [signals] in the form of continuously variable [wave form] physical quantities; e.g., pressure, resistance, rotation, temperature, voltage. Contrast with digital.
Analog device : A device that operates with variables represented by continuously measured quantities such as pressures, resistances, rotations, temperatures, and voltages.
Analog-to-digital converter : Input related devices which translate an input device’s [sensor] analog signals to the corresponding digital signals needed by the computer.
Android : It is linux based operating system designed primarily for touch screen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets computers.
Application software : Software designed to fill specific needs of a user; for example, software for navigation, payroll, or process control. Contrast with support software; system software.
Architecture : The organizational structure of a system or component.
Asynchronous : Occurring without a regular time relationship, i.e., timing independent.
Attribute : The characterstics of an entity is called attributes.
Auxiliary storage : Storage device other than main memory [RAM]; e.g., disks and tapes.
B
Backup : A backup or the process of backing up means making copies of data which may be used to restore the original data after a data loss event.
Bar Code : A bar code (often seen as a single word, barcode) is the small image of lines (bars) and spaces that is a fixed to retail store items, identification cards, and postal mail to identify a particular product number, person, or location.
Biometric Device : Biometrics (or biometric authentication) consists of methods for uniquely recognizing humans based upon one or more intrinsic physical or behavioral traits.
Bitmap : In computer graphics, a bitmap or pixmap is a type of memory organization or image file format used to store digital images.
Bluetooth : Bluetooth is a proprietary open wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances (using short wavelength radio transmissions in the ISM band from 2400-2480 MHz) between fixed and mobile devices, creating personal area networks (PANs) with high levels of security.
Booting : To boot (as a verb; also “to boot up”) a computer is to load an operating system into the computer’s main memory or random access memory (RAM).
Browse : In database systems, browse means to view data. Many database systems support a special browse mode , in which you can flip through fields and records quickly. Usually, you cannot modify data while you are in browse mode.
Band : Range of frequencies used for transmitting a signal. A band can be identified by the difference between its lower and upper limits, i.e. bandwidth, as well as by its actual lower and upper limits; e.g., a 10 MHz band in the 100 to 110 MHz range.
Bandwidth : The transmission capacity of a computer channel, communications line or bus. It is expressed in cycles per second [Hz], and also is often stated in bits or bytes per second.
Baud : The signalling rate of a line. It’s the switching speed, or number of transitions [voltage or frequency change] made per second.
Bias : A measure of how closely the mean value in a series of replicate measurements approaches the true value.
Binary : The base two number system. Permissible digits are “0” and “1”.
Bit : A contraction of the term binary digit. The bit is the basic unit of digital data. It may be in one of two states, logic 1 or logic 0. It may be thought of as a switch which is either on or off. Bits are usually combined into computer words of various sizes, such as the byte.
Bits per second : A measure of the speed of data transfer in a communications system.
Boolean : Boolean algebra is the study of operations carried out on variables that can have only one of two possible values; i.e., 1 (true) and 0 (false).
Bootstrap : A short computer program that is permanently resident or easily loaded into a computer and whose execution brings a larger program, such an operating system or its loader, into memory.
Branch : An instruction which causes program execution to jump to a new point in the program sequence, rather than execute the next instruction.
Buffer : A device or storage area [memory] used to store data temporarily to compensate for differences in rates of data flow, time of occurrence of events, or amounts of data that can be handled by the devices or processes involved in the transfer or use of the data.
Bug : A fault in a program which causes the program to perform in an unintended or unanticipated manner.
Bus : A common pathway along which data and control signals travel between different hardware devices within a computer system.
Byte : A sequence of adjacent bits, usually eight, operated on as a unit.
Blog : It is a discussion or informational site published on the world wide web.
C
Compressed File : Computer files that have been reduced in size by a compression program. Such programs are available for all computer systems.
Code division Multiple Access (CDMA) : It is a channel access Method used by various radio communication technologies CDMA employs spread spectrum technology and a special coding scheme, where each transmitter is assigned a code to allow multiple users to be multiplied over the same physical channel.
Clock : A device that generates periodic, accurately spaced signals used for such purposes as timing, regulation of the operations of a processor, or generation of interrupts.
Coding : In software engineering, the process of expressing a computer program in a programming language..
Compatibility : The capability of a functional unit to meet the requirements of a specified interface.
Complementary metal-oxide semiconductor : A type of integrated circuit widely used for processors and memories. It is a combination of transistors on a single chip connected to complementary digital circuits.
Complexity : The degree to which a system or component has a design or implementation that is difficult to understand and verify.
Constant : A value that does not change during processing. Contrast with variable.
Cookie : A packet of information that travels between a browser and web server.
Control bus : A bus carrying the signals that regulate system operations.
Crash : The sudden and complete failure of a computer system or component.
Criticality : The degree of impact that a requirement, module, error, fault, failure, or other item has on the development or operation of a system.
Cursor : A movable, visible mark used to indicate a position of interest on a display surface.
D
Data : Representations of facts. The raw material of information. (Plural of datu m.)
Database : The integrated data resource for a computer-based information system.
DDR : This is a new type of RAM called Double Data Rate RAM. It is used in some of video cards such as the Nvidia GeForce cards.
Digital : Term used to describe any information that has been translated into a corresponding series of 1s and 0s; any information text, sound, image, color etc. may be digitized.
Digital Computer : A reference to any system based on discrete data, such as the binary nature of computers.
Digital Video/ Versatile Disk (DVD) : The successor technology to the CD-ROM, that can store up to 10 gigabytes or more.
Data bus : A bus used to communicate data internally and externally to and from a processing unit or a storage device.
Default : Pertaining to an attribute, value, or option that is assumed when none is explicitly specified.
Default value : A standard setting or state to be taken by the program if no alternate setting or state is initiated by the system or the user. A value assigned automatically if one is not given by the user.
Demodulation : Converting signals from a wave form [analog] to pulse form [digital]. Contrast with modulation.
Design : The process of defining the architecture, components, interfaces, and other characteristics of a system or component.
Developer : A person, or group, that designs and/or builds and/or documents and/or configures the hardware and/or software of computerized systems.
Digital-to-analog converter : Output related devices which translate a computer’s digital outputs to the corresponding analog signals needed by an output device such as an actuator.
Direct memory access : Specialized circuitry or a dedicated microprocessor that transfers data from memory to memory without using the CPU.
Disk : Circular rotating magnetic storage hardware. Disks can be hard [fixed] or flexible [removable] and different sizes.
Disk drive : Hardware used to read from or write to a disk or diskette.
Documentation : The aids provided for the understanding of the structure and intended uses of an information system or its components, such as flowcharts, textual material, and user manuals.
Driver : A program that links a peripheral device or internal function to the operating system, and providing for activation of all device functions.
Downloading : Retrieving a file or group of files from the Internet so that they can be stored on a local hard drive. By accessing a page, you have, in fact, downloaded all the information on the page so that it can be viewed and interpreted by your web browser.
E
Ethernet : A transport method (protocol) used to connect computers to a LAN (Local Area Network) and exchange data.
Embedded computer : A device which has its own computing power dedicated to specific functions, usually consisting of a microprocessor and firmware.
Error : A discrepancy between a computed, observed, or measured value or condition and the true, specified, or theoretically correct value or condition.
Exception : An event that causes suspension of normal program operation.
End user : Any individual who uses the information generated by a computer based system.
F
File : (1) A collection of related records. (2) A named area on a disk-storage device that contains a program or digitized information (text, image, sound, and so on). (3) A component of an overall program or application.
Font : In a simplistic sense, a font can be thought of as the physical description of a character set. While the character set will define what sets of bits map to what letters, numbers, and other symbols, the font will define what each letter, number, and other symbol looks like.
Format : (1) Noun : The logical or physical arrangement of the tracks and sectors on a floppy diskette or a hard disk. To be usable, a disk must be formatted so that the tracks and sectors are laid out in a manner compatible with the operating system in use.

(2) Verb : To prepare a disk or diskette, dividing it into sectors so that it is ready to receive data.

Fax : It stands for faccismile machine. It is used to transmit a copy of a document electronically.
Failure : The inability of a system or component to perform its required functions within specified performance requirements.
Fault : An incorrect step, process, or data definition in a computer program which causes the program to perform in an unintended or unanticipated manner.
Fiber optics : Communications systems that use optical fibers for transmission.
Firmware : The combination of a hardware device; e.g., an IC; and computer instructions and data that reside as read only software on that device. Such software cannot be modified by the computer during processing.
Flag : A variable that is set to a prescribed state, often «true» or «false», based on the results of a process or the occurrence of a specified condition.
G
Gopher : A program that searches for file names and resources on the Internet and presents hierarchical menus to the user. As users select options, they are moved to different Gopher servers on the Internet. Where links have been established, Usenet news and other information can be read directly from Gopher. There are more than 7,000 Gopher servers on the Internet.
Gigahertz : One gigahertz is equivalent to 1000 megahertz, or 1,000,000,000 hertz.
H
Hacker : An individual with vast experience with security protocols who attempts to illegally access secure servers in an attempt to download private information, damage systems, or act in some other way to “free information”.
Hard Copy : A readable printed copy of computer output.
Hard Disk : Hard disk (internal) is a permanent file and data storage device housed in a computer case.
Home Page : The Web page which is the starting point for accessing information at a site or in a particular area.
Host : A computer, attached to a network which provides services to another computer beyond simply storing and forwarding information.
Handshake : An interlocked sequence of signals between connected components in which each component waits for the acknowledgement of its previous signal before proceeding with its action, such as data transfer.
Hazard : A condition that is prerequisite to a mishap.
Hertz : A unit of frequency equal to one cycle per second.
Hexadecimal : The base 16 number system. Digits are 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, & F. This is a convenient form in which to examine binary data because it collects 4 binary digits per hexadecimal digit; e.g., decimal 15 is 1111 in binary and F in hexadecimal.
I
Information Technology (IT) : including ICT (Information and Communication Technology) is the application of appropriate (enabling) technologies to information processing.
Input/output (I/O) : A generic reference to input and/or output to a computer.
IP : Acronym for “Internet Protocol”. The standard protocol used by systems communicating across the Internet.
Inkjet Printer : A non-impact printer in which the print head contains independently controlled injection chambers that squirt ink droplets on the paper to form letters and images.
Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) : A digital telecommunications standard for data delivery over twisted-pair lines with transmission speeds up to 128 Kbps (two 64 Kbps line pairs).
InterFace : (1) A specific hardware or software connection. (2) Making two devices capable of communication.
Used most often to refer to the design of hardware and software that allows connection of network components and transfer of information.
Internet : Internet is the largest wide area network in the world which links millions of computers. Through internet information can be shared, business can be conducted and research can be done.
IP Address (Internet Protocol Address) : A unique numerical Internet address identifying any piece of equipment hooked up to the Internet.
Intranet : An Internet-like network whose scope is restricted to the networks within a particular organization.
Installation : The phase in the system life cycle that includes assembly and testing of the hardware and software of a computerized system. Installation includes installing a new computer system, new software or hardware, or otherwise modifying the current system.
Instruction : A program statement that causes a computer to perform a particular operation or set of operations.
Instruction set : The complete set of instructions recognized by a given computer or provided by a given programming language.

Instruction cycle

Interrupt : The suspension of a process to handle an event external to the process.
J
Java : Java is a programming language and has a “sandboxed” code interpreter which permits programs to be downloaded to PC’s from the Web, but isolates these applications from access to other applications running on the PC.
JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) : A bit-mapped file format that compresses image size.
Jukebox : A storage device for multiple sets of CD-ROMs, tape cartridges, or disk modules enabling ready access to vast amounts of online data.
Job : A user-defined unit of work that is to be accomplished by a computer. For example, the compilation, loading, and execution of a computer program.
K
Kernel : It is a fundamental part pf program, such as an operating system, that resides in a memory at all times.
Keyboard : is one of computer components which used to input data to a computer. It is called an input device.
L
Laptop : Laptop is a small and lightweight computer in which all the main parts are fitted into single unit. It is designed to be carried around. Particularly, it is ideal for travellers, journalists, commentators and professionals who want to work both at the office and home.
LCD : Acronym for “Liquid Crystal Display”. It is the technology used for displays in notebooks and monitors for computers.
Linux : An open source spinoff of the UNIX operating system that runs on a number of hardware platforms and is made available for free over the Internet.
Log on & Log off : Each server that is accessed must have some way to ensure security of their sensitive information. Thus, servers restrict access by forcing users to “log on” with either personal access codes or anonymously. Anonymous access usually requires the individual’s e-mail address, and the user’s IP address is also logged. Once the desired information has been obtained, the user can “log off”, disconnecting access to the server.
Large scale integration : A classification of ICs [chips] based on their size as expressed by the number of circuits or logic gates they contain. An LSI IC contains 3,000 to 100,000 transistors.
Latency : The time interval between the instant at which a CPU’s instruction control unit initiates a call for data and the instant at which the actual transfer of the data starts
M
Monitor : The high-resolution TV-like device that displays your computer’s output. Today’s monitors have much better quality displays than any TV is capable of producing.
Motherboard : is the core of a computer system. It is the circuit board where all other parts connect. It communicates and controls the overall system. No motherboard means no computer system.
MP3 : this stands for “MPEG I Audio Layer- 3” and is a digital. compressed music file (their file names always end with an mp3 extension). MP3 files are often downloaded or exchanged between people online.
MPEG : Acronym for “Motion Picture Experts Group” A video file compression system which is used on the web.
Multimedia application : Computer applications that involve the integration of text, sound, graphics, motion video, and animation.
Multitasking : The concurrent execution of more than one program at a time.
Macro : In software engineering, a predefined sequence of computer instructions that is inserted into a program, usually during assembly or compilation, at each place that its corresponding macro instruction appears in the program.
Mainframe : Term used to describe a large computer.
Mean time between failures[MTBF] : A measure of the reliability of a computer system, equal to average operating time of equipment between failures, as calculated on a statistical basis from the known failure rates of various components of the system.
Medium scale integration : A classification of ICs [chips] based on their size as expressed by the number of circuits or logic gates they contain. An MSI IC contains 100 to 3,000 transistors.
Megabit : Approximately one million bits. Precisely 1024 K bits, 220 bits, or 1,048,576 bits.
Megabyte : Approximately one million bytes. Precisely 1024 K Bytes, 220 bytes, or 1,048,576 bytes.
Megahertz : A unit of frequency equal to one million cycles per second.
Memory : Any device or recording medium into which binary data can be stored and held, and from which the entire original data can be retrieved. The two types of memory are main; e.g., ROM, RAM, and auxiliary; e.g., tape, disk. See: storage device.
Metal-oxide semiconductor : One of two major categories of chip design [the other is bipolar]. It derives its name from its use of metal, oxide and semiconductor layers. There are several varieties of MOS technologies including PMOS, NMOS, CMOS.
Microcomputer : A term used to describe a small computer.
Minicomputer : A term used to describe a medium sized computer.
Mnemonic : A symbol chosen to assist human memory and understanding.
Modem : A functional unit that modulates and demodulates signals. One of the functions of a modem is to enable digital data to be transmitted over analog transmission facilities. The term is a contraction of modulator-demodulator.
Modulation : Converting signals from a binary-digit pattern [pulse form] to a continuous wave form [analog]. Contrast with demodulation.
Multiplexer : A device which takes information from any of several sources and places it on a single line or sends it to a single destination.
N
Network Interface Card (NIC) : It is a computer hardware component that connects a computer to a computer Network. It provides a physical access to a networking medium.
Network : A system [transmission channels and supporting hardware and software] that connects several remotely located computers via telecommunications.
Nibble : Half a byte, or four bits.
Node : A junction or connection point in a network, e.g. a terminal or a computer.
Null : A value whose definition is to be supplied within the context of a specific operating system. This value is a representation of the set of no numbers or no value for the operating system in use.
O
Offline : Pertaining to data that is not accessible by, or hardware devices that are not connected to, a networked computer system.
Online (a) Noun : Pertaining to data and/or hardware devices accessible to and under the control of a networked computer system.

(b) Adverb : Connected. You are online if you are working on your computer while it is connected to another computer. Your printer is online if it is connected to your computer and ready to accept data.

Object code : A code expressed in machine language [«1»s and «0»s] which is normally an output of a given translation process that is ready to be executed by a computer.
Object program : A computer program that is the output of an assembler or compiler.
Octal : The base 8 number system. Digits are 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7.
Optimization : Modifying a program to improve performance; e.g., to make it run faster or to make it use fewer resources.
P
Password : Password is a series of characters used to protect resources in a computer from unauthorized access. It is one of the ways to secure computer information from unauthorized users.
Peripheral : A physical device (such as a printer, scanner, or disk subsystem) that is externally attached to a workstation or to the network.
Plugin : A helper application that works within a browser. It adds more functionality to a browser; commonly associated with the Netscape Navigator browser software.
Personal Computer : A small computer designed for use by an individual, a microcomputer.
Processor : The logical component of a computer system that interprets and executes program instructions.
Program : (1) Noun : Computer instructions structured and ordered in a manner that, when executed, causes a computer to perform a particular function.

(2) Verb : The act of producing computer software to perform some application.

Programming : The act of writing a computer program.
Programming language : A language programmers use to communicate instructions to a computer.
Parallel : Pertaining to the simultaneity of two or more processes.
Parity : An error detection method in data transmissions that consists of selectively adding a 1-bit to bit patterns [word, byte, character,message] to cause the bit patterns to have either an odd number of 1-bits [odd parity] or an even number of 1-bits [even parity].
Parity bit : A binary digit appended to a group of binary digits to make the sum of all the digits, including the appended binary digit, either odd or even, as predetermined.
Pixel : In computer graphics, the smallest element of a display surface that can be assigned independent characteristics.
Packet Switching : It refers to method of digital networking communication that combined all transmitted data regardless of content, type or structure into suitable sized blocks, known as packets. Each packet has header information about the scurce, destination, packet numbering etc.
Printed circuit board : A at board that holds chips and other electronic components. The board is “printed” with electrically conductive pathways between the components.
Prototyping : Using software tools to accelerate the software development process by facilitating the identification of required functionality during analysis and design phases.
Pseudocode : A combination of programming language and natural language used to express a software design.
Q
Qwerty : It one of the standard computer keyboard, with the character Q,W,E,R,T and Y on the top row of letters.
Quality assurance : The planned systematic activities necessary to ensure that a component, module, or system conforms to established technical requirements.
Quality control : The operational techniques and procedures used to achieve quality requirements.
Query : A request for information from a database.
R
Recursion : The process of defining or generating a process or data structure in terms of itself.
Register : A small, high speed memory circuit within a microprocessor that holds addresses and values of internal operations; e.g., registers keep track of the address of the instruction being executed and the data being processed. Each microprocessor has a specific number of registers depending upon its design.
Reliability : The ability of a system or component to perform its required functions under stated conditions for a specified period of time.
Risk : A measure of the probability and severity of undesired effects. Often taken as the simple product of probability and consequence.
Robustness : The degree to which a software system or component can function correctly in the presence of invalid inputs or stressful environmental conditions.
Routine : A sub program that is called by other programs and subprograms. Note : This term is defined differently in various programming languages.
Routing : The process of choosing the best path throughout the LAN.
RS-232-C : An Electronic Industries Association (EIA) standard for connecting electronic equipment. Data is transmitted and received in serial format.
S
Scanner : A scanner is a piece of hardware that will examine a picture and produce a computer file that represents what it sees. A digital camera is a related device. Each has its own limitations.
Search Engine : A tool used which matches key words you enter with titles and description on the Internet. It then displays the matches allowing you to easily locate a subject. Similar to a card catalog, but not as efficient. Common search engines are Web crawler, Yahoo, Alta Vista, Infoseek, Google and Lycos.
Server : (1) A computer or its software that “serves” other computers by administering network files and network operations. Three types of Internet servers are Web servers, e-mail servers, and Gopher servers. (2) A high speed computer in a network that is shared by multiple users. It holds the programs and data that are shared by all users.
Surfing : The random, aimless exploration of web pages achieved through following links that look interesting with in a document
Software : Software is the set of instructions developed by programming language which tells a computer what to do.
System software : controls the overall operation of a computer. Some of the activities include managing system memory, controlling system resources, executing computer hardware functions and interfacing a user with computer hardware and applications.
Sensor : A peripheral input device which senses some variable in the system environment, such as temperature, and converts it to an electrical signal which can be further converted to a digital signal for processing by the computer.
Serial : (1) Pertaining to the sequential processing of the individual parts of a whole, such as the bits of a character or the characters of a word, using the same facilities for successive parts. (2) Term describing the transmission of data one bit at a time.
Small scale integration : A classification of ICs [chips] based on their size as expressed by the number of circuits or logic gates they contain. An SSI IC contains up to 100 transistors.
Software engineering : The application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software; i.e., the application of engineering to software.
Source code : Computer instructions and data definitions expressed in a form suitable for input to an assembler, compiler or other translator.
Source program : A computer program that must be compiled, assembled, or otherwise translated in order to be executed by a computer. Contrast with object program. See: source code.
Specification : A document that specifies, in a complete, precise, verifiable manner, the requirements, design, behavior, or other characteristics of a system or component, and often, the procedures for determining whether these provisions have been satisfied.
Storage device : A unit into which data or programs can be placed, retained and retrieved.
SSL/Secure Socket Layer : The leading security protocol on the Internet. When an SSL session is started, the browser sends its public key to the server so that the server can securely send a secret key to the browser.
Structured programming : Any software development technique that includes structured design and results in the development of structured programs.
Subroutine : A routine that returns control to the program or subprogram that called it. Note : This term is defined differently in various programming languages.
Synchronous : Occurring at regular, timed intervals, i.e. timing dependent.
Syntax : The structural or grammatical rules that define how symbols in a language are to be combined to form words, phrases, expressions, and other allowable constructs.
Swapping : Storing program on a disk and then transferring these programs into main storage as and when they are needed.
Synchronisation : This method ensures that the receiving end can recognise characters in order, in which the transmitting end sends them in a serial data transmission.
T
Terabyte : Approximately one trillion bytes; precisely 240 or 1,099,511,627,776 bytes. See: kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte.
Terminal : A device, usually equipped with a CRT display and keyboard, used to send and receive information to and from a computer via a communication channel.
Test : An activity in which a system or component is executed under specified conditions, the results are observed or recorded and an evaluation is made of some aspect of the system or component.
Test case : Documentation specifying inputs, predicted results, and a set of execution conditions for a test item.
Testing : The process of operating a system or component under specified conditions, observing or recording the results, and making an evaluation of some aspect of the system or component.
Touch screen : A touch sensitive display screen that uses a clear panel over or on the screen surface. The panel is a matrix of cells, an input device, that transmits pressure information to the software.
Traceability : The degree to which a relationship can be established between two or more products of the development process, especially products having a predecessor-successor or master-subordinate relationship to one another; e.g., the degree to which the requirements and design of a given software component match.
Trojan horse : A method of attacking a computer system, typically by providing a useful program which contains code intended to compromise a computer system by secretly providing for unauthorized access, the unauthorized collection of privileged system or user data, the unauthorized reading or altering of files, the performance of unintended and unexpected functions, or the malicious destruction of software and hardware.
Truth table : (1) (ISO) An operation table for a logic operation. (2) A table that describes a logic function by listing all possible combinations of input values, and indicating, for each combination, the output value.
Twisted pair : A pair of thin-diameter insulated wires commonly used in telephone wiring. The wires are twisted around each other to minimize interference from other twisted pairs in the cable. Twisted pairs have less bandwidth than coaxial cable or optical fiber. Abbreviated UTP for Unshielded Twisted Pair.
U
Unix : UNIX is a family of OSes, each being made by a different company or organization but all offering a very similar look and feel.
Upload : The process of transferring information from one computer to another, generally from a client to a server. For example, you upload a file from your computer to a server or the internet.
USB : Acronym for “Universal Serial Bus”. This is a style of port connection that is used by many peripheral devices such as Palm Pilots, phones, scanners, printers etc. This type of connection is much faster than more traditional kinds of connections such as serial and parallel ports.
URL : Acronym for “Universal Resource Locator” The specific path to a World Wide Web file, including file name and extension.
UPS : “Uninterruptible Power Supply”. An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is a device that allows your computer to keep running for at least a short time when the primary power source is lost.
Unit : (1) A separately testable element specified in the design of a computer software element. (2) A logically separable part of a computer program.Syn: component, module.
Usability : The ease with which a user can learn to operate, prepare inputs for, and interpret outputs of a system or component.
User : Any person, organization, or functional unit that uses the services of an information processing system.
V
Virus : A virus is a program that will seek to duplicate itself in memory and on disks, but in a subtle way that will not immediately be noticed. A computer on the same network as an infected computer or that uses an infected disk (even a floppy) or that downloads and runs an infected program can itself become infected.
Version : An initial release or a complete re-release of a software item or software element.
Version number : A unique identifier used to identify software items and the related software documentation which are subject to configuration control.
Very large scale integration : A classification of ICs [chips] based on their size as expressed by the number of circuits or logic gates they contain. A VLSI IC contains 100,000 to 1,000,000 transistors.
Virus : A program which secretly alters other programs to include a copy of itself, and executes when the host program is executed. The execution of a virus program compromises a computer system by performing unwanted or unintended functions which may be destructive.
Volume : (ANSI) A portion of data, together with its data carrier, that can be handled conveniently as a unit; e.g., a reel of magnetic tape, a disk pack, a floppy disk.
W
Web Page : A single screen (document) on a Web site.
Webcasting : “Webcasting” is a term that describes the ability to use the Web to deliver delayed versions of sound or video broadcasts.
World Wide Web or WWW : This is the part of the Internet that you access. The World Wide Web is so named because each page in the WWW has links to other pages, which have links to other pages, and so on, creating what could visually be seen as a web-like network of links.
Workstation : Any terminal or personal computer.
Worm : An independent program which can travel from computer to computer across network connections replicating itself in each computer. They do not change other programs, but compromise a computer system through their impact on system performance.
Z
Zoom : The enlarging and reducing the image displayed on a computer process of proportionately monitor.
Zombie : A computer that has been hijacked by a cracker without the owner’s knowledge and used to perform malicious tasks on the internet.