Научная электронная библиотека
Монографии, изданные в издательстве Российской Академии Естествознания

GLOSSARY

(Microsoft) Access – a database program developed by the Microsoft Corporation

access point – wireless network device that connects a wireless network to a wired network

account – a registration for a user of a network system. It is used for controlling access to the system

active window – the window in a WIMP system that is currently being used. It is usually on top of any other open windows

actuator – a mechanism that converts signals into mechanical movements

address bus – the set of conductors that carry the memory address signals between different parts of a computer system

ADSL – abbreviation for asymmetric digital subscriber line. A form of DSL that has a different bandwidth for the upstream and the downstream

AL – abbreviation for artificial intelligence

algorithm – a set of precise rules or instructions for solving a problem

Alt (key) – the alternative key on a computer keyboard that changes the function of the other keys when it is held down

AltaVista – the name of a well-known search engine website

analogue signal – a type of signal that can take any value between a maximum and a minimum

analyst programmer – a person whose job is a combination of systems analysis and computer programming

anorak – a slang term for an eccentric socially inept person with little or no fashion sense and having an obsessive interest in a hobby or subject

ANSI – acronym for American National Standards Institute. An organisation that approves US standards for computing and communications

anti-virus (program or software) – a computer program or set of programs used to detect, identify and remove viruses from a computer system

Apple – the common name for Apple Computer Incorporated, a well-known producer of computers that introduced the WIMP interface on computers such as the Apple Macintosh

Apple Macintosh – a family of personal computers produced by Apple Computer Inc.

applet – a very small self-contained computer program

application layer – the only part of a network communications process that a user sees. It prepares a message for sending over a network by converting the message from human-readable form into bits and attaching a header identifying the sending and receiving
computers

application port – a path available for a particular type of application data to enter or leave a network system

application service provider – a company that makes applications programs available over the Internet usually charging a fee for access to programs

applications (program or software) – a computer program designed to be used for a particular purpose, e.g. a word processor spreadsheet or database program

applications programmer – a person who writes applications programs using a computer language

architecture – the general specification of a system

archive bit – a digital bit stored with a file indicating if the file has been backed up since it was last edited

artificial intelligence – an area of computing concerned with developing computer programs that perform tasks that can normally only be done using human intelligence

ASCII – acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. A standard character encoding scheme.

ASP – abbreviation for application service provider

assembly language – a low-level computer language that uses mnemonics rather than only numbers making it easier than machine code for humans to read and write

asymmetric – having a different signal bandwidth in each direction, i.e. the bandwidth for sending is different from the bandwidth for receiving

asynchronous – not synchronised, i.e. occurring at irregular intervals

AT&T – abbreviation for American Telephone and Telegraph Company. One of the world’s largest IT suppliers.

ATI (Technologies) – the name of a well known company that produces computer graphics cards

ATM – common abbreviation for automatic teller machine. The type of machine used bybanks for enabling customers to withdraw money from their bank accounts

ATM – abbreviation for asynchronous transfer mode. A method of transferring fixed size data packets across a network. It is suitable for transferring video, audio and computer data

authentication – a process that checks the identity of a user or an object

avatar – а graphical icon that represents a real person in a cyberspace system

В channel – the common name for a bearer channel in an ISDN system

backup – to store a copy of data on a storage device to keep it safe

backbone – the main transmission path handling the major data traffic connecting different LANs together

backend – the server part of a client-server conuration that provides a service on a network at the request of a client

backup – the process of storing a copy of data on a storage device to keep it safe / the term used for the copied data

bandwidth – the range of frequencies that can be transmitted over a communications channel

barcode – a sequence of vertical parallel lines used to give items a unique identification number

barcode reader – an optical input device that uses the reflection of a light beam to read barcode labels

BASIC – acronym for Beginners’ All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code

batch mode – a process in which all the data is collected and processed together in a batch rather than one at a time as they become available

BBC micro – the name of one of the first microcomputers produced in the United Kingdom and used in schools. Its development was sponsored by the British Broadcasting Corporation

bearer channel – the common name for the part of an ISDN line that carries the data

Instruction Code – a simple high-level computer language often used for teaching programming

B-frame – the common name for a bi-directional frame in an MPEG compressed file

bi-directional frame – a type of image frame used in MPEG compression. It is situated between I and P frames and stores the differences in the image compared with the I or P frame both before and after it

binary – a number system that only uses two digits, i.e. 1 and 0

biometric device – a security device that measures some aspect of a living being, e.g. a fingerprint reader or an eye scanner

BIOS – acronym for Basic Input Output System. A part of the operating system stored on a ROM chip that controls the input and output of data to peripherals

biotechnology – the industrial application of biological science techniques

bit – a small unit of storage capacity. One of the eight binary digits that make up a byte. The term comes from an abbreviation of binary digit.

bitmap compression – a way of reducing the size of a stored image where different digital bits or collections of bits are used to describe each element of an image

(data) block – a collection of data stored together and treated as a single unit

Bluetooth – the name of a high-speed microwave wireless network system developed by a group of companies consisting of Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Nokia and Toshiba. It is used with portable equipment

bookmark – to store a link to a webpage to make it easier to find in the future

boot – to copy a part of the operating system into memory to allow a computer to start up

boot sector virus – a self-replicating program that stores itself in the part of a disk

bridge – a hardware and software combination used to connect the same type of networks or to partition a large network into two smaller ones

broadband – able to carry signals transmitted over a wide range of frequencies

broadcast – to transmit signals that can be picked up by a large number of receivers

browse – to move from webpage to webpage using a Web browser program

(Web) browser – a program used for displaying webpages

ВТ – abbreviation for British Telecom. The organisation that provides the telephone system in Great Britain

buffering – a process of temporarily storing data from a fast source so that it can be fed at a steady rate to a slower system

bug – a fault in a system

bulletin board – an electronic noticeboard system that enables users to display messages for other users to read

bus – a set of conductors that carry signals between different parts of a computer

byte – a unit of storage capacity. A byte is made up of eight bits and stores one character, i.e. a letter, a number, a space or a punctuation mark

С – a general purpose computer programming language that was originally designed for writing Unix systems programs

С drive – the first hard disk in a personal computer

С++ – an object-oriented superset of the С programming language commonly used for writing applications programs for the Microsoft Windows operating system

cache – to temporarily store frequently-used data in fast memory so that it can be accessed more quickly; fast memory used to temporarily store frequently-used data to allow it to be accessed more quickly

callback system – a system that automatically disconnects a telephone line after receiving a call and then dials the telephone number of the system that made the call to reconnect the line. It is used in remote access systems to make sure that connections can only be made from permitted telephone numbers.

cathode ray tube – a display device that uses an electron gun to fire a beam of electrons at a phosphor-coated screen

CCNA – abbreviation for Cisco Certified Network Associate. A starting level networking qualification offered by Cisco, a major network equipment vendor.

CD-ROM) – abbreviation for compact disk read only memory. A read only storage device in the form of a disk that is read using laser light

CD-ROM drive – a storage device for reading CD-ROM disks

cellphone – the common name for a cellular phone

cellular network – a radio communications systems that divides a region into cells so that each region becomes a network with every point connected to a local transmitter within the cell

central processing unit – the electronic processor at the centre of a computer. The term is sometimes used to refer to the combination of the processor and the main memory.

channel – a path for the transmission of data

chat room – a virtual space on a website where online discussions organised around specific interests are held in real-time by users typing text messages

check data – information written to disks in a RAID system which is used to restore data if one of the array drives fail

chip – common name for a microchip. An electronic integrated circuit in a small package.

cleanse – a term used in data mining meaning to remove duplicate information and erroneous data

click – to press and release the button on a mouse

client – a network computer used for accessing a service on a server

client-server application – a program that is accessed from a client computer but most of the processing is carried out on a server computer

clipart – professionally-prepared graphical images stored on a computer system

Clipboard – the name used in Microsoft Windows for the section of memory that temporarily stores data while it is being copied and pasted

clock – the set of electronic circuits used to control the timing of signals and synchronise different parts of a computer system

cluster – a term used in data mining meaning a group of data that has similar features or is based on a limited data range

CMC – abbreviation for computer mediated communication, i.e. the transfer of messages using a computer system

coax(ial) (cable) – a type of shielded cable for carrying signals. It is often used with radio frequency and video signals.

COBOL – acronym for Common Business-Oriented Language

code – a piece of program text written in a programming language; to write the text of a program or part of a program using a computer language

codec – abbreviation for coder/decoder. A program used for converting sound and video signals for use in a computer

COM program – a DOS program with a .com filename extension that loads and runs in 64 kilobytes or less of memory

command interpreter – the part of an operating system that processes commands that are part of a program or are input using a keyboard

Commodore 64 – the model name of one of the first popular personal computers to be made available in the United Kingdom. It had a very good graphics system and was particularly suited to running computer games programs.

Common Business-Oriented Language – a high-level computer programming language. It is the principal transaction processing language used to process the records of large organisations on mainframe computers.

compatible – able to operate on the same type of system or run the same software

compile – to convert a program written in a high-level language into machine code using a compiler

compiler – a program that converts the whole of a program into machine code before the program is used

computer – a general purpose machine that can be programmed to process data in a variety of ways

computer consultant – a person who is paid to advise on computing system issues

computer engineer – a person who designs and develops computer systems

computer language – a language used for writing computer programs

computer operator – a person whose job it is to operate part of a computer system

computer science – the study of computers and their use

computer services engineering technician –
a person who provides a service of maintaining and troubleshooting computers

computer-aided design – the process of designing using a computer program

computer-aided manufacture – the process of manufacturing goods using a computer

computer-mediated communication – a process of transferring messages using computers

computing support – a field of work that provides a service including setting up, maintaining and troubleshooting computing systems and providing technical advice to users

conure – to adjust the settings

control bit – a data bit used to mark parts of a transmitted signal so that the transmission can be controlled, e.g. a ‘start’ bit marks the beginning of a character and a ‘stop’ bit marks its end

control bus – the set of conductors that carry the control signals between the Control Unit and other parts of a computer

corrupt – to damage in such a way that prevents normal use

cp – a Unix command for copying a file

CPU – abbreviation for central processing unit

crack – to break into a computer system in order to steal information or cause damage

crash – to fail suddenly and completely usually referring to the failure of a hard disk

CRT – abbreviation for cathode ray tube

Ctrl + Alt + Del – set of symbols that signify pressing the combination of the control-alternative and delete keys on a computer keyboard at the same time

cut and paste – to remove some data from a file and temporarily store it in the computer’s memory then insert a copy of the data in another position in the same or in another file

cyberbabe – a digital image of an attractive female that is used in programs on the Internet

cybernetics – the study of control and communication in animals and machines. It is used in the design of robots.

cyberspace – the combination of all the data on all the computer networks throughout the world accessed using the Internet

cyborg –a man-machine system or a person made superhuman by a machine or external system that changes the way the body functions

D channel – the common name for a data channel in an ISDN system

data – the information processed by a computer

data bank –a large collection of data that can be accessed by many users and enables them to copy or store data on a particular topic

data bus – the set of conductors that carry the data signals between different parts of a computer

data communications – the transmission and reception of data signals using a communications network and appropriate protocols

data integrity – a measure of how resistant a system is to causing corruption in data while it is being stored or transferred

data mart – a storage system that archives large amounts of data in a way that makes it easy to access

data mining – a process of analysing a large amount of stored data to find new useful information

data warehouse – a computing centre that provides a large collection of data gathered from different sources for data mining

data-delivery system – a system for transmitting data from one computer to another

DDR – abbreviation for double data rate. A type of memory that transfers data on both the up and down cycles of the control signal, making it faster than earlier types of memory

debug – to find and fix faults in a program or system

decipher – to change coded information into normal text

decision tree – an AL technique used in data mining that separates data into subsets then further divides the subsets into smaller subsets until the subsets are small enough to allow the mining process to find interesting patterns and relationships within the data

decode – to decide what a program instruction means

decompress – to remove the compression, i.e. to expand to its original size

decrypt – to recover the original text from an encrypted message

defacing – a computer crime that involves changing the information shown on another person’s website without permission

default – an initial setting that can be changed by the user

denial of service attack – a type of computer crime that involves swamping a server with large numbers of requests

desktop – the main graphical user interface background screen that displays icons for other programs

DHTML – abbreviation for dynamic hypertext markup language. A development of HTML that allows the creation of more dynamic and user-interactive web pages.

dial-up networking – a communications system that allows computers to connect together using a telephone line

differential backup – a type of backup that copies all the selected files on a system that have been changed since the last time a full backup was carried out

digital – an electronic system that has only two states, e.g. off or on

digital cash – electronic currency that is stored on electronically sensitive cards or exists in cyberspace and is used for making electronic purchases over the Internet

digital certificate – an electronic message used to show a transaction is trustworthy. It contains information about the company processing the transaction including their public key and is electronically ‘signed’ by a trusted digital-certificate issuer.

directory – a storage area used for grouping files so that they can be easily located. A directory is sometimes called a folder

disk – a flat circular storage device

disk drive – a storage device for reading from and writing to disks

divider – a vertical bar that divides a Windows Explorer window into two parts. One part shows the drive folders and the other part shows the filenames of the files in the selected folder.

DNS – abbreviation for domain name system

domain name – an identifier used on the Internet in place of the numerical Internet address. It identifies the host, the type and the country code, e.g. holyrood.ed.ac.uk

domain name server – a network server computer used for operating and controlling the domain name system

domain name system – a system of associating the name of a device on a network such as the Internet with its numerical address so that the name can be used by the user and the numerical address can be used by the network system

dot-matrix printer – a printer that prints by hammering pins onto an inked ribbon

doubleclick – to press and release the left-hand button on a mouse two times in rapid succession

download – to copy a file from a server to a client computer in a network; a process of copying a file from a server to a client computer in a network

downstream – the signal path for receiving communications from a server to a client computer in a network

drag and drop – to move data from one location to another with a mouse. Holding down the mouse button while moving the mouse moves the selected data. Releasing the mouse button drops the data in the new location

driver – a systems program that controls a peripheral device

DSL – abbreviation for digital subscriber line

DTP – abbreviation for desktop publishing. A process of designing documents for publishing using a computer system.

duplex – able to transfer data in both directions, i.e. can send and receive data

earth – a common name for an electrical ground point or zero voltage point

ebook – common name for an electronic book

e-business – common term for electronic business, i.e. business that is carried out using the Internet

e-cash – common name for electronic cash

ECC memory – abbreviation for error code correcting memory. A type of memory often used in server computers that automatically fixes simple memory errors without requiring the rebooting of the computer.

e-commerce – the business of buying and selling goods and services on the Internet

editor – a computer program for making changes to text in computer programs or data

edutainment – a system that has both educational and entertainment value

electronic publisher – an organisation that produces e-books

electronic virtual assistant – a computer program represented by an animated screen image that is used to help the user perform particular tasks such as searching the Internet for useful data

email – the common name for an electronic mail message, i.e. a text message sent electronically using a computer; to send an email message

email address – the unique address code used to contact someone using electronic mail

email attachment –a file that is attached to an email message

email program –a computer program used for reading and sending email

encode – to write information in a co-
ded form

encrypt – to transform data into coded form to make it secure

encryption – the transformation of data into coded form to make it secure

e-publishing – the production of e-books

e-solution – common term for electronic solutions, i.e. ways of solving a problem or providing a service using the Internet

Ethernet – a widely-used local area network standard that broadcasts packets of data that are addressed to particular devices on the network. Each device on the network reads the address and passes it on to the correct device.

exe program – an MS-DOS executable program that has an .exe filename extension. It can use more than 64 kilobytes of memory and can be located anywhere in the memory.

execute – to perform a computer operation by processing a program instruction

expansion card – an electronic circuit board used for adding facilities to a computer

expert system – an artificial intelligence program that collects and uses human expertise to allow non-experts to solve specialised problems

FAQ – acronym used on websites for frequently-asked question

fetch – to go and get the next instruction or piece of data from memory

Fibre Channel – a high speed interconnection standard used in storage area networks

fibre-optics cable – a type of plastic or glass connector that enables signals to be carried using laser light

field – a section of a database where an item of data is stored

file – a computer program or data stored on a storage device

file server – a main computer that provides a storage area for data files on a network

file transfer protocol – an Internet service that allows users to transfer files from one computer to another

file virus – a virus that attaches itself to a program file

filestore – a collection of computer files stored centrally on a network server

firewall – a combination of hardware and software used to control the data going into and out of a network. It is used to prevent unauthorized access to the network by hackers.

flag – to mark in a way that indicates that a particular condition has occurred

flash drive – an electronic memory storage device that plugs into a computer and acts like a disk drive

flat file database – a simple database in which all the data is stored in one table which is not related to any other table

floppy (disk) – a magnetic storage device in the form of a small plastic disk. Also known as a diskette.

floppy (disk) drive – a common magnetic storage device that reads and writes data on a floppy disk. Also known as a diskette drive.

flowchart – a kind of diagram used by programmers to show the logical steps in a program or by systems analysts to show logical steps in the design of a system

FORTRAN – acronym for Formula Translator. A high-level computing language that was designed by scientists in 1954 and is oriented toward manipulating formulas for scientific, mathematical and engineering problem-solving applications.

frame – a section of a webpage that acts as an independent browser window. Clicking on a link in one frame can cause a webpage to be displayed in another frame, e.g. a menu in one frame can provide links to webpages that are displayed in another frame.

freeware – computer programs that are made available to anyone who wants to use them at no cost to the user

frequency band – a set of frequencies that are used together to provide a path for the transmission of signals

full backup – a type of backup that copies all the selected files on a system whether or not they have been edited or backed up
before

full-duplex – able to transfer data in both directions simultaneously, i.e. data can be transmitted and received at the same time

games console – an electronic device used for playing computer games

gateway – an interface that enables dissimilar networks to communicate such as two LANs based on different topologies or network operating systems

geek – although it was originally a derogatory term used for an expert lacking in social skills, it is now used in computing to mean a dedicated expert

general-purpose language – a computer language that can be used to write different types of programs

GIF – acronym for graphics interchange format. A way of storing images in a compres-
sed form

gigabit – a unit of storage capacity equal to
1 073 741 824 bits

gigabyte – a unit of storage capacity equal to 1 073 741 824 bytes

gigahertz – a unit of frequency equal to one thousand million hertz (cycles every second)

global positioning system – a system that determines the user’s location by comparing radio signals from several satellites

Gnome – a project to build a complete user-friendly Unix-like desktop system based entirely on free software. It is part of the GNU project and part of the OpenSource movement

GNU – a freely distributed portable Unix compatible software system

Google – the name of a popular website that provides a keyword search engine to enable user to search for relevant websites

GPS – abbreviation for global positioning system

graphical (user) interface, GUI – the part of an operating system that allows the user to interact with a computer using graphic images and a cursor

grep – a Unix command for searching through one or more text files for a specific text string

hack hick – to gain unauthorised access to a network system

hacker – a skilled programmer who attempts to gain unauthorised access to a network system

handheld (computer) – a small portable computer that can be held in one hand

hang – to suddenly and unexpectedly stop processing during the execution of a program

hard (disk) (drive) – a common magnetic storage device that reads and writes data on metal disks inside a sealed case

hardware – the physical components of a computer system

high-end package – a set of computer programs with a wide variety of complex features

high-level language – a programming language closer to human language than low-level computer languages such as machine code or assembly language

high-level program – a computer program written using a high-level language

highlight – to select by marking on the display screen

hijacking – a computer crime that involves redirecting anyone trying to visit a certain website elsewhere

Home button – the button icon on a Web browser program that takes you to the starting webpage

homepage – the main start page of a website

host – a computer that provides a service on a network; a program that carries a virus

hotspot – the location of a wireless access point. Often found in public places such as airports, stations and hotels to provide a connection to the Internet

hover – to hold a cursor over an icon for a short period of time

HTML – abbreviation for hypertext markup language. A page description language that uses a system of tags for creating web pages

hub – an electronic device at the centre of a star network topology; a common connection point for devices on a network

humanoid – a robot with human chara-
cteristics

hyperlink – a text or image in a webpage that causes a related webpage to be displayed or another program to be started when the user clicks on the hyperlink using the mouse

hypertext markup language – a page description language that has a set of tags that can be inserted into a document to make it act as a webpage. The tags determine how the document is displayed on the screen and marks the position of hyperlinks

I/O – abbreviation for input/output

IBM – abbreviation for International Business Machines, the largest computer company in the world. It launched the first personal computer called the IBM PC which quickly became the standard.

IС – abbreviation for integrated circuit. A complete electronic circuit built on a single silicon chip.

icon – a small picture used in a WIMP system to represent a program folder or file

IEEE802.11 – a wireless networking system standard approved by the American regulating organisation called the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers

I-frame – the common name for an intra frame in an MPEG compressed file

image editor – a computer program that allows the user to make changes to images

image map – a graphic image with separate areas that contain hyperlinks to different parts of a website

IMAP – acronym for Internet mail access protocol

inbox – the folder in an email program where emails are stored when they are first received

information technology – the study and practice of techniques or use of equipment for dealing with information

inheritance – a key feature of object-oriented programming that allows specific instances of a class to inherit all the properties of the class, e.g. squares are a specific instance of rectangles and inherit all the properties of rectangles

initialise (the hard disk) – to reboot or restart the computer

input – to put data into a system; data put into a system

input device – a piece of equipment used for putting data into a computer

instruction – one line of a computer program

integrated services digital network –
a broadband network communications system that allows the ordinary analogue telephone system to carry digital signals including voice, data, text, graphics and video

Intel – the American company that designs and produces the electronic processors used in most of the computers in the world

intelligent agent – a computer utility program that uses artificial intelligence to perform tasks for the user such as retrieving and delivering information and automating repetitive tasks

interactive – allows two-way communication so that the user can respond or interact with the system

interface – the hardware or software that connects two systems and allows them to communicate with each other

Internet (protocol) address – a 32-bit code number assigned to every node on the Internet. It consists of a series of numbers that identify the major network and the sub-networks to which a node is attached and provides a path that gateways can use to route information from one machine to another.

(Microsoft) Internet Explorer – a free browser program developed by the Microsoft Corporation

Internet mail access protocol – a set of standards for accessing email messages stored on an email server. Initially only message headers are retrieved. Users can then organise or delete messages on the server and download individual messages.

Internet protocol – the basic set of standards for enabling computers to communicate over the Internet

Internet service provider – an organisation that provides Internet connections for a fee

Internet – the connection of computer networks across the world

interpreter – a program that converts other programs into machine code line by line as the programs are being used

intranet – a computer network that is internal to an organisation and uses the TCP/IP protocol in the same way as the Internet

IP – abbreviation for Internet protocol. A part of the TCP/IP protocol used on the Internet.

IP address – abbreviation for Internet protocol address

IRC – abbreviation for Internet relay chat. An Internet service that allows user to have a conversation by sending text messages to each other in real-time.

IS Manager – an abbreviated form of information systems manager. A person who manages a computer-based service that provides information that is useful to a particular organisation.

ISDN – abbreviation for integrated services digital network

ISP – abbreviation for Internet service

provider IT – abbreviation for information technology

Java – an object-oriented computer programming language that was developed by Sun Microsystems in the mid-1990s. Programs written in Java can be used on a wide range of operating systems. It is widely used for developing interactive applications for the Internet

JavaScript – a scripting language that allows simple programs to be embedded into HTML documents

JPEG – abbreviation for joint photographic expert group -the committee that devised a common standard for image file format and compression. JPEG compression is commonly used for photographic images in webpages because it creates very small files

junk email – unwanted and unsolicited email that is normally advertising or trying to sell something

Kb/KB – abbreviation for a kilobyte. A unit of storage capacity equal to 1024 bytes.

Kbit/s – abbreviation for kilobits per second. A unit of signal speed equal to 1024 bits every second. A more common form is kbps.

KDE – a graphical user interface used with the Linux operating system

keyboard – the main electronic input device that has keys arranged in a similar layout to a typewriter

keyword – a word used to categorise documents or records in a file. Keywords can be used by a search engine to find relevant links on the Internet.

kHz – abbreviation for kilohertz. A unit of frequency equal to 1000 cycles every second.

killer application – an application program that is particularly useful and popular, making a computer system very successful

knowledge base – a collection of information that can be easily modified, revised and manipulated to enable the user to solve particular problems

LAN – acronym for local area network

language processor – software that performs computer language translation

laptop (computer) – the largest type of portable computer

laser printer – a printer that prints using toner powder and laser light on a photosensitive drum

LCD – abbreviation for liquid crystal display. An electronic display device that uses liquid crystal cells to control the reflection of light.

link – a common term used for a hyperlink, i.e. the connection of a webpage to another webpage or file

Linux – a clone of the Unix operating system created by Linus Torvalds for use on personal computers

Linux distribution – the Linux-user term for a complete operating system kit complete with the utilities and applications needed to make it do useful things, e.g. command interpreters, programming tools, text editors, typesetting tools and graphical user interfaces

load – to copy a program from a storage device into the computer’s memory

local area network – computers connected together over a small area such as a company department

log – to record the time that an event happened; a record of when an event happened

log on – to connect to a network system account normally using a password

logic bomb – destructive code introduced into a program that is triggered by some event taking place on the computer system at a later time

low-level language – a computer language such as machine code or assembly language that is closer to the form that a computer understands than to that of a human language

machine intelligence – another name for artificial intelligence

Mac OS – the family of operating systems used on the Apple Macintosh range of computers

macro virus – a virus program in the form of a macro program

magnetic tape – a magnetic storage medium in the form of a thin plastic ribbon wound on a reel or a cassette. It is commonly used for backing up data.

mail bombing – a computer crime that involves inundating an email address with thousands of messages slowing or even crashing the server

mail client – an email program that connects to an email server to send and receive email

mail server – a network service that stores email messages and enables email clients to send and receive emails

mailbox – a foldef used by an email server to store a user’s emails

main memory – the electronic memory that holds the programs and data being used

mainframe (computer) – the largest and most powerful type of computer. It is operated by a team of professionals

markup language – a set of tags that can be inserted into a document to indicate its layout and appearance

Mb/MB – abbreviation for a megabyte; a unit of storage capacity equal to 1 048 576 bytes

megahertz – a unit of frequency equal to
1 million cycles every second

memory – the electronic part of a computer system that is used for temporarily storing the programs and data that are being used by the processor

menu – a list of options displayed on a computer screen

menu bar – a row of icons on a display screen that open up menus when selected

metadata – data about data in a document

metalanguage – a language from which you can create other languages

microchip – an electronic integrated circuit in a small package

microcomputer – a personal computer. Smaller and less powerful than a mainframe or a minicomputer.

microprocessor – the main electronic chip in a computer. It can be thought of as the ‘brain’ of the computer because it does the main processing and controls the other parts of the computer. It is sometimes called the CPU.

Microsoft – the common name for the Microsoft Corporation. The company founded by Bill Gates that developed the MS-DOS and Windows operating systems and a variety of software commonly used on desktop computers.

microwave – a high-frequency electromagnetic wave used in data communication systems

minicomputer – a computer that is slightly less powerful and a little smaller than a mainframe

Minix – a compact Unix clone written as a teaching aid by Professor Andy Tannenbaum

modem – short for modulator/demodulator. An electronic device that converts signals to enable a computer to be connected to an ordinary telephone line.

modulation – a process of combining a data signal with a carrier wave by causing the data signal to modify the amplitude frequency or phase of the carrier wave

monitor – the main output device used to display the output from a computer on a screen. See VDU

MOO – acronym for multi-user object oriented. An Internet virtual environment developed from multi-user adventure games that allows many users to interact.

motherboard – the main electronic circuit board inside a computer that holds and connects together all the main electronic components

mouse – a common cursor control input device used with a graphical user interface. It commonly has two or three button switches on top and a ball underneath that is rolled on a flat surface

MP3 – abbreviation for MPEG Audio Layer 3. A Motion Picture Experts Group standard for audio compression.

MPEG – a standard video compression scheme. The term is an acronym for Motion Picture Experts Group a committee that develops standards for audio and video file formats and compression

MS-DOS – abbreviation for Microsoft disk operating system. The command line operating system that was used in the first PCs.

multimedia – the combination of text graphics animation sound and video

NAS – acronym for network attached storage. A device that can be plugged into a network to provide a storage service

natural-language programming – the process of writing programs using a computer language that is very similar to natural human language

Net – the common name for the Internet

Netscape Communicator – a widely used web browser package

NetWare – a widely-used LAN operating system produced by Novell Incorporated

network – to connect a number of computers and peripheral devices together; a combination of a number of computers and peripheral devices connected together

network computer – a computer designed using the industry specification from Oracle and Sun Microsystems for a low-cost basic personal computer that can have an Intel processor or another type of processor and can use a Java-based operating system. It is designed for use on a multi-user network system and is managed centrally. It has no floppy disk drive, CD-ROM drive or hardware expansion slots, i.e. it is a type of thin client

network guru – a person who is an expert in networking and gives talks and advice on the future development of networking

network operating system – an operating system that is used to administer and control a network allowing computers to share hardware and software while providing file security and backup facilities

neural net(work) – an artificial intelligence system that is capable of developing rules from given input so that it learns how to deal with more complex input

newsgroup – an Internet discussion group that uses a restricted area on a server computer to display messages about a common interest

notebook (computer) – a portable computer that is about the same size as a piece of writing paper

object – an object-oriented programming module that has its own properties created by bundling data and program instructions together

object-oriented programming – a type of programming where programs are made from combinations of predefined modules that can be used over and over again

(Microsoft) Office – a widely-used application package developed by the Microsoft Corporation that includes programs used in a typical office, e.g. a wordprocessor and spreadsheet

office application – a computer program or set of programs that are used in a typical office, e.g. a wordprocessor, spreadsheet and database

offline – disconnected from a computer system or the Internet

online – connected to a computer system or the Internet

OOP – acronym for object-oriented prog-
ramming

Open Source – part of a system of software development where anyone is free to take a copy of the source code and extend, develop or fix bugs in it

operating system – the set of programs that control the basic functions of a computer and provide communication between the application programs and the hardware

optical drive – a type of storage device that reads or writes data using laser light, e.g. CD-ROM, DVD-RW

optical fibre – a common name for glass fibre cable used in high speed networks. It enables data signals to be transmitted using laser light.

ORACLE – a widely used database management system

OS – abbreviation for operating system

OS X – version 10 of the Apple Macintosh operating system. It is a modular OS and has a desktop with a 3-D appearance. It includes support for UNIX-based applications as well as older Mac applications.

Outlook Express – a free graphical interface email program integrated into the Internet Explorer browser developed by the Microsoft Corporation

(software) package – an application program or collection of programs that can be used in different ways

packet – a fixed size unit of data prepared for transmission across a network. Messages are normally divided into packets before transmission

packet-switching – a method of transferring data across a network by dividing it into packets and transferring the packets individually from node to node then putting the packets together again when they arrive at the destination

page-description language – a type of programming language that uses tags to define the layout of a document, e.g. HTML is a page-description language used to design webpages

palm-size PC – another name for a handheld IBM compatible computer

palmtop (computer) – a portable computer that is small enough to be held in the palm of one hand. See handheld computer.

Pascal – a high-level structured computer language named after the mathematician Blaise Pascal. It is often used in college computing courses to teach programming

password – a secret code used to control access to a network system

payload – the part of a virus that carries out the threat such as displaying a slogan on the screen

payroll package – a set of computer programs used for calculating pay cheques

PC – abbreviation for an IBM type of personal computer

PCI Express – (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) an interface for connecting peripherals to the processor. It is faster than the standard PCI interface.

PDA – abbreviation for personal digital assistant. A small handheld computer providing a variety of tools for organising work, e.g. a calendar, to do list, diary, address list, calculator, etc.

pen-based computer – a small computer that has a pen input device instead of a keyboard

Pentium – a family of processors produced by the Intel Corporation

peripheral – a piece of equipment that is connected to the central processing unit of a computer system

personal computer – a computer designed to be used by one person at a time

P-frame – the common name for a predicted frame in an MPEG compressed file

Photoshop – an image-editing computer program produced by Adobe Systems Inc.

piggybacking – a computer crime that involves using another person’s identification code or using that person’s files before he or she has logged off

PIN – an acronym for personal identification number. A unique number used by electronic systems to indicate who a person is.

platform – distinctive type of computer system that needs software to be written specifically for it, e.g. PC, Apple Mac, etc.

PlayStation – a games console developed by the Sony Corporation

POP – acronym for post office protocol

portable (computer) – a computer that is small and light enough to be carried from place to place. It can usually be powered by batteries

post – to display a message in a computer newsgroup or bulletin board

post office protocol – a message-retrieval protocol used by many mail clients to get messages from a server. It only allows you to download all messages in your mailbox at once and works in ‘pull’ mode, i.e. the receiving PC initiating the connection.

primary disk drive – the main disk drive in a computer. In a PC this is usually a hard disk known as the С drive.

Print Screen – the computer keyboard key that copies the current display screen image to memory or to the printer

printed circuit board – an electronic board that holds and connects the components of an electronic circuit

printer – a common output device used for printing the output of a computer on paper

procedural language – a computer programming language that enables programs to be written using sections of code known as procedures. Each procedure performs a specific task.

processor – the part of a computer that processes the data

program – a set of instructions written in a computer language that control the behaviour of a computer; to write a set of instructions for controlling a computer using a computer language

programmer – a person who writes computer programs

programming – the processes of writing a computer program using a computer language

programming language – a computer language used for writing computer programs

protocol – a set of agreed standards

pseudocode – a way of writing a description of a computer program using a mixture of natural language and computer language code

pull-down menu – a list of choices that appear below a menu title on a display screen when the user clicks on the menu title using a mouse

RAM – acronym for random access memory

random access memory – a type of memory that can be accessed in any order. RAM is the main electronic memory of a personal computer and is used for storing the programs and data being used

real-time – the immediate processing of computer data enabling interactive applications

reboot – to restart a computer operating
system

record – a section of a database made up of related database fields

recorder (program) – a computer program that allows the user to create their own audio CDs with a writeable CD-ROM drive

Recycle Bin – the folder in Microsoft Windows operating systems where deleted files are stored

resolution – a measure of the quality of a display screen in terms of the amount of graphical information that can be shown on the screen. This partly depends on the number of dots that make up the image.

resolution protocol – a set of standards for software used with internal look-up tables in a TCP/IP network for routing data through a gateway between networks

restore – to put data back into its original location

rip – to extract songs from a CD and turn them into WAV files

ripper – a program that extracts songs from a CD and turns them into WAV files

robot – a mechanical device controlled by a computer

robotics – the study of robot systems

ROM – acronym for read only memory

route – the path that is used to transfer data in a network; to move data from node to node on a network

router – an electronic device that links different networks or parts of a network. It determines the path that a signal should take to reach its destination

run – to execute a program, i.e. to get a program to process the data

salami shaving – a computer crime that involves manipulating programs or data so that small amounts of money are deducted from a large number of transactions or accounts and accumulated elsewhere

SAN – acronym for storage area network. A high-speed interconnection of shared storage devices

save – to copy a program or data to a storage device

scan – to copy text or graphics using a scanner

scanner – an optical input device that uses the reflection of light to copy text or graphics into a computer

(monitor)(display) screen – a computer output device used for displaying text and graphic images

scroll – to move through displayed information smoothly on the screen either horizontally or vertically

scrollbar – the part of a graphical user interface window that allows the user to move through a document by clicking or dragging with the mouse

SCSI – acronym for small computer systems interface. A standard way of connecting peripheral devices to a personal computer system. It is often used to connect hard disks and CD-ROM drives in server computers.

SDRAM – abbreviation for synchronous dynamic random access memory. A type of fast memory that uses a separate clock signal in addition to the normal control signals.

search engine – a program designed to find information on the World Wide Web according to data entered by the user. Search engines are usually accessed from special websites

segment – a subdivision of data created by a network communications transport layer for which a checksum is generated

server – a main computer that provides a service on a network

server farm – a large collection of networked server computers that work together by sharing the service workload

service tag number – a number used to identify a computer for maintenance agreements

shareware – software that is distributed freely and only paid for if the user decides to keep it

shell – a graphical user interface for an operating system

shell script – a text file that contains a sequence of commands for a UNIX-based operating system. In DOS operating systems a shell script is called a batch file.

shift key – the computer keyboard key that is held down to produce uppercase letters

signup – to register with a service

simple mail transfer protocol – a set of standards for sending email from an email client and transferring email between server computers on the Internet

simulation – a programmed virtual environment that imitates a real or planned system

site – a common name for a website

sitemap – a webpage that is used to show the overall layout of a website

smart card – a plastic card containing a processor and memory chip. It can be used to store large amounts of confidential data.

smart card reader – a device used for reading smart cards

smart device – a device that contains an embedded processor and memory

smart phone – a telephone that contains an embedded processor and memory and can process data, e.g. translate English into German, Japanese and French in real time

SMS – abbreviation for Short Message Service. A method of sending text messages that are 160 characters in length or shorter over a mobile phone

SMTP – abbreviation for simple message transfer protocol

software – the programs and data used in a computer

software engineering – the discipline of designing high quality software solutions

software house – a company that designs and produces software

software piracy – a computer crime that involves unauthorised copying of a program for sale or distributing to other users

source code – programming code that has to be processed by a compiler or translator to make object code for use in a computer

spam – unsolicited email sent to large numbers of people indiscriminately usually advertising or trying to sell a product

spreadsheet (program) – a type of application program with an array of cells that is used for calculating formulas

SQL – abbreviation for structured query language. A language used for searching databases.

standard generalized markup language –
the complex metalanguage from which both HTML and XML were created

status bar – a narrow band displayed across the bottom of a window in a Microsoft Windows application to display useful information for the user, e.g. number of pages in a document

stealth virus – a type of virus that hides itself making it hard to detect

storage device – a piece of equipment used for reading from and writing to a storage medium

storage medium – a material used for storing programs and data

streaming – a process of downloading and storing the next part of a data signal while the first part is being used. In this way the data signal, e.g. an audio or video is fed to the slower destination device at a steady rate.

string – a series of data characters which can be a mixture of letters or numbers

striping – a process where data is spread across all drives in a RAID array rather than filling up one disk with data before writing to the next disk in the array

structured language – a computer programming language that requires the programmer to write programs made up of self-contained units or procedures

structured programming – the process of writing a program using a structured programming language

subfolder – a storage area that provides a subdivision of a folder so that stored files can be organised into smaller groups

submenu – a list of choices that is displayed when the user clicks on an item in a menu

sub-network – a self-contained part of a larger network

subpage – a webpage that gives further detailed information about part of the information on a main webpage

supercomputer – the most powerful type of mainframe computer

supervisor (program) – the most important program in the operating system. It is resident and controls the entire operating system. It loads other operating system programs into memory when they are needed

support analyst –a person who provides help to computer users by studying their requirements and designing systems to provide for their needs

support engineer – a professional who provides help for computer users by designing, building, and maintaining computer systems

support technician – a person who maintains and troubleshoots problems with computers

surf – to browse webpages on the Internet in an unplanned way

surge protector – an electronic device that protects equipment from damage due to sudden high voltage or current in the power supply

swipe card – a plastic card with a magnetic strip running across it containing confiden-
tial data

synchronise – to cause different processes to occur at the same time

synchronous – occurring at regular intervals and in step with other systems usually controlled by an electronic clock circuit

synthesiser – a device that uses electronic circuits to generate sounds

system tray – a section at the far right of a Microsoft Windows task bar that holds icons for the clock and other programs that run constantly in the background

systems administrator – a person who maintains a multi-user computer system

systems analysis – the study of a system to determine how it can be computerised

systems analyst – a person who designs or modifies information systems to meet users’ requirements. This includes investigating feasibility and cost-producing documentation and testing prototypes of the system.

systems manager – a person who manages a computer system

systems program – a program or set of programs that is used to control the basic functions of a computer system, e.g. operating system programs

systems programmer – a person who specialises in writing systems software such as operating system programs

systems programming – the writing of systems programs

tab – the computer keyboard key that is used to move the cursor to the next tabulation point in a wordprocessor program so that data can be spaced evenly on the screen

tag – a label used in a markup language such as HTML. It is attached to a piece of text to mark the start or the end of a particular function

TCP – abbreviation for transfer control protocol. A part of the TCP/IP protocol used on the Internet.

TCP/IP – abbreviation for transmission control protocol/Internet protocol. The official set of standards for determining the form of the signals used for transmitting data on the Internet.

technophobic – having a fear or strong dislike of technology and technological devices

telecommunications – branch of technology concerned with communications over long distances

telecommunications engineer – a person who works with systems concerned with communications over long distances

telecommute – to communicate with your office by computer, telephone and fax while working a distance from your office, e.g. at home

telephony – the science of audio communication through electric devices. It commonly refers to software that will make a computer act like a telephone.

teleworking – the process of working at home while communicating with your office by computer, telephone and fax. See telecommute.

teller machine – a machine used for taking payments in large shops and supermarkets

telnet – acronym for teletype network. An Internet service that allows a user to connect to a multi-user server using a computer as a terminal.

terminal adapter – a device for connecting an ISDN system to an existing telephone line

text editor – a computer program for editing basic data or program text, i.e. like a basic wordprocessor

TFT display – abbreviation for thin film transistor display. A type of LCD screen display commonly used in portable computers. It uses a separate transistor to control each pixel on the display.

thin client – a low-cost centrally-managed basic computer with a keyboard and display screen processor and memory but no CD-ROM drive, floppy disk drive or expansion slots, e.g. a NetPC or a network computer (NC)

third-generation GSM – the third generation of the Global System for Mobile communication standard. It is the standard for mobile users around the world.

track – a formatted circular magnetic storage area on a computer disk

traffic – the volume of signals or data that passes through a network system

transaction processing – the processing of computer transactions by updating the computer file as each transaction takes place rather than storing them until later to be processed
as a batch

transceiver – short form of transmitter/receiver. A device that both sends and receives signals

transmission control protocol – a set of standards for the delivery of error-free data in communications between computers. It comes into operation once a data packet is delivered to the correct Internet address and application port. It manages the communication exchanges and provides reliable stream service by structuring and buffering the data flow looking for responses and taking action to replace missing data blocks.

transponder – a device that responds to received coded radio signals by automatically transmitting a different coded signal

trapdoor – a technique used in a computer crime that involves leaving within a completed program an illicit program that allows unauthorised – and unknown – entry

Trojan (horse) – a technique used in a computer crime that involves adding concealed instructions to a computer program so that it will still work but will also perform prohibited duties. In other words it appears to do something useful but actually does something destructive in the background.

troubleshoot – to find and fix faults in
a system

troubleshooter – a person who finds and fixes faults in a system

TTS – abbreviation for text to speech. A system where a computer reads text to the user using a speech synthesiser

tuned – set to operate on the same frequency

twisted-pair (cabling) – a common type of network cable that uses two wires twisted together to reduce interference from external signals

UDP – abbreviation for user datagram
protocol

undo – to restore a file to the condition it was in before the last change was made

Unix – a popular multi-user multitasking operating system originally designed for mainframe computers.

update – change that provides the latest version; to bring up to date, i.e. to change into the latest version

upgrade – a change that improves the features or performance of a system; to add components to improve the features or performance of a system

upload – to copy a file from a client computer to a server in a network

URL– abbreviation for uniform (or universal) resource locator

USB – abbreviation for universal serial bus. A connector interface standard for attaching peripheral devices to a computer

Usenet – an Internet service that allows users to communicate by means of newsgroups

user datagram protocol – a set of standards for creating a data address in a TCP/IP message. It is used to indicate what application the message is supposed to contact and provides the final routing for the data within the receiving system

user-authentication system – a system that identifies users. This can be done using digital certificates.

username – the network account name assigned to a particular user

utility – a program included with an operating system that can perform useful common routine tasks or housekeeping operations, e.g. foi matting disks or copying files

UTMS – abbreviation for Universal Mobile Telecommunications System

VDU – abbreviation for visual display unit.

video memory – the memory used to store graphics ata or a graphics card

videoconferencing – a form of communication over a network that uses video cameras so that the people taking part can see and hear each other

virtual – computer-simulated enabling the user to experience something without needing its physical presence

virtual reality – a simulated three-dimensional environment that surrounds the user and is generated by a computer

virus – a program written with the purpose of causing damage or causing a computer to behave in an unusual way

Visual Basic – a general-purpose programming language with a graphical interface. It is particularly suitable for use by beginners learning how to program

visualisation technology – systems and devices used to create a virtual reality environment

VMS – an operating system used by DEC VAX minicomputers

voice clip – a short sound recording of the human voice

voice recognition – a system that can respond to words spoken by a human being

voice synthesiser – an electronic device that generates sounds that represent the human voice

VoIP – abbreviation for voice over Internet protocol. A set of standards for enabling phone calls to be made across the Internet.

VR – abbreviation for virtual reality

wallpaper – the background graphics on a Microsoft Windows desktop

WAP – acronym for wireless application protocol. A set of standards for allowing users to send emails and access information including video transmissions from the Internet on a mobile phone

Web address – the Internet address of a webpage

Web developer – a person who is employed to create websites

Web mail – a type of email that is accessed from webpages

Webserver – a server computer that stores and provides access to websites

Web space – disk storage space on a web server used for storing webpages

Webmaster – a person who administeis a Web server

Webpage – a hyperlinked document in a web network system

web-ready appliances protocol – a set of standards for enabling domestic appliances to be connected to the Web and to communicate with each other

website – a set of related pages on the World Wide Web

WiFi – abbreviation for Wireless Fidelity. A set of standards for radio-based wireless networks

window – rectangular screen area containing a program folder or file in a WIMP
system

(Microsoft) Windows – a graphical user interface operating system developed by the Microsoft Corporation. It has been gradually developed into a full operating system.

Windows Explorer – a Microsoft Windows program that allows the user to see the files and folders on all the disks attached to the computer. It can be used for general housekeeping such as moving or deleting files.

wipe – to delete all the files stored on a disk

wirelessly – using radio signals without the need for connecting wires or cables

wireless network – the interconnection of computers using signals carried through the air (usually radio waves) instead of through connecting cables

WLAN – abbreviation for wireless local area network. A network that uses radio waves to connect computers in a small area

WML – abbreviation for wireless markup language. A language similar to HTML used for designing webpages suitable for mobile phones

(Microsoft) Word – a widely-used word processing program developed by the Microsoft Corporation. It is a component of the Microsoft Office package.

wordprocessing – the process of typing and editing text using a wordprocessor

wordprocessor – a type of computer application program used for typing and editing text documents

workstation – a powerful desktop computer used by power users for work that requires a lot of processing, e.g. graphic design

World Wide Web – an information service on the Internet that allows document pages to be accessed using hyperlinks

worm – a program that performs unwanted actions and replicates itself across a network

WRAP – acronym for Web-ready appliances protocol. A set of communications system standards that enable web-connected appliances to communicate

X (windowing) (system) – a windowing system used with different versions of Unix

XML – abbreviation for extensible markup language

Yahoo – the name of a popular Internet search engine website


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