Browse Definitions:
Definition

garbage

In computers, garbage has two related meanings:

1) From a user's perceptual point-of-view, garbage is often used to mean anything on your display screen that looks unreadable or unviewable. This can include looking at a graphics file, such as a Web Graphics Interchange Format file, with a text reader. Although this is simply an instance of using the wrong program to view a perfectly good file, the viewer is likely to think that what's presented is "garbage."

2) From a programming point-of-view, garbage is data that has been placed in random access memory space obtained from the operating system that is no longer needed. Freeing the space for reuse is called "garbage collecting." In the past, programmers have had to write programs that explicitly requested storage and then returned it to the system when it was no longer needed. (Programs that neglect to return unused storage can be shut down by the operating system.) The term "garbage collecting" apparently was first used in the LISP programming language. Java is a newer programming language that, like LISP, handles garbage-collecting for the program, freeing the programmer from being concerned about it.

This was last updated in April 2005

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • security information and event management (SIEM)

    Security information and event management (SIEM) is an approach to security management that seeks to provide a holistic view of ...

  • polymorphic virus

    A polymorphic virus is a harmful, destructive or intrusive type of malware that can change or 'morph,' making it difficult to ...

  • cyberterrorism

    According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, cyberterrorism is any 'premeditated, politically motivated attack against ...

SearchHealthIT

  • accountable care organization (ACO)

    An accountable care organization (ACO) is an association of hospitals, healthcare providers and insurers in which all parties ...

  • patient engagement

    Patient engagement is an ideal healthcare situation in which people are well-informed about -- and motivated to be involved -- in...

  • personal health record (PHR)

    A personal health record (PHR) is a collection of health-related information that is documented and maintained by the individual ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

  • NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF)

    NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF) is a technology specification designed to enable nonvolatile memory express message-based commands to...

  • cloud object storage

    Cloud object storage is a format for storing unstructured data in the cloud.

  • parallel file system

    A parallel file system is a software component designed to store data across multiple networked servers and to facilitate ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close