Browse Definitions :
Definition

spool (simultaneous peripheral operations online)

Contributor(s): Dudley Glass

To spool (which stands for "simultaneous peripheral operations online") a computer document or task list (or "job") is to read it in and store it, usually on a hard disk or larger storage medium so that it can be printed or otherwise processed at a more convenient time (for example, when a printer is finished printing its current document). One can envision spooling as reeling a document or task list onto a spool of thread so that it can be unreeled at a more convenient time.

The idea of spooling originated in early computer days when input was read in on punched cards for immediate printing (or processing and then immediately printing of the results). Since the computer operates at a much faster rate than input/output devices such as printers, it was more effective to store the read-in lines on a magnetic disk until they could be conveniently printed when the printer was free and the computer was less busy working on other tasks. Actually, a printer has a buffer but frequently the buffer isn't large enough to hold the entire document, requiring multiple I/O operations with the printer.

The spooling of documents for printing and batch job requests still goes on in mainframe computers where many users share a pool of resources. On personal computers, your print jobs (for example, a Web page you want to print) are spooled to an output file on hard disk if your printer is already printing another file.

This was last updated in March 2011

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • compliance audit

    A compliance audit is a comprehensive review of an organization's adherence to regulatory guidelines.

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

SearchSecurity

  • orphan account

    An orphan account, also referred to as an orphaned account, is a user account that can provide access to corporate systems, ...

  • voice squatting (skill squatting)

    Voice squatting is an attack vector for voice user interfaces (VUIs) that exploits homonyms (words that sound the same but are ...

  • WPA3

    WPA3, also known as Wi-Fi Protected Access 3, is the third version of the security certification program developed by the Wi-Fi ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity policy

    Business continuity policy is the set of standards and guidelines an organization enforces to ensure resilience and proper risk ...

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

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

  • warm site

    A warm site is a type of facility an organization uses to recover its technology infrastructure when its primary data center goes...

SearchStorage

  • cache memory

    Cache memory, also called CPU memory, is high-speed static random access memory (SRAM) that a computer microprocessor can access ...

  • enterprise storage

    Enterprise storage is a centralized repository for business information that provides common data management, protection and data...

  • disk array

    A disk array, also called a storage array, is a data storage system used for block-based storage, file-based storage or object ...

Close