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Computing fundamentals

Terms related to computer fundamentals, including computer hardware definitions and words and phrases about software, operating systems, peripherals and troubleshooting.

11T - BRO

  • 11th dimension - The 11th dimension is a characteristic of space-time that has been proposed as a possible answer to questions that arise in superstring theory.
  • 2001 - Midnight UTC on January 1, 2001 marked the beginning of the third millennium on the Western world's Gregorian calendar.
  • 3-tier application architecture - A 3-tier application architecture is a modular client-server architecture that consists of a presentation tier, an application tier and a data tier.
  • 42 (h2g2, meaning of life, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) - In Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," 42 is the number from which all meaning ("the meaning of life, the universe, and everything") can be derived.
  • 99.999 (Five nines or Five 9s) - In computers, 99.
  • A-weighted decibels (dBA, or dBa, or dB(a)) - A-weighted decibels, abbreviated dBA, or dBa, or dB(a), are an expression of the relative loudness of sounds in air as perceived by the human ear.
  • abandonware - Abandonware is computer software (such as an operating system, word processor, interactive game, or audio file) that is no longer marketed or distributed by the company that created it, but is obtainable from some other source.
  • absolute truth - In general, absolute truth is whatever is always valid, regardless of parameters or context.
  • access method - In computing, an access method is a program or a hardware mechanism that moves data between the computer and an outlying device such as a hard disk (or other form of storage) or a display terminal.
  • accumulator - An accumulator is a register for short-term, intermediate storage of arithmetic and logic data in a computer's CPU (central processing unit).
  • acronym - An acronym (pronounced AK-ruh-nihm, from Greek acro- in the sense of extreme or tip and onyma or name) is an abbreviation of several words in such a way that the abbreviation itself forms a word.
  • Ada Lovelace (Augusta Ada King) - Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, was an English mathematician who is credited with being the first computer programmer.
  • adaptive enterprise (or adaptive organization) - An adaptive enterprise (or adaptive organization) is a corporation, institution, or agency in which the business demand and the IT (information technology) supply are matched and synchronized at all times.
  • address bar - The address bar is the familiar text field at the top of a web browser’s graphical user interface (GUI) that displays the name or the URL (uniform resource locator) of the current web page.
  • address space - Address space is the amount of memory allocated for all possible addresses for a computational entity, such as a device, a file, a server, or a networked computer.
  • addressability - Addressability is the capacity for an entity to be targeted and found.
  • affective computing (emotion AI) - Affective computing, also known as AC or emotion AI, is an area of study within cognitive computing and artificial intelligence that is concerned with gathering data from faces, voices and body language to measure human emotion.
  • agentless - Agentless, in computing, refers to operations where no service, daemon or process (AKA an agent) needs to run in the background on the machine the action is being performed on.
  • agnostic - Agnostic, in an information technology (IT) context, refers to something that is generalized so that it is interoperable among various systems.
  • AIBO (Artificial Intelligence roBOt) - AIBO (pronounced eye-bow) is an entertainment robot designed by Sony.
  • algorithm - An algorithm (pronounced AL-go-rith-um) is a procedure or formula for solving a problem, based on conducting a sequence of specified actions.
  • alphanumeric (alphameric) - Alphanumeric, also referred to as alphameric, is a term that encompasses all of the letters and numerals in a given language set.
  • AltaVista - AltaVista is an Internet search engine.
  • anacronym - An anacronym is an acronym or an abbreviation so old or familiar that no one remembers what its letters stand for, such as BASIC or COBOL.
  • analog computing - Analog computing is a term used by Paul Saffo of the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, California, to describe silicon-based microsensors that sense and react to external (natural) stimuli in something that approximates the rhythm of reality rather than the "artificial" binary behavior of digital computing.
  • Analytical Engine - The Analytical Engine was, or would have been, the world's first general-purpose computer.
  • angstrom (angstrom unit) - The angstrom, also known as the angstrom unit, is a measure of displacement equal to 0.
  • anisotropic filtering (AF) - Anisotropic filtering (AF) is a feature of some video cards that sharpens the details of the fading-away part of a 3D object that recedes into the distance.
  • anode - An anode is the electrode in a polarized electrical device through which current flows in from an outside circuit.
  • anthropomorphism - Anthropomorphism (from the Greek anthrôpos, for human, and morphé, for shape) is the tendency for people to think of other animals or inanimate objects as having human-like characteristics.
  • Antikythera mechanism (2000-year-old computer) - The Antikythera mechanism is an analog computer that was used by the Greeks more than 2000 years ago to locate and predict the positions of celestial objects.
  • antimatter - Antimatter is any substance that, when combined with an equal amount of matter, results in the complete and direct conversion of all substance to energy.
  • any key - The phrase "any key," which frequently appears in the direction to computer users to "Press any key," is reportedly a source of confusion to many.
  • app - App is an abbreviated form of the word "application.
  • Apple - Apple is a prominent hardware and software company best known for its series of personal computers, the iPod and its innovative marketing strategies for its products.
  • application program interface (API) - An application program interface (API) is code that allows two software programs to communicate with each other.
  • approximate equality - Approximate equality is a concept used primarily in physics and engineering, and also occasionally in mathematics.
  • arachniography - An arachniography (pronounced uh-RAK-nee-AH-gruf-ee) is a bibliography of Web pages.
  • Archie - Archie is a program that allows you to search the files of all the Internet FTP servers that offer anonymous FTP.
  • architecture - In information technology, especially computers and more recently networks, architecture is a term applied to both the process and the outcome of thinking out and specifying the overall structure, logical components, and the logical interrelationships of a computer, its operating system, a network, or other conception.
  • archival storage - In computers, archival storage is storage for data that may not be actively needed but is kept for possible future use or for record-keeping purposes.
  • arithmetic mean - The arithmetic mean, also called the average or average value, is the quantity obtained by summing two or more numbers or variables and then dividing by the number of numbers or variables.
  • artificial neural network (ANN) - In information technology (IT), a neural network is a system of hardware and/or software patterned after the operation of neurons in the human brain.
  • artificial superintelligence (ASI) - Artificial superintelligence (ASI) is software-based intellectual powers that surpass human ability across almost all conceivable categories and fields of endeavor.
  • Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics - Science-fiction author Isaac Asimov is often given credit for being the first person to use the term robotics in a short story composed in the 1940s.
  • ASN.1 (Abstract Syntax Notation One) - ASN.1 (Abstract Syntax Notation One) is a standard way to describe a message (a unit of application data) that can be sent or received in a network.
  • aspect ratio - Aspect ratio is an image projection attribute that describes the proportional relationship between the width of an image and its height.
  • assembly line - An assembly line is a manufacturing process in which interchangeable parts are assembled as they are passed in a direct line from workstation to workstation until a final product is produced.
  • assistive technology (adaptive technology) - Assistive technology is a set of devices intended to help people who have disabilities.
  • asymmetric communications - In telecommunications, the term asymmetric (also asymmetrical or non-symmetrical) refers to any system in which the data speed or quantity differs in one direction as compared with the other direction, averaged over time.
  • asynchronous - In general, asynchronous (pronounced "ay-SIHN-kro-nuhs," from Greek "asyn," meaning "not with," and "chronos," meaning "time") is an adjective describing objects or events that are not coordinated in time.
  • attosecond - An attosecond is one quintillionth (10 -18) of a second and is a term used in photon research.
  • audio noise - In audio, noise is generally any unpleasant sound and, more technically, any unwanted sound that is unintentionally added to a desired sound.
  • audit trail - In accounting, an audit trail is the sequence of paperwork that validates or invalidates accounting entries.
  • augmented intelligence - Augmented intelligence is an alternative conceptualization of artificial intelligence that focuses on AI's assistive role, emphasizing the fact that it is designed to supplement human intelligence rather than replace it.
  • automagically - Automagically is a term used when the user either doesn't want to go into the technical details of something or doesn't know the details but does know what the end result has to be.
  • autonomic computing - Autonomic computing is a self-managing computing model named after, and patterned on, the human body's autonomic nervous system.
  • AVI file (Audio Video Interleaved file) - An AVI (Audio Video Interleaved) file is a sound and motion picture file that conforms to the Microsoft Windows Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF) specification.
  • azimuth and elevation - Azimuth and elevation are angles used to define the apparent position of an object in the sky, relative to a specific observation point.
  • backslash - The backslash ( \ ) is a typographic and/or keyboard mark that is widely used in programming languages and other computing contexts.
  • backup storage device - A data storage device for backup makes copies of data actively in use.
  • balanced scorecard - The balanced scorecard is a management system aimed at translating an organization's strategic goals into a set of performance objectives that, in turn, are measured, monitored and changed if necessary to ensure that the organization's strategic goals are met.
  • bar code (or barcode) - A bar code (often seen as a single word, barcode) is the small image of lines (bars) and spaces that is affixed to retail store items, identification cards, and postal mail to identify a particular product number, person, or location.
  • barcode data (point-of-sale data, POS data) - Barcode data (sometimes called point-of-sale data) is information from barcodes that is automatically gathered as a consumer's purchases are put through a check-out.
  • bare metal restore - In disaster recovery, a bare metal restore is the process of reformatting a computer from scratch after a catastrophic failure.
  • baseband - Describes a telecommunication system in which information is carried in digital form on a single unmultiplexed signal channel on the transmission medium.
  • Bayesian logic - Named for Thomas Bayes, an English clergyman and mathematician, Bayesian logic is a branch of logic applied to decision making and inferential statistics that deals with probability inference: using the knowledge of prior events to predict future events.
  • benchmark - A benchmark is a point of reference by which something can be measured.
  • bespoke - Bespoke (pronounced bee-SPOHK) is a term used in the United Kingdom and elsewhere for an individually- or custom-made product or service.
  • BetterWhois - BetterWhois, named after the original whois, lets you look up registration information from all Internet domain name registrars at the same time.
  • binary - Binary describes a numbering scheme in which there are only two possible values for each digit: 0 and 1.
  • binary search (dichotomizing search) - A binary search, also called a dichotomizing search, is a digital scheme for locating a specific object in a large set.
  • binary tree - A binary tree is a method of placing and locating files (called records or keys) in a database, especially when all the data is known to be in random access memory (RAM).
  • binary-safe function - A binary-safe function is a function or operation that can be performed on a binary file without modifying the contents of the file.
  • biochip - A biochip is a collection of miniaturized test sites (microarrays) arranged on a solid substrate that permits many tests to be performed at the same time in order to achieve higher throughput and speed.
  • bioinformatics - Bioinformatics is the science of developing computer databases and algorithms for the purpose of speeding up and enhancing biological research.
  • biotechnology (biotech) - Biotechnology is the use of biological processes, organisms, or systems to manufacture products intended to improve the quality of human life.
  • bit (binary digit) - A bit (short for binary digit) is the smallest unit of data in a computer.
  • bit map - A bit map (often spelled "bitmap") defines a display space and the color for each pixelor "bit" in the display space.
  • bit padding - Bit padding is the addition of one or more extra bits to a transmission or storage unit to make it conform to a standard size.
  • bitwise - Bitwise operations manipulate data at the bit level rather than with bytes or larger units of data, as is more common.
  • black box (black box testing) - Black box testing assesses a system solely from the outside, without the operator or tester knowing what is happening within the system to generate responses to test actions.
  • black hole - The term "black hole" is sometimes used to refer to an imaginary place where objects, files, or funds go when they get lost for no apparent reason.
  • bloviate - To bloviate (pronounced BLOW-vee-ayt) is to speak or write overexpansively or with undue grandiosity.
  • blue screen of death (BSOD) - The blue screen of death (BSOD), is the informal name given by users to the Windows general protection fault (GPF) error.
  • boot - 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).
  • boot sector - A boot sector is a specially assigned section of a storage drive containing the files required to start the operating system (OS) and other bootable programs such as antivirus programs, drive partitioning software, backup tools and diagnostic disks.
  • Bootstrap - Bootstrap is a free and open source front-end development framework for the creation of websites and web apps.
  • bottleneck - A bottleneck is a stage in a process that causes the entire process to slow down or stop.
  • boustrophedon - Boustrophedon (from Greek for ox-turning) is writing that proceeds in one direction in one line (such as from left to right) and then in the reverse direction in the next line (such as from right to left).
  • brain dump - A brain dump (sometimes spelled braindump, or brain-dump) is a complete transfer of accessible knowledge about a particular subject from your brain to some other storage medium, such as paper or your computer's hard drive.
  • brain-computer interface (BCI) - Brain-computer interface (BCI) is a collaboration between a brain and a device that enables signals from the brain to direct some external activity, such as control of a cursor or a prosthetic limb.
  • brand - A brand is a product, service, or concept that is publicly distinguished from other products, services, or concepts so that it can be easily communicated and usually marketed.
  • brick server - A brick server is a compact computer server module without a chassis that can come in various processor, RAM, I/O, and storage configurations and is designed to fit into rack locations similar to those for blade servers.

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  • DRAM (dynamic random access memory)

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    RAID 10, also known as RAID 1+0, is a RAID configuration that combines disk mirroring and disk striping to protect data.

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    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

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