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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.

SIX - THI

  • six degrees of separation - Six degrees of separation is the theory that any person on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries.
  • Six Sigma - Six Sigma is an approach to data-driven management that seeks to improve quality by measuring how many defects there are in a process and systematically eliminating them until there are as close to zero defects as possible.
  • SKU (stockkeeping unit) - SKU (stockkeeping unit, sometimes spelled "Sku") is an identification, usually alphanumeric, of a particular product that allows it to be tracked for inventory purposes.
  • SkunkWorks project (Skunk Works) - A SkunkWorks project (also known as Skunk Works) is an innovative undertaking, involving a small group of people, that is outside the normal research and development channels within an organization.
  • slack space (file slack space) - Slack space is the difference between its logical and physical size.
  • Slashdot Effect - The Slashdot Effect is the sudden, relatively temporary surge in traffic to a Web site that occurs when a high-traffic Web site or other source posts a story that refers visitors to another Web site.
  • sleep mode - Sleep mode, sometimes called standby or suspend mode, is a power-sparing state that a computer can enter when not in use.
  • slice and dice - To slice and dice is to break a body of information down into smaller parts or to examine it from different viewpoints so that you can understand it better.
  • slow-scan television (SSTV) - Slow-scan television (SSTV) is a mode of video communications in which a sequence of fixed images is sent and received at intervals of several seconds.
  • slowness movement - The slowness movement is a grassroots reaction to the hectic pace, overwork, and lack of leisure typical of modern life.
  • Small Office Home Office (SOHO) - In information technology, SOHO is a term for the small office or home office environment and business culture.
  • smart machines - A smart machine is a device embedded with machine-to-machine (M2M) and/or cognitive computing technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning or deep learning, all of which it uses to reason, problem-solve, make decisions and even, ultimately, take action.
  • smart wristwatch - A smart wristwatch is a wristwatch that not only tells time but, using a wireless connection to an information source, can show you the news, stock, sports scores, or weather; remind you of meetings on your Outlook calendar; provide instant messaging input from others; and update the time when you move to another time zone.
  • SMB (small and medium-sized business or small and midsized business) - SMB is an abbreviation for small and medium-sized business, sometimes seen as small and midsized business.
  • smiley - In Internet e-mail messages and Web discussions, a smiley is a sequence of typed characters that graphically produces the sideways image of someone smiling, like this::-)The first use of a smiley is currently attributed to Scott E.
  • SNAFU (situation normal, all f***ed up) - SNAFU is an acronym for "situation normal, all f***ed up.
  • snap-in - Snap-in, in general, refers to an object that can be attached to another object and that will then function as part of the whole.
  • sneakernet - Sneakernet is a jargon term for the method of transmitting electronic information by personally carrying it from one place to another on floppy disk or other removable medium.
  • Sniglet - Words that should be in the dictionary (but aren't) - A sniglet is a word that should be in the dictionary but isn't.
  • snoopware - In mobile computing, snoopware is malware that is capable of monitoring activity on a smartphone.
  • soft copy - A soft copy (sometimes spelled "softcopy") is an electronic copy of some type of data, such as a file viewed on a computer's display or transmitted as an e-mail attachment.
  • soft error - A soft error is an issue that causes a temporary condition in RAM that alters stored data in an unintended way.
  • soft reset - A soft reset is a restart of a device, such as a smartphone, tablet, laptop or personal computer (PC).
  • software - Software is a set of instructions, data or programs used to operate computers and execute specific tasks.
  • software package - A software package is an assemblage of files and information about those files.
  • sound card - A sound card (also referred to as an audio card) is a peripheral device that attaches to the ISA or PCI slot on a motherboard to enable the computer to input, process, and deliver sound.
  • sound wave - A sound wave is the pattern of disturbance caused by the movement of energy traveling through a medium (such as air, water, or any other liquid or solid matter) as it propagates away from the source of the sound.
  • space - In mathematics, space is an unbounded continuum (unbroken set of points) in which exactly three numerical coordinates are necessary to uniquely define the location of any particular point.
  • spaghetti code - Spaghetti code is a derogatory term for computer programming that is unnecessarily convoluted, and particularly programming code that uses frequent branching from one section of code to another.
  • spam for life (S4L) - S4L is an online chat acronyms for "spam for life," the possible result of subscribing to an online service or becoming anyone's customer or client.
  • spamdexing - Spamdexing, coined from spam and index, is the practice of including information in a Web page that causes search engines to index it in some way that produces results that satisfy the spamdexer but usually dissatisify the search engine providers and users.
  • spectrum analyzer - A spectrum analyzer is a device that displays signal amplitude (strength) as it varies by signal frequency.
  • speech synthesis - Speech synthesis is the computer-generated simulation of human speech.
  • speed of gravity - The speed of gravity is the rate, in meters per second or other standard units, at which gravitational fields or effects propagate through space.
  • spin (angular momentum) - Spin, in physics, is the velocity of rotation of something around a particular axis.
  • splash page (splash screen) - A splash page (or splash screen) is: An initial Web site page used to capture the user's attention for a short time as a promotion or lead-in to the site home page or to tell the user what kind of browser and other software they need to view the site.
  • spod - On the Internet in the United Kingdom, a spod is a person who frequents chat rooms or discussion groups a little too frequently.
  • square root symbol - The square root symbol () is used to indicate the quantity or quantities which, when multiplied by itself or themselves, results in the quantity encompassed by the symbol.
  • Squid proxy server - Squid is a Unix-based proxy server that caches Internet content closer to a requestor than its original point of origin.
  • SRAM (static random access memory) - SRAM (static RAM) is random access memory (RAM) that retains data bits in its memory as long as power is being supplied.
  • stack - TCP/IP is frequently referred to as a "stack.
  • standard - A standard is a generally agreed-upon technology, method or format for a given application.
  • standards organization - A standards organization, sometimes referred to as a standards body, is an organization with authority to endorse official standards for given applications.
  • standby power - Standby power is electrical power that a device consumes when not in present use, but plugged in to a source of power and ready to be used.
  • state machine - In general, a state machine is any device that stores the status of something at a given time and can operate on input to change the status and/or cause an action or output to take place for any given change.
  • statistical mean, median, mode and range - Calculating the mean, median, mode and range of a set of numbers allows you to track changes over time and set acceptable ranges and variance.
  • STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) - STEM is an educational program developed to prepare primary and secondary students for college and graduate study in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
  • steradian - The steradian (symbolized sr) is the Standard International (SI) unit of solid angular measure.
  • stereoscopy (stereoscopic imaging) - Stereoscopy, sometimes called stereoscopic imaging, is a technique used to enable a three-dimensional effect, adding an illusion of depth to a flat image.
  • stickiness - Stickiness is anything about a Web site that encourages a visitor to stay longer.
  • storage consolidation - Storage consolidation, also called storage convergence is a method of centralizing data storage among multiple servers.
  • storage filer - A storage filer is a file server designed and programmed for high-volume data storage, backup, and archiving.
  • storage medium (storage media) - In computers, a storage medium is any technology -- including devices and materials -- used to place, keep and retrieve electronic data.
  • storage utilization - Storage utilization is a measure of how well the available data storage space in an enterprise is used.
  • storage volume - A definition of volume must include a comparison of the unit of data storage to a partition, as well as insight into logical volume management, a form of storage virtualization.
  • straw man - In general, a straw man is an object, document, person, or argument that temporarily stands in for and is intended to be "knocked down" by something more substantial.
  • streaming media - Streaming media is video or audio content sent in compressed form over the Internet and played immediately, rather than being saved to the hard drive.
  • subset symbol - The subset symbol indicates a specific relationship between two sets.
  • suffix - A suffix is something added at the end of a word that conditions its usage or meaning.
  • summation (sum) - A summation, also called a sum, is the result of arithmetically adding numbers or quantities.
  • Sun Microsystems - Sun Microsystems (often just called "Sun"), the leading company in computers used as Web servers, also makes servers designed for use as engineering workstations, data storage products, and related software.
  • supercomputer - The first commercially successful supercomputer, the CDC (Control Data Corporation) 6600 was designed by Seymour Cray.
  • supercomputer center - In general, a supercomputer center is a site with a supercomputer that is shared by a number of other sites, usually research sites.
  • superposition - Superposition is the ability of a quantum system to be in multiple states at the same time until it is measured.
  • superstring theory (string theory, Theory of Everything) - Superstring theory - known less formally as "string theory" - is sometimes called the Theory of Everything (TOE), because it is a unifying physics theory that reconciles the differences between quantum theory and the theory of relativity to explain the nature of all known forces and matter.
  • support - In information technology, support refers to functionality that is provided between or among products, programs, devices, modes, or accessories.
  • surd - A surd is a number or quantity that cannot be expressed as the ratio of two integer s.
  • surf - In using the World Wide Web, to surf is to either: Explore a sequence of Web sites in a random, unplanned way, or2) Simply use the Web to look for something in a questing way.
  • symbology - A symbology is a protocol for arranging the bars and spaces that make up a particular kind of bar code.
  • symmetric communications - Compare asymmetric communications.
  • synchronicity - Synchronicity is a concept developed by psychologist Carl Jung to describe a perceived meaningful coincidence.
  • synchronous - In general, synchronous (pronounced SIHN-kro-nuhs, from Greek syn-, meaning "with," and chronos, meaning "time") is an adjective describing objects or events that are coordinated in time.
  • system - A system is a collection of elements or components that are organized for a common purpose.
  • system administrator (sysadmin) - In information technology (IT), a system administrator (sysadmin) is a person who supports a multi-user computing environment and ensures continuous, optimal performance of IT services and support systems.
  • system software - System software is a type of computer program that is designed to run a computer’s hardware and application programs.
  • systems thinking - Systems thinking is a holistic approach to analysis that focuses on the way that a system's constituent parts interrelate and how systems work over time and within the context of larger systems.
  • table - In computer programming, a table is a data structure used to organize information, just as it is on paper.
  • Table of Physical Constants - Quick look-up chart.
  • talk time - In customer relationship management (CRM), talk time is the amount of time a call center agent spends with a caller during a transaction.
  • Tamagotchi - A Tamagotchi (pronounced "tom-ah-GOT-chee") is a relatively inexpensive toy containing a small liquid crystal display display, a few touch-sensitive user controls, and a program in which the image of a small creature is visible.
  • taxonomy - Taxonomy is the science of classification according to a predetermined system, with the resulting catalog being used to provide a conceptual framework for discussion or analysis.
  • TCO (total cost of ownership) - Total cost of ownership is a calculation to assess direct and indirect expenses and benefits related to the purchase of a product or infrastructure component.
  • teach box - A teach box is a device that registers and memorizes mechanical motions or processes for later recall and execution by an electronic or computer system.
  • tebibyte (TiB) - A tebibyte (TiB) is a unit of measure used to describe computing capacity.
  • technical requirements - Technical requirements, in the context of software development and systems engineering, are the factors required to deliver a desired function or behavior from a system to satisfy a user’s standards and needs.
  • techno-fiend - In information technology, a techno-fiend is someone who is addicted to finding out and knowing how things work in one or more aspects of cyberspace.
  • technobabble - In information technology and other specialized areas, technobabble is the use of technical or "insider" terms that, to the uninitiated, have no meaning.
  • technological convergence - Technological convergence is a term that describes the layers of abstraction that enable different technologies to interoperate efficiently as a converged system.
  • telecommuting - Telecommuting and telework are synonyms for the use of telecommunication to work outside the traditional office or workplace, usually at home (SOHO) or in a mobile situation.
  • telepresence - Telepresence is a sophisticated form of robotic remote control in which a human operator has a sense of being in a remote location so that the experience resembles virtual reality (VR).
  • Terabyte (TB) - A Terabyte (TB) is a measure of computer storage capacity that is approximately 2 to the 40th power, or 10 to the 12th power, which equals approximately a trillion bytes.
  • teraflop - A teraflop is a measure of a computer's speed and can be expressed as: A trillion floating point operations per second 10 to the 12th power floating-point operations per second 2 to the 40th power flops Today's fastest parallel computing operations are capable of teraflop speeds.
  • term boosting - Term boosting is the ability to assign higher importance to specific words in a search engine query.
  • text - In information technology, text is a human-readable sequence of characters and the words they form that can be encoded into computer-readable formats such as ASCII.
  • thang - A thang, a jargon variant of "thing" based on regional U.
  • The speed of end-user and backbone transmission technologies - This table shows the stated data rates for the most important end-user and backbone transmission technologies.
  • theory of relativity - Albert Einstein's theory of relativity is actually two separate theories: his special theory of relativity, postulated in the 1905 paper, The Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies and his theory of general relativity, an expansion of the earlier theory, published as The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity in 1916.

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