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

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  • linearity - Linearity is the behavior of a circuit, particularly an amplifier, in which the output signal strength varies in direct proportion to the input signal strength.
  • linkrot - Linkrot is the tendency of hypertext links from one Web site to another site to become useless as other sites cease to exist or remove or reorganize their Web pages.
  • load balancing - Load balancing is a technique used to distribute workloads uniformly across servers or other compute resources to optimize network efficiency, reliability and capacity.
  • localization - Localization (sometimes shortened to "L10n") is the process of adapting a product or service to a particular language, culture and desired local "look-and-feel.
  • logical AND symbol - For a practical application, see logic gate.
  • logical block addressing (LBA) - Logical block addressing is a technique that allows a computer to address a hard disk larger than 528 megabytes.
  • logical equivalence - Logical equivalence is a type of relationship between two statements or sentences in propositional logic or Boolean algebra.
  • logical implication - Logical implication is a type of relationship between two statements or sentences.
  • logical negation symbol - The logical negation symbol is used in Boolean algebra to indicate that the truth value of the statement that follows is reversed.
  • logical OR symbol - For a practical application, see logic gate.
  • logon (or login) - In general computer usage, logon is the procedure used to get access to an operating system or application, usually in a remote computer.
  • longitudinal time code (LTC) - Longitidinal time code (LTC) is a timing signal that is part of an audio tape recording.
  • look-to-book ratio - The look-to-book ratio is a figure used in the travel industry that shows the percentage of people who visit a travel Web site compared to those who actually make a purchase.
  • lossless and lossy compression - Lossless and lossy file compression describe whether all original data can be recovered when the file is uncompressed.
  • lowerCamelCase - lowerCamelCase (part of CamelCase) is a naming convention in which a name is formed of multiple words that are joined together as a single word with the first letter of each of the multiple words (except the first one) capitalized within the new word that forms the name.
  • Luddite - A Luddite is a person who dislikes technology, especially technological devices that threaten existing jobs or interfere with personal privacy.
  • LZW compression - LZW compression is the compression of a file into a smaller file using a table-based lookup algorithm invented by Abraham Lempel, Jacob Ziv, and Terry Welch.
  • m-commerce (mobile commerce) - M-commerce (mobile commerce) is the buying and selling of goods and services through wireless handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets.
  • machine code (machine language) - Machine code, also known as machine language, is the elemental language of computers.
  • Macintosh - The Macintosh (often called "the Mac") was the first widely-sold personal computer with a graphical user interface (GUI) and a mouse.
  • magnetic stripe reader (magstripe reader) - A magnetic stripe reader, also called a magstripe reader, is a hardware device that reads the information encoded in the magnetic stripe located on the back of a plastic badge.
  • marcom (or marcomm) - Marcom (sometimes spelled "marcomm") is an abbreviation for "marketing communications.
  • Master Boot Record (MBR) - The Master Boot Record (MBR) is the information in the first sector of any hard disk or diskette that identifies how and where an operating system is located so that it can be boot (loaded) into the computer's main storage or random access memory.
  • Mathematical symbols - This table contains mathematical symbols and links to definitions of what they represent and how they are used.
  • matrix - Apart from information technology, matrix (pronounced MAY-triks) has a number of special meanings.
  • matter - Matter is a substance that has inertia and occupies physical space.
  • mebibyte (MiB) - A mebibyte (MiB) is a unit of measurement used in computer data storage.
  • medium - A medium is a third-party or element through which a message is communicated.
  • megabits per second (Mbps) - Megabits per second (Mbps) are units of measurement for network bandwidth and throughput.
  • megabyte (MB) - As a measure of computer processor storage and real and virtual memory, a megabyte (abbreviated MB) is 2 to the 20th power bytes, or 1,048,576 bytes in decimal notation.
  • megabytes per second (MBps) - Megabytes per second (MBps) is a unit of measurement for data transfer speed to and from a computer storage device.
  • memory - Memory is the electronic holding place for the instructions and data a computer needs to reach quickly.
  • memory map - A memory map is a massive table, in effect a database, that comprises complete information about how the memory is structured in a computer system.
  • memory read error - A memory read error is a malfunction that occurs when data is being accessed from memory for use by a program, or when a value read from RAM fails to match an expected value.
  • Mersenne prime (or Marsenne prime) - A Mersenne (also spelled Marsenne) prime is a specific type of prime number.
  • meta - Metadata is a description of data.
  • metacharacter - A metacharacter (sometimes spelled meta character or meta-character) is a special character in a program or data field that provides information about other characters.
  • meter - The meter (abbreviation, m; the British spelling is metre) is the International System of Units (SI) unit of displacement or length.
  • meter per second squared - The meter per second squared (symbolized m/s 2 or m/sec 2) is the Standard International (SI) unit of acceleration vector magnitude.
  • metered services (pay-per-use) - Metered services (also called pay-per-use) are any type of payment structure in which a customer has access to potentially unlimited resources but only pays for what they actually use.
  • microdata - Microdata is a type of specification language that is embedded within HTML content to improve machine readability, annotate elements and analyze web pages.
  • microsecond - A microsecond (us or Greek letter mu plus s) is one millionth (10 -6) of a second.
  • Microsoft Remote Desktop Web Access (Microsoft RD Web Access) - Microsoft Remote Desktop Web Access (Microsoft RD Web Access) is a feature in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012 that allows users to access RemoteApp and Desktop Connection through the Start menu or a Web browser.
  • Microsoft TechNet - Microsoft TechNet is an online resource site that offers IT professionals free access to learning content and discussion forums.
  • Microsoft Windows Control Panel - The Microsoft Windows Control Panel is a management tool for the Windows operating system (OS) that allows end users to change settings and manage tasks within the OS.
  • Microsoft Windows Defender - Windows Defender is Microsoft's antimalware software.
  • middleware - Middleware is software that is used to bridge the gap between applications and other tools or databases.
  • MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) - MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a protocol designed for recording and playing back music on digital synthesizers that is supported by many makes of personal computer sound cards.
  • millimeter (mm, millimetre) - A millimeter (abbreviated as mm and sometimes spelled as millimetre) is a small unit of length/distance in the metric system, one-thousandth of a meter (which is similar in length to a yard in the Imperial system of measurement).
  • millisecond - (This definition follows U.
  • MIPS (million instructions per second) - The number of MIPS (million instructions per second) is a general measure of computing performance and, by implication, the amount of work a larger computer can do.
  • MIS (management information systems) - MIS, or management information systems, is the software and hardware to support critical business applications.
  • mobile device - A mobile device is essentially a handheld computer.
  • mobo (motherboard) - Mobo is a short form for motherboard that is sometimes used in Usenet newsgroups and Web forum discussions.
  • modeling and simulation (M&S) - Modeling and simulation (M&S) is the use of a physical or logical representation of a given system to generate data and help determine decisions or make predictions about the system.
  • mole per meter cubed (Avogadro constant) - The mole per meter cubed (mol / m 3) is the International Unit of amount-of-substance concentration.
  • molecule - A molecule is the smallest particle in a chemical element or compound that has the chemical properties of that element or compound.
  • monolithic - Monolithic, in information technology, means either very large or composed all in one piece, depending on the particular context.
  • Morse code - Morse code is a method of sending text messages by keying in a series of electronic pulses, usually represented as a short pulse (called a "dot") and a long pulse (a "dash").
  • most significant bit or byte - The most significant bit (MSB) is the bit in a multiple-bit binary number with the largest value.
  • motherboard - A motherboard is the main printed circuit board (PCB) in a computer.
  • motive power - Motive power is a term in thermodynamics referring to the harnessed energy or force that is used to power a mechanical device or system.
  • MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer-3) - MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer-3) is a standard technology and format for a sound sequence into a very small file (about one-twelfth the size of the original file) while preserving the original level of sound quality when it is played.
  • mu - The lowercase Greek letter mu is used to represent the prefix multiplier 0.
  • multi-core processor - A multi-core processor is an integrated circuit (IC) to which two or more processors have been attached for enhanced performance, reduced power consumption, and more efficient simultaneous processing of multiple tasks.
  • MultiMediaCard (MMC) - A MultiMediaCard (MMC) is a tiny memory card that uses flash memory to make storage portable among various devices, such as car navigation systems, cellular phones, eBooks, PDAs, smartphones, and digital cameras, music players, and video camcorders, and personal computers.
  • multiprocessing - Multiprocessing is the coordinated processing of programs by more than one computer processor.
  • multitasking - Multitasking, in an operating system, is allowing a user to perform more than one computer task (such as the operation of an application program) at a time.
  • multithreading - It is easy to confuse multithreading with multitasking or multiprogramming, which are somewhat different ideas.
  • Murphy's Law - The original Murphy's Law was "If there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those ways can result in a catastrophe, then someone will do it.
  • NACK (NAK, negative acknowledgment, not acknowledged) - NACK, or NAK, an abbreviation for negative acknowledgment or not acknowledged, is a signal used by computers or other devices to indicate that data transmitted over a network was received with errors or was otherwise unreadable.
  • nanocomputer - A nanocomputer is a computer whose physical dimensions are microscopic.
  • nanomachine (nanite) - A nanomachine, also called a nanite, is a mechanical or electromechanical device whose dimensions are measured in nanometers (millionths of a millimeter, or units of 10 -9 meter).
  • nanometer - A nanometer is a unit of spatial measurement that is 10-9 meter, or one billionth of a meter.
  • nanosecond (ns or nsec) - (This definition follows U.
  • nanotransistor - A nanotransistor is a transistor - the component that acts as an electronic signal switch or amplifier - that is near the scale of a billionth of a meter (or nanometer) in size.
  • nanotube (carbon nanotube) - A carbon nanotube (CNT) is a miniature cylindrical carbon structure that has hexagonal graphite molecules attached at the edges.
  • native - In computer systems, native means "original" or "basic.
  • native app - A native application is a software program that is developed for use on a particular platform or device.
  • natural language - In computing, natural language refers to a human language such as English, Russian, German, or Japanese as distinct from the typically artificial command or programming language with which one usually talks to a computer.
  • nearline storage - Nearline storage is the on-site storage of data on removable media.
  • nearshore outsourcing - Nearshore outsourcing is the practice of getting work done or services performed by people in neighboring countries rather than an organization's country.
  • neologism - A neologism (pronounced nee-AH-low-djism) is a newly invented word or term.
  • network availability - Network availability is the amount of uptime in a network system over a specific time interval.
  • network protocol - A network protocol is a set of established rules that dictate how to format, transmit and receive data so that computer network devices -- from servers and routers to endpoints -- can communicate, regardless of the differences in their underlying infrastructures, designs or standards.
  • network socket - Sockets are created and used with a set of programming requests or "function calls" sometimes called the sockets application programming interface (API).
  • neuromarketing - Neuromarketing is the study of how people's brains respond to advertising and other brand-related messages by monitoring brainwave activity, eye-tracking and skin response.
  • newton - The newton is the Standard International (SI) unit of force.
  • nibble - In computers and digital technology, a nibble (pronounced NIHB-uhl; sometimes spelled nybble) is four binary digits or half of an eight-bit byte.
  • nil - In general use, nil (a contraction of Latin "nihil") means "nothing" or the absence of something.
  • null set - In mathematical sets, the null set, also called the empty set, is the set that does not contain anything.
  • number theory (higher arithmetic) - Number theory, also known as higher arithmetic, is a branch of mathematics concerned with the properties of integer s, rational number s, irrational number s, and real number s.
  • OA&M (operations, administration, and management) - OA&M (operations, administration, and management) is a general term used to describe the costs, tasks involved, or other aspects of operating, administering, and managing something such as a computer network.
  • object code - Source code and object code refer to the "before" and "after" versions of a computer program that is compiled (see compiler) before it is ready to run in a computer.
  • object ID (OID) - An object identifier (OID) is an unambiguous, long-term name for any type of object or entity.
  • Ockham's razor (Occam's razor) - Ockham's razor (also spelled Occam's razor, pronounced AHK-uhmz RAY-zuhr) is the idea that, in trying to understand something, getting unnecessary information out of the way is the fastest way to the truth or to the best explanation.
  • octet - In computers, an octet (from the Latin octo or "eight") is a sequence of eight bit s.
  • OEM (original equipment manufacturer) - OEM, or original equipment manufacturer, is a broad term that describes a web of relationships among IT hardware vendors, hardware component makers, software vendors and channel partners such as resellers and distributors.
  • on the fly - In relation to computer technology, "on the fly" describes activities that develop or occur dynamically rather than as the result of something that is statically predefined.
  • on-demand computing - On-demand (OD) computing is an increasingly popular enterprise model in which computing resources are made available to the user as needed.
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  • pure risk

    Pure risk refers to risks that are beyond human control and result in a loss or no loss with no possibility of financial gain.

  • risk reporting

    Risk reporting is a method of identifying risks tied to or potentially impacting an organization's business processes.

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    Twofish is a symmetric-key block cipher with a block size of 128 bits and variable-length key of size 128, 192 or 256 bits.

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    On the internet, a walled garden is an environment that controls the user's access to network-based content and services.

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    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

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    Fault-tolerant technology is a capability of a computer system, electronic system or network to deliver uninterrupted service, ...

  • synchronous replication

    Synchronous replication is the process of copying data over a storage area network, local area network or wide area network so ...

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    Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) is a technology that enables two networked computers to exchange data in main memory without ...

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    Data storage is the collective methods and technologies that capture and retain digital information on electromagnetic, optical ...

  • storage medium (storage media)

    In computers, a storage medium is a physical device that receives and retains electronic data for applications and users and ...

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