Browse Definitions :

Computing fundamentals

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

MER - ONL

  • Mersenne prime (or Marsenne prime) - A Mersenne (also spelled Marsenne) prime is a specific type of prime number.
  • message - (Using e-mail, a message is an individual piece of mail.
  • message-driven processing - Message-driven processing is an approach used within the client/server computing model in which a client (for example, your Web browser) sends a service request in the form of a specially-formatted message to a program that acts as a request broker, handling messages from many clients intended for many different server applications.
  • 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.
  • metasyntactic variable - In programming, a metasyntactic (which derives from meta and syntax) variable is a variable (a changeable value) that is used to temporarily represent a function.
  • 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) is any type of payment structure in which a customer has access to potentially unlimited resources but only pays for what they actually use.
  • metric system - The metric system is considered almost synonymous with the Standard International System of Units (SI) and is sometimes called the meter-kilogram-second (MKS or mks) system.
  • micro fuel cell - A micro fuel cell is a power source for electronic devices that converts chemical energy into electrical energy.
  • microdata - Microdata is a type of specification language that is embedded within HTML content to improve machine readability, annotate elements and analyze web pages.
  • microrobot - A microrobot is a miniaturized, sophisticated machine designed to perform a specific task or tasks repeatedly and with precision.
  • 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.
  • midrange - In general, midrange refers to computers that are more powerful and capable than personal computers but less powerful and capable than mainframe computers.
  • millennium - A millennium is a period of one thousand years.
  • 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.
  • Monte Carlo method or Monte Carlo analysis - The Monte Carlo method, also called Monte Carlo analysis, is a means of statistical evaluation of mathematical functions using random samples.
  • moof monster - The moof monster is a vague and indefinable source of trouble for users of information technology.
  • 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").
  • Mortimer - A Mortimer is a person who knows a lot about computers or the Internet but would rather ridicule those who know less than share some knowledge.
  • Mosaic - Mosaic was the first widely-distributed graphical browser or viewer for the World Wide Web.
  • 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.
  • mouse miles - "Mouse miles" is slang for user time at the computer (as in "I travelled a lot of mouse miles this week") and also an actual measure of how much activity a computer mouse has had over time.
  • 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.
  • MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) - MPEG (pronounced EHM-pehg), the Moving Picture Experts Group, develops standards for digital video and digital audio compression.
  • 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.
  • NAK (negative acknowledgment or not acknowledged) - NAK is an abbreviation for negative acknowledgment or not acknowledged.
  • nanobiomechanics (nanoscale biomechanics) - Nanobiomechanics, also called nanoscale biomechanics, is a field of biomedical technology that involves measurement of the mechanical characteristics of individual living cells.
  • 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.
  • native code - Native code is computer programming (code) that is compiled to run with a particular processor and its set of instructions.
  • 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 in your own country.
  • neologism - A neologism (pronounced nee-AH-low-djism) is a newly invented word or term.
  • nerd - A nerd is a technically bright but socially inept person.
  • net - "net" is a top-level domain name.
  • net metering - Net metering is a utility resource usage and payment scheme in which a customer who generates their own power is compensated monetarily.
  • network availability - Network availability is the amount of uptime in a network system over a specific time interval.
  • network protocols - Network protocols are sets of established rules that dictate how to format, transmit and receive data so 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.
  • neutrino - A neutrino is a sub atom ic particle with no electric charge.
  • newbie - A newbie (pronounced NOO-bee) is a novice or neophyte: anyone who is new to any particular type of endeavor, such as a sport or a technology.
  • 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.
  • Nikola Tesla - Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American scientist, electrical engineer, and inventor whose research laid much of the groundwork for modern electrical and communication systems.
  • nil - In general use, nil (a contraction of Latin "nihil") means "nothing" or the absence of something.
  • nomadicity - Nomadicity is the tendency of a person, or group of people, to move with relative frequency.
  • non-geographic number - A non-geographic number, also called a virtual number, is a telephone number associated with a country, but not to any single geographic location within that country.
  • norm - A norm (from norma, Latin for carpenter's square) is a model of what should exist or be followed, or an average of what currently does exist in some context, such as an average salary among members of a large group.
  • normative - In general, normative - pertaining to a norm - has two related meanings: (a prescriptive meaning (for example, the rules specified in a standard or guideline), and (2) a descriptive meaning (for example, the median salary range in an particular occupation).
  • nuclear fusion - Nuclear fusion is an atomic reaction in which multiple atoms combine to create a single, more massive atom.
  • 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.
  • obliquity - In systems engineering, obliquity is a theory that proposes the best way to achieve a goal when you are working with a complex system is to take an indirect approach instead of a direct one.
  • 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.
  • octal - Octal (pronounced AHK-tuhl, from Latin octo or "eight") is a term that describes a base-8 number system.
  • 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.
  • office cubicle - An idea that is now over 40 years old, the office cubicle is a somewhat partitioned space for one or several workers in what is otherwise an unpartitioned and open building space for offices.
  • offline - Offline is the condition of being capable of but currently not connected to a network of computers or other devices.
  • offshore outsourcing - Offshore outsourcing, a type of business process outsourcing (BPO), is the exporting of IT-related work from the United States and other developed countries to areas of the world where there is both political stability and lower labor costs or tax savings.
  • 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.
  • one-banana problem - A one-banana problem is an easily resolved issue.
  • online - Online is the condition of being connected to a network of computers or other devices.

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