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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.

POL - QUI

  • polar coordinates - Polar coordinates provide a method of rendering graphs and indicating the positions of points on a two-dimensional (2D) surface.
  • Polish notation (prefix notation) - Polish notation, also known as prefix notation, is a symbolic logic invented by Polish mathematician Jan Lukasiewicz in the 1920's.
  • polled interrupt - In a computer, a polled interrupt is a specific type of I/O interrupt that notifies the part of the computer containing the I/O interface that a device is ready to be read or otherwise handled but does not indicate which device.
  • polynomial - A polynomial is a mathematical expression consisting of a sum of terms, each term including a variable or variables raised to a power and multiplied by a coefficient.
  • portal - Portal is a term, generally synonymous with gateway, for a World Wide Web site that is or proposes to be a major starting site for users when they get connected to the Web or that users tend to visit as an anchor site.
  • portrait - In computer printing, portrait is a mode in which the printer orients content for reading across the shorter length (the width) of the sheet of paper.
  • positional assembly - Positional assembly is a technique that has been suggested as a means to build objects, devices, and systems on a molecular scale using automated processes in which the components that carry out the construction process would follow programmed paths.
  • POST (Power-On Self-Test) - When power is turned on, POST (Power-On Self-Test) is the diagnostic testing sequence that a computer's basic input/output system (or "starting program") runs to determine if the computer keyboard, random access memory, disk drives, and other hardware are working correctly.
  • pounds per square inch (PSI) - PSI is commonly used to measure the pressure of gasses (pneumatic pressure) or liquids (hydraulic pressure).
  • power user - A power user, also called a super user, is someone whose computer skills are better than those of an organization's average end user.
  • predictive technology - Predictive technology is a body of tools capable of discovering and analyzing patterns in data so that past behavior can be used to forecast likely future behavior.
  • printed circuit board (PCB) - A printed circuit board (PCB) is the board base for physically supporting and wiring surface-mounted and socketed components in most electronics.
  • probability - Probability is a branch of mathematics that deals with calculating the likelihood of a given event's occurrence, which is expressed as a number between 1 and 0.
  • problem program - Now seldom used, the term problem program is used to distinguish a computer program that directly supports a user application from an operating system, a utility, or any other underlying support programming.
  • product - In information technology, a product is something (for example, a software application) that is created and then made available to customers, usually with a distinct name or order number.
  • program - In computing, a program is a specific set of ordered operations for a computer to perform.
  • project management - Project management is the discipline of using established principles, procedures and policies to successfully guide a project from conception through completion.
  • project planning - Project planning is a discipline for stating how to complete a project within a certain timeframe, usually with defined stages, and with designated resources.
  • propagation delay - Propagation delay, symbolized tpd, is the time required for a digital signal to travel from the input(s) of a logic gate to the output.
  • propeller head (or propellor head, prop head, prophead) - A propeller head (also spelled propellor head, and sometimes shortened to prop head or prophead) is jargon for someone who is exceptionally, perhaps weirdly bright or knowledgeable, especially in some technical field.
  • proper subset symbol - The proper subset symbol indicates a specific relationship between two set s.
  • proportionality - In mathematics, proportionality indicates that two quantities or variables are related in a linear manner.
  • prototype - In software development, a prototype is a rudimentary working model of a product or information system, usually built for demonstration purposes or as part of the development process.
  • pseudo-random number generator (PRNG) - A pseudo-random number generator (PRNG) is a program written for, and used in, probability and statistics applications when large quantities of random digits are needed.
  • public domain software - Programs that are uncopyrighted because their authors intended to share them with everyone else are in the public domain.
  • public sector - The public sector is the segment of an economic system that is controlled by government; it contrasts with the private sector, which is run by private citizens.
  • pulse amplitude modulation (PAM) - Pulse amplitude modulation (PAM) is the transmission of data by varying the amplitudes (voltage or power levels) of the individual pulses in a regularly timed sequence of electrical or electromagnetic pulses.
  • Q format - Q (number) format is a fixed-point method of coding fractional and whole integers for processing by a computer’s CPU or a digital signal processor (DSP).
  • quality - In an information technology product or service, quality is sometimes defined as "meeting the requirements of the customer.
  • quantum - Quantum is the Latin word for amount and, in modern understanding, means the smallest possible discrete unit of any physical property such as energy or matter.
  • quantum computer - A quantum computer is a machine, as-yet hypothetical, that performs calculations based on the behavior of particles at the sub-atomic level.
  • quantum computing - Quantum computing is the area of study focused on developing computer technology based on the principles of quantum theory, which explains the nature and behavior of energy and matter on the quantum (atomic and subatomic) level.
  • quantum internet - The quantum internet is a theoretical system of interconnected quantum computers that uses quantum signals to send information rather than radio waves.
  • quantum microphone - A quantum microphone is an extremely device that detects the smallest particles of sound, such as packets of vibrational energy called phonons.
  • quantum theory - Quantum theory is the theoretical basis of modern physics explaining the nature and behavior of matter and energy on the atomic and subatomic level, sometimes called quantum mechanics or quantum physics.
  • quark - A quark is one of two currently recognized groups of fundamental particles, which are subatomic, indivisible (at least as far as we know today) particles that represent the smallest known units of matter.
  • qubit - A qubit is a quantum bit, the counterpart in quantum computing to the binary digit or bit of classical computing.
  • queries-per-second (QPS) - Queries-per-second (QPS) (or the query-per-second rate) is a measure of how much traffic a particular query server is handling at a given time.
  • queue - In general, a queue is a line of people or things waiting to be handled, usually in sequential order starting at the beginning or top of the line or sequence.
  • queueing theory - In computer science, queueing theory is the study of queues as a technique for managing processes and objects in a computer.

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