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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.

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  • 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.
  • quiet zone - In barcode technology, a quiet zone is the blank margin on either side of a bar code that's used to tell the barcode reader where a barcode's symbology starts and stops.
  • Quiz: Who Done IT? A Murder Mystery - How to take the quiz: - After reading the question, click on the answer that you think is correct.
  • radian - The radian is the Standard International (SI) unit of plane angular measure.
  • radian per second (rad/s or rad/sec) - The radian per second (symbolized rad/s or rad/sec) is the Standard International (SI) unit of angular (rotational) speed.
  • radian per second squared - The radian per second squared is the unit of angular (rotational) acceleration magnitude in the International System of Units (SI).
  • random numbers - Random numbers are numbers that occur in a sequence such that two conditions are met: ( the values are uniformly distributed over a defined interval or set, and (2) it is impossible to predict future values based on past or present ones.
  • raster graphics - Raster graphics are digital images created or captured (for example, by scanning in a photo) as a set of samples of a given space.
  • ratio - In general, a ratio is a way of concisely showing the relationship between two quantities of something.
  • rational number - A rational number is a number determined by the ratio of some integer p to some nonzero natural number q.
  • raw data (source data or atomic data) - Raw data (sometimes called source data or atomic data) is data that has not been processed for meaningful use.
  • read-only - Read-only is a file attribute which only allows a user to view a file, restricting any writing to the file.
  • read-only memory (ROM) - Read-only memory, or ROM, is a type of computer storage containing non-volatile, permanent data that, normally, can only be read, not written to.
  • real number - A real number is any element of the set R, which is the union of the set of rational numbers and the set of irrational numbers.
  • real time - Real time is a level of computer responsiveness that a user senses as sufficiently immediate or that enables the computer to keep up with some external process (for example, to present visualizations of the weather as it constantly changes).
  • real-time monitoring - Real-time (data) monitoring is the delivery of continuously updated information streaming at zero or low latency.
  • Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper - Grace Murray Hopper (1906-1992) was a pioneer in computer science.
  • reboot (warm boot, cold boot) - To reboot is to restart a computer and reload the operating system.
  • refresh - In a computer display, to refresh is to redraw the image information from memory.
  • reliability - Reliability is an attribute of any computer-related component (software, or hardware, or a network, for example) that consistently performs according to its specifications.
  • reload - In computers, to reload is to start a program over again, usually because it has crashed or because it has begun to display aberrant behavior.
  • remote-control software - Remote-control software is programming in a central or server computer that is used to control other computers (or their users) at a distance, either under the control of an administrator or at the request of the user.
  • replicator - A replicator is an object or organism that can make copies of itself.
  • request for quotation (RFQ) - A request for quotation (RFQ) is a document that an organization submits to one or more potential suppliers eliciting quotations for a product or service.
  • reseller - In information technology, a reseller is a company that typically purchases IT products or services from a product manufacturer, distributor or service provider and then markets them to customers.
  • resolution - In computers, resolution is the number of pixels (individual points of color) contained on a display monitor, expressed in terms of the number of pixels on the horizontal axis and the number on the vertical axis.
  • response time - According to the IBM Dictionary of Computing (which cites International Organization for Standardization Information Technology Vocabulary as the source), response time is: The elapsed time between the end of an inquiry or demand on a computer system and the beginning of a response; for example, the length of the time between an indication of the end of an inquiry and the display of the first character of the response at a user terminal.
  • return merchandise authorization (RMA) - An RMA (return merchandise authorization) is a numbered authorization provided by a mail-order merchant to permit the return of a product.
  • reverse engineering - Reverse engineering is taking apart an object to see how it works in order to duplicate or enhance the object.
  • RGB (red, green, and blue) - RGB (red, green, and blue) refers to a system for representing the colors to be used on a computer display.
  • RISC (reduced instruction set computer) - RISC (reduced instruction set computer) is a microprocessor that is designed to perform a smaller number of types of computer instructions so that it can operate at a higher speed (perform more millions of instructions per second, or MIPS).
  • robot - A robot is a machine designed to execute one or more tasks automatically with speed and precision.
  • robotics - Robotics is a branch of engineering that involves the conception, design, manufacture, and operation of robots.
  • RoC (restart on crash) - RoC (restart on crash) is a functionality built into Windows that automatically restarts an operating system or application when it hangs, freezes or crashes.
  • rogue - In general, a rogue is someone who strays from the accepted path, is mischievous, or is a cheat.
  • ROI (return on investment) - For a given use of money in an enterprise, the ROI (return on investment) is how much profit or cost saving is realized as a result.
  • ROM emulation - ROM emulation is the process of copying data from a ROM (read-only memory) chip to a storage medium such as a hard disk or flash memory.
  • root cause analysis - Root cause analysis is a way to determine how a problematic event occurred by examining why, how and when the casual factors happened after the fact.
  • rotoscoping - For either broadcast video or Internet streaming video, rotoscoping is the rotated projection of a sequence of usually photographed action image frames so that the artist can trace from the frame or create an image to superimpose on it.
  • run book - In a computer system or network, a run book is a written set of procedures for the routine and exceptional operation of the system or network by an administrator or operator.
  • runt - In networks, a runt is a packet that is too small.
  • runtime system - A runtime system is an engine that translates a given programming language or languages into machine code.
  • S-Video (Super-Video, Y/C Video, component video) - S-Video (Super-Video, sometimes referred to as Y/C Video, or component video) is a video signal transmission in which the luminance signal and the chrominance signal are transmitted separately to achieve superior picture clarity.
  • sample rate - In developing an audio sound for computers or telecommunication, the sample rate is the number of samples of a sound that are taken per second to represent the event digitally.
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) - The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 is a federal law that established sweeping auditing and financial regulations for public companies.
  • satellite constellation (satellite swarm) - A satellite constellation, also called a satellite swarm, is a system of satellites that work together to achieve a single purpose.
  • scalability - It is the ability of a computer application or product (hardware or software) to continue to function well as it (or its context) is changed in size or volume in order to meet a user need.
  • Schrodinger's cat - Schrödinger's cat is a famous hypothetical experiment designed to point out a flaw in the Copenhagen interpretation of superposition as it applies to quantum theory.
  • scientific method - Scientific method is a logical approach to seeking knowledge that involves forming and testing a hypothesis.
  • scientific notation (power-of-10 notation) - Scientific notation, also called power-of-10 notation, is a method of writing extremely large and small numbers.
  • search neutrality - Search neutrality is the direct conducting of transparent search processes that do not discriminate between users or favor specific sites.
  • search operator - A search operator (sometimes referred to as a search parameter) is a character or string of characters used in a search engine query to narrow the focus of the search.
  • searching - On the Internet, searching is just trying to find the information you need.
  • seat - In a networked computer system, a seat is a workstation that can be operated by one user at a time.
  • seat management - Seat management is a method of coordinating all the workstations in an enterprise network by overseeing the installation, operation, and maintenance of hardware and software at each workstation.
  • second (s or sec) - The second (abbreviation,s or sec) is the Standard International (SI) unit of time.
  • segmented memory - Segmented memory is a system of addressing computer memory, which may be physical or virtual and may be operating in real or protected mode.
  • self-assembly - Self-assembly is a branch of nanotechnology in which objects, devices, and systems form structures without external prodding.
  • self-healing - In information technology, self-healing describes any device or system that has the ability to perceive that it is not operating correctly and, without human intervention, make the necessary adjustments to restore itself to normal operation.
  • Self-Monitoring Analysis & Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T.) - Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology (S.
  • self-replication - In nanotechnology, self-replication is a process in which devices whose diameters are of atomic scale, on the order of nanometers, create copies of themselves.
  • sensor - A sensor is a device that detects and responds to some type of input from the physical environment.
  • sequential logic - Sequential logic is a form of binary circuit design that employs one or more inputs and one or more outputs, whose states are related by defined rules that depend, in part, on previous states.
  • serendipity - In general, serendipity is the act of finding something valuable or delightful when you are not looking for it.
  • serial - Serial means one event at a time.
  • serial presence detect (SPD) - When a computer is booted (started), serial presence detect (SPD) is information stored in anelectrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM) chip on a synchronous dynamic random access memory (SDRAM) memory module that tells thebasic input/output system (BIOS) the module's size, data width, speed, and voltage.
  • server - A server is a computer program or device that provides a service to another computer program and its user, also known as the client.
  • server stack - A server stack is the collection of software that forms the operational infrastructure on a given machine.
  • server virtualization - Server virtualization is a process that creates and abstracts multiple virtual instances on a single server.
  • server-side include (SSI) - A server-side include is a variable value (for example, a file "Last modified" date) that a server can include in an HTML file before it sends it to the requestor.
  • service-level management - Service-level management is the monitoring and management of the quality of service(QoS) of an entity's key performance indicators(KPIs).
  • service-oriented architecture (SOA) - Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is a software development model that allows services to communicate across different platforms and languages to form applications.
  • service-oriented integration (SOI) - SOI is also an abbreviation for Silicon-On-Insulator.
  • service-oriented management (SOM) - Service-oriented management (SOM) is the operational management of service delivery within a service-oriented architecture (SOA).
  • session - In telecommunication, a session is a series of interactions between two communication end points that occur during the span of a single connection.
  • set - A set is a group or collection of objects or numbers, considered as an entity unto itself.
  • Shannon's Law - Shannon's Law, formulated by Claude Shannon, a mathematician who helped build the foundations for the modern computer, is a statement in information theory that expresses the maximum possible data speed that can be obtained in a data channel.

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