Glossary of Computer Related Terms
The following terms and definitions were collected from the web sites.
Credit belongs to the original authors, especially to Peter Day,
from whose glossary most of the terms were collected.
Peter Day's Glossary of Computer Terms
Denis Howe's Dictionary of Computing
The reading or writing of data; as a verb, to gain entry to
data. Most commonly used in connection with information
access, via a user ID, and
qualified by an indication as to the kinds of access that are
example, read-only access means that the contents of the file
may be read but not altered or erased.
Access Control List
(ACL) A list of the services available on a
server, each with a list of the hosts permitted to use the
The time interval between the instant that data is requested and the
instant that it is received.
Your subscription to a networked computer system.
Same as your login ID or user ID. The word you type at the
"Login:" prompt; your electronic name.
A character or group of characters that identify a register, a
location or some other data source or destination.
n. A total created from smaller units. For instance, the population of
a county is an aggregate of the populations of the cities, rural areas,
etc. that comprise the county.
v. To total data from smaller units into a large unit. Example: "The
Census Bureau aggregates data to preserve the confidentiality of
Data that have been aggregated.
A set of rules for solving a problem in a given number of steps.
A method of storing information, used by most audiotapes, videotapes
and laserdiscs (and all LP phonograph records, remember those?). An analog
device uses a physical quantity, such as length or voltage, to represent the
value of a number. By contrast, digital storage relies on a coding system of
Layer seven of the OSI reference model. It serves as a means by which
applications access communications services.
The use to which a data processing system is put within a given
discipline, such as a payroll application, an airline reservation
application or a network application.
A program that is written for or by a user that applies to the users
A group of programs designed to perform tasks that can be tailored to a
users specific needs.
v. To copy programs and data onto an auxiliary storage medium (disk,
tape,etc.) for long-term retention, such as when disk space has become full.
n. A file with a structure that allows storage of multiple files
within it in such a
way that the names of the files can be listed and files can be individually
added and deleted. The terminology is typically associated with microcomputers.
On a mainframe, such a file is typically called a library.
A value supplied to a procedure, macro, subroutine, or command that is
required in order to evaluate that procedure, macro, subroutine, or command.
Synonymous with parameter.
American Standard Code for Information Interchange (pronounced ask-ee).
The form in which text characters are handled in most computer systems and
networks. ASCII text has no special characters for formatting such as
underlined or bold characters, font changes, etc., thus can be viewed on any
personal computer or terminal.
A program that converts symbolically-coded programs into object level,
machine code. In an assembler program, unlike a compiler, there is a one-to-one
correspondence between human-readable instructions and the machine-language
Asynchronous Transfer Mode. A standard for cell relay that uses fixed
length cells of 53 bytes, 5 bytes of which are headers. Can support multiple
services including voice, video and data.
An industry-wide effort that is now an international consortium of more
than 400 companies who define ATM interoperability specifications and promote
industry-wide cooperation to help proliferate ATM and thus drive implementation
A personal or computerized review process that accounts for the adequacy,
effectiveness, security and overall functionality of a data activity.
Process of establishing who you are.
Permission to access non-public information or use equipment that is
either fully or partially restricted. Process of establishing what you
A collection of one or more networks that are administrated by the same
entity. Each regional network (such as SURAnet) is an autonomous system.
Refers to a piece of cable used to connect different floors or departments
together into a network. Also generalized to a network that connects networks
Users may use a terminal for one project and concurrently submit a job
that is placed in a background queue that the computer will run as resources
become available. Also refers to any processing in which a job runs without
being connected to a terminal.
A keyboard operation that moves the cursor one place to the left. A
destructive backspace erases characters as it goes, thus allowing users to
modify what has been typed (distinguished from the left- arrow key).
n. A resource that is or can be used as a substitute when a primary
resource fails or when a file has been corrupted.
v. To save as in to make
a copy in case of future failure or corruption.
A piece of the spectrum occupied by some form of signal, where it is
television, voice, fax data, etc.. Signals require a certain size and
location of bandwidth in order to be transmitted. The higher the
bandwidth, the faster the signal transmission, and thus allowing for
a more complex signal such as audio or video. Because bandwidth is a
limited space, when one user is occupying it, others must wait their
turn. Bombarding the Internet with unnecessary information is
referred to as "taking up bandwidth."
A network medium that uses only one carrier frequency. Examples are
Ethernet and PhoneNet.
Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. A commonly used
personal-computer language, first developed at Dartmouth during the 1960s.
Originally, a method of organizing work for a computer system, designed to
reduce overhead by grouping similar jobs. In one scheme, jobs were collected
into batches, each requiring a particular compiler. The compiler was loaded,
and the jobs submitted in sequence to the compiler. The term has come to be
applied to background processing of jobs not requiring user intervention on
multiuser systems. See compiler.
A query that has been saved so that it can be used more than once and run
in the background.
A file containing one or more strings of data bits which are not
printable characters. Some binary files may be computer programs or other forms
of data that contain no text characters at all. Binary files cannot be
displayed on screen, but can be downloaded for use with appropriate
applications on your computer. Binary (base 2) is also the building block of
computer information, representing "on" or "off" and "true" or "not true" as 1
A number written using binary notation which only uses zeros and ones.
Example: decimal number seven in binary notation is: 111.
A binary digit, either a 0 or 1. In the U. S. , 8 bits make up one byte;
in Europe, byte equals one word.
A terminal that can turn individual screen dots on or off.
Because Its Time NETwork. Started in 1981 by City College of New York and
Yale University, it is a network linking hosts at educational and research
institutions in the United States, Canada, Europe and other countries using the
RSCS protocols. Merged with CSNet to form CREN.
bits per second (bps)
The speed at which bits are transmitted.
A sequence of words or characters written contiguously, such as into a
group, by a computer and stored on a disk, diskette, magnetic tape, etc.
A way of emphasizing a word of text, as in darker type or brighter
characters on a video display terminal.
Turning on your computer.
An interruption to a transmission; usually a provision to allow a
controlled terminal to interrupt the controlling computer.
A device that connects two networks and passes traffic between them based
only on the node address, so that traffic between nodes on one network does not
appear on the other network. For example, an Ethernet bridge only looks at the
A communications medium on which multiple signals are simultaneously
transmitted at different frequencies. Also refers to switching capability
implemented on this medium that allows communication between devices connected
to it. In telecommunications it is defined as any channel with a bandwidth
greater than voice grade (4 KHz).
A single message addressed to all nodes on a network.
A software tool used to read electronic documents. Mosaic, NetScape
and Lynx are the most popular browsers.
A temporary memory for data, normally used to accommodate the difference
in the rate at which two devices can handle data during a transfer.
An error. Can be a hardware malfunction or a software programming error.
bulletin board (BBS)
A computer system which can be called using a modem.
Network wiring commonly used by Ethernet in which all nodes on the network
see all packets.
A group of adjacent binary digits, usually 8, on which a computer operates
as a unit; often used to represent a single character. (See bit. )
A set of wires connecting pieces of computer hardware.
The or key on your keyboard. On-line
commands often must be followed by .
Compact Disk - Read Only Memory. Optical (CD) disks that are mastered and
then can only be read; i.e., the data cannot be manipulated, removed, etc.
Packet-switching using small, fixed-sized packets called cells. The fixed
size allows for very high speed switching. It is the basis for SMDS and ATM.
Any medium by which information can be transmitted. For example, the
air is a channel for our voices just as much as a fiber optic line
can be data for a video signal.
Any symbol (usually alphabetic, numeric, or punctuation) that can be
entered into your computer.
A set of characters handled by a specified machine; sets include
alphabetic characters, numbers, symbols, graphics characters, a space character
and control characters. Graphics characters denote a printed mark; control
characters produce some particular effect. Two of the most widely used sets are
ASCII and EBCDIC.
A tiny piece of semi-conductive material, usually based on silicon, used
in the manufacture of electronic components.
A computer program that uses the services of another computer program.
Software that extracts information from a server; your auto-dial phone
is a client, and the phone company is its server.
A relationship in which client software obtains services from a server on
behalf of a person.
An architecture that provides for the splitting of user requests (usually
called clients) and a related server function, most commonly across a
network. The combined effect is to provide the clients with access to some
service such as databases, printing, etc.
COmmon Business Oriented Language The first standardized computer
language. At Emory it is most commonly used for administrative applications.
n. A language for expressing operations to be performed by a computer.
v. To write in such a language.
The result of two nodes transmitting at the same time on a multiple access
network such as Ethernet. Both packets may be lost or partial packets may
A vertical arrangement of characters or other expressions.
A request, typed from a terminal or embedded in a file, to perform an
operation or to execute a particular program.
A physical medium (wire, microwave beam) used to transmit data.
A program that makes a computer act as a terminal to another computer.
Communications programs usually provide for file transfer between
microcomputers and mainframes.
A program that translates human-readable programs into a form the computer
understands. The input (source code) to the compiler is a description of an
algorithm in a problem- oriented language; its output (object code) is an
equivalent description of the algorithm in a machine-oriented language.
A device or system that is capable of carrying out a sequence of
operations in a distinctly and explicitly defined manner. The operations are
frequently numeric computations or data manipulations, but also include data
input and output. The ability to branch within sequences is its key feature.
A device that brings together at a common center connections to a
particular kind of network (such as Ethernet), and implements that network
An electronic meeting place dedicated to a particular subject where
users come to participate in discussions or group projects. Conferences can be
used to post a variety of information such as news services, newsletters, and
statistics; also called "newsgroups," "bulletin boards," or "echoes." An
electronic conference provides a many-to-many communication medium, as opposed
to the person-to-person nature of e-mail. All conferences have a particular
subject or purpose, and the topics and responses they contain might provide
items of news, ideas, questions, or other information in almost any form. Some
special-purpose conferences may have restricted access, allowing some users to
write messages, some only to read, and some neither. The person responsible for
the technical maintenance and/or community communication is called the
The particular hardware elements and their interaction in a computer
system for a particular period of operation.
Time that elapses while the user of a terminal is connected to a
time-sharing system; it is measured by the duration between logon and logoff.
One of 32 characters of the ASCII character set that defines a control
function for a character entry and display device such as a terminal. Examples
are carriage return, tab, form feed and bell.
A special function key on a computer keyboard, frequently used in
combination with alphabetic keys, to enter commands.
A function that reads data from a source, leaving the source data
unchanged and writes it elsewhere. One example would be to copy a deck of
punched cards onto magnetic tape.
Central Processing Unit. The main internal component of a computer where
executions of instructions are carried out and calculations are performed.
A computer system is said to crash when it stops working for some reason
and must be restarted.
A symbol on a display screen that indicates the position at which the next
character entered will be displayed. The symbol often blinks so that it can be
The keyboard keys used to position the cursor on a display screen. They
are usually keys labeled with arrows indicating the direction of movement.
The nebulous "place" where humans interact over computer networks
(the Internet is considered Cyberspace). Coined by William Gibson in
Data Link Layer
Layer two of the OSI reference model. It controls the transfer of
information between nodes over the Physical Layer.
Information suitable for communication, interpretation or processing by a
The collection and redistribution of data through communications channels,
often including operations such as coding, decoding and validation.
The entry of data into a computer or onto a computer-readable medium by an
operator from a single data device, such as a card reader or keyboard.
The systematic performance of operations upon data, for example, handling,
merging, sorting and computing.
A file or group of files associated with one part of a study.
A collection of interrelated data values that may be integrated
permanently into a single connected structure or integrated temporarily for
each interrogation, known as a query. In its most technical sense, database
implies that any of the data may be used as a key for specific queries. In more
common usage it means any accessible collection of information and that only a
limited set of data values may be used to specify queries.
database management system
A systematic approach to storing, updating, securing and retrieving
information stored as data items, usually in the form of records in one or more
DataBase Management System.
To detect, trace and eliminate errors in computer programs.
A software function or operation which occurs automatically unless the
user specifies something else.
Personal computers normally allow deletion of typing mistakes by
either the backspace key or the Del key. Users must either specify which of
these keys they wish to use, or set their communication software to match
whichever key the network expects.
Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. Supports booting workstations and
other devices that need information from outside before they can complete the
booting process, such as an IP number or name of program file to download.
To connect to a computer by calling it on the telephone.
A special form of machine-readable codebook that contains information
about the structure of a datafile and the locations and, often, the names
of variables variables in the datafile. Typically, you use a dictionary
file and a datafile together with statistical software; the statistical
software uses the dictionary so that you may specify variables by name,
rather than having to specify their locations in the file.
Used in computerese to describe information that can be represented by
a collection of bits.
The ability to read or write data directly from or to any location on a
storage device without having to refer to data that was previously written.
Files written with direct access do not have to be read sequentially starting
at the beginning.
A logical container of files and other directories; synonymous with
folder. Typically implemented as a file that contains pointers (directions) to
files or other directories.
disk or diskette
A small, flat, either rigid or floppy magnetic disk for storing data
Magnetic medium for data storage. Either "floppy" diskettes
(720K to 1.4 megabytes), or "hard" disks (usually 20 megabytes or more).
A device that enables information, either textual or pictorial, to be seen
but not permanently recorded. The most widely used kind is the cathode-ray
Processing resides in more than one computer in a network.
Application designed so that components run on different - but
cooperating - systems on a network.
The data resides in more than one physical database in a network. Access
to the data involves more than one database server. Clients may have to connect
to more than one server directly and integrate the data they receive according
to the applications needs.
distributed file system
Allows files on remote nodes of a network to appear locally connected.
A medium and the data recorded on it for human use; for example, a report
sheet or book. By extension, any record that has permanence and that can be
read by human or machine.
A collection of organized documents or the information recorded in
documents. Also instructional material specifying the inputs, operations and
outputs of a computer program or system.
Disk Operating System. A Microsoft program that controls a computers
transfer of data to and from a hard or floppy disk. DOS generally refers to the
operating systems for the IBM PCs and their clones. Also the name of an old
operating system on IBM mainframes.
A printer that creates each character from an array of dots. The dots are
formed by pins striking a ribbon against the paper, one pin for each dot
position. The printer may be a serial printer (printing one character at a
time) or a line printer.
A computer is down when it is not running. It may be shut down for
maintenance, hardware failure, or failure of the operating system or user
The transfer of information from a remote computer system to the users
system. Opposite of upload.
The time interval during which equipment is nonfunctional.
drag and drop
A protocol supported by OPEN LOOK and Macintosh System 7 that allows a
user to specify the input file to an application by dragging the icon
representing the file onto the applications icon and dropping it there. OPEN
LOOK also recognizes dragging the icon into the applications input panel. For
example, dragging a files icon into the printool application causes it to be
A generic term used to identify the equipment that serves as a player or
recorder for a storage medium.
A printed representation of the contents of a computer storage device,
usually main memory, backed-up when a system crash or other failure has
occurred. As a verb, refers to a large amount of data.
To enter, modify or delete data.
A program that permits the review and editing of the contents of a file.
electronic mail. Information exchanged by electronic means in a manner
analogous to that provided by the postal service.
The way you specify where an E-Mail message should be delivered.
A computer system that provides MTA, mailbox storage and directory
services and optionally UA services.
UA, MTA, mailbox storage, and directory service.
Combining or defining a data structure of attributes and a group of
associated functions and behaviors as a single object.
A special function key on a keyboard used to transmit a line or screen of
data from a display screen to a computer. Often used interchangeably with
The setting in which computing takes place that is the aggregate of the
hardware, software, policies and procedures relating to their use. The
computing environment may be influenced by software, such as the operating
system (for example, a UNIX environment) or the vendor (for example, an IBM
To remove data from a data medium, leaving the medium available for
recording new data.
A message that reports the detection of an error.
Uploading or downloading transfer check employed to identify
errors in data transmission.
A local area network originally developed by Xerox for linking personal
computers. Later adapted by DEC and Intel as well and subsequently adopted as
an international standard called 802.3. It transmits data at 10 megabits per
second. All computers on a network were originally connected to a coaxial cable
up to one kilometer. Each computer monitors all transmissions, looking for
packets containing its identifier as the destination. Only one signal may be
present on the channel at a time and no single computer controls transmissions.
Several upper layer protocols, such as DECnet and TCP/IP use Ethernet as an
underlying transport mechanism. Ethernet is to be contrasted with other data
link protocols such as token ring, DDCMP or SDLC. Uses CSMA/CD.
To interpret a computer instruction and carry out the operations specified
in the instruction.
A high speed channel for transmitting data. Made of high-purity glass
sealed within an opaque tube. Much faster than conventional copper wire
such as coaxial cable.
Usually the smallest data element in a record; a specified area used for a
particular category of data; for example, columns used to represent a
particular item of data, such as an employees wage (fixed field). The
particular field is always used to record the same kind of information. In free
field records, each field has an identifier that is present in the record and
linked to the contents of the field.
A collection of any form of data that is stored beyond the time of
execution of a single job. A file may contain program instructions or data,
which may be numerical, textual or graphical information.
The type of file, such as picture or text; represented as a suffix
at the end of the filename (text = TXT or .txt, etc.).
A computer designated to store software, courseware,
administrative tools, and other data on a local- or wide-area network. It
"serves" this information to other computers via the network when users enter
their personal access codes.
A place where a user's e-mail messages may be stored.
Every user has a folder for new messages, and on most systems may create other
folders for specific purposes.
A set of consistent size, shape or style of printer characters, including
alphabetic and numeric characters and other signs and symbols.
High-priority processing, usually for realtime activities, automatically
given precedence, by means of interrupts, over lower-priority processing.
The paper on which output data is printed.
The feature that automatically advances a roll of paper to the top of the
next page or the next form when the printer has finished printing a document or
form of one or more pages.
The defined structure of information that is recorded on magnetic media,
displayed on a visual display device or printed on a page. Used as a verb, it
means to put data into a predetermined structure or divide a storage medium,
such as a disk into sectors, so that it is ready to receive data.
FOrmula TRANslation. A high level scientific programming language.
Partial packet caused by a collision.
A packet sent over a serial link.
Software that is distributed for free, with no license fee.
A measurement of the number of electromagnetic waves that pass over a
given point in a given period of time.
Frequently Asked Questions. A collection of information on the basics
of any given subject. Often put together and archived on a server so
that people don't waste bandwidth asking simple questions.
File Transfer Protocol. A program that allows for file transfers over the
Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. "FUD factor"
A keyboard key that gives an instruction to a computer, as opposed to keys
that produce letters, numbers, marks of punctuation, etc.
Unwanted or meaningless information in memory, on disk or on a tape.
An electronic door between one computer network and another.
A device or set of devices that connects two or more networks, enabling
data transfer between them. When the networks are similar, a gateway routes
packets or messages. When the networks differ, a gateway also performs
extensive protocol conversion.
Graphic Interchange Format. Compuserves non-platform specific format for
low-resolution, compressed graphics interchange.
A client program available via the Internet that allows users to review
and retrieve information on other host systems via easy-to-use menus.
A computer-generated picture produced on a computer screen or paper,
ranging from simple line or bar graphs to colorful and detailed images.
Software that serves the group and makes the group as a whole more
productive and efficient in group tasks. Example: Group Scheduling.
Graphical User Interface. Defines a format for scroll bars, buttons,
menus, etc., and how they respond to the user.
A procedure performed by modems, terminals, and computers to
verify that communication has been correctly established.
When a computer freezes, so that it does not respond to keyboard
commands, it is said to "hang" or to have "hung."
A printed copy of machine output in a visually readable form.
A data-recording system using solid disks of magnetic material turning at
Physical computer equipment such as electrical, electronic, magnetic and
Circuits that are permanently interconnected to perform a specific
function, as distinct from circuits addressed by software in a program and,
therefore, capable of performing a variety of functions, albeit more slowly.
Also used to describe a non-switched connection between devices.
The portion of a message, preceding the actual data, containing source
and destination address and error-checking fields.
Users in need of help can often issue a command such as "?" to access
on-line help and tutorial systems.
A hierarchical file is one that contains information collected on multiple
units of analysis where each unit of analysis is subordinate to another
unit. For example, if the physical housing structure is one unit, and
individual persons within the structure is another unit, the person
records are subordinate (e.g. related to) the housing unit. An example
would be the Current Population Survey Annual Demographic File which has
household, family, and person units of analysis. Studies that include data
for different units of analysis often link those units to each other so
that, for instance, one can analyze the persons as they group in a
structure. Such studies are sometimes referred to as having a relational
hierarchical file structure
A format for storing hierarchical files . Each unit of analysis has its
own record structure or record type . Different units of analysis do not
necessarily have the same number of bytes or characters as the records for
other units of analysis. In order to give such a file a common physical
record length , short logical records are typically "padded" with blanks
so that they will all be the same physical record length. A hierarchical
file can be also be stored in a rectangular file . For instance, the
Survey of Income and Program Participation is distributed both ways; users
can choose the format they prefer. Typically, the hierarchical file
structure is more space-efficient but more difficult to use.
A computer that is made available for use by multiple people
In the context of networks, a computer that directly provides service to a
user. In contrast to a network server, which provides services to a user
through an intermediary host computer.
Hypertext Markup Language. A convention of codes used to access
documents over the World-Wide Web. Without HTML codes, a document
would be unreadable by a Web browser.
HyperText Transfer Protocol. Extremely fast protocol used for network file
transfers in the WWW environment.
A device that is a center of network activity because it connects multiple
A pointer that when chosen displays the item to which it points. It
typically takes the form of a button or highlighted text that points to related
text, picture, video, or audio. Hyperlinks allow non-linear exploration of
media that contain them.
Media (such as text, graphics, video, audio) that contains hyperlinks.
A document which has been marked up to allow a user to select words
or pictures within the document, click on them, and connect to
further information. The basis of the World-Wide Web.
On-screen pictures that symbolize various commands.
Input/Output. The part of a computer system or the activity that is
primarily dedicated to the passing of information into or out of a central
Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers. A leading
standards-setting group in the United States.
The mailbox that holds incoming e-mail.
A list of the messages contained in a conference or a mail
folder. Indexes generally show the date of the message, its title (or subject),
the name of the user who wrote it, and an indication (with a "*" marker) of
whether you have read that message.
A technique by which the structure and precise usage of information and
data is concealed. The information is private to its owning objects and
accessible to all other objects only by sending a message to the owner. This is
the basis of encapsulation.
A computer on the Internet which acts as a library of documents and files
that users can download.
A term popularized by Vice President Al Gore. According to his vision, it
is a high-speed network of computers that will serve thousands of users
simultaneously, transmitting E-mail, multimedia files, voice, and video.
The ability of hierarchically-arranged objects to acquire attributes and
behaviors of objects above them without duplicating the code.
As a verb, to enter information, instructions, text, etc. , in a computer
system or program. As a noun, the data so entered. Input devices include the
keyboard and OCR reader.
A particular occurrence of an object defined by a class. All instances of
a class share the behavior implemented and inherited by the class. Each
instance has its own private set of the instance variables implemented and
inherited by the class.
The act of creating an instance of a class.
A statement to the computer that specifies an operation to be performed
and the values and locations of the data to be processed.
Pertaining to an application in which each entry evokes a response from a
system or program, as in an inquiry system, for example, an airline reservation
system. An interactive system may also be conversational, implying continuous
dialog between the user and the system.
A concatenation of many individual TCP/IP campus, state, regional,
and national networks (such as CSUNET, SUPERNET, WESTNET, NSFNET, ARPANET) into
one single logical network all sharing a common addressing scheme.
The global "network of networks" that connects huge corporations, small
businesses, universities, and individuals. Every Internet user can send
E-Mail to every other Internet user. Most Internet users can also read and
post Netnews messages. In addition, many Internet users have access to
more advanced services for information search and retrieval, such as
Gopher, FTP, WWW, and WAIS.
The Internet standard protocol that provides a common layer over
dissimilar networks, used to move packets among host computers and through
gateways if necessary.
The numeric address of a computer connected to the Internet; also called
A suspension of a process, such as the execution of a computer program,
caused by an event external to the computer and performed in such a way that
the process can be resumed. Events of this kind include sensors monitoring
laboratory equipment or a user pressing an interrupt key.
Internet Relay Chat, or just Chat. An on-line group discussion.
Integrated Services Digital Network. An international communications
standard for a common interface to digital networks that allows the integration
of voice and data on a common transport mechanism. Proposed by Bellcore for
transmission of data, voice and higher-bandwidth technologies over phone lines.
International Standards Organization. International standard making body
responsible for the OSI network standards and the OSI reference model.
A set of data that defines a unit of work for a computer; it usually
includes all necessary computer programs, linkages, files and instructions to
the operating system.
Joint Photographic Experts Group. The ISO proposed standard for
compression of digital data, especially 24-bit color images. It is lossy in
that it reduces the file size at the expense of image quality. PostScript Level
2 color printers are supposed to be able to receive, decompress and print JPEG
compressed images. Uses quantization and Huffman encoding.
In word processing, to print a document with even (straight, non-ragged)
right and left margins.
A communications protocol that allows you to transfer files between
your computer and on-line network systems. Kermit has built-in error correction
and can handle binary (non-text) files.
An identifier in a database or file. A primary key is a unique identifier.
A secondary key is typically not unique. A key may be used to specify data in a
query. Example: Tag number to specify a car in a database of automobile
Similar to a typewriter, contains the letters for typing text, and
keys that give the computer its commands.
1,024 bytes, often used to mean 1,000 bytes.
Local Area Network. A network that usually covers a contiguous and fairly
small geographical area.
LAN e-mail system
An e-mail system in which the UA runs on LAN-attached workstations.
Large, metallic-looking records about the size of 33 RPM albums (12
inches in diameter), sometimes called videodiscs. Laserdiscs can store a vast
amount of information in text, sound, and images. To play a laserdisc, you need
a laserdisc player and either a computer monitor or television set. Laserdiscs
come in two formats. CLV (constant linear velocity) is accessed by time and CAV
(constant angular velocity) is accessed by frame number.
A electrophotographic (xerographic) printer in which a laser is used as
the light source.
A grouping of related tasks involving the transfer of information. Also, a
level of the OSI reference model.
In communications, a wire connecting a terminal to a computer; also a unit
An editor where the text is considered to be a series of lines separated
by end-of-line markers and in which alterations are made to individual lines or
groups of lines through editor commands.
A computer output device in which an entire line of print is composed and
determined within the printer prior to printing. The line is printed as a unit
and there is no movement of a print head.
A form of markup which designates that data within a document will
automatically connect with either nested data or an outside source.
Used in the design of hypertext.
A server that manages named lists of recipients and files and
access-controls for them. Accepts commands by interactive message or electronic
mail. A note sent to a list name is resent to each recipient in the list. Will
send a copy of a file on command.
v. To transfer a program held on some external storage medium (such as
magnetic tape or disk) into the main memory of the machine in a form suitable
All the data for a given unit of analysis . It is distinguished from a
physical record because it may take several physical records to store all
the data for a given unit of analysis. For instance, in Card Image data, a
"card" is a physical record and it usually takes several "cards" to store
all the information for a single case or unit of analysis.
login or logon
The opening sequence of keystrokes used via computer screen instructions
to connect to a system or begin operations on a computer.
Same as account name or user ID.
Leave a network system, usually by typing "bye" or "q" for quit.
Sometimes called "logout."
In survey research, a study in which the same group of individuals is
interviewed at intervals over a period of time. See also: panel study .
Note that some cross sectional studies are done regularly (for instance,
the General Social Survey and the Current Population Survey (Annual
Demographic File) are conducted once a year), but different individuals
are surveyed each time. Such a study is not a true longitudinal study.
Line Printer Remote. A protocol that allows one system to send a file to
another system to be queued to a device to which the receiving system has
A text-based World-Wide Web browser. Because it does not employ a
graphics capability, it allows slower computers (or computers using a
modem) to access the Internet with ease.
A programming language or instruction code that is immediately
interpretable by the hardware of the machine concerned.
A single computer instruction that stands for a given sequence of
A flat circular plate with a magnetizable surface layer used for storage
A tape with a magnetizable surface layer on which data can be stored by
A RiceMail UA that can send mail and operate on incoming messages.
A file of e-mail messages on which a UA can operate as if they were
incoming messages (read, reply, forward, delete, etc). Compare with inbox.
A BITNET MTA for VM/CMS that natively supports domain names and routing
through gateways. It is supplied without charge to BITNET members by Princeton
Usually the fastest storage device of a computer and the one from which
instructions are executed.
The cabinet that houses the central processing unit and main memory of a
computer system, separate from peripheral devices such as card readers,
printers, disk drives, etc. and device controllers. The term has come to be
applied to the computer itself in the case of large systems. A large computer
system; the IBM ES9000.
mainframe, minicomputer, micro-computer
Three sizes of computers. Big
corporations use mainframes and large school systems might use a mid-range
computer, sometimes called a minicomputer, as a file server and administrative
tool. The correct term for microcomputer is personal computer or PC.
Megabytes. 1,048,576 bytes, often used to mean one million bytes
The material used to support the transmission of data. This can be
copper wire, coaxial cable, optical fiber, or electromagnetic wave as in
A device or medium that serves for temporary storage of programs and data
during program execution. The term is synonymous with storage, although it is
most frequently used for referring to the internal storage of a computer that
can be directly addressed by operating instructions.
Your computer's temporary storage capacity, measured in kilobytes (KB)
or megabytes (MB) of RAM (random-access memory). Long-term data storage on
discs, is also measured in kilobytes or megabytes.
A displayed list of options from which a choice can be made. The list is
often displayed with a code opposite each option; the selection may be made by
typing the appropriate code.
E-Mail: The unit of information transferred by an e-mail system. It
consists of an envelope that identifies the recipients to an MTA; headers
containing who the message is from, to, subject, relaying information, etc; and
a body that contains the information the sender wishes to communicate.
A procedure whose code implements the behavior invoked by sending a
A methodology is a collection of methods and tools, designed and arranged
so as to provide guidance in achieving a specific objective.
A computer system in which the central processing unit is built as a
single tiny semiconductor chip or as a small number of chips.
Main computer chip that provides speed and capabilities of the
computer. Also called CPU.
Bandwidth ranging above one gigahertz, used for high-speed data
Purpose; what you are in business to do.
Short for MOdulation/DEModulation, it is a device that can convert a
digital bit stream into an analog signal (modulation) and can convert incoming
analog signals back into digital signals (demodulation). The analog
communications channel is typically a telephone line and the analog signals are
Modem speed or baud rate, parity, data bits, stop bits, and duplex
must be set the same at the user's computer as at the network system.
Communication software is used to set up the modem.
A logically self-contained and discrete part of a larger computer program.
A television-like screen that shows text, graphics, and other
functions performed by the computer.
An Internet-based, global hypermedia browser that provides a unified
interface to the various protocols, data formats, and information archives
(i.e. gopher) used on the Internet and enables powerful new ways for
discovering, using, viewing, and sharing information. It was developed by NCSA
as part of the WWW project.
A device that is moved by hand to move a pointer to indicate a precise
position on a display screen. The device has one or more buttons on top and a
cable connected to a computer; it may use wheels and be friction-driven or it
may use light reflected from a special pad.
A single work assembled using elements from more than one medium, such as
high-resolution color images, sounds, video, and text that contains characters
in multiple fonts and styles.
Provides the capability to compose, send and read messages that include
things such as spreadsheets, line drawings, animated graphics, high-resolution
color images, digitized speech, video, and WYSIWYG text that may contain
characters in multiple fonts and styles, etc.
A device that merges information from multiple input channels to a single
The capability of some computer systems to provide access to many
Placing documents within other documents. Nesting allows a user to
access material in a non-linear fashion - this is the primary factor
needed for developing hypertext.
One of the most recent developments in browsing technology, it is
considered to be faster than the original Mosaic. Oddly enough, it
has been designed by the Mosaic Corporation, made up of programmers
that authored Mosaic in the first place.
The third layer of the OSI reference model. It controls underlying
telecommunications functions such as routing, relaying, and data link
A collection of two or more computers interconnected by telephone
lines, coaxial cables, satellite links, radio, and/or some other communication
technique. A computer "network" is a group of computers which are connected
together and which communicate with one another for a common purpose. Computer
networks support "people and organization" networks, users who also share a
common purpose for communicating.
A name that can be used in place of an e-mail address. Same as alias.
A member of a network or a point where one or more functional units
interconnect transmission lines. A VAX is a node on a DECnet.
Undesirable signals bearing no desired information and frequently capable
of introducing errors into the communication process.
An entity consisting of attributes (such as color and size) stored as data
and behaviors or functions (such as draw and move) that manipulate the
attribute data. It is capable of interacting with other objects. As defined by
OMG: encapsulation of the attributes, relationships, and methods of
software-identifiable program components. Complete and reusable pieces of data
or applications. Essentially packets of program code wrapped with data that
behave like things in the real world.
Supports the concept of the object and the use of messages to communicate
between the objects.
Output from a compiler or assembler that is itself executable machine code
or is suitable for processing to produce executable machine code.
Supports the concepts of objects, encapsulation, message passing, dynamic
binding and inheritance.
A collection of languages, tools, environments and methodologies aimed at
supporting development of software applications centered around interrelated,
Object Linking and Embedding. A Microsoft approach that allows data from
one OLE application to be placed in any document of another OLE application in
such a way that you can edit the object using the first application's
capabilities without leaving the second application. With OLE2.0 you can move
data using drag and drop within and between documents and applications. OLE
automation provides a cross-platform infrastructure that allows one application
to control another.
Not connected to a network. You can save money on pay-for-use
networks by preparing your messages off-line using your word-processing
software, and uploading them instead of typing them in while you're connected
to (or on-line with) the network.
Active and prepared for operation. Also suggests access to a computer
network. Connected to a network or via a network. Examples: Send me a message
on-line. In other words, send me an e-mail message.
Commercial online services like America Online, CompuServe, and Prodigy
enable their users to send and receive Internet E-Mail, although they
don't yet offer access to most other Internet services.
Under open systems, unencumbered specifications are freely available,
independent branding and certification processes exist, multiple
implementations of a single product may be created and competition is enhanced.
A national Internetnetwork that would allow citizens the ability to
access, create, and publish information.
A system that implements sufficiently open specifications for interfaces,
services and supporting formats to enable properly-engineered applications
software to be ported with minimal changes across a wide range of systems, to
interoperate with other applications on local and remote systems, and to
interact with users in a style that facilitates user portability.
Open Systems Interconnect. An international standard suite of protocols
defined by International Standards Organization, that implements
the OSI reference model for network communications between computers.
A windowing environment from Sun Microsystems based on X-windows and NeWS.
software that controls the basic, low-level hardware operations, and file
management. It is provides the
link between the user and the hardware. Popular operating systems include:
DOS, MacOS, VMS, VM, MVS, UNIX, and OS/2. (Note that "Windows 3.x" is not
an operating system as such, since in must have DOS to work. )
Information retrieved from a computer, displayed by a computer or produced
by a program running on a computer.
Basic component of communication over a network. A group of bits of fixed
maximum size and well-defined format that is switched and transmitted as a
complete whole through a network. It contains source and destination address,
data and control information. See also frame.
A variable, or quantity that can assume any of a given set of values, of
which there are two kinds: formal and actual. (See argument.)
Data has even or odd parity if the number of 1 bits is even or odd. A
parity bit is a bit added to data to make the parity always even or odd. A
parity bit may be used for detection of errors in RAM as well as in data
transmitted through noisy communications channels. A parity error is detected
when data that is supposed to be even parity is not, or vice versa.
A string of characters that a program, computer operator, or user must
supply to meet security requirements before gaining access.
Anything extra or added on for your computer, such as a modem, a
mouse, or a fax adapter. Peripherals can be added on externally or installed
inside the machine.
Personal Computer. An IBM or IBM clone personal computer (Microcomputer)
that is used by one person, as opposed to a Macintosh.
The first layer of the OSI reference model. It governs hardware
connections and byte-stream encoding for transmission.
Packet Internet Groper. Probably originally contrived to match the
submariners term for a sonar pulse.
n. Slang term for a small network message (ICMP ECHO) sent by a
computer to check for the presence and aliveness of another.
v. To verify the presence of. To get the attention of.
Picture Element. In computer graphics, the smallest element of a display
space that can be independently assigned color or intensity.
Hardware environment that supports the running of a computer system.
An output device for translating information from a computer into
pictorial or graphical form on paper or a similar medium.
A technique for generalizing a single behavior across many kinds of
objects. It simplifies software design, since a programmer need only specify an
action or behavior (such as draw) and elaborate on how it is implemented (for
example, line or ellipse).
That portion of a computer through which a peripheral device may
communicate. Often identified with the various plug-in jacks on the back of
your computer. On a network hub, it is the connector that receives the wire
link from a node.
In computer usage, a file or program is "portable" if it can be used by a
variety of software on a variety of hardware platforms. Numeric data files
written as plain character format files are fairly portable.
The act of placing a message in an on-line conference. The noun "posting"
is sometimes used to refer to a conference message.
A language defined by Adobe Systems, Inc. for describing how to create an
image on a page. The description is independent of the resolution of the device
that will actually create the image. It includes a technology for defining the
shape of a font and creating a raster image at many different resolutions and
A RISC CPU chip designed by IBM and Apple and manufactured by Motorola. It
features a 32/64 bit implementation and full binary compatibility with the IBM
RS/6000. Four models are planned: 601, 603, 604,and 620. The 601 borrows its
basic architecture from the Model 200 RS/6000. It adopts the internal bus
structure of the Motorola 88100 and the construction plans from the 0.5 micron
chip fabrication techniques used by the Model 970 RS/6000. The 603 is an
entry-level device targeted toward embedded applications and low power
consumption uses such as notebooks and low-end workstations. The 604 is a
second-generation version of the 601.
The sixth layer of the OSI reference model. It lets an application
interpret the data being transferred.
An output device that converts the coded information from the processor
into a readable form on paper.
The printed output of a computer.
A portion of a high-level language program that performs a specific task.
A systematic sequence of operations to produce a specified result; a
unique, finite course of events defined by its purpose or by its effect and
achieved under given conditions. As a verb, to perform operations on data in a
process. Also an address space and the code executing in it.
A set of actions or instructions that a machine is capable of interpreting
and executing. Used as a verb, to design, write and test such instructions.
A person who designs, write and tests computer programs.
A notation for the precise description of computer programs or algorithms.
Programming language languages are artificial languages in which the syntax and
semantics are strictly defined.
A character or message provided by an operating system or program to
indicate that it is ready to accept input.
An agreement that governs the procedures used to exchange information
between cooperating entities and usually includes how much information is to be
sent, how often it is sent, how to recover from transmission errors and who is
to receive the information.
Not protected by copyright; you may freely make copies and distribute
them; you may make derivative works.
It is meeting your own specifications and meeting your customers
expectations. It is also concerned with doing the right things and
doing things right.
A request that specifies the manner in which data is to be extracted from
one or more databases.
A sequence of stored computer data or programs awaiting processing that
are processed in the order first-in first-out (FIFO).
Ends the work without writing out a new file or new version of the exiting
work file unless there is a save that interrupts before dumping the session.
Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks. A way of creating a fault-tolerant
storage system. There are 6 levels. Level 0 uses byte-level striping. Level 1
uses mirroring. Level 2 uses bit-level striping. Level 3 stores error
correcting information (such as parity) on a separate disk, and uses data
striping on the remaining drives. Level 4 is level 3 with block level striping.
Level 5 uses block level and parity data striping.
Random Access Memory. Memory in which each element can be individually
addressed and accessed with the same speed as any other element of the memory.
The main memory of a computer is usually RAM. One of the earliest forms of RAM
was called core, because it consisted of directly addressed doughnuts or cores
of ferromagnetic material each of which represented one bit. A faster more
recent form of RAM is called Dynamic RAM.
Differs from direct access by the fact that each element can be accessed
with the same ease and speed as any other.
The circular process of going from code to models then back to code that
might be in a different language, use a different DBMS or be more structured.
To sense and retrieve or interpret data from a form of storage or input
A magnetic mechanism that can read, write and erase data encoded as
polarized patterns on magnetic disk or tape.
The processing of transactions as they occur rather than batching them.
Pertaining to an application in which response to input is fast enough to
affect subsequent inputs and guide the process and in which records are updated
immediately. The lag from input time to output time must be sufficiently small
for acceptable timeliness. Timeliness is a function of the total system:
missile guidance requires output within a few milliseconds of input, scheduling
of steamships requires response time in days. Realtime systems are those with
response time of milliseconds, interactive system in seconds and batch system
in hours or days.
A collection of related data or words, treated as a unit. For example, in
stock control, each invoice could constitute one record.
Depending on the context, the length in bytes (i.e., columns) of a
physical record or a logical record . On ICPSR Tape Information Forms and
on CDNet, the abbreviation "RecLen" is used for physical record length.
A record that has a consistent logical structure. In files that include
different units of analysis, for instance, different record types are
needed to hold the different variables. For example, one record type might
have a variable for income in one column and another record type might
have a variable for household size in that same column. The codebook will
describe these different structures and how to determine which is which so
that you can tell your statistical software how to interpret that
particular column as income or household size.
The process by which data bases are rebuilt after a system fails.
A physical file structure. A rectangular file is one which contains the
same number of card-images or the same physical record length for each
respondent or unit of analysis . A Hierarchical file can be stored in a
rectangular file structure by storing all units of analysis in a single
physical record . For instance, each record might contain one household
unit, two family units, and four person units for each family unit. This
method of storage of hierarchical files can be very inefficient in terms
of storage space, but can make the file easier to describe and work with.
One-half inch magnetic tape stored on round reels. Also called Round Tape.
An organization of data into tables with each column containing the values
of a data element and each row representing a record.
A study that includes different units of analysis, particularly when
those units are not arranged in a strict hierarchy as they are in a
hierarchical file, has a relational structure. Note that the data could
be arranged in several different physical structures to handle such a data
structure. For instance, each unit of analysis might be stored in a
separate rectangular file with identification numbers linking each case to
the other units; or, the different units of analysis might be stored in
one large file with a hierarchical file structure; or the different units
could be stored in a special database structure used by a relational data
base management system such as INGRES. An example of a study with a
relational structure is the Survey of Income and Program Participation
which has eight or more record types; these record types are related to
each other but are not all members of a hierarchy of membership. For
instance, there are record types for household, family, person, wage and
salary job, and general income amounts.
Equipment or site that is located out of the way or at a distance from
primary equipment or a larger or primary site. Sometimes used as the opposite
The ability to access a computer from outside a building in which it is
housed. Remote access requires communications hardware, software, and
actual physical links, although this can be as simple as common carrier
(telephone) lines or as complex as TELNET login to another computer across
An on-line information set or an on-line interactive option. An
on-line library catalog or the local school lunch menu are examples of
information sets. On-line menus or graphical user interfaces, Internet e-mail,
on-line conferences, telnet, FTP, and Gopher are examples of interactive
A message placed in a conference as a follow-up to a topic or to
another response; or, a reply to an e-mail message.
A function of a repeater or Ethernet hub that receives a signal, cleans
and regenerates it, and then sends it.
The key on a terminal keyboard that, when struck, places the cursor at the
left margin one line below its previous horizontal position.
reuse and reuseability
An approach to software engineering that emphasizes reusing software
assets, including designs and code, and building software assets likely to be
reuseable in future applications.
The process of going from the more concrete level of code to the more
abstract level of models for data and processes.
Read-only memory. Information is stored once, usually by the manufacturer,
that cannot be changed. Most compact discs are ROM.
The directory that contains all other directories.
A device connecting separate networks that forwards a packet from one
network to another based only on the network address for the protocol being
used. For example, an IP router looks only at the IP network number.
Part of a computer program, or a sequence of instructions called by a
program, that may have some general or frequent use.
The process of finding a path over which a packet can travel to reach its
The single, continuous execution of a program by a computer on a given set
of data. As a verb, to initiate processing by a program.
A device that senses alterations of light and dark.
An automated capability to schedule meetings and/or resources (such as
meeting rooms, projectors, etc.) by looking at online calendars.
The surface of a monitor on which information can be viewed.
A program that allows a file to be edited by making changes to the text
displayed on the screen. It may also support commands to make changes to the
whole file at once. Changes to the portion displayed on the screen are
To move all or part of the display image vertically or horizontally to
view data otherwise excluded. Scrolling can be performed with a mouse in the
horizontal/vertical bars on each window or by using the page up/down - home/end
- or arrow keys.
A section of network wiring. Segments are connected by repeaters, bridges
A method of storing and retrieving information that requires data to be
written and read sequentially. Accessing any portion of the data requires
reading all the preceding data.
A computer that shares its resources, such as printers and files, with
other computers on the network. An example of this is a Network Files System
Server which shares its disk space with a workstation that does not have a disk
drive of its own.
service (or service provider)
An organization that provides access to part of
the Internet. You have to arrange for an account with a service to connect your
computer to the Internet.
Networking term used to refer to the logical stream of data flowing
between two programs and being communicated over a network. There may be many
different sessions emanating from any one node on a network.
The fifth layer of the OSI reference model, it provides the means for two
session service users to organize and synchronize their dialogs and manage data
Protected by copyright; holder allows you to make and distribute copies
under the condition that those who adopt the software after preview pay a fee
to the holder of the copyright; derivative works are not allowed; you may make
an archival copy.
A term that usually refers to the user interface of an operating system. A
shell is the command processor that is the actual interface between the kernel
and the user. The C shell or the Bourne shell are the primary user interfaces
on UNIX systems. Contrasts with the kernel, which interacts with the computer
at low levels.
An imitation of the behavior of some existing or intended system, or some
aspect of that behavior. Examples of areas where simulation is used include
communications network design, weather forecasting and training. Physical
systems can also be simulated, for example, chemical or nuclear reactions.
Character combinations such as :-) to denote whether a message is being
made in jest with various modifications thereof ;-) to wink, etc. Also called
emoticons, since not all are smiling %-( .
An electronic version of a file, usually in computer memory and/or
on disk; as opposed to hard copy, the paper printout.
Computer programs that perform various tasks. Word processing
programs (like WordPerfect or Microsoft Word), spreadsheet programs (like Lotus
or Excel), or database programs (like dBase III+, Foxbase, or FileMaker) are
A program that is employed in the development, repair or enhancement of
other programs. Tools include editors, compilers and linkers. Also refers to
utilities, such as formatters and file utilities.
To arrange a set of items in sequence according to keys; for example, to
arrange the records of a personnel file into alphabetical order by using the
employee names as sort keys.
The program in a language prepared by the programmer. This code cannot be
directly executed by the computer and must first be translated into object
Scalable Processor ARChitecture. Trademark of SunMicrosystems 32-bit RISC
microprocessor architecture. The architecture is open in the sense that other
vendors can obtain the processor chips and documentation sufficient to build
computers using it.
A workstation (usually a Sun Microsystems brand) based on the SPARC chip.
A job that runs in the background on the IBM 3090 mainframe computer in
such a way that it uses only those CPU cycles not needed by other work, yet is
so computationally intense that it soaks up all unused CPU cycles.
Simultaneous Peripheral Operations On-Line. A scheme that allows multiple
devices to simultaneously write output to the same device such as multiple
computers printing to the same printer at the same time. The data are actually
written to temporary files while a program called a spooler sends the files to
the device one at a time.
Software program that allows mathematical calculations, such as
budgeting, keeping track of investments, or tracking grades.
Structured Query Language. ANSI standard data manipulation language used
in most relational data base systems. A language for requesting data from a
A device or medium that can retain data for subsequent retrieval.
long-term plan, tactic, or scheme for attaining a vision.
A sequence of characters.
Disk striping copies blocks, bytes or bits across multiple disks in such a
way that if one disk is lost, the data can be created using the blocks or bits
on the remaining disks.
Sun originally stood for Stanford University Network, a name given to a
printed circuit board developed in 1981 that was designed to run UNIX.
The name of the operating system of the workstation from Sun Microsystems.
It is based on Berkeley UNIX and AT&Ts System V UNIX. It is composed of three
major parts: the kernel and file system, shells and graphical interfaces, and
Netspeak for wandering, whether one is surfing through cable stations
or surfing the Internet.
A measure of how much data, can fit on a magnetic tape.
A separately dispatchable function on a computer.
Transmission Control Protocol/INTERNET Protocol.
The communication protocols on which the Internet is based.
Together Everyone Accomplishes More
Communicating with other people through the computer using
communication software and modems.
Using computers for telecommunication; computer networking.
A program that allows users on the Internet to log in to remote systems
from their own host system.
A device connected to a computer network that acts as a point for
entry or retrieval of information. Personal computers can be made to act as
network terminals, by running terminal emulation (communication) programs.
Most communications software packages will permit a personal computer or
workstation to communicate with another computer or network as if it were
a specific type of hardware terminal.
A device that allows asynchronous devices such as terminals to select and
then communicate with hosts or other devices over a network.
1,099,551,627,776 bytes, often used to mean one trillion bytes
A string of characters. A text file should contain only characters - as
opposed to codes or commands.
What happens when two computers are talking and one fails to respond
within a certain time, for whatever reason.
Observations of a variable made over time. Many economic studies such as
International Financial Statistics, and Citibase are time series
datafiles. Time series, of a sort, can also be constructed from a cross
sectional study if the same questions are asked more than once over time.
A version of TELNET providing IBM full-screen support.
Using one command or keystroke to change between one mode and its
A LAN and protocol in which nodes are connected together in a ring and
communication is controlled by a special packet called a token that is passed
from node to node around the ring. A node can send data only when it receives
the token and the token is not in use. Data is sent by attaching it to the
token. The receiving node removes the data from the token.
In a conference, a message which is generally written to convey a new
idea or a new piece of information, relevant to that conference.
To copy or move information from one computer to another.
The fourth layer of the OSI reference model. It provides transparent,
reliable and cost-effective transfer of data.
A way of organizing information with general categories at the top,
subcategories below, and narrower subcategories on a further level.
A popular computer software operating system used on many Internet host
To transfer information from a users system to a remote system. Opposite
Uniform Resource Locater. A scheme used to locate a document accessible
over the Internet.
The network of UNIX users, generally perceived as informal and made up of
loosely coupled nodes that exchange mail and messages. Started by Duke
University and UNC-Chapel Hill. An information cooperative linking
around 16,000 computer sites and about 1 million people. Usenet
provides a series of "news groups" analogous to on-line conferences.
Anyone who uses a computer connected to the Internet.
A system or program that relatively untrained users can interact with
A code that uniquely identifies a user and then provides access privileges
to a computer system.
Account name or user ID.
A specialized program that performs a frequently required everyday task
such as sorting, report program generation, or file updating.
In social science research, for each unit of analysis , each item of data
(e.g., age of person, income of family, consumer price index) is called a
A future-oriented statement of where you want to be, of what you want
things to be like.
Pertaining to a device or facility that does not physically exist, yet
behaves as if it does. For example, a system with 4 megabytes of virtual memory
may have only one megabyte of physical memory plus additional (slower and
cheaper) auxiliary memory. Yet programs written as if 4 megabytes of physical
memory were available will run correctly.
A program that makes a general purpose computer behave like a terminal.
Virtual Memory System. An operating system for the VAX and Alpha computers
of Digital Equipment Corporation.
A program that can make a copy of itself without you necessarily being
aware of it; some viruses can destroy or damage files, and generally the
best protection is to always maintain backups of your files
A physical unit of a storage medium, such as tape reel or disk pack, that
is capable of having data recorded on it and subsequently read. Also refers to
a contiguous collection of cylinders or blocks on a disk that are treated as a
The length of one complete electromagnetic wave, measured usually
from crest to crest or trough to trough of successive vibrations.
The name of the nickname database that contains full name, postal address,
telephone number, and network mailbox for registered users. Also the name of
the local command to access this database, and the name of the protocol used by
this command (RFC-954) that is now an elective draft standard.
A rectangular area on a display screen in which part of an image or file
is displayed. The window can be any size up to that of the screen and more than
one window can be displayed at once.
A trademark of Microsoft Corporation for a software product that provides
an environment for a graphical user interface for DOS and DOS applications.
A program used to enter or edit text information in personal
computers, often used to create a file before it is uploaded to a network; may
also be used to process text after it has been downloaded.
An editor feature that causes a word that will not fit on a line to be
moved in its entirety to the next line rather than be split at the right
Disk space made available to the system to provide temporary storage space
for files too large to fit within a users permanent disk storage quota or for
files not needed beyond a single run of a program or set of programs.
A general purpose computer that is small enough and inexpensive enough to
reside at a persons work area for his or her exclusive use. It includes
microcomputers such as Macintosh, and PCs running DOS, as well as
high-performance desktop and deskside computers.
To record data in a storage device, a data medium, or an output display.
To save information, especially files, to a disk, to replace old data with
new and permit later access from within a software package; the complement
World Wide Web. A wide-area hypermedia information retrieval technology
that interconnects information around the world. It allows you to travel
through the information by clicking on hyperlinks that can point to any
document anywhere on the Internet. Originated at CERN and collaborated upon by
a large, informal, and international design and development team, WWW allows
links inside and between documents, plus pointers to FTP sites, news, telnet
sessions, gopher sites, and WAIS databases.
X window system
A standard for controlling the display on a bitmapped terminal. X-windows
normally uses a network connection, and unlike the typical terminal connection,
multiple applications possibly on different computers can use the display
simultaneously in different windows.
An X-windows client that provides a window for terminal emulation.
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