Computing Topics

Abend
A procedure to halt a computer program prematurely, ABnormal END.
Access Time
The average time interval between a storage peripheral receiving a request to read or write a certain location and returning the value read or completing the write.
Action Based Planning
The goal is to determine how to decompose a high level action into a network of sub-actions that perform the required task.
Active High
The active, true, one, or asserted case of a binary signal is the high or most positive voltage level.
Active Low
The active, true, one, or asserted case of a binary signal is the low or less positive voltage level.
Active Window
The top or front window in a multiple window environment.
Ada
A large, complex, block-structured computer language aimed primarily at embedded applications.
Adaptive Learning
Learning where a system programs itself by adjusting weights or strengths until it produces the desired output.
Address
The binary number that represents the collection of binary signals used by memory hardware to determine which memory register to access.
Advanced Graphics Port
Slot on the PC motherboard for graphics cards, and the format of the cards themselves - more commonly known by its abbreviation AGP.
AGP
Abbreviation of Advanced Graphics Port.
AI
Abbreviation of Artificial Intelligence.
Algol
A high-level programming language developed in the 1950s.
Algorithm
A logical sequence of instructions that explain how to accomplish a task. It must explain exactly how to go from one step to the next and have a finite amount of steps.
Alphabetics
The science of representing spoken sounds by letters.
Alphanumeric
A character set that contains both letters and digits.
American Standard Code for Information Interchange
Coding for text files.
Ampersand
The character &
Analogue Computer
Ranging in complexity from a slide rule to electrical computers used for solving mathematical problems.
AND Gate
Gate that produces a logic 1 when all of its inputs are 1. In all other cases the output is 0.
Applet
A small application, often downloaded from a remote server and run in a controlled environment.
Application
Software that lets users do relatively complex tasks.
Arithmetic Error
As error that occurs when discarding least significant bits of a fixed-point arithmetic operation.
Artificial Intelligence
Field of computer science concerned with the concepts and methods of symbolic inference by computer, and the symbolic representation of the knowledge to be used in making inferences.
ASCII
Coding for text files.
Aspect Ratio
For a graphics device it is the ratio of the screen dimensions, normally defined as vertical screen dimension divided by horizontal screen dimension.
Assembler
A computer program that converts symbolic assembly language programs into equivalent binary machine language programs.
Asserted High
The asserted, true, one, or active case of a binary signal is the high or most positive voltage level.
Asserted Low
The asserted, true, one, or active case of a binary signal is the low or less positive voltage level.
Asynchronous
The transmission of data between a transmitting and a receiving device that occurs as a series of zeros and ones.
Auralization
The technique of using computer-based mathematical models of an acoustic environment and 3D sound processing methods to make audible the sound field of a source in the modeled space.
Avatar
A picture or figure representing a person in an online environment.
Babbage, Charles
The British inventor known to some as the Father of Computing.
Bar Code
Coded labels that contain information about the item they are attached to, the information is contained in a numerical code, usually containing 12 digits.
Basic
A high-level programming language designed at Dartmouth College as a learning tool.
Baud Rate
The speed of information being transmitted across a serial interface, expressed in units of bits per second (bps).
Big Endian
A byte ordering system where the most-significant byte of a multiple byte number is placed in memory at the lowest address.
Binary Coded Decimal
A number system where each decimal digit is separately represented by a 4-bit binary code.
Binary Coded Digit
A digit of any number system that is represented as a fixed number of binary digits
Binary Notation
In order to understand how a number in binary notation is constructed, the decimal notation is first discussed.
Binary Number
A number written to base 2.
Biometrics
The recognition of people from characteristics such as fingerprints, facial-geometry, iris patterns or voice.
BIOS
Acronym for basic input/output system, the commands used to tell a CPU how it will communicate with the rest of the computer.
Bit
Binary Digit - the smallest unit of binary data.
Bit Depth
The number of bits used to represent each pixel in an image, determining its colour or tonal range.
Bitmap
An uncompressed graphics file format.
Bitrate
The rate at which the compressed bitstream is delivered from the storage medium to the input of a decoder.
bits per second
A measurement of data transmission speed in a communications system, the number of bits transmitted or received each second.
Bitstream
An ordered series of bits that forms the coded representation of the data.
Block Diagram
A diagram in which the major components of an equipment or a system are represented by squares, rectangles, or other geometric figures, and the normal order of progression of a signal or current flow is represented by lines.
Boolean
Pertaining to the operations of formal logic.
Boot Up
Literally, the process of loading up the operating system and getting the computer ready for use.
bps
bits per second, the number of bits transmitted or received each second.
Buffer
A memory location in a computer or digital instrument which is set aside for temporarily storing digital information while it is waiting to be processed.
Bug
A mistake or problem in software or hardware.
Byte
A group of binary digits that combine to make a word. Generally 8 bits.
Cache
Static random access memory containing recently used information.
Caching
A process in which frequently accessed data is kept on hand, rather than constantly being from the place where it is stored.
CAD
Abbreviation of Computer Aided Design.
CAE
Abbreviation of Computer Aided Engineering.
Cascading Style Sheets
Set of HTML commands used to control the style of web pages - commonly known by abbreviation CSS.
Case Based Reasoning
Solves a current problem by retrieving the solution to previous similar problems and altering those solutions to meet the current needs.
Cathode Ray Tube
An evacuated tube containing an anode and a cathode that generates cathode rays when operated at a high voltage.
CD
Abbreviation of Compact Disc, an optical disc designed to store digitally 74 minutes of stereo audio data.
cdrom
Abbreviation that stands for Compact Disc Read Only Memory.
Central Processing Unit
The computer chip primarily responsible for executing instructions.
CFD
Abbreviation of Computational Fluid Dynamics.
Checksum
A number formed by an algorithm, possibly addition, applied to a data record.
CMYK
Cyan, magenta, yellow, and black are the base colours used in printing processes.
COBOL
COmmon Business Oriented Language - A coding system designed to facilitate the digital programming of business-oriented problems.
Code
When used as a verb, code means to write a program. As a noun, code refers to the binary instructions of a program.
Cognition
The processes of human or animal thought. The acquisition, understanding, representation and manipulation of knowledge.
Cognitive Science
The study of thought processes in animals and machines.
Combinational Logic
Logic circuits whose outputs depend only on the present logic inputs.
Compact Disc
An optical disc designed to store digitally 74 minutes of stereo audio data.
Compiler
A computer program that translates high-level language statements to machine language.
Computational Chemistry
A branch of chemistry concerned with the prediction or simulation of chemical properties, structures, or processes using numerical techniques.
Computational Fluid Dynamics
A tool for predicting the aerodynamics and fluid dynamics of air around flight vehicles by solving a set of mathematical equations with a computer.
Compute
To solve problems that use numbers.
Computer
A data processor that can perform substantial computation, including numerous arithmetic or logic operations, without intervention by a human operator during the run.
Computer Aided Design
Usually applied to that part of CAE which has to do with the drawing or physical layout steps of engineering design.
Computer Aided Engineering
A technique for using computers to help with all phases of engineering design work.
Computer Aided Engineering Books
Lists all Computer Aided Engineering Books in the Encyclopaedia
Computer Aided Engineering Weblinks
Lists all Computer Aided Engineering Weblinks in the Encyclopaedia
Computer Assisted Drug Design
Using computational chemistry to discover, enhance, or study drugs and related biologically active molecules.
Computer Hardware
The physical parts of a computer.
Computer Network
Lists all Computer Network topics in the Encyclopaedia
Computer Network Books
Lists all Computer Network Books in the Encyclopaedia
Computer Network Weblinks
Lists all Computer Network Weblinks in the Encyclopaedia
Computer Noise
Noise and vibration generated by the cooling fans, disc drives and power supplies.
Computer Software
The programs that run on a computer.
Computer Virus
A program that has been deliberately created to cause computer problems.
Computing Efficiency
The percentage of the successful computation time during a defined period to the total time in that period.
Concatenate
To link together or place end to end.
Constant
A quantity that does not change. This quantity may be a number or a variable.
Control Variable
The inputs and outputs which a control system manipulates and measures to keep proper control.
C Plus Plus Programming Language
An extension to the C language developed primarily by B.Stroustrup at AT&T Bell Laboratories. It supports object-oriented programming.
C Programming Language
A language developed in conjunction with the UNIX operating system at AT&T Bell Laboratories by D. Ritchie and now an ANSI standard. It has grown popular due to its simplicity, efficiency, and flexibility.
CPU
Abbreviation of Central Processing Unit, the computer chip primarily responsible for executing instructions.
Crash
Slang used to describe a program with errors that cause it to stop functioning correctly.
Cross Assembler
An assembler program that runs on a different kind of computer than that for which it generates code.
CRT
An evacuated tube containing an anode and a cathode that generates cathode rays when operated at a high voltage.
Crumb
A unit of information in computer science, equal to 2 bits.
Cryptography
Field of mathematics and computer science concerned with information security and related issues, particularly encryption and authentication.
CSS
Abbreviation of Cascading Style Sheets.
Cursor
A bright figure used as a pointer on a computer screen.
Data
A series of facts or statements that may have been collected, stored, processed or manipulated but have not been organized.
Data Mining
Using automated data anlysis techniques to find themes or relationships.
Database
Information organised into interrelated tables of data and information.
Date
A number or series of numbers used to identify a given day with the least possible ambiguity.
DaughterBoard
A board that rides piggyback on another board, such as the motherboard or an expansion card.
DDR
Abbreviation of Double Data Rate.
Debug
To correct mistakes in both software and hardware.
Decision Tree
A graphical representation of a hierarchical set of rules that describe how one might evaluate or classify an object of interest based on the answers to a series of questions.
Denial of Service
A form of attack on an internet service, which aims to prevent the service from operating properly, often by bombarding it with more information than it can process.
Desktop Computer
A computer designed to sit on a desk.
DFT
The Discrete Fourier Transform, the digital version of the fourier transform.
Dialog Unit
A unit of relative distance used in computer graphics.
Digital
Literally means to do with numbers.
Digital Computer
A computer that operates on discrete data by performing arithmetic and logic processes on these data.
Digital Rights Management
Software intended to prevent the unauthorised duplication of copyrighted video or audio, usually built into a computer's operating system.
Digital Signatures
The electronic equivalent of a signature used for authentication.
Digital Versatile Disc
Optical disc used for data, video and audio storage.
DIMM
Abbreviation of Dual In-line Memory Module.
Discrete Fourier Transform
The digital version of the fourier transform.
Disk Operating System
Program used to control the transfer of information to and from a disk, such as MS DOS.
Display Resolution
Refers to the number of distinct pixels in each dimension that can be displayed.
Do Loop
A programming language statement which allows code to be repeatedly executed.
DOS
Abbreviation of Disk Operating System.
Double Data Rate
A fast type of RAM for a PC, originally only used on high performance graphics cards but now being used for general memory in most high-end PCs.
Double Word
Unit of information equal to 2 short words, 4 bytes or 32 bits.
DRAM
Abbreviation of Dynamic Random Access Memory.
DRM
Abbreviation of Digital Rights Management.
D-Sub Connector
A connector whose male end has a D shaped raised shield that protects the connecting pins.
Dual In-line Memory Module
A module of RAM for a PC, replacing the older SIMM specification.
Dual-Access Memory
Memory that can be sequentially accessed by more than one controller or processor but not simultaneously accessed.
Dual-Ported Memory
Memory that can be simultaneously accessed by more than one controller or processor.
DVD
Digital Versatile Disc, optical disc used for data, video and audio storage.
Dynamic Data Exchange
A protocol for allowing different software applications or programs to share information.
Dynamic Random Access Memory
Computer memory in which each stored bit must be refreshed periodically.
EEPROM
Acronym for electrically erasable programmable read only memory.
Effective Address
The final memory address used by an instruction.
EiB
Abbreviation of exbibyte, equal to two to the power of sixty bytes.
Entropy
A measure of the information contained in a message, it's the lower bound for compression.
EPROM
Acronym for erasable programmable read only memory.
Error Correction
A method using a coding system to correct data errors by use of redundant data within a data block.
Euler Codes
Computer software that is a mathematical representation of the motion of a fluid whose behavior and properties are described at fixed points in a coordinate system.
exbibyte
Equal to two to the power of sixty bytes.
Expert System
Encapsulates the specialist knowledge gained from a human expert and applies that knowledge automatically to make decisions.
Extensible Markup Language
Better known in the abbreviated form as XML. XML is a markup language much like HTML.
FIELDbus
A communications protocol.
FIFO Buffer
A first in, first out, store.
Firewire
A very fast external bus standard that supports data transfer rates of up to 400 Mbps.
Fixed Point
A format for processing or storing numbers as digital integers.
Flag
A variable which can take one of only two values.
Flash Drive
A removable data storage device, usually thumb sized and plugged into the USB port.
Flash Memory
Non-volatile computer memory that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed.
Floating Point Number
A number represented in the computer in mantissa and exponent form.
Floating Point Operations per Second
A measure of a computer′s performance, especially in fields of scientific calculations that make heavy use of floating point calculations.
FLOPS
Abbreviation of Floating Point Operations per Second.
For Next Loop
A programming language statement which allows code to be repeatedly executed.
Fortran
From Formula Translation this is a computer programming language that is best known amongst scientists and engineers. Within the engineering community it is being replaced by packages such as Matlab.
Fractals
Discovered by Benoit Mandelbrot in 1964.
Fuzzy Logic
Invented by Lofti Zadeh in 1962.
General Purpose Interface Bus
More commonly abbreviated as GPIB.
GiB
Abbreviation of gibibyte, equal to two to the power of thirty bytes.
gibibyte
Equal to two to the power of thirty bytes.
Gigabyte
One billion bytes.
GigaFLOPS
One billion floating-point operations per second.
GPIB
Abbreviation of General Purpose Interface Bus, IEEE 488 interface standard.
Granularity
The basic size of units that can be manipulated.
Graphical User Interface
Abbreviated to GUI and pronounced "gooey". It is the programming code defining the operation and graphics displayed on a computer monitor.
Graphics Card
An expansion card which the PC uses to control the output graphics.
GUI
An abbreviation of Graphical User Interface, it is the programming code defining the operation and graphics displayed on a computer monitor.
Handshaking
The initial exchange between two communications systems prior to and during transmission to ensure proper data transfer.
Hard Disc Drive
The main storage for programs and data on a computer.
HDD
Abbreviation of Hard Disc Drive.
Heterogeneous Database
Database that contains different kinds of data, e.g, text and numerical data.
Hexadecimal
Counting system based on 16.
High Level Language
A computer language with commands that do not directly represent the machine instructions.
HMI
Abbreviation of Human Machine Interface.
HTML
Abbreviation of HyperText Markup Language.
http
Abbreviation of HyperText Transfer Protocol.
Human Machine Interface
The interface between man and machine.
Hyperlink
Any kind of link on a webpage.
HyperText Markup Language
The system used for creating World Wide Web pages, ordinary text with commands for special effects like pictures, colour and links enclosed between < > symbols.
IEEE 1394
A very fast external bus standard that supports data transfer rates of up to 400 Mbps.
IEEE 488
Communication standard.
Index Register
A microprocessor register that holds part of or all the effective address used by an instruction.
Information Filtering
System sorts through large volumes of dynamically generated information to present to the user those nuggets of information which are likely to satisfy his or her immediate needs.
Inherited Error
The error in initial values used in a computation; especially the error introduced from the previous steps in a step-by-step integration.
Input-Output
The reception and transmission of information between control devices using discrete connection points.
Instruction
A binary code number that directs the control unit of a computer to perform a certain operation.
Instruction Set
The collection of the instruction codes recognized by the control unit of a computer.
Interface
A boundary across which two systems communicate.
Internet Service Provider
A company which provides a connection to the internet, or internet services.
Interrupts
An efficient method to quickly request a computer′s attention to a particular external event.
IO
Abbreviation of Input-Output.
ISP
Abbreviation of Internet Service Provider.
Java
Object oriented language designed to work on all platforms.
JavaScript
An object-oriented scripting language used to enable programmatic access to objects within both the client application and other applications.
kB
In SI units this is 1000 bytes.
Keyboard
An input device, partially modeled after the typewriter keyboard, which uses an arrangement of buttons or keys, to act as mechanical levers or electronic switches.
KiB
Abbreviation of kibibyte, equal to two to the power of ten bytes.
kibibyte
Equal to two to the power of ten bytes.
Kilobyte
In SI units this is 1000 bytes.
Knowledge Engineering
The process of collecting knowledge from human experts in a form suitable for designing and implementing an expert system.
Landauer′s Principle
A principle which states that it doesn′t explicitly take energy to compute data.
Leapfrog Test
A check routine which eventually occupies every possible position in the memory.
Least Significant Bit (LSB)
The bit within a digital word that represents the smallest possible coded value.
Lempel-Ziv Welch Compression
Algorithm used by the Unix compress command to reduce the size of files, eg. for archival or transmission.
Linux
An open source PC operating system.
LISP
Abbreviation for list processing.
Little Endian
A byte ordering system where the least-significant byte of a multiple byte number is placed in memory at the lowest address.
Load
The weight supported by a structure.
Logic
The study of the formal laws of reasoning.
Logic Circuit
The primary control information processor in digital equipment; made up of electronic gates and so named because their operation is described by simple equations of a specialized logic algebra.
Logic Diagram
Representing the logical elements and their interconnections without necessarily expressing construction or engineering details.
Logic Operation
A nonarithmetical operation in a computer, such as comparing, selecting, making references, matching, sorting, and merging, where the logical YES or NO quantities are involved.
Lookup Table
A table in computer memory that is used to convert a value into a related value from the table.
Loop
In a program, a series of instructions that are repeated a prescribed number of times, followed by an end instruction to terminate the series.
Machine Learning
The ability of a computer to automatically gain new knowledge.
Malware
Software installed by stealth onto a PC for malevolent purposes.
Matlab
High-performance numeric computation language from Mathworks.
mebibyte
Equal to two to the power of twenty bytes.
Megabyte
One million bytes. A megabyte is a unit of information content equal to 1,048,576 bytes.
Megaflop
One million floating-point operations per second.
Memory
In a computer system memory is used to store data temporarily or permanently. The capacity of the memory is normally measured in bytes.
MFLOPS
Million floating-point operations per second.
MiB
Abbreviation of mebibyte, equal to two to the power of twenty bytes.
Microcomputer
One integrated circuit or a collection of integrated circuits including a microprocessor that make a computer.
Microprocessor
The single integrated circuit or the portion of a single-chip microcomputer that implements the processor and control unit of a microcomputer.
Minuend
A number from which another number is to be subtracted.
MODbus
Communication protocol developed by Modicon; widely used in SCADA and process control applications.
Modular Number System
A number system represented best by numbers on a circle because the numbers repeat.
Monte Carlo Calculations
Simulation based upon events that happen randomly, and so the outcome of a calculation is not always absolutely predictable.
Moore′s Law
This states that the number of devices on a silicon chip could double each year.
MotherBoard
The main circuit board of a PC to which everything connects.
Mouse
A device used to move a pointer around on the computer screen.
Negation
The process of inverting the value of a function or variable.
Neural Network
An approach to machine learning that tries to replicate the neurons of the brain and relies on being trained.
NIC
Abbreviation of Network Interface Card.
Nonmaskable Interrupt
A hardware interrupt that software cannot disable.
Nonvolatile Memory
A type of memory that retains information without electrical power.
Numerical Analysis
The study of methods for approximation of solutions of various classes of mathematical problems including error analysis.
Offset Binary Coding
For bipolar signals, offset binary is a digital coding scheme in which the most negative value is represented by all zeros (00000000) and the most positive value is represented by all ones (11111111).
OpenGL
A graphics standard providing advanced rendering capabilities.
Operand
A word on which an operation is to be performed.
Operating System
The master program that runs automatically when you switch the computer on and is responsible for the many routine tasks required to keep a computer running.
Page
Unit of information in computer science, usually equal to 256 bytes.
Parallel Port
A special socket for plugging a printer into a computer.
Parallel Transfer
A transfer of multiple bits from one register to another simultaneously.
Parity Bit
A bit added to a binary code group which is used to indicate whether the number of recorded 1 or 0 is even or odd.
Pattern Recognition
A computational technique used to find patterns and develop classification schemes for data in very large data sets.
PCI
Abbreviation of Peripheral Component Interconnect.
PCMCIA
Abbreviation of Personal Computer Memory Card International Association.
pebibyte
Equal to two to the power of fifty bytes.
Peripheral Component Interconnect
Standard for PC expansion cards - more commonly known by the abbreviation PCI.
Perl
An interpreted language optimised for scanning arbitrary text files.
Personal Computer Memory Card International Association
An expansion bus architecture which is the de facto standard for notebook and laptop computers.
PiB
Abbreviation of pebibyte, equal to two to the power of fifty bytes.
Picaxe
The name of a UK-sourced microcontroller system based on a range of Microchip PICs.
Pointer
A register that holds an address of data rather than the data.
POP3
Abbreviation of Post Office Protocol version 3.
Port
An opening hole, or passage.
Post Office Protocol version 3
A protocol for transmitting and receiving email.
Powerline Carrier System
A method of sending information over an electrical power distribution system.
Program
A list of instructions that tell a computer how to do something.
Program Counter
A microprocessor register that holds the memory address of the next instruction to be fetched.
Programming Languages
A list of programming languages with their main fields of use.
PROM
An acronym for programmable read only memory.
Pulse Code Modulation
Coding where the input signal is represented by a given number of fixed-width samples per second.
Pure Procedure Code
Program code that does not modify itself as it runs.
RAM
Abbreviation of Random Access Memory, a data storage device for which the order of access to different locations does not affect the speed of access, except for bursts.
Random Access Memory
A data storage device for which the order of access to different locations does not affect the speed of access, except for bursts.
Random Number Generators
A device used to produce a selection of numbers in a fair manner, in no particular order and with no favour being given to any numbers.
Really Simple Syndication
Automated system for gathering information, usually news, from multiple sources and bringing it together in one place, usually a website - more commonly known by abbreviation RSS.
Recursion
Given some starting information and a rule for how to use it to get new information, the rule is then repeated using the new information.
Reduced Instruction Set Computer
A computer architecture that has reduced chip complexity by using simpler processing instructions.
Register
An electronic device that holds a binary number.
RGB
Abbreviation of Red, Green, Blue.
Ribbon Cable
Any cable constructed as a ribbon with parallel elements.
RISC
Reduced Instruction Set Computer, a computer architecture that has reduced chip complexity by using simpler processing instructions.
ROM
Read only memory (permanent memory that cannot be changed).
Rosenbrock Function
A non-convex function used as a performance test problem for optimization algorithms introduced by Rosenbrock in 1960.
Round Off Error
This is error introduced into a calculation by rounding off the results of intermediate steps to values which are close, but not exactly correct.
RS232
Serial communications system.
RS274
Industry standard programming language.
RS422
Industry communication standard for sending signals over distances up to 4000 feet.
RSS
Abbreviation of Really Simple Syndication.
SD Flash Memory card
Flash memory storage used for digital cameras and other portable devices.
Sequential Access Memory
A memory in which access of the registers must be in sequential order.
Serial Communications
Transmission of binary data from one device to another one bit at a time.
Serial InfraRed
Wireless communication system for PCs and peripherals.
Sexadecimal
The same as Hexadecimal.
Shortword
A word or shortword is 16 bits.
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
The original method of transmitting and receiving email on the internet.
SIR
Abbreviation of Serial InfraRed.
Smartmedia Flash Memory Card
Flash memory storage used in digital cameras.
SMTP
Abbreviation of Simple Mail Transfer Protocol.
Soundcard
Expansion card which enables the PC to make sounds.
Speech Coding
Excellent speech quality implies that coded speech is indistinguishable from the original and without perceptible noise.
Spintronics
Computer processor that uses the spin of the electron to carry information rather than the charge.
SQL
Abbreviation of Structured Query Language.
SRAM
An integrated circuit similar to a DRAM with the exception that the memory does not need to be refreshed.
Static Random Access Memory
An integrated circuit similar to a DRAM (dynamic random access memory) with the exception that the memory does not need to be refreshed.
Storage
The generic term for any method of storing information which is not lost when the computer is switched off.
Structured Query Language
A syntax used by many database systems to retrieve and modify information.
Subroutine
A previously known algorithm used in another algorithm.
Subtrahend
A number that is to be subtracted from another number.
Sum
The result of the addition of numbers.
Supercomputer
A general term used to describe the fastest available mainframe computers.
Supervised Learning
Organization and training of a neural network by a combination of repeated presentation of patterns and required knowledge.
Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory
SDRAM delivers bursts of data at high speeds using a synchronous interface.
Syntax
The rules governing the structure of a language.
Tautology
A sentence that is true because of its logical structure.
tebibyte
Equal to two to the power of forty bytes.
Thumb Drive
Another name for Flash Drive.
TiB
Abbreviation of tebbyte, equal to two to the power of forty bytes.
Timeline
A brief overview of the major milestones in science and engineering.
Toggle
A word meaning to reverse or complement the state of something.
Toolbox
A box design to protect and allow a set of tools to be carried around.
Touchpad
A pressure-sensitive pad which replaces the mouse on most laptop computers.
Trojan
Malware that appears to perform a desirable function for the user but instead facilitates unauthorized access to the user's computer system.
Truncation Error
Error resulting from the use of only a finite number of terms of an infinite series or from the approximation of operations.
Typematic Rate
The rate at which keys repeat when held down.
Typematic Rate Delay
The initial delay before key auto-repeat starts.
UART
Abbreviation of Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter.
Unicode
A standard of computer character set.
Uninterruptible Power Supply
A type of power supply designed to support the load for specified periods when the line varies outside specified limits.
Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter
The device that performs the bidirectional parallel-to-serial data conversions necessary for the serial transmission of data into and out of a computer.
Universal Serial Bus
An external bus standard that supports data transfer rates of 12 Mbps.
Unsigned Binary Number
A binary number in which all the bits are used to represent positive quantities.
UPS
A type of power supply designed to support the load for specified periods when the line varies outside specified limits.
USB
An external bus standard that supports data transfer rates of 12 Mbps.
USB Memory Stick
Flash memory with a USB interface built in. A portable storage device that is plug and play.
Usenet
Interlinked bulletin boards available via Internet and commercial on-line services.
Variable
A letter that is used to represent a numerical quantity whose value may or may not yet be known.
Variable Cycle
Succeeding sequences are started by the completion of the previous sequence rather than at predetermined intervals.
Variate
Random variable.
Veitch Diagram
A diagram consisting of joined squares, which is used to give a graphic representation of basic logic relations.
VGA
Abbreviation of Video Graphics Array.
Video Graphics Array
An early colour graphics standard for PCs.
Volatile Memory
A type of memory that loses the numbers stored in it when electrical power is removed from it.
What You See Is What You Get
The image you see on the screen matches what will print on paper.
Wiki
A website where the users create and edit the content collaboratively.
Windows
A family of operating systems from the Microsoft Corporation, standard on most PCs.
Wireframe
A set of curves that define a surface or a three-dimensional object. The name derives from the appearance of the diagram.
Word
An ordered set of bits that is the normal unit in which information may be stored.
Word Length
The number of bits in a word.
Word Rate
Frequency derived from the elapsed period between the beginning of transmission of one word and the beginning of transmission of the next word.
World Wide Web Consortium
Organisation that produces standards for the world wide web.
Worm
A malicious program introduced into computers by stealth, similar to a virus.
Write
To record to a hard disk or to store in memory.
WWW
Abbreviation of World Wide Web.
Wyde
The name for 2 bytes or 16 bits.
WYSIWYG
Abbreviation of What You See Is What You Get.
XML
An abbreviation of extensible markup language, a markup language much like HTML.
Zip
A popular standard for file compression developed by the PKWare corporation.
Zip Drive
A special drive for removable data cartridges.

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