W3 Info Tec
COMPUTING ACRONYMS & TERMS' SMORGASBORD

Copyright 1994-2003, Daniel Frankl, Ph.D.

A B C D E F G H
I J+K L M N O P Q
R S T U V W X+Y+Z

A BC Atanasoff-Berry Computer (On October 19, 1973, US Federal Judge Earl R. Larson signed his decision following a lengthy court trial which declared the ENIAC patent of Mauchly and Eckert invalid and named Atanasoff the inventor of the electronic digital computer (Source: Department of Computer Science Iowa State University Birthplace of the Electronic Digital Computer; information retrieved on Jan. 05, 2003)

A BI American Business Information

AC Alternating Current (Electric current flow that is rapidly reduced from maximum flow in one direction, passes through the zero point, and then is rapidly augmented to its maximum in the other direction; also see DC [Direct Current]).

Access
time
The amount of time a hard drive's head takes to find needed data's location (track and sector) and the completion of the data transfer.

ACM Association for Computing Machinery

ACTA America's Carriers Telecommunication Association

Active-
matrix
monitor
As contrasted with passive-matrix or dual-scan monitors that create images by scanning down the whole screen, in active-matrix monitors each pixel on the screen is activated on its own thus allowing the display of a larger number of colors and a crisper image. The two drawbacks of active-matrix screens are higher cost and higher energy requirements (lower battery time).
ActiveX
Controls
Similar to Java applets and Netscape plug-ins, ActiveX controls are small programs (objects) that may be incorporated into Web pages or other type applications.

Ada A high level procedural programming language named after Countess Augusta Ada who is considered the first programmer. Though initially used by the U.S. DOD [Department of Defense] for weapons systems, Ada now also has commercial uses. Ada's internal structure allows the independent testing of large modules (parts) of a program before the complete program is activated.

A.D.A.M Animated Dissection of Anatomy for Medicine (a software program that enables the user to dissect and identify detailed anatomical structures through the utilization of a powerful multimedia interface).

Adapter
Cards
are supplementary slots in open architecture minicomputers. Adapter or expansion cards have an I/O [Input/Output] connection that allows your PC [Personal Computer] to interact with added hardware. These I/O connections are also known as controller cards, interface cards and/or plug-in boards.

Adaptive
key-
boards
With the help of special softwareletters on an adaptive keyboard may be repositioned or redifined for use of a limited number of keys. These keyboards are designed to enable users to access the computer when a standard keyboard is inappropriate.

ADC Analog-to-Digital Converter (transforms analog input signals into digital output signals)

add-ons Also known as "helper applications," add-ons are relatively small independent applications that work with your browser to perform functions such as, filtering, off-line searching and information pushing. Also see Plug-ins.

Address A specifically defined memory space that enables your PC to read data that is located in that area or write data into that area (also see file).

Address-
ing
A system for the identification and retrieval of programs and data on a network. The method of addressing is not universal; it varies from network to network.

ADI Arbitron's Areas of Dominant Influence (also see GIS or Geographic Information Systems)

.adi AutoCAD Plot file graphic file extension.

ADS Advanced Digital Systems (Company specializing in Multi-Media, Audio & Visual equipment for your PC/TV)

ADSL (1) Advanced Digital Subscriber Loop (Net Access line)
(2) Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line technology

ADSL is now becoming cost effective while it provides (where available) a very fast (1.5 mbps--same as T1 and Cable modem connections) internet connection.

AFM Automatic Force Microscope (futuristic hard drive technology that is based on repositioning atoms to represent bits of stored data)

Agents In the most general sense "agents" are software applications that automate user's repetitive tasks. Current agent technologies utilize intelligent software that has the capacity to learn personal usage patterns and preferences and in turn perform personalized searches on the Web, for example.

AGP Accelerated Graphics Port technology (Developed by Intel AGP is a fast graphics bus that allows the use of large main system memory chunks by the PC's graphics controller).

AGRAS Antiglare, Antireflective, Antistatic (factory antireflective, antiglare, antistatic treatment on the monitor--options one may consider when purchasing a monitor; see also ARAG & ARAS)

AI Artificial Intelligence
AIMME Artificial Intelligence Models of Musical Expression (Gerhard Widmer AI project that studies musicians' interpretation of a score they play)
Airborne
Internet
Teledisc's ambitious plan to launch 800 low-orbit satelites that will allow users with a PC and a small sender/receiver signal decoder dish to connect from anywhere on the planet. The 9 billion dollars needed for this operation are supplied by Microsoft's Bill Gates and Cellular Communication's Craig McCaw.
AirTM Air Travel Manager (Software that in conjunction with CompuServe fully automates the reservation and booking process at over 27,000 hotels, condos, and resorts [800-451-9273]).

Alias Short easy-to memorize e-mail address (also see Nickname)
Aliasing Jugged, stair-like appearance of lines, circles, ellipses etc... when drawn with pixels in a bitmap inWindows (e.g., using a Windows pen in PaintBrush).
ALMs AppWare Loadable Modules
ALR Advanced Logic Research (Company specializing in MP [MultiProcessing systems]: Tel. 1-800-444-4ALR)
ALU Arithmetic Logic Unit performs both arithmetic and logic based operations. Arithmetic operations include basic mathematical functions, such as, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Logical operations, on the other hand, compare two chunks of data to see whether they are equal (=) or whether one chunk is greater than (>) or smaller (<) than the other.
AMD Advanced Micro Devices (Intel's competitor in the development of CPUs [Central Processing Units]. AMD is the creator of the K5 OEM or Original Equipment Manufacturer processor which is very similar in its power and functionality to Intel's Pentium chip).

AMPS Advanced Mobil Phone System
Analytical
Graphs
Graphs or charts that provide a visual depiction of spreadsheet or statistical analysis generated data.
analog A data-transfer method that uses a continuous sound wave or signal developed to transmit human voice and data signals over conventional telephone lines. Analog transmissions speed is limited by the bandwidth of the human voice.
Anchor
tag
HTML [HyperText Markup Language] element that marks links in Web Pages
(e.g., < A >....< /A >)
Anchoring
screws
screws used to attach the motherboard to the frame in a computer case.
Animation A sequence of still images and added sound create animation effects. These effects may be created in presentation software, such as, Corel Presentations, Lotus Freelance Graphics, and/or Microsoft PowerPoint. Animation effects may be also created with special Gif Animation software packages available for your inspection at TUCOWS.COM and other web sites.
ANN ANNotation files allow the user of a Windows application to add a note to a page in an Help file that is currently in use (.ann annotation file extension commonly stored in the Windows directory).
ANSI American National Standards Institute (e.g., standardization of a computer generated character set; also see ASCII [American Standard Code for Information Interchange]).
ANSS Advanced Network Support System
AOL America on Line (15 million+ strong IP [Internet access Provider])
API Application Programming Interface
Applets Small programs written in Java that add functionality and interest to a web page. Also called Java Applets.
Application Application software, such as a word processor, database or CAD [Computer Assisted Design], used to perform a specific task. The word 'program' may be used interchangeably with the term 'application'. Do not confuse Application Software (interacts with the user) with System Software (allows application software to communicate with your PC's hardware components).
Application
Generators
Application generators are fourth generation problem oriented languages. Rather than writing the whole code from scratch, the programmer may state the needs of a task and the code is automatically generated from the appropriate modules (sections) of pre-existing code.
APR Adaptive Pattern Recognition (feature on Web searching engine RetrievalWare™ by Excalibur Technologies ;Tel. 800-788-7758;)
APT Advanced PhotoScale Technology (printer technology by Brother that allows printing in 61 levels of gray at 150 lines per inch, for apparent 1,200-dpi-resolution printing.
AR Artificial Reality is a computer generated sensory experience that is delivered through specially designed head gear and gloves (better known as Virtual Reality or VR).
ARAG Antireflective, Antiglare (antiglare treatment on the monitor to counter fluorescent light)
ARAS Antireflective, Antistatic (factory antiglare, antistatic treatment on the monitor)
Areal
density
A measure of the capacity to store bits of data in a given space (hard drive technology)
Arithmetic-
Logic Unit
Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) performs both arithmetic and logic based operations. Arithmetic operations include basic mathematical functions, such as, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Logical operations, on the other hand, compare two chunks of data to see whether they are equal (=) or whether one chunk is greater than (>) or smaller (<) than the other.
ARNOLD Academic Resource Network On-Line Database (interactive database developed by the National Faculty Exchange for the benefit of faculty, and administrators; for more information visit ARNOLD's web site
ARPA Advanced Research Projects Agency (US government agency that pioneered the Internet)
ARPAnet The original Internet network put in place by ARPA [Advanced Research Projects Agency].
ARQ Automatic Repeat reQuest (automatic rerunning of bad blocks of data through the MNP [Microcom Network Protocol] error correction protocol)
ArrIve Software developed by I-Fusion that delivers Web content to subscribers on predetermined time intervals.
Artificial
Reality
AR is a computer generated sensory experience that is delivered through specially designed head gear and gloves (better known as Virtual Reality or VR).
ART Adaptive Restraint Technologies (smart car air bags by Delphi).
ARTP Analog Resistive Touch Panel technology (thin-film surface that when placed over a PC's monitor turn it into a touch-sensitive screen).

ASB Automatic Speed Buffering mode

ASCII American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII is a standardized coding system for text used by nearly all computers and printers that enables different programs, OSs [Operating Systems], and computers to exchange information in text file format.

ASF Automatic Sheet Feeder (printer feature)

ASIC Application Specific Integrated Circuits (hardware designed to support a specific application)

ASP Association of Shareware Professionals

ASP Active Server Pages is a programming environment that gives the ability to generate dynamic html pages with the help of server side scripting. For more information see The Programmer's Resource page)
ASPI Advanced SCSI [Small Computer Systems Interface] Programming Interface (simplifies the configuration of SCSI devices).

ASR Automatic Speech Recognition (system that understands, to some degree, speech by a hearing impaired individual and can either display or print the monologue)

Assembly
Language
A second generation programming language that uses mnemonics that are comprehesible and thus easier to remember (when compared to first generation, machine languages). Nevertheless, assembly languages which are not portable (differ between platforms) are considered low level laguages.

ASYNC Asynchronous Communications (Information sharing system between PCS; also see BISYNC).

Asynch-
ronous
Playback
MS Windows compatible sound card that can simultaneously play animation and sound.

Asynch-
ronous
Trans-
mission
Typically used with low speed terminals, data is sent and received at the rate of one byte each time.

AT Advanced Technology represents the 80286 16-bits Micro Processors first introcuced by IBM in 1982 (...not Ataxia-Telangiectasia as one may naturally assume...; also see XT)

ATA IBM PC/AT [Advanced Technology] Attachment

Attach-
ments
Text documents or graphics files that are enclosed with, or attached to an e-mail message (similar to an attached note, document, or receipt to a regular letter)

ATAPI Advanced Technology Application Programming Interface

ATASPI Advanced Technology Attachment Software Programming Interface

ATCLK Advanced Technology Bus Clock

AT
command
set
Commands utilized in the operation of Hayes and Hayes compatible modems (each command is preceded by the letters "AT." For example, ATA & ATH mean "Answer" & "Hang" respectively).

ATL (1) ActiveX Template Library (see ActiveX controls)
(2) Advanced Technology Lab (CSLA)

ATM (1) Adobe Type Manager (PostScript fonts)
(2) Asynchronous Transfer Mode
(3) Automatic Teller Machine

ATS Academic Technology Support (CSLA)

Audio
CODEC
Sound COder DECoder that transforms incoming sound into digital signals and translates the audio digital signals into analog configuration for output.

Augmented
Linear
Structure
A variation of the Linear Structure web page design that provides a link to the initial page in addition to a sequential textbook like structure [also see Hierarchial Structure].

AUR Advanced User Reference

AUTO-
.EXEC.BAT
Automatic Execution Batch file. An MS DOS file that contains commands (you can edit or modify the AUTOEXEC.BAT file to fit your needs and preferences) that tell your system which command(s) should be executed when you turn on your PC. The AUTOEXEC.BAT file is activated immediately after the configuration of your system is completed; also see CONFIG.SYS.

Automated
Design
Tools
Also known as Computer-Aided Software Engineering Tools (CASE) and are used to optimize hardware and software solutions to specifications prepared by system analysts.

Automatic
Language
Switching
Hardware feature that allows a personal computer user to switch between Macintosh & Dos/Windows operating system based applications.

A/V Audio-Video

avatar Introduced by the "Worlds" software developers, avatars are 3D [three Dimensional] graphic figurines that may be selected form a library of figures and then used as a representation of the self in 3D virtual environments on the Web. A 3D site with avatars, now appears on screen with virtual representations of all the individuals visiting that site, thus communications among group members become more personalized (this is a great feature for virtual classrooms and on-line university offered courses).

AVD Alternating Voice and Data (modem features that allows quick switch between talk and data transfer; also see SVD [Simultaneous Voice and Data]).

AVI Audio-Video Interleaved files (.avi -- MS-WIN Video file extension)

AWM Advanced Wave Memory (technology developed by Yamaha that creates superior sound by digitally storing up to 4MB of wave-ROM).

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Page updated: Jan. 08, 2003