COMPUTING ACRONYMS & TERMS' SMORGASBORD
Copyright © 1994-2003, Daniel Frankl, Ph.D.
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)
(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]).
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.
Association for Computing
|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).|
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Converter (transforms analog input signals into
digital output signals)
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.
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).
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.
Arbitron's Areas of Dominant
Influence (also see GIS or Geographic
AutoCAD Plot file graphic file extension.
Advanced Digital Systems
(Company specializing in Multi-Media, Audio & Visual equipment for your
(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.
Automatic Force Microscope
(futuristic hard drive technology that is based on repositioning atoms to represent bits of stored
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.
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).
Antistatic (factory antireflective, antiglare, antistatic
treatment on the monitor--options one may consider when purchasing a monitor;
see also ARAG & ARAS)
|AIMME||Artificial Intelligence Models of Musical Expression (Gerhard Widmer AI project that studies musicians' interpretation of a score they play)|
|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.|
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|
|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.|
HTML [HyperText Markup Language] element that marks
links in Web Pages |
(e.g., < A >....< /A >)
|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 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)|
|A measure of the capacity to store bits of data in a given space (hard drive technology)|
|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.|
|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).|
Analog Resistive Touch Panel
technology (thin-film surface that when placed over a PC's monitor turn it into a
Automatic Speed Buffering mode
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.
Automatic Sheet Feeder
Application Specific Integrated
Circuits (hardware designed to support a
Association of Shareware Professionals
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)
Advanced SCSI [Small
Computer Systems Interface]
Programming Interface (simplifies the
configuration of SCSI devices).
Automatic Speech Recognition (system that understands, to some degree, speech by a hearing impaired individual and can either display or print the monologue)
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.
Asynchronous Communications (Information
sharing system between PCS; also see BISYNC).
MS Windows compatible sound card that can simultaneously play animation and sound.
Typically used with low speed terminals, data is sent and received at the rate of
one byte each time.
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)
IBM PC/AT [Advanced Technology]
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)
Advanced Technology Application
Advanced Technology Attachment
Software Programming Interface
Advanced Technology Bus Clock
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" &
(1) ActiveX Template Library (see ActiveX controls)|
(2) Advanced Technology Lab (CSLA)
(1) Adobe Type Manager (PostScript fonts)|
(2) Asynchronous Transfer Mode
(3) Automatic Teller Machine
Academic Technology Support
Sound COder DECoder that transforms incoming sound into
digital signals and translates the audio digital signals into analog configuration for output.
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
Advanced User Reference
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.
Also known as Computer-Aided Software Engineering Tools (CASE) and
are used to optimize hardware and software solutions to specifications prepared
by system analysts.
Hardware feature that allows a personal computer user to switch between Macintosh
& Dos/Windows operating system based applications.
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).
Alternating Voice and Data (modem features
that allows quick switch between talk and data transfer; also see SVD
[Simultaneous Voice and Data]).
Audio-Video Interleaved files
(.avi -- MS-WIN Video file extension)
Advanced Wave Memory (technology
developed by Yamaha that creates superior sound by digitally storing up to 4MB of wave-ROM).
Comments, corrections, additions, and questions are welcome:
Page updated: Jan. 08, 2003