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

B The predecessor to the C & C++ programming languages ( also see BASIC [Beginner's All Symbolic Instruction Code]).

Backbone The principal pathway for high speed connections within a network. Small network systems have small backbones while large networks have huge backbones.

BALI BackWeb Authoring Language Interface (a graphical tool for developing content and scripting it in BackWeb proprietary scripting language)

bandwidth The capacity to transfer information through the wires and pathways that connect everyone to the Internet. In a monitor, bandwidth (reported in megahertz) represents the range between the highest and lowest frequencies a monitor can handle. The term "wasted bandwidth" depicts useless information "hogging" a discussion group's line. The classification of "useless information," however, lies in the eye of the beholder.

Bar Code
Reader
Photoelectric scanner that reads the bar codes (black and white stripes printed on a small rectangle label) on products in the supermarket and/or large department stores.

BARnet Bay Area Research Network (one of the fastest and most sophisticated in the US)

.bas basic file Extension (code for VB [Visual Basic] MS-WIN Programming Language).

BASIC Beginner's All Symbolic Instruction Code.

Basic
Applica-
tions
Also called General-Purpose Applications since they constitute the most common software programs in use. Examples are word processors, presentation software, browsers, e-mail programs, graphics design and editing software etc...

.bat Batch (MS DOS extension file that contains DOS commands)

Baud rate Data transfer rate represented as signal elements per second (2600, 9600, 14.4, 28.8 56, 128 etc...) through modem. The baud rate and bps (bits per second) are not analogous since one signal element is capable of representing one or more bits.

BBS electronic Bulletin Board Systems (electronic virtual space where individuals can exchange information, such as, leave messages, or down-load files to their PC)

BCC Bay Command Console

BCD Binary-Coded Decimal (a weighted code 8421 BCD, that allows a binary encoding of decimal numbers that may be easily converted back to the original decimal value)

BDC Backup Domain Controller

BDL Bold Data Systems (1-800-923-BOLD)

Benche-
marks
Software that may be utilized to test a PC's overall and specific component performance.

BF BitFax

BFPro BitFax Professional

.bif Binary Initialization File extension (BIF files contain applications' settings information).

Binary A counting system that utilizes only zeros and ones. Computers store and process information in a binary (0, 1) format. Each 0 or 1 represents one bit which in effect is a representation of an "off" or "on" state of an electronic current. A group of eight bits forms one byte. For example, the letter "Z" is represented in ASCII [American Standard Code for Information Interchange] as 0101 1010 and in EBCDIC [Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code] as 1110 1001.

BIOS Basic Input/Output (I/O) System (Machine language commands that reside in a special memory location that tell the computer how to transfer data within itself. The BIOS copies DOS files into DOS RAM and thus enables DOS to start operating the system).
BISYNC Bisynrchronous (technology that allows simultaneous data transition between PCs).
Bit Short for binary digit, it's the smallest unit of information handled by a computer. A bit is either represented as a 0 or a 1. A group of bits form larger units of information (e.g., four bits equal a nibble or one half of a character). Eight bits equal one byte, which in turn make up one character such as a number or letter.
BitBlt Bit-Block transfer is the procedure of copying, combining and reshaping bitmaps ("Moving a playing card in the standard Microsoft Windows game Solitaire is known as a memory-to-screen ... BitBlt"). [PC MAGAZINE, July 1994, p. 177]

Bitmap An image made up of pixels (tiny dots) on the monitor's screen that is stored as a collection of bits. It may also be described as a map of the display pixels that make a picture. Each pixel is represented by single or many bits.

Bitmapped
images
Computer generated pictures composed of pixels (tiny dots) put together to form an image.

BITNET Because It's Time Network (Bitnet is not based on the Internet's TCP/IP [Transmission Control Protocol & Internet Protocol] Protocols and thus, is not considered a part of the Internet. Users of Bitnet can send & retrieve e-mail [electronic mail] over the Internet).

BJC Bubble Jet printer color technology

BLOBs Binary Large Objects

BMP bitmap graphic files (.bmp Windows Bitmaps graphics file extension; also see Bitmapped images).

Bobby Web-based application that analyzes the level of web site ease of access and navigation for individuals with disabilities (see: www.cast.org/bobby/)

Body In an e-mail, the message itself is called the "body" in contrast with the signature or the header of a message.

Boot Turning on or resetting the computer. The word "booting" originated from the concept of first pulling on boots before doing anything else in the morning. Turning on the computer is a cold boot. Hitting the CTRL-ALT-DEL keys at the same time is a warm boot, which is done while the computer is on. Any data entered since the last boot or saving, not permanently saved prior to a warm boot, will be lost.

BOOTP Bootstrap Protocol (a protocol that assigns a PC its permanent IP [Internet Protocol] address from a server).

Bots Bots (also called agents and spiders) are programs designed to constantly search the Net for new information in order to update search engines (e.g., Alta Vista, HotBot Lycos and WebCrawler).

bps Bits per second (rate of information transfer through a modem; bps values are compatible with baud rates only up to 300 bps).

BRI Basic Rate ISDN [Integrated Services Digital Network].

Broad-
Band
Broadband width ranges between 56 kbps to 30 gbps. It includes coaxial cable, fiber-optic, microwave, and satelite channels.

browser Software, such as, NetScape or MS Explorer, that allows its user to "browse," or explore the World Wide Web or a local Intranet. Browsers interpret the HTML and other tags and codes into the visual effects that end up on your monitor.

BSDI Berkeley Software Design, Inc. Internet server (1-800-800-4273)

bugs Faulty code line or definition in a program that creates errors in running the application.

bus Channel available on a PC (Wire systems inside your PC that provide channels of information interchange among the various PC devices, such as, hard drive, CD-ROM, Sound Card, Modem, etc.). Also called bus line or data bus.

bus
network
One common cable that connects a number of small computers. Unlike star networks, bus networks are not linked to a host computer or a file server. Thus, each device connected to the network bus is checking independently whether information traveling along the bus line is intended for itself.

BT Battery (A CMOS [Completely Metal Oxide Silicon] battery, for example, is powered by a 3.6 volts BT1).

BTO Built to Order (PC system).

BTW By The Way (E-mail acronym to speed up electronic mail message writing).

byte A string of 8 or 10 Bits that represent one character, such as, a letter or number. Both computer memory and storage capacity are expressed in byte units, e.g., Kilobytes, Megabytes, Gigabytes,... Terabytes...etc.

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Page updated: Jan. 02, 2003