Technology / Computers Glossary
Applet: An applet is a small program generally written in the Java programming language that was designed to provide interactivity on web pages.
AppleTalk: A protocol suite developed by Apple Computer in the early 1980s, was developed in conjunction with the Macintosh computer. AppleTalk's purpose was to allow multiple users to share resources, . . . View Full Definition
Application: An application is a program that is designed to perform specific tasks. A few examples of some popular applications are Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, Internet Explorer
Application Server: This is a specialized server based in a client/server network that has the sole responsibility of running specific applications within that network.
Archie: Or ArchiePlex which is an Archie gateway for the World Wide Web. It can locate files on Anonymous FTP sites in the Internet.
Archive: This usually defines old files that are no longer in use and are stored for possible future use or reference.
Archive Bit: The bit in a file's attribute byte that indicates whether the file has been modified since the last time it was backed up.
Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU): Arithmetic Logic Unit. This is a mathematical core circuitry that applies to all computers central processing units (CPU). ALU mathematically and logically calculates the results of binary data.
Artificial Intelligence (AI): This is the area of computer science focusing on creating machines that can engage on behaviors that humans consider intelligent. The ability to create intelligent machines has intrigued hum . . . View Full Definition
Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL): High speed transmission technology commonly used for Internet access. ADSL sends information asymmetrically, meaning data travels faster one way than the other. Original application was a T1 . . . View Full Definition
Asynchronous: 1) not synchronous; not occurring or existing at the same time or having the same period or phase. 2) of, used in, or being digital communication (as between computers) in which there is no . . . View Full Definition
Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM): A high-bandwidth low delay transmission technology.
AT Attachment Packet Interface (ATAPI): A specification that defines device-side characteristics for IDC peripherals like CD-ROM and tape drives.
ATX: A common motherboard form factor that has been in use since 1995 characterized by a double row of rear external I/O (input/output) connectors. Memory and CPU locations are designed not to in . . . View Full Definition
Audio-Video Interleaved (AVI): AVI is the most common format for audio/video data on the personal computer. Used with DIVX and XVID codecs.
autoexec.bat: A root directory batch file that is responsible for executing commands at system startup.
Available Memory: Memory not currently in use by the operating system, drivers, or applications.
Average Access Time: The average time it takes for a disk drive to begin reading data placed anywhere on the drive. This includes seek time and latency.
Average Seek Time: The average amount of time it takes to move the heads of a hard disk from one random cylinder location to another. Often defined as the seek time across one third of the total number of cylinders.
Backbone: This computer term describes the main line or series of connections in a network. The backbones are connection points where high-speed data on the Internet connects to networks. The portion . . . View Full Definition
Backup: To copy files to a second source or media in an effort to safeguard the original version. When computer, the first rule is to backup your files regularly. Even if you think you have the most . . . View Full Definition
Backward Compatibility: The purposeful design of software and hardware to work with previous versions of the same application or device.
Bad Sector: A sector on a disk or disk drive that cannot reliably store data because of a flaw in the media or damaged format markings.
Bandwidth: 1) The measure of the range of frequencies within a band required to transmit a particular signal. The wider the bandwidth, the more information it can carry. 2) Used to describe the data-ca . . . View Full Definition
Base-2: The computer numbering system that consists of two numerals: 0 and 1. Also known as binary.