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ITGS Key Terms

Acrobat® - A product of Adobe Systems that produces documents which can be

displayed and printed from most computer operating systems. Adobe provides
free Acrobat® readers for downloading from the Internet. Acrobat® files have
extensions of " PDF" (for portable document format).

AI - See artificial intelligence

American National Standards Institute - See ANSI

analog - Refers to a signal that varies continuously. The other type of signal is
digital which is composed of discrete units. Digital circuits are easier to design
and operate. Nearly all modern computers and new communication systems use
digital signals. Standalone fax machines usually send and receive analog

android - A machine created to perform one or more functions normally done by

humans. Android literally means possessing human features; the Oxford English
Dictionary defines android as "an automaton resembling a human being."
Androids resemble humans while robots need not have physical features like
those of humans. See cyborg and robot.

ANSI - American National Standards Institute. The United States group that
approves US many standards, including the standards for computers and for
communications. ANSI is a member of the International Organization for
Standardization, ISO. Also see byte.

applet - Programs written in Sun Microsystems' Java language. The programs

contain the code needed to "play" animations or to present interactive
applications. Applets can be downloaded using Netscape and played in a Web

application software or programs - Programs designed to support work or

recreation functions, e.g., word processors, spreadsheets, database managers,
and image editors. These programs may be integrated into one or more suites of
software. Application software should be distinguished from utility programs.

Archie - A system that gathers, indexes, and distribute information on the

Internet. Initially developed at McGill University School. While Veronica searches
Gopher files, Archie searches FTP file sites. Archie functions are being replaced
by Web Search Engines on the World Wide Web.

artificial intelligence (AI) - A property of machines that, if achieved, mimics

human thought processes. Many researchers in artificial intelligence consider the
abilities of "learning", reasoning, and decision making as essential to claims of
machines possessing artificial intelligence. Sometimes referred to as AI.

ASCII - American Standard Code for Information Interchange. The primary

encoding character set used in computers. The current version has 7 bits per
character. 8.bit words or character codes provide a bit that can be used as a
check but to help that the remaining 7 bits are correct. Also see byte.

Asimov, Issac (1920-1992) - Educated as a biochemist; also an author of short

stories and novels, mostly science fiction. He is known as a futurist who
predicted future developments in computers and information technology and their
influence on society. Asimov introduced the fictional "three laws of robotics" that
have been the basis for many discussions on ethical considerations of using

Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) - A very fast data transmission method. It

dynamically allocates bandwidth and uses a fixed-size data packet. Large files
are broken into small standard sized units that are transmitted to the receiving
computer where the packets are reassembled into a copy of the original file. The
number of packets transmitted per second is dynamically determined based upon
the needs of the applications requesting the data.

attachment, e-mail - A document sent as a attachment to an e-mail message.

The attachment may be any digital file object such as a simple ASCII text
document, a word processing document, an image, a sound file, a video file, or a
spreadsheet file.

ATM - See Asynchronous Transfer Modeauthentication - Verification of a

person's identity or the source of a document. In network systems, authentication
referrers to verifying that messages and documents came from the person

back door - An entry into a computer system deliberately left by designers,

usually privileged accounts intended for field service technicians or maintenance
programmers. (Also called "trap door" or "wormhole")
backup / back-up - 1. verb - To make copies of computer data or programs. 2.
noun - Copies of computer data or programs. Backups may be on any media
such as floppy diskettes, hard disks, CD-ROMs, or tapes. Backups are made to
be used for recovery in the the event of damage or loss of the original version of
the files.

bandwidth - 1. The difference in height between the highest and lowest

frequencies. 2. A measure of the amount of data that can be transmitted through
a circuit per unit of time (second).

barcode - An image of dark stripes of varying widths on a light background; the

width and sequence of the stripes denotes the numbers (characters). The images
are scanned by laser or conventional light emitting devices; software programs
convert the barcode information into digital data.

baud - The carrying capacity of communication lines or systems in symbols per

second. Baud rates coincide with bits per second only under specific conditions.
"Baud" was used for telegraph speeds for one Morse code dot per second. The
term is confusing and, "bits per second" (bps) or "characters per second" (cps)
should be used for modern computer and fax communications. Note that in the
ASCII code, each character is composed of eight bits!

bbs / BBS - See bulletin board system

BGR - Blue, Green, Red. The colors of light that, when mixed, produce any other
color. Images may be stored as sets of separate red, green and blue overlays.
The three colors are emitted from to the three "guns" in a color cathode ray tube.
BGR is sometimes a synonym for color, for example, a "RGB monitor". There are
other methods of storing and representing colors (see CMYK and HSV).

binary - Relating to systems composed of only two items or choices. See bit.

binary digit - see bit

bit - binary digit. The smallest unit of information for data storage and
transmission. Each bit is considered to be either a "1" or a "0" and is said to be
"set" or true if its value is 1 and "clear" or "reset" if the value is "0". Bits are
sometimes referred to as being O or 1, and sometimes as plus (+) or minus (-),
sometimes as being "on" or "off", and sometimes as "true" or "false". (See byte.
Also see Boolean logic and fuzzy logic.)

bitmap - A file or image structure representing, bit for bit, an image displayed on
a monitor. Bitmaps define the width and height of images and the parts of
images. Bitmaps may represent colored images; in this case, more than on bit is
needed to define each pixel. See BGR.
BMP- An image file format used in Microsoft Windows. A bitmap format. See GIF,

Boolean logic - A system of logic based on Boolean algebra and named after
George Boole (hence, capitalized). It deals with the two truth values of "TRUE
and "FALSE". It also included the modifiers of "AND", "OR" and "NOT". The
Boolean conditions of true and false are often represented by "0" for "false" and
"1" for "true". The "0" and "1" states are sometimes referred to as "no" and "yes"
conditions. See fuzzy logic

boot / boot up - To start or initialize a computer operating system.

bps / BPS - Bits per second, the transmission speed of data between computers
(or fax machines). BOPS is often used to express data transmission speeds.

browser - A program for reading hypertext. Browser permit viewing the contents
of documents and support navigating among documents. The most popular
World Wide Web browsers (1996) are Netscape Navigator and Microsoft's
Internet Explorer.

bug - An unwanted operation or function in a program or in computer hardware.

the use of the term "bug" to computer malfunctions is attributed to Admiral Grace
Hopper. The story told by Admiral Hopper is that an early computer had
malfunctioned. Upon investigation, a moth was discovered between the contacts
in the machine.

bulletin board system (bbs / BBS) - A computer and software providing a

message database. Users log in and leave and read messages. Messages are
often divided into topics. Some BBS provide archives of files or other services,
e.g., e-mail.

byte - The unit of data storage and transmission in computers. A byte is usually
considered the code for a single character. The number of bits in a byte varies
among computer systems. We usually think of a byte as being 8 bits long. The
English Latin alphabet has 52 characters (upper and lower case) and computers
commonly also use punctuation marks and a few special characters such as the
period, exclamation mark, slashes, equal sign, tilde, ampersand, dollar symbol,
pound sign, percent mark, asterisk, plus sign, and carriage return. Including
punctuation mark and special characters, we need approximately 100 unique
codes. Each bit can exist in only two states, 0 or 1. Thus, a 6 bit word can define
only 64 characters, a 7 bit word can define 128 characters, and an 8 bit word can
define 256 characters. If one bit is used to check the integrity of the entire byte,
then we need at least an 8 bit byte (or "word") for common computer uses.

CAD - Computer Aided Design. CAD systems are sometimes integrated with a
computer aided manufacturing system.

CAL - Computer Aided Learning. learning that is assisted by interactive computer

programs. See training and tutorial.

call forward - A telephone service by which telephone calls are forwarded to a

previously determined number. The number to which calls are forwarded can be
changed at time either remotely or at the phone from which the calls are

call id / caller id - A telephone service that displays the telephone number and
name of the person calling.

CAM - Computer Aided Manufacture. CAM systems are sometimes integrated

with a computer aided design system.

CD & CD-ROM - Compact Disk, Compact Disk-Read Only Memory. A data

storage medium that uses the same physical formats as audio compact disk.
There are several logical formats used to store data on CDs. Compact disk can
store (currently,1996) approximately 600 megabytes (8-bit bytes) of data. Note:
The French Academy has recommended the Gallicized cédérom version of word
with this dictionary entry, Cédérom (masculine noun) (final m pronounced).
Adapted from the American term CD-ROM (Compact Disc Read Only memory).

central processing unit - See CPU

CERN - The European Laboratory for Particle Physics located in Geneva,

Switzerland. The World Wide Web originated in this laboratory in 1989 when its
staff proposed a multimedia, hyperlinked system of documents. This laboratory
has sometimes been referred to as the "home of the Web." The NCSA staff
developed the first graphical browser, Mosaic, for the World Wide Web. Mosaic
was released (free) for public use in 1990.

CGI - Common gateway interface. A type of program that will run under nearly all
operating systems and is used primarily to process requests from HTML forms or
act on information obtained from HTML forms.

chat room - A virtual "place" where two or more network users can exchange e-
electronic messages. Most chat or talk systems support real -time or
simultaneous communications.

checkdigit - A checksum of only one digit. See ISBN for an example of a


checksum - A value that is computed and that depends on the contents of a set
of data. Checksums are stored or transmitted with the data. The checksum is
used to detect if the data has been altered during transmission or when being
stored and retrieved. Receiving programs recompute the checksum to compare
with the checksum sent or stored with the data. Checksums may be more than
one digit. They are not always the result of addition but may be the result of one
or more computations involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. A
very simple example of a checksum is found in ISBN codes for books and other
documents. The last digit of an ISBN code is a checkdigit. (The ISBN codes use
a single digit check value; thus an "x" is used to denote a value of 10 in ISBN
codes.) ISBN checksums are examples of a one-digit checksum, or a checkdigit.

CISC - Complex instruction set computer. The opposite of RISC. Pentium and
x86 type chip use CISC chips. See also RISC.

client - A computer program that requests a service of another computer system

(a "server"). See also client-server.

client-server - A software partitioning scheme in which a system is divided

between server tasks performed on requests from clients, asking for information
or action.

CMYK - A method for describing colors by amounts of the secondary colors of

Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow. In addition the amount of blacK (the "key") is also
specified. The CMYK system is used in printing. See BGR and HSV).

code of conduct - Standards of behavior that are expected by or required of

members of a community. Users of networks abide a code of conduct that insists
upon respect for intellectual property rights, respect for other users of the
network, and responsible use of network facilities.

commercial software - Software, usually copyrighted, produced for sale or

license for use. See freeware software, public domain software, and shareware

common gateway interface - See CGI

compression - The coding of files to storage space or transmission time. Most

commonly used files of text, images, sound, or video can be converted into files
of fewer bits. These compressed files can then be expanded to the original form
for display or play. Many compression algorithms exits. Some compressions are
better suited on one type of file than for others. Commonly used image
compression methods are JPEG, and GIF. There are special compression
methods for sound and video (e.g., MPEG compression) files. Some
compression methods are used for files without regard to the kind of data
represented. Common general compression methods include zip and pkzip for
DOS based systems, stuffit for Macintosh® operating systems, and compress
(using gzip) for UNIX operating systems. Two or more compressed files may be
combined into an archive file using compression programs such as tat or zip.

computer abuse - With respect to computer systems, using computers and

networks to perform illegal or unacceptable acts. Abusive acts may include
unauthorized access, send messages or making available files containing
offensive language pornographic materials, repeated sending of unwanted
messages, or any act considered unacceptable by the community sharing the

computer-aided design - See CAD

computer-aided learning - See CAL

computer-aided manufacture - See CAM

computer crime - Any illegal or unauthorized behavior in connection with

computers and computer networks. Examples of computer crime include
computer sabotage, unauthorized access, computer forgery, damage to
computer data or programs, computer fraud, computer espionage, unauthorized
use of a computer, and unauthorized use of protected computer program.

computer-aided interface - The devices and software that enable people to use
computers. These include physical devices such as mouse, keyboard, pointers,
and light wands. They also include software, such as Microsoft Words, with
icons, help dialogues, and wizards.

cookie - A transaction ID used between cooperating programs. Cookies are used

by some browsers and Web server programs to identify the client user and even
unique preferences or requests from the client user. Cookies may be stored for
use during a given session, for a set length of time (seconds, minutes, hours, or
days), or retained permanently. Cookie information is stored with the browser on
the client side; the information is automatically accessed and used by the
browser in subsequent transactions.

copyright - The legal right of authors, composers, or publisher to "print" and

distribute intellectual and artistic creations. The right is granted by governments
and may apply to intellectual property in digital forms. In this case the printing
and distribution includes digital forms of the works.

cps - Characters per second, used in expressing the speed of transferring digital

CPU - Central Processing Unit. The main processing chip of a computer.

cracker - A person who attempts to gain unauthorized access a computer

system, often for malicious purposes. The term was coined by hackers to defend
against misuse of "hacker".

cyborg - A human with one or more mechanical or electronic devices implanted

to enhance the capabilities of that human. See android and robot.

data - Numbers, codes, words, or phrases without units or other items that define
or give meaning to these original elements. See information, knowledge, and

database - A collection of related types of data in a single file, or set of files, for
sorting, analyzing, and reporting.

Database management system - See DBMS

data compression - See compression.

data encryption - The scrambling of data into unintelligible characters using

passwords. The encrypted file can be restored to their original state using the
correct password. See an external document about encryption.

Data Encryption Standard - See DES

data integrity - The entry and preservation of stored data in a manner that
results in its retrieval in a form identical to the original and representing the
original observations or ideas. Uncorrupted data.

data redundancy - The storage of duplicate data. Relational databases provide

file structures than can help reduce the need for duplicate data elements.
Networks help reduce the need for duplicate data by permitting the sharing of

DBMS - Database management system. A program that sorts, links, and

otherwise organizes and manages data in a database. DBMS may also assist in
the analysis of data and the preparation of reports.

defragment - A process that reads file segments form non-contiguous sections

of a storage device and then writes the files to the same device so that each file
segment is contiguous with the preceding and following segments. When storage
devices have files deleted, the unused space is available for future storage. If the
net file written into the released space is large than the space available, then a
pointed is recorded at the end of the segment and the remained of the file is
written into one or more non-contiguous segments.
DES - Data Encryption Standard. An encryption algorithm. DES is the same as
the ANSI standard Data Encryption Algorithm. It is a popular encryption method,
"approved" by the US Government. DES has been implemented in hardware and
software, neither of which are supposed to be exported from the United States.

design brief - Specifications that describe the functions and appearance of a


desktop publishing (DTP) - The use of computers to prepare text and graphics
for printing. The best desktop publishing programs support the fitting of text into
irregular shapes and the use of a variety of typefaces and font sizes and styles
(bold, italic, underline, outline, superscripts, subscripts).

digital - Of or pertaining to data, programs, or information that exist in electronic

binary form. The information is represented by combinations of the "1" and "0"
conditions. See binary.

digital data - Data captured, stored, or transmitted in binary form. See bit and

directory - A division of a file system into which files are placed. Directories are
often organized into a hierarchical system with a root or main directory and one
or more sub-directories. Each sub-directory may also have many levels of sub-
directories. In practice, most users keep related files with a single directory;
operating system files are usually placed within specially named directories. In
the Macintosh Operating System, directories are called folders. See folder.

Disk Operating System - See DOS.

Distributed Name Service - See DNS

DNS - 1. Domain Name System. A data query service used on Internet for
translating host names into Internet addresses. It is also the host name used on
the Internet. The proper term for a host name its "fully qualified domain name".
DNS refers to both a way of naming hosts and the way of naming the servers
and clients that manage that information on the Internet. 2. Distributed Name
Service, used by OSF (Open Software Foundation) as the naming service for
DCE (Distributed Computing Environment).

Domain Name System - See DNS

DOS - Disk Operating System. A widely used interpreter or program that

translates user commands into machine code for computer-disk interactions.
Functions include the organization of files into folders or directories and the
finding, erasing, coping, or restoring of files.
download - The transfer files from one computer to another. drag-and-drop -
The initiation of software processing by the virtual movement of icons into an icon
for a program or process. Examples are: printing a document by moving an icon
or a copy of its image into the icon for a printer, or deleting a file by moving its
icon into the icon for the trash can.

DTP - Desktop Publishing.

EBCDIC - Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code. See ASCII and

EDI - Electronic Data Interchange. The set of document format standards and
protocols by which business and academic information is exchanged over
networks. EDI documents are used to process purchase orders, pay bills,
invoices, share shipping orders, send transcripts, and to facilitate similar

EIS - See executive information system

electronic mail / e-mail - Documents or messages exchanged electronically

over computer networks. E-mail is typically sent to a mail server computer where
the document is held until the intended recipient connects to the mail server and
reads or downloads the documents. E-mail notes may have attached files.

electronic data interchange - See EDI

e-mail / email - See electronic mail.

encryption - The reversible modification of data into unintelligible sequence of

characters using passwords and special computer programs. See data
encryption. Encapsulated PostScript - A type of formatting in which positions
and vectors describe images. Postscript formatted information is embedded into
files for display or printing. Abbreviated as EPS. EPS is used for Postscript
graphics files that are to be incorporated into other documents.

EPS - A file extension for Encapsulated PostScript See Encapsulated Post


ergonomics - The designing of equipment to increase productivity and reduce

user fatigue or discomfort.

ES - See expert system.

ESS - See executive support system.

Ethernet - A coaxial cable local area network and an industry standard. Data is
sent packets and the bandwidth (speed) is approximately 10 Mbits per second.

ethics - The critical and systematic reflection on morality. See also morality.

ethical considerations - Thoughts on moral implications of a given situation.

Ethical considerations raise questions about the moral justifications of human

ethical decision making - The process of making moral choices about how to
act in a given situation.

executive information system (EIS) - Real-time computer access to internal

and external business information by executives for comprehensive decision
making. Sometimes the data is captured at fixed intervals to provide data that
can be more accurately compared.executive support system (ESS) - Computer
system that contains data and that performs analytical processes to support
decision making.

expert system (ES) - A programmed system containing the collective knowledge

of experts in a given area. Expert systems also employ reasoning methodologies
or models to emulate an expert decision making process.

Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code (EBCDIC) - An old and

outdated character set used on IBM computers. EBCDIC lacked codes for some
important characters and punctuation marks. EBCDIC was adapted from
punched card code.


fiber optics - Glass fibers used to transmit digital data infra-red or visible light a
the carrier (usually a laser). The fiber are very thin, smaller than a human hair.
Light does not escape from the fibers because they are made to give complete
reflection inside the fibers. Fiber optics can carry very large amounts of data over
long distances at great speeds and without distortions. In one test, AT&T
transferred the equivalent of the entire Encyclopedia Britannica a distance of
approximately 160 km (100 miles) in one second.

field - A single element of data in a single record within a database.

file - An electronic digital sequence of bits representing ASCII characters or other

code sets. This electronic data may be stored on disks, tapes, or other devices
and can be transmitted in electronic form. The digital data may represent text
(letters or numbers), sound and/or images.
file conversion - The conversion of files formatted for on application into a from
that can be used by another application. Typical file conversions are processed
to permit the exchange of files between similar types of software but from
different vendors. An example: The conversion of word processor documents
created using Microsoft Word into a from for processing with WordPerfect word

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) - A protocol used between clients and servers and
allows one computer to transfer files to and from another computer over a TCP/IP
network Connections require a user identification which may be open to "guest"
or "anonymous" users, or the connections may restricted to specific persons. The
connections may require public passwords, e-mail addresses, or secret
passwords. Users many be permitted only to download files or they maybe given
permission to both upload and download files.

firewall - A software program or a or machine device that prevents unauthorized

access to computers or computer files. Firewalls are sometimes specific
machines containing security software and devices; these machines are provide
connection to networks from dial-in lines. These special machines protect the
computers on a network "behind" the firewall. Computers behind the firewall can
connect to an outside network but the firewall protects these computers from
unauthorized access from the outside network.

flame - Electronic mail or Usenet news messages that insult or provoke. As a

verb, it is the sending such messages.

flat-file - An ASCII file containing data and usually serving as a database file.
Flat file records may be single "line" or several records may occur in a line of or
block of data. Flat-files are less useful for high speed searches or for linking tow
or more sources of data. They are easily transferred among various operating
systems and database managers.

folder - See directory.

FTP - See File Transfer Protocol.

freeware - Software, often copyrighted, produced for free distribution and use.
There often are restrictions regarding the sale or modification of the software.
Sometimes referred to as public domain software. See commercial software,
public domain software, and shareware software.

fuzzy logic - A type or set of Boolean logic used to process conditions of partial
truth, that is for values that lie between being completely true and being
completely false. Fuzzy logic was developed in recognition that conditions exits
that cannot be easily described as belonging to a binary classification: 1 or 0, +
or -, true or false. The term was introduced in 1960 by Dr. Lotfi Zadeh. See
Boolean logic. Fuzzy logic attempts to treat degrees of truth or probabilities of
truth as opposed to declaring that a condition is either always true or always
false. Practical applications in computer controlled systems include the control of
fuel and air mixtures in internal combustion engines, the proportional slowing of
the speed of objects as they approach a given state or target, the heating and
cooling of objects or spaces to prevent overheating, the mixing of two or more
ingredients to achieve a defined final condition (especially when the components
and their properties are constantly changing). Fuzzy logic uses weighted
algorithms in computer programs to simulate human thought or "life-like"
responses to external conditions.

GIF - 1. A file name extension. 2. Graphics Interchange Format. A file

compression method developed by CompuServe. The method reduces file sizes
by counting repeating pixels and storing the pixel color and the number of
repetitions. GIF compression is well suited for line art and simple images. GIF
compression reduces image colors to no more than 256 colors. Most old
computers and many computers in current use only display 256 colors. See
JPEG, PIC, PIX, TIFF, and WPG.A more complete discussion of GIF
compression is given in another document.

gigabyte (Gb / GB) - 1 Gb = 1000 million bytes. Actually, 1,073,741,824 bytes or

1024 megabytes. The fact that a Gb is not exactly 1 billion is because digital
systems are binary, based on a system to base 2. Thus, 2 raised to the power of
30 = 1,073,741,824. In non-computer systems and where the number system is
to the base of 10, then 1 GB = exactly 1 billion. See byte, megabyte, kilobyte,

Global Positioning System (GPS) - A system using satellites to accurately

determine the location of any place in the earth's surface.

Graphics Interchange Format - See GIF

Gopher - 1. A document retrieval system. 2. Programs for retrieving network

files. Gopher was developed at the University of Minnesota (USA) for use on
their Campus Wide Information System. Gopher servers present document
menus. The documents can be text, sound, image, program, or video files.
Submenus may direct users to other Gopher file systems. The menus form a
hierarchal file location system. The Web is replacing Gopher as the primary
Internet system for finding, displaying, and downloading files.

GPS - See Global Positioning System.

Graphical User Interface (GUI) - A graphically-based computer monitor

interface in which images, icons, dialogue boxes, and standard "widgets" are
used to facilitate communication between humans and machines.

GUI - See Graphical User Interface.


hacker - A person who enjoys details of programming, often obsessively and

quickly. The term cracker should be used for negative application of programming

hard disk & hard drive - A device for the storage of digital data. These are
standard devices in most personal computers and may also exist outside a
computer and used by cable connections. See tape drive.

hardware - Computer and network equipment consisting of transistors, circuit

boards, wiring, connectors, disk drives, cables, and similar physical or tangible
components. See software.

hertz - Cycles per second. A unit of frequency. One hertz is equal to one cycle
per second. Abbreviated as Hz.

host computer - A computer connected to a network. Host computers are

sometimes also called nodes on the network.

HotJava - A World Wide Web browser from Sun Microsystems that can execute
programs "applets" written in the Java programming language.

HSV - A method of describing colors using Hue, Saturation, and Value when
used to describe colors. Hue is the tint or basic color; saturation is degree of
lightness or darkness; value is the intensity or the "amount" of color. Saturation is
sometimes called the "shade" of color. Value is sometimes referred to as "tone".
See BGR and CMYK

HTML - A set of tags or commands used by World Wide Web browsers to format
and display text and images, to play sound or video, or to run programs.

HTTP - See Hypertext Transfer Protocol.

HTTPS - See HyperText Transmission Protocol,

Hyperlink - Links or references within Web documents that upon selection

(clicking the mouse with the cursor located over the document link) cause jumps
to another location within the document, to other documents, or to programs that
process images, sound, videos, operate upon databases, or perform other
functions. Hyperlink objects may be words, phrases, images, or parts of images.
Hyperlinked objects are usually displayed in a manner to distinguish them as
links. Image maps may not show obvious linked portions and many areas of an
image can be linked to different targets.

Hypermedia - Like hypertext but includes graphics, sound, video and other kinds
of data.

Hypertext - A document or set of documents with "links" that aid users in

navigating among links and their references. Links may reference and facilitate
jumps to places with a single document, to other documents in the same
computer, or to documents in any computer on a network.

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) - Hypertext document format used World

Wide Web documents.HTML tags tell Web browsers how the document should
be displayed. HTML documents may include forms used for data capture; the
values from HTML forms are processed by CGI programs on a Web server.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) - The client-server TCP/IP protocol used

on the World-Wide Web for the exchange of HTML documents.


icon - Images, often very small, that represent an idea or object. Selecting an
icon usually causes a program or document to open or a program to run and
perform a set of operations.

image maps - Images in which portions have defined as linked to other

documents or objects.

information - Data combined with units of measure or data with accompanying

meaning. See data, knowledge, and wisdom.

information economy - An economy that is highly dependent upon the

collection, storage, and exchange of information. many businesses now deal in
managing and adding value to data and by selling information derived from the
data. Data and information have economic value. Examples include sales,
production costs, potential customers and markets, crop yield predictions,
weather forecasts, credit ratings, buying patterns, census and demographic data,
and levels of education, and indicators of life styles.

information highway - See information superhighway

information retrieval system (IRS) - A computer system used to store data and
from which data may be selected and retrieved for use in reports and for
analysis. Abbreviated IRS. See information system.

information superhighway - The Internet and its subset, the World Wide Web.
(Also called "Infobahn" and "Info Strada".) The term "information superhighway"
was first used in 1990 by Al Gore, US Vice-president. Mr. Gore was referring to
the high-speed global communications network that carries voice, data, video
data around the world. The information superhighway is mediated by copper
cables, satellites, fiber optics, and cellular telecommunications.

information system (IS) - A system (usually computer based) into which data is
placed , in which data may be processed, from which data is selected and may
analyzed, and from which reports may be produced. Abbreviated IS. See
information retrieval system.

information technology (IT) - Any set of machines or programs used to store,

retrieve, transmit or otherwise process data and information. Abbreviated IT.
Information technology includes systems that control machines or processes or
that assist in making decisions. See information system.

INpg - Internet Protocol next generation.(also called IPv6) The most likely
protocol or addressing method to replace the current Internet Protocol. Its main
purpose is to provide a solution to the shortage of IP addresses.

IP - Internet Protocol. The network part of the TCP/IP protocol that is widely used
on Ethernet networks. This protocol facilitates the routing of packets of data by
routing, fragmenting and re-assembling of data files.

institution - For the ITGS course, any community or collection of persons with
common interests, objectives, or goals, or that provide related services.
Examples include businesses, schools, universities, governments, governmental
agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGO), churches non-profit agencies.

Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) - Communications standards for a

single wire or optical fiber to carry voice, digital network services and video. ISDN
is offered by telephone systems in Australia, France, Japan, Singapore, the UK
and in the USA. Europe is phasing to Euro-ISDN. ISDN lines may vary in their
capacity to transmit data as shown in the following table.

Transmission Type Channels Transmission Speed

T1 or DS-1 24 1.54 Mbps
DS-0 1 64 kbps
T1C or DS-1C 48 3.15 Mbps
T2 or DS-2 96 6.31 Mbps
T3 or DS-3 672 44.37 Mbps
T4 or DS-4 4032 274.1 Mbps
intellectual property - An original creation by a person, often non-tangible (not
necessarily an object). These may include ideas, discoveries, writings, works of
art or literature, collections and presentations of data.

intellectual property rights - Legal rights to the ownership of intellectual

products through patents, trade marks, registered designs, and copyright. These
rights provide protection to technical inventions, designs, literary, artistic, and
musical creations, trade marks, and confidential information.

intelligent system - A computer based system programmed to process data

input by humans or machines and emulating human decision making. These
systems may respond to respond to external stimuli, e.g., temperature, pressure,
weight, time, strain, radio signals, acceleration, velocity, vectors. See artificial

interface - A boundary between two systems. In IT, machines or humans

communicate across these boundaries. An interface may be as simple as a
hardware connectors, it may include communication protocols, or programs and
features by which humans enter commands into and receive information from

Internet - The Internet is usually capitalized to indicate that it a special set of

connected computers. It is the largest network in the world and consists of many
different physical networks around the world. These networks use various
protocols including the Internet Protocol to communicate.

Internet Protocol (IP) - The network part of the TCP/IP protocol set. It supports
routing, file fragmentation and re-assembly.

Intranet - A network that uses the tools of the World Wide Web but often with
access restricted to within an organization or office. The Web tools that support
an intranet are a Web server and client browsers. HTML forms and CGI
programs also are often used in intranets.

IP - See Internet Protocol

IRS - See information system

IS - See information system.

ISBN - International Standard Book Number. The last character of an ISBN is a

check digit. See a supplementary document for more details about ISBN

ISDN - See Integrated Services Digital Network. ISO - International Organization

for Standardization. A voluntary, organization that creates international standards,
including the standards for computers and communications. National standards
groups from nearly 90 countries belong to the ISO. The American National
Standards Institute, ANSI is a member of ISO. An example of an ISO set of
standard codes is the two-character code set to denote countries, e.g., AR =
Argentina, AT = Austria, AU = Australia, DE = Germany, SG = Singapore, and US
= United States of America. (ISO is not one of the thousands of acronyms used
by computer and communications workers! It is actually a pun based on the
prefix "iso" which means "same" in Greek.)

IT - See information technology


Java - An, object-oriented, general-purpose programming language developed

by Sun Microsystems and that supports programming platform-independent Java
"applets" or the Internet .

JIC - Just In Case. A situation where a company keeps on hand a small stock of
rare components or those that require long production times, just in cae of a rush
order. JIC is implemented to more fully serve customers. Do not confuse JIC with

JIT - Just In Time. A manufacturing method in which the raw materials are
delivered to the factory just before they are needed in the production. JIT is
facilitated by information technology in which inventories are monitored and
purchases are made using EDI, electronic data interchange. See JIC.

JPEG - Joint Photographic Experts Group file compression method that modifies
the original data and stores information on the shapes and colors that will
represent the image upon decompression. JPEG is well suited for photographic
images, those with shading and gradual merging of colors, and those with many
colors. JPEG compression methods do not decompress to the exact original
image, but for most practical uses, humans cannot distinguish the expanded
JEPG images from the original images. JPEG compression can store thousands
or even millions of colors. See GIF, PIC, PIX, TIFF, and WPG. A more complete
discussion of JPEG compression is given in another document.

JPG - 1. A file compression method. 2. A file name extension for JPEG files. (This
shortened version of JPEG is required by DOS systems that can only accept file
extensions with a maximum of three characters.)

just in case - See JIC

just in time - See JIT


kilobyte (Kb)1 Kb = 1000 bytes. Actually, 2 raised to the power of 10 bytes =

1024 bytes. A kilobyte isn't exactly 10 to the third bytes because digital systems
are binary, hence based on a system of two. In non-computer systems, and
where the number system uses a base of 0, then kilo does men 10 to the third.
See also byte, megabyte, gigabyte, and terabyte.

Knowbot Information Service (KIS) Net address. Provides a uniform user

interface to many remote directory services (e.g., whois, finger, X.500, MCIMail).

knowledge An understand that humans derive by reasoning based upon data and
its associated information. Examples of data are simple numbers, such as 123
and 456. Examples of information are $1.23 per dozen eggs and $4.56 per
dozen eggs. Knowledge is an understanding that the $1.23 price is a better buy
than is the $4.56 price. Wisdom may include judgements about the nutritional
and health value of eggs or about the relative value of eggs as a source of
protein compared to other sources. See data, information, and wisdom.

knowledge base A collection of data representing related experiences and their

results or related problems and their solutions. Knowledge bases include
programs for searching and retrieving information. Knowledge bases are used to
assist persons in making decisions.


LAN See local area network and network

LCD - Liquid crystal display.

LINUX - A UNIX style operating system for personal computers. LINUX is

freeware and can be installed at low cost, usually the cost of the delivery media,
e.g.., CD-ROM.

Listserv - An electronic discussion support system. Users can subscribe and

unsubscribe by e-mail. All messages sent to the discussion list are automatically
sent to all subscribers. Most list servers support archiving of the messages by
day, week, month, or year.

local area network (LAN) - A computer based communications network limited

to approximately 1 km radius and often within a single office, building, or single
company location. See network

logic bomb - Code secretly inserted into an application or operating system

causing it to perform some destructively.
Lynx - A Web browser developed at the University of Kansas.


markup language & markup tags A set of codes inserted I documents and used
by print or browser programs to format the output. Markup tags are independent
of the vendors' programs and devices that print or display the document. The
code does not constitute a programming language, but some markup
"languages" include codes that permit the optional printing or displaying or the
merging of data. The original and primary intent of markup tags was to facilitate
the printing of documents, independent of the printer or print formatting programs

megabyte (Mb)1 Mb = 1000 bytes. Actually = 1,048,576 bytes or 1024 kilobytes.

A megabyte isn't exactly 10 to the third bytes because digital systems are binary,
hence based on a system of two. In non-computer systems, and where the
number system uses a base of 0, then kilo does men 10 to the third. See byte,
kilobyte, gigabyte, terabyte.

megahertz 1 million hertz. See hertz.

menu A list of choices. In IT, users select from the choices presented. Selections
are usually made using a mouse. Selections may also be controlled by keyboard
selections. Menus may be presented within dialogue boxes, on the central
portion of a computer monitor, or as pull-down menu lists that display choices
when one of several choices is selected on a menu bar, usually displayed at the
top of a window or top of a monitor display.

MIDI Musical Instrument Digital Interface. A hardware specification and a protocol

used with synthesizers, computers, keyboards, and other devices for producing

model & modelingA description of an event, behavior, or condition in the real

world. Models help in understanding complex systems. Models are useful only to
the extent that they explain the real conditions they describe. Models are used to
develop simulation programs.

modemModulator / demodulator. A piece of electronic equipment that converts

between serial data from a computer and audio signals transmitted over
telephone lines. Modems vary in speeds at which they can transmit data. Data
compression and error correction algorithms permit transmissions at the higher
speeds. Modems may either be internal within a computer or externally
connected to the computer.

moralConcerned with the distinction between right and wrong.

moralityThe values, principles, norms, and rules that regulate human conduct.

Mosaic A World Wide Web browser developed and distributed free by the
National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) in the United States.

mouse A hand-held device for moving the cursor and for pointing on computer
monitors. The device may have one or two keys that, when pressed, will cause
objects under the cursor to be selected or activated. Later versions of the mouse
include small pads upon which a moving finger will cause the cursor too move.
Other versions of pointing and selecting devices (in place of a mouse) are "track
balls", laser or microwave mediated devices, and "joy sticks".

MPEG Moving Pictures Experts Group.

MUD Multi-User Dimension or Multi-User Domain. A network of servers that

support discussions. Similar to IRC.

multimedia Documents that contain information in than one form: text, sound,
images, video.

multitasking A method by which an operating system supports the sharing of a

single processor with tow or more jobs or programs.

multi-user dimensionSee MUD

musical instrument digital interfaceSee MIDI


NC Network Computer. A system designed to use high speed networks or cable

TV systems to connect to centrally stored data. NC machines tend to have less
memory and very small or no hard disk and are less expensive than non-NC
computers. NC machines depend upon the external machine to which they are
connected for data storage and often for complex data processing.

NCSA National Center for Supercomputing Applications in Urbana, IL, USA.

netiquette Acceptable use and behavior in using network resources, especially

the use of e-mail and news groups. Poor netiquette involves "flaming",
"spamming", and posting rude and degrading messages, resending entire long
messages when responding, and failure to include useful subject lines.

network Any set of computer systems connected by cables, phone lines, or radio
communication methods and which share data.
network computerSee NC

news groups Internet and World Wide Web discussion groups to which persons
may subscribe. An message posted to the group is sent to all subscribers. A very
few news groups are moderated; that is, the messages are first reviewed by a
person who may censor or restrict what is posted. The news groups are
processed by news or discussion group server which receive and store the
messages for distribution to subscribers. The messages are usually stored for
only one or two weeks. Subscribers must actively request downloads of unread
messages; the messages are not automatically sent to a subscriber's e-mail mail

node 1. An device on a computer network and which can be addressed so it can

be contacted by other computers. 2. A "host" computer on a network.

                                                  - O -

object oriented programmingSee OOP

OCR Optical Character Recognition. Refers to using devices and software to

"read" characters and translate the into ASCII characters that can ten be
processed by computer programs. Applications of OCR include the scanning of
printed documents to convert the text into digital data as ASCII text; the text can
then be edited in word processors.

OOP Object Oriented Programming. A method of programming or programming

languages in which portions of code, called objects, are reused. Program objects
have defined properties which are transferred to (inherited from) similar "parent"
objects. OOP has facilitated rapid development of complex programs.

operating system (OS) A program that manages the files in a computer, controls
internal or connected devices (peripherals), and runs other selected programs.
Abbreviated OS.

operators A symbol that denotes an action. These may classified as arithmetic:

subtraction, multiplication, division, or exponentiation; text: concatenation, LI
comparison or relational: equal, greater than, less than, greater than or equal to,
less than or equal to, not equal to, or reference: in the case of spreadsheets, to
combine cell identifiers. e.g., the colon, ":".

optical character recognitionSee OCR

OS Operating System

packet A unit of data sent across a network.

paradigm An example, a model. A way of thinking about a problem, condition, or

situation. When persons discover a new way of viewing a problem and its
solutions, they are said to have made a "paradigm shift".

parse 1. To scan text. In IT the parsing is with a computer program that searches
for specific character sequences or syntax. Parsers also respond to the parsing
by formatting the text, processing functions, running other programs, or
performing other specific processing based upon the text parsed. 2. To break a
sentence into component parts of speech. 3. To describe words with respect to
form, part of speech, or relationships in a sentence.

password A character string that must be entered into a computer system to open
documents and databases, or to otherwise gain access to a system. Passwords
should (1) be long; (2) contain mixed case characters, numbers, or special
characters; (3) be changed often; (4) never be real words or proper names, and
(5) never given to other persons or left written where others might have access to
them. Alternatives to passwords may include scans of finger or hand prints,
retinal scans, facial scans, voice recognition, mechanical (real) keys, magnetic
strips on cards, or answers to specific questions.

path A series of hierarchical directories (or folders) that define the location of a
file in a storage device.

PDFSee Portable Document Format

peripheral Any hardware device, other than the CPU and its integrated
components, attached to a computer. The devices may include hard disk, tape
drives, CD-ROM drives, sound systems, still camera, video cameras, or any
equipment that process digital data.

PGP See Pretty Good Privacy.

PIC An image file format. Used mostly in Apple Macintosh® systems. See BMP,

PINPersonal identification numbers. PIN's are often used with telephone and
automatic teller machine (ATM) systems.

piracy As applied to IT, the stealing of intellectual property by illegally coping,

distributing, or selling software and documents. Piracy extends to the illegal
copying of music, books, and programs.

PIX An image file format. See BMP, GIF, JPEG, PIC, and WPG.
pixel Picture element. A single dot on a monitor or printed document. The
smallest rectangular area of an image that can be manipulated on a monitor or
printer or stored in memory. The simplest pixel is a black and white unit that is
either white or black. If 8 bits are used to describe a pixel, its brightness can
range from 0 to 255 and shades of gray or colors can be represented. In color
images, the data describing the pixels has both brightness and color information.
Pixels of 24 bits can represent millions of colors. See GIF and JPEG.

Portable Document Format (PDF) The file format for Adobe Systems' Acrobat to
display or print documents independent of the original application, hardware, or
operating system used to create those documents. PDF files are becoming
popular on the World Wide Web and some browsers will automatically display
them. Acrobat readers are distributed free by Adobe. PDF files must be created
with Adobe Systems' Acrobat® document editor. Adobe Systems distributes PDF
reader programs free of charge.

point of presence (PoP) A site with telecommunications equipment, (modems,

leased lines, routers). Internet network access providers operate one or more

Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) Provides an Internet standard method for

transmitting IP packets over serial connections. PPP was designed to operate
over both asynchronous and synchronous connections. SLIP was developed for
serial connections, e.g., modem connections over standard asynchronous phone

PoPSee point of presence

PostScript A Page Description Language (PDL) that describes pages for printing
text, drawings, and pictures independent of the printing device

PPP See Point-to-Point Protocol.

Pretty Good Privacy (PGP)A high security public-key encryption method for most
computer systems. First written by PR Zimmermann, it has been enhanced by
other programmers. PGP was distributed as freeware. See also pubic-key

privacy protectionIn connection with IT this refers to the protection of name-linked

personal data in automated databases.

private-key encryption An encryption method in which the documents must be

opened (decrypted) using the same key as was used in the encryption.

program A collection of instructions in binary code, read by computers, and that

process data from external sources or stored within the program.
protocol A rules that describes how data is transmitted and how computers
"communicate". Protocols are essential for communications among computers
using different operating systems or different character code sets. Protocols may
define (1) the electrical standards to be observed, (2) the orders of bits and
bytes, (3) error detection, and (4) error corrections. Protocols also define data
formatting, and the syntax of electronic commands and messages. Protocols
may define how terminals communicate with to computers or clients with servers.
Character sets and how machine command messages are sequenced.

public domain Software or other intellectual material that is free and available to
the public without restrictions. With regard to software, this is usually the same as
freeware; however, freeware may be copyrighted and often carries the identity of
its creator. See freeware software, commercial software, and shareware

public-key encryption An encryption scheme, in which each person has a pair of

keys: one public and one private. Public keys may be published. Private keys
must be kept secret. Documents are encrypted with a recipient's public key .
These documents can only be decrypted using the recipient's private key.
Senders and receivers do not need to share secret keys.

pull-down menu A list that displays choices when one of several choices is
selected on a menu bar, usually displayed at the top of a window or top a monitor


query An inquiry. A question. A "query" is used in SQL when formulating a

question to submit to a data base manager that uses the SQL language.

quicktime video A standard developed by the Apple Computer company and used
in integrating full-motion video (also sound) in computer programs.


RAM 1. Random Access Memory. 2. Rarely Adequate Memory, from the fact that
programs and data expand to fill the memory available.

random-access memorySee RAM

re-engineer To make change in organizational (company, school) structures that

influence production, communication, processing, or services. Information
technology often facilitate re-engineering by improving communications, giving
access to management data, or helping workers process information. Computers
and robots can perform some human tasks and allow workers to conduct higher
level tasks.
record A single entry for an entity in a database and may be composed of more
than one data field (item of data or data element).

relational database A database consisting of files than be viewed as collections of

tables of rows and columns. Each table row is a record of one entity. Each
column represents a specific field of data, e.g., name, age, weight, height. The
tables usually contain a unique identifier (key) for each record (row). Data from
two or more tables may be combined by matching the unique identifiers. See flat-

relational operators Operators that show the relationship between two entities.
See operators.

RFC Request For Comments.

RGB A method of defining colors by the amounts of red, green, and blue
contained in each pixel. Red, green, and blue are the primary colors and can be
mixed to produce any non-primary color. See CMYK

RISC Reduced instruction set computer. The opposite of CISC. Processor chip
using a reduced set of instructions but executing them at high speed. These
chips contain most commonly used instructions and pass requests for others to
external chips. Typical RISC chips provide high performance at low power

robot 1. A mechanical device controlled by computer processors and programs

and that perform human-like tasks. See cyborg and android. 2. A computer
program that "explores" the World-Wide Web without human intervention. These
programs automatically follow links on World Wide Web documents.

ROM Read Only Memory. A storage device made with contents that do not
change. ROM usually holds programs.

router An item of equipment that directs communications among networks. The

device contains programs that determine where to forward files. These
forwarding decisions are based on tables of data about the structure of the
networks and by network protocols.

RSA a public-key encryption system invented by Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and
Leonard Adleman.

RSI Repetitive Stain Injuries. See ergonomics.


search engine A program that searches for information on the World Wide Web
using key words. Search engines may look only at document titles, headers, or
URLs; others may conduct searches of the complete text (full text searches). See
Web Crawler

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) A protocol from by Netscape Communications

Corporation designed to give secure communications on the Internet. SSL
operates below the HTTP, Telnet, FTP, and Gopher protocols. SSL is layered
beneath application protocols such as HTTP. Working above the TCP/IP
protocols it "protects" the applications that are transmitted over TCP/IP
connections. This secure transmission method is used by HTTPS.

Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP) Software that allows the Internet Protocol
(IP), to be used over a serial line connected to a modem. SLIP does not support
error detection. SLIP connections need IP address configurations set before the
connection is established. Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) can determine the
address automatically after the connection is started.

serial number A unique number or character string assigned to an item of

equipment or to a copy of a software program.

server 1. A program which provides services requested by client programs. 2. A

computer which provides services to other computers connected over a network.
SGML Standard Generalized Markup Language.

shareware Software that is distributed freely and for which users voluntarily pay a
fee for its use. All users are ethically obligated to pay for shareware if it is used
beyond the implied or implied evaluation period. See freeware software, public
domain software, and commercial software.

simulation A system that emulates, by computer, real mechanical or natural

systems and then outputs the predicted results of real world conditions. Models
that describe these conditions are used to develop simulation programs.

SLIP Serial Line Internet Protocol. This communication works over asynchronous
telephone lines. See also PPP

smiley A simple character code used to convey expressions of feeling within text
messages. Examples are :-) (happy) and :-( (sad). Another document with a more
complete set of smiley codes may be available.

social domain Any of the groupings into which social issues may classified:
economic, political, cultural, legal, environmental, historical, ergonomic,
medical/health, or psychological.

software Computer programs. The programs may be stored in non-volatile

circuits (e.g., ROM, read only memory) or in files of code on hard disk, floppy
disk, or tapes. Software programs are often classified as operating system,
applications (productivity), utilities, or games. Software may be either the source
code written by humans or the executable machine code produced by
assemblers or compilers (from the source code). Other classifications include
freeware, shareware,

spammingSimultaneously sending copies of e-mail messages to many persons

especially subscribers to discussion groups.

spreadsheet / worksheetAn application that processes both numbers and text in

rows and columns. Cells occur rows and columns intersect. Cell values are
calculated by formulas that can use values or formulas in other cells.
Recalculations occur when change in dependant cells. Spreadsheets may
include 3-dimensional cell references. Spreadsheets are useful in conducting
'what-if' explorations.

SQLStandard query language. A set of standard commands used by many

different database manager systems that utilize relational databases. SQL
commands are divided into those for data management or data analysis. These
commands can create database tables, insert or update records, select records,
and create reports.

SSLSee secure sockets layers.

standard query language See SQL

standard generalized markup language (SGML)A generic markup language for


storage & storage devices1 The permanent or temporary retention of data in a

digital form from which the data can be retrieved.2 Any device used for the
storage (retention) of data in a digital form. These may be hard disks, floppy
disks, CD-ROMs, tapes, magnetic strips or chips. Other methods include bar
codes, optically readable characters, punched cards and punched paper strips.

storyboardA detailed description of events or information to be presented in a

system. The presenting system may be a film, video, a multimedia program, or
even an HTML document.

StuffItA compression program for Macintosh operating systems.

systemAn integrated set of hardware and/or software designed to serve one or

more functions. Systems may be as simple as a program to keep track of
personal appointments, or as complex as a world-wide network of programs
linked to provide corporate sales, inventories of supplies and products,
production schedules and a company calendar for all employees.


T1A term used by telephone company AT&T for a system that transmits data at
1.544 megabits per second. See also ISDN.

T3A communication system that transmits data at 44.736 megabits per second.
See also ISDN.

tagged image file format (TIFF)A file format for still-image bitmaps. See also

tape driveA device for the storage of digital data on magnetic tapes. Tape drives
may be installed within a computer or they may be connected externally by
cables. The writing and reading of data to and from tapes is slower than with
hard disks. Data tapes are easily removed for transporting to other machines or
to safe storage sites.

tar1 noun - Tape archiver. A type of data compression that often involves
grouping two or more files into a single compressed file.2 verb - the action of
creating a compressed archive file that may include several files grouped
together. The tar compression method is used mostly with UNIX operating

TCPTransmission Control Protocol

TCP / IPTransmission Control Protocol over Internet Protocol

tele-conferenceA conference in which the participants are at various locations

and in which sounds (voice) are simultaneously exchanged between the
participants. Each participant is able to hear, but not see, the participants at each
of the other sites. See also video-conference.

teletext A communications system that broadcast test information by a television

signal to receiving equipment equipped with software or chips that perform

Telnet1 Internet standard login protocol; runs on top of TCP / IP.2 CompuServe's
network into which one dials.

terabyte (Tb)1 Tb = 1000 gigabytes. Actually, 1,073,741,824 bytes or 1024

terabytes. The fact that a Tb is not exactly 1 billion is because digital systems are
binary, based on a system to base 2. Thus, 2 raised to the power of 30 =
1,073,741,824. In non-computer systems and where the number system is to the
base of 10, then 1 GB = exactly 1 billion. See byte, megabyte, kilobyte, gigabyte.

text format The placement of text in printed or displayed documents. Text

formatting includes the setting of margins, typefaces, font sizes, text alignments
(left, center, right, or justified), style, (bold, italic, underline, outline, shadowed),
table construction, and the flow of text around images.

TIFF See Tagged Image File Format.

training software Computer programs that training, usually job related, e.g., how
to perform tasks, about company procedures or policies. Training programs may
also be used to teach basic knowledge and skills. They permit users to learn at a
pace determined by the user, easy repetition of material, and some give
information in response to answers or choices made by the users. See tutorial
software and computer aided learning.

Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) The common transport part of the protocol
used on the Internet.

trapdoorSee backdoor

Trojan horse A malicious program disguised to appear as something benign. See

virus and worm.

TrueType An outline font standard developed by Apple Computer, and embraced

by Microsoft. A competitor to Adobe's popular PostScript.

Turing test A test for deciding whether a computer is intelligent and proposed in
1950 by Alan Turing. Turing preferred to consider if machines can be intelligent
as opposed to whether "Can machines think?" In a Turing test, human(s)
converse in writing with an unseen person or machine. If the human(s) cannot
distinguish between an unseen human and an unseen machine (computer) then
the machine is said to have passed the test and is intelligent.

tutorial software Computer programs that give instruction in how to use the
software program or system that they support. These programs simulate the
capabilities of the system. See training software and computer aided learning.


UnicodeA 16-bit character code developed to process to process any of the

world's writing systems (Roman, Greek, Cyrillic, hiragaba, katakanam, etc.). This
code set is a subset of ISO 0646.

Uniform Resource LocatorSee URL

UNIX A widely used operating system, especially in servers and other non-
personal computers. Although a technically excellent and powerful operating
system, many UNIX commands are not easily understood by the uninitiated.

upload The transfer files from one computer to another.

Uniform Resource Locator See URL

URL Uniform Resource Locator as used by the World Wide Web. Examples:
gopher:// news:alt.hypertext telnet://

Usenet Users' Network. A distributed bulletin board system that has become
international is the largest decentralized information utility in existence.

utility programs & software Programs used to manage files or repair damaged
files or to otherwise enhance the operations of computer system. As examples,
utility programs are used to recover erased files, to organize files, to repair
damaged files, or to detect and remove viruses. Utility software should be
distinguished from applications programs.


vector graphics A drawing method that uses shapes such as lines, polygons and
text and groups of these objects to create a picture. The other primary method
stores bitmaps of the image. The vector graphics advantages are that changes to
one part of the picture does not change other parts, the parts are stored
independently, and vector graphics are easily scaled without losing resolution.

Veronica Very Easy Rodent-Oriented Net-wide Index to Computerized Archives.

It supports keyword searches of gopher menu titles in all gopher web sites. While
Archie searches FTP archives, Veronica searches Gopher files. A Veronica
search yields a menu of Gopher items. Veronica functions have been largely
replaced by Web Search Engines on the World Wide Web. Direct Veronica and
Archie searching has been largely replaced on the World Wide Web with more
sophisticated search engines.

video-conference A conference in which the participants are at various locations

and in which television type images and sounds are simultaneously exchanged
among the participants. Each participants is able to hear and see the participants
at each of the other sites. See tele-conference.

video-on-demand A system that delivers compressed video files upon a request

form a user. The file is then expanded and "played" on the users computer
system. Video-on-demand requires high speed communications to deliver the
large video files within an acceptable time.

video random-access memory (VRAM) Fast memory to store images to be

displayed on a computer's monitor.

virtual presence The simulation of the presence of one or more persons in places
or situations. The simulated condition may be from or at a remote location and
may be facilitated over networks by telecommunications and tele-conferencing.
Virtual presence also may be implemented in a single machine, e.g., from CR-
ROM based programs and databases.

virtual reality Computer simulation of 3-dimensional systems of sight, sound, or

touch. These simulations are intended to give users of the impression or feelings
of being present within the scenes or conditions being simulated.

virus A program that "infects" other programs or files by embedding a copy of

itself into the the target files. Viruses are propagated by trading programs. See
worm and Trojanhorse.

voice recognition 1. An IT system in which the voices of individuals is recognized.

Some systems use vice recognition as a security feature to permit access to the
system. 2. An IT system that can respond to voice commands, often without
regard to the person speaking.

voxel Volume element. The smallest distinguishable part of a three-dimensional

space. A voxel is identified by x, y and z coordinates or sometimes by its center.
See pixel

VR Virtual reality. A system that simulates real situations and which participants
sense sounds and images similar to real life conditions. Advanced and future
systems can include sensations of touch and even odors.

VRAM See video random access memory.

W3 - 1. World Wide Web. 2. A World Wide Web browser for Emac computers.

WAIS - Wide Area Information Servers. An information retrieval system in which

clients retrieve documents using keywords. The search results are ranks in order
of the frequency of occurrences of the key words in the documents.

WAN - See wide area network.

Web - World Wide Web, see definition at World Wide Web.

Web Crawler - A specific search engine developed by Brian Pinkerton at the

University of Washington. It is a freeware program that "roams" the World Wide
Web and collects URLs. Users can then perform searches by entering keywords.

web page - A document on the World Wide Web. These documents are used
with browsers to display text and images and to play sound, video, or animation
programs. Web page files contain HTML codes to control the display and playing
of their associated components.

Web Search Engines - systems that search the World Wide Web, index
document contents, and permit keyword or full text searches.

web server - A computer program that receives and processes requests from
client browsers.

white space - Space without images or text in documents. White space may
make printed or displayed documents more attractive or interesting.

Wide Area Information Servers (WAIS) - A distributed information retrieval

system. Clients can search for key words in documents and read or download
the documents.

Wide Area Network (WAN) - A computer network larger than a local area
network (LAN), serving more than one geographical location, e.g., several
company sites, an entire state or country, several countries. Abbreviated WAN.
See local area network.

widget - 1. In graphical user interfaces, any of several graphic symbols or "tools"

used to aid in communication or to collect data in forms. Widgets include: (a)
check boxes in which more than one choices may be made, (b) a set of two or
more radio buttons from which only one choice can be made, (c) selection lists
from which either one or multiple selections may be made, (d) text entry areas for
the entry for text or numbers, (e) scroll-bars on selection lists and test areas, and
(f) and buttons for specific functions (next, previous, exit, cancel, process). Some
systems also provide slide bars and similar representation of similar mechanical
devices familiar in non-computer environments. GUI windows systems often
provide a "standard" or commonly used set of widgets providing a consistent set
of tools for computer users. 2. A word used to refer to real objects in examples.

windows & Windows - A method of presenting the output from computer

programs in frames on a display monitor. Several operating systems support the
use of windows. On computers using Intel® processors (x86 and Pentium®),
Microsoft's Windows, Microsoft Windows® 95®, and Windows NT® are the most
popular systems using a windows environment. The word is capitalized when
referring to one of the Windows bases systems of the Microsoft Corporation. On
machines running under a UNIX operating system, the windows system called
"X" is the most common windows environment. The Macintosh® operating
system makes extensive use of windows. Many programs present information or
forms within window frames.

WIPO - World Intellectual Property Organization. See also copyright.

wisdom - Knowing what is true, correct, proper, or fair. The application of

common sense and good judgment. The sum of human learning through all
times. See data, information.

wizard - 1 A program that guides users through a sequence of choices and

helpful information, leading to the completion of specific tasks such as software
installation, mail merges, or computer configuration.2 A person who understands
complex computer systems.

word processor - A program for creating documents for printing or display.

Features include formatting, typeface and font selections. Most word processors
include spell checking.

worksheet - See spreadsheet

workstation - A general-purpose computer designed to be used by one person

at a time and offering higher performance than is normally found in a personal

World Wide Web - (WWW, W3, The Web) An Internet client-server system of
hypertext documents. The Web was introduced in 1991. By September 1993, the
NSFNET transmitted 75 gigabytes per month of web documents. By July 1994
the traffic was one terabyte (10 raised the power of 36) per month. worm /
WORM - 1. A program that propagates itself over a network. See virus and Trojan
horse. 2. Read Once Write Many. A type of disk drive and compact disk on which
one can write only once but read many times.

worm hole - See back door

WPG - An image file format. See BMP, GIF, JPEG, PIC, and PIX.

WWW - See World Wide Web

WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get. A system that displays on a
computer monitor a nearly exact representation of documents as they will appear
in printed form.

X - The name of a window system for displaying information on computer

monitors. (The system is not correctly called "X Windows" or "X windows".) See

Yahoo - 1. A very large and popular hierarchical index of the World-Wide Web. It
was originally located at Stanford University. Yahoo's World Wide Web URL is (you must be connected to the World Wide Web for this
link to work). 2. A crude, unrefined, awkward, clumsy, or ungraceful person.

zip - 1. A file compression method as well as the compressed file format. 2. The
file extension for filed compressed using the zip program. 3. The process of
compressing and achieving files using PKWare's PKZIP or a compatible file
compressing and archiving program.

Zip Drive - A disk drive for removable 3.5 inch floppy disks that can store
approximately 100 megabytes of data.