Basic Computer terms and definitions pdf

abbreviation of computer words and basic information technology terminology
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1 DICTIONARY OF IBM & COMPUTING TERMINOLOGY 8307D01A2 A AA (ay-ay) n. Administrative Assistant. An up-and-coming employee serving in a broadening assignment who supports a senior executive by arranging meetings and schedules, drafting and coordinating correspondence, assigning tasks, developing presentations and handling a variety of other administrative responsibilities. The AA’s position is to be distinguished from that of the executive secretary, although the boundary line between the two roles is frequently blurred. access control n. In computer security, the process of ensuring that the resources of a computer system can be accessed only by authorized users in authorized ways. acknowledgment 1. n. The transmission, by a receiver, of acknowledge characters as an affirmative response to a sender. 2. n. An indication that an item sent was received. action plan n. A plan. Project management is never satisfied by just a plan. The only acceptable plans are action plans. Also used to mean an ad hoc short-term scheme for resolving a specific and well defined problem. active program n. Any program that is loaded and ready to be executed. active window n. The window that can receive input from the keyboard. It is distinguishable by the unique color of its title bar and window border. added value 1. n. The features or bells and whistles (see) that distinguish one product from another. 2. n. The additional peripherals, software, support, installation, etc., provided by a dealer or other third party. administrivia n. Any kind of bureaucratic red tape or paperwork, IBM or not, that hinders the accomplishment of one’s objectives or goals. Often, anything with a routing or buck slip (see) attached. Advanced Peer-to-Peer Networking (APPN) n. An extension to SNA featuring (a) greater distributed network control that avoids critical hierarchical dependencies, thereby isolating the effects of single points of failure; (b) dynamic exchange of network topology information to foster ease of connection, reconfiguration, and adaptive route selection; (c) dynamic definition of APPN extends network resources; and (d) automated resource registration and directory lookup. the LU 6.2 peer orientation for end-user services to network control and supports multiple LU types, including LU 2, LU 3, and LU 6.2. agent 1. n. In systems management, a user that, for a particular interaction, has assumed an agent role. 2. n. An entity that represents one or more managed objects by (a) emitting notifications regarding the objects and (b) handling requests from managers for management 8307D01A3 operations to modify or query the objects. 3. n. A system that assumes an agent role. 4. n. Software that acts on behalf of a user as it performs tasks within an application program. An agent may run on both the client and the server. aggregate n. In programming languages, a structured collection of data objects that form a data type. aggressive 1. adj. Optimistic, vigorous, very active. In IBM, implies an element of risk: “We are moving on a very aggressive schedule.” 2. adj. Overly ambitious. As used on a foil (see): “The plan was very aggressive,” which actually means “We did not make target.” AIX (Advanced Interactive Executive) operating system. n. IBM’s implementation of the UNIX operating system. The RS/6000 system, among others, runs the AIX operating system. alarm n. A signal, either audible or visual, at a device such as a display station or printer that is used to notify the user of a condition requiring user’s attention. alert 1. n. A message sent to a management services focal point in a network to identify a problem or an impending problem. 2. n. In SNA management services (SNA/MS), a high priority event that warrants immediate attention. alias n. In an internet, a name assigned to a server that makes the server independent of the name of its host machine. The alias must be defined in the domain name server. all blue adj. Said of customers with all of their major computing equipment supplied by IBM (as in: “an all-blue account”). all hands meeting n. A meeting called by upper management, which everyone working on a given project is required to attend. These meetings are sometimes used to announce major reorganizations which can mean that the all-hands meeting in that case will be the last time those particular hands are assembled together. all points addressable (APA) n. In computer graphics, pertaining to the ability to address and display or not display each picture element (pel) on a display surface. allocate 1. v. To assign a resource, such as a disk or diskette file, to perform a task. 2. n. An LU 6.2 application programming interface (API) verb used to assign a session to a conversation for the conversation’s use. American National Standards Institute (ANSI) n. An organization consisting of producers, consumers, and general interest groups, that establishes the procedures by which accredited organizations create and maintain voluntary industry standards in the United States. analog n. Pertaining to data consisting of continuously variable physical quantities (in contrast with digital). 8307D01A4 ancillary equipment See auxiliary equipment. announce n. The moment at which a new product is formally revealed to customers. Historically, a product was known by a code name prior to announce, and information about it was strictly confidential. At announce, the hardware product was assigned a number instead of a name, with the result that not even its developers knew what it was anymore. append n. A piece of text (ranging from one line to several hundred) that is appended to a file on a conference disk. The text may be discussions, bug reports, suggestions, questions or any other topic of conversation. The value of an append is very often inversely proportional to its length. appendage n. An application program routine provided to assist in handling a specific occurrence. applet n. An application program, written in the Java programming language, that can be retrieved from a Web server and executed by a Web browser. A reference to an applet appears in the markup for a Web page, in the same way that a reference to a graphics file appears; a browser retrieves an applet in the same way that it retrieves a graphics file. For security reasons, an applet’s access rights are limited in two ways: the applet cannot access the file system of the client upon which it is executing, and the applet’s communication across the network is limited to the server from which it was downloaded. application n. A collection of software components used to perform specific types of user-oriented work on a computer. application desktop toolbar n. An element of the Microsoft Windows interface that can be provided by a Windows application. This toolbar operates similarly to the Windows 95 taskbar and provides access to controls for specific functions related to the respective application. application program 1. n A program written for or by a user that applies to the user’s work, such as a program that does inventory control or payroll. 2. n. A program used to connect and communicate with stations in a network, enabling users to perform application-oriented activities. application programming interface (API) 1. n. A software interface that enables applications to communicate with each other. An API is the set of programming language constructs or statements that can be coded in an application program to obtain the specific functions and services provided by an underlying operating system or service program. 2. n. In VTAM, the language structure used in control blocks so that application programs can reference them and be identified to VTAM. architect v. To design how something should work. 8307D01A5 archive v. To save data (usually electronic) in long-term storage (such as magnetic tape or optical disk). This differs from the backup function in that archive is intended to keep the data for a long time. artificial intelligence n. The opposite of natural silliness. ASCII (American National Standard Code for Information Interchange) n. The standard code, using a coded character set consisting of 7-bit coded characters (8 bits including parity check), that is used for information interchange among data processing systems, data communication systems, and associated equipment. The ASCII set consists of control characters and graphic characters. asymmetric adj. In computer security, pertaining to the use of different keys for encryption and decryption. asynchronous (ASYNC) 1. adj. Pertaining to two or more processes that do not depend upon the occurrence of specific events such as common timing signals. 2. adj. Without regular time relationship; unexpected or unpredictable with respect to the execution of program instructions. asynchronous communication n. A method of communication supported by the operating system that allows an exchange of data with a remote device, using either a start-stop line or an X.25 line. Asynchronous communication includes the file transfer support and the interactive terminal facility support. asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) n. A transfer mode in which the information is organized into cells; it is asynchronous in the sense that the recurrence of cells containing information from an individual user is not necessarily periodic. ATM is specified in international standards such as ATM Forum UNI 3.1. attribute 1. n. A characteristic that identifies and describes a managed object. The characteristic can be determined, and possibly changed, through operations on the managed object. 2. n. Information within a managed object that is visible at the object boundary. An attribute has a type, which indicates the range of information given by the attribute, and a value, which is within that range. authentication 1. n. In computer security, verification of the identity of a user or the user’s eligibility to access an object. 2. n. In computer security, verification that a message has not been altered or corrupted. 3. n. In computer security, a process used to verify the user of an information system or protected resources. authorization 1. n. In computer security, the right granted to a user to communicate with or make use of a computer system. 2. n. An access right. 3. n. The process of granting a user either complete or restricted access to an object, resource, or function. 8307D01A6 authorized program analysis report (APAR) n. A report of a problem caused by a suspected defect in a current unaltered release of a program. AUTOEXEC.BAT file n. In the DOS operating system, a batch file that resides in the root directory of the boot drive and contains commands that DOS executes whenever a DOS window is created. automatic calling unit (ACU) n. A dialing device that permits a computer to automatically dial calls over a network. automatic logoff n. The process that a server uses to disconnect a connection when no data has been transmitted for a given period of time. automatic logon 1. n. A process by which VTAM automatically creates a session-initiation request to establish a session between two logical units (LUs). The session is between a designated primary logical unit (PLU) and a secondary logical unit (SLU) that is neither queued for nor in session with another PLU. 2. n. In VM, a process by which a virtual machine is initiated by other than the user of that virtual machine; for example, the primary VM operator’s virtual machine is activated automatically during VM initialization. auxiliary equipment n. Equipment not under direct control of the processing unit. B backbone 1. n. A set of nodes and their interconnecting links that form a central, high-speed network interconnecting other, typically lower-speed, networks or client nodes. 2. n. In a local area network multiple-bridge ring configuration, a high-speed link to which the rings are connected by means of bridges or routers. A backbone may be configured as a bus or as a ring. 3. n. In a wide area network, a high-speed link to which nodes or data switching exchanges (DSEs) are connected. backbone network n. A central network to which smaller networks, normally of lower speed, connect. The backbone network usually has a much higher capacity than the networks it helps interconnect or is a wide-area network (WAN) such as a public packet-switched datagram network. back-burner v. To move something to a lower priority in the hope that it will go away or be solved by someone else. background picture n. The diagram or image that is displayed behind other symbols to show their context or relations. 8307D01A7 background process 1. n. A process that does not require operator intervention but can be run by the computer while the workstation is used to do other work. 2. n. In the AIX operating system, a mode of program execution in which the shell does not wait for program completion before prompting the user for another command. background task n. A task that is running even though the user is not currently interacting with it. back-level n. Pertaining to a prior release of an IBM product, which may not support certain functions in a more current release. ballpark v. To make a rough estimate. When the term is used before the noun “number,” it absolves the speaker of any responsibility for incorrect data. bandwidth 1. n. The difference, expressed in hertz, between the highest and the lowest frequencies of a range of frequencies. 2. n. In asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), the capacity of a virtual channel, expressed in terms of peak cell rate (PCR), sustainable cell rate (SCR), and maximum burst size (MBS). 3. n. A measure of the capacity of a communication transport medium (such as a TV cable) to convey data. Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) n. Code that controls basic hardware operations, such as interactions with diskette drives, hard disk drives, and the keyboard. batch 1. n. An accumulation of data to be processed. 2. n. A group of records or data processing jobs brought together for processing or transmission. 3. n. Pertaining to activity involving little or no user action. batch file n. A file containing data that is to be processed unattended. baud n. In asynchronous transmission, the unit of modulation rate corresponding to one unit interval per second; that is, if the duration of the unit interval is 20 milliseconds, the modulation rate is 50 baud. bean n. A reusable Java component that is built using the JavaBeans technology. bells and whistles n. Frills added to a program, product or presentation to make it more exciting without necessarily making it much better. belly up adj. Broken, not functioning. best-of-breed adj. Comparable to recently announced competitive products. This term is used by planners and enthusiasts, when a product is first proposed, to describe the relationship of a product to its competition. 8307D01A8 beta test v. To test a prerelease version of a piece of software by making it available to selected customers and users. big iron n. large computers. bit n. Either of the digits 0 or 1 when used in the binary numeration system. bitmap 1. n. A representation of an image by an array of bits. 2. n. A pixmap with a depth of one bit plane. block n. A string of data elements recorded or transmitted as a unit. The elements may be characters, words, or physical records. blue letter n. The document once distributed by the IBM Data Processing Division to announce a new product or education course. So named because it was printed on blue paper, the blue letter contained the generalized product description and specifications that were used to make the IBM marketing representatives expert on the new offering. The blue letters were later printed on ivory colored paper and it then became fashionable to call the documents “ivory letters.” blue money n. Internal budget dollars, used to purchase an item from another IBM organization. This is used mainly by product planners. Its corollary is real money or green money. blue sky adj. Not inhibited by practicality, possibility, politics or popular trends. blue suiter n. Used in times past to describe someone from a more formally dressed area of the IBM culture. For example, a blue suiter would be: (a) an IBM marketing representative in the field force (when described by those at headquarters); (b) IBMers at headquarters (when described by those in a development laboratory); or (c) IBMers not at IBM Research (when described by used by those at Research). Boca n. Short for Boca Raton, Florida, the birthplace of the IBM PC (and a favorite venue for business meetings during the first quarter of the year). It should be noted that most of the IBM buildings in that area were, in fact, in Delray Beach, not Boca Raton. bogey n. A quantitative target, especially a difficult or unpleasant one. boil the ocean v. To attempt something too ambitious. Some managers who have a propensity for boiling the ocean are ideal candidates for serving on task forces (see). boiler plate 1. n. Content-free portions of a presentation included to capture the attention and otherwise distract the listener from any real issues. 2. n. The standard language used in a press release to describe the company issuing the release. Boolean 1. n. Pertaining to the processes used in the algebra formulated by George Boole. 2. n. A value of 0 or 1 represented internally in binary notation. 8307D01A9 Boolean operation 1. n. Any operation in which each of the operands and the result take one of two values. 2. n. An operation that follows the rules of Boolean algebra. boot v. To prepare a computer system for operation by loading an operating system. bottleneck n. A hardware or software component that can limit the performance of a device, a subsystem (such as an adapter), or a network. For example, if an adapter has hardware that can forward 14,000 packets per second, and software that can process 4,000 packets per second, the packet throughput is limited to 4, 000 packets per second; and the software is the bottleneck. box n. A hardware product, usually a computer (as in: “They’re selling a lot of boxes now.”). bps n. Bits per second. bridge 1. n. A functional unit that interconnects two local area networks that use the same logical link control protocol but may use different medium access control protocols. 2. n. A functional unit that interconnects multiple LANs (locally or remotely) that use the same logical link control protocol but that can use different medium access control protocols. A bridge forwards a frame to another bridge based on the medium access control (MAC) address. 3. n. In the connection of local loops, channels, or rings, the equipment and techniques used to match circuits and to facilitate accurate data transmission. broadband 1. n. A frequency band broad enough to be divided into several narrower bands, each of which can be used for different purposes or be made available to different users. 2. n. A frequency band divisible into several narrower bands so that different kinds of transmission (such as voice, video, and data) can occur at the same time. 3. n. Transmission media and techniques that use a broad frequency range, divided into sub-bands of narrower frequency, so that different kinds of transmission can occur at the same time. broadcast 1. n. Transmission of the same data to all destinations. 2. n. Simultaneous transmission of data to more than one destination. browse 1. v. To look at records in a file. 2. v. In the NetView Graphic Monitor Facility, to open a view that cannot receive status changes from Tivoli NetView for OS/390. browser See Web browser. buck slip n. 1. A routing slip listing the names of members of a department. Used to make the loss of correspondence more organized. 2. n. A routing slip attached to a document to rid it from one’s desk and lay it onto another’s, usually adorned with the words “Please handle.” buffer 1. n. A routine or storage used to compensate for a difference in rate of flow of data, or time of occurrence of events, when transferring data from one device to another. 2. v. To allocate and schedule the use of buffers. 3. n. A portion of storage used to hold input or output data temporarily. 8307D01A10 bug n. A very broad term denoting a defect in either hardware or software. Personality bugs are denoted with different language. build-to-order adj. Of a hardware product: manufactured or to be manufactured, following customer orders. build-to-plan adj. Of a hardware product: manufactured or to be manufactured, independently of customer orders. bullet 1. n. One of a list of items to be emphasized, usually marked by a graphical device alongside it on a foil (see). 2. n. A short, factual statement. bulletin board 1. n A place in IBM facilities in which printed announcements of key events, activities and developments were posted for employee information; largely superseded by various online systems. 2. n. In the Tivoli environment, the primary mechanism by which the Tivoli Management Framework and Tivoli applications communicate with Tivoli administrators. The bulletin board is represented as an icon on the Tivoli desktop through which the administrators can access notices. Tivoli applications use the bulletin board as an audit trail for important operations that the administrators perform. bullets v. To convert a proposal, argument or result into a list of items for a foil (which may or may not be preceded by bullets). burn v. To make a photocopy. burst n. In data communication, a sequence of data counted as one unit in accordance with some specific criterion or measure. bus 1. n. A facility for transferring data between several devices located between two end points, only one device being able to transmit at a given moment. 2. n. A computer configuration in which processors are interconnected in series. button 1. n. A mechanism on a pointing device, such as a mouse, used to request or initiate an action or a process. 2. n. A graphical device that identifies a choice. 3. n. A graphical mechanism that, when selected, performs a visible action. For example, when a user clicks on a list button, a list of choices appears. byte 1. n. A string that consists of a number of bits, treated as a unit, and representing a character. 2. n. A binary character operated upon as a unit and usually shorter than a computer word. 3. n. A group of 8 adjacent binary digits that represent one EBCDIC character. C 8307D01A11 C language n. A language used to develop software applications in compact, efficient code that can be run on different types of computers with minimal change. cache 1. n. A special-purpose buffer storage, smaller and faster than main storage, used to hold a copy of instructions and data obtained from main storage and likely to be needed next by the processor. 2. n. A buffer storage that contains frequently accessed instructions and data; it is used to reduce access time. 3. n. An optional part of the directory database in network nodes where frequently used directory information may be stored to speed directory searches. 4. v. To place, hide, or store in a cache. CADAM n. Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing. The use of computers in the design and manufacture of products such as cars, airplanes, ships, and computers. call 1. v. The action of bringing a computer program, a routine, or a subroutine into effect, usually by specifying the entry conditions and jumping to an entry point. 2. v. In data communication, the actions necessary to make a connection between two stations on a switched line. 3. n. In communications, a conversation between two users. 4. v. To transfer control to a procedure, program, routine, or subroutine. 5. v. To attempt to contact a user, regardless of whether the attempt is successful. canonical adj. In computer science, pertaining to an expression that conforms to a specific set of rules. card 1. n. An electronic circuit board that is plugged into a slot in a system unit. 2. n. A plug-in circuit assembly. cardholder n. In e-commerce, a person who has a valid payment card account and uses software that supports e-commerce. card-holding manager n. A manager who directly manages employees (rather than a manager, such as a program manager, who does not supervise people). carrier 1. n. An electric or electromagnetic wave or pulse train that may be varied by a signal bearing information to be transmitted over a communication system. 2. n. In data communication, a continuous frequency that can be modulated or impressed with an information carrying signal. cascading 1. v. The connecting of network controllers to each other in a succession of levels, to concentrate many more lines than a single level permits. 2. adj. In high-availability cluster multiprocessing (HACMP), pertaining to a cluster configuration in which the cluster node with the highest priority for a particular resource acquires the resource if the primary node fails but relinquishes the resource to the primary node upon reintegration of the primary node into the cluster. 3. v. To distribute information rapidly downward, using a hierarchy of presentations or announcements by senior managers. 8307D01A12 case-sensitive adj. Pertaining to the ability to distinguish between uppercase and lowercase letters. cassette n. In e-commerce, a software component consisting of a collection of Java classes and interfaces that can be easily installed into other software components involved in e-commerce to extend the function of these components. cast in concrete adj. Immutable. catalog 1. n. A directory of files and libraries, with reference to their locations. A catalog may contain other information such as the types of devices in which the files are stored, passwords, and blocking factors. 2. v. To enter information about a file or a library into a catalog. category link n. In computer user interfaces, a hypertext link that leads to other hypertext links. With a category link, the user must follow at least two hypertext links (possibly more) before locating needed information. CBX See computerized branch exchange. CD-ROM n. High-capacity read-only memory in the form of an optically read compact disc. central directory n. A repository for storing resource location information centrally registered by network nodes or cached as the result of network searches. central processing unit (CPU) n. The part of a computer that includes the circuits that control the interpretation and execution of instructions. A CPU is the circuitry and storage that executes instructions. Traditionally, the complete processing unit was often regarded as the CPU, whereas today the CPU is often a microchip. In either case, the centrality of a processor or processing unit depends on the configuration of the system or network in which it is used. CERN n. Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (European Laboratory for Particle Physics). Located in Geneva, Switzerland, CERN initiated the World Wide Web and was the first organization to create a Web server. The CERN Web server is the basis for many commercially available servers. certificate n. In e-commerce, a digital document that binds a public key to the identity of the certificate owner, thereby enabling the certificate owner to be authenticated. A certificate is issued by a certificate authority. certificate authority n. In e-commerce, an organization that issues certificates. The CA authenticates the certificate owner’s identity and the services that the owner is authorized to use, issues new certificates, renews existing certificates, and revokes certificates belonging to users who are no longer authorized to use them. challenge n. Something difficult or a big problem. 8307D01A13 change management n. The process of planning (for example, scheduling) and controlling (for example, distributing, installing, and tracking) software changes over a network. This is sometimes known as “software management.” channel 1. n. A path along which signals can be sent, for example, data channel, output channel. 2. n. In data communication, a means of one-way transmission. 3. n. A functional unit, controlled by the processor, that handles the transfer of data between processor storage and local peripheral equipment. charm school n. New Manager School. check box n. A square box with associated text that represents a choice. When a user selects the choice, the check box is filled to indicate that the choice is selected. The user can clear the check box by selecting the choice again, thereby deselecting the choice. checkpoint 1. n. Information about the status of a program’s execution or the status of a data transfer that is recorded to enable the program or the data transfer to be restarted if it is ever interrupted. 2. n. The time at which such information is recorded. 3. v. To record such information. CICS See Customer Information Control System. circuit 1. n. One or more conductors through which an electric current can flow. 2. n. A logic device. circular log n. A storage area for information that replaces the oldest information stored with the most recent. class 1. n. In object-oriented design or programming, a model or template that can be instantiated to create objects with a common definition and therefore, common properties, operations, and behavior. An object is an instance of a class. 2. adj. In the AIX operating system, pertaining to the I/O characteristics of a device. System devices are classified as block or character devices. clear data n. Data that is not enciphered. click v. To press and release a button on a pointing device without moving the pointer off the object or choice. client n. A computer system or process that requests a service of another computer system or process that is typically referred to as a server. Multiple clients may share access to a common server. 8307D01A14 client/server n. In communications, the model of interaction in distributed data processing in which a program at one site sends a request to a program at another site and awaits a response. The requesting program is called a client; the answering program is called a server. clipboard n. An area of storage provided by the system to hold data temporarily. clipping v. In computer graphics, removing those parts of display elements that lie outside of a given boundary. clocking 1. v. In binary synchronous communication, the use of clock pulses to control synchronization of data and control characters. 2. v. A method of controlling the number of data bits sent on a telecommunication line in a given time. close n. A choice that removes a window and all of the windows associated with it from the workplace. For example, if a user is performing a task in a window and a message appears, or the user asks for help, both the message and the help windows disappear when the user closes the original window. close of business n. End of the working day. closed system n. A system whose characteristics comply with proprietary standards and that therefore cannot readily be connected to other systems. closedown n. The deactivation of a device, program, or system. cluster 1. n. A station that consists of a control unit (a cluster controller) and the terminals attached to it. 2. n. A group of APPN nodes that have the same network ID and the same topology database. A cluster is a subset of a NETID subnetwork. 3. n. In high-availability cluster multiprocessing (HACMP), a set of independent systems (called nodes) that are organized into a network for the purpose of sharing resources and communicating with each other. cluster controller n. A device that can control the input/output operations of more than one device connected to it. A cluster controller may be controlled by a program stored and executed in the unit; for example, the IBM 3601 Finance Communication Controller. Or, it may be entirely controlled by hardware; for example, the IBM 3272 Control Unit. cluster node n. In high-availability cluster multiprocessing (HACMP), an RS/6000 system that participates in a cluster. coaxial cable n. A cable consisting of one conductor, usually a small copper tube or wire, within and insulated from another conductor of larger diameter, usually copper tubing or copper braid. code n. A set of instructions for a computer. 8307D01A15 code name n. The name used to designate a product or future product to obscure the purpose of the project from casual observers. The code name of an especially famous project can move into the vernacular, e.g., Winchester and Peanut. cold start 1. n. The start of a database management system without preprocessing before-images or after-images. 2. n. A system start, using an initial program load procedure. collaborative management n. A cooperative relationship between Internet commerce partners and Internet service providers (ISPs) to ensure the successful completion of business transactions. color palette n. A set of colors that can be displayed on the screen at one time. This can be a standard set used for all images or a set that can be customized for each image. comb n. In a magnetic disk unit, an assembly of access arms that moves as a unit. comeback meeting n. A meeting called by an executive (or the AA) to follow-up on actions requested at an earlier meeting. command 1. n. A request from a terminal for the performance of an operation or the execution of a particular program. 2. n. In SNA, any field set in the transmission header (TH), request header (RH), and sometimes portions of a request unit (RU), that initiates an action or that begins a protocol; for example: (a) Bind Session (session-control request unit), a command that activates an LU-LU session, (b) the change-direction indicator in the RH of the last RU of a chain, (c) the virtual route reset window indicator in an FID4 transmission header. 3. n. In Tivoli NetView for OS/390, a sequence of characters that is submitted to cause an action. A command contains a verb and an object. command line 1. n. On a display screen, a display line usually at the bottom of the screen, in which only commands can be entered. 2. n. In Common User Access (CUA) architecture, obsolete term for command area. command prompt n. A displayed character or string of characters that indicates that a user may enter a command to be processed. commerce service provider (CSP) n. An Internet service provider that hosts merchant shopping sites and processes payments for the merchants. Common Gateway Interface (CGI) n. A standard for the exchange of information between a Web server and computer programs that are external to it. The external programs can be written in any programming language that is supported by the operating system on which the Web server is running. 8307D01A16 communication adapter 1. n. A circuit card with associated software that enables a processor, controller, or other device to be connected to a network. 2. n. A mechanism that enables communication facilities to be attached to host processors. communication common carrier n. In the U.S. and Canada, a public data transmission service that provides the general public with transmission service facilities; for example, a telephone or telegraph company. communication controller n. A type of communication control unit whose operations are controlled by one or more programs stored and executed in the unit. It manages the details of line control and the routing of data through a network. communication control unit n. A communication device that controls transmission of data over lines in a network. communication line n. Obsolete term for telecommunication line. communication port 1. n. An access point for data entry or exit to or from a communication device such as a terminal. 2. n. On a personal computer, a serial port to which a stand-alone modem can be attached. compact disc (CD) 1. n. A disc, usually 4.75 inches in diameter, from which data is read optically by means of a laser. 2. n. A disc with information stored in the form of pits along a spiral track. The information is decoded by a compact-disc player and interpreted as digital audio data, which most computers can process. compile 1. v. To translate all or part of a program expressed in a high-level language into a computer program expressed in an intermediate language, an assembly language, or a machine language. 2. v. To prepare a machine language program from a computer program written in another programming language by making use of the overall logic structure of the program, or generating more than one computer instruction for each symbolic statement, or both, as well as performing the function of an assembler. 3. v. To translate a source program into an executable program (an object program). 4. v. To translate a program written in a high-level programming language into a machine language program. compile time n. The time period during which a computer program is being compiled into an executable program. compiler 1. n. A program that translates a source program into an executable program (an object program). 2. n. A program that decodes instructions written as pseudo codes and produces a machine language program to be executed at a later time. component 1. n. Hardware or software that is part of a functional unit. 2. n. A part of a structured type or value, such as an array element or a record field. 8307D01A17 compressed video n. Video resulting from the process of digitally encoding and decoding a video image or segment using a variety of computer techniques to reduce the amount of data required to represent the content accurately. compression 1. n. The process of eliminating gaps, empty fields, redundancies, and unnecessary data to shorten the length of records or blocks. 2. n. Any encoding to reduce the number of bits used to represent a given message or record. computer n. A functional unit that can perform substantial computations, including numerous arithmetic operations and logic operations without human intervention during a run. In information processing, the term computer usually describes a digital computer. A computer may consist of a stand-alone unit or may consist of several interconnected units. computerized branch exchange (CBX) n. An exchange in which a central node acts as a high-speed switch to establish direct connections between pairs of attached nodes. Computer Science Network (CSNET) n. A large computer network, mostly in the United States but with international connections. CSNET sites include universities, research labs, and some commercial companies. CSNET has merged with the Because It’s Time Network (BITNET) to form the Consortium for Research and Education Network (CREN). computer word n. A word suitable for processing by a given computer, usually treated as a unit. concentrator 1. n. In data transmission, a functional unit that permits a common transmission medium to serve more data sources than there are channels currently available within the transmission medium. 2. n. Any device that combines incoming messages into a single message (concentration) or extracts individual messages from the data sent in a single transmission sequence (deconcentration). concern n. formal indication from one group or employee to another that the first is worried about some action by the other (as in: “We have a concern that the schedule may be too aggressive.”). Concur v. To give an irrevocable formal agreement. concurrent adj. In high-availability cluster multiprocessing (HACMP), pertaining to a cluster configuration in which all cluster nodes use a resource simultaneously. A cluster node can fail and reintegrate into the cluster without affecting other cluster nodes or the resource. concurrent server n. A server that can handle many connections at the same time. It can accept new connection requests while still processing the transactions started by previous requests. CONFIG.SYS file n. In the OS/2 operating system, a file used by the base operating system that describes the devices, system parameters, and resource options of a workstation. 8307D01A18 configuration 1. n. The manner in which the hardware and software of an information processing system are organized and interconnected. 2. n. The devices and programs that make up a system, subsystem, or network. configuration file n. A file that specifies the characteristics of a system device or network. configure v. To describe to a system the devices, optional features, and programs installed on the system. congestion See network congestion. connectivity 1. n. The capability of a system or device to be attached to other systems or devices without modification. 2. n. The capability to attach a variety of functional units without modifying them. Consortium for Research and Education Network (CREN) n. A large computer network formed from the merging of the Because It’s Time Network (BITNET) and the Computer Science Network (CSNET). content link n. In computer user interfaces, a hypertext link that leads directly to pertinent information. A content link allows the user to find needed information immediately. contextual help n. Help information about the specific choice or object that the cursor is on. The help is contextual because it provides information about the item in its current context. control program 1. n. A computer program designed to schedule and to supervise the execution of programs of a computer system. 2. n. The part of the AIX operating system that determines the order in which basic functions should be performed. 3. n. In VM/ESA, a component that manages the resources of a single computer so multiple computing systems appear to exist. Each of these apparent systems, or virtual machines, is the functional equivalent of an IBM System/370, 370-XA, or ESA computer. controller n. A device that coordinates and controls the operation of one or more input/output devices, such as workstations, and synchronizes the operation of such devices with the operation of the system as a whole. conversational monitor system (CMS) n. A virtual machine operating system that provides general interactive time sharing, problem solving, and program development capabilities, and operates only under control of the VM control program. cook book 1. n. Used as an affectionate term for some master reference document. 2. adj. Describing in great detail a procedure for a person to follow, down to what commands to type and when. 8307D01A19 cookie n. Information that a Web server stores on a user’s computer when the user browses a particular Web site. This information helps the Web server track such things as user preferences and data that the user may submit while browsing the site. For example, a cookie may include information about the purchases that the user makes (if the Web site is a shopping site). The use of cookies enables a Web site to become more interactive with its users, especially on future visits. coordinated universal time (UTC) n. The time scale, based on the Système International (SI) second, as defined and recommended by the Comité Consultatif International de la Radio (CCIR) and maintained (using an atomic clock) by the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM). The Système International is based on three fundamental units of measure (the meter, the kilogram, and the second) and is sometimes called the “MKS system” because of these units. For most practical purposes, UTC is equivalent to the mean solar time at the prime meridian (0 degrees longitude) of Greenwich, England, which is known as Greenwich mean time. UTC is sometimes called Z time or Zulu time. copy n. A choice that places a copy of a selected object onto the clipboard. Corrective Service Diskette n. A diskette provided by IBM to registered service coordinators for resolving user-identified problems with previously installed software. This diskette includes program updates designed to resolve problems. coupling facility n. In MVS, the hardware element that provides high-speed caching, list processing, and locking functions in a sysplex. CPU See central processing unit. crash v. To halt in an unrecoverable manner, when not expected. crisp up 1. v. To add meaningful content or to make more impressive or flashy (as in: “We’ll have to crisp up this presentation before the Director sees it.”) 2. v. To remove meaningful content, to reduce it to the essential (as in: “We’ll have to crisp up this presentation before the Director sees it.”) cryptographic algorithm n. A set of rules that specify the mathematical steps required to encipher and decipher data. cryptographic key n. A parameter that determines cryptographic transformations between plaintext and ciphertext. cryptographic session n. In SNA products, an LU-LU session in which a function management data (FMD) request may be enciphered before it is transmitted and deciphered after it is received. cryptography n. The transformation of data to conceal its contents and to prevent one person from forging or modifying another person’s messages. 8307D01A20 cursor 1. n. A movable, visible mark used to indicate a position of interest on a display surface. 2. n. A visible indication of the position where user interaction with the keyboard will appear. The keyboard cursors are the selection cursor and the text cursor. Customer Information Control System (CICS) n. An IBM licensed program that provides online transaction processing services and management for critical business applications. CICS runs on many IBM and non-IBM platforms (from the desktop to the mainframe) and is used in various types of networks that range in size from a few terminals to many thousands of terminals. The CICS application programming interface (API) enables programmers to port applications among the hardware and software platforms on which CICS is available. Each product in the CICS family can interface with the other products in the CICS family, thus enabling interproduct communication. cut n. A choice that moves a selected object and places it onto the clipboard. The space it occupied is usually filled by the remaining object or objects in the window. cylinder 1. n. In an assembly of magnetic disks, the set of all tracks that can be accessed by all the magnetic heads of a comb in a given position. 2. n. The tracks of a disk storage device that can be accessed without repositioning the access mechanism. D DASD See direct access storage device. data 1. n A re-interpretable representation of information in a formalized manner suitable for communication, interpretation, or processing. Operations can be performed upon data by humans or by automatic means. 2. n. Any representations such as characters or analog quantities to which meaning is or might be assigned. 3. n. A representation of facts or instructions in a form suitable for communication, interpretation, or processing by human or automatic means. Data includes constants, variables, arrays, and character strings. data channel See input/output channel. data check 1. n. An operation used to verify data quality or data integrity. 2. n. A synchronous or asynchronous indication of a condition caused by invalid data or incorrect positioning of data. Some data checks can be suppressed. data communication 1. n. Transfer of data among functional units by means of data transmission according to a protocol. 2. n. The transmission, reception, and validation of data. data compression See compression. 8307D01A