Glossary of Computer Terms

From StarFleet Bureau of Information
Jump to: navigation, search

BoI- Main Page | Star Fleet Library | BuPers | SF Engineering | SF Intelligence | SF JAG | SF Marine Corps | SF Medical | SF Records | SF Sciences
UFP Dept. of Colonial Affairs | UFP Educational, Scientific and Cultural Org.
WRITING GROUPS: Star Fleet: PRIME (SD- 2427) | Star Fleet: ORIGINS (SD- 2261)- DEFUNCT | Star Fleet: BEYOND (SD- 2771)- DEFUNCT

NOTE- This documents needs to be reviewed by COMSCI or SCI-staff for accuracy, spelling, format and relevance for role play.


Glossary of Computer related Technical Terms

Access Speed

This refers to the average amount of time it takes for an isolinear rod or other drive to find any particular piece of data on a data storage system.


Accuracy is how close to the actual value you are. For example, if the number you are representing is 4 and you say it's 3, you are inaccurate by 1.

Accuracy vs. Precision

If the actual value is 4.321 and you say that it is 4.30, then you are precise to 3 places but inaccurate by .021. If a value is represented as a bullseye on a target, a group of guesses or measurements represented by closely grouped points have a high degree of precision. If that group is near the center, it is highly accurate as well. On a bullseye, think of accuracy as how close to the center your arrow hits, and your measurement of precision as how closely you can group your shots.

==Alpha Blending== This allows two objects to be blended together. This is primarily used for atmospheric and environmental effects. It allows such things as "fogging," where an image is rendered behind a "translucent" image, which creates the effect of looking though fog or looking down through a pool and seeing the bottom. It also allows Depth Cueing, which is the lowering of the intensity of lighting to make an object appear farther away.


Analog refers to a representation of a quantity that varies over any continuous range of values. Analog signals can be thought of as pure in nature and not processed. Think of nature as analog. Values are exact, but it is impossible to correct errors in reproduction.

Analog Control

An analog control changes value in non-discrete steps. You can tune an analog control to non-distinct values. Also see Digital Control.


This is a method used to better define higher resolution objects in lower resolution. For example, you would use anti-aliasing if you have two lines that are so close together that at 320 x 200 they look as if they are one double-width line and you want to represent them better. This is most noticeable when dealing with curves, such as circles. For example, if you look at a circle drawn in a simple paint program at a low resolution, you can see the "steps" the points take to make the circle. If you raise the resolution you'll notice the "steps" much less. If you use anti-aliasing, different shades of the circle's color are used to "fill in" the gaps caused by low resolution.

Aperture Grill

See Slot Mask

API (Application Programming Interface)

APIs allow you to program to a pre-constructed interface (the API) instead of programming a device or piece of software directly. This allows for faster development, since programming to a device's API is designed to be easier than programming to a device directly. APIs allow you to program without having intimate knowledge of the device or software that you are sending commands to.

Aspect Ratio

This is the ratio of the width by the height on a monitor or bridge viewer. Most display terminals have a 4 x 3 aspect ratio. The screens are 4 units wide and 3 units high. A bridge's viewer has an aspect ratio of at least 16 x 9 (about 5 x 3).

Asynchronous Communication

This method of transferring data does so without a specific timing mechanism between the two communicating parties. The party receiving data isn't expecting more data at any set interval.

ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode)

A networking protocol designed to move multimedia data around with high reliability and speed.


This is a measure of how much time a network or a connection is running. Generally, the equation is: Time Running / Time Measured (time running divided by time measured). Thus, if you measured something for 20 minutes, and it was only up for 19 of them, you'd have 95% availability.


A segment of a network that's often a higher speed than the rest of the network and connects all the other segments. If you don't have a fast backbone, your network will lag.


This is a measure, in some amount of bits per second, of the amount of data that can be sent over a particular cable, interface, or bus.


A group of commands that are executed one at a time. Same as script.

Bilinear and Trilinear Filtering

This is used to smooth flat surfaces by averaging the colors of adjacent pixels, which blurs them and removes blockiness when viewed up close.

Binary code

Binary consists of a string of bits, i.e. 01010111000000001


This is the smallest unit of measure in a computer. It is represented by a 0 (off) or 1 (on). You can think of a bit as a switch. If it's in the on position, it's a 1, and if the switch is off, it's a 0. All parts of your computer communicate in bits if you go to the lowest level.

Bit depth

How many bits it takes to represent the color in one pixel. The larger the bit depth, the more colors you can display and the more power it takes to display.

Black box

Anything that you put input into and get output from, but don't know what's inside or how it works.

BLOB (Binary Large OBject)

A BLOB is a data type used in a relational database that can contain any type of binary data, including sound, video, graphics, etc.

Boolean logic

This is the form of logic where every answer is either true or false. Alternately, you can think of it as either 0 or 1, where 0 = false and 1 = true.

Boot (to boot (v.))

This is a verb meaning to load. You can say that you are booting your machine, or that your operating system is booting up.


This is commonly an error in design or programming in a hardware device or piece of software. The effects of a bug may be as harmless as an extra graphic on the screen, or as harmful as a system crash or loss of data. See also Feature.


A bus is simply a data path between devices. The computer's system bus is what peripherals use to send and receive data from the processor and main memory.


Simply put, it's 8 bits. Think of it as a string of 1s and 0s that represents a number from 0 to 255. For example '01100101' is one byte of information.

Cache memory

Generally a small chunk of fast memory that sits between either 1) a smaller, faster chunk of memory and a bigger, slower chunk of memory, or 2) a processor and a bigger, slower chunk of memory. This is to provide a bridge from something that's comparatively very fast to something that's comparatively slow. Most computers have cache memory that holds some of the information from main memory. When the processor needs the information it takes it from the speedy cache instead of the slower main memory. Cache memory GREATLY increases the speed of a computer by storing data that is most often accessed.


See Computer_Aided_Design and Computer_Aided_Diagnosis

Clock Cycle

Think of a clock cycle as one tick of the second hand (but generally at a much higher speed). Computer clocks run voltage through a tiny crystal that oscillates at a predictable speed to give a meaningful timing method to the computer. One clock cycle doesn't necessarily mean that the processor does one operation.


Clustering is a technology using two or more computers that function together as a single entity for fault tolerance and load balancing. This increases reliability and up-time in a client/server environment. One computer will sense when another computer is failing or getting bogged down and will take over its tasks. Starfleet uses clustering for it's main computers (Galaxy-class and classes of issued from this class have 3 main computer cores on board.)


A series of instructions that make up a program.

Code generator

A code generator is part of a compiler. It takes intermediate code and translates it into the final workable code in the target language.

COM Port

An abbreviation for communications port.


A compiler translates a computer program from one language into another, catching any errors in syntax along the way. Most commonly, you translate some high level language into optimized machine language. This form of compilation puts your programs into a form that your computer can understand without any translation, thus speeding them up.


Takes something large and makes it smaller. Compression generally comes in two forms, lossy and lossless. Lossy compression is best used on graphics files and sound files. It crunches down the data at a much higher ratio, at the expense of having an image or a sound that isn't quite the same as before it was compressed. In the best scenario the data takes up less space, but the person viewing the graphic or listening to the sound file will not be able to tell. Lossless compression squeezes data down so that at some later date it can be uncompressed and returned to its exact structure. Lossless compression is best used on data files and programs.


Technically, this is anything that inputs data, processes it in some way, and outputs it.

Computer Aided Design

Please add.

Computer Aided Diagnosis

Please add.

Computer model

A computer model is a recreation of a static scene, be it a house or a complex CAD design.

Computer simulation

Computer simulations are usually the outcome of calculations to determine how events will play out.

Core Dump

In many systems, when a program crashes, it "dumps" out an image of the memory and registers so that you may go through and see what caused the problem. Also named Memory Dump.

CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Check)

A mathematical calculation that produces a number that can be used to check the integrity of a file by regenerating the number and comparing the results.


Information. Any series of bits, characters or objects that has meaning. Data is stored and transmitted by computers.

Data type

This refers to the type of data that is being used in a computer program. Different types of data take up different amounts of space. Some common data types are integer, float (for floating point numbers), or string (for a text string). If a procedure is expecting one data type and it gets another, you usually get an error message or a crash.


An ordered set of data.


Digital implies a value represented by a group of discrete steps. Some claim that digital representations of images and sound are more accurate; others that the translation of analog sounds and pictures into digital representations causes loss in realism. The bonus to digital reproduction is that if done well enough and designed to correct errors, digital reproduction can sound good over a long period of time.

Digital Control

This is a control that doesn't directly cause a physical change in something, but rather sends a signal that a processor interprets. The processor then makes the change. See also Analog Control.

Double Buffering

This shows you that the graphics engine uses two layers, or buffers, to produce an image: one for display and one for rendering. Since the viewer only sees the finished image, this allows for smooth-motion animation.


This refers to the action of transferring data from a remote computer to your local machine.

DSP (Digital Signal Processor)

A DSP is a microprocessor designed to work with analog signals such as video or audio that have been digitally encoded. The DSP then takes these digital representations and performs operations on them.

Display Terminal

All they are good for is running programs using the main computer. Desktop displays and Padds are terminals.

ECC (Error Checking and Correcting)

Generally refers to isolinear rods that support this type of behavior in full-parity. ECC memory uses some extra memory on the isolinear rods for parity information and checks to see whether a memory error has occurred. If a minor memory error occurs, the ECC logic will handle it. With full-parity memory (one step below ECC), you will be alerted of a memory error and your system will stop. With non-parity memory, you will experience random results, usually crashing, and possible data corruption.


Normally, this is your surroundings. In your computer, the environment is what a group of variables are set to. Think of it as your computer's surroundings.

FDDI (Fiber Distributed Data Interface)

This is a fiber optic interface that allows data to travel extreme distances (many miles/kilometers) without signal loss. It is far superior to copper wire for data integrity as well. See ODN.

Fiber Optic

A method of transmission alternative to copper. The way it works is by pulsing light down a strand of glass. These pulses represent binary code. So far, that's no better than copper. The advantage is that a single strand of fiber optic can carry thousands and thousands of different frequencies at once without data loss.

FIFO Buffer (First In First Out Buffer)

An area of memory that holds information in the order in which it was received until the computer has time to use it.

File Format

Applications save files in a certain way. They organize the data in a way that makes sense for the information they are saving.

Flat Shading

This is the most basic shading technique. The entire triangle is only one color. This causes the image to appear blocky.

FM synthesis

This is a method of creating music using frequencies to represent instruments. Completly outdated with the use of real instrument samples.

Free text search

This type of search allows you to give a fragment of a word and have it found in any part of that word. For example, doing a free text search for "the" could return "Thesis", "Blithe", and "Diphtheria."

Full parity

This refers to the ability to send and receive a signal at the same time. It can effectively double bandwidth, assuming that you can benefit from sending and receiving data at the same time. Most of the time, this doesn't happen, since you usually don't send AND receive large quantities of data at the same time. However, in the case of network servers processing large amounts of data, full parity network cards can bring advantages.


A gate is a tiny electronic switch. These switches, when linked together, can perform logical functions.

Gigabyte (1 billion bytes)

There are a few different ways of getting to this number. No one uses the same exact number, but they are all around 1 billion. One way of deriving the number is by multiplying 1 byte by 1024 for 1 KB then again by 1024 to get 1 MB then that by 1024 for 1 GB. The variations come when people substitute 1000 for the 1024s.


A touch-sensitive pad that will track the touch of a finger. It is not a pressure sensor so there is no need to press down, only to touch. Most displays, panels and all padds use a transparent form of this technology.

Gouraud Shading

This method analyzes the color at each corner of the triangle and takes an average of the colors where the corners meet. This causes the triangles to "bleed" together, making for a smoother, clearer, more colorful image.


The pictures that computers display. Not text, but just about everything else.


If you ask a hacker, they will say that hacker means someone who searches computer systems for knowledge and exposes security holes so that they will be plugged. If you ask a computer security analyst, they will say a hacker is a dangerous criminal who will stop at nothing to break into and expose your computer networks. In truth, both of these descriptions have been used to describe hackers.

HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer)

This is the portion of the operating system that lets programs deal with hardware directly. This allows programs needing more speed from the computer to bypass the standard OS calls to hardware.

Hash table

A table that contains "hash values," generally used for speeding up searching algorithms on sorted data. For example, a hash table for a dictionary might contain all the letters of the alphabet and the page numbers where each letter starts. That way, instead of searching through from start to finish for each word, you just use the hash table and get a big head start.

HEL (Hardware Emulation Layer)

This provides software-based emulation of features that are not directly available in hardware.


A measure of speed. One Hertz means one time per second, so one megahertz (MHz) means 1 million times per second. This is was a common measure of speed for processors centuries ago.

Heterogeneous Data Sources

This is a data-warehousing term that describes the idea of drawing data from several different (heterogeneous) data sources on different platforms and computers.

Hidden Surface Removal

See [Glossary_of_Computer_Terms#Z-Buffering|Z-Buffering]].

Hierarchical relationship

This relationship is one where elements at lower levels are submissive to elements at higher levels.


A central connection point. Standard terminology for a device that connects multiple computers in a network.

I/O (Input/Output)

This abbreviation refers to any operation in a computer where data is transferred in or out of the computer. I/O may seem like a vague concept, but it refers to the basic throughput power of a computer.


Anything entered into a computer or system.


The simplest direction that you can give to a processor. Programs are made up of these, but you usually don't go down to such nitty-gritty levels. An example of what a single instruction would do is incrementing a piece of data by one, or clearing a piece of data out of a register.


Interlaced means that the graphic data is split (usually into two parts) and is displayed alternately one half and one half. So for video output, if you have 4800 pixel rows shown vertically, an interlaced image will show 2400 pixel rows (every other pixel row) at once. It will alternate fast enough that the image looks whole and complete. This is a trick used to increase resolution. However, it makes text and small shapes shimmer in a disturbing way.

Intermediate Code

This is code that is generated by the first step in a compiler. Rather than translating code directly from one language to another, it first translates it to this more generic and easier to manipulate language and then spits it at the code generator, which creates the finished product.


see Kilobyte.

Kbps (Kilo Bits Per Second)

A measure of data transfer. A 14.4 Kbps modem transfers data at about 1.8 kilobytes per second or about 100 KB per minute.


Primitive input device on PCs, it consists of all the letters in the alphabet and the numbers 0 through 9. Usually, especially on computer keyboards, there are extra keys like cursor keys and function keys.


1024 bits (2^10 bits)


1024 bytes (2^10 bytes)


1024 quadrillion bytes (2^60 bytes)

LED (Light Emitting Diode)

A piece of electronics that emits light when a current is passed through it. It does not work the same way as a light bulb so it does not have the problem of burning out. It also only emits a few frequencies of light so it is a specific color.


This is a record of events.

Log File

This is a file that records events. Many programs produce log files.

Logical Parity

Fake parity that always agrees. In other words, when something checks to see if the data is in error the logical parity always says that it is not.


Basically, a large and powerful computer designed to be very fault tolerant. Historically, mainframes with lots of memory and disk space are hooked to a bunch of dumb terminals that can be used to access data on the mainframe, but can do nothing without the mainframe. See also, Client/Server.


see Megabyte; also an abbreviation for Motherboard.

Mbps (Mega-bits per second)

This is a measure of throughput in millions of bits per second.

Mechanical Control

A mechanical control is a dial or knob whose physical setting directly affects some measurement.

Megabit (One million bits)

1,048,576 bits (that's 2^20 bits).

Megabyte (One million bytes)

This is 1,048,576 bytes (that's 1024 x 1024, or 2^20).


Chips and crytals in a computer that remember data. Also commonly referred to as RAM.

MHz (Megahertz)

One million hertz.


This is like a scaled-down computer designed for a very specific task, unlike a computer, which has many uses. Microcontrollers include the Matter/Antimatter Injector Controls, which can safely shut the flow of reactants to the Warp Core if contact with both the Main Computer and Optical Data Network are unreachable and the microcontroller detects a safety hazard.

Millisecond (One thousandth of a second)

Usually used to measure the access speed of hard drives .

MIP Mapping (Multum in Parvam--"many in few")

This stores a copy of the bitmap used as a texture in different sizes to minimize the distortion caused by shrinking or enlarging the textures during perspective correction.


An interference pattern that gets created when small dots are placed in a tight pattern.

MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures)

This is a time normally given in hours that predicts the failure of a device. The larger the number the better.


Some operating systems allow multiple parts, or threads, of a single process to run simultaneously.

Multi-tier client server

This is a form of client/server application that uses the multi-tiered architecture.

Multi-tiered architecture

This is the most scalable application architecture (over 2-tier and 3-tier). This architecture refers to 4-, 5-, or even higher-tiered architectures. It is the most complex type of architecture, splitting the application and database management tasks into many discrete components. For example, take the 3-tier architecture and change it so that the application logic is separate from the database management system. This gets you to 4-tier architecture. With this structure, you can more easily change one of the tiers without compromising your entire application. To get to five tiers, you could move some of the application logic to the client to optimize performance.


((pronounced en-too-pull)) This is a mathematical term for a finite sequence of n terms. For example, the set {1, 2, 3, 4} is a 4-tuple. The set {Frank, Jane, Ed} is a 3-tuple. Any time there is a list of n things in a certain order, you can think of it as an n-tuple.


One billionth of a second - Used most often to measure the speed of memory.


This refers to a group of interconnected computers. The computers must be capable of transferring data to form a true network--you can't just weld a bunch of computers together.


Four bits or half a byte.


This refers to a graphic image that is not interlaced. See interlaced for a description of what that means.

Non-parity Memory

RAM that has no error correction or tracking, called parity.

OCR (Optical Character Recognition)

This is the technology that allows computers to "read" the text from physical objects. It requires a graphical representation of text to interpret. This usually comes from a scanned image.

ODN (Optical Data Network)

This is the network architecture and type of wiring used in Starfleet installations and many other Federation branches, as well as by many other species and governments.

OS (Operating System)

The program that allows you to access the basic functions of your computer. It is the minimum software required to run a program.


Anything that comes out of a computer or system.


A collection of information. It's often used to refer to the chunks of information sent over computer networks.


Meaning in unison, or many things at the same time. Most commonly refers to a computer with multiple processors that can execute multiple instructions at the same time.


Meaning that there is an equality. Usually for the purpose of safety, so that if one goes bad there is still the other.

Parity Memory

Not quite memory that has a twin, but instead, more like a summary. The parity does not exactly have a copy of the original, but rather enough information to verify the integrity of the original.

Perspective Correction

This correctly alters the textures in a scene to give a sense that all the images on the screen converge on one central point way out in the distance. It's why things far away look smaller.


One thousand terabytes / one million gigabytes / one billion megabytes / one trillion kilobytes / one quadrillion bytes (approximately).


This refers to the technique of processing multiple parts of an instruction at the same time. Many processors have many instruction pipelines. As one instruction is executed, the next instruction is being decoded and the one after that is being fetched from memory.


Think of a pointer as an address. The address can point to just about anything, including another pointer. Ultimately, if you follow the trail of pointers, you'll probably find some data. Pointers are most often used to point to data. The purpose of pointers is so that when you are programming, you can pass around a small address that points to some data, instead of passing the actual data around.

Port (verb, to port)

To port something, you translate the code for a program from one platform to another.


Precision is how well you define a value. For example, if the value you are representing is 4.321 and you say it's 4.3, you are precise to two places. Numerically, precision is the amount of decimal digits that you are capable of measuring.

Precision vs. Accuracy

See [Glossary_of_Computer_Terms#Accuracy_vs._Precision|Accuracy vs. Precision]].

Processor cycle

This is what occurs during one tick of the processor clock.


This is the behavior that computers must follow in order to understand one another. Think of it as a language. If two computers don't use the same network protocol, then they cannot communicate.

Raster Graphics

This form of graphics is probably what you are looking at now. Composed of pixels on a bitmap, it allows for solid colored objects and graphics as we know them. See also vector graphics.

Read Only

Usually applied to a file or other kind of document. Means that the object cannot be written to, which means that you can't save any modifications you make to it.


Real-time refers to tasks that are time critical and must happen in our time. Real-time is the highest priority you can give to a thread or process. Other real-time applications can include medical applications and control of real world systems.


In a redundant system, if you lose part of the system, you can continue to operate. For example, if you have two power supplies and one takes over if the other one dies, then that is a form of redundancy. You can take redundancy to ridiculous levels, but you spend more money.

Refresh Rate

How often something is rewritten or updated.

Remote Access

This is a means of contacting a remote network and becoming a node on that network. The problem with remote access is that the connection to the network is generally slow, such as over a subspace carruer, so copying or working with large files is very slow. The advantage is that the minimum hardware requirement is one server or remote access piece of hardware that can control many remote access lines.

Remote Control

This is a means of taking control of a remote computer, usually on a remote network. Usually, you call the remote computer with a modem and control the computer by interacting with your computer while seeing on your screen a representation of what is actually happening on the remote computer. The downside to remote control is that each remote connection requires a separate computer. You can't have multiple people controlling one computer remotely and seeing a useful representation of what is on the remote display.

Rendering (or Shading)

Determines how colors are used on each triangle.


A device used to repeat a signal to send it further away or to many more devices.


How fine the pixels are. The higher the resolution, the more pixels that can be squeezed onto a screen, thereby giving the appearance that the pictures on your screen are smaller without losing any detail. Because the pictures are smaller you now have room to place more on your screen.


Meaning that what was written can be erased so that it can be written to again.

Ring topology

A ring topology refers to a network that is connected on both ends to one source, with client machines hanging off of the ring. If you break the ring, all computers in the ring lose connectivity.

ROM (Read Only Memory)

Memory containing a program, data, or information about the device that has been programmed onto the chip at the factory.


A device that bridges an internal network to another network. Take a ferry as an example: cars that need to go to the other side of a body of water (another network) need to use the ferry (the router). If they want to stay on their side, they simply don't go on the ferry. Also a device used to bridge a computer to a long distance digital communications network.


This refers to the time when a program or process is running. When it's running it may need runtime libraries and have runtime variables with runtime values. It's also used to refer to runtime versions of software that include functionality of the software as the means to an end of running some other software.


A small portion representative of something. Usual meaning a small amount of sound from an instrument, enough to reproduce the sounds of that instrument.


Scalability is the ability to grow with your needs. A scalable software package means that you only buy the parts you need, and that it has the ability to grow by adding on as you do.


This adjective describes applications or systems that are able to scale to large amounts of users. For example, a database that completely locks out every other user when someone is using it is NOT scalable.


A scalar value, in mathematical terms, is any single real number. The term superscalar is used by the isolinear industry and refers to the ability to issue multiple instructions in a single clock cycle. Just think of scalar as a SINGLE number and you can see how this term was derived. See also vector and superscalar processor.


A device used to copy an image from a physical source (e.g., photograph) into a computer.


This refers to a group of commands usually stored in a file and run one at a time so that you don't have to type them in one at a time.


A means of operation meaning in series, or one after the other.

Slot Mask

A type of shadow mask used in CRTs. There are two methods. The first is the aperture grille used in Sony's Trinitron monitors, which uses vertical phosphor stripes and vertical slots in the mask compared to the traditional shadow mask that uses phosphor dots and round holes in the mask.

The second is a combination of traditional shadow mask and aperture grille technologies used in NECT's CromaClear monitors. Sometimes known as a slotted shadow mask, this mask uses elliptical holes and vertical phosphor stripes.

Specular Highlights

This allows for the appearance of light reflecting off an object. White or light-colored pixels are blended into darker areas to provide this function.

Superscalar Processor

This term describes a processor that is capable of executing more than one instruction during a processor cycle. Processors can do this by fetching multiple instructions in one cycle, deciding which instructions are independent of other instructions, and executing them. To do this, the processor must have an instruction fetching unit that can fetch more than one instruction at a time, built-in logic to determine if instructions are independent, and multiple execution units to execute all the independent instructions. Instructions that depend on the results of the previous instruction obviously can't be executed simultaneously with the instructions that they depend on. This type of instruction slows down superscalar processors. If all instructions are of this type, you get no benefit from the superscalar architecture.


Meaning that things happen at the same time.


One trillion bytes, or one thousand gigabytes.

Texture Mapping

Pastes saved images, to be used as textures, onto triangle surfaces to improve realism. (Take a picture of a grassy field and code the program to use this picture to fill in your triangles on the floor--you get what looks like grass to walk on.)


Any measure of speed for data transmission.


Trillion Instructions Per Second - This is a rating of how quickly a processor can process instructions. A processor rated at 100 TIPS can process 100,000,000,000,000 instructions per second.

Transfer rate

This is the rate at which data is transferred in some amount of bits per second.


An electronic device that acts like an electrically activated switch but has no moving parts so it can switch millions of times per second. Duotronics and Optronics technologies rendered the transistors useless.

True Parity

This term has come about with the advent of logical parity. It simply means the original parity memory.

Truth table

This is a Boolean table that describes the way that a circuit reacts to input values by showing a complete set of possible input values with corresponding outputs.


See [Glossary_of_Computer_Terms#n-tuple|n-tuple]].


The act of transferring data from your computer to a remote system.


A vector is a set of scalar numbers that refers to a point in space. Say, for example, you are in a two-dimensional space. A vector may be (5,6), which is 5 units across the X axis, and 6 units up the Y axis. See also scalar.


A program that makes unbidden copies of itself in order to proliferate. Usually plays a role either as graffiti or for malicious intent.


Please add definition.

2-tier architecture

This term refers to applications that have a code base (1-tier) separate from the database management system (1-tier). The application code resides on the "fat client" which is used to process data The problem with 2-tier applications is that they become complex and hard to support as the user base increases in size. What may be good for 50 people doesn't work for 300 people.

3-tier architecture

This architecture splits the user interface from the application logic. The server handles the database management and application logic. This works out to less complexity at the client and a more scalable application. Additional user interfaces can be added easily because the user interface is the only thing that resides on the client.

8 bits

Make up 1 byte.


This material was developed for use in ASR and is not intended to apply anywhere outside ASR. You are welcome to bookmark our pages and view them repeatedly without being a player in ASR. No other use of the material contained within the ASR Manual- including copying or altering any of the pages within for one's own use- is permitted. For further information about joining ASR, please click here.