Vocabulary list: English for computing and database – Glossary – The following list provides an explanation of some of the more common computing terms you need to employ in your everyday life as computing professional and database analyst.
Adware: A software application which displays unwanted pop-up advertisements on your computer while in use. Adware is often installed at the same time as free software or shareware
Algorithm: An unambiguous specification of how to solve a class of problems. Algorithms can perform calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning tasks. They are ubiquitous in computing technologies.
Anti-virus software: A program that finds and removes viruses from a computer
App: A self-contained program or piece of software; an application, especially when downloadable to a mobile device
Application: Any program designed to perform a specific function directly for the user. Microsoft Word, Outlook or Adobe Photoshop are examples of application programs.
Array data: A data structure consisting of a collection of elements (values or variables), each identified by at least one array index or key. An array is stored such that the position of each element can be computed from its index tuple by a mathematical formula. The simplest type of data structure is a linear array, also called a one-dimensional array.
Ascii: See American Standard Code for Information Interchange.
Automata theory: The study of abstract machines and automata, as well as the computational problems that can be solved using them. It is a theory in theoretical computer science and discrete mathematics (a subject of study in both mathematics and computer science).
Avatar: An icon or figure that represents a person in video games, chat rooms and on Internet forums.
Backup: a copy of files from a computer’s hard disk, usually made on some external medium such as CD-ROM or flash drive. A backup is made in case the hard disk file(s) are erased or damaged.
Big data: A term used to refer to data sets that are too large or complex for traditional data-processing application software to adequately deal with. Data with many cases (rows) offer greater statistical power, while data with higher complexity (more attributes or columns) may lead to a higher false discovery rate.
Binary number: In mathematics and digital electronics, a number expressed in the base-2 numeral system or binary numeral system, which uses only two symbols: typically 0 (zero) and 1 (one).
Bit, bytes: a bit is the smallest piece of information that computers use. For simplicity, a PC uses bits in groups of 8 called bytes (8 bits = 1 byte).
Bloatware/fatware: Pre-installed software that occupies a lot of space, leaving little memory for storing personal data.
Bluetooth: a way of communicating wirelessly over short distances between electronic devices (for example computer and mobile telephone)
Boot, boot up, boot disk: You boot (or boot up) your computer when you switch it on and wait while it prepares itself. Instructions for startup are given to the computer from the boot disk, which is usually the hard disk.
Browser, to browse: A program or tool such as Google, Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox that enables you to browse or surf the World Wide Web and view internet sites.
Bug: A defect or fault in a program that prevents it from working correctly. Bugs are caused by mistakes or errors made by those who write the program.
Cache: A sort of fast memory used for temporary storage of recently accessed web pages, which enables the browser to display them more quickly on the next visit
Captcha: A system used to make sure that a human being, not a machine, is using a computer.
Catfish: Someone (on the Internet and social media) who pretends to be someone else by using a fake identity in order to deceive others.
CD-ROM: a disk for storing computer information. It looks like an audio CD.
Cloud computing: Shared pools of configurable computer system resources and higher-level services that can be rapidly provisioned with minimal management effort, often over the Internet. Cloud computing relies on sharing of resources to achieve coherence and economies of scale, similar to a public utility.
Computation: Any type of calculation that includes both arithmetical and non-arithmetical steps and follows a well-defined model, e.g. an algorithm. The study of computation is paramount to the discipline of computer science.
Computer Scientist: A person who has acquired the knowledge of computer science, the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their application.
Computer: A device that can be instructed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically via computer programming. Modern computers have the ability to follow generalized sets of operations, called programs. These programs enable computers to perform an extremely wide range of tasks.
Cookies : Small piece of information on the times and dates you have visited web sites. A web server can temporarily store this information within your browser. The main purpose is to identify users and possibly prepare customised web pages for them.
CPU: Central Processing Unit. This is a PC’s heart or «brains».
Crash: What happens when a program or the entire operating system, unexpectedly stops working.
Cursor: A blinking symbol on the screen that shows where any new text will next be entered.
Data: Usually means the information (text, pictures, audio etc) that you create or share on a computer, as opposed to the programs that manipulate the data.
Data structure: A data organization, management, and storage format that enables efficient access and modification. More precisely, a data structure is a collection of data values, the relationships among them, and the functions or operations that can be applied to the data.
DNS: See Domain Name System.
DOS: Disk Operating System. The original system used for PCs, where you typed in commands instead of pointing and clicking.
Driver: A special program which enables a computer to work with a particular piece of hardware such as a printer.
E – Business: Business done over the internet or any internet-based network.
E-book: an electronic book that can be downloaded and read on a computer or other device
Electronic mail: messages sent from one computer to another. You can see email on the screen or print it out.
Faq: Frequently Asked Questions
File: a specific computer record. It could contain data such as text (eg essay.doc), or a program such as paint.exe.
Firewall: Specialised hardware or software designed to prevent unauthorised access into or out of a computer or network.
Floppy disk – a cheap, removable disk used for storing or transferring information. It is floppy (soft) because it is plastic. (Now virtually obsolete.) See hard disk.
Floppy drive: The device used to run a floppy disk (usually drive «A».) (Now virtually obsolete.)
Folder (directory): a sub-division of a computer’s hard disk into which you put files
Font: A particular kind of lettering (e.g. Arial, Verdana, etc.)
Format: All hard disks and floppy disks have to be electronically prepared for use by a process called formatting. Hard disks are pre-formatted by the computer manufacturer. If you buy a floppy disk that is not pre-formatted, you format it yourself, using a program that comes with your PC.
Gigabyte: A multiple of the unit byte for digital information. The prefix giga means 109 in the International System of Units (SI). Therefore, one gigabyte is 1000000000 bytes. The unit symbol for the gigabyte is GB.
Graphics card: the equipment inside a computer that creates the image on the screen
Hard disk: the main disk inside a computer used for storing programs and information. It is hard because it is metal. See floppy disk.
Hardware: The physical equipment of a computer system (the CPU (central processing unit), monitor, keyboard, mouse, external speakers, scanner, printer, etc.)
Hit: A visit to a website.
Homepage: The main page or opening page of a website. The home page usually contains links to other pages.
Hotspot: an area that has an available wireless signal for Internet access (usually public)
Icon: a small image or picture on a computer screen that is a symbol for folders, disks, peripherals, programs etc
Integer: A datum of integral data type, a data type that represents some range of mathematical integers.
interface: A shared boundary across which two or more separate components of a computer system exchange information.
Internet: International network of computers that you connect to by telephone line. Two popular services of the Internet are the World Wide Web and electronic mail.
iPad: a tablet computer created by Apple.
Kb, Mb, Gb: kilobytes, megabytes, gigabytes. Used to measure computer memory and storage.
Kindle: a device for downloading and reading ebooks, developed by
Memory; Memory is for the temporary storing of information while a computer is being used. See RAM, ROM and cache.
MHz – Megahertz: This describes the speed of computer equipment. The higher the MHz the better the performance.
Modem: A device that enables a computer to send and receive information over a telephone line (internet, email, fax).electronic mail and to fax.
Notebook: A notebook computer; a laptop computer; a folding, portable computer.
OCR – Optical Character Recognition: OCR lets a PC read a fax or scanned image and convert it to actual lettering.
Operating system (OS): The basic software that manages a computer (for example, Windows 10, OS X, Unix, iOS).
Palmtop: A computer that is small enough to sit on the palm of the hand
Parallel port: A socket at the back of a computer for connecting external equipment or peripherals, especially printers
PC card: A device that is the same size as a thick credit card, for plugging into a slot on notebook computers. You can buy memory, modems and hard disks as PC cards.
PDA: Abbreviation of «personal digital assistant»
Peripheral: Any equipment that is connected externally to a computer. For example, printers, scanners and modems are peripherals.
pixel: The image that you see on the screen is made of thousands of tiny dots, points or pixels
Portal: A website that acts as a gateway or entry point to the internet (for example, Yahoo). Typically, a portal offers a search engine and links to other sites grouped into categories, as well as news or other services.
Program software: That operates a PC and does various things, such as writing text (word-processing program), keeping accounts (accounts program) and drawing pictures (graphics program)
Program: A sequence of instructions that a computer can interpret and execute in order to do a particular job. Programs are collectively referred to as ‘software’.
Provider: Company that provides access to the internet.
QWERTY: The first 6 letters on English-language keyboards are Q-W-E-R-T-Y. The first 6 letters on French-language keyboards are A-Z-E-R-T-Y.
RAM, ROM : Two types of memory. RAM (Random Access Memory) is the main memory used while the PC is working. RAM is temporary. ROM (Read Only Memory) is for information needed by the PC and cannot be changed.
Resolution: The number of dots or pixels per inch (sometimes per centimetre) used to create the screen image
Scanner: Equipment for converting paper documents to electronic documents that can be used by a computer
Screenshot: An image of what is displayed on the screen of a computer or mobile device.
Script: A series of statements, written in a scripting language such as AppleScript or Perl,that instruct an application or the operating system to perform various operations.Interpreter programs translate scripts.
serial port: Socket at the back of a PC for connecting peripherals (obsolescent)
smartphone: A mobile phone that includes a palmtop computer or PDA and also gives access to Internet and email
Spam: Unwanted, irrelevant or inappropriate e-mail messages, especially commercial advertising. Also referred to as ‘junkmail’.
Spyware: Software that collects information, without your knowledge, about your web-surfing habits, and uses it for marketing purposes. Very often contained in free downloads or shareware programs.
Tablet: A tablet computer; a mobile computer consisting of a screen only, and controlled by touching the screen
TFT: Thin Film Transistor, a type of high quality screen for notebook computers
Trojan: A computer program that is hidden in a useful software application and actually used to gain access to your computer. It then performs malicious actions such as displaying messages or erasing files.Trojans may be found in a hacked legitimate program or in free software.
USB: Abbreviation of «universal serial bus»; a standardized connection for attaching devices to computers etc
USB flash drive: A small, external device for storing data; it connects through the USB socket.
Video conference: Interactive, audiovisual meeting between two or more people in different geographic locations using two-way video technology.
Virus protection software: Virus protection software is designed to prevent viruses, worms and Trojan horses from getting into a computer, as well as remove any malicious software code that has already infected a computer.
Virus: – A malicious self-replicating program that spreads by inserting copies of itself into other executable code or documents, and whose sole intent is to cause problems on a computer. It acts in a similar way to a biological virus, and the infected file is called a ‘host’.
Wi-Fi: Aa system for communicating without wires over a computer network
Windows: An operating system used by the majority of PCs
Win-Zip: The most popular program for compressing files, either for storage ortransmission via the internet, widely available as a free download.
WWW – World Wide Web: a hypertext information system consisting of a network of web pages which runs on the internet and can be accessed with a browser
WYSIWIG: «What You See Is What You Get.» With a WYSIWIG program, if you print a document it looks the same on paper as it looks on the screen.
Zip: To zip a file is to compress it so that it occupies less storage space and can be transferred quickly over the internet.

Autor: ignacio


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