Online Computer Science Glossary
Computer science is the integration of principles and applications of technologies that are required to provide access to information. This science revolves around studying the structure and expressions of algorithms, which are then used to solve complex problems. To excel at and understand computer science, it is important to understand industry terminology. By learning the basic terminology used in computer sciences, other, more complicated concepts will be easier to understand. Below is a list of popular computer science terminology.
Application: An application is a set of codes designed to allow specific tasks to happen. Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer are common examples.
Application Server: Application Server is a specialized server that is based on client/server architecture. Its sole responsibility is to run specific applications within the network.
API: API refers to Application Programming Interface. It’s the platform used by a program to access different services on the computer system.
Array: An array is similar data saved on a computer system in a sequential form.
BIOS: BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System. It gives the computer a platform to run the software using a floppy disk or a hard disk. BIOS is responsible for booting a PC.
Bit: Bit is Binary Digit. It refers to a digit number, either a 0 or a 1. The binary digit is used to represent computerized data.
Boolean: An expression, the value of which is either true or false.
Buffer: Buffer is a location, especially in RAM, for storage of temporary data to speed up an operation such as disk access or printing.
BUS: A bus is a set of wires that enables flow of data from one location of the computer to another.
Byte: Eight bits is equal to 1 byte.
CGI: CGI stands for Common Gateway Interface. It defines how an auxiliary program and a Web server would communicate.
Class: A group of objects having same operations and attributes is defined as a class.
Client: A client is a program that asks for information from other processes or programs. Outlook Express is a great example of a client.
CMOS: CMOS is an abbreviation for Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor. It is the battery powered chip that is situated on the Motherboard that retains system information such as date and time.
Data: Data refers to the information that is saved on a computer.
DOS: DOS is an acronym for Disc Operating System. It is a command line operating system launched by Bill Gates.
DTP: Desk Top Publisher (ing) is a term that describes a program that enables users to create, design, and print items such as business cards, birthday cards, letterheads, calendars, invitations, and so on.
Entity-relationship diagram: It’s a diagram that represents entities and how they are related to each other.
Environment: Environment refers to the interaction among all factors external to a physical platform. An environment is made of specific software, hardware, and network protocols that allow communication with the system.
Event Listener: It is an interface of JAVA responsible for handling events.
FAT: FAT is an acronym for File Allocation Table. It resembles a table of contents so that files can be located on a computer.
Fault: Hardware or software failure.
Front End: It is an interface through which a program can be accessed by common users.
Hardware: Hardware is a set of physical objects such as monitor, keyboard, mouse, and so on.
Icon: Icon is a small visual display of an application which can be activated by clicking on it.
IDE: It stands for Integrated Development Environment. IDE is a programming system that combines several tools of programming to provide an integrated platform for programming. For instance, Visual Basic provides an IDE.
Instance: It is an object described by its class.
Internet: Internet is a network that accommodates several computers to facilitate exchange and transfer of data.
Kernel: It is a program called when a computer system is started. Kernel is responsible for setting up system calls in order to manage hardware and system services, and allocate resources to applications.
LAN: LAN is an acronym for Local Area Network that spans small area. A LAN can be connected to another LAN to accommodate more computers.
Memory: Memory is the internal storage location where data and information is stored on a computer.
Modem: Modem is a term created from the beginning letters of two other words viz. MOdulation and DEModulation. The term implies changing of data from digital to analog and then back to digital.
Network: A Network is a group of computers connected to each other in order to send and receive data.
Operating System: An Operating System provides the software platform required for various applications to run on. Its responsibility is to manage memory storage and security of Data.
Packet: Sections in which message or data are divided to transfer it over a network.
Pixel: Pixel is formed by combining the two words viz. Picture Element. It represents one point within an image.
Port: Port is a connecting component mainly a hardware that enables two computers to allow data sharing physically. Examples are USB and HDMI.
Process: It’s a series of commands that changes data values.
Protocol: Protocol refers to a set of rules that are followed by two devices while interacting with each other.
Query: Query is a request made by a computer from a database residing in the same system or a remotely located system.
RAM: RAM is an acronym for Random Access Memory. It is a configuration of storage cells that hold data so that it can be processed by the central processing unit. RAM is a temporary storage location.
ROM: ROM is an acronym for Read-Only Memory. It is semiconductor-based storage system that saves information permanently.
Software: Software is a program (coding) that the computer reads. The system then carries out functions as directed by the code. Adobe Photoshop is software.
TCP/IP: TCP/IP is an acronym for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. It’s a set of communication protocols used to connect host computers on the Internet.
URL: URL stands for Universal Resource Locator. It’s a way of accessing the Internet.
Virtual Memory: Virtual Memory is the unused memory on the hard disk used when certain applications require more RAM than is available on the machine.
Virus: Virus is a program that is loaded onto your computer without you knowing about it and it runs to hinder the normal functioning of the computer.
WWW: WWW stands for World Wide Web. It’s a term used to define the Internet.
WAN: WAN is an acronym for Wide Area Network. Such a network spans over an area larger than a LAN.
ZIP: ZIP is an acronym for Zone Information Protocol. ZIP application enables transfer of data using compression of files.
For additional information, please refer to the following sites:
- Key Terms
- List of Programming and Computer Science Terms
- Programming Glossary
- Object-Oriented Programming: Glossary of Terms
- Common Computer Science Terms
- Glossary of Programming and Java Terms
- A Glossary of Computer Oriented Abbreviations and Acronyms
- Computer Graphics Terms
- Links to Computer Science Resources on the Internet
- Computer Science for Beginners