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Technology Terminologies (A to Z)

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A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


The reading or writing of data; as a verb, to gain entry to data. Most commonly used in connection with information access, via a user ID, and qualified by an indication as to the kinds of access that are permitted. For example, read-only access means that the contents of the file may be read but not altered or erased.

Access Control List

(ACL) A list of the services available on a server, each with a list of the hosts permitted to use the service.

access time

The time interval between the instant that data is requested and the instant that it is received.


Your subscription to a networked computer system.

account name

Same as your login ID or user ID. The word you type at the "Login:" prompt; your electronic name.

active cell

The cell in a spreadsheet application in which data may be entered.


A character or group of characters that identify a register, a location or some other data source or destination.


A set of rules for solving a problem in a given number of steps.


See nickname.


A method of storing information, used by most audiotapes, videotapes and laserdiscs (and all LP phonograph records, remember those?). An analog device uses a physical quantity, such as length or voltage, to represent the value of a number. By contrast, digital storage relies on a coding system of numeric units.


The use to which a data processing system is put within a given discipline, such as a payroll application, an airline reservation application or a network application.

application program

A program that is written for or by a user that applies to the users discipline.

application software

A group of programs designed to perform tasks that can be tailored to a users specific needs.


v. To copy programs and data onto an auxiliary storage medium(disk, tape,etc.) for long-term retention, such as when disk space has become full.
n. A file with a structure that allows storage of multiple files within it in such a way that the names of the files can be listed and files can be individually added and deleted. The terminology is typically associated with microcomputers. On a mainframe, such a file is typically called a library.


A value supplied to a procedure, macro, subroutine, or command that is required in order to evaluate that procedure, macro, subroutine, or command. Synonymous with parameter.


American Standard Code for Information Interchange (pronounced ask-ee). The form in which text characters are handled in most computer systems and networks. ASCII text has no special characters for formatting such as underlined or bold characters, font changes, etc., thus can be viewed on any personal computer or terminal.


A program that converts symbolically-coded programs into object level, machine code. In an assembler program, unlike a compiler, there is a one-to-one correspondence between human-readable instructions and the machine-language code.


Asynchronous Transfer Mode. A standard for cell relay that uses fixed length cells of 53 bytes, 5 bytes of which are headers. Can support multiple services including voice, video and data.


A personal or computerized review process that accounts for the adequacy, effectiveness, security and overall functionality of a data activity.


Process of establishing who you are.


Permission to access non-public information or use equipment that is either fully or partially restricted. Process of establishing what you can do.

autonomous system

A collection of one or more networks that are administrated by the same entity. Each regional network (such as SURAnet) is an autonomous system.

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