Application program interface (API)
the interface that allows applications to make use of the operating system.
Application service provider (ASP)
a company that provides software, end-user support, and the computer hardware on which to run the software from the user's facilities.
Arithmetic/logic unit (ALU)
the portion of the CPU that performs mathematical calculations and makes logical comparisons.
Central processing unit (CPU)
part of the computer that consists of three associated elements: the arithmetic/logic unit, the control unit, and the register areas.
a series of electronic pulses produced at a predetermined rate that affect machine cycle time.
Command-based user interface
a user interface that requires that text commands be given to the computer to perform basic activities.
Compact disc read-only memory (CD-ROM)
a common form of optical disc on which data, after it has been recorded, cannot be modified.
the part of the CPU that sequentially accesses program instructions, decodes them, and coordinates the flow of data in and out of the ALU, the registers, primary storage, and even secondary storage and various output devices.
the retrieval method in which data can be retrieved without the need to read and discard other data.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software
a set of integrated programs that manage a company's vital business operations for an entire multisite, global organization.
a silicon computer chip that, unlike RAM, is nonvolatile and keeps its memory when the power is shut off.
Graphical user interface (GUI)
an interface that uses icons and menus displayed on screen to send commands to the computer system.
the use of a collection of computers, often owned by multiple individuals or organizations, to work in a coordinated manner to solve a common problem.
a single-user computer that provides ease of portability because of its small size.
any machinery (most of which uses digital circuits) that assists in the input, processing, storage, and output activities of an information system.
a common secondary storage medium; Mylar film coated with iron oxide with portions of the tape magnetized to represent bits.
a large, powerful computer often shared by hundreds of concurrent users connected to the machine via terminals.
microprocessor that combines two or more independent processors into a single computer so they can share the workload and deliver a big boost in processing capacity.
a form of multiprocessing that speeds processing by linking several processors to operate at the same time, or in parallel.
the sets of keywords, symbols, and a system of rules for constructing statements by which humans can communicate instructions to be executed by a computer.
a one-of-a-kind program for a specific application, usually developed and owned by a single company.
Radio-frequency identification (RFID)
a technology that employs a microchip with an antenna that broadcasts its unique identifier and location to receivers.
Random access memory (RAM)
a form of memory in which instructions or data can be temporarily stored.
Redundant array of independent/inexpensive disks (RAID)
method of storing data that generates extra bits of data from existing data, allowing the system to create a "reconstruction map" so that if a hard drive fails, it can rebuild lost data.
the ability to increase the capability of a computer system to process more transactions in a given period by adding more, or more powerful, processors.
the retrieval method in which data must be accessed in the order in which it is stored.
Sequential access storage device (SASD)
the device used to sequentially access secondary storage data.
a phone that combines the functionality of a mobile phone, personal digital assistant, camera, Web browser, e-mail tool, and other devices into a single handheld device.
enables a computer equipped with a source of speech input such as a microphone to interpret human speech as an alternative means of providing data or instructions to the computer.
Storage area network (SAN)
technology that provides high-speed connections between data storage devices and computers over a network.
the set of programs designed to coordinate the activities and functions of the hardware and various programs throughout the computer system.
a low-cost, centrally managed computer with essential but limited capabilities that is devoid of a DVD player, internal disk drive, and expansion slots.
the element of the operating system that allows individuals to access and command the computer system.
Workgroup application software
the software that supports teamwork, whether in one location or around the world.