Simple Technical Dictionary

Overly simple definitions for techinical terms.

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

A

absolute

numerical distance from zero (always an unsigned value)back

absolute address

A specific address (in reference to aboslute position) in memory.back

abstract

seperating the conceptualization from the actual implementation of an idea.back

address

A location of data (usually in memory or some other storage device).back

Ada

A very strongly typed high-level language that specializes in supporting real-time applications.back

argument

an unit of data that is passed to a procedure or a program.back

AIX

UNIX operating system produced by IBM.back

allocated memory

Memory that is currently marked for storage of data.back

ALU

Arithmetic logic unit, the part of the CPU that is used for arithmetic operations.back

application

user-level programs that run on top of an operating systemback

ASCII

American Standard Code for Information Interchange; the encoding scheme between characters to their corresponding numerical values.back

ANSI

American National Standards Institute; usually in reference to the standards that were used to define the C/C++ programming languagesback

assembly

back

assembly language

back

B

binary

number system composed of 1's and 0's.back

binary file

A file that stores data in some organized form that generally is not directly readable by humansback

bit

The most basic unit of data that stores either a 1 or a 0.back

BSD

Berkeley Software Distrobution is a UNIX based operating system that originally spun out of UC-Berkeley and is developed in the open-source community.back

buffer

A temporary storage area; usually to allow for access and/or manipulation at an oppurtune time.back

buffer overflow

When the data being transferred into a buffer exceeds the storage space allotted and "overflows" into memory allocated for other storage; often used by malicious hackers to gain access to restricted data.back

byte

A series of bits used to represent a single character, almost always consisting of 8 bitsback



C

C

A programming language can be considered both a low-level language and a high-level language that specializes in being fast and flexible making it a strong candidate for OS level development.back

C++

A high-level language that is based on C, but adds object-oriented features to the C language.back

class

In regards to object oriented programming, the definition/template for a specific type of objectback

CLI

See command-line interface.back

command-line interface

A text based interface between a user and the operating system.back

computer

See "computer system"back

computer system

All the compents necessary (both hardware and software) that make up a working computer.back

CPU

Central processing unit, the part of a computer responsible for processing data.back

code

short for source codeback

compiler

a utility used to convert source code into a runnable programback

compile

back

compilation

back

compilation system

back

concurrency

back

core (CPU)

back

core dump

back

core file

See "core dump"back



D

data

Information that is stored in digital formback

dynamic storage allocation

The reserving and releasing storage space during execution outside of the stackback

dual-core

A CPU with 2 coresback



E

Eclipse

A modular IDE that was originally developed primary for Java developement.back

editor

An application that is used to edit text files.back

embedded system

systemback

emulator

back

encapsulation

back

encode

back

end user

ENIAC

back

ENUM

back

environment

back

EOF

back

EOL

back

escape character

back

escape sequence

back

ethernet

back

event

back

event handler

back

exception

back

exclusive OR

back

executable

back

executable file

back

executable object

back

executable program

back

execute

back



expoit

back

expression

back

F

function

See "procedure"back

function call

See "procedure call"back



G

GUI

See graphical user interface.back

Graphical user interface

A graphical interface between a user and an application or operating system.back



H

hardware

Physical components that are used to create a computer system.

heap

space in memory that is usually allocated and deallocated for data that is not stored in the stack. Data in the heap is usually allocated and deallocated using a separate mechanism from the stack (either manually or with built-in garbage collection).back

high-level language

A programming language that is abstracted away from the computer system's hardware.back



I

IDE

An Integrated Development Environment provides a feature rich text editor as well as other tools to aid programmers in developing software.back

input devices

back



J



K



L

language

see "programming language"back

Linux

A popular UNIX-like operating system that is developed by the open source community.back

low-level language

A programming language that is usually designed to interface with specific hardware architecturesback

linker

The part of a compiler system that combines compiled objects and system libraries to form an executableback

linking

The combining of compiled objects and system libraries to form an executableback



M

machine language

A series of binary encoded hardware specific instructions that a computer can runback

main memory

hardware located inside a computer that stores data and is generally much faster than other input devices.back

memory

Usually referring to "main memory", more generally, any circuitry that can store data, but could also refer to virtual memory.back

method

A method is the same as a "procedure" that is defined as part of an object class.back

method call

The act of running a methodback

module

A file containing definitions and statements of related functionality for use by other code.back

term_name

term_definitionback



N



O

object file

The machine code that is created when source code has been compiled to run on specific hardware. Usually only part of an entire program.back

object

In regards to object oriented programming, an instance of a class that may be used in a programback

OS X

Apple's "Operating System 10" that is based on a UNIX BSD kernel.back

overload

In programming languages, when a function with the same name has been declared multiple times with different data type parameters. The determination of which function to run is usually made by the compiler based on the type of data being passed to that function.back



P

parameter

an unit of data that is passed to a procedure.back

processor

back

processing

back

programming language

back

procedure

A set of instructions that perform a task.back

procedure call

The act of running a procedureback



Q

quad-core

A CPU with 4 coresback

query

A request from a database or other information source.back

queue

Lining up of resources to be processed in turn, usually in FIFO (first in, first out) order.back



R

relocatable object file

See "object file".back

return value

back

routine

See "procedure"back

routine call

See "procedure call"back

real-time

a term usually used in reference to operating systems that guarantee operations will occurr withing a specified amount (usually perceived as instantly performed).back



S

shell

A command-line interface between the user and the operating system kernel.back

software

Instructions or data. Anything that can be stored electronically for a computer to use.

sorage device

Hardware that stores data.back

source code

instructions for a computer that are stored using a programming language specificationback

source file

a text file that contains the source code used to create a programback

stack

space in memory that is usually allocated and deallocated based on space requirements for current function calls that have been made. Data in the stack is pushed on and popped off in a last-in, first-out (LIFO) fashion; including data that is owned by each function call as it is added and removed from the stack. back

strongly typed

back

subroutine

See "procedure"back

subroutine call

See "procedure call"back



T

text file

a human readable file that is generally encoded according to the ASCII formatback



U

UNIX

The basis for many multi-user based operating systems including OS X and Linux.back

unsigned

Numbers (or storage of numbers) that do not contain negative values (because it doesn't support positive/negative signs)back



V

VM

see "Virtual Machineback

virtual machine

a self-contained operating environment that simulates a separate computer.back



W



X



Y



Z



More detailed definitions are avilable from webopedia (for short descriptions) or Wikipedia (for full explanations).