Computer science boasts of a lot of branches and a lot of eminent persons in each branch. So it is really difficult to choose only a few people. Looking for the “most famous” and “most eminent” scientists, I came across the web site page with the title “Famous Computer Scientists. Who shall we put on the postage stamps?” There was a voting organized at this site. Visitors voted for the person worth to their mind being the most prominent in the history of computer science. So, there are the “top 5” of computer men of science:
Alan Mathison Turing, (June 23rd, 1912 – June 7th, 1954), was an English mathematician, logician, and cryptographer. Turing is often considered to be the father of modern computer science.
With the Turing test, Turing made a significant and characteristically provocative contribution to the debate regarding artificial intelligence: whether it will ever be possible to say that a machine is conscious and can think. He provided an influential formalization of the concept of the algorithm and computation with the Turing machine, formulating the now widely accepted "Turing" version of the Church–Turing thesis, namely that any practical computing model has either the equivalent or a subset of the capabilities of a Turing machine.
John von Neumann (Neumann János) (December 28th, 1903 – February 8th, 1957) was a Hungarian-born mathematician and polymath who made contributions to quantum physics, functional analysis, set theory, economics, computer science, topology, numerical analysis, hydrodynamics (of explosions), statistics and many other mathematical fields as one of world history's outstanding mathematicians. Most notably, von Neumann was a pioneer of the modern digital computer and the application of operator theory to quantum mechanics (von Neumann algebra), a member of the Manhattan Project and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and creator of game theory and the concept of cellular automata.
Donald Ervin Knuth, (born January 10th, 1938) is a renowned computer scientist and professor emeritus at Stanford University. Knuth is best known as the author of the multi-volume The Art of Computer Programming, one of the most highly respected references in the computer science field. He practically created the field of rigorous analysis of algorithms, and made many seminal contributions to several branches of theoretical computer science. He also pioneered the concept of literate programming.
Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (Rotterdam, May 11th, 1930 – Nuenen, August 6th, 2002) was a Dutch computer scientist. He received the 1972 A.M. Turing Award for fundamental contributions in the area of programming languages, and was the Schlumberger Centennial Chair of Computer Sciences at The University of Texas from 1984 until his death in 2002.
Dijkstra was known for his essays on programming; he was the first to make the claim that programming is so inherently difficult and complex that programmers need to harness every trick and abstraction possible in hopes of managing the complexity of it successfully.
Charles Babbage (26th December 1791 – 18th October 1871) was an English mathematician, analytical philosopher, mechanical engineer and (proto-) computer scientist who originated the idea of a programmable computer. Parts of his uncompleted mechanisms are on display in the London Science Museum. In 1991, working from Babbage's original plans, a difference engine was completed, and functioned perfectly. It was built to tolerances achievable in the 19th century, indicating that Babbage's machine would have worked. Nine years later, the Science Museum completed the printer which Babbage had designed for the difference engine; it featured astonishing complexity for a 19th century device.
Among Ukrainian scientists whose contributions to the field of computing are highly assessed we should mention first of all Victor Glushkov who was the founder of information technology in the Soviet Union (and specifically in Ukraine), and one of the founders of Cybernetics.
He contributed much to the theory of automata. He and his followers (Kapitonova, Letichevskiy and others) successfully applied that theory to enhance construction of computers. His book "Synthesis of Digital Automata" became well known. For that work he was awarded the Lenin State Prize in 1964 and was elected as a Member of the Academy of Science of USSR.
He greatly influenced many other fields of theoretical computer science (including the theory of programming and artificial intelligence). He published nearly 800 works.
There are many famous peoples who invented and improved the computing devices we use today.
The first programmer is known to be Ada Lovelace, the first legitimate daughter of George Byron.She wrote the code for the intellectual machine of Charles Babbadge.One of the programming languages was called Ada in the memory of this famous woman.This language was created in 1980 after 150 years of the death of Ada Lovelace.
Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee is an English developer who invented the World Wide Web in March of 1989. With the help of Robert Cailliau, and a young student staff at CERN, he implemented his invention in 1990, with the first successful communication between a client and server via the Internet on December 25th, 1990. He is also the director of the World Wide Web Consortium.
Brian Behlendorf (Born March 30th, 1973) is a technologist, computer programmer, and an important figure in the open-source software movement. He was a primary developer of the Apache Web server, the most popular web server software on the Internet, and a founding member of the Apache Group, which later became the Apache Software Foundation. Behlendorf has served on the board of the Mozilla Foundation since 2003.
Rasmus Lerdorf (born November 22nd, 1968 in Greenland) is a Danish-Greenlandic programmer and the creator of the PHP programming language. He authored the first two versions of it. Rasmus also participated in the development of later versions of PHP led by a group of developers including Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski, who later founded Zend Technologies.
Bram Moolenaar (born in 1961, in Lisse, Netherlands) is an active member of the open source software community. He is the author of Vim, a text editor which is very popular among programmers and the users of Free Software.
Robert Matthew Love (born September 25th, 1981) is an American author, speaker, and open source software developer. Love is best known for his contributions to the Linux kernel, with notable work including the preemptive kernel, process scheduler, kernel event layer, virtual memory subsystem, and inotify.
MY PLANS FOR FUTURE
What would I like to become? This question worries me greatly. Every job has its challenges and advantages, and to choose the right one is very difficult. A lot of aspects and factors should be taken into consideration. In order to make the right decision we must think twice about our personal goals, likes and dislikes, about the current requirements of our society and its needs for different kinds of professionals.
Finishing secondary school is the beginning of independent life or at least a great step towards it. It is the time when we choose the main direction for our further life, decide what we would like to study next and what we would like to be good at.
Before entering VNTU I decided to become a programmer. I have chosen this profession because it is very interesting and useful. I’m interested in computers and consider them to make an absolutely new world with very wide opportunities.
Having studied for two years I realized, that I want to do something more than just designing PC software. Now I’d like to study foreign languages especially English as I have discovered that communicating with other people from different countries by means of Internet is of great interest to me. Perhaps I’d like to find a job in the sphere of software management. The activity needs ability to work with clients, to organize business communication and to maintain software for different computer systems. So this profession requires both: education in computers and economics as well as communication skills. I think I may have to get second diploma in economics, which means several years of studies, but I’ll do my best to achieve my aim.
MY FUTURE PROFESSION
I study at the Vinnytsia National Technical University. My specialization is software of computer-based systems and Web design (computer systems and networks/computer-aided design – computer-aided manufacture systems/information protection etc.). I began to think about my future profession when I was a little boy/girl. Since then my plans changed many times. But when I saw a computer for the first time, I decided to dedicate my life to studying computer science.
A system engineer/…………. deals with development of new types of computer software. To design new software for computers one must know the following subjects: mathematics, hardware, programming, English and many others. It is necessary to know many programming languages and keep track of fast changes in the sphere of computer science and tools of software design.
One must know not only software but also hardware. So I study computer devices, low level and high level program languages, data base management systems... My favorite special subject is …
I’m sure that my future profession will be connected with the English language because English is very popular now and the majority of software products are in English. Knowledge of English helps me to operate computers freely, to read manuals on computer hardware and newspaper and magazine articles.
In conclusion I’d like to say that the profession of a programmer (system administrator/………… ) is very important nowadays. Many new industries are being developed now and they need skilled specialists. In the near future computer is likely to come into every house and every office. So my profession is not only interesting but also useful for people and attracts me most of all.
absolute address The actual location of a record in secondary storage.
access speed The amount of time required for a disk to find and move data.
accounting A process that tracks the financial health of a company or an individual.
accounting software Software that is used to handle the accounting function of a business.
accounts payable A module of a business accounting software package that monitors the money the firm owes its suppliers.
accounts receivable A module of a business accounting software package that keeps track of money owed to a firm and when payments are due.
acquisition/programming analysis In the systems analysis and design process, the step in which a new system is acquired or programmed.
active drive On a personal computer, the disk drive from which the operating system is expecting information.
address The location of data or instructions in internal memory; the location of a record in direct-access secondary storage.
address bus The communications line over which the address of the data or instruction is transferred to the control unit.
algorithm A step-by-step procedure used to solve a problem.
analog computer A machine that uses physical relationships to make its calculations; a measuring machine.
analog equivalent Data converted from serial form to analog form so that the telecommunications link can carry it.
analysis The third step in the systems analysis and design process, in which the analyst fills in the details of the system under study.
analysis graphics A graphics software package that allows analysis of data to determine if patterns exist or to gain a better understanding of the data.
Analytical Engine The computer designed but not built by Charles Babbage in the mid-nineteenth century.
androids Robots that have a built-in microprocessor and can move around.
antivirus software Software that limits or prevents the entry of a virus into a computer system.
applications software Software that constitutes the greatest proportion of software used on computers and performs specialized tasks.
applications tools A fourth-generation language developed to create new applications quickly and easily. Used especially by experts to create custom applications for distribution to other users.
archival storage The storage of infrequently used data and programs to tape.
argument A variable or constant that gives a function the information it needs to perform its operation.
arithmetic-logic unit (ALU) The part of the CPU that handles the actual manipulation of the data.
array A list or table of numbers or strings.
artificial intelligence (AI) Hardware and software systems that exhibit the same type of intelligence-related activities as humans—listening, reading, speaking, solving problems, and making inferences.
ASCII An acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interchange—a code for the binary representation of characters within the computer.
ASCII files Another name for text files on personal computers.
assembler A translation program that converts the mnemonic commands in assembly language into machine language.
assembly language A machine-specific language that uses words and letters for commands.
assignment statement A statement in BASIC that assigns a value to a memory cell.
asynchronous communication A form of communication between computers that does not require that the computers be synchronized in the rate at which they process data.
authoring languages A computer package that enables the user to create a sequence of interactive learning activities by using the mouse to select a "hot button" to answer a question or seek additional information.
auto-answer modem A modem that receives outside calls under the direction of the computer.
auto-dial modem A modem that dials a number under the direction of a computer.
AUTOEXEC.BAT file A batch file that is automatically executed when the computer is booted up from the system disk.
automated teller machine (ATM) A financial transaction terminal used to carry out banking business.
automatic pagination A word processing operation that allows the user to include a page number automatically on each page of text.
backlog In an MIS department, jobs that have been submitted for systems analysis and design but have not been completed.
backspace key Key used to delete text to the left of the cursor.
backup A copy of software or data that is made by the user to guard against accidental loss of software or data.
backup hierarchy A policy of backing up information on floppy disks and rotating the use of three or four disks.
backup tape Magnetic tape used for storing files from disks.
bar codes Combinations of light and dark bars that are coded to contain information.
bar graph A type of analysis graphics that uses vertical or horizontal bars to show relative differences between categories of data.
batch commands Especially in MS-DOS-based personal computers, commands that cause batch files to execute.
batch file A file composed of DOS commands that will execute when the file name is entered.
batch mode A job entry mode in which the entire job is entered at one time from a disk drive or tape drive.
batch processing system Combining data from multiple users or time periods and submitting them to the computer for processing in a batch.
bidirectional printing Achieved by a printer that prints with the print-head moving in either direction.
binary files Program files that have been translated into a binary form.
binary number system Base 2 number system based on zero and one.
bit The basic unit of measure in a computer; contraction of BInary and digiT.
bit-mapped graphics A type of graphics in which each pixel on the screen can be controlled individually.
bits per second (bps) A measure of the speed at which modems can send and receive information.
block-action command In word processing, the definition and subsequent movement, deletion, or other action on a block of text.
blocked records Logical records combined into a physical record that is read by the tape drive.
blocks On a computer disk, the smallest addressable units by which a user can locate data.
body of loop The part of a loop that is being repeated.
boiler plate material In word processing, a block of text that has been defined and copied to different points in a document or to different documents.
boldface Word processing operation that gives a heavier version of type.
boot disk The disk containing operating system commands that is used to start a computer.
booting process The process of starting up a computer.
boundary The delineation between the system and its environment.
bridge A combination of hardware and software that connects two similar networks.
broadband transmissions High-speed transmission requiring media that can transmit large amounts of data.
buffer A temporary storage area for input/ output that keeps the CPU from being slowed down.
bugs Errors in the execution of a program.
bulletin board service A telecommunications service that enables users to interact with each other.
bus The main cable in a bus network that links the central computers with all other computers in the network.
bus network A computer network in which computers are tied into a main cable, or bus, without a central computer.
business accounting package Computer software package designed to handle accounting for businesses.
business graphics Analysis graphics.
byte A group of eight bits—equivalent to a single character.
bytes per inch (bpi) A measurement of the storage density on magnetic tape.
cache memory A very fast temporary memory used for memory transfer and processing.
call-back system A type of computer security system that accepts calls and passwords from a user, looks up the phone numbers associated with the user, and calls the user back at that number. An unauthorized user would not be at the correct number, so access would be denied.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome A painful wrist condition that can result from excessive keyboarding.
cartridge A form of magnetic tape, stored in a cartridge, that stores data using a magnetic bit pattern.
CASE tools Specific CASE software used in systems development.
cathode ray tube (CRT) A vacuum tube "electron gun" from which cathode rays are projected onto the computer screen, causing it to light up.
CD-ROM A form of read-only optical storage using compact disks.
cell The intersection of a row and a column.
cell identifier A letter (for the column) and a number (for the row) that together indicate which cell is being referred to in a formula, such as A10 or B2.
cell pointer A special cursor used to designate the spreadsheet cell into which the information is being entered.
centering The word processing function that centers material between the margins.
central processing unit (CPU) The part of the computer that handles the actual processing of data into information.
chain printer A printer using letters and digits attached to a chain that rotates between two pulleys.
channel A hardware unit that controls the input/output process without direction from the CPU.
character field A data base field that will contain any sequence of letters and numbers.
character generator A function of ROM in which it supplies the appropriate character to be displayed on the screen.
character graphics Symbols that result when the dots on a screen can be controlled as a group, not individually.
charting package A presentation graphics package that shows the relationship between sets of numerical information.
Chief Information Officer (CIO) The top information manager in an organization; ensures that the greatest possible competitive advantage is gained from corporate information.
children In a hierarchical data model, the lower-level elements.
chip A tiny piece of silicon that can consist of over a million electronic elements.
ciphertext A coded, unreadable form of information.
cleartext A readable form of information.
client-server configuration A LAN in which the processing burden is on the central computer.
clip art Desktop publishing element that imports previously created art images into a document.
clock A device in the CPU that sends out electrical pulses at a set rate, which the control unit uses to synchronize its operations.
clock speed A machine's top CPU processing speed, measured in megaHertz.
coaxial cable A type of LAN cable similar to that used to transmit cable television signals into your home.
Color Graphics Adapter (CGA) A graphics board that allows an IBM PC or compatible to show four-color graphics as well as text.
color monitor A multicolor monitor.
column A series of values placed vertically.
command Instruction to the computer to carry out a specified operation; in BASIC, commands input by the user for immediate execution.
command driven Requiring the user to know and enter the needed commands and data.
command files Files that will execute a program which a file name is entered.
command interpreter A part of the operating system that interprets the user's keystrokes and sends a message to the appropriate utility or applications program to carry out the command.
comment statements In a program, statements that explain the purpose of the statements that are actually carrying out the logic of the program.
communications software A type of software package that enables the computer and the modem to communicate with the other computers, including uploading and downloading files.
Compact Disk Read-Only Memory See CD-ROM.
compiled language A high-level language in which the entire source program is converted to object code before being executed.
compilers Translator programs that convert the high-level language into machine language by compilation.
completion screen A screen that requests information and data from the user.
compound document A form of telecommunications combining written, voice, and computer communications to express an idea clearly.
compound logical condition In BASIC, the use of the AND or OR operator to combine two or more logical conditions.
computer An electronic, automatic machine that manipulates and stores symbols based on instructions from the user.
computer-aided design (CAD) A graphics software package that assists the user in developing engineering and architectural designs.
computer-aided software engineering (CASE) The use of software to help in all phases of system development, including analysis and design and writing programs.
computer-based information system (CBIS) A system that uses computers to provide information needed by management.
computer chip See chip.
computer competence The level of computer knowledge reached by an individual who can use a computer to solve sophisticated problems in his or her field of expertise.
computer crime The unauthorized invasion of a computer data file, or theft of money, merchandise, data, or computer time, using a computer.
computer disk See disk.
computer error A misnomer—actually a human error.
computer language A language used by humans to give instructions to computers.
computer literacy An understanding of what a computer can and cannot do and an ability to make the computer do what is desired.
computer mastery The level of knowledge required of an individual who wants to be a success in the computer field.
computer matching The process of matching records in two data banks to deter-mine which records exist in both data banks.
computer monitoring Management's monitoring of an employee's use of a personal computer or computer terminal.
computer network A combination of two or more computers with a communications system that allows exchange of information between the computers.
computer package Commercially available software.
computeritis Painful musculoskeletal problems associated with day-in/day-out use of the keyboard.
computerphobia A fear of the computer, especially among first-time users.
computerphile A person who is totally involved with the computer to the exclusion of all other concerns.
computer program A set of specific instructions for controlling the computer.
computer security A wide range of methods used to protect the computer, the data, and the computer user from natural and criminal forces.
Computer Security Act of 1987 Law designed to ensure the security of U.S. government computers.
computer terminal A keyboard and monitor without a CPU or any secondary storage devices.
computer virus A self-replicating, potentially damaging computer program sent over a computer network by mischievous or malicious persons.
computer word The number of bits processed by the registers in the ALU at one time.
computer worm A stand alone computer program that replicates itself over and over after gaining access to a computer network.
conceptual computer A simplified computer that can demonstrate the major functions of a computer without involving the operational details of the machine.
connector symbol In flowcharting, a circle that is used to show a connection between two parts of a flowchart.
constants The data that go into the computer's memory cells.
control bus The communications line over which an instruction is transferred to the ALU from the internal memory.
control structures In BASIC and in structured programming generally, blocks that control the flow of statement execution within the program.
control unit Part of the CPU that handles the management of the symbol manipulation process.
conventional memory The first 640 Kbytes of RAM recognized by MS-DOS for executing programs.
copy protection The process whereby software manufacturers guard against software piracy by making it impossible to make copies of personal computer software.
cost/benefit analysis A comparison of two proposed systems that weighs relative costs against projected benefits.
counter In programming, a variable that is used to count the number of repetitions.
credit An accounting term used in double-entry bookkeeping.
credit check Information from a credit bureau on the past credit history of an individual.
cumulative trauma disorder Musculoskeletal problems resulting from extensive use of a VDT.
cursor A blinking rectangle of light on the screen that designates the current position.
cursor control keys Keys on a personal computer keyboard that control the movement of the cursor on the screen.
cut-and-paste In word processing, a block-action command that defines a block of text and then moves it to another part of the document or to another document.
cyberphobia See computerphobia.
cylinder On disk packs, a storage scheme in which all tracks with the same track number make up a vertical cylinder.
data The raw facts that are fed into the computer for processing.
data bank A store of information on people or organizations.
data base A collection of information that is arranged for easy manipulation and retrieval.
data base administrator The person who ; controls the overall operations of the data
base and, as such, acts as the custodian of the data base.
data base management software Software that manages an electronic data base in such a way that it is possible to find elements that fit some criteria.
data base management system (DBMS) A data base software system that can work with multiple files.
data base structure The data base fields defined in terms of their names, widths, and types.
data base vendors Companies that offer subscribers extensive, often full-text, data bases on specialized topics.
data bus The communications line over which the data flow to the ALU from internal memory.
data dependence The dependency between data and data storage.
data dictionary A list of data elements, along with information regarding name, source, description, and use.
Data Encryption Standard (DES) A standard method of coding information into ciphertext.
Data encryption system Combinations of software and hardware that convert data coming out of a computer into an unreadable form for transmittal over a network.
data entry problem The problem caused by slow and/or incorrect data entry to the computer.
data entry screen A set of requests for data, displayed on the screen of a monitor.
data file A file containing any type of information, including data, text, or programs.
data flow diagram A pictorial representation of the flow of data into and out of the system.
data hierarchy The order in which data or information is organized in the computer.
data integrity The correctness of data in a data base.
data models One of several models of the way data will be represented in a data base management system.
data processing The mechanical process of converting raw data into meaningful information; usually refers to the processing of numeric data.
data redundancy The repetition of data on multiple files.
data security The protection of a computer's software and data from unauthorized manipulation, destruction, or theft.
date field A numeric field that can store only the date in dd/mm/yy format.
debit An accounting term used in double-entry bookkeeping.
debugging The process of tracking down and correcting execution errors in a program.
decision block One or more statements that handle choosing between alternative program sections based on whether a condition is true or false.
decision support system (DSS) A subsystem of the MIS that combines data with models and graphics to answer a decision maker's questions about the data.
decision symbol In flowcharting, a diamond shape that is used to designate a decision between two or more alternatives.
default answer The answer to a prompt that will be accepted if the user presses the Enter key without changing any information.
delayed conference A form of teleconferencing in which the participant's comments are stored sequentially as they are entered; these comments are read and replied to by other participants over a long period of time.
demand reports Reports that are generated by the MIS upon a request by a manager.
density A measure of the amount of information that can be stored on a floppy disk.
desktop computers See personal computers.
desktop metaphor A view of the computer as a desk equipped with a file cabinet, telephone, wastebasket, scratch pad, and so on.
desktop publishing Combining word processing, graphics, and special page-definition software to create documents.
destructive replacement The process of replacing the contents of a computer memory location with a new value and consequently losing the old value.
diagramming package A presentation graphics package that works with shapes to display a set of facts graphically in the form of organizational charts, flowcharts, schedules, office layouts, and so on.
dialog base A part of the decision support system that handles the interaction between the manager and the computer.
dial-up computer systems Computer systems that can be reached from a personal telephone.
digital computer A machine that uses numbers to make its calculations; a counting machine.
digitizer board A piece of computer hardware that will convert a blueprint or photographic image into a digital form.
direct-access file organization Files organized so that each record may be accessed directly, regardless of its relative position on the file or the order in which the records were placed on the file.
direct-access storage Secondary storage on which information may be accessed in any desired order.
direct-access storage device (DASD) A secondary storage device on which information can be accessed in any desired order.
direct conversion A conversion from one system to another in which the old system is discarded at the time that the new system is installed.
direct mode Mode in which program statements are entered into the computer without formal line numbers and are executed immediately as they are entered.
disk A thin, recordlike piece of metal or plastic, covered with iron oxide particles whose magnetic direction can be arranged to represent symbols.
disk directory A list of the files that are stored on a disk.
disk drive A device that writes information onto or reads information from magnetic disk.
disk operating system (DOS) An operating system for a personal computer that depends on disks for secondary storage.
disk packs Collections of magnetic disks, each about the size of a record album, used on mainframes.
diskette See floppy disk.
diskless workstation In a LAN, a personal computer that does not have a disk drive and is dependent on the file server for disk access.
distributed data bases Small, specialized data bases that are separate from a primary data base; usually associated with minicomputers in a distributed data processing arrangement.
distributed data processing (DDP) A processing system that uses a mainframe computer for storage or data bases and for large-scale processing; combined with minicomputers or personal computers for local processing.
division/remainder procedure A hashing procedure that uses the remainder from division as the relative address of a record in secondary storage.
document translation A word processor function to convert documents from one word processing package to another.
documentation A written description of a software package and the tasks it can perform; in a program, the explanation of the logic and program statements.
DOS A name commonly used to refer to MS-DOS or PC-DOS.
DOS system files Two hidden files that contain important DOS operations.
dot matrix printer A personal computer printer that uses a matrix of wires to form symbols on paper.
dot pitch The width of a dot on the monitor screen; the smaller the dot pitch, the sharper the image.
double-entry bookkeeping An accounting system that enters each transaction as an increase to one account and a decrease to another account.
downloading The process of shifting software or data from a central computer to a personal computer and saving it on disk.
downsizing The process of replacing a mainframe or a minicomputer system with a LAN.
drawing package A presentation graphics package that allows the user to add lines to library shapes or create onscreen animation, usually using a mouse as an input device.
drum printer An impact printer made up of 132 cylinders, each of which contains all of the letters, digits, and symbols needed to print documents.
DSS model generator A general-purpose decision support package that contains many models that the user can combine to solve his or her problems.
dual in/line package (DIP) A plastic carrier that protects the tiny chip and is the means by which the chip is connected to a circuit board.
dumb terminal A computer with no CPU or secondary storage. Its sole purpose is as an input/output device for a mainframe.
dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) RAM chip composed of many capacitors that need constant energy.
EBCDIC An acronym for Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code and a code for the binary representation of characters within the computer.
edited to check computer data for reasonableness or discrepancies; also, the process of changing a statement without having to reenter it entirely.
edit line The line above or below a spreadsheet, on which the information being entered actually shows up.
electronic data interchange (EDI) Allows computers to exchange electronic transmissions of data and information thus automating routine business between retail stores, distributors, and manufacturers.
electronic filing Storage of a document on some form of secondary storage for later retrieval.
electronic forgery Computer crime wherein desktop publishing equipment is used to create phony work orders, receipts, bank checks, and even stock certificates.
electronic funds transfer (EFT) The payment of bills and other forms of funds transfer via computer.
electronic mall The process of sending letters, documents, and messages between computers.
electronic spreadsheet On a computer, a spreadsheet that allows for easy recalculation of values based on changes within the spreadsheet.
electronic supervision The process of using a computer to monitor the actions of employees.
emitter-coupled logic (ECL) A new chip technology that will allow computers to process at incredible speeds.
End key A key on the IBM compatible PC keyboard often used with word processing packages to place the cursor.
END statement In BASIC, the statement to indicate normal termination of a program.
end user A non-data processing professional who uses the computer to solve problems associated with his or her job and may be quite sophisticated in the use of the computer.
end user computing (EUC) The work of the end user on the computer
end-user programmer A programmer who creates specific applications for a popular software package.
end-user tools Nonprocedural packages oriented toward allowing the average computer user to solve problems without having to learn a programming language.
Enhanced Graphics Adapter (EGA) A digital computer graphic board that displays 16-color graphics in 640 X 360 resolution as well as displaying high-quality text.
environment All elements outside of a system that have some effect on the system.
erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM) A PROM chip that can be erased and reprogrammed.
ergonomics The study of the relationship between efficiency and comfort in a worker's use of machines.
error trapping A mechanism in a software package that keeps a user from entering the incorrect type of data.
exception report A report that is generated by the MIS only when an abnormal event occurs.
executable file A file that, when its file name is entered, will execute a program.
Execution-time (E-time) In the execution process, the period during which the instruction is carried out by the ALU and the results are sent to internal memory.
Executive Information System (EIS) A personalized, easy-to-use system for executives, providing data on the daily operations of an organization.
expanded memory Includes conventional memory plus any RAM up to 8 Mbytes that has been modified to work with MS-DOS-based software.
expert system A computer system that makes the collective knowledge of various experts in a field available to the user.
expert system shell A software system that contains an expert system inference mechanism but not the knowledge base; the user adds the rules and facts to create an expert system.
extended memory All RAM between 1 and 32 Mbytes. MS-DOS-based software programs cannot use extended memory because they were written to another type of memory called expanded memory.
external commands Operating system commands that require that the system disk be in the active drive to be implemented.
external modem A modem that is outside the computer but is connected to the computer through the serial port.
eyestrain A condition of eye discomfort sometimes associated with long-term use of a VDT.
facsimile (fax) machine A telecommunications machine used to send a reproduction of any document over phone lines to any place in the world
Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970 A national law that controls the actions of credit bureaus and allows consumers to view and make additions to their file.
feasibility study The second step in the systems design and analysis process, in which the analyst determines whether or not an acceptable solution to the problem exists.
feedback A form of output that is sent back to a system's input or processing function, enabling a system to change its operation if necessary.
fetch, decode, and execute process A process that fetches an instruction, decodes that instruction, and then executes it.
fiber optic cable The newest type of media that consists of thousands of glass fiber strands that transmit information over networks .
field A single piece of information—such as a name, a Social Security number, or a profit value.
field name An identifier given to a field in a data base file.
field type The type of information—that is, character, numeric, date, or logical—that will be stored in a field.
field width The number of positions set aside for data in a particular field.
file A collection of records all having the same fields, to which the user can attach a name.
file allocation table (FAT) A list of the diskette's contents, used to locate programs and files.
file manager A part of a data base management package that controls the actual creation of the file and various utility functions associated with the use of the file.
file processing system (FPS) Data base management software that can work with only one file at a time.
file processor See file processing system.
file server A hard disk that provides users of a network access to files.
financial analysis software See spreadsheet.
financial transaction terminal Terminal used to carry out an individual's financial business—e.g., an automated teller machine (ATM).
firmware Instructions on a ROM chip.
first-level decision In a nested loop, the independent decision, whose execution does not depend on the other decisions.
fixed expenses Expenses that do not change from month to month.
fixed-length word A word that consists of a specific number of bytes.
flash memory Nonvolatile memory chips arranged on a credit-card size circuit board that acts as another disk drive.
flat file Another name for a table in a relational data model.
flat-screen display Computer displays that use non-CRT technology to display computer output on a flat screen.
floppy disk Disk made of Mylar plastic and covered with iron oxide particles for use with the personal computer.
flowchart A pictorial form of an algorithm that can easily be converted into a computer program.
footers A text entry operation that allows the display of special information at the bottom of each page.
footnotes A word processing operation that allocates spacing at the bottom of a page for cited references.
FOR loop A pre-test loop in BASIC that is controlled by a counter variable.
forecasting model A process that uses currently available information to predict future occurrences.
formal documentation For the systems analysis and design process, the data dictionary and list of data elements; for a software package, the user's manual and other written descriptions.
formatting The process of organizing the sectors and tracks of a floppy disk; in word processing, the process of setting up a document in a particular form.
formula Values in the spreadsheet combined with other constants to define the relationships among the spreadsheet values.
fourth-generation languages (4GLs) Advanced computer languages that make prototyping possible by not requiring the user to develop a complete logical plan before solving a problem on the computer.
frames In desktop publishing packages, holes left in the text for graphics, drawings, and photographs.
Freedom of Information Act of 1979 Law that gives individuals the right to inspect information of concern to them held in U.S. government data banks, and requires that certain data about federal agencies be made available to individuals and organizations for inspection.
freeware Software packages that can be obtained for free or for a small fee.
full-duplex mode A mode of communication between computers in which both computers can send at the same time.
function In a spreadsheet, a specific operation; in programming, a short program stored in computer memory that can be accessed by the program as needed.
function (built-in) A specific numeric or string operation in BASIC that can be accessed by the programmer as needed.
functional electrical stimulation (FES) A field of research seeking ways to help paralyzed individuals walk again using computers.
gallium arsenide A semiconductor material that transmits electrons five times faster than silicon.
gateway A combination of hardware and software that connects two dissimilar computer networks. It allows a LAN user to access a mainframe network without leaving his or her PC.
general ledger Record that contains all the firm's financial transactions.
general-purpose computer A computer that can be used for many purposes.
general-purpose DSS A decision support system that can be used to solve various types of problems by the user developing a model and then manipulating variables to simulate results.
general-purpose languages Languages used to perform tasks ranging from computing payrolls to computing satellite orbits.
generic operating system Personal computer operating system that runs on many different makes of computers.
geographical information system (GIS) A computer system used to work with geographical entities, such as states, counties, or census blocks.
gigabyte (GByte) The largest commonly used measure of computer storage, equal to 1 billion (230) bytes of storage.
global change In a spreadsheet, a change made by the user to change all cell widths.
GOTO statement A transfer statement that is avoided in structured programming.
graphical user interface (GUI) A GUI uses icons to represent commands and data.
graphics adapter board Computer hardware that supports color and graphics.
graphics digitizing tablet Electronic table capable of transmitting free-hand drawings to the computer.
graphics software A group of programs for visual presentation of information or for creation of new and different art forms.
hackers Individuals who gain unauthorized access to a computer for fun or challenge.
half-duplex mode Communications between two computers during which both computers can send and receive information but only one computer can send at a time.
handheld portable A battery-powered, pocket-sized personal computer.
hard copy A printed version of what appears on the video screen.
hard disk A scaled-down version of a mainframe disk pack with metal disks that is used for storing information from a personal computer.
hard-disk card The combination of a hard disk and a controller card.
hard sectoring A sectoring plan that is defined by the use of additional index holes.
hardware The electronic part of the computer that stores and manipulates symbols under the direction of the computer software.
hashing The process of converting the primary key on a record into a relative address.
Hayes compatibility Whether a modem uses the same commands as a Hayes modem, which has become the industry standard.
head crash The result of the read/write head making contact with the magnetic disk, leading to the destruction of the disk and any data on it.
head window The area of a floppy disk that is in contact with the read/write head.
headers A text entry operation that allows the display of special information at the top of each page.
Hercules Graphics Card The add-in board necessary to display high-resolution (720 X 348) monochrome graphics on the monochrome monitor.
hexadecimal (hex) number system A number system that uses the digits 0-9 and the letters A-F to represent the numbers 0-16.
hierarchical data model A data model in which each element has only one parent or owner—similar to an organization chart.
Hierarchical Input/Process/Output (HIPO) technique A process used in the system design stage to develop the high-level design of the recommended software system.
hierarchical structure Division of long lists of files into subdirectories that are easier to keep track of. Also called a tree structure.
hierarchy chart A chart that breaks the software package down into smaller pieces until a program can be written to implement each piece of the package.
hierarchy of operations The order in which arithmetic operations are carried out.
high-level languages Languages combining English words with a specific grammar to give the computer instructions.
Home key A key on the numeric keypad that is often used in word processing packages.
horizontal scrolling In a spreadsheet, the horizontal movement of the columns across the screen.
host computer In a star network configuration, the central computer to which all other computers are linked.
liub ring The part of a floppy disk where the disk drive clamps onto the disk and rotates it.
luman-factors engineering See ergonomics.
hypertext Information retrieval software that stores information in discrete nodes that can be reached from any other node, allowing users to move about within the data base according to whatever mental connections they make.
IBM compatible PC A computer with the ability to run software written for the original IBM PC or one of its successors.
icons Pictures that represent various operations on the computer.
if-then rule Used in an expert system that, together with facts, create the knowledge base.
IF-THEN statement In BASIC, a statement that implements a one-alternative decision.
IF-THEN-ELSE statement In BASIC, a statement that implements a two-alternative decision.
image scanner A device often used in desktop publishing that allows images to be scanned and converted into a digital form that can be included in a document.
impact printer A type of printer that uses some form of hammer to press ink onto a page.
implementation The process of installing the information system that has been designed and acquired or programmed.
index hole A hole in the vinyl cover of a floppy disk that indicates to the computer the current position of the disk in its rotation.
indexed sequential access method (ISAM) A method of storing and retrieving records from secondary storage.
indexing A system of keeping track of records in a data base using record numbers.
inference engine The deductive part of an expert system that uses the information in the knowledge base to make suggestions or ask additional questions.
informated factory A workplace where computers perform operations and supply workers with information on the processing operations.
information Data that has been processed into a form that is useful to the user.
information society A society in which the majority of the workers are involved in the transmittal of information.
information specialist A person who works with a personal computer to perform such wide-ranging tasks as word processing, data base management, and spreadsheet analysis.
information system Within an organization, a system that converts raw data into information that is useful to managers and other interested parties.
information technology The use of computers for information and productivity.
initialize The process of setting one or more values to some beginning value.
ink-jet printer A nonimpact printer that forms symbols by spraying dots of ink on the paper.
input Receiving the data to be manipulated and the instructions for performing that manipulation.
input crime A computer crime in which the user changes, fabricates, or manipulates data when they are entered into the computer.
INPUT loop A pre-test loop in BASIC that inputs data as long as valid data are received.
input/output (I/O) The process of instructing the computer, feeding it data, and receiving processed information from the computer.
input/output symbol In flowcharting, a parallelogram that is used to designate the input and output operations.
Input/Process/Output (IPO) table A table for each module of a software package, showing the input to the module, the processing that takes place in the module, and the output from the module.
insert mode A word processing mode in which new symbols that are entered are inserted to the left of the existing symbols, pushing the existing material to the right.
Instruction-time (I-time) The period in the execution process in which the instruction is fetched and decoded.
integer field A data base field that will contain a number without a decimal.
integrated circuit (IC) The combination of transistors and circuits on a chip.
Integrated Service Digital Network (ISDN) Digital network of the future that will dramatically increase telecommunications transmission capabilities.
integrated package Software that contains some or all of the most commonly used packages and a procedure to access the various packages.
interblock gap (IBG) On magnetic tape, the space between blocks—where the tape starts and stops.
internal commands Operating system commands that do not require that the system disk be in the active drive.
internal memory The part of the computer used to store instructions and data internally.
internal modem A modem that is located in a slot inside the computer in the back.
interpreted language A high-level language that must be converted into machine language as each statement is encountered in the execution process.
interpreter A translator program that converts high-level language statements into machine language statements.
inventory control A process that keeps track of raw materials, goods in process, finished goods, and other supplies for a company.
investment analysis package Packages to keep track of investments and help choose the best way to invest money.
invisible backlog A backlog of jobs that have not been submitted to the MIS department for analysis and design.
Job Control Language (JCL) An Englishlike computer language that allows the user to communicate with the operating system.
Josephson Junction A super-fast electronic switch that works at temperatures close to absolute zero.
Kbit 1 Kbit equals 1,000 bits.
Kbyte 1 Kbyte equals 1,024 bytes.
keyboard An input device made up of keys that allow input of alphanumeric and punctuation characters.
keywords Words that are a part of the syntax of a language.
knowledge base In an expert system, the facts, judgments, rules, intuition, and experience provided by the group of experts.
knowledge engineer A specialist who can convert an expert's knowledge into the rules and facts in an expert system.
label For a spreadsheet, a combination of letters and numbers that defines a cell; in programming, a number that allows reference to a statement in the program; in BASIC, any string constant enclosed in quotation marks.
LAN operating systems Systems that operate at a level above the basic operating system to allow users access to software and files on the file server.
laptop computer A portable computer designed to fit on one's lap or some other nonpermanent surface where no AC power is available.
laser disk A form of optical storage that uses laser technology to read information from the disk.
laser printer A nonimpact printer that uses a laser beam to write dots on a drum coated with light-sensitive material that transfers ink to the paper.
last-record check Terminating a loop when a value is found that matches a predetermined termination condition.
leased lines Special high-speed telephone lines that are leased from the telephone company for the express purpose of carrying data between computers.
letter-quality Printer output that is equal in quality to that produced on a typewriter.
library routines Short, preprogrammed standard procedures—e.g., finding a square root—that are stored in the computer, separate from the program being run, and available as needed.
light pen An input device that allows the user to select a command by pointing it at a portion of the screen.
line graph A type of analysis graphics that shows relationships by connecting points on the screen.
line numbers Numbers between 1 and 99999 that are used to identify the lines in a BASIC program.
link-editor A part of the operating system that links the object code to any necessary library routines.
liquid crystal display (LCD) A flat-screen display composed of a thin layer of liquid crystal molecules placed between two sheets of glass and separated into sections. An individual liquid crystal molecule can be made opaque by applying a voltage to it.
list A column of numbers or strings of characters.
local area network (LAN) A network of personal computers within one building.
local change A change made by the user in a spreadsheet to change the width of only a designated group of cells.
logic Step-by-step solution in computer programming.
logic bomb A computer crime in which a disruptive program executes whenever a certain command is given.
logical field A field whose format can only be true or false (yes or no).
logical record A piece of information in a block of records stored on tape.
loop The repetition of one or more actions.
loop termination decision A decision that determines where a loop will terminate.
low-level languages Languages at the computer's level, such as machine and assembly languages.
luggable PCs Portable personal computers that weigh over 10 pounds, require AC power, and are portable from desk to desk.
machine language A computer's binary language, which is a very specific language that details every computer operation as a series of zeroes and ones.
macro A facility in a spreadsheet that allows the user to do an operation once and then to save that series of keystroke; by assigning a name to them.
magnetic disk A metal or plastic disk coated with ferrous oxide particles, on which information can be stored via a magnetic bit pattern.
magnetic link character recognition (MICR) The input procedure, used to process checks, that reads characters printed on the checks that have been printed in magnetic ink.
magnetic (mag) tape A form of secondary storage composed on thin Mylar tape coated with ferrous oxide particles, on which information is recorded in binary form by selective magnetization of spots on the tape.
magneto-optical technology A combination of magnetism and optical principles used in erasable optical storage.
mail-merge A function of word processing that prepares form letters by combining letter with different names and addresses
mainframe A very large and fast compute that requires a special support staff and ; special physical environment.
main memory See internal memory.
main program In a top-down designed program, the top-level program that manages the modules that perform the actual work in BASIC, a list of the general procedures (the GOSUB instructions) to be carried out; followed by subroutines containing the detailed logic.
maintenance For an existing program, the process of fixing bugs, adding features, altering parts of the program, and performing other activities to keep the program current; in the systems analysis an design process, keeping the new system's hardware and software running smoothly and up-to-date after installation.
management information system (MIS) An integrated user-machine system for providing information to support operations, management, and decision-making functions in an organization.
many-to-many relationship In a data model, the situation in which multiple fields are related to one another.
massively parallel computers Computers that speed up data processing by performing many different operations at one time
math coprocessor A special chip that supersedes the CPU to handle the various arithmetic operations needed in many mathematical calculations.
megabyte (Mbyte) Measure of computer memory equal to 1 million (230) bytes of storage.
megaHertz Unit of measurement or the clock speed of a CPU.
memory manager A type of utility software that causes the extended memory to emulate expanded memory.
menu A list of commands or requests for data.
menu driven A software package that uses a menu to allow the user to make selections of commands or to enter data.
microchip See chip.
microcomputers See personal computers.
microfloppy disk A floppy disk that is less than 4 inches in diameter and is usually contained within a hard plastic cartridge.
microprocessor A computer chip that is programmed to control a machine's actions; also, a CPU on a chip.
microwaves High-frequency radio transmissions that can be transmitted between two earth stations or between earth stations and communications satellites, which are commonly used to transmit such things as television signals.
mind tool Another name for a computer.
minicomputer Computer size between a mainframe and a personal computer.
model A simplified version of the system that allows the analyst to understand the system's important parts.
model base In a decision support system, a collection of models used as n