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Reference / Glossary

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Cross References
access control (n.) In computer security, the process of ensuring that the resources of a computer system can be accessed only by authorized users in authorized ways.
acknowledgment 1. n. The transmission, by a receiver, of acknowledge characters as an affirmative response to a sender. 2. n. An indication that an item sent was received.
action plan n. A plan. Project management is never satisfied by just a plan. The only acceptable plans are action plans. Also used to mean an ad hoc short-term scheme for resolving a specific and well defined problem.
active program n. Any program that is loaded and ready to be executed.
active window n. The window that can receive input from the keyboard. It is distinguishable by the unique color of its title bar and window border.
administrivia n. Any kind of bureaucratic red tape or paperwork, IBM or not, that hinders the accomplishment of one's objectives or goals. Often, anything with a routing or buck slip (see) attached.
agent [1] 1. n. In systems management, a user that, for a particular interaction, has assumed an agent role. 2. n. An entity that represents one or more managed objects by (a) emitting notifications regarding the objects and (b) handling requests from managers for management operations to modify or query the objects.
agent [2] 3. n. A system that assumes an agent role. 4. n. Software that acts on behalf of a user as it performs tasks within an application program. An agent may run on both the client and the server.
aggressive 1. adj. Optimistic, vigorous, very active. In IBM, implies an element of risk: "We are moving on a very aggressive schedule." 2. adj. Overly ambitious. As used on a foil (see): "The plan was very aggressive," which actually means "We did not make target."
AIX operating system n. Advanced Interactive Executive operating system, IBM's implementation of the UNIX operating system. The RS/6000 system, among others, runs the AIX operating system.
alarm n. A signal, either audible or visual, at a device such as a display station or printer that is used to notify the user of a condition requiring user's attention.
alias n. In an internet, a name assigned to a server that makes the server independent of the name of its host machine. The alias must be defined in the domain name server.
all hands meeting n. A meeting called by upper management, which everyone working on a given project is required to attend. These meetings are sometimes used to announce major reorganizations which can mean that the all-hands meeting in that case will be the last time those particular hands are assembled together.
all points addressable (APA) n. In computer graphics, pertaining to the ability to address and display or not display each picture element (pel) on a display surface.
analog n. Pertaining to data consisting of continuously variable physical quantities (in contrast with digital).
ancillary equipment See auxiliary equipment.
announce n. The moment at which a new product is formally revealed to customers.
append n. A piece of text (ranging from one line to several hundred) that is appended to a file on a conference disk. The text may be discussions, bug reports, suggestions, questions or any other topic of conversation. The value of an append is very often inversely proportional to its length.
appendage n. An application program routine provided to assist in handling a specific occurrence.
applet n. An application program, written in the Java programming language, that can be retrieved from a Web server and executed by a Web browser. A reference to an applet appears in the markup for a Web page, in the same way that a reference to a graphics file appears; a browser retrieves an applet in the same way that it retrieves a graphics file.
application n. A collection of software components used to perform specific types of user-oriented work on a computer.
application program 1. n A program written for or by a user that applies to the user's work, such as a program that does inventory control or payroll. 2. n. A program used to connect and communicate with stations in a network, enabling users to perform application-oriented activities.
application programming interface (API) n. A software interface that enables applications to communicate with each other. An API is the set of programming language constructs or statements that can be coded in an application program to obtain the specific functions and services provided by an underlying operating system or service program.
architect v. To design how something should work.
archive v. To save data (usually electronic) in long-term storage (such as magnetic tape or optical disk). This differs from the backup function in that archive is intended to keep the data for a long time.
artificial intelligence n. The opposite of natural silliness.
ASCII n. American National Standard Code for Information Interchange. The standard code, using a coded character set consisting of 7-bit coded characters (8 bits including parity check), that is used for information interchange among data processing systems, data communication systems, and associated equipment. The ASCII set consists of control characters and graphic characters.
asymmetric adj. In computer security, pertaining to the use of different keys for encryption and decryption.
asynchronous 1. adj. Pertaining to two or more processes that do not depend upon the occurrence of specific events such as common timing signals. 2. adj. Without regular time relationship; unexpected or unpredictable with respect to the execution of program instructions.
asynchronous communication n. A method of communication supported by the operating system that allows an exchange of data with a remote device, using either a start-stop line or an X.25 line. Asynchronous communication includes the file transfer support and the interactive terminal facility support.
asynchronous transfer mode n. A transfer mode in which the information is organized into cells; it is asynchronous in the sense that the recurrence of cells containing information from an individual user is not necessarily periodic. ATM is specified in international standards such as ATM Forum UNI 3.1.
authorized program analysis report (APAR) n. A report of a problem caused by a suspected defect in a current unaltered release of a program.
AUTOEXEC.BAT file n. In the DOS operating system, a batch file that resides in the root directory of the boot drive and contains commands that DOS executes whenever a DOS window is created.
automatic calling unit (ACU) n. A dialing device that permits a computer to automatically dial calls over a network.
automatic logoff n. The process that a server uses to disconnect a connection when no data has been transmitted for a given period of time.
auxiliary equipment n. Equipment not under direct control of the processing unit.
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