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Reference / Glossary

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Cross References
face time n. The often coveted condition of being in the physical presence of a higher managerial authority.
facsimile machine n. A functional unit that converts images to signals for transmission over a telephone system or that converts received signals back to images.
FAT See file allocation table.
fault n. An accidental condition that causes a functional unit to fail to perform its required function.
fault management n. The process of detecting and managing abnormal network or system behavior.
fax 1. n. Hard copy received from a facsimile machine. 2. v. To transmit an image, using a telephone system and facsimile machines.
feature n. A part of an IBM product that may be ordered separately by the customer.
fiber optic network n. A network based on the technology and standards that define data transmission using cables of glass or plastic fibers carrying light. The advantages of a fiber optic network are higher transmission speeds, greater carrying capacity, lower error rates, and lighter, more compact cables that are less susceptible to electromagnetic interference.
fiber optics n. The branch of optical technology concerned with the transmission of radiant power through fibers made of transparent materials such as glass, fused silica, and plastic.
field 1. n. An identifiable area in a window. Examples of fields are: an entry field, into which a user can type or place text, and a field of radio button choices, from which a user can select one choice. 2. n. The smallest identifiable part of a record.
field replaceable unit n. An assembly that is replaced in its entirety when any one components fails. In some cases, a field replaceable unit may contain other field replaceable units.
field-formatted adj. Pertaining to a request or response that is encoded into fields, each having a specified format such as binary codes, bit-significant flags, and symbolic names.
file n. A named set of records stored or processed as a unit.
file allocation table n. In IBM personal computers, a table used to allocate space on a disk for a file and to locate and chain together parts of the file that may be scattered on different sectors so that the file can be used in a random or sequential manner.
file name extension n. An addition to a file name that identifies the file type (for example, text file or program file).
file server n. A high-capacity disk storage device or a computer that each computer on a network can use to access and retrieve files that can be shared among the attached computers; for example, an IBM 5170 Personal Computer AT used to serve files on a network. Access to a file is usually controlled by the file server's software rather than by the operating system of the computer that accesses the file.
file transfer n. The transfer of one or more files from one system to another over a data link.
File Transfer Protocol n. In the Internet suite of protocols, an application layer protocol that uses TCP and Telnet services to transfer bulk-data files between machines or hosts.
firewall 1. n. In communication, a functional unit that protects and controls the connection of one network to other networks. The firewall (a) prevents unwanted or unauthorized communication traffic from entering the protected network and (b) allows only selected communication traffic to leave the protected network. 2. n. In equipment, a partition used to control the spread of fire.
firmware n. Proprietary code that is usually delivered as microcode as part of an operating system. Firmware is more efficient than software loaded from an alterable medium and more adaptable to change than pure hardware circuitry. An example of firmware is the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) in read-only memory (ROM) on a PC motherboard.
first-in-first out n. A queuing technique in which the next item to be retrieved is the item that has been in the queue for the longest time.
fix n. A correction for a software problem.
fixed disk See hard disk.
flag 1. v. To mark an information item for selection for further processing. 2. n. A character that signals the occurrence of some condition, such as the end of a word.
flatten v. To bring under control, to eliminate, or to make less conspicuous.
flip chart n. A large piece of paper used for drawing charts as a presentation aid. Once especially favored for formal presentations at IBM headquarters locations, flip charts have been generally superseded by foils, slides, PCs and projection displays.
focal point n. A person who has been assigned responsibility for coordinating an effort or supporting a large project (usually with little real decision-making authority).
focus n. Critical scrutiny with a view to achieving swift corrective action (as in: "We're going to make that a key focus this year.").
foil n. View graph, transparency, view foil -- a thin sheet of transparent plastic material used for "overhead" projection of illustrations (visual aids). This is a widely used device in IBM and many IBMers are physically incapable of delivering an oral presentation without a stack of foils.
folder n. A container used to organize objects.
font n. A family of characters of a given size and style; for example, 9-point Helvetica.
food chain n. The hierarchical line of management (as in: "He is too low in the food chain to affect this.").
footprint 1. n. The floor or desk space taken up by some piece of computer equipment, such as a terminal or processor. 2. n. The amount of computer storage that is occupied by a computer program. For example, if a program occupies a large amount of storage, it has a large footprint.
forum n. A file containing discussions about a given topic on a conference disk.
fragmentation 1. n. An operating system's process of writing different parts of a file to discontiguous sectors on a computer storage medium when contiguous space that is large enough to contain the entire file is not available. When data is thus fragmented, the time that it takes to access the data may increase because the operating system must search different tracks for information that should be in one location. 2. n. The process of dividing a datagram into smaller parts or fragments.
frequency n. The rate of signal oscillation, expressed in hertz.
full-screen mode n. A form of screen presentation in which the contents of an entire terminal screen can be displayed at once. Full-screen mode is often used for fill-in-the-blanks prompting.
function n. An undefined measure of the value of a program or machine, in the sense of describing what it is able to achieve.
function key n. A key that performs a specified set of operations when it is pressed.
functional unit n. Hardware, software, or a combination of hardware and software that is capable of accomplishing a specified purpose.
functionality adj. Capability, function.
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