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    Removes unwanted or unnecessary information to make it clearer.

    Abstraction s


    A measure to show how available something is to users.


    Temporarily stores the results of calculations carried out by Arithmetic Logic Unit or ALU

    Accumulator s


    A full reference of the source of a ready made asses, which gives proper recognition to the asses's owner.


    An actuator is a device or motor that canbe controlled by a technlogoy or system, such as a motor used to move part of a robot arm.

    Address Book

    An email tool that lets you store contacts, E-Mail addresses and contact details of people.


    This is a type of spyware designed to automatically open adverts.

     Adware s

    Affiliate Model

    A affiliate is a link on a website this is attached to another company's website.  The Affiliate website receives a percentage of the revenue from customers clicking through their website to the other company's website.

    AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScripts and XML)

    This is a quite new programming technology used to create sophisticated web applications  like Google's Gmail and Google Maps.


    A sequence of step-by-step instructions to solve a problem or carry out a task.

    Algorithm s


    Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) is part of the CPU.  Its function is to deal with all the calculation and all the logical decisions.  An example of a calculation would be adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing to name but a few.  An example of Logical Decisions would be an IF statement or WHILE Loop.




    A continuous signal that cannot be directly processed by a computer. 

    Analogue s


    This is a Boolean Logic operator.  If you are searching the Internet for Cat AND Dog, the AND means that the same web page MUST contain both the words Cat and Dog.



    Software designed to stop and remove malicious content from a computer. 

    anti malware s


    An aperture is the size of the hole in the lens of a camera to determine how much light gets through, a larger aperture means the bigger the hole and the more light can pass through.

    Application software

    Installed into an operating system to actually produce work.

     Application Software s


    The data used by a sub-program.

    Arguments s

    Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU)

    The part of the CPU that carries out calculations.

    Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) is part of the CPU.  Its function is to deal with all the calculation and all the logical decisions.  An example of a calculation would be adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing to name but a few.  An example of Logical Decisions would be an IF statement or WHILE Loop.


    ALU s


    An Array stores and arranges data over one or more drives


    ASCII or American Standard Code for Information Interchange is a common character encoding of 128 hexadecimal values used by computer manufacturers to share. The system is used in most computer systems to hold aplahbetic and numeric characters.


    Ascii Table free


    Aspect Ratio

    Aspect Ratio is the relationship between the height and width of your screen or in photography.  In Still camera photography, the most common aspect ratio is 4:3 and 3:2.

    Depending on the screen that you are watching a digital video on a process known as letterboxing and pillar-boxing, there will be 2 black bars that appear either horizontally or vertically at the edges on the video.


    A programming translator used to convert low-level languages into computer instructions. 

    Assemblers s

    Assembly Language

    A low-level programming language.


    programming lanuage



    Assets are the contect created or collected for the final product, such as images, sounds and video.


    An assignment in programming is a statement that assigns a value to a variable.


    A file that is attached to an email.  This means that when you send the email the file you attach will go with it.  You can attach Word Files, PowerPoint Files, Excel Files, Images, Animation, Photographs, Sound Files, Videos etc.  Most email programs use a paperclip icon for attaching files.



    The acknowledgement of an original creator of a piece of work when copying or using it.

    Attribution s

    Audio Files

    An audio file is any file that contains, sounds, speach or music (or anything that makes a noise that you can hear)

    Authoring Software

    Authoring Software is software that is used for creating, editing or deleting webpages.

    Auto Number

    A data type in a database used to greate a unique identivier for each record to create a primary key.

    Automated System

    A system that uses computer and technology systems that don't usually require human intervention.



    B.C.C. Stands for Blind Carbon Copy, you would use this if you sent an email to several people but you wanted to hide the identity of the email addres from the other recepients - by entering them into this field.


    The amount of data that can pass between two network devices per second. 

    Bandwidth s


    Binary = Base-2
    Denary = Base-10
    Hexadecimal = Base-16

    Base 10

    A standard decimal numbering system. 

    Base 16

    A number system with 16 characters of numbers and letters, also known as hexadecimal. 

    Battery Life

    Battery Life is the amouint of time you have left before your battery runs out.


    Computer code which consists of 1's and 0's.



    Binary Addition

    You add binary numbers together by following the binary addition rules ( see binary rules ). Here is an example an addition.

    0 1 1 0 0 1
    0 1 0 1 0 1 +
    1 0 1 1 1 0 =
    1 - - - 1 - CARRY
    See Binary Addition Rule for more information.

    Binary Addition Rules

    There are 4 main rules for binary addition:-

    1+1=0 (carry 1)
    1+1+1=1 (carry 1)

    Binary Data

    Binary Data is a set of files that contain data encoded in the binary form.

    Binary Rules

    0 + 0 = 0
    0 + 1 = 1
    1 + 1 = 0 (carry 1)
    1 + 1 + 1 = 1 (carry 1)

    Binary search

    Looks for a specific value in an ordered list by comparing it to the others around it. 

    Binary Search s

    Binary shift

    The movement of bits in a binary sequence left and right to represent multiplication and division. 


    Basic input/output system; computer start-up software stored in ROM. 


    Bios Chip


    A Bit is the place where either one of the two digits are kept (a 1 or a 0) Bit's are usually grouped to make a Byte.


    The number of bits used per second to sample an audio file. 

    Bit rate s

    Bitmap Graphics

    Bitmap Graphics are picture files created using a series of pixels (or bits) within a grid system.


    The act of using believable scenarios to trick people into giving up personal information. 

    Blagging s


    A storage area within a solid-state drive.

    Blocks s


    Websites based around the creation of chronological entries or posts. 

    blogs s

    Boolean Logic / Boolean Operators

    Boolean Logic consists of operators, some of these are AND, NOT, OR and XOR.  An example would be:-

    Panther NOT Pink

    (Finds Documents containing the word Panther but NOT the word Pink)



    See Data Bottleneck.

    Brute force attack

    Repeatedly trying different usernames and passwords in an attempt to access a system.

    brute force attack s 

    Bubble sort

    Repeatedly compares adjacent pairs of values in a list and swaps until all items are in order. 

    bubble sort s


    A bus is a set of wires that transfers information between different components physically inside a computer.



    Bus Network

    A bus network is one of the cheapest networks.  The more nodes (computers) you add to a bus network the slower it goes, this is because when you send data from one node to another it must pass through every node.  The network consists of a main cable with terminators at either end to absorb the data as the data cannot flow back up the bus.  All the nodes are connected to the main cable.



    A Byte is a unit of information that consists of 8 Bits


    C Family

    A group of high-level programming languages.

     Assembly Language s


    C.C. Stands for Carbon Copy, Used in emails you can copy in additional email recepients using this field.

    Cabled Topology

    When computers and devices are connected using cable rather than wireless.


    Quick-to-access memory stored within the CPU.  Fast memory that is used as a data buffer between the CPU and the RAM



    CAD/CAM (Computer-aided design / Computer-aided manufacture

    CAD/CAM (Computer-aided design / Computer-aided manufacture


    A technology system used to design component parts on a computer, and send the design to robotic tools that manufacture the parts.CAD systems are also used to make plans for buildings and structures and are often printed out on a plotter on huge pieces of paper.

    Camera Pan

    Camera Panning is where the camera moves (usually horizontally) across a scene you are filming.


    In programming, casting is the conversion of one data type into another. 


    CGI Stands for Computer Generated Imagery, often used in movies.


    A single letter, number or symbol in a program. 


    Character sets


    A collection of symbols, letters or numbers converted into a computer-readable binary equivalent. 

    Character set s


    Characteristics are the properties that something or someone has.


    Chat, refers to any kind of online real-time communication over the internet

    Chat Room

    Chat Room are large scale with many people involved in the same conversation.

    Check digit

    Used for error detection in identification numbers; the last digit is checked against a criterion.


    A micorchip (often called a chip) in an integrated circuit (IC) 

    CLI (Command Line Interface)

    CLI (Command Line Interface)


    Used in systems (such as DOS) where you type command lines in as text to perform a specific function.


    A computer or workstation that receives information from a central server. 

    Client s




    The person or organisation that requires the product.  For example, a web design company has clients, these are the customers who require a website. 

    Client Brief

    A formal request from a client for work required.  The brief should contain the information and requirements for the work required in a document so it can be referred to later.

    Client Server

    A server system that controls networked workstations.

    Client side processing

    When the interaction between the code and the web page occurs directly on the end-users computer.

    Clock speed

    The rate in gigahertz per second at which instructions are processed by the CPU. 

    Clock Speed

    Cloud Storage

    Cloud Storage is a where you save your files in a secure location on the Internet.  In very basic terms, you have a folder with a password on it.  You can then create lots of folders inside that folder to upload and organise your files.

    cloud storage


    • If your computer breaks, you have a copy online
    • Access files from any device, eg mobile, pc or tablet
    • Can share files with others


    • Can be hacked
    • Pay for extra storage
    • Can't access if the internet is down


    • Dropbox
    • Google Drive
    • One Drive
    • Web Buster Education File Store

    Codec stands for 'coder-decoder' Media can be 'encoded' it is then decoded so that media such as digital video or andio can be played back.  


    A program or programming to encode/decode data into a specific format.

    Colour depth

    The number of bits per pixel in an electronic image. 

    colour depth s

    Colour Palette

    The tool that contains the colour options, where you can choose and mix colours.


    Commercial, is when an individual business or company productes products or services to make a profit. 

    Compatible formats

    Each program has a file format, File formats which are not compatible for each other will not work.


    Used to read high-level languages and convert programs as a whole into machine code.

    compliers s


    See Data compression.


    The adding together of two strings in a program. 

    Concatenation s

    Conditional formatting

    Conditional formatting allows you to apply formats to a cell depending on the data.


    A value that cannot be changed or edited within a running program. 

    Consumer Goods

    Consumer goods are items that people buy everyday such as cars, clothing, music, food, jewelry, toiletries, DVD's, downloads etc.


    Continuity is where sections of a document without major changes in colour or format.


    Contrast is a way to measure how light or dark a colour is in an image, or set of images.

    Control unit

    The part of the CPU that controls the flow of data both in and around the CPU.

    Control unit s


    Conventions is a term used to describethe different elements, or ingredients that help audiences the genre of a digital video product.  


    Small files stored on computers, accessible by web servers, that contain internet browsing data. 

    cookies s


    Coordinates data will tell you the exact location the position of an image or object, and it will tell you where exactly that image or object is within a particular area.


    The ownership rights of the original creator of any original content,

    copyrighted s


    The processing units found inside a CPU; each core can carry out a separate task.

    cores s 


    CPU stands for Central Processing Unit.  It is the main engine of the computer.  It consists of 4 main parts:-

    • ALU
    • PC
    • Cache
    • CU



    When a computer program stops functioning or a program freezes. There could be many reasons why this occurs.


    To crop something is to remove the parts you don't want, so only the bit that you do want will remain.

    Crossover Cable

    A crossover cable is to connect 2 computers together without a switch or being connected to a server.




    A method of encrypting or decrypting text. 

    cypher s


    Data Bottlenecks

    A problem caused by the processor and bus data transfer running at different speeds.


    Data Compression

    The Data Compression process reduces the size of an electronic file (this can be any file including audio or video) making it smaller to store and quicker to transfer.


    if compressing a video or audio file, the quality of video or audio file may or may not be reduced depending on the codec used to reduce the size of the video or audio file.

    Data interception and theft

    Data interception and theft - Data Interception and theft is the act of stealing and decoding a message containing information from
    an unknowing victim with the intent of compromising privacy or obtaining confidential information before it reaches its destination.



    A system for storing large amounts of organised information.  Most databases contain multiple tables, which may include several different fields, categorized and structured for ease of accessibility. 




    The process of re-ordering the information on a hard disk, putting whole files together.  As the hard disk fills up, files begin to be stored in segments far away from each other.  This eventually causes the system to slow down, as the hard disk struggles to put a file back together again.




    The process of breaking tasks down into smaller tasks, which then become easier to understand, process and solve.




    A denary is a less common name for a decimal number - a base 10 number system.



    Denial of Service attack (DoS)

    A DoS attack (or Denial of Service attack) is the process where a hacker floods a website or network with excessive data traffic, to intentionally bring the system to a halt.

    Display Resolution

    Display Resolution - See Resolution

    DNS (Domain Name Server)

    DNS is like the phonebook of the internet, people access information online through domain names like, but web browsers interact through Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.  DNS translates web pages into IP addresses so they can load internet resources and bring back your search results.  This also eliminates us from having to memorise IP addresses such as or the more complex newer IPv6 addresses such as 2400:cb00:2048:1::c629:d7a2

    DPI (Dots Per Inch)

    DPI stands for Dots Per Inch, which is a property of an image stating how many dots in every inch of the image.  When printing pictures they often print in 200 or 300 DPI, but can be printer in 1,200 depending on the printer where as web images will be smaller.  This is also referred to as PPI or Pixels per Inch.

    Drivers (Device Drivers)

    Drivers (or Device Drivers) is a piece of software to control a piece of hardware, that control a particular device within a computer system.  For example, when you insert a memory stick, the computer may download a 'device driver' for that device automatically from the internet before the memory stick can be used.  There is usually a device driver for every piece of hardware.


    Device Drivers


    Embedded System

    A small computer system is a controller with a specific purpose or dedicated function that is built into a larger device.


    Encryption is a way of coding information so it cannot be read by someone who does not have permission.  There are many types of encryption but a very simple type is as follows:- You can encrypt a file with a password.  Each character in the password has a value.  A calculation is performed using that password and the text in the file.  If you open the file without the correct password, the text will be unreadable.  If you use the correct password, the calculation will be reversed to reveal the correct words.



    The ability to remove stored data from a drive, device or chip.



    Erroneous (or invalid) data

    This is data that the program rejects as invalid or incorrect that the program should not accept or process.  This might be because it is the wrong data type.  It might be because it contains characters that are not allowed.

    Error Diagnostics

    Also referred to as debugging tools, Error Diagnostics information is presented following the detection of an error and is used to identify errors in particular lines of code.


    This means that it cannot be in 2 categories.  For example, If a Mr Kipling makes a new cake and it is Exclusive to Tesco, then no other shop is allowed to sell this particular cake.  In other words it is exclusive to Tesco.


    Exponentiation refers to the mathematical operation involving 2 numbers.  A pseudocode arithmetic operator that assigns one value to the power of another.


    Export - to change the format of a document into another format to be used in another program.


    Exposure - In photography the exposure is the quantity of light which is determined by how long the shutter is open as well as how large the aperture (the hole in the lens) is open for to let light through.  Shutter speed and capture are the core concepts but the camera's ISO setting can be changed to move these up or down.

    Extended ASCII

    Aj extended version of the ASCII system, The basic ASCII set uses 7 bits for each character, giving it a total of 128 unique symbols, The extended ASCII character set uses 8 bits, which gives it an additional 128 characters.

    Extreme (or boundary) data

    Aometimes called extreme data, is data at the upper or lower level of expectations of what a program should be able to handle.



    A field is usually a single column within a multi-column table category within a database.

    File Management

    File Management is the organisation of files, folders and documents to allow easy access, a file manager will allow you to copy, create, rename move and duplicate files.




    Hardware and software firewalls are designed to help protect a computer or network from intruders, you would expect your home pc to be protected by a firewall but a company or corporation would have several layers of hardware firewalls protecting their network s from intruders, viruses,  or malicious software.

    Flat-file database

    A database that stores data in plain text with no links to other tables.  A flat file database cannot contain multiple tables like a relational database can.

    Flow Diagram or flow chart

    A Flow diagram or flow chart visualises an algorithm, sequence of movements or actions of people involved in a complex system or activity, that shows clearly the flow of information. 


    Flowcharts are a way of showing procedure, set of instructions or set of rules to follow in a diagram format.  You can use flowcharts instead of pseudocode when planning a programme.

    The main idea is that you can start at the top and whenever a decision is needed with 2 or more answers you can then branch out.  In the diagram below you can see the red square has two boxes coming from it, this shows that one of two routes can be taken.  In a real flowchart, a decision box (the red box below) would be a diamond.


    Focal Point

    The Focal Point is the plane where the creator wants the readers eyes to be focused.

    Frame Rate

    Frame Rate (expressed in frames per second) is the frequency rate or speed at which consecutive images (called frames) are displayed.  The term applies to film and video cameras, computer graphics and motion capture systems.  Examples would be 6, 12 or 24 fps (Frames Per Second)


    A single image or drawing that forms an animation, when multiple frames are watched in rapid succession.

    Frames Per Second (FPS)

    The number of Frames Per Sections that are used to create the animation or effect of movement.

    Full Backup

    The creation of an exact duplicate of computer data.  This is kept in a safe place, in the event that the original data is lost or damaged.


    A function is a type of sub-program designed to return a value that the program will use.  For example, a function can be used writing a formula in a spreadsheet such as =SUM(A1:A5)




    A term to categorise different types of film, For example, horror, action, adventure, sci-fi, comedy, documentary, western, animation, thriller, drama, romance

    GPS - (Global Positioning System)

    A satellite-based system which makes use of satellites to pinpoint your exact geographical location.  The system is made up of 24 GPS satellites orbiting the Earth.  The satellites are controlled by a number of Earth Stations around the world.

    Graphical User Interface

    A GUI is a graphics-based visual system other mouse cursor driven that allows you to access and control a computer system.


    Hard Disk

    A Hard Disk is a large capacity disk that stores all your information, programs, games, files etc.  The operating system eg Windows is also stored on the Hard Disk.  A standard PC will read the hard disk when it is switched on, it will load the operating system eg Windows and then let you log in.  When you do your work and save your files, they are saved on the Hard Disk.  When you install a game, it is stored to the Hard Disk.  A standard Hard Disk is slow, as the disk must increase speed before the needle can read the disk.  For a faster hard drive you need an SSD, see SSD for more information.  Here is a standard hard disk.



    Hardware is the physical computer equipment and attached devices, such as the computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer, tablet, phone etc


    Hexadecimal is
    0-9 and then
    A=10, B=11
    C=12, D=13
    E=14, F=15

    High Level Lanugage

    A High-level language is a programming language such as Python, which is designed to be very person friendly, with a grammar that is easy to understand.  Other examples include C++, Pascal, Basic, Java and Lisp.

    Host / Hosting

    A host is the Internet Service Provider (ISP) providing server space for a web site.


    HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. Although many call it a programing language it is actually a Markup Language that is used to build web sites.

    HTML Tags

    <br>new line</br>
    <center>centre text</center>
    <hr> Horizontal Rule</hr>
    <title>Page title</title>
    <h1>heading 1 largest</h1>
    <h6>heading 6 smallest<h6>
    <img src="/file">insert image
    <ul>bullet list (unordered)</ul>
    <ol>number list (ordered)</ol>
    <head>page heading</head>
    <blockquotes> </blockquotes>
    <a href="/address">Link</a> hyperlink



    The name given to a variable or program client used to uniquely identify a program element in the code.


    To illustrate, is to add images or photos to the information provided in the product or to give additional information.


    A digital interactive, artificial environment designed to engage the user completely in an experience - a 'world' within which a user can immerse themselves.  Often using three-dimensional headset technology.


    Improvements or improvement, is a description of what you need to make it better.

    Incremental Backup

    To make an incremental backup, it jus to backup the files that have been changed since the last backup was made.

    Input Device

    An Input Device is a hardware device used to send data to a computer system.  So users can communicate and feed instructions (eg by keyboard and mouse) and data to comp[uters for processing, display, or storage.


    An integer is a whole number with no decimal point.

    Integrated Circuit

    An Intergrated Circuit  is a single component  that can be soldered onto an electronic board (motherboard for example)that connects  the chip to other chips or the rest of the device.

    Internet (History)

    The Internet started as way of communicating by the military.  It was combination of America (ARPANET - military) the UK (NPL commercial) and France (CYCLADES - scientific) that finally evolved into what we know today as the Internet.

    Internet Protocol (IP)

    An Internet Protocol (or IP Address) is a unique identification address assigned to network devices to enable connection to the server and the internet.  


    To look at and review the provided information and take the relevant information from it.


    An interpreter is a computer program that executes or performs instructions written in a programming or scripting language, without requiring them previously to have been compiled into a computer language program.


    ISO is a setting on a camera which determines the sensitivity to the light levels.


    The Items are the objects that are in a document, for example a picture would be an object in a word document.


    iteration is the repeating a task until a certain criteria is met,  typically getting successively closer to finding the solution to a problem.



    A general computer language program.


    An input device often used to play games like flight simulators.

    joystick 98408 1280



    A keyboard is the main input device for a computer or laptop..  The QWERTY keyboard is idea for allowing computer operators to touch type at a speed of over 70 words a minute.  You can learn to touch type by doing our typing course on this site.

    keyboard 34176 1280



    A LAN stands for Local Area Network.  This is a network that is in the same building or on the same site, it is limited to the Local Area.  For example, your school network is all iin the same building or on the same site.   so that if someone booked a plane ticket in Newcastle it would instantly be unavailable in London.  You can't have 2 people booking the same seat!  Another example would be a bank.  If you withdraw £50 from one cash machine, you don't want to go another one and see the money is still there else when the system catches up you will be overdrawn.


    Layers - A set of network protocols grouped together.  OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) is a reference model for how applications communicate over a network.


    Legislation is law, or a collection of laws.

    Linear Search

    A very basic search algorithm, it compares each value in a list, one at a time until the match is made.

    Logic Diagrams

    A graphical representation of a project or activity, using formal logic.

    Logic Error

    A fault or error in a program, either in the structure or the design.

    Lossless Compression

    Lossless compressions use an algorithm to compress data, without the loss of quality, and then reconstruct it without data loss.

    Lossy Compression

    Compression where the file size is reduced, by permanently removing some data from the files, such as duplicated data, e.g. if you compress an image this way, you man find the edges become jagged or the picture becomes pixelated. 

    Low Level Language

    Programming languages that are more like direct basic instructions recognized by a computer.


    Machine Code

    A low level programming language.


    Malicious software, designed to steal information or damage your files by deleting or infecting your system with viruses, worms trojan horses of spyware.

    Media access control

    Media access control (or MAC address) is a unique identifier hardwired into all network devices at the time of manufacture.

    Memory address register

    The locatoin address in memory where the next piece of information or instruction that the CPU needs next.

    Memory data register

    A register in the CPU that stores data being transferred to and from the immediate access storage.

    Merge sort

    Merge sort is an algorithm where data is repeatedly split into halves until single items are left, and then reassembled in the correct ordrer. 

    Mesh network

    A mesh network is a network topology where every device is connected to every other device on the network.


    Extra information stored within a file.  eg if you take a photo and it stored the time and date of when the photo was taken, this is the metadata.


    A mouse is a pointing device that can be used to move a pointer around the screen so you can click on icons.  You single click to select and double click to activate.  A roller is often included so you can scroll up and down the screen.


    Multimedia is something created using a combination of different forms, eg images, animations, video, interactive content, text, pictures.



    Narrative is the term used to explain a story or events by speaking them or writing it down.


    Navigation - finding your way around a website, or the way in which an interactive multimedia product directs a user through content through a series of buttons and links.


    A network is a series of computers connected together.  There are different types of networks, Bus, Ring, Star and Mesh are but a few.  You can learn about networks in the Network unit.

    Advantages of Networks:-

    • Access your files from any machine (node)
    • Log in to any machine
    • Share files


    • Network down, you can't get files
    • Could be hacked


    Network attached storage

    An extra hardware storage device attached to the network for users to share or store data.

    Network forensics

    Software or hardware that monitors and/or records network traffic to analyse/block any potential network attacks.

    Network policies

    A set of rules that all users within a network environment should follow.


    In binary, a nibble is 4bits (half an 8-bit in the binary sequence)

    Non volatile

    In non-volatile memory, the information is kept, even after the power has been switched off.


    Non-Volatile is where the data is saved even if the power goes off.  An example of this is a HDD (Hard Disk Drive) or an SSD Solid State Drive).  If you have a power cut the data will still be there when it comes back on.  Your operating system, for example, Windows is stored on your HDD or SSD.  When you Switch your computer on, it loads.  When you play a game and save your progress, it saves it so you can continue where you got last time.


    Normal data

    Acceptable data that a program can process.


    Not is an operator in Boolean Logic, If you searched the Internet for Cat NOT Dog, the web pages that come up would contain the word Cat but would not contain the word Dog.  Any pages that contain both the word would NOT be displayed.


    One-dimensional array

    A data structure consisting or program consisting of a collection of common elements.


    Onomatopoeia. is the process of creating a word that phonetically imitates, resembles the sound it describes, for example an animal onoatopoeia is oink, meow, roar, and chrip.

    Open Source

    Open Source software means that the code used to create the program can be used by anyone.  You can modify it, improve on it and update it.  Open source software often has people offering to help improve the code and add new features.  A good example is Open Office, this is free office software.  The code was then used by a new group who used it to create Liberty Office.  Now there are two very similar products but each came from the same source code. You can download both and see the similarities and differences.



    Open source

    Software that is created and shared openly, at no cost and without any limitations to where any how you use it.

    Operating System (OS)

    An operating system is a software that is designed to install on hardware for the user to install and allow programs to be run, and manage hardware devices, and manage files and folder structures.


    Operators in Boolean Logic are many operators, four of them are: AND, NOT, OR & XOR.


    This is a Boolean Logic operator.  OR means 1 or the other or both. In basic terms, OR means "At least one of them".  If you ask for Ice Cream OR Cheesecake, then if you get both, that is still at least 1 of them.

    Example:- If you searched the Internet for the words Cat OR Dog, then the results would be pages that contain the word Cat, pages that contain the word Dog AND pages that contain both words.

    TIP:- If you only wanted one or the other but not both you would need to use XOR *Exclusive OR", see the section on XOR for more information.


    The origin of something is where it started, or where it came from.

    Output devices

    Devices that output information from a computer, eg a printer-plotter or display device.

    Overflow error

    An error that occurs when a computer or device tries to process more than it can or more than the computer is designed to process.


    To overwrite is to replace data with new or updated data.


    Packet Switching

    When data is sent over a network or the internet, information is not sent as one big file, instead, they are broken down into smaller packets and then reassembled at their destination.


    A Panel is the box or container used to contain one scene in a comic strip.


    Parameters are variables or conditions which are set in a program.


    A password is one way of securing your account.  New GDPR rules, as of May 2018, state that a password should consist of at least 7 characters.  A secure password would contain, Uppercase Letters, Lowercase Letters, Numbers and a Symbol.  A Symbol is something like ?, # or %.  Some Symbols cannot be used, this is because a hacker can use them to break into a site using SQL Injection.  See SQL injection for more information.


    Pattern Recognition

    Pattern recognition the process of recognizing patterns by using a pattern learning algorithm.

    Penetratoin Testing

    A test to search for vulnerabilities within a computer system, to test if it can be exploited for criminal purposes.  Or to test if a network is secure by testing if someone can hack in.  This is also called Ethical Hacking.


    Permissions can be set on individual files or folders to allow or block specific users to access / view / read / write / delete or change the files.

    Personal Computer

    A personal computer often known as a desktop computer as it is usually sat on a desk ready for use.

    computer 158675 1280


    Pharming is a cyber attack that takes control of a website and redirects it to another website or even a fake site.


    Phishing is a way of a fraudster impersonates you or your organisation, and asking you to answer questions so you divulge your password bank details or other personal details.


    This is a large device that uses an arm to grab pens to draw precisely on a very large piece of paper.  It is used for technical drawings for example blueprints / architectural drawings for building.

    PPI (Pixels Per Inch)

    PPI (Pixels Per Inch) - See DPI (Dots Per Inch)

    Primary Key

    A unique field in a database, that can be identified but cannot be repeated.

    Privacy Setting

    Privacy Settings restrict the information that others can see about you.  For example, you may not want visitors to see your age or address, so you can prevent them from seeing these details using your privacy settings.  All social networks like Twitter, Facebook YouTube etc contains privacy settings.  You should check these on a regular basis.  This site has privacy settings.  When you upload a file to your cloud storage on this site you can decide if everyone can see it, just your study buddies or only you.  You can also allow or prevent people from seeing certain information in your profile.  Some setting on this site is locked to private so that even if you wanted to, you cannot let others see them, this is for your own safety.


    To change your privacy setting on this site, go to:-

    1. Profile
    2. Privacy Settings


    Private Key

    A Private Key is a password that you would use to open a message or file that is encrypted.


    A Procedure is a series of programming instructions that does a specific task.  One or Several procedures would make up a complete computer programme.

    Program Counter

    This is one of the elements of the CPU.  Its main function is to keep count of those jobs or instructions that have been done already and what still needs to be done.


    Proprietary is the owner, either the individual or the company how created it, Usually protected under a trading name and purchased through a purchased licence.


    A Protocol simply means an agreed way or agreed set of rules to do something.  Created for network compatible devices to allow effective communications over a network.


    A simple programming language using simple English terms to write a program.

    Public Encryption Key

    Used to encrypt a message that is sent over the internet and it prevents anyone from looking at it in transit.  Then it can only be opened by someone who has the Private Encryption Key.


    Python is a High Level, general-purpose programming language.



    A Quotient it the number quantity that you have left by the division of two numbers.



    Stands for Random Access Memory.  Its a fast memory.  Increasing the amount of RAM will allow you computer to run faster.  The gold areas and the connectors and the black are the storage.

    ram 148579 1280


    Ransomware is a piece of software (like a virus) that locks you out of a computer system until a ransom is paid to unlock it.

    Real (or float)

    Real (or float) is a type of program data.  All numbers including those with a decimal point.



    A record is composed of fields in a database.  A set of records makes a file.

    Relational Database

    A Relational Database, is multiple databases linked together


    The Resolution is the number of lines, pixels and dots over your screen.  a 'High Resolution' monitors means that it can display a larger number of pixels per inch (DPI)


    Printers also print in 'Dots Per Inch'


    ROM - Read Only Memory is a chip with instructions that cannot change.


    A Router is a network device that connects networks together and allows them to communicate.

    Run-Time Environment

    A Run-Time Environment is a machine that programmers can test their software while it's running. In this environment where the programmer can track the instructions being processed by the program and debug any errors they encounter.



    The process where analogue is converted into digital.

    Sampling Frequency

    Sampling Frequency - defines the number of samples per second when converting analog to digital.


    A scanner is a device that is used to read in documents to a computer.  It can take a printed page and make it digital.  When OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software is used to scan the document you can often then edit the words on the page you have scanned in.

    Secondary Storage

    Secondary Storage refers to devices that store programs and files that are not constantly available by the system. For e.g. CDs and memory sticks.


    A question that the system asks you, that you need to answer before the next step can be carried out.


    Carrying out tasks one by one step by step.


    Dedicated hardware or software system to provide critical services and functionality to devices connected to it.


    The technique of someone who watches over your shoulder while you put your pin number in the cash machine.

    Social Engineering

    A range of methods used by fraudsters or criminals to access personal information.


    Malicious software designed to secretly pass on your personal or financial information to a third party.

    SQL Injection

    A computer attack using malicious code is used in a database query used to access and steal information.


    Solid State Drive (SSD) is a type of hard disk used in computers to store information when the power is turned off.  This means that it is Non-Volatile, for more information this meaning look at Non-Volatile.  An SSD has no moving parts, this means that it is much faster at reading the data than a traditional HDD (Hard Disk Drive), which does have moving parts and therefore takes time to speed up before it can access the data.  See the HDD Section for more information.



    • No moving parts
    • Can Access Data Fast
    • Quieter, less noise


    • More expensive
    • Not as much storage as a HDD
    Star Network

    A network topology where the server is in the centre and the network devices are connected around it.

    Storage Capacity

    The maximum amount of data a storage device can hold.

    Streaming Services

    A Streaming Service can be presented to the user in real time or online tv services like Netflix / Amazon Prime / Now TV, Many other streaming services are available. 


    A string is a  sequence of letters, numbers and symbols.

    Structured Query Language

    A program designed to create, edit and search for information in databases.


    A Sub-Program is a program that can be run inside a larger computer program.


    Network hardware that connects multiple computers together - to be able to communicate with other computers.

    Syntax Error

    An error in a computer program.


    Test Plan

    A written plan describing the basis for testing software.

    Third Party Applications

    A Third Party Application (or phone app) that is created by a person or company who is not connected to the manufacturer. For example, an android phone comes with a camera app, but other camera apps are available to download, created by different people, these are thrid party app.


    The topology is the basic layout of your network.


    A semiconducting device on a silicon chip joined together to form an integrated circuit to amplify of switch electronic flow in a circuit.


    A translator converts a computer program into machine code that the machine understands.


    A Trojan is Malware, a piece of malicious software that is hidden in legitimate software, designed to run and cause damage, install keyloggers and usually sends information back to its creator.

    Truth Table

    A representation of all combinations of values for inputs with their corresponding outputs.

    Two's Compliment

    Two's complete is used in Binary to subtract one binary number from another.

    The first binary number remains the same.

    The second binary number which is to be subtracted from the first is then reversed, so the 1's become 0 and 0's become 1's.

    You then add 1 to the second number (the one you have just reverse). This reversing and adding one is the process called Two's compliment.

    After this you can just add the two numbers together and ignore the digit on the far left of the result after adding them both to give you the answer.



    Unicode is a character set designed to contain all known characters from all known languages.  Computers just deal with numbers.  They store letters and other characters by assigning a number to each one.

    USB Memory Stick

    This is an external storage device.  You can save your work on this device instead of your hard drive or you can make a copy of your work to take away with you.  Memory sticks are quick and easy to use.  They can fit on your key ring and you can put them into any USB port to access your files, as long as its the same operating system ie Windows.  The image below is only 64gb in size but you can get them that store much more than this.


    User Access Levels

    Users on a network are given a User Access Level.  This controls what you can do and what documents you can see.  For example, a teacher of a class may be able to see the documents of their class, but when the students of that class login they can only see their own documents.

    User Management

    The Management of users either on a single computer a or a whole network.

    Utility Software

    Utility software is usually a small piece of software used to perform a specific task.  For example to compress a file you would use a piece utility software to compress it.



    A piece of data that has been given a specific value.

    Virtual Memory

    Virtual memory is created on the hard drive by the processor when your computer runs out of available RAM.

    Virtual Network

    A software managed network, that is created inside of a physical network.


    A piece of software that attaches itself to files, and replicates itself to infect other files, when an infected file is run it can cause damage, crash computers, delete files, corrupt and destroy data.  Viruses can be spread in many ways, from emails, computer networks, memory sticks, or other removable media.

    Visual Basic

    A programming language.


    Volatile means that the when the power is turned off, the data will be lost.  For example, RAM is a volatile memory.  Anything you have not saved when the power goes off will be lost.  The opposite of volatile is Non-Volatile, for more information on this see the Non-volatile section.


    Von Neumann Architecture

    A 'stored program' computer system that contains both the computer program and the data it processes.



    A WAN stands for Wide Area Network.  This is a network that is not just in the same building or on the same site, it is spread across the wide area.  For example, a Travel Agency would use a WAN so that if someone booked a plane ticket in Newcastle it would instantly be unavailable in London.  You can't have 2 people booking the same seat!  Another example would be a bank.  If you withdraw £50 from one cash machine, you don't want to go another one and see the money is still there else when the system catches up you will be overdrawn.

    Wi-Fi Certified

    Wi-Fi Certified is an internationally recognised approval of hardware that has met the industry standard  for operating.

    Working Memory

    Working memory is the space the computer uses to run your programs. In simple terms, the game you like to play is saved on your Hard Disk Drive (HDD) or Solid State Drive (SS).  Both of these are too slow to run the game so the company transfer the game into RAM.  RAM is known as working memory and is much faster than an HDD or SSD.  The RAM then passes the information to the CPU so you can play your game.  For more details on CPU, click on CPU in the dictionary.


    A Worm is like a virus, that attaches itself to files, replicates itself, deletes files and data, as well as other things like sending an email from your account to everyone in your address book.


    A process of creating and saving, new or existing data to a disk, or overwriting data.



    This is an Exclusive OR (XOR), it means the item must be exclusive to one category or another, for example in politics you are either a member of one party or another, you are not a member of both parties.