A single binary digit (1 or 0) represents the basic unit of storage in modern computers.
A collection of 8 bits is the smallest chunk of storage in most modern computers. A Byte can range in value from 0-255 (28 – 1 to accommodate 0) for unsigned integers and -127-127 for signed integers.
Central Processing Unit (CPU)
The primary processing unit of modern computing systems is made of several components including the control unit (CU), arithmetic-logic unit (ALU), and a memory management unit (MMU). These terms are often seen in variations and in some cases, such as the MMU, may also include other more granular terms like L1 or L2 cache memory.
The term encryption scheme is a modernization of the term code used in the field of cryptography. Modern cryptography uses this term to denote various types of encryption algorithms, both secure and insecure. Symmetric and Asymmetric are examples of two broad forms of cryptographic schemes whereas Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), Data Encryption Standard (DES), and the Riven-Shamir-Adleman (RSA) algorithms are examples of specific cryptographic schemes.
The segment of code that makes a game interactive by preparing for an update, updating the scene elements, and then rendering the state changes between frames. Gameloops include three primary conceptual phases:
Draw. These three work in concert to manage game state changes. This term is often used to describe state change loops outside of strictly gaming-based applications.
The core program of an operating system is responsible for interfacing between hardware and software. The kernel runs at all times and is a critical component of an operating system. The kernel controls access to the processor and memory units found in a system and is tasked with managing system resources as efficiently as possible. The kernel is comprised of several layers: hardware interface layer, memory management layer, process management layer, device management layer, and the file system layer.
A relatively large computer that is used by large organizations to support mission-critical applications and resource allocation. Mainframes are larger than workstations and servers but smaller than supercomputers. Mainframes provide shared resources and generally allow the sharing of data between many connected users, even remote users in many cases.
A computer that is smaller than a mainframe or supercomputer but larger than a personal computer. Minicomputers are purpose-built systems catering to uses such as scientific computing, transactions handling, or database management. Minicomputers provide shared resources and can allow the sharing of data between users, though generally on a local network only.
Power-On Self Test (POST)
A routine that is performed immediately after being powered on whereby a firmware completes tasks such as verifying CPU registers, the integrity of the BIOS, memory, and other low-level systems. A BIOS is said to successfully “POST” when it is able to initialize without error. A successful POST operation isn’t necessarily an indicator of OS validity or presence.
Random-Access Memory (RAM)
A memory resource available to applications where data can be written and read on demand. Often associated with Dynamic Random-Access Memory (DRAM) modules RAM memory is temporary and only available during the use of a computer system. When the system power is turned off, RAM memory is no longer accessible therefore making RAM memory volatile memory.
Read-Only Memory (ROM)
ROM memory is a permanent memory storage resource that includes such instructions as boostrap programs, device drivers. Modern ROM memory is often associated with EEPROM (a.k.a. Firmware) which can be updated.
Read-Eval-Print Loop (REPL)
A read-eval-print loop a.k.a. language shell is an interactive environment in which user inputs are constantly evaluated and returned to them as output. REPL was first used in Lisp but today serves as a paradigm for such technologies as file-watchers, compilers, and transpilers such as the Typescript Engine.
A server computer is a system designed to manage shared resources such as computing power, data storage, permissions management, and answering client requests. Examples of servers include HTTP webservers, local office servers managing shared data, FTP servers, and even telnet servers.
The subject of a match statement and if-let statements in the Rust programming language. These are pattern-matching constructs that, in many cases, aid in simplifying the syntax required for complex conditional logic.
von Neumann Architecture
A type of conceptual design of computing systems first described by John Von Neuman in 1945 that consists of an ALU, Memory Unit, Registers, and I/O devices. Von Neuman architecture is characterized as a stored-program architecture (compared to a fixed-program architecture) where both programs and data are stored in main memory which is managed by the CPU.
A unit of measure reflecting the base unit of storage on a given system’s architecture, measured in bits. Most modern computers have 64-bit architectures and therefore 64-bit word measures (8 groups of 8 bytes).
A workstation is a system designed to perform complex computing tasks quickly and with as few shared resources as possible. Example tasks completed by workstations include an image or video editing, data computation, or analytical processes. Workstations can be laptops, tower PCs, or hybrids.