*bubble memory: a recently developed compact memory device represented by
magnetized spots or bubbles. The bubbles rest on thin wafers of garnet (a
semiconductor material) in a magnetic field. Data on bubble memory are not lost when
the power is shut off.
buffer: internal storage that holds data read to or from input-output devices.
byte: eight bits treated as a unit; the amount of memory needed to store a single letter
or number. The smallest unit recognizable to human beings. (The computer can
recognize a bit.)
central processing unit (CPU)
: the computer nerve center, coordinates and controls
the activities of all the other components, performs arithmetical and logical processes to
be applied to data, and stores data.
character: the smallest unit of information recognizable to human beings, as opposed
to the smallest unit recognizable to a computer (a bit).
computer: any automatic device capable of performing calculations without human
conditional control transfer: a machine instruction that transfers control to a
designated instruction if some condition is true and continues in sequence to the next
instruction if the condition is not true.
data: facts, unevaluated messages, the raw material of information.
*data base: the basic data, a collection of interrelated records, structured to meet the
information needs of a wide variety of users with a minimum of duplication. (3-3c)
*data base management system (DBMS): a set of programs that provides a method
of storing, manipulating, retrieving, and displaying information in the data base. These
methods minimize duplication, permit easy change, and can handle direct inquiries.
data processing: operations performed on data, usually by automatic equipment, to
derive information; originally manual, later mechanical, and more recently by electronic
means. Systematic technique for collecting, manipulating, and disseminating data to
achieve certain objectives.