Glossary - A


In computer science, the term “administrator” refers to the system administrator or system user account (also a superuser)that has the highest operating system rights, which is virtually absolute. The principle of absolute authority is the basis of many operating systems, including Windows NT® series (Windows XP®, Windows® 7, etc.), all Unix® systems, and more.

 In Unix® and other Unix®-based systems, the system administrator account is called “root”, or sometimes “toor” (backwards). The UID and GID is equal to the number 0 (zero). In modern Linux® distributions it is impossible to log in as “root.” Instead, each person’s account is assigned the right to temporarily gain root privileges.

 In the Windows NT® (also Windows XP®, Windows® 7, etc.) operating system it is equivalent to the system administrator account “Administrator.” A hidden user named “SYSTEM,” which can perform many operations directly without warning messages or user permission, exists within the operating system. The classic administrator can obtain the maximum authorized third-party utility called PsExec. The result is similar to the Unix® “root.”

 In Novell® NetWare®, the system administrator account was called a “supervisor,” and later “admin.”

Adobe Flash Player

Adobe Flash® Player is software used for viewing multimedia, Rich Internet Applications and streaming video and audio, such as animations and movies, on a computer web browser or supported mobile devices. Originally created by Macromedia©, Flash® Player currently is developed and distributed by Adobe®. It uses SWF files that can be generated using the Adobe Flash® authoring tool, Adobe® Flex, other Macromedia© instruments and also third party tools.

Flash® Player supports a scripting language called ActionScript (AS), which is based on ECMAScript. It is available as a plug-in for several versions of web browsers (e.g., Mozilla® Firefox®, Opera®, Safari®) or as an ActiveX® control for Internet Explorer® on various platforms, Flash® Player is available for Windows® 2000 and later, Linux®, Solaris®, Mac® OS X® as well as for many mobile operating systems, such as Android™, Symbian®, etc.


Adware is any type of advertising-supported software that will play, display, or download advertisements automatically on a user's computer once the software has been installed on it or while the application is in use. Some adware can also be spyware due to its privacy-invasive characteristics.


AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) is a standard defined by Intel® that is a communication interface for the disk controller and supports many advanced features, for example, without AHCI upgrading firmware for the SSD disk cannot be done. Its key feature is the NCQ technology support (Native Command Queuing). AHCI is fully supported for the Microsoft Windows Vista® and Windows® 7 operating systems and Linux® operating system since kernel version 2.6.19. Older operating systems require specific hardware drivers for AHCI support.


Android™ is a comprehensive open source platform that was developed specifically for mobile devices (smart phones, PDAs, navigation devices, tablets). The platform includes an operating system (based on core Linux), middleware, a user interface and applications. In developing the system, the constraints that have hindered traditional mobile devices were taken into account, such as battery life, lower performance and less memory. The Android™ core functions were also designed to run on different hardware, and the system can be used with different chipsets and screen sizes and resolutions.

Android™, Inc. was founded in California in October, 2003 by Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears and Chris White. Although the company was not very well-known at the time, Google® Inc. bought it in August, 2005 and made it a subsidiary.  The first commercial Android™-based cell phone was introduced by HTC® Corporation in October, 2008.


Antispyware is a program that is used to block or remove spyware that has been downloaded to a computer, typically without the user’s knowledge. Nowadays, antispyware programs are often bundled with antivirus software and sophisticated internet security suites.


Antivirus software is used to identify, remove and eliminate computer viruses and other malicious software (malware). Antivirus programs use two different techniques to protect computer systems:

  • Scanning files on the local disk to detect sequences that correspond to computer virus definitions stored in the database. 
  • Detecting suspicious activities carried out by a computer program that may indicate infection. This technique involves capturing and analyzing data, monitoring activity on each port, and other techniques.

Success depends on the capabilities of the antivirus software and an up-to-date database of computer viruses. Current virus databases are now frequently downloaded from the Internet.

Apple Health

The new Health app gives a consumer an easy-to-read dashboard for his/her fitness and health data.

Apple® Inc.

Apple® Inc., (originally Apple® Computer Inc.) was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Gerald Wayne in 1976, in the Silicon Valley city of Cupertino, California, USA. Apple® contributed significantly to the development and adoption of personal computers in the 1970’s. The company made its first impression on computer enthusiasts with the Apple® I computer, which was subsequently followed by the very successful Apple® II model. These popular computers were eclipsed in 1980’s by the new line of Macintosh® computers, which were later known as Mac® computers. Other well-known products were launched in later years, including the iMac® and portable MacBook®.

Nowadays, Apple® also manufactures many entertainment-related devices such as the iPod® MP3 portable player, as well as the iPhone® cell phone and the iPad® tablet. Apple products are wildly popular and very reliable, and the brand has become a cultural icon. The Apple® logo was inspired by the story of Sir Isaac Newton who conceptualized the law of universal gravitation while sitting under an apple tree.


Application software (also known as “app”) is technically every computer program which allows user to perform some useful work or solving a particular problem. Applications have either a graphical interface, text interface or command line for the users to interact with the application. Examples of applications include  enterprise software, accounting software, office suites, graphics software, entertainment software and games, educational software and media players. An application differs from an operating system (which runs a computer), a utility (which performs maintenance or general-purpose chores), and a programming language (with which computer programs are created). Applications may be bundled in a group, which is referred to as an application suite.  An example of an application suite would be® or Microsoft Office®.


ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. Essentially it is the code table that defines the characteristics of the English alphabet and other characters used in computer science.

ASCII is the most successful character set, which comes from the most current standards for encoding text, at least in the Euro-American zone. This table contains printable characters: letters, numerals, other characters (brackets, mathematical signs (+ - * /% etc.), punctuation symbols (,.:, Etc.), special characters (@ ~ $, etc.)) and control (unprintable) codes, which were originally designed for controlling peripheral devices (e.g., printer or telex).

ASCII code is from the original seven-bit code, containing 128 valid characters. For the needs of other languages ​​and to extend the character set, an eight-bit extension of ASCII is now used, which contains an additional 128 codes. This extended code is still too small to hold even all European national alphabets. Because of this, various code tables have developed. System code tables for national organizations, such as the alphabet, were created by the ISO organization.

ATI® Technologies

ATI® Technologies, Inc. is one of the largest manufacturers of graphics cards. The company is also involved with the production of video and multimedia. ATI® Technologies, Inc. was established August 20, 1985 by Kwok Yuen Ho, Benny Lau and Lee Ka Lau. The company is headquartered in Markham, Ontario, Canada. The company was originally known as Array Technologies Inc.  In the 1980s, the company started creating graphic accelerators (Graphic Solution), later introducing EGA Wonder© and VGA Wonder©, the Mach© series, the Rage© series and then the Radeon® series, which is widely known today. 

ATI® Technologies, Inc. was acquired by Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD®) Company on June 24, 2006.  Since May 2009, AMD® has been naming their graphics chip and card products simply “AMD® xxx.” Prior to that, the naming convention was “ATI® Radeon® xxx.”

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