Glossary - M

Mac OS® X

Mac OS® X is the operating system for Macintosh® computers. Mac OS® X v10.0, the first major release of Mac OS® X, was released on March 24, 2001. It was created as a combination of several different technologies. The base system, known as Darwin©, is composed of a hybrid core Unix® XNU along with a number of BSD®, GNU™ and other open source tools. Above the core is a set of libraries, services and technologies that are taken mostly from previous NeXTSTEP© and Mac OS® releases. The graphical user interface, Aqua was developed by Apple®. The modified version of Mac OS® X, known as iOS, (originally the iPhone OS) uses an Apple® iPhone® cell phone, multimedia portable player iPod® touch and tablet iPad®. The modified version also uses an Apple TV®. The main versions are named after the big cats, i.e Lion™, Cheetah©, Leopard®, etc. In order to maintain the number 10 (Roman numeral X) as a branding element in each version, the main versions of Mac OS® X use decimals (10.0, 10.1, 10.2, etc.) instead of whole numbers, as is common in other systems.

Mac OS® X is exclusively designed for Macintosh® computers. While Mac® computers can run Windows®, the reverse is generally not possible. The Apple® policy does not allow the running of Mac OS® X on computers that do not use the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) and are not electronically identifiable as a Mac®. However, it is possible to (illegally) run the Mac OS® X operating system on some PCs.

Malware

Malware, a term meaning "malicious software", refers to a set of computer instructions created for the express purpose of infiltrating a computer system, and modify, record, damage or transmit data without the permission of its owner. The term "malware" is generally used to describe any form of intrusive, hostile, or bothersome software application or code.

Malware covers a broad range of types, from cookies without consent used for tracking user surfing behavior, to more malevolent types such as viruses, worms, trojans, specific rootkits, spyware, adware, scareware, crimeware and other forms of malicious software. Certain government statutes define malware as a computer contaminant and is written into legal code in many states.

MD5

A Message-Digest Algorithm is an extended family of hash functions that creates output (print) at a fixed length from the input data. The impression is also known as a miniature, the checksum, fingerprint, or hash. Its main feature is that a small change in input leads to a large change in output to create a fundamentally different impression. MD5 is enforced in many applications (e.g., for checking the integrity of files or storing passwords). MD5 is described in the RFC 1321 Internet standard and creates an impression of 128 bits. It was created in 1991 by Ronald Rivest to replace an earlier hash function: MD4. In 1996, a design defect in MD5 was discovered. Although it was not essential, cryptologists began recommending other algorithms, such as SHA (though now SHA is no longer considered to be flawless). In 2004, more serious flaws were discovered, making further use of the algorithm for security purposes questionable. Specifically, a group of researchers described how to create a pair of files that share the same MD5 checksum. Further advances were made in breaking MD5 in 2005, 2006, and 2007. In an attack on MD5 (published in December, 2008), a group of researchers used this technique to fake the validity of an SSL certificate. For an increase in security, one can combine the password and user name. In this case, if two users use the same password, the hash of those passwords will be fundamentally different because their user names will definitely be different. Another possibility is a partial increase in security using multiple hash algorithms at once, such as a combination of MD5 and SHA. This ensures a greater protection of information in the event that there is a conflict in one of the functions, meaning that two inputs hash to the same output.

Media Player

A Media Player is a term that describes software for playing multimedia files, typically an audio or video file. Some programs are specialized, while others can play multiple file types. Such players are known as either audio players or video players and often have a user interface designed for the specific media type. Many media players, especially those designed to play music, display the available songs in a format known as a media library, which allows the user to organize their music by categories such as artist, album, genre, year, and rating. Examples of media players that include media libraries are Amarok©, Banshee®, Clementine©, iTunes®, Rhythmbox©, Winamp®, and Windows Media® Player.

Microphone

A microphone (mic or mike) is a device for converting an acoustic (audio) signal into an electrical signal. The first microphone was invented on March 4, 1877 by Emile Berliner, the creator of the gramophone. Microphones are used in many products and applications such as telephones, tape recorders, karaoke systems, hearing aids, FRS radios, megaphones, motion picture production, live and recorded audio engineering, radio and television broadcasting and in computers for recording voice, speech recognition and VoIP, as well as for other purposes such as ultrasonic testing or to check engine knock or detonation (knock sensors). Most microphones today use electromagnetic induction (dynamic microphone), capacitance change (condenser microphone), piezoelectric generation or light modulation to produce an electrical voltage signal from a mechanical vibration.

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office® is a proprietary office suite of products produced by the U.S. company Microsoft® Corporation, and is available for computers running the Microsoft Windows® operating system, Mac OS® and OS X®. The latest version of Microsoft Office® (Microsoft Office® 2010) can be purchased in several versions, differing in containing applications in the package. Versions for students and home usage, is intended only for non-commercial use. Microsoft Office® contains several applications, the content of the suite is different for some versions, but generally these computer applications are:

  • Microsoft® Word (word processor)
  • Microsoft ® Excel® (spreadsheet)
  • Microsoft® Outlook® (email and groupware client)
  • Microsoft Office® PowerPoint® (a program for creating presentations)
  • Microsoft® Access® (database program)
  • Microsoft Office® FrontPage® (application for creating web pages in HTML)
  • Microsoft® Publisher (in the 2007 replaced the previous versions of FrontPage®)
  • Microsoft® InfoPath® (XML - creating forms)
  • Microsoft® Groove® (sharing documents from a distance)
  • Microsoft Office® Communicator (instant messaging) (similar to Windows Live® Messenger of Windows Live® Essentials)
  • Microsoft® Project (project management software; not part of Microsoft Office®, but an external component of it)
  • Microsoft® Visio® (a program for drawing diagrams; not part of Microsoft Office®, but an external component of it)
  • Microsoft® OneNote® (program for creating text or graphic notes)
  • Microsoft Office® SharePoint® Designer - a WYSIWYG HTML editor and the successor to Microsoft Office® FrontPage®
  • Microsoft Office® Accounting
  • Microsoft Office® Document Imaging
  • Microsoft Office® Document Scanning
  • Microsoft Office® InterConnect
  • Microsoft Office® Picture Manager

Microsoft Office® PowerPoint®

PowerPoint® (a.k.a. Microsoft Office® PowerPoint®) is presentation software included in the Microsoft Office® suite that runs on Microsoft Windows® and Mac® OS X® operating systems. This application is widely used by many companies, schools, and individuals to create business, educational, and personal presentations. Users can easily create slides from premade or custom templates to design a cohesive presentation. The original version of this program was created by Dennis Austin and Thomas Rudkin of Forethought, Inc. Originally designed for the Macintosh® computer, the initial release was called "Presenter." In 1987, it was renamed "PowerPoint" due to problems with trademarks. The first version of this program was released in 1993 in version 4.0. Documents created in earlier versions had a “.ppt” extension. In newer versions, the extension is “.pptx” by default. The binary format specification has been available from Microsoft® on request, but since February 2008, the .ppt format specification can be freely downloaded. In Microsoft Office® 2007, the binary file formats were replaced as the default format by the new XML based Office Open XML formats, which are published as an open standard. Nevertheless, they are not complete, as there are binary blobs inside of the XML files, and several forms of behavior are not specified but refer to the observed behavior of specific versions of the Microsoft® product. The benefits of PowerPoint® are continuously debated. Some argue that PowerPoint® has negatively impacted society. Many large companies and branches of the government use PowerPoint® as a way to brief employees on important issues that they must make decisions about. Opponents of PowerPoint® argue that reducing complex issues to bulleted points is detrimental to the decision making process; in other words, because the amount of information in a presentation must be condensed, viewing a PowerPoint® presentation does not give one enough detailed information to make a truly informed decision.

Microsoft® Corporation

The Microsoft® Corporation is a publicly held multinational corporation based in Redmond, Washington, USA. Microsoft® develops, produces, licenses and supports of a wide range of products and services that are associated primarily with computers. The company was founded on April 4, 1975 by Paul Allen and Bill Gates, childhood friends with a passion for programming. The company’s primary purpose was to develop and market BASIC for the Altair© 8800, but later, in the mid-1980’s, the company began to dominate the market for home computer operating systems running MS-DOS®. This was followed by the launching of a series of operating systems known as Microsoft Windows®. Over time, Microsoft® also took leadership in the office suite market, mainly via its Microsoft Office® product. More recently, the company has also begun to focus on the games industry, where their most significant products are the Xbox® and Xbox 360®, as well as consumer electronics and digital services with Zune®, MSN® and the Windows® Phone 7. Following the Microsoft® IPO (initial public offering) four Microsoft® employees became billionaires and around twelve thousand employees became millionaires. In May, 2011, Microsoft® bought Skype® Communications for $ 8.5 billion.

Microsoft® offers a wide range of software that is used worldwide, such as:

  • Microsoft Windows®
  • Microsoft Windows Server®, Mobile, Embedded
  • Microsoft Office®
  • Microsoft® Works
  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer®
  • Microsoft® FrontPage®
  • Microsoft® Expression Web
  • Microsoft® Visual Studio®
  • Microsoft Dynamics®
  • Microsoft Windows® Mail

 Although Microsoft® is primarily a software company, it also offers a range of hardware products:

  • Computer mouse - with this, the control of computers is significantly easier via the graphical user interface.
  • Keyboard
  • Joystick - for some computer games.
  • Xbox® game console and next-generation Xbox 360®- associated with a game console and media center.
  • Zune® music player

In the 1990s, the company was criticized for the use of monopolistic business practices and anti-competitive strategies. The United States Department of Justice and the European Commission found the company guilty of violating anti-monopolistic laws. At present, the main Microsoft® products, Microsoft Windows® and Microsoft Office®, have the significant majority of the market share.  

Microsoft® remains a world leader in software, services and solutions and operates eight divisions including:

  • Online Services Division: search, portal, advertising and personal communications services such as Bing and MSN portals and channels
  • Server and Tools Business: software, developer tools and cloud platform featuring Windows Server, SQL Server, Visual Studio® and more
  • Microsoft Office® Division: productivity products including Office®, Exchange©, Visio® and more
  • Interactive Entertainment Business: Xbox 360®, Xbox LIVE®, Zune® and more
  • Windows Phone® Division: software and services for Windows PhoneSM
  • Windows® and Windows Live® Division: Windows®  Windows Live® and Internet Explorer®
  • Skype® Division: communications for computers, mobile devices and more

Microsoft® Excel®

Microsoft® Excel® is a spreadsheet application created by the Microsoft® Corporation that runs on both Microsoft Windows® and Macintosh® operating systems. Since version 5 was released in 1993, it has enjoyed a dominant market position. Today, it is sold mainly as a component of Microsoft Office®. Its main competitor is Calc©, which is part of the office suite from OpenOffice.org®. The first version for the Macintosh® was released in 1985. Microsoft® Excel® was the first program to use GUI drop-down menus controlled by mouse clicks. Working with this interface was much more intuitive than working in a MS-DOS® program. In addition, users could choose from up to 256 fonts. Many people bought a Macintosh® computer because of Microsoft® Excel®. Later, in 1987, when Microsoft® Excel® was offered as one of the first applications for Microsoft Windows®, it was influential in convincing many users to migrate to this operating system. In 1988, the Microsoft® Excel® main competitor emerged - Lotus® 1-2-3. In 1989, Windows® 3.0 achieved widespread recognition. Surprisingly, until the summer of 1992 there were no spreadsheet competitors for the Microsoft Windows® platform. Microsoft® Excel® includes the basic features that are common to all spreadsheets. It uses a grid of cells arranged in numbered rows and lettered columns to organize data and facilitate data manipulations such as arithmetic operations. It has a battery of supplied functions to accommodate statistical, engineering, and financial needs. In addition, it can display data as line graphs, histograms, and charts, as well as in a very limited three-dimensional graphical display. The Microsoft® Excel® application can automatically poll external databases and measure instruments using an update schedule, analyze the results, make a Microsoft® Word report or Power Point® slide show, and email these documents to a list of participants on a regular basis.

Microsoft® Word

Microsoft® Word is a word processor created by the Microsoft® Corporation. It is part of Microsoft Office®, and is also sold as a standalone product and included in the Microsoft® Works Suite. The first version was created in 1983 by programmer Richard Brodie for IBM® (this version ran under the MS-DOS® operating system). A version for Macintosh® followed in 1984, and in 1989, the first Microsoft® Word application running under the Microsoft Windows® operating system was developed. The MS-DOS® version (Microsoft® Word 3.00) was not popular, however versions for the Macintosh® (Microsoft® Word 3.01) were more successful. It was the first editor that could display italic and bold fonts, but many companies were slow to replace other competitive programs, such as WordPerfect®, with Microsoft® Word. The first version for Windows® 3.0 was launched in 1989 under the name Microsoft® Word 1.0. With this version, Microsoft® Word won over WordPerfect® users, partly due to the fact that a WordPerfect® version for Windows® didn’t exist. The 2.0 version strengthened  the Microsoft® Word position. Modern versions of Word can do much more than formatting text. For instance, the program now accommodates the insertion of images, tables, and graphs into documents and includes a drawing toolbar that enables users to create simple graphic shapes. Macros (e.g., Visual Basic®) allow automation of the workflow, but introduce some security risks. Today, the Microsoft® Word format dominates the market. Also, “.doc” and “.docx” have become the de facto standards that other programs must support if they wish to succeed. Although this support from competing programs exists, it is not entirely reliable. This situation is expected to improve through the extension of the ODF and Open Office OXML.

Motherboard

A motherboard is the most important board in every personal computer. The motherboard is  the main circuit board, system board or on Apple® computers, the logic board. The motherboard contains the connectors for attaching additional boards, including its microprocessor, main memory, external storage, controllers for video display and sound, and peripheral devices may be attached to the motherboard directly or as plug-in cards or cables. An important component of a motherboard is the microprocessor's supporting chipset, which provides the supporting interfaces between the CPU and the various buses and external components. This chipset determines, to an extent, the features and capabilities of the motherboard.

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla® Firefox® is a free, cross-platform web browser. Since its initial release in 2004, Firefox® has become the most popular open source web browser, maintaining 42.8 percent of the worldwide market share as of 2011. With hundreds of technical volunteers dedicated to the browser’s development and the Mozilla® Foundation, Firefox® offers some of the most innovative and user-satisfying features in web browsers. Among its most popular ones are pop-up window options, multiple-paged tabs in a single browser window and special modules that contain additional functionality or regulate the behavior of the browser.

Mobile Firefox® offers the same benefits as the desktop version and is distinguished only by the addition of "Android™ / Maemo®".  Firefox® is compatible with Microsoft Windows®, Linux®, Mac® OS X®, FreeBSD®, OS/2®, RISC OS, BeOS® and SkyOS™.

MP3

The MP3 (MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III) is a “lossy” compression format for an audio file compression algorithm based on MPEG (Motion Picture Experts Group). While keeping a relatively high quality, MP3 conversion reduces the size of audio files in CD quality at about one tenth, however vocal tracks give significantly worse results. The MP3 has become popular for storing and playing music on computers and portable players. The development of the MP3 format is credited with German scientist Karlheinz Brandenburg; director of a branch of the Frauenhofer Institute for Media Communication in Ilmenau, and his scientific team. The MP3 tries to remove the redundancy of the audio signal based on the psychoacoustic model. Thus, it takes information that human do not hear or realize from the input signal. It uses the principles of temporal and frequency masking. Audio compression, according to MPEG-1 contains 3 layers, which are different in quality and difficulty of implementation. Thanks to its properties, the MP3 format has become a very popular tool for the spreading of music and spoken word on the Internet. In connection with this trend, a number of specialized MP3 search engines that index the content of websites have focused only on MP3 format.

MP4

MP4 is a multimedia container defined by standard ISO / IEC 14496-14:2003. It is also known as MPEG-4 Part 14, and is part of the MPEG-4 standard. MP4 is based on QuickTime container from Apple®. It is a modern and open alternative to the outdated AVI container. Compared to AVI, MP4 may contain menus, multiple subtitles, audio tracks and even 3D objects. It also enables smooth video streaming and is often used for storing high-definition video in digital cameras.

To play MP4 on a Windows®- based computer, you can use many different types of players and filters. One of the most popular video players, Media Player Classic, has built-in support for MP4. For other players using DirectShow (a multimedia framework and API by Microsoft®), you must install an MP4 Splitter.

MSN®

MSN® (or the Microsoft® Network) is a collection of Internet services from the Microsoft® Corporation. MSN® was originally launched with the release of Microsoft Windows® 95 on August 24, 1995. Since then, the services have grown several times in scope. The first was an email box service Hotmail, followed by the instant messenger MSN® Messenger, which was later renamed Windows Live® Messenger. MSN® underwent a major transformation on Windows Live® in 2006, mainly because of the company’s desire to increase the attractiveness of its services for a wider spectrum of people. In the US, MSN® provides more internet services than search engine operations. Gradually, all current MSN® services were transformed into a new interface. The word “MSN” is a synonym for MSN® Messenger. If you want to use MSN®, you need to have a Windows Live® ID, which can be obtained free of charge, and allows you access to all services. The service is linked to the email address you provide when you complete the registration. About 27 million people all around the world use MSN®.

Myspace

Myspace® (formerly styled as My Space®) is a community server or social network, founded in 2003 in the USA. MySpace® was purchased in 2005 for $ 580 million by News Corporation® media mogul Rupert Murdoch. In the following years, the rise of Facebook® resulted in lower interest in the service and by the end of June 2011 News Corporation® sold its 95% of shares to Specific Media© for $35 million. Myspace® is one of the largest community servers in the world. Its slogan is "A place for friends". In addition to the classic individual profiles on Myspace® are the profiles of musicians, filmmakers and actors from around the world. To protect children, the service is accessible only to people over 14 years of age.


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