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Glossary Of Computer Terms
A B C D
E F G H I J K L M N O
P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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K: n. Abbreviation for kilobyte. See kilobyte.
KB: n. Abbreviation for kilobyte. See kilobyte.
Kbps: n. See kilobits per second.
Kbyte: n. Abbreviation for kilobyte. See kilobyte.
Kerberos or kerberos: n. A network authentication protocol developed by MIT.
Kerberos authenticates the identity of users attempting to log on to a network and encrypts their communications
through secret-key cryptography. A free implementation of Kerberos is available from MIT (http://web.mit.edu/kerberos/www/),
although it is also available in many commercial products. See also authentication, cryptography.
Kermit: n. A file transfer protocol used in asynchronous communications between computers. Kermit is
a very flexible protocol used in many software packages designed for communications over telephone lines. Compare
Xmodem, Ymodem, Zmodem.
kernel: n. The core of an operating system--the portion of the system that
manages memory, files, and peripheral devices; maintains the time and date; launches applications; and allocates
key: n. 1. On a keyboard, the combination of a plastic keycap, a tension mechanism
that suspends the keycap but allows it to be pressed down, and an electronic mechanism that records the key press
and key release. 2. In database management, an identifier for a record or group of records in a datafile. See also
B-tree, hash2, index1 (definition 1), inverted list, key field. 3. The code for deciphering encrypted data. 4.
A metal object used with a physical lock to disable a computer system.
keyboard: n. A set of switches that resembles a typewriter keyboard and that
conveys information from a user to a computer or data communications circuit. See also Alt key, Apple key, arrow
key, Backspace key, Break key, Caps Lock key, character code, Clear key, Command key, control character, Control
key, Delete key, Dvorak keyboard, End key, enhanced keyboard, Enter key, ergonomic keyboard, Escape key, function
key, Help key, Home key, Insert key, keyboard buffer, keyboard controller, keyboard enhancer, keycap, key code,
numeric keypad, Num Lock key, Option key, original Macintosh keyboard, Page Down key, Page Up key, Pause key, PC/XT
keyboard, Power-on key, Print Screen key, QWERTY keyboard, Return key, scan code, Scroll Lock key, Shift key, Sys
Req key, Tab key.
keyboard buffer: n. A small amount of system memory that stores the most recently
typed characters. This buffer is used to store typed characters that have not yet been processed. Also called type-ahead
keyboard controller: n. A microprocessor installed in a keyboard whose primary
function is to wait for and report on keystrokes.
keyboard layout: n. The key arrangement used for a particular keyboard, including
such factors as the number of keys (101 is the current standard) and the configuration of the keys (QWERTY is the
United States standard). Some proprietary systems use different layouts, and many allow you to map the keys to
characters according to your preferences.
keypunch: n. A keyboard-activated device used to punch holes in predetermined
locations on paper cards roughly the size of a business envelope. It was used to provide programs and data to early
keystroke: n. The act of pressing a key on a keyboard to enter a character
or initiate a command in a program. The efficiency and ease of use of certain applications is often measured in
terms of how many keystrokes it takes to perform common operations. See also command, key (definition 1), keyboard.
keyword-in-context: n. An automatic search methodology that creates indexes
of document text or titles. Each keyword is stored in the resulting index along with some surrounding text, usually
the word or phrase that precedes or follows the keyword in the text or title. Acronym: KWIC.
kill: vb. 1. To stop or abort a process in a program or operating system. 2.
In file management, to erase a file, often without hope of reversing the action.
killer app: n. 1. An application of such popularity and widespread standardization
that it fuels sales of the hardware platform or operating system for which it was written. See also application.
2. An application that supplants its competition. See also application.
kilobits per second: n. Abbreviated Kbps. Data transfer speed, as on a network,
measured in multiples of 1,024 bits per second.
kilobyte: n. Abbreviated K, KB, or Kbyte. A data unit of 1,024 bytes. See also
kilohertz: n. Abbreviated kHz. A measure of frequency equivalent to 1,000 hertz,
or 1,000 cycles per second. See also hertz.
kiosk: n. A freestanding computer or terminal that provides information to
the public, usually through a multimedia display.
kludge: n. 1. A short-term or makeshift hardware construction. 2. A program
characterized by a lack of design or forethought, as if written in a hurry to satisfy an immediate need. A kludge
basically operates properly, but its construction or design is severely lacking in elegance or logical efficiency.
See also braindamaged, hack1 (definition 1), spaghetti code.
knowledge base: n. A form of database used in expert systems that contains
the accumulated body of knowledge of human specialists in a particular field. The reasoning ability or problem-solving
approach that a specialist would use is contained in the inference engine, which forms another crucial part of
an expert system. See also expert system, inference engine.
Many definitions maybe similar to the Microsoft Computer Dictionary,
5th Edition. Purchase information found at Microsoft Press.
The contributors of these definitions is far too numerous to mention, however
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