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There are 241 names in this directory beginning with the letter W.
W

Wait.

W-O

Write Once. Refers to storage media such as WORM and CD-R on which data can be written once, but not erased or rewritten.

W3

WWW; the World Wide Web. A hypermedia-based system for browsing Internet sites. It is named the Web because it is made of many sites linked together; users can travel from one site to another by clicking on hyperlinks. Text, graphics, sound, and video can all be accessed with browsers like Mosaic, Netscape, or Internet Explorer. The Web can also be accessed with text-only browsers like Lynx. 2. A World Wide Web browser for Emacs.

W3 Consortium

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C); also called W3O. The main body that creates standards for the World Wide Web. Based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), it also produces reference software.

W3C

W3 Consortium (World Wide Web Consortium); also called W3O. The main body that creates standards for the World Wide Web. Based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), it also produces reference software.

W3O

World Wide Web Consortium; also called W3C. The main body that creates standards for the World Wide Web. Based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), it also produces reference software.

WAA

Wide Area Adapter. An adapter connecting to a wide area network (WAN).

wabbit

A computer program that is not a virus or worm but that makes copies of itself every time it is run, which eventually crashes the system. The original “wabbit” appeared in the late 1970s.

WABI

Windows ABI (Windows Application Binary Interface). A software package from SunSoft that provides Microsoft Windows emulation for UNIX. It translates calls made by Windows applications into X Window calls.

WACK

Wait before sending positive acknowledgement. This means the receiving station is not ready to receive the ACK.

wafer

A very thin sheet of semiconductor material, about 1/30″ thick, which comprises the substrate for a microchip.

WAIS

Wide Area Information Server. A search engine developed by Thinking Machines, Inc., which can find documents on the Internet. WAIS uses keywords to search text files, and can search the entire contents of documents rather than only titles. WAIS uses the ANSI Z39.50 query language.

wait state

A brief delay added before a microprocessor executes an instruction, to allow time for slower memory chips or external devices to respond. A wait states may be one or more of the computer's clock cycles or may be timed differently. One wait state on each access of memory can make the processor up to 20% slower. With no wait state (called zero wait state) the processor will run faster.

waiting time

The time lag between the beginning of a request for data and the moment it begins to be received; also called latency.

waldo

A mechanical arm or other extension of a human limb, which is operated by a human and used to do various tasks. The term originates in Robert Heinlein's science fiction story, “Waldo”.

wall

A UNIX command meaning “write all”. It sends a message to everyone logged in at the time.

wall time

The time according to a clock on the wall, rather than on the computer's clock.

wall wart

A transformer plugged into a wall outlet that converts the AC power from the outlet into DC power for an electronic device such as a modem. Also called a power adapter.

wallpaper

A picture or pattern displayed as a background to the windows or other items on the computer's desktop in a graphical user environment. The user can choose the wallpaper from a group of available patterns, or create original wallpaper.

WAN

Wide Area Network. A network in which computers are connected to each other over a long distance, using telephone lines and satellite communications. Contrast with Local Area Network (LAN).

Wang Laboratories

Wang Laboratories, Inc. A Lowell, Massachusetts computer systems and software company founded by Dr. An Wang. Some Wang Labs products have been desktop calculators, WPS word processors, and VS minicomputers.

Wang, Dr. An

The founder (in 1951) of Wang Laboratories, Inc. Originally from China, Dr. Wang studied at Harvard University in the U.S. One of his inventions was a pulse transfer device that made it possible to use magnetic cores for computer memory. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1988.

WAP

(Wireless Application Protocol). A global standard for developing applications over wireless communication networks.

WAP gateway

When implementing services in Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), information is translated into Wireless Markup Language (WML) by a two-way device called a WAP gateway.

warez

Software that is illegally made available, for example on an FTP or Telnet site, by software pirates.

warm boot

Restarting the computer without turning the power off. Same as soft boot; the opposite of cold boot.

warm start

Restarting the computer without turning the power off. The opposite of cold start.

warm swap

To replace a component without turning the power off. Although the computer system is on, the component itself must not be in use.

Warp

IBM's OS/2 version 3.0.

warp speed

Faster than the speed of light; a science fiction concept explaining how spaceships can travel over vast interstellar distances.

Warp Zillion Opus to Opus

(WaZOO). The session layer protocol for Fidonet. WaZOO is sometimes used for other Internet transmissions.

watch icon

A little wristwatch symbol that replaces the normal mouse pointer symbol to indicate the computer is working on something and temporarily unavailable to receive new commands. The watch icon usually appears in Macintosh programs; in Windows programs there is an hourglass.

Watcom compiler

One of a series of C and FORTRAN compilers for 16- and 32-bit Intel-processor PCs from Watcom International Corporation.

Watcom International Corporation

A company in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada that is a subsidiary of Powersoft Corporation. Watcom provides application development tools, C and FORTRAN compilers, SQL database servers, and other products. Some well-known Watcom products are WATFOR, Watcom SQL, Watcom C/C++, and Watcom VX*REXX.

Watcom SQL

A relational database management system (RDBMS) from Watcom International, which can be used on systems from large local area networks to single PCs. It is available for DOS, NetWare, OS/2, and Windows.

Watcom VX*REXX

An integrated visual development environment from Watcom International Corporation.

water MIPS

Water-cooled mainframes or supercomputers. See MIPS.

watermark

A watermark is a normally invisible pressure mark in expensive paper which can be seen only when the paper is held up to the light. Some computer files have digital watermarks embedded in them as a pattern of bits which appear to be part of the file and are not noticeable to the user. These patterns can be used to detect unauthorized copies.

WATS

Wide Area Telephone Service. A WATS line is a service in which a subscriber pays a flat monthly rate for unlimited long-distance calls to certain calling areas.

watt

(After James Watt, Scottish inventor). A unit of electrical power produced by a current of one ampere across a potential difference of one volt, or a unit of power equal to one joule per second.

Watt, James

A Scottish engineer and inventor (1736-1819), who invented the steam engine. See watt.

WAV

A digitized audio file format for Microsoft Windows that stores sounds as waveforms. It has “.wav” as the filename extension.

WAVE

A language for robotics.

wave

An oscillation or movement that transfers energy from point to point; that can be described mathematically in terms of its frequency, amplitude, velocity, and phase; and that can be visualized as a moving swell or succession of curves. Light, sound, electricity, and many other signals travel in waves.

wave file

A file which contains a representation of sound waves in digital form.

waveform

1. The pattern of a sound wave or other wave; the change of a sound wave's amplitude over time. 2. A graphic representation of the pattern of a wave showing characteristics such as frequency and amplitude.

wavelength

In a periodic waveform, the distance between one point on a wave and the same point in the next cycle. The waveform can be determined mathematically by dividing the speed by the frequency.

Wavelength Division Multiplexing

(WDM). A technology for transmitting multiple signals at the same time over a single optical fiber. The signals travel within color bands, with one color band for each signal.

wavelet

A little wave, limited in duration and frequency.

wavelet transform

A method of converting a signal into a series of wavelets, for efficient storage. One of its computing applications is in lossy compression for color graphics.

wavetable synthesis

Synthesizing musical instrument sounds by using stored digital information taken from sound produced by real instruments. The sampling rate determines the quality of sound. Compare FM synthesis.

WaZOO

Warp Zillion Opus to Opus. The session layer protocol for Fidonet. WaZOO is sometimes used for other Internet transmissions.

WCDMA

Wideband CDMA. A high-speed G3 mobile wireless technology officially known as “IMT-2000 direct spread.” The technology works by digitizing and transmitting the input signals in a coded, spread spectrum mode over a range of frequencies. WCDMA has the ability to spread its transmissions over a 5MHz carrier and it supports images, mobile/portable voice, data and video communications at up to 2 Mbps for local area access or 384 Kbps for wide area access.

WD

Western Digital. A company in Irvine, California, that manufactures hard disk drives, integrated circuits, graphics adapters, and other products.

WDM

Wavelength Division Multiplexing. A technology for transmitting multiple signals at the same time over a single optical fiber. The signals travel within color bands, with one color band for each signal.

WE

A system of hypertext authoring from the University of North Carolina.

Weather Observation Definition Format

Also called Weather Observation Markup Format (OMF); an application of XML used for weather observation reports, forecasts, and advisories.

Weather Observation Markup Format

(OMF). The Weather Observation Markup Format is an application of XML used to encode weather observation reports, forecasts, and advisories.

Web

The World Wide Web (WWW). A hypermedia-based system for browsing Internet sites. It is named the Web because it is made of many sites linked together; users can travel from one site to another by clicking on hyperlinks. Text, graphics, sound, and video can all be accessed with browsers like Mosaic, Netscape, or Internet Explorer. The Web can also be accessed with text-only browsers like Lynx.

Web browser

A program such as Mosaic, Netscape, Internet Explorer, and others that are used to view pages on the World Wide Web.

Web cam

Web camera. A digital camera that uploads images to a Web site for broadcast.

Web crawler

A program which visits remote sites and automatically downloads their contents for indexing. Web crawlers are part of the effort to organize the millions of documents on the World Wide Web. See also WebCrawler.

Web Design

The art of constructing an appealing and functional design which will serve the dual purpose of producing an aesthestically pleasing look as well as an easy-to-use navigational scheme.

Web designer

A person who designs pages for the World Wide Web. Web page design requires computer graphic design skills plus knowledge of HTML and how to convert graphic images and sound files into web formats.

Web Hosting

A web hosting company (usually an ISP) leases server space and web services to companies and individuals who wish to present a web or e-commerce presence but do not wish to maintain their own servers. The servers are connected to the same fast internet backbone as the ISP. Cost structures are determined by the amount and complexity of services offered such as Scripting Tools, SQL Databases, Credit Card Processing, etc.

Web page

One page of a document on the World Wide Web. A web page is usually a file written in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), stored on a server. A web page usually has links to other web pages. Each web page has its own address called a Uniform Resource Locator (URL), in the form http://www.computeruser.com.

Web page designer

A person who designs a web page. Web page design requires computer graphic design skills plus knowledge of HTML and how to convert graphic images and sound files into web formats.

Web PC

A specially-designed computer that is only for surfing the Internet.

Web publishing

Creating hypertext documents and making them available on the World Wide Web. Web documents can include many different media, and often have text, pictures, animated graphics, sound and movie clips, and interactive forms. Web pages can also contain hyperlinks to other documents, electronic mail links, and search engines. To publish a document on the World Wide Web, one must store it on a computer that is a web server, and make its address known by linking it to other web pages and perhaps registering it with directory services.

Web server

A server on the Internet that holds World Wide Web documents and makes them available for viewing by remote browsers.

Web site

A server computer that makes documents available on the World Wide Web. Each Web site is identified by a hostname.

Web smith

A person who develops and maintains a website; also one who creates web pages.

Web Standards Project

(WSP). An initiative by WWW developers and users to stop fragmentation of the Web, by establishing standards for browsers and encouraging browser makers to follow them.

WebBench

A benchmark for measuring the performance of Web server software by running different Web server packages on the same server hardware or by running a given Web server package on different hardware platforms. WebBench has both static test suites, which test only HTML pages, and dynamic tests suites, which use a combination of common gateway interface (CGI) scripts and static requests.

webcast

Broadcasting information over the World Wide Web.

WebCrawler

A World Wide Web index and search engine, http://webcrawler.com/. See also Web crawler.

WebFX

A virtual reality modeling language (VRML) viewer for Windows.

webhead

A person who is enthusiastic about the World Wide Web and uses it a lot.

webmaster

The person who administers a website. The webmaster is often also the designer of some or all of the site’s pages.

WebSpace

The first virtual reality modeling language (VRML) viewer, from SGI.

WebTV

WebTV is a way of accessing Internet and email service via a set-top box, a television set, a standard phone line, and a subscription-based online service called WebTV Network.

WebWasher

An Internet filtering program from Siemens, downloadable free of charge to private users. Using WebWasher, users can filter unsuitable or unwanted material, including pornography, advertisements, banner images, and large tables. Using the program, the volume of data transmitted can be reduced by up to 45 percent. In this way, users can choose which contents they wish to view and do not have to pay transmission fees for unwanted material.

webzine

A magazine on the World Wide Web.

well-behaved

Acting in accordance with standards; software is said to be well-behaved if it uses the operating system in the expected way for such tasks as screen display, keyboard input, disk input/output, etc. Programs called ill-behaved are designed to bypass normal operating system functions, which may result in better performance but makes the program less portable and more likely to be restricted to specific hardware.

Western Digital Corporation

A company in Irvine, California, that manufactures hard disk drives, integrated circuits, graphics adapters, and other products.

Westlaw

An online service from West Publishing Co., Eagan, Minnesota, that offers access to legal databases, plus Knight-Ridder and Dow Jones.

Westmount Technology

A Netherlands software company that produced Real Time Engineering Environment (RTEE).

wetware

Human beings, or the human nervous system, as opposed to computer hardware or software.

WFW

Windows for Workgroups (3.1). A version of Windows 3.1 which is specifically designed to be used with a network.

WG

Working Group. A group of people working on a particular project. This term is often used for groups of people who are developing new technology in computing.

whack

To modify a program without knowing how it works. A whacker is a would-be hacker.

whacker

An incompetent hacker.

what if?

A way of using a spreadsheet to make predictions by changing certain items of data and seeing how other items are affected. For example, “What if all the prices are raised 10%?”

What You See Is What You Get

(WYSIWYG). Refers to the ability of a computer to present an image of a page layout or graphic on its screen that shows how the actual page will look like when it comes out of the printer. Before advanced computer technology made WYSIWYG possible, a typesetter formatting a page would see only unformatted lines of type and coding on the screen, and would have to hope that the copy that came out would look the way it was supposed to.

What You See Is What You Print

(WYSIWYP). Refers to the ability of a computer to display the same colors and resolution on the screen that will come out of the printer. Calibrating the printer and monitor and using a color matching system make it possible to match screen display and finished product.

What's New

The space on a website where the latest changes and updates are announced.

wheel

A privileged user on a computer system; a user who has a wheel bit.

wheel bit

A bit that gives a user special privileges on a system.

wheel mode

A privileged logon; a mode in which a user has special privileges not available to all users.

Whetstone

A benchmark for floating point operations, named after Whetstone, a town in England. The results of the test are given in Whetstones per second.

Which Stands For Nothing

(WSFN). A beginning programming language for Atari computers.

WHIRLWIND

An early mainframe developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the 1940s and 1950s. It was the first example of a digital electronic computer with magnetic core memory, and took up two floors of a building at MIT.

white noise

Interference generated by the movement of electricity in a communications line. Also called Gaussian noise.

white pages

A directory service which is comparable to the white pages of the telephone directory. The Internet has a number of databases for finding people by name, email address, snail mail address, and telephone number; examples are Knowbot Information Service, Netfind, Finger, and whois.

white point

The point defined as white on a color display. It is defined as 6500 degrees Kelvin, or as x=0.3127, y=0.3290 on the CIE Chromaticity Diagram.

white space

Blank spaces on a printed page, inserted in the text by characters such as spaces, tabs, line feeds, and form feeds.

whiteboard

The equivalent of a blackboard, but on a computer screen. A whiteboard allows one or more users to draw on the screen while others on the network watch, and can be used for instruction the same way a blackboard is used in a classroom.

whois

An Internet directory service which can be used to find information about users registered on a server, or other information about the network.

Whurlwind

A virtual reality modeling language (VRML) viewer for Macintosh.

wide area adapter

(WAA). An adapter connecting to a wide area network (WAN).

Wide Area Information Server

(WAIS). A search engine developed by Thinking Machines, Inc., which can find documents on the Internet. WAIS uses keywords to search text files, and can search the entire contents of documents rather than only titles. WAIS uses the ANSI Z39.50 query language.

wide area network

(WAN). A network in which computers are connected to each other over a long distance, using telephone lines and satellite communications. Contrast with local area network (LAN).

DOS and UNIX, ? can be used to represent any single character, and * can represent any group of characters. Therefore, “*.*” could be substituted for any file name; “*.BAK” would mean any .BAK (backup) file, etc.

WIMP

Windows, Icons, Menus, and Pointers; or Windows, Icons, Mouse, Pull-down Menus. A WIMP interface is a graphical user interface such as used in Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, OSF/Motif, NeWS, RISC OS, and the X Window System. The first graphical user interface was developed at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.

WIMP user interface

Windows, Icons, Menus, and Pointers; or Windows, Icons, Mouse, Pull-down Menus. A WIMP user interface is a graphical user interface such as used in Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, OSF/Motif, NeWS, RISC OS, and the X Window System. The first graphical user interface was developed at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.

Win 95

Windows 95. An operating system with graphical user interface from Microsoft, which can run 32-bit applications. Windows 95 was a major upgrade from earlier versions of Windows up to Windows 3.1, which simply provided a graphical user interface for DOS. Some features of Windows 95 are Plug and Play capability, threading, pre-emptive multitasking, and built-in networking. The user interface has icons and folders similar to Macintosh, and allows the use of long file names. The minimum requirements for a computer to run Windows 95 are an 80386 or Pentium CPU and at least 8 megabytes of RAM.

Win NT

Windows NT (Windows New Technology). A 32-bit operating system from Microsoft for high-end workstations, servers, and networks. It has built-in networking, pre-emptive multitasking, multi-threading, memory protection, and fault tolerance. It can be used on PCs and other types of computers, including DEC Alpha. Windows NT supports the Unicode character set, which allows more characters than standard ASCII. The minimum requirements for Windows NT are an 80386 processor, and at least 12 megabytes of RAM. Windows NT has become especially popular as a server because of its extra security features.

Win32s

An extension for Windows 3 which allows it to run 32-bit applications.

WinBench

A series of tests from Ziff-Davis' PC Labs that analyze computer performance in a Windows environment. Results are given in Winmarks.

WinBench 97

A benchmark from Ziff-Davis that measures the performance of a PC’s graphics, disk, processor, video and CD-ROM subsystems in a Windows environment. WinBench 97's tests are all 32-bit, except for the 16-bit processor test, and can only run on Windows 95 and Windows NT systems.

Winchester drive

A hard disk drive that has a movable read/write head which planes over the surface of the disk on a cushion of air produced by the rotation of the disk. When the disk stops rotating, the read/write head comes to rest in a landing zone on the disk where no data is stored. Winchester drives are kept in a sealed unit which protects the disks from dust or other contamination which could cause a head crash. Winchester is a code name rather than a brand name, and originated with the early IBM 3340 which had two 30-megabyte volumes; “30-30” was a nickname for a Winchester rifle.

WinCode

A utility that can decode uuencoded files in Windows.

Wind River Systems

A worldwide company based in Alameda, California, which is a supplier of embedded systems and development tools.

window

A division of a computer display screen, which has boundaries and is usually a rectangular area. In a full-featured graphical interface, windows can be opened, closed, and moved around on the screen. The user can control the size and shape of the windows; also windows can be overlapped, and overlapping windows can be brought to the front or sent to the back. The active window is the one in which the user is currently working, and appears in front. Windows can usually be scrolled to view different areas. Different applications or files can be displayed on the screen at the same time in different windows.

window manager

The part of windowing software which controls functions of the windows such as moving, overlapping, resizing, scrolling, displaying menus, etc.

window system

Software that makes it possible for a computer to display windows, such as the X Window System, the Macintosh window system, NeXt, and NeWS.

windowing software

Software that provides an operating system with the capability of displaying windows.

windowing system

An operating system such as Macintosh, Motif, OS/2, RISC OS, Windows, or X Windows that uses windows to display information.

Windows 1

The first version of Microsoft Windows, which came out in 1985. It was able to display tiled windows.

Windows 2

The second version of Microsoft Windows, which improved on Windows 1 by allowing overlapping windows and icons and supporting expanded memory. It was released in 1987. It was later named Windows/286.

Windows 3.0

The first version of Microsoft Windows that gained wide popularity. It is able to manage larger amounts of memory than previous versions, and can run 16-bit DOS and Windows applications. Many applications were developed for Windows 3.0.

Windows 3.1

An improvement on Windows 3.0, which includes multimedia capability, TrueType fonts, and Object Linking and Embedding (OLE). With the Win32s extension, Windows 3.1 can run 32-bit applications. Windows 3.1 is the stand-alone Windows; there is also Windows for Workgroups 3.1.

Windows 3.11

The last upgrade to Windows 3.1.

Windows 95

An operating system with graphical user interface from Microsoft, which can run 32-bit applications. Windows 95 was a major upgrade from earlier versions of Windows up to Windows 3.1, which simply provided a graphical user interface for DOS. Some features of Windows 95 are Plug and Play capability, threading, pre-emptive multitasking, and built-in networking. The user interface has icons and folders similar to Macintosh, and allows the use of long file names. The minimum requirements for a computer to run Windows 95 are an 80386 or Pentium CPU and at least 8 megabytes of RAM.

Windows 98

Microsoft's operating system released after Windows 95. Windows 98 supported new technologies including FAT32, AGP, MMX, USB, DVD, and ACPI. Another new feature of Win98 was the Active Desktop, which integrated the Web browser, Internet Explorer, with the operating system. To the user of Active Desktop, there is no difference between accessing a document local to the user’s hard disk and accessing a document from a Web server on the other side of the world.

Windows ABI

(WABI); Windows Application Binary Interface. A software package from SunSoft that provides Microsoft Windows emulation for UNIX. It translates calls made by Windows applications into X Window calls.

Windows application binary interface

(WABI); Windows ABI. A software package from SunSoft that provides Microsoft Windows emulation for UNIX. It translates calls made by Windows applications into X Window calls.

Windows CE

Microsoft® Windows® CE 2.0 is a 32-bit, Windows-compatible real-time operating system that fills the need for a small, scalable operating system that works in a broad selection of embedded and non-embedded products.

Windows environment

1. An operating system or application program that uses windows to display information. 2.A computer running a version of Microsoft Windows.

Windows for Workgroups

(WFW). A version of Windows 3.1 which is specifically designed to be used with a network.

Windows for Workgroups 3.11

An upgrade to Windows for Workgroups 3.1 which includes 32-bit file access and the ability to send and receive faxes.

Windows Internet Naming Service

(WINS). A program that runs under Windows NT Server which correlates the host name of a computer on a network with its physical IP address, thus making it possible to find computers on other networks.

Windows network

A local area network of computers that all use Windows 95, Windows NT, or Windows for Workgroups.

Windows New Technology

Windows NT. A 32-bit operating system from Microsoft for high-end workstations, servers, and networks. It has built-in networking, pre-emptive multitasking, multi-threading, memory protection, and fault tolerance. It can be used on PCs and other types of computers, including DEC Alpha. Windows NT supports the Unicode character set, which allows more characters than standard ASCII. The minimum requirements for Windows NT are an 80386 processor, and at least 12 megabytes of RAM. Windows NT has become especially popular as a server because of its extra security features.

Windows NT

Windows New Technology. A 32-bit operating system from Microsoft for high-end workstations, servers, and networks. It has built-in networking, pre-emptive multitasking, multi-threading, memory protection, and fault tolerance. It can be used on PCs and other types of computers, including DEC Alpha. Windows NT supports the Unicode character set, which allows more characters than standard ASCII. The minimum requirements for Windows NT are an 80386 processor, and at least 12 megabytes of RAM. Windows NT has become especially popular as a server because of its extra security features.

Windows NT Server

(NTS). The server version of Windows NT, which supports symmetric multiprocessing and online transaction processing for a large number of
users.

Windows Sockets

Winsock. An implementation of a socket for Microsoft Windows. Winsock provides an interface between Windows applications and TCP/IP, and is used to make network connections. Winsock is built into Windows 95, and there are versions for other operating systems.

WINDOWS WORLD

A computer trade show run by SOFTBANK COMDEX.

Windows XP

Operating system released by Microsoft Corporation in 2001 as a successor to Windows Me. Windows XP is built on the Windows 2000 kernel to ensure greater stability and has a redesigned user interface. It was released in two versions, Windows XP Home version which includes greater home networking capabilities, and Windows XP Professional for office users.

Windows, Icons, Menus, and Pointers

(WIMP); or Windows, Icons, Mouse, Pull-down Menus. A WIMP interface is a graphical user interface such as used in Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, OSF/Motif, NeWS, RISC OS, and the X Window System. The first graphical user interface was developed at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.

Windows/286

The second version of Microsoft Windows, originally called Windows 2, which improved on Windows 1 by allowing overlapping windows and icons and supporting expanded memory. It was released in 1987.

Windows/386

A version of Microsoft Windows that followed Windows/286, released in 1987. It added the ability to run several applications at a time, by using extended memory.

winkey

A winking face such as ; ) or ;-) (emoticon).

Winmark

A unit of computer performance used in the Winbench tests from Ziff-Davis. Winmarks are used to rate such features as graphics accelerators, disk speed, and disk caching.

WINS

Windows Internet Naming Service. A program that runs under Windows NT Server which correlates the host name of a computer on a network with its physical IP address, thus making it possible to find computers on other networks.

Winsock

Windows Sockets. An implementation of a socket for Microsoft Windows. Winsock provides an interface between Windows applications and TCP/IP, and is used to make network connections. Winsock is built into Windows 95, and there are versions for other operating systems.

Winstone 97

Winstone 97 is a system-level benchmark that measures a PC's overall performance running Windows-based 32-bit applications. Winstone's test suites run actual applications to test the computer's performance.

Wintel

The combination of Microsoft Windows and an Intel CPU.

WinWord

The version of Microsoft Word that is used with Microsoft Windows.

WINZIP

A graphical user interface from Microsoft Windows for PKZIP, including a help resource, which makes it easier to use PKZIP.

wireframe modeling

A computer representation of a three-dimensional image by showing the outlines of all edges in a transparent drawing, as if the object was fashioned with wires. This technique is used in computer-aided design (CAD).

wirehead

A hacker who is an expert with hardware, especially networking components.

Wireless Application Protocol

(WAP). A global standard for developing applications over wireless communication networks.

wireless communications

In computer networking, this term refers to networks that are connected by radio rather than by wires. Wireless communications are enabled by packet radio, spread spectrum, cellular technology, satellites, and microwave towers, and can be used for voice, data, video, and images. Sometimes wireless networks can interconnect with regular computer networks.

Wireless Markup Language

(WML). An XML-based markup language, designed for specifying the content and user interfaces of narrowband wireless devices, such as pagers and cellular phones.

wireless phone

Telephone service that is transmitted without using wires. Examples are cellular mobile phone service and PCS.

wireline

Telephone service that uses wires.

wiring closet

The place where the cables for a network are installed.

Wirth, Niklaus

A Swiss professor, the creator of programming languages Pascal, Modula-2 and Modula-3.

wizard

1. A program utility that works as an interactive guide by walking the user step-by-step through an unfamiliar task. For example, a Word wizard might assist the user in drafting a business letter. 2. An expert hacker or computer programmer. 3. A privileged user on a system, who has powers beyond those of the ordinary user.

wizard mode

A mode in which a user has special privileges on a system; this terminology is particularly used in games and avatar-based chat environments.

WMA

The Windows Media Audio format for digital music, launched by Microsoft as an alternative to the MP3 format. WMA files can be encoded to restrict playback to a certain number of plays, time period, or use by a single PC.

WMF

A file extenstion used for vector images encoded as a Windows metafile.

WML

Wireless Markup Language. An XML-based markup language, designed for specifying the content and user interfaces of narrowband wireless devices, such as pagers and cellular phones.

WMLScript

Based on Wireless Markup Language (WML), WMLScript is similar to JavaScript, but designed for wireless devices. It uses small amounts of memory and CPU power because it does not contain elaborate and unnecessary functions found in some other scripting languages. It is supported by the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP).

WO

Write Once. Refers to storage media such as WORM and CD-R on which data can be written once, but not erased or rewritten.

Wolfram Research, Inc.

The company which developed Mathematica, a program for symbolic mathematics, which was originally a Macintosh program but is now available for many types of computers. The company was founded by Stephen Wolfram.

WOMBAT

Waste Of Money, Brains, And Time.

Word

Microsoft Word. A full-featured word processing program for Macintosh, DOS, and Windows.

word

1. In text, a character or combination of characters appearing between spaces or between a space and a punctuation mark, usually representing a spoken word. 2. The number of bits that can be stored in one CPU register in a computer. The size of a word is usually the width of the data bus. Since most bytes in present-day computers are eight bits, a word is usually a multiple of eight; a common size is two eight-bit bytes (16 bits) or four eightêes (32 bits). Larger computers may have 64-bit words. The size of word that can be transmitted affects the speed of the computer.

Word for Windows

Microsoft Word for use with Microsoft Windows.

Word Pro

A word processing program for Windows from Lotus; it superseded Ami Pro. One feature of Word Pro is that several people can work on the same file at once, via a network. See Lotus Development Corporation

word processing

The preparation of text documents, usually by means of a computer. Word processing is a stage of desktop publishing: the preparation of text, rather than the design or typography. Some features provided by word processing software include word wrap, text editing functions, type styling, page formatting, search and replace, spelling and grammar checking, style sheets, headers and footers, page numbering, sorting, and mail merge.

word processor

1. A computer program used to produce text documents. Examples are WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, Word Pro. 2. A computer which is designed specifically for word processing. Specialized word processor machines have been mostly superseded by personal computers which can perform many functions.

word separator

Any character used to separate words, such as a blank space or punctuation mark.

word size

The number of bits a CPU can process at once; word size is usually the same as the width of the CPU's external data bus, but sometimes is smaller.

word wrap or wordwrap or word-wrap

A feature in most word processing programs and text editors that makes a word bump over to begin the next line when the type reaches the right margin. The type automatically wraps over to the next line without the user having to hit the return key.

WordPerfect

An advanced word processing program from WordPerfect Corporation, originally introduced for Data General minicomputers; now available for DOS, Windows, Macintosh, UNIX, and other computers. Later versions include desktop publishing, fax, email, and spreadsheet functions.

WordPerfect Corporation

The company that developed WordPerfect word processing software and other applications. Originally founded in 1979 in Provo, Utah, as Satellite Software International, the company later became WordPerfect Corporation. It was bought by Novell Inc. in 1994, and then by Corel in 1996.

WordStar

WordStar is a word processing program orginally developed by MicroPro International. WordStar was the dominant word processor for the CP/M operating system, and was adapted to the MS-DOS/PC-DOS platform as well. MicroPro lost market share at an incredible rate in the early to mid 1980's by releasing a very buggy product known as WordStar 2000 to compete with WordPerfect. MicroPro was eventually purchased by SoftKey International, a publisher of low-cost software. SoftKey was in turn purchased the The Learning Company, who was acquired by Mattel. Today, WordStar for DOS is only sold by The Learning Company by special request.

WordTech

The Orinda, California, company that manufactures the Quicksilver compiler.

workaround

A temporary fix or bypass of a problem in a system.

workflow

The scheduling of jobs, or the organization of each part of a project including passing it from one department or individual to another.

workflow management

The automatic routing of a project from one department or individual to another as each step of the project is completed.

WorkForce

An application from Adaptiv Software which helps employers manage information about employees, shifts, and pay schedules, and build labor forecasts.

workforce

1. The workers working in a particular business or activity. 2. The workers potentially available to work.

workgroup

Two or more computer users working together on a project, sharing data and files by means of a network. Groupware is designed for use by workgroups.

working group

(WG). A group of people working on a particular project. This term is often used for groups of people who are developing new technology in computing.

worksheet

A table which displays numbers in rows and columns, used for accounting, budgeting, financial analysis, scientific applications, and other work with figures. Same as spreadsheet.

workstation

1. A one-person computer that is more powerful and faster than most personal computers, and is typically used for graphics, scientific computing, CAD, CAE, and other applications requiring high performance and memory. 2. A terminal in a network, which may have its own processing capability. 3. A terminal or personal computer where one person works.

World Wide Web

(WWW). A hypermedia-based system for browsing Internet sites. It is named the Web because it is made of many sites linked together; users can travel from one site to another by clicking on hyperlinks. Text, graphics, sound, and video can all be accessed with browsers like Mosaic, Netscape, or Internet Explorer. The Web can also be accessed with text-only browsers like Lynx.

World Wide Web browser

A program such as Mosaic, Netscape, Internet Explorer, Lynx, and others that are used to view pages on the World Wide Web.

World Wide Web Consortium

W3 Consortium (W3C); also called W3O. The main body that creates standards for the World Wide Web. Based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), it also produces reference software. Its URL is http://www.w3.org/.

World Wide Web Worm

(WWWW). A search engine for the World Wide Web which can search for keywords in 300,000 documents, and cross-references all the documents in which a particular URL is cited. WWWW provides four types of search databases: citation hypertext, citation addresses (URL), HTML titles and HTML addresses.

Worlds Chat

A three-dimensional, avatar-based chat environment for Windows, made by Worlds Inc.

WorldView

A virtual reality modeling language (VRML) viewer for Windows.

WORM

Write Once, Read Many. Describes a type of storage medium that can be written once only, but read many times; usually refers to optical disks.

worm

A computer program that can make copies of itself, and spreads through connected systems, using up resources in affected computers or causing other damage.

wormhole

A hole in a system's security which is intentionally hidden by designers of the system, often for the purpose of providing access to service technicians or maintenance programmers.

wormhole routing

A way of routing messages by transmitting each part of the message separately, but all along the same route. Each part can be forwarded independently of the rest of the message. This technique of message passing is faster than store-and-forward routing, in which the whole message must be received before it can be transmitted to the next station.

Wozniak, Steve

Co-founder of Apple Computer with Stephen Jobs in 1983. Wozniak invented the Apple II computer.

WPS-8

An early word processor in the 1970s, later called DECmate.

wrist rest

A long rectangular pad that sits on the desk in front of the keyboard, where a typist's wrists can rest while typing. Wrist pads may help prevent repetitive strain injury.

wrist support

A rectangular pad that sits on the desk in front of the keyboard, where a typist's wrists can rest while typing. Wrist pads may help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.

write

To record data onto a disk, tape, or other storage medium.

write access

Authorization to write to files or update files in a computer.

write cycle

The cycle during which data is written into memory.

write error

An error that occurs while trying to write data to disk or tape. It may be caused by damage to the disk or tape.

write once

(WO). Refers to storage media such as WORM and CD-R on which data can be written once, but not erased or rewritten.

write once CD

Also called CD-R (Compact Disc Recordable). A recordable CD-ROM which can be read by normal CD-ROM drives; data can only be recorded once onto a CD-R, and cannot be changed.

Write Once, Read Many

(WORM). Describes a type of storage medium that can be written once only, but read many times; usually refers to optical disks.

write protection

Various hardware or software methods of preventing data from being written to a disk or other medium.

write-only code

A humorous expression referring to programming code so badly written that no one can understand it.

WSDL

The Web Services Description Language (WSDL) is an XML-based language used to describe the services a business offers and to provide a way for individuals and other businesses to access those services electronically. WSDL is derived from Microsoft’s Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and IBM’s Network Accessible Service Specification Language (NASSL). WSDL replaces both NASSL and SOAP as the means of expressing business services in the UDDI registry.

WSFN

Which Stands For Nothing. A beginning programming language for Atari computers.

WSP

Web Standards Project. An initiative by WWW developers and users to stop fragmentation of the Web, by establishing standards for browsers and encouraging browser makers to follow them.

WWW

World Wide Web. A hypermedia-based system for browsing Internet
sites. It is named the Web because it is made of many sites linked together; users can travel from one site to another by clicking on hyperlinks. Text, graphics, sound, and video can all be accessed with browsers like Mosaic, Netscape, or Internet Explorer. The Web can also be accessed with text-only browsers like Lynx.

WWW browser

World Wide Web browser. A program such as Mosaic, Netscape, Internet Explorer, Lynx, and others that are used to view pages on the World Wide Web.

WWWW

World Wide Web Worm. A search engine for the World Wide Web which can search for keywords in 300,000 documents, and cross-references all the documents in which a particular URL is cited. WWWW provides four types of search databases: citation hypertext, citation addresses (URL), HTML titles and HTML addresses.

WYSIAYG

What You See Is All You Get. An ironic rewording of WYSIWYG.

WYSIWYG

What You See Is What You Get. Refers to the ability of a computer to present an image of a page layout or graphic on its screen that shows how the actual page will look like when it comes out of the printer. Before advanced computer technology made WYSIWYG possible, a typesetter formatting a page would see only unformatted lines of type and coding on the screen, and would have to hope that the copy that came out would look the way it was supposed to.

WYSIWYN

What You See Is What You Need.

WYSIWYP

What You See Is What You Print. Refers to the ability of a computer to display the same colors and resolution on the screen that will come out of the printer. Calibrating the printer and monitor and using a color matching system make it possible to match screen display and finished product.

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