Questions about computers, programming and IT.

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2answers
47 views

“The Sultan of Swat” is to nickname as “Babe” is to what?

Trying to name things in a computer data model. People have a variety of name roles, such as legal name, maiden name, etc. "The Sultan of Swat" is a nickname or pseudonym of George Ruth. It seems ...
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4answers
166 views

Antonym of “Device” in computer terminology

How would I talk about something that is either a laptop or a desktop, but not a smartphone or tablet? Is "computer" ok, even though technically speaking, smartphones and tablets are or contain ...
1
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3answers
55 views

Can “backup” be used as a verb in the context of data management? [duplicate]

I have heard backup being used as a verb in the sense of I have to backup my hard disk by non-native English speakers (the English noun backup is also used in other languages, for example in ...
-1
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2answers
58 views

Is there a verb to express moving files within a cloud, similar to “to upload” and “to download”

Writelatex is an awesome cloud solution to write LaTeX documents online. Through one of their dialogs one can "upload" files to the cloud. However, when looking at the options offered, all but one - ...
1
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3answers
52 views

A word for “Progress Bar” when it's not used to measure progress

What would you call something that looks exactly like a progress bar (ie: When you are installing a program) but that isn't used to measure the progress of a task. In this case it's used to display ...
3
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1answer
104 views

Version control “in revision” vs. “at revision”

Should a programmer use in or at as a preposition when referring to the version-control revision number? Example: Which is correct, fixed in revision 12345 or fixed at revision 12345? The ...
2
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2answers
53 views

Name of Shift-Key Concept

What is the name of the concept or type of key used in shifting characters on a mobile device? Many common virtual keyboards used in cellphones and advanced mobile devices use a certain paradigm for ...
3
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1answer
83 views

Does a recursive procedure “recur”?

In programming, a recursive procedure is defined as a procedure which refers to itself in the code. The question is, is "recur" the corresponding verb to the adjective "recursive"? Can I say that a ...
0
votes
1answer
106 views

When writing names for .mp3 and .pdf files (songs, books etc.) in Windows, do you use hyphen, en or em dash to separate an author and his/her work? [closed]

When writing names for .mp3 and .pdf files (songs, books etc.) in Windows, do you use hyphen, en or em dash to separate an author and his/her work? Ex. "Linkin Park - In the End" or "Linkin Park – ...
14
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3answers
1k views

What is the proper term for a ternary digit?

A binary digit is a bit. Is there an equivalent term for a three-state digit? (e.g., a digit representing true, false, or unknown)
2
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3answers
384 views

Do you “hit” or “press” a button?

I am currently writing an user manual for a software tool, providing step-by-step usage instructions. I am aware that pressing a button is a perfectly fine expression. However, I'm trying to find ...
1
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1answer
142 views

Which preposition to use when referring to computer environments

The computer software can have versions targeting different hardware and operation systems. For example, the same game can be run on PC, Xbox and Mac. My question is - when describing the release of ...
1
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3answers
103 views

What is the noun for either a file or folder?

We have files, we have directories; what is the noun that we could use to generically describe either of these? For instance, an apple or a pear can generically be described as fruit. Is there such a ...
0
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3answers
114 views

Equivalent of the word “quadrant”

What would be the equivalent of the word quadrant when referring to 1/2 and 1/8 of an area? I'm looking for a more specific term than simply a half. To give more detail, I'm looking for a term which ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

What do you call something that reads and writes files?

In programming, it's common to write a class that both reads and writes files. What do you call this type of thing? Is it a file handler? A file parser? A file provider? A file streamer? How about a ...
1
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1answer
80 views

Word/phrase origin of “StackExchange” [duplicate]

Because of the success of StackExchange.com I am having difficulty researching the term on the Internet. Where does it come from? I know the phrase comes out of computer programming, but my ...
0
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2answers
104 views

What a common abbreviation for two's complement code

What a common abbreviation for two's complement code? I've searched on Google, and find "TCC" as a required abbreviation on thefreedictionary. Is it commonly recognized? Or may be there are some other ...
1
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1answer
83 views

To 'link' or 'relate' two items?

I'm developing a system in which users can 'link' separate items by using a 'Link' button. In the database, this 'link' is called a 'relation'. I'm inclined to change the text of the button to ...
1
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2answers
1k views

What is meaning of “on the fly” in computer science? [closed]

I am not native English speakers, I often see " on the fly " in some program docs or blogs. I don't know the exact meaning of it. Is it a idiom? e.g.: Since sandman doesn't have any advanced ...
3
votes
3answers
166 views

Primary is to Secondary as Principal is to…what? [closed]

If something is divided into principal divisions, what is the next level "down"? For example, if a generic term for a US state or Canadian province is a "principal country division", what is a good ...
0
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4answers
75 views

Is “delete” a hyponym of “edit”? [closed]

In computer science, is delete considered to be included in edit, or are they two separate things? Example: Editing item details and deleting items. In my case, both can be done by the same user ...
1
vote
1answer
201 views

How are invented names like “scrypt” pronounced that include nonstandard abbreviations?

In technical contexts, I often come across terms that are invented names where some underlying meaning is not spelled out but can be inferred. This inferred meaning would often be lost if one tried to ...
0
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1answer
74 views

Opposite of “specialized” in the context of computing units

A graphics card or an algebraic co-processor is a specialized computing unit. A conventional CPU, which understands a lot more instructions, is a flexible computing unit. I'm not happy with using ...
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3answers
258 views

Augmentation in Computer Science

How would you define augmentation in terms of Computer Science? I've heard it used as ‘strengthening’: “In jQuery, you design a page, and then you make it dynamic. This is ...
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4answers
190 views

What is the etymology of “[computer] terminal”?

I suspect it's something to do with the fact that back in the Olden Days of computing, a terminal was connected to a mainframe computer system, and thus a user would be sat at the terminal end of the ...
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5answers
238 views

singular and collective noun for included computer source code

In software development, one often has multiple individual files that are referenced or "included" by others. What is the noun for each one of those individual files, and what would you call the ...
15
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7answers
432 views

Is there a word for the action of lifting the mouse to go further?

Using a computer mouse to point to a far away target and running out of table surface (or hand range), one typically lifts the mouse, moves it in the opposite direction, puts it back down, and ...
2
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6answers
2k views

What's another way to say “problem area”?

Looking for some powerful, formal words with a slight negative connotation for a resume/performance assessment. The general context pertains to computer software development. These aren't my problem ...
0
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3answers
177 views

Word to refer to computers as opposed to consoles

I'm looking for a word that you'd use to refer to all computers that distinguishes them from gaming consoles. The word "computer" is too general - that would include servers and other industrial ...
1
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3answers
172 views

looking for a word or expressing to express matching, symmetric

Background: A packet has a source IP and a destination IP. I set the source IP as 10.0.0.3. The destination IP can be set as 10.0.0.1, 127.0.0.1 or 138.9.32.4. These 3 IPs belong ...
5
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1answer
103 views

Provenance of 'deprecated' (in the programming sense)

What are some early uses of "deprecation" in computer science? When did the word enter common usage in the field of programming? Are there any particularly well-known examples of early deprecations ...
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2answers
2k views

Difference between ‘“folder” and “directory”

What is the difference between folder and directory in the context of computer science?
-1
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2answers
109 views

Inverse for the term "refinement”

In computer science there is a term "refinement". Refinement is a hierarchical relationship between two concepts. If B refines A, then the requirements of B are a superset of the requirements of A. ...
9
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1answer
572 views

When did “Easter egg” begin to mean “hidden feature”?

Can anybody trace the origins of 'Easter egg' for this meaning?
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4answers
97 views

Failing sometimes for unknown reason

Context: I have an automated test that sometimes fails for unknown reason. It's a sort of false positive: the feature it tests is not broken. Most of the time, either it succeeds or fails for right ...
1
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1answer
256 views

Prepositions used with “command line” and “shell”

I found the following variations on the use of "command line" and "shell" in computing and wonder which are correct and how to use them appropriately. Command line: is it "at the command line" or ...
1
vote
1answer
114 views

What is a “big-ender pair”?

In the sci.math newsgroup ca. 23 Mar 2013, in thread Subject: Re: math formulae?, I saw the following: > >"Is the tournment liken to a bridge tournment? The problem is vague. > > ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Is it “falsy” or “falsey”?

I have seen both versions of the word, falsy and falsey. It can mean "something that is equivalent to false" in computer science, such as "The only two falsy values in the Ruby Language are false and ...
2
votes
2answers
188 views

What is the word for a pair of bytes?

Bit is a portmanteau of binary digit. A byte is 8 bits. A nibble is 4 bits (half a byte). Is there a word for a pair of bytes?
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Etymology of “ping”

According to Wikipedia ping, the IP network utility, was named after the sonar "ping", which is apparently onomatopoeic. However, "ping" is now used in the vernacular in the sense of "pinging" ...
32
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3answers
2k views

Why is a “splash screen” so called?

Wikipedia describes a "splash screen" as such... "A splash screen is an image that appears while a game or program is loading." and its purpose... [Splash screens] are typically used by ...
2
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1answer
128 views

Etymology of “modal dialogs” in computerese

When programming you may deal with so-called modal dialogs — these are windows where you are supposed to provide information before you are allowed to proceed any further. A modal dialog blocks or ...
13
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3answers
3k views

What is the correct pronunciation of “regex”?

The term regular expression is often shortened to regex. What is the correct pronunciation of the g in regex? Is it like the g1 in gallium, or is it like the g2 in giraffe? I’ve heard it said both ...
6
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3answers
272 views

Origin and scope of “cruft”

I just had to look up "cruft" (jargon for software or hardware that is of poor quality), as used in a comment to an earlier question. But I can't find any details of etymology, and I don't know how ...
0
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2answers
464 views

“Feeding” data or “entering” data: which one is correct?

Which is the better verb to use with data: feeding or entering? Furthermore, which is more common in the literature of the field and which do people who work in the field say more often? Are they ...
21
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8answers
1k views

What do you call a computer window when it is not maximized or minimized?

What do you call a computer window when it is not maximized or minimized? I have been using unmaximized, but I feel there is a more precise way.
3
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1answer
57 views

String slicing nomenclature

Maybe I'm just not very good with Google, but I'm looking for good terms to use when describing manipulation of strings of characters, specifically words to describe: Removing a prefix Removing a ...
5
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1answer
374 views

Is “catenate” used in IT parlance?

When I was doing my IT degree in the 80s we learned that, in programming terms, concatenation was the act of joining two strings together. Recently I was reading a technical manual and came across ...
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2answers
129 views

Pronunciation of OS X versions [closed]

I don't feel like this belongs on SU, so I put it here. I know that "OS X" is pronounced "oh-ess ten," but how should the common construction "OS X 10.9" be pronounced? The primary possibility I can ...
3
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3answers
133 views

“Run on an OS” vs. “run under an OS”

What is the correct way to specify the operating system you are targeting or using? Is a program running on or under an operating system (OS)? Is a machine running an OS or under an OS?