Questions about computers, programming and IT.

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1
vote
1answer
152 views

What is the word for an applied template? [closed]

The notion of a template is that it is abstract and can be applied to future instances. Is there a word that means an instantiated template? I'd prefer something that specifically refers to the fact ...
1
vote
1answer
426 views

Is there a word for someone who posts a “comment”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do you call who writes comments in this board? Commenter or commentator? Difference between “commentor” and “commentator” Why do we say 'commentator' instead of ...
1
vote
2answers
124 views

“On Mac OS X” vs. “in Mac OS X”

The NY Times uses both "on Mac OS X" and "in Mac OS X". Can someone explain which one seems more appropriate if there is no difference?
23
votes
3answers
9k views

Origin of the term “driver” in computer science

According to Wikipedia: … a device driver or software driver is a computer program allowing higher-level computer programs to interact with a hardware device. What is the origin of the term ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

Are software titles italicized?

The titles of freestanding works (books, movies, plays, albums, etc.) are italicized; smaller parts within these works (chapters in a book, articles in a magazine, songs within an album) are not (they ...
5
votes
2answers
371 views

“Timeboxing” versus “time-slicing”

What is the difference between timeboxing and time-slicing? From what I can tell, it is the same concept, but timeboxing is applied to project management and time-slicing is applied to scheduling ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Add-in, addin, add-on, addon

For example, Firefox uses add-ons whereas Microsoft Office uses add-ins. I've seen all 4 versions (add-in, addin, add-on, addon) used in various software programs, but I wonder if all of them are ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

How do you pronounce “cURL,” the computer utility? [closed]

Are there programmers here? I'd like to know how you guys pronounce cURL. Because I don't live in a country that uses English, I haven't heard it yet.
1
vote
4answers
173 views

Do “download” and “upload” only refer to networks?

I know what it means to download something from a website or upload a video to YouTube. But do the terms "download" and "upload" only apply when referring to one device transferring data to another ...
5
votes
1answer
155 views

The origin of binary “image”? [closed]

I'm curious why a chunk of binary data is called image? Like disk image, boot image, Linux image, flash image, etc. In my brain, image is something two-dimensional, but binary data is a ...
5
votes
1answer
337 views

Who first used the term “bit rot”?

Wikipedia says: Bit rot, also known as bit decay, data rot, or data decay, is a colloquial computing term used to describe either a gradual decay of storage media or the degradation of a software ...
1
vote
5answers
538 views

What do we call the GUI “box” which groups elements together?

What's the English (non-technical) word we use to refer to a GUI "box" which groups different elements together? For example, we can see a Performance "box" in this image: What's an alternative ...
74
votes
9answers
24k views

“Username”, “user name” or “user-name”

In computer science, you should have a username or a user name or a user-name and a password to be able to log into the system. Which one is the correct spelling?
6
votes
4answers
2k views

What's the origin of “beta” to describe a “user-testing” phase of computer development?

It occurred to me that I use the term "beta" to describe a "release candidate" of a computer product that has passed all expectations of the development team, and is now being given limited exposure ...
46
votes
3answers
2k views

How “macro” in computer programming came about

The prefix macro- is normally used for large things like macroeconomics and macroscopic. How did it come to be used to describe text macros in the programming world?
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the origin of != in the meaning “not equal to”?

As a programmer I have always assumed that using != as meaning not equal to when writing text (usually on the internet) came from programming languages. Is this true or is the origin different?
2
votes
4answers
325 views

What would be a suitable name for the game panel in tetris?

I am trying to develop a Tetris clone. However, I am unsure what to name the panel where the user places the pieces. Game panel seems too generic since the entire frame is in fact the panel of the ...
13
votes
3answers
6k views

Why “motherboard” is used to refer to main board of computer

Why is motherboard used to refer to the main board of a computer? What is the relationship with the word mother here?
18
votes
5answers
15k views

Difference between “computation” and “calculation”

If the words computation and calculation are not perfect synonyms what is the difference between them? Which one describes more accurately what is done by a person computing or calculating something ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Capitalization of User Interface Buttons

Being an amateur programmer and a bit of a perfectionist, I often find myself wondering about capitalization in user interfaces. If you look towards the top of this very website, you'll notice the ...