Questions about computers, programming and IT.

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64
votes
9answers
13k 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?
14
votes
5answers
9k 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 ...
14
votes
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)
3
votes
3answers
134 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?
1
vote
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
137 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
392 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 ...
13
votes
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
votes
3answers
280 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
114 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?
1
vote
4answers
159 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 ...