The Penguin Concise Dictionary of Computing

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9780140514360: The Penguin Concise Dictionary of Computing

This is a compact but up-to-date guide to the world of computers and PCs. It explains computing concepts and also offers definitions of jargon, abbreviations and the language of particular software packages. It is designed to be accessible to anyone who owns a PC or Mac, but should also help programmers and software engineers.

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From the Publisher:

Some sample entries:

EASTER EGG

A secret feature hidden within a piece of software by its programmers as a joke or testament to their prowess, which either appears spontaneously under certain rare circumstances or can be activated by someone who knows a certain key sequence. Among the many products known to contain such Easter eggs are MICROSOFT WORD (a pinball game) and Excel 97 (a crude flight simulator), while on early PALM PILOTS a palm tree appeared on certain dates and a small car drove across the screen.

CDEV

The abbreviation normally used to describe a Control Panel Device on the Apple Macintosh, a type of software extension which is installed into the SYSTEM FOLDER to control some new hardware device or low-level machine function. See also INIT, DEVICE DRIVER

WAV

A popular file format for stored digitized sounds, developed by Microsoft and used by many Windows applications: so called because it uses .WAV as the FILENAME EXTENSION. WAV files are used by most wave-table sound cards to load sound samples and as sound effects for games. Some MIDI SEQUENCERS allow WAVs to be incorporated into a MIDI performance.

About the Author:

Dick Pountain was editor of the UK's first PC magazine, Personal Computer World, and then managing editor of the software magazine Soft. He was a consultant editor on Byte magazine for 14 years during which time he contributed over 150 feature articles. He is a columnist for PC Pro magazine and his books include 'A Tutorial Introduction to Programming in Occam' (Blackwell Scientific, 1987). He lives in London NW1.

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