UC Davis Information & Educational Technology


This glossary defines computing terms and acronyms in common use on campus. If the term you want is not here, please email ietpubs@ucdavis.edu so we can add it. Find a more extensive independent technology glossary, the Webopedia, at http://www.webopedia.com/.

Academic Computing Policy
It presents a uniform format for sharing significant potential technology projects with the campus. Read more at admincomputing.ucdavis.edu.
Academic Technology Services
Also known as ATS (formerly Mediaworks). It is a department in Information and Educational Technology that provides multimedia, classroom technology, and related services. See  ats.ucdavis.edu.
Acceptable Use Policy
It governs the use of computers and networks on the UC Davis campus. As a user of these resources, you are obliged to read and understand the Acceptable Use Policy, as well as the Electronic Communications Policy
Account Name
A two- to eight-character name that a user gives to his/her computing account. Also known as access code, account, computing account, LoginID, Login name, UCD LoginID, usercode, or username.
Automatic Call Distribution, a service offered by IET's Communications Resources department.
Active Directory
Campus Active Directory is a project to integrate all campus units so they can use various functions of Microsoft Windows operating systems.
Administrative IT Systems Coordinating Council
The council represents campus administrative activities organized into eight domains. It will address how the domains interact and share common IT systems. It's part of the IT Roadmap project. Read more at vpiet.ucdavis.edu/itroadmap.cfm.
Adware is a component in software applications that displays ads while the program runs. For example, adware is included with Web-based email programs that give you free email in exchange for viewing ads. Adware piggybacks on programs you download from the Internet. Tucked away in the fine print of user agreements for many "free" downloads and services is a stipulation that the company will use adware to post ads on your computer. For more about adware and how to remove it from your computer, see http://security.ucdavis.edu/csb_spyware.cfm.
Andrew File System. A system that allots users a portion of space on a server and allows them to share files. It requires special software to access, but may also be accessed through a Web portal. An example is the UC Davis service MySpace.
Anti-adware is software that can detect and remove adware from your computer. Adware programs often piggyback on programs you download "free" from the Web. You may have numerous such programs on your computer and not know it. Anti-adware scans your computer and shows you how many adware programs you have downloaded. Then you can delete or keep them.
Anti-spyware is software that can detect and remove spyware from your computer. Spyware programs often piggyback on programs you download "free" from the Web. You may have numerous such programs on your computer and not know it. Anti-spyware scans your computer and shows you how many spyware programs you have downloaded. Then you can delete or keep them.
Anti-virus software
Protects email, instant messages, and other files by removing viruses and worms. Anti-virus software downloads virus protection updates to protect against new threats. It also quarantines infected files to keep a virus from spreading on your computer, and can repair infected files so you can use them without damaging your computer or spreading a virus to others.
Application Development
An IET department that provides central computing support, project management, and analytical services for critical business and student systems, such as Banner, PPS and MyUCDavis. See sysdev.ucdavis.edu.
American Standard Code for Information Exchange. ASCII files are often referred to as "text" files or "plain text" files. They contain no formatting information.
Asynchronous Transfer Model. See Webopedia's definition of ATM.
Area Telephone Representative. The ATR is responsible for ordering telephone service for a campus department. You can search for your department's ATR on the Communications Resources Web site.
Academic Technology Services (formerly Mediaworks), an IET department that provides multimedia, classroom technology, and related services. See ats.ucdavis.edu.
Audit Log
Audit logs allow computer administrators, such as campus TSCs, to get a good idea of where visitors are coming from, how often they return, and how they navigate through a site.
This security process determines whether someone is who they say they are. On campus, a common method of authentication is the login ID and Kerberos password.
Refers to the process of giving someone permission to do or access something. Before you can set up a campus login ID and Kerberos password, you must be authorized to do so.
The capacity of a network or data connection to transmit data.
The Banner Student Information System is a computerized database of UC Davis student information organized into several modules. Access to student information in the Banner system is available only to people with a legitimate educational or institutional business need.
Basic Input/Output System. See Webopedia's definition of BIOS.
Bits Per Second (or bps)
A measure of data transmission for a modem or network, expressed as the number of bits that pass a certain point in one second.
Blog -- (weB LOG)
A blog is basically a journal or commentary that is available on the Web.
A protocol for short-range wireless communication between multiple kinds of devices, like PDAs, computers, and cell phones.
Browser (or Web browser)
An application (such as Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Internet Explorer) that locates and displays a Web page, allowing the user to jump from place to place by selecting highlighted text or graphics.
Computer-Aided Design
California Research and Education Network. See the CalRen Web site.
Campus Data Warehouse
It archives current and historical snapshots plus statistics of student, course, instructor and employment pay data. See campusdw.ucdavis.edu.
CAS, or central authentication service
Used at UC Davis to sign in for access to computing services.
Campus Council for Information Technology. This campuswide coordinating council provides recommendations on issues related to information and educational technology at UC Davis. See  ccfit.ucdavis.edu.
Compact Disc-Read. A CD on which data can be written only once. Most can store 650 megabytes of data.
Compact Disc-Read Only Memory. A compact disc formatted for data storage. Most CD-ROMs can store 650 megabytes of data or more.
Compact Disc-Rewritable. A CD on which data can be written and changed multiple times, with the same storage capacity as a CD-ROM.
Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California. CENIC is a statewide organization to develop network infrastructure for higher education institutions. See the CENIC Web site.
Common Gateway Interface. CGI is a part of a Web server that allows the functionality of a Web page to be extended by calling other programs on the server that perform actions beyond the scope of regular HTML. CGI programs can help make Web pages more interactive.
CI, also cyber-infrastructure
The term refers to the broad set of technologies and services that support the knowledge economy in the same way that roads and power lines sustain industry. The term includes computing power, data storage, network speeds, cooling capacity, and the people who work in information technology.
Chief Information Officer.
A network arrangement with a server and at least one client. Both the server and the clients are stand-alone computers. The server provides resources (such as data management), and allows clients to share information with each other. Examples of client/server applications at UC Davis include Banner (the Student Information System) and DaFIS (the Financial Information System).
CMS, or Content Management System
A Web CMS is software that stores and organizes content on Web pages, plus information about how it can be used and presented. A CMS can make it easier to keep Web sites current, and can create a more consistent look among Web pages. In 2009, a CMS initiative at UC Davis is led by University Communications and Information and Educational Technology; read more at cms.ucdavis.edu.
Common Business Oriented Language. A programming language developed in the 1960s and still used in business applications.
Communications Resources
A department in Information and Educational Technology responsible for telecommunications and network services. See cr.ucdavis.edu.
Computer Security
Refers to the measures taken to protect computers from threats posed by hackers, viruses, thieves, and other destructive forces. A secure computer can protect itself and the information it houses from these forces. See also Network Security. For practical information and ideas on how to secure your computer, see the Cyber-Safety Basics page.
Computing Account
A computing account lets you use shared computer resources. A UC Davis computing account consists of several components: a UCD LoginID, password, and Service IDs.
Confidential Data
Any information you don't want others to obtain without your permission. It includes your Social Security number, home address, phone numbers of friends/family/colleagues/students, your driver's license or bank account numbers, a list of your passwords, your personal phone numbers, your employee ID number, digital images, personal documents, etc.
Chief Operations Officer.
Central Processing Unit. Think of the CPU, or microprocessor, as the brain of a computer system. The CPU is a chip that deciphers and initiates your commands.
Communications Resources. Department within Information and Educational Technology (IET) responsible for telecommunications and network services. See the CR Web site.
Cathode-Ray Tube. The picture tube inside most TVs and computer monitors. A CRT monitor is bulky, but generally cheaper than a flat-panel, or LCD, monitor.
Computer room consultant. A student employee who monitors and provides assistance in the campus computer rooms.
Cascading Style Sheets. A feature added to HTML that allows users to create templates that define how certain elements of a Web page appear. Multiple templates can be applied to the same page, hence the name “cascading. ”
The practice of keeping your computer secure from viruses, worms and other electronic invaders. The campus also has a cyber-safety policy; read more at security.ucdavis.edu.
UC Davis Financial Information System. A campuswide administrative application for budget and purchasing.
Data Backup
The act of creating a second copy of your important documents somewhere other than your computer's hard drive. If you don't back up your data, you risk losing it to a virus, computer crash, accidental keystroke, theft, or some other problem
Data Center
The UC Davis building which houses many campus computing systems that store data.
Data Center & Client Services (DCCS)
An IET department that oversees the Data Center and supports major services (such as Banner and email), and oversees IT Express, Desktop Enterprise Solutions, software licensing, IET communications, and the Technology Support Program
The Gmail-based email service for most UC Davis students. See davismail.ucdavis.edu.
Database administrator.
Davis Community Network. A Web site that links to various Davis-area businesses, community groups, and other services. See the DCN Web site.
Desktop Enterprise Solutions
A unit of IET that sells computing consultation and repair services to campus departments and students, usually at less cost than charged off campus. Part of IET's Data Center & Client Services department. See desktop.ucdavis.edu.
Dynamic host configuration protocol. A protocol for assigning dynamic IP addresses to devices on a network. In some systems, the device's IP address can even change while it is still connected.
Dial-up Service
Internet access provided by an Internet Service Provider (ISP). The user connects with the ISP using a modem connected to a telephone line.
Using a limited, predetermined numbering system to measure or represent the flow of data. Modern computers are digital because they use the fixed binary digits 0 and 1 to represent all data.
Dual inline memory module. A circuit board on which RAM memory chips are mounted.
Distance Learning
The use of technology in educational courses to let students view and participate in lectures from various locations, or on an individual basis (using CD-ROMs, for instance). Various forms of computer-based communication (email, newsgroups, videoconferencing, electronic forums) may be used for class discussions, faculty "office hours," and communication among students and between faculty and students. (See ats.ucdavis.edu.)
An authentication service used at UC Davis to sign in for access to computing services. (DistAuth means "distributed authentication.")
Domain Name Service. In a Web address (URL), the domain name is the portion just after "http://". For example, in "http://www.ucdavis.edu/main/index.html", the domain name is "www.ucdavis.edu". But having these addresses as text is just a convenience. Computers see everything as numbers, including address information (see IP address). The Domain Name Service is simply a two-way translation so that computers can understand the text-based addresses we use, and so that we don't have to memorize long strings of numbers.
Disk Operating System. An old operating system for PCs.
To transfer a file from a remote computer--through a network connection or modem--to the hard drive of the user's computer.
Dots per inch. A resolution measure for printers and computer monitors
Digital subscriber line. A network that runs over traditional phone lines but provides much faster service than dial-up or its predecessor, ISDN
Digital video disc. A special type of disc with greater data storage capacity and access rate. Commonly used for movies and other video data, but can hold any kind of data.
Digital video read. A DVD that can be written on once but read repeatedly. Compatible with all DVD systems.
Digital video random access memory. A DVD format that can be written on and erased repeatedly, but distinct from DVD-RW in that only devices compatible with DVD-RAM can read DVD-RAM, and they are frequently stored in a cartridge.
Digital video rewriteable. A DVD that can be written on and erased repeatedly. Compatible with most DVD systems.
DV Tape
Digital video tape. Tape used to store digital video; instead of actually storing images and sound, it stores the movie as a file, like on a computer.
Employee DataBase. Maintained by the UC Office of the President, EDB is PPS's primary repository of employee information.
Electronic Communications Policy
The UC Davis policy on all electronic communications, including email, Internet and voicemail. All users of electronic communications on campus must adhere to the Electronic Communications Policy. See manuals.ucdavis.edu/PPM/310/310-23.htm.
Email (electronic mail)
An electronic document (usually a message) sent to a person or group on the Internet. When used as a verb, "email" refers to the act of sending the document.
Email Attachment
A virtual package sent via email, usually a Word document from a colleague, or a photo from a friend
Email Attachment Restrictions
A campus security measure to prevent the spread of viruses that might enter the campus network by way of an infected email attachment. This measure blocks certain types of files from entering the campus email system. See more at security.ucdavis.edu/attach_restrict.cfm.
Email Virus Filtering
A campus security measure to help block viruses that might enter the campus network through infected email messages. This measure detects and removes viruses from email messages before sending the message to the recipient. See more at security.ucdavis.edu/virus_filter.cfm.
Email Virus Filtering
A campus security measure to help block viruses that might enter the campus network through infected email messages. This measure detects and removes viruses from email messages before sending the message to the recipient. See more at security.ucdavis.edu/virus_filter.cfm.
A way of scrambling information so that data can stay secure.
A networking technology that supports most local area network architecture.
nabled voice mail, a service at UC Davis that sends voicemail messages to a user's email inbox, where they can be played as audio files. See evm.ucdavis.edu.
Expansion Card
A special-purpose circuit board that can be inserted into your computer to give it additional capabilities. For example, a network interface card.
Frequently asked questions. These lists are common on Web sites.
File Sharing
Swapping music, movies, games, and other media online with other users on a local network or a peer-to-peer (P2P) program.
In its most basic terms, a firewall is a system designed to control access between two networks. There are many kinds.
Flash Drive
A portable, flash memory data storage device that includes a USB (universal service bus) connection. They are often small enough to fit on a keychain.
The trademarked Apple name for an interface used to connect devices with computers, in compliance with the IEEE 1394. Available in both 400 Mbps (IEEE 1394a) and 800 Mbps (IEEE 1394b) speed (usually called Firewire and Firewire 800, respectively). A single port on a computer can be used to connect up to 63 devices by plugging them into eachother.
Flash Drive
A portable, flash memory data storage device that includes a USB (universal service bus) connection. They are often small enough to fit on a keychain.
Flat Panel Display
A display that uses LCD technology, which allows the screen to be flat and the body of the monitor to remain very slim.
File transfer protocol. A standard protocol for transferring files between computers over a network.
Geckomail, powered by Cyrus, is the Web interface to the campus email service for staff and faculty. It also served students until fall 2008, when almost all undergraduate and graduate student email accounts moved to DavisMail, which is powered by Google's Gmail.
Amount of computer storage equivalent to approximately 1 billion bits or 1,000 megabits.
Gigabyte (GB)
Amount of computer storage equivalent to about 1 billion bytes, or 1,000 megabytes. Used to measure the capacity of hard drives or other storage devices.
Graphics Interchange Format. One of the two most commonly used formats for Web graphics. More suited for illustrations and graphic art than photographs. See also JPEG.
Gigahertz. Measurement of a computer’s speed equal to approximately 1 billion cycles per second.
Geographic Information System. Specialized database for storing and manipulating geographic information.
A popular search engine that UC Davis uses to search campus sites. The main search engine, which searches the Web, is available at www.google.com.
Graphical user interface. The most commonly used computer interface, exemplified by Microsoft Windows and MacOS. Typical elements of a GUI are a mouse interface and a file system organized to look like a set of folders.
Hard Drive
The main device a computer uses to permanently store and retrieve information. These drives are typically sealed boxes found inside the computer. Also called a "hard disk. "
High-definition television. A format for TV broadcasts that allows for a higher-quality picture.
Home Page
The main page of a Web site that provides links to other pages on the site or related sites, or the page one’s browser opens up to by default.
A computer system that is connected to the Internet as a decoy intended to attract individuals and systems attempting to gain unauthorized access to others' computers. UC Davis has deployed a honeypot as part of the campus vulnerability scanning (link to definition) system.
An area in which wireless service is available.
Hewlett-Packard Corporation, a major manufacturer of computing equipment.
Hypertext Markup Language. A standardized markup language used to create electronic documents, especially Web pages, that contain connections (links) to other related documents.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol. The protocol that enables the World Wide Web.
A system that links text, pictures, and programs in a file so that clicking on a link automatically displays a related file. Hypertext is the basis of the Web, allowing a user to view documents by clicking on links between them.
Identity management
A central system to consolidate information about individuals' electronic identities, which various systems (such as DaFIS or MyInfoVault, at UC Davis) could access to determine which individuals have which rights to which programs. It helps simplify access, and makes access more secure. As of mid-2009, UC Davis is working on adopting an identity management system that both the main campus and the UC Davis Health System could use.
Identity theft
Identity theft occurs when personal information (such as name, Social Security number, credit and bank account numbers, driver's license numbers, and access codes or passwords) is obtained by unauthorized individuals, who then use that information to commit fraud, theft, or other crime. Identity theft can result when a computer or network does not have adequate security measures.
Information and Educational Technology. It's the UC Davis organization responsible for providing technology services and resources to support the campus's mission. IET is headed by Peter M. Siegel, vice provost for IET. See the IET Web site.
Instant messaging. Classmates, colleagues, family and friends use this chat program to communicate with one another via computers in real time.
Internet message access protocol. A protocol for receiving email messages from servers. It improves security, allows users more flexibility to manage messages, and leaves the messages on the server.
This is the email folder where your incoming email is sent by default.
Incident response
A plan for reporting, analyzing, prioritizing, investigating and responding to breaches in computer or network security.
Information technology
A general term to describe technologies that help produce, manipulate, store, or communicate information.
A network of interconnected computers and communications systems. Elements of infrastructure include wiring, fiber optics, radio, video and cellular broadcast signals.
inkjet printer
A printer that sprays ink directly onto a page. These printers produce documents that approach laser-printer quality; are cheaper but much slower than laser; and are generally best suited for home use. Inkjet printing is not waterproof.
Insecure Network Services
When at least two computers are linked, they form a network. Insecure network services are any services (such as FTP, shared file systems, etc.) residing on the network that lack a suitable process for authenticating users. See UC Davis Cyber-Safety Program Insecure Network Services.
A global network linking computers so they can communicate. The Internet was developed in 1969 for the U.S. military and gradually grew to include educational and research institutions. Use of the Internet has mushroomed, primarily due to the popularity of the Web--the graphical form of the Internet that most people use--and email.
Internet 2
Internet 2 is a nationwide project to develop an advanced network of applications to support research and education at universities. UC Davis has joined over 180 leading universities, in partnership with industry and government, to develop and deploy the advanced network applications and technologies that will comprise Internet 2. Read more at the Internet 2 Web site.
Internet Service Provider (ISP)
An organization that provides access to the Internet, sometimes for a fee.
Internet Tools CD
A set of software programs designed to help UC Davis students, faculty, and staff set up their computer to use the campus network and the Internet. Formerly available on CD, this software is now available through the campus software Web site.
Intrusion Detection
A security measure that collects and analyzes information on a computer or network to determine if/when an attack has occurred.
Internet Protocol. See TCP for more information.
IP address
Internet protocol address. The address of a computer on a TCP/IP (transmission control protocol/Internet protocol) network. IP addresses are written as four groups of up to three digits (e.g.,
Integrated services digital network. A high-speed networking infrastructure. Less popular due to the availability of DSL, which provides faster service.
Information technology. Also the former name of UC Davis Information and Educational Technology.
IT Roadmap
A project to improve the coordination and governance of UC Davis administrative information technology services. See vpiet.ucdavis.edu/itroadmap.cfm.
IT Times
A printed IET newsletter, last produced in winter 2009, for UC Davis on campus technology. That information is now distributed online in TechNews, technews.ucdavis.edu.
Joint Campus Committee on Information Technology. A now-defunct committee which oversaw information technology. Replaced by the Campus Council for Information Technology (CCFIT).
Jump Drive
Also known as flash drives.
Joint photographic experts group. Together with GIF, JPEG (or JPG) is one of the two commonly used image formats on the Web. JPEG format is best suited to photographs.
Kilobits per second. A measure of data transmission speed.
Kerberos password
A highly encrypted code that protects confidential or secure information from being accessed by unauthorized users. See more here.
Keychain drive
Also known as flash drives.
kilobyte (KB)
An amount of storage equivalent to 1,024 bytes, or about 1,000 characters of information.
Kuali is a set of community-source administrative software for higher education, overseen by the Kuali Foundation. Areas of UC Davis are adopting a workflow tool called Kuali Enterprise Workflow, part of a set of tools known as Kuali Rice. As of mid-2009, the campus has also begun two other projects that will use Kuali administrative systems: Kuali Financial System, for campus financial transactions, and Kuali Coeus, which supports research.
Local area network. It connects two or more computers, usually within a single room or building, so they can interact with each other.
Laser Printer
A type of printer that uses a laser beam to produce an image on a drum. Laser printers produce high-quality print and are adept at printing graphics. They typically print about four to 20 pages of text per minute (ppm). Laser printing is also waterproof.
Liquid crystal display. A type of display used especially in small portable electronic devices (digital watches and clocks, cell phones, PDAs, etc.), laptop computers, and some flat-panel monitors and TVs.
Lightweight directory access protocol. A set of protocols for accessing information directories. The online UC Davis directory at www.ucdavis.edu/directory.html is an LDAP implementation.
On the Web, a connection that, when clicked, will take users to another Web page. A link can appear as text (usually underlined and blue) or images. Also called hyperlinks.
Linux, an open-source operating system derived from the Unix operating system, is often used to run servers.
An email list server. A computer program that maintains lists of email addresses.
The process by which a user enters an account name and password to access a computer.
A two- to eight-character name that a user gives to his/her computing account. The LoginID is also known as login name, account name, usercode, or username.
MAC Address
Media Access Control address. A unique number coded into a piece of networking equipment to identify it; used when connecting a computer to a network.
Machine Language
The language that computers can understand is entirely numerical. Programs written by humans must be translated by a computer into machine language before they can be used.
Magneto-Optical (MO) Drive
A type of disk drive that combines magnetic disk technologies with CD-ROM technologies.
The part of an email address before the @ symbol; usually the first and middle initial of a user's name, followed by the last name. The number of characters which can compose a MailID is unlimited.
A huge, expensive computer that can support hundreds, or even thousands, of users at the same time. In the hierarchy that starts at the bottom with a simple microprocessor (as in watches), and moves to supercomputers at the top, mainframes are just below supercomputers.
Short for malicious software, such as a virus or a Trojan horse, designed to damage or disrupt a system.
Megabits (i.e., 1 million bits) per second. A measure of data transmission speed.
Former name of Academic Technology Services, the department within Information and Educational Technology (IET) that provides audio, video, graphic art, Web design, and course technology services to faculty and staff. See the ATS Web site.
Megabyte (MB)
A measurement of computer storage that equals 1,048,576 bytes (1,024 Kilobytes). Bytes are typically represented in computer terminology by an upper case "B." Also known as a "meg."
Megahertz, or 1 million cycles per second. A measure of the speed of a microprocessor (sometimes referred to as the computer's "clock speed").
Software that helps glue systems together by connecting applications on a network. Also the name of a unit in the Application Development department of IET.
MIME type
Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions is a data specification which allows non-ASCII files to be sent over the Internet. Email programs and Web browsers are configured to interpret a variety of standard MIME types so they can transmit and receive graphics, audio, video, and formatted text files.
A communications device that enables a computer to transmit information over a standard telephone line, and a common way for people to connect to the Internet. A connection requires two modems: one from the user's computer to the phone jack and, at the other end of the line, one that communicates with a networked computer.
Moobilenet, MoobilenetX
The wireless network at UC Davis (MoobilenetX is a secure network). Read more at wireless.ucdavis.edu.
The UC Davis computing accounts database, where information such as LoginIDs, passwords and associated ServiceIDs are stored.
MPEG-3. A digital audio format providing near-CD quality sound with relatively small file sizes.
Motion picture experts group. Refers to a multimedia graphics, movie, and sound format; higher numbers indicate standards that were developed later. MPEG-3 is mostly known as MP3.
The combination of audio, video, animation, text, and graphics.
Faculty merit and promotion system.
This UC Davis service has nothing to do with the social media site. Here, it means 100 MB of free space allocated to every user with a Kerberos password and accessed through MyUCDavis. Useful for storing and retrieving files from any location and sharing them with other MyUCDavis users.
The campus Web portal. Students, faculty, and staff can access many services through this Web site, such as email, MySpace (the Davis service, not the social media site; see entry immediately above), and communication tools, as well as other services (weather forecasts, movie listings, campus news, etc.). See my.ucdavis.edu.
Network access module. A special jack into which a printer or computer is plugged to connect to a network.
Network area representative.
Short for "Internet etiquette," netiquette refers to standards of courtesy in electronic communications.
A set of conjoined computers that can share storage devices, peripherals, and applications. Networks may be connected directly by cable, or indirectly by telephone lines or satellites, and can be part of a small-office system, or of a global web of numerous other networks.
Network Access Ports
On-campus stations (desks or booths) designated for connecting laptops to the Internet via the UC Davis campus network. All are equipped with special jacks called NAMs and electrical outlets.
Network Security
The term refers to the measures taken to protect a set of computers from threats posed by hackers, thieves, viruses, and other destructive forces. See also computer security.
A virtual forum focusing on a specific subject. The collected email entries (known as news articles) can be perused by all Internet users.
Network interface card. An expansion card that allows a computer to connect to a network.
Network Operations Center, a unit of IET-Communications Resources. See the NOC Web site.
Network operating system. An operating system that includes extra capabilities for connecting computers and devices into a local area network.
National Science Foundation.
Optical character recognition. Refers both to the process of scanning text from a printed page into a digital text file, and to the type of software that carries out this process.
Open Access lab
A campus computer room available to students during all normal operating hours. A campus computing account is required to use the rooms.
Open Email Relay
An open email relay occurs when a mail server processes a mail message where neither the sender nor the recipient is a local user.
Open Source
Computer programs or operating systems for which the source code is publicly available are called open-source software. Inherent in the open-source philosophy is the freedom of a distributed community of programmers to modify and improve the code. The most widely known example of open-source software is the Linux> operating system.
Operating System Patches
These are updates that fix an inherent flaw in your operating system, the basic program that runs your computer. Patches are released as needed from your operating system vendor (such as Microsoft or Apple) and should be installed as soon as they are available.
On-line Time Reporting System (a component of Payroll Personnel System used by the campus).
Operating system. The software on your computer that controls the basic operation of the machine. The operating system performs such tasks as recognizing keyboard input, sending output to the monitor, keeping track of files and directories on the disk, and controlling other connected devices such as disk drives and printers.
The Macintosh operating system. Several updated versions of OS X are available; as of spring 2009, the latest is 10.5.
A common security measure, a password is generally a string of letters, numbers and symbols used by individuals to access protected computers or computing systems. Learn more at security.ucdavis.edu/passwords.cfm.
See Operating system patches and software patches.
Personal communications services. The term describes a series of second-generation wireless technologies, including cell phones and PDAs.
Personal digital assistant. A generic term for handheld devices that people use to store address and calendar information. Newer models include networking features, cell phones, and cameras.
Portable document format. Refers to a file format in which formatted documents can be transferred over the Internet. PDF files can be read with Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free application which can be downloaded from the Adobe Web site.
Personal Information
It includes your name, Social Security Number, credit card number or other identifying data. See UC Davis Cyber-Safety Program Personal Information.
A scam in which malicious code is installed on a personal computer or server, misdirecting users to fraudulent Web sites without their consent.
A form of fraud. Phishers send email messages that appear to come from a reputable business (often a financial institution, and sometimes UC Davis) in an attempt to gain personal or account information. The message typically includes a link to a fake Web site that resembles a legitimate page. The fake page collects the information, then uses it for fraud. UC Davis will never ask you to disclose your password by phone or email, so if you receive a message asking for that information, delete it.
Physical Computer Security
Environmental and physical controls that secure and protect a computer or network. Examples include locks for laptops and doors, plus systems to protect against power surges and excessive heat and humidity.
A combination of hardware and system software that forms the basis of a computer system. The term "cross-platform" refers to programs and formats that can be used on more than one platform.
A method of publishing audio and video broadcasts via the Internet. Users listen to the files on their computers or portable music players.
Post office protocol. POP is a way to retrieve email from an email server (called a POP server), such as the UC Davis email servers, where your email messages are stored before you pick them up.
PPM 200-45
The administrative computing policy PPM 200-45 establishes oversight and accountability for existing and proposed campus administrative computing systems. It promotes timely and broad consultation for campus administrative IT investments; integrated systems; and seeks to minimize impacts on business processes and workload. See admincomputing.ucdavis.edu/background.
Point-to-point protocol. A method of connecting a computer to the Internet. This method connects a computer to a server that is connected to the Internet, rather than link the computer directly to other computers.
Payroll Personnel System. PPS gives departments inquiry and update access to the payroll system, which is maintained by UC Office of the President. This system includes employees' payroll, benefits, time reporting (OPTRS), paycheck, and personal information. See the PPS Home Page.
A set of formal rules and procedures which your computer must support in order to communicate with other computers on a network or through the Internet.
Random access memory. RAM is commonly considered synonymous with main memory (i.e., the memory available to programs in use on a computer). Physically, RAM consists of memory chips or chip modules which attach to the computer's logic board, the main circuit board inside the computer. Memory modules can be added as long as the logic board has open slots available.
Remote Access
A service which makes it possible to connect to a network, such as the campus network or the Internet, from a distant location (such as your home, research site, or favorite vacation spot).
Repro Graphics
A full-service campus printing department affiliated with the Office of Administration. See the Repro Graphics Web site.
A data and video network available to most UC Davis Student Housing residents.
Request for information, also called request for proposals (RFP) or request for quotation (RFQ). A document that an organization sends to a vendor to request a bid for a product.
Read-only memory. Refers to computer memory or a storage device in which data or programs have been permanently encoded, and which can be accessed but not altered. For example, a CD-ROM is a compact disc onto which digital information has been burned; the contents of most CD-ROM discs cannot be altered without special equipment.
Really simple syndication or rich site summary (or as RDF, rich document format). A link, posted on a Web site, that allows remote updates of news from other Web sites. People use RSS feeds to subscribe to updates from favored sites, or to collect feeds from many sites in one place.
Rich text format. A document format which allows documents to retain their formatting when transferred between platforms and over the Internet.
SAICF (Strategic Approach to Investments in Computing Facilities)
A campus process begun in 2008 for identifying and addressing existing and future computing facilities needs. See vpiet.ucdavis.edu/saicf.cfm.
The name of the open- or community-source software that powers SmartSite, the UC Davis course-management system. See smartsite.ucdavis.edu.
A device that can read printed text or illustrations and translate the information into a form the computer can use. A scanner digitizes an image and places it on the computer as a file.
Small computer system interface (pronounced "scuzzy"). An interface standard for connecting peripheral devices to computers. Hardware components for implementing a SCSI interface include connector ports on computers and cables for connecting peripheral devices to the computer. SCSI has been supplanted by the newer USB standard.
see computer security.
Security Alerts
These are notices posted on the security Web site when a new virus or other threat is identified.
Security Seminar
Every-other-year conference at UC Davis on security issues (combined, in 2009 only, with the University of California Computing Services Conference). See uccsc2009.ucdavis.edu.
The control computer on a local-area network (LAN). The server controls software, access to printers, and other parts or functions of the network. The server is usually connected to workstations that share the main system's resources.
Part of your campus computing account, ServiceIDs allow you access to specific computing services. Four ServiceIDs are automatically assigned to all UC Davis student computing accounts. See a list of ServiceIDs here.
Standard generalized markup language. A set of standards for document markup tags. SGML rules formed the basis for HTML, and it is used to manage large documents that are revised frequently, but is not used widely on personal computers.
Single inline memory module. A circuit board on which RAM memory chips are mounted.
Student Information System. See Banner.
Student Information System on the Web. UC Davis students use it to enroll in classes, adjust class schedule, and so on. See sisweb.ucdavis.edu.
Site License
A license that gives a customer permission to use a software package on more than one system. Site licenses provide a bulk rate to companies and schools that want to use software on many computers. UC Davis has negotiated special pricing for many applications widely used on campus; learn more on the software page (password required).
Summer Institute on Teaching and Technology. A multi-day workshop offered by the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning on exploring new approaches to teaching at UC Davis. See the TRC Web site for details.
Service level agreement. A contract between a software provider and an organization.
Simple mail transfer protocol. A protocol for transferring email messages from one server to another.
A course-management system that can help UC Davis faculty, staff and students teach, research, and collaborate online. Its tools range from Gradebook to a chat room, and will eventually replace the course-management tools available through the MyUCDavis Web portal. It runs on Sakai open- or community-source software. Read more at smartsite.ucdavis.edu.
Sets of instructions or data that tell a computer what to do. Software is often divided into two categories: system software, which includes the operating system (e.g., Windows Vista, MacOSX) and all utilities that enable the computer to function; and application software, which includes programs that perform specific tasks (e.g., word processors, spreadsheets, and databases).
Software Patches
Software patches are updates that fix a flaw in computer programs.
Source Code
Computer programs or operating systems are originally written by a person in a programming language. This is the software's source code. To use it, the computer has to translate the program from the source code into the machine language that the computer understands and can execute. This translation process is referred to as compiling.
Unsolicited bulk email, irritating if not fraudulent, sent to large numbers of people.
Spam Filtering
This is a security measure that the campus has implemented to help reduce the amount of spam that enters campus email system inboxes. Spam filtering is often available through ISPs and individual email programs. See security.ucdavis.edu/spam.cfm.
Scalable processor architecture. A proprietary technology for computer workstations developed by Sun Microsystems.
Spyware is software that gathers information about your Web-surfing habits for marketing purposes. Spyware piggybacks on programs you download. Tucked away in the fine print of user agreements for many "free" downloads and services is a stipulation that the company will use spyware to monitor your Web habits for business research. For more about spyware and how to remove it from your computer, see security.ucdavis.edu/csb_spyware.cfm.
Secure sockets layer. A protocol allowing secure transmission of confidential material via the Internet.
Student Information System (SIS)
See Banner.
A software package that automates the administration of electronic mail distribution lists, used by UC Davis for campus email lists. See http://lists.ucdavis.edu
T1 Line
A dedicated digital communications connection supporting data rates of 1.544Mbits per second. A T1 line consists of 24 individual channels, each of which supports 64Kbits per second. Each channel can carry voice or data traffic.
Total cost of ownership. A measure of the value of a product which factors in maintenance expenses as well as purchase price.
Transmission control protocol. Together with Internet protocol (IP), TCP is one of the core protocols underlying the Internet. The two protocols are usually referred to as a group, by the term "TCP/IP." TCP enables two computers to establish a connection and exchange information. It guarantees delivery of data, and also guarantees that information packets will be delivered in the same order in which they were sent.
A free campus tech news and information service for faculty, staff and students, from Information and Educational Technology. Read more at technews.ucdavis.edu
To work at home or some other location away from the office, made possible by computers and network connections.
Temporary affiliate form (TAF)
A process to grant temporary campus computing privileges to guest faculty and staff, visiting scholars and others. See taf.ucdavis.edu.
A unit of computer memory equal to about 1 trillion bytes, or 1 million megabytes.
Technology Infrastructure Forum. Campuswide committee of technology specialists from all UC Davis schools, colleges, and administrative units. It identifies, evaluates, and resolves critical information technology infrastructure issues for the campus. See tif.ucdavis.edu.
Tagged image file format. A widely supported bitmap image format most often used in print publications.
A program that masks itself as another, so it can gain access to your computer and give another user control over it.
A program that masks itself as another in order to gain access to your computer and give another user control over it.
Technology support coordinator. A staff member in a campus department enrolled in the Technology Support Program (see next entry). TSCs provide front-line technology support for their departments.
Technology Support Program. Designed to form closer alliances between IET and individual departments on campus. The goal is to help departmental support staff provide effective front-line information technology support. Departments that participate select a department staff member to act as this front-line technology support person, referred to as a technology support coordinator (TSC). (See the TSP home page.)
UCD Campus Network
The campus's set of conjoined computers that share peripherals, storage devices and applications. Connecting to this network makes most of its services accessible to you.
UC Davis Cyber-Safety Program
Campus policy requires devices connected to the UC Davis electronic communications network to meet UC Davis security standards or get an authorized exception. Read more at the UC Davis Cyber-Safety Program page.
The network that interconnects department Local Area Networks (LANs) with the campus area network and the Internet.
A six-year project, begun in 2008, to equip the campus telecom system for the data demands of the next decade. Read more in this TechNews article.
A computer operating system developed in the early 1970s. Unix ("YOU-nicks") is widely used in high-end workstations and servers. Many variants have been developed, including Linux and MacOSX.
Uninterruptible power supply. A plug-in, battery-powered device for your computer, to keep your machine running during a power outage. A UPS can usually keep your computer up for several minutes, so you can save files and safely shut it down.
Uniform resource locator. Technical term for a Web address. For example, the URL of this document is http://iet.ucdavis.edu/glossary.cfm.
USB Drive
USB keychain: A USB keychain (also known as a jump drive, a USB drive, flash drive, or keychain drive) is a plug-and-play portable storage device that functions similarly to a floppy disk, Zip drive disk, or CD. USB keychains can be used to transfer files from one computer system to another, or for short-term backup of data. USB keychains are available in capacities of up to 2 megabytes, and can be used on both Windows and Macintosh-based systems.
USB drive, USB keychain
Also known as flash drives.
Universal serial bus. An interface standard for connecting peripheral devices to computers.
Video Conference
A discussion done by electronic communication among people at different locations. Participants view each other on screens; real-time sound and video is transmitted between locations via the network. ATS offers this service at UC Davis.
A method of managing computing resources that hides the physical characteristics of a computer from the end user. Essentially, it lets you run multiple servers on one machine.
A program designed to replicate itself and spread to other computers. Some viruses are also designed to damage data or halt operations on a system. Viruses can spread through networks, shared media, email attachments, and the Internet. Read more in this Xbase article.
Virtual local area network. VLANs allow departments at two or more locations to connect all their users to one departmental network. This overcomes the constraint associated with local area networks (LANs), which can only group users who work in the same vicinity, such as in a small building or one section of a building.
Office of the Vice Provost-Information and Educational Technology. Headed by Vice Provost Peter Siegel, this unit is responsible for campuswide technology policy and planning, and oversees IET. See the VPIET Web site.
Virtual private network. At UC Davis, a VPN service lets authenticated users connect to the UC Davis network from off campus as if they were on campus; this helps them access restricted material. Read more at vpiet.ucdavis.edu/init_vpn.cfm.
Video RAM. A specialized RAM for use in digital video equipment.
Virtual reality markup language. Allows display of 3-dimensional imagery on the Web.
Vulnerability Scanning
A security measure that helps protect the campus computer network and individual computers from viruses and other threats.
Wide area network. A computer network covering a large geographical area, usually consisting of two or more LANs.
Wireless application protocol. A secure method for connecting handheld wireless devices on any operating system.
Web browser
See Browser.
Webcam (Web camera)
A camera whose images can be accessed using the Web. It delivers images to a Web server either continuously or at regular intervals.
Live or on-demand transmission of video content over the Internet.
Web page (or Web document)
A document, usually written in hypertext markup language (HTML), which can be accessed on the Internet. Web pages can contain information, graphics, and hyperlinks to other Web pages and files.
Web Server
A combination of computer hardware and special software used to store Web pages.
Web site
A collection of Web pages. Provides information such as text, graphics, and audio files to users, as well as connections ("hypertext links," "hyperlinks," or just "links") to other Web sites on the Internet. This online glossary, for instance, is a page on a Web site.
Wireless fidelity. Generically, it refers to a wireless computer network.
Wireless Network
A service that allows a computer to access the Internet without a cable. Wireless networks are common; read more about the one at UC Davis at wireless.ucdavis.edu.
Wireless Local Area Network.
Wireless markup language. A language based on XML designed especially for wireless devices with small screens.
A program that replicates itself over networked computers.
World Wide Web (WWW or The Web)
A graphical interface for the Internet, composed of Internet servers that provide access to documents that in turn provide links to other documents, multimedia files, and sites.
What you see is what you get (pronounced "whizzywig"). Typical of a program or application that displays formatted material on the screen in the same way it appears when printed.
A collection of practical and how-to information articles maintained by the IT Express Campus Computing Services Help Desk.
A nickname for the Microsoft Active Directory and Exchange service on campus. Clients can use it for email, to access other clients' calendars and contact lists, and to share other resources online. See iet.ucdavis.edu/microsoft/xeda.cfm.
Extensible hypertext markup language, a combination of XML and HTML. It is useful to make sure that Web sites appear exactly the same across multiple systems.
Extensible markup language. Like HTML, XML is a markup language, but unlike HTML, it is not limited to Web documents. Another difference: The markup tags in HTML define how the elements thus tagged are displayed, while the tags in XML define the data contained in the tagged elements.
Zip disk
A high-capacity floppy disk.