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University of VictoriaIntroduction to IT English
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Glossary

Unit 1 IT Lesson Terms

code

noun

Unit 1 — IT Lesson

Definition
The series of instructions to the computer that together make up a software program. Also called “source code”.

Example
The programmer writes a code that gives instructions to the computer.

compiler

noun

Unit 1 — IT Lesson

Definition
Software that translates source code into machine code.

Example
The compiler converts the source code into machine code so that the program can tell the computer what to do.

computer-aided design (CAD) software

phrase

Unit 1 — IT Lesson

Definition
Software for making blueprints or other designs.

Example
Computer-aided design software is very useful for helping to create plans and letting you look at them before the product is built.

data mining

noun

Unit 1 — IT Lesson

Definition
Analyzing large amounts of data to find patterns humans may not see.

Example
The grocery store used data mining on its sales records to see which foods sold best on rainy days.

database

noun

Unit 1 — IT Lesson

Definition
A collection of information broken down into categories.

Example
The library uses a database to record all of its books. People can then use the database to find a book quickly.

database management system

phrase

Unit 1 — IT Lesson

Definition
Software to let you search, analyze, or summarize your database.

Example
The school has a new database management system. Now the office staff can find students’ names and addresses more quickly and efficiently.

grid computing system

phrase

Unit 1 — IT Lesson

Definition
Using a group of computers to solve a complicated problem.

Example
The grid computing system is helpful in problem solving, especially for people who work in hospitals and who need to analyze complex information.

information technology

phrase

Unit 1 — IT Lesson

Definition
A variety of electronic machines used to manipulate information, such as words, numbers, images, or sounds; also known as “IT”.

Example
Information technology has changed our lives by making the Internet, computers, and digital cameras part of our everyday life.

machine code

noun

Unit 1 — IT Lesson

Definition
A software program that has been converted to on and off signals, which the computer can understand.

Example
Machine code is like a math problem that a computer solves. The computer reads the code as on and off signals.

operating system

noun

Unit 1 — IT Lesson

Definition
Software that passes instructions from the user to other software and between software and hardware. For example, Windows or Linux are operating systems.

Example
Your computer’s operating system controls your software and hardware; examples are Windows or Linux.

presentation software

noun

Unit 1 — IT Lesson

Definition
Software for making slideshows for meetings.

Example
The professor uses the presentation software called PowerPoint to show the information in his lecture more clearly.

programming language

noun

Unit 1 — IT Lesson

Definition
A set of rules about how to write source code.

Example
Learning a programming language is necessary in order to develop new software.

software

noun

Unit 1 — IT Lesson

Definition
The set of instructions that tells a computer what to do. Also called “software program” or “application”.

Example
There are many types of software that we use daily, such as e-mail and word processing programs.

spreadsheet

noun

Unit 1 — IT Lesson

Definition
Software for tracking budgets or investments that automatically calculates totals or averages of numbers entered in the spreadsheet’s rows and columns.

Example
The accountant uses a spreadsheet to see how much money the company has made and how much it has spent.

word processor

noun

Unit 1 — IT Lesson

Definition
Software for writing essays and other documents.

Example
Twenty years ago, people used typewriters to write documents and letters. Now, it’s more common to use word processor software on your computer for typing a document.