1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 15-21 of 29 Articles

June 23, 2012 would have been the 100th birthday of the British polymath Alan Turing. Among his achievements, Turing contributed substantially to the field of computers, and his name shows up multiple times in the lexicon of IT. Reflecting on this made me wonder who else I might find represented in the vocabulary of the field. Lots of people, it turns out.  Continue reading...
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It's hard these days to be in the computer business and avoid "the cloud." All the big companies — Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, Cisco, and Apple, among others — tout their cloud services. For the most part, the folks who have to think about cloud computing are programmers. But odds are that you’re using the cloud today, and definitely will be tomorrow. What is "the cloud," anyway?  Continue reading...
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I've been in the technical-writing world long enough to remember when graphical user interfaces — that is, the Macintosh and Windows — arrived, and when we had to learn how to describe this interesting new way of interacting with computers. We don't think about it much now, but there was a time when terms like point, drag, click and double-click, and maximizing a window were all new terms and concepts.  Continue reading...
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A friend of mine recently alerted me to an odd type of "word." See if you can guess what the following mean:

•   l10n
•   i18n
•   d11n
 Continue reading...
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One aspect of the computing world that we're all deeply involved in (whether we realize it or not) is the specialized field of databases. In this article, I thought it might be fun to look at the terminology of that involvement from the database's point of view.  Continue reading...
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In day-to-day discourse, we don't usually encounter terms that are genuinely problematic. If someone throws something at us that's clearly wrong, like calvary for cavalry, we still get it. If my dialect is "She took a cake to the party," whereas yours is "She brought a cake to the party," I'll still understand you.  Continue reading...
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My wife and I were out Christmas shopping last week and came home with an armload of classic holiday DVDs that we somehow didn't already own. She'd gathered up every title you probably know, and we spent a couple of evenings watching our way through the pile. During this latter-day review of the holiday favorites of our childhood, it struck me that there were a surprising number of terms and phrases that had become familiar either directly from these Christmas classics or from their sources.  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 15-21 of 29 Articles