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Word Definition
Requirements report Defines exact nature of the problem to be solved
Ergonomics Refers to the relationship between people and their place of work
SDLC (System Used when either the existing system no longer meets the needs of its user
development life cycle) or needs are identified that could be met by an information system.
Consists of :
Understanding the problem- to determine the purpose and requirements
of the new system (requirements report, requirements prototype)
Planning- Involves making decisions using the data gathered in the prelim
investigation (Feasibility study, Method of system approach)
Designing- Design tools (context diagram & DFD, decision trees, decision
tables, data dictionaries, storyboards
Implementing- hardware and software is selected, organised, installed,
configured and tested (CONVERSION METHODS)
Testing, evaluating and maintaining- SELF EXPLANATORY

Feasibility study A formal report that presents and analyses a number of potential solutions
and makes a recommendation. Constraints and factors affecting system,
preventing it from achieving its goals Consists of:
Technical (Systems hardware & software)
Operational (Will system meet current goals & have enough support)
Scheduling (Time)
Economic (Cost)
Traditional approach Traditional or structured approach that involves step-by-step development
Outsourcing approach Involves using another company to develop or support parts of the system.
Prototyping approach A limited model of the system is developed to demonstrate the system to
users and participants
Customisation approach An existing system is customised to suit the specific needs and
Participant development Person who will use the system is the same person who develops it
Agile (be quick) methods Does not follow the structured development process as it can often be too
approach rigid or cumbersome
Context Diagram Used to represent a summary of an entire information system
Data flow Diagrams Represent the information system as a number of sub processes that
together constitute the single process of a context diagram

Decision trees Diagrammatic way of representing all possible combinations of decisions

and their resulting actions

Decision tables Represents all possible conditions and the actions that will result

Data Dictionary Contain a comprehensive description of each field in the database

Storyboard Are the tools used for designing the user interface provided by the system
Direct conversion Existing system is fully discarded and new system takes over completely
over a very short period of time
Parallel Conversion The old system and the new system operate side by side until the new
system has proven to be satisfactory

Phased Conversion One part of the system (subsystem) is introduced after the other until the
complete system is integrated

Pilot conversion One part of the new system is introduced for a small number of users

Volume data Test data designed to ensure the system can process large amounts of data

Simulated data (last stage) Aims to test the performance of the system under simulated conditions
such as performing different tasks at the same time or the system having to
respond to a large number of requests
Live data (last stage) The actual data processed by the operational system, takes place once the
system has been installed to ensure it is operating as expected
Application level The actual data to be transmitted is created by the software application
Control and addressing Where communication with the network is established and maintained
Transmission Level This layer defines how the transmission media is actually shared
Physical (1 OSI model) Controls transmission of the raw bit stream over the transmission medium
Data-Link (2 OSI model) Ensures the reliability of the physical link established at Layer 1, deals with
ways in which data is reliably transmitted
Network (3 OSI model) Layer in which routing takes place, defines the processes used to route data
across the network and the structure use of logical addressing (decides
most viable path aka router)
Transport (4 OSI model) Provide for the reliable transmission of data segments, as well as
disassembly and assembly of the data before and after transmission
Session (5 OSI model) Establishes, maintains, and manages the communication session between
computers. Initiates and terminates the connection from local host to
remote application
Presentation (6 OSI model) Performs data transformations to provide a common interface for user
applications, essentially it transforms the data into a format that the
program can understand
Application (7 OSI model) User created data communicates this data to other applications on another
or the same host, provides services to the software through which the user
requests network services
Protocol A protocol defines the format and meaning of the information that the
computers exchange. is designed to specify as particular set of rules and
accomplish particular tasks
HTTP (Hypertext transfer Common protocol used in web browsers to communicate and receive web
protocol) pages
SMTP (Simple mail Protocol used for sending email messages from a mail client to a mail server
transfer protocol)
SSL (Secure Sockets layer) Protocol that uses two keys to encrypt data so that private documents can
be transmitted via the internet

TCP (Transmission control Ensures that messages are delivered correctly, requires IP to be operating
IP (Internet Protocol) IP moves the data packets from sender to receiver
Packet Switching Process of routing and transferring data in packets, directing each packet
along the most appropriate route at the time of transmission

Token Ring A token is a special bit pattern

Ethernet Built onto hardware devices used to transmit and receive

Bits per second (bps) Defines the number of 0s and 1s (bits) which are transmitted through the
communication link in one second

Baud rate Measure of the number of signals occurring each second along a
communication channel

width (Expressed in hertz Is the difference between the highest and lowest frequencies in a
(Hz), kilohertz (kHz) or transmission channel (wavelengths)
megahertz (MHz)

Parity Checking (Odd or Seven bits represent the normal ASCII character set when an eight-bit byte
even) is used in a computer. The eighth bit can be used to check whether that
byte has been received correctly by using the concept of parity

Checksum The numeric value of all the bytes are added as if they were integers
The resulting sum will be sent as a binary integer along with the message in
the header

Cyclic Redundancy Check Same process ash checksum Perform and compare. In simple terms, to
(CRC) calculate a CRC we consider the entire message to be a complete number.
This number is then divided by another predetermined number (called a
generator polynomial). The remainder from this division becomes the CRC
Teleconferencing Is a method whereby people in different geographical locations can have a
real-time meeting using computers and communication systems

Messaging systems These systems make it possible to transmit specific messages to specific
individuals or groups of individuals (Traditional phone & fax, email,

Simplex mode Allows transmission in one direction only. E.g. a radio, television
Half-duplex mode Allows transmission in two directions, but at separate times. E.g. walkie
talkie, disk drive
Full-duplex Allows transmission in both directions simultaneously. E.g. telephone
(PSTN), VoIP, instant messaging, e-mail.
Synchronous transmission The sending of data all at the same rate as a constant flow. Requires both
computers to be in sync with a clock.
Asynchronous Sending of data by identifying each byte with special start and stop bits on
transmission the either end, respectively. Most commonly used method.
Parallel transmission Transmission of data simultaneously using separate channels
Fat Client When the client requests data from sever, server provides client with data
client then performs processing of the data on its end.
Thin Client When the client requests data from server, the client is simply accessing the
data directly from the server, and the data is processed on the server too.
All processing is mainly performed on the server.
Twisted pair (Cheap) Made from two strands of insulated copper wire.
These strands are twisted around each other to minimise electrical
interference but does not completely protect against it and as a result the
signal can be lost.

Coaxial Cable (For Created by encasing insulated copper wire in a protective coat of mesh
Ethernet) More reliable data carrier but is more expensive and less flexible
Optic Fibre Cable Cable made of a thin fibre of clear glass surrounded by a layer of plastic
Data is sent as pulses of light
Can transmit faster and is more reliable but is expensive to make and repair

Star Topology (Network One that consists of computers attached to a central point via their own
structure) dedicated cable. Central node is usually a switch with multiple ports

Bus Topology One of the simplest designs in networking

A common cable, called a bus, connects all the nodes in bus topology
All nodes on network receive data transmitted on a bus network

Ring Topology Consists of a number of nodes connected to a closed loop, so that each of
the stations on the network is physically connected to two other stations
Data packets circulate the ring in one direction
Hybrid topology Use a combination of connected bus, star and ring topologies
Process (Circle, Context Single process representing the entire system as a circle
Data Flow (arrow, Context Represents flow of data between the single process and external entities
External Entity (box, Any person or organisation that provides data to or receives data from the
Context Diagram) system
Process (Circle, DFD) A process is represented by a circle and is an action taking place that
transform inputs to outputs
Data Flow (Arrow, DFD) Representing the flow of data between the single process and external
External Entity (Box, DFD) Any person or organisation that provides data or receives data from the
Data store (Unfinished Location where data is stored
box, DFD)
Point-to-point terrestrial Microwave stations transmit by line of sight and need to be placed within
microwave (wireless 50 to 50 kilometres of each other with no obstruction between them
Infrared Infrared waves occur above microwaves and below visible light, travel in
straight line
Client Role Is to connect and use the servers services e.g. printing, web and mail
Server Role is to provide/distribute these services among all clients. Establishes a
networked community to work co-operatively and effectively
Fat client Intelligent terminals which contain their own processing and memory
Thin client Dumb computers/terminals on a network which do NOT carry out
processing, or file storage of the system. The client is simply accessing the
data directly from the server, and the data is processed on the server too.
LAN (local area network) A network of computers designed to provide facilities for communication
within a single building
WAN (Wide area network) A network of computers designed to provide communication beyond a
single site using cables, telephones, satellites and microwave links
Hubs A dumb device which provides central connection for all other nodes
Switches An intelligent device which sets up a direct connection between a sender
and a receiver
Routers Direct data between networks with similar protocols
Modems Used to connect a computer to their local ISP to provide high-speed ADSL or
cable internet access to household or network
Modulation Process of converting a digital signal into an analogue signal for the
telephone line
Demodulation Process of converting an analogue signal into a digital signal for a computer
to use
Bridges Is a device that connects two or more LAN networks which operate on the
same protocol
Gateways Is a device that connects two or more LAN networks which operate on
DIFFERENT protocols
Network Interface cards A card built into the motherboard which converts data between the
(NIC) computer and the network
Wireless access points A central node on a wired LAN which acts as a hub, provides wireless
(WAP) coverage for all other nodes trying to access a LAN wirelessly
Repeater/booster Any device that receives a signal, amplifies it and retransmits the amplified
signal down another link (Used to increase physical range wireless or wired)
Internet A series of computers interconnected with each other on a public network
Intranet Is a series of network computers within a local organisation and is a private
Extranet An intranet that is accessible from outside the LAN, such as customer and
Encoding When a message is converted in another form suitable for transmission
Decoding When a message is reconverted back into its original form at its destination
Digital data Represent as digits 1s and 0s
Analogue data Represented as continuous variable quantity such as voltage
Encryption The process of encoding messages or information in such a way that only
authorized parties can read it. Encryption does not of itself prevent
interception, but denies the message content to the interceptor.
Bit depth Is the number of bits per pixel
Dithering A substitute colour is used to replace the original colour of a pixel in an
Frame Buffer A section of memory which stores the current image being displayed
Hypertext Bodies of text that are linked in a non-sequential manner. Each block of text
contains links to other blocks of text
Hypermedia An extension of hypertext to include non-sequential links with other media
types such as image, audio and video
IMAP/POP (Internet Download email messages from an email server to an email client
message access protocol,
Post office Protocol)
Anchor Transport user to another part of the same webpage
Serial transmission Data transmission in which data bits travel over a single wire in one
direction, coordinated by start and stop bits preceding and following each
eight-bit character.

Read only memory (ROM) Hold data and instructions that are fixed at the time of construction (Non-
Random Access Memory Is where data and instructions are held temporarily (volatile)
Non Volatile It is not lost when power is removed
Cache memory Is located between the CPU and RAM. It sores frequently accessed
commands and data to speed up the processing of instructions
Asymmetric digital Is a type of digital subscriber line (DSL) technology, a data communications
subscriber line (ADSL) technology that enables faster data transmission over copper telephone
-Asymmetric meaning not lines than a conventional voice band modem can provide.
Public Switch telephone Is the aggregate of the worlds circuit-switched telephone networks that are
network operated by national, regional, or local telephony operators, providing
infrastructure and services for public telecommunication.
Internet service provider Is an organization that provides services for accessing, using, or
(ISP) participating in the Internet
Domain name system Is the way that internet domain names are located and translated into
(DNS) internet protocol addresses
Vector An image composed basic shapes stored in memory as set of coordinates
Bitmap Composed of a matrix of pixels which can be controlled individually
Cel based Animation A sequence of still images here each is slightly different to previous and
when plays gives the illusion of movement
Path based Animation A character follows a drawn line across the background
Morphing Smoothly transforming one image into a different image
Distorting Changing image from original shape by bending, twisting and stretching
Tweening Producing sequence of intermediate frames that alter the first key frame
into the second
CPU (Central Processing Brains of computer, Primary component that processes instructions. Runs
Unit) the operating system and applications
Video Card In order o give CPU a break and help it run efficiently, video card is used to
process the graphics portion of processing load
Bandwith Bandwidth describes the maximum data transfer rate of a network or
Internet connection.
LCD (Liquid crystal display) LCDs are super-thin displays that are used in laptop computer screens and
flat panel monitors. Electric current changes position of liquid crystals,
changing the image
Compression Reducing the number of bits needed to represent an item, ether to save
storage or use less bandwidth when transmitting
Lossy-removes some of the original data
Lossless-Retains all of the original data
Decompression Restoring compressed information to its normal form
Data Integrity Reliability of data
VoIP (Voice over IP) delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet
Protocol (IP) networks, such as the Internet.
Client Server Architecture Refers to the network structure whereby a client device sends a request for
services to specific server devices which perform the request data serving