Other Technical Dictionaries/Glossaries
CNET Internet Glossary
ILC Glossary of Internet Terms
Mac OS The operating system for the Apple family of microcomputers.
Machine cycle The cycle of operations performed by the processor to process a single program instruction: fetch, decode, execute, and place result in memory.
Machine language The programming language that is interpreted and executed directly by the computer.
Macintosh Apple Computer's mainline personal computer.
Macintosh System The operating system for the Apple Macintosh line of personal computers.
Macro A sequence of frequently used operations or keystrokes that can be invoked to help speed user interaction with microcomputer productivity software.
Macro language Programming languages whose instructions relate specifically to the
functionality of the parent software.
Magnetic stripe A magnetic storage medium for low-volume storage of data on badges and cards.
(Related to badge reader.)
Magnetic tape cartridge Cartridge-based magnetic tape storage media.
Magnetic tape drive See tape drive, magnetic.
Magnetic tape See tape, magnetic.
Magnetic-ink character recognition (MICR)
Magneto-optical disk An optical laser disk with read and write capabilities.
Magneto-optical technology An erasable recording technology that incorporates attributes of
both magnetic and optical storage technologies.
Mail merge A computer application in which text generated by word processing is merged with
data from a database (e.g., a form letter with an address).
Mailing list An Internet-based capability that lets people to discuss issues of common interest
via common e-mail.
Main menu The highest-level menu in a menu tree.
Main program Same as driver module.
Mainframe computer A large computer that can service many users simultaneously in support
of enterprise-wide applications.
Management information system (MIS) A computer-based system that optimizes the collection, transfer, and presentation of information throughout an organization, through an integrated structure of databases and information flow.
Massively parallel processing (MPP) An approach to the design of computer systems that involves the integration of thousands of microprocessors within a single computer.
Master file The permanent source of data for a particular computer application area.
MB See megabyte.
Megabit (Mb) 1,048,576, or about one million, bits.
Megabyte (MB) 1,048,576, or about one million, bytes.
Megahertz (MHZ) One million hertz (cycles per second).
Memory See RAM.
Menu A display with a list of processing choices from which a user may select.
Menu bar A menu in which the options are displayed across the screen.
Menu tree A hierarchy of menus.
Message A series of bits sent from a terminal to a computer, or vice versa.
Metafile A class of graphics that combines the components of raster and vector graphics
MICRSee magnetic-ink character recognition.
MICR inscriber An output device that enables the printing of characters for magnetic ink
character recognition on bank checks and deposit slips.
MICR reader-sorter An input device that reads the magnetic ink character recognition data on
bank documents and sorts them.
Microcomputer (or micro) A small computer (See also personal computer, PC).
Microprocessor A computer on a single chip. The processing component of a microcomputer.
Microsecond One millionth of a second.
Microsoft Network (MSN) An online information service sponsored by Microsoft Corporation.
Microwave signal A high-frequency line-of-sight electromagnetic wave used in wireless
MIDI[Musical Instrument DigitalInterface] An interface between PCs and electronic musical
instruments, like the synthesizer.
MIDI file A non-waveform file result for MIDI applications.
Millisecond One thousandth of a second.
Minicomputer (or mini) A midsized computer.
Minimize Reducing a window on the display screen to an icon.
MIPS Millions of instructions per second.
MIS planner The person in a company who has the responsibility for coordinating and
preparing the MIS plans.
Mnemonics A memory aid often made up from the initials of the words in a term or process.
Modem [MOdulator-DEModulator] A device used to convert computer-compatible signals to
signals that can be transmitted over the telephone lines, then back again to computer signals at the
other end of the line.
Monitor A televisionlike display for soft-copy output in a computer system.
Morphing Using graphics software to transform one image into an entirely different image. The term is derived from the word metamorphosis.
MotherboardSee as system board.
Mouse A point-and-draw device that, when moved across a desktop a particular distance and
direction, causes the same movement of the cursor on a screen.
Mouse pen A point-and-draw device that is rolled across the desktop like a mouse and held like a pen.
MS-DOS [MicroSoft-Disk Operating System] A microcomputer operating system.
Multifunction expansion board An add-on circuit board which contains the electronic circuitry for two or more supplemental capabilities (for example, a serial port and a fax modem).
Multifunction printer Multifunction machines that can handle several paper-related tasks such as computer-based printing, facsimile, scanning, and copying.
Multimedia upgrade kit A kit containing the necessary hardware and software to upgrade a PC to run multimedia applications (CD-ROM, sound card, and so on).
Multimedia application Computer applications that involve the integration of text, sound, graphics, motion video, and animation.
Multiplatform environment A computing environment which supports more than one platform.
Multiplexor A communications device that collects data from a number of low-speed devices, then transmits the combined data over a single communications channel. At the destination, it separates the signals for processing.
Multitasking The concurrent execution of more than one program at a time.
Multiuser microcomputer A microcomputer that can serve more than one user at any given