This glossary contains industry standard and City specific IT terminology. The glossary
should be consulted when policy, issue papers, etc. are drafted to ensure consistent use of terms across the City.
Features / Glitches (Bugs)
Freeze / Hang
Features / Glitches (Bugs)
Within the IT community, the term 'bug' is frowned upon, and is often
replaced with the quaint term 'feature' or, a 'glitch'. Irrespective of how it
is described, it remains a Bug!
Firewalls are policy based filtering systems (composed of both hardware and software) which control and restrict the flow of data between networked computer systems. Firewalls establish a physical or logical perimeter where selected types of network traffic may be blocked. Blocking policies are typically based on computer IP addresses or protocol type of application (e.g. web access or file transfer).
A dedicated gateway computer with special security
precautions on it, used to service outside network, especially Internet,
connections and dial-in lines. The idea is to protect a cluster of more loosely
administered machines hidden behind it from intrusion. The typical firewall is
an inexpensive microprocessor-based Unix machine with no critical data, with
modems and public network ports on it, but just one carefully watched connection
back to the rest of the cluster. The special precautions may include threat
monitoring, call-back, and even a complete iron box which can be keyed to
particular incoming IDs or activity patterns.
The code put in a system (say, a telephone switch) to make
sure that the users can't do any damage. Since users always want to be able to
do everything but never want to suffer for any mistakes, the construction of a
firewall is a question not only of defensive coding but also of interface
presentation, so that users don't even get curious about those corners of a
system where they can burn themselves.
A sort of 'halfway house' between Hardware and Software. Firmware often takes
the form of a device which is attached to, or built into, a computer - such as a
ROM chip - which performs some software function but is not a program in the
sense of being installed and run from the computer's storage media.
An operational expedient that may be necessary if there is an urgent need to
amend or repair data, or solve a software bug problem.
The discipline of dissecting computer storage media, log
analysis, and general systems and data examination to find evidence of computer
crime or other violations.
A method of communication that incrementally can go from the speed of an ISDN to the speed of a T1 line. Frame relay has a flat-rate billing charge instead of a per time usage charge. Frame relay connects via a telephone company's network.
Literally, software provided for free - no charge. This is not as uncommon as
might be expected. Major software developers often give away old versions of
their products to allow users to try them at no charge and, hopefully, succeed
in tempting them to purchase the current release. Independent developers may give away small programs to establish a reputation
for useful software, which then enables them to charge. Cover disks attached to
a computer magazine often contain Freeware. As with Shareware, Freeware should be approached with caution, and staff
dissuaded from trying out their new Freeware on organization equipment.
Freeze / Hang
When an application 'freezes', or 'hangs,' it no longer accepts any input,
whether from the keyboard or the mouse. Occasionally, a frozen application will
return to normal: the problem may have been related to (say) a disk write
command that did not execute, resulting in an time out, but with control retuned
to the user. Applications which freeze may also crash the operating system, especially of
a PC. However, the latest release of Windows® (the Millennium Edition) resolves
this problem. Freezes followed by the need to re-boot and the possible loss of
all current data are becoming less common.