Hi, I'm Paul

I'm a software geek, photographer, yogi and dog lover

Common computer terms

2 minutes
February 5, 2006

Digging through some very old papers, I found a really old glossary of computer terms from the days of mainframe computing (the copy is have is data February 1977). Punched cards might be a thing of the past, but the spirit of those old programmers still lives on.

**Computer** Device for transforming boring clerical operations into boring manual operations.
**Program** A sequence of instructions telling a computer how to loop and halt unexpectedly.
**System** A collection of mutually incompatible programs.
**Compiler** A program which translates errors into machine code.
**Parameter** A device for introducing an element of uncertainty into a logical procedure.
**Debugging** The process of replacing one error by another.
**Working Program** Program from which all minor errors have been removed.
**Enhancement** A means of introducing errors into a working program.
**One-off program** Name given to standard utility before second run.
**Validation program** A means for ensuring that incorrect values are punched in the right format.
**Sort** Program which enables you to hold randomly-accessed files serially.
**Operator** Person employed to slow down a computer to a manageable speed.
**Security Dump** Something you do not have time to do because of all the disc crashes.
**Flowchart** Pictorial representation of logic errors.
**Implementation** Name given to the process of re-writing system in a hurry.
**Turnround** The delay between submitting cards to the computer and receiving back their remains.
**Test data** A means of ensuring that errors will occur in the correct sequence when the program is run live.