Programing key word definitions

By Adam


The ALU stands for Arithmetic logic unit and is a piece of hardware. The ALU calculates any arithmetic and handles any logic in a process, which is why it is part of a CPU. The ALU is split into two, very obviously named, parts. 'A' part handles all the arithmetic whereas the 'L' part handles the logic.


Binary, in layman's terms, is the language of the computer. It is represented by a series of 1's and 0's with each representing a different number. By writing and manipulating these numbers you can create something with the computer. Being one of the many programing languages, and the most common, it is used in many other ways than just programing. It works like this:

128 64 32 16 8 4 2 1

0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1

The number above being 103 (64 + 32 + 4 + 2 + 1). This can be changed into Hexadecimal, decimal, ASII, etc.


A bit is a storage type. It can only be one of to things. Positive and negative. It is often used with binary as binary is just a bunch of bits. Every one or zero is a bit therefore a byte is 8 bits.


As an extension of the point above, A byte is another type of storage that is larger than a bit. 8 bits are equal to a byte. There are more than just bytes. Megabyte, Gigabyte, Terabyte, Kilobit, Petabyte, Exabyte. But the last two you don't need to know but it is nice to boast that you know them.

Clock speed

Clock speed affects how fast a computer runs. The amount of processes sent between the CPU. The faster the clock speed the faster the computer runs and the same works in the opposite. There is a process that speeds the clock up at the cost of memory know as overclocking. Overclocking is mostly done by gamers.


The central processing unit or CPU is know as the 'Brain' of the computer as it works like the human brain. It gets commands and processes from the backing storage which then puts it in the IAS (immediate access storage) until it is needed. Next the CU (control unit) decodes the instructions and then executes them. If required the CU will use the ALU if the process requires arithmetic or logic.

Fetch-Execute cycle

To put it plainly, this cycle is done by the CPU in its job. It FETCHES the instructions, DECODES them and then EXECUTES them. It then repeats he process. Voila! The Fetch, decode and execute cycle.

Graphical user interface

GUI! Or at least what I think is a GUI. A GUI stands for graphical user interface. It is often used in OSs as it is very accessible to non-experienced users. It uses graphics (images) to control and interface with the computer. It is the opposite of command-line.

Command line

Command line is the another type of interface that is commonly used by OSs. It uses no graphics and is run by typing in commands into a command box. This is used to set up a raspberry pi but it is not fully used as it then switches to a GUI.


An integer is a decimal thing... An integer is any number that does not contain any decimals. Confusing, huh?

Integers: 1 2 3291991 10

Non integers: 1.1 2.2 3291991.3291991 10.1


The motherboard is a board that contains and integrates most of the crucial hardware in a computer. It sort of acts like a 'mother' hence the name. It houses a plethora of components.


Metadata is the name given to the data regarding the information of an image. It contains the canvas size, resolution and colour range. It appears after the image start data and before the actual image data. 00110101011100001110001100010101 :example

Operating system

The OS (operating system) is the main control point of the software. It allows the user to access files and run processes by their input. It follows the conventions of MUMPS.


User interface





This happens when there is too much data being processed for the computer to process at one time. Like a pool, if it has too much water it overflows. To prevent this you need to increase the buffer between. It also requires more data used to accommodate for the extra data.


A pixel is part of image data. it is made up of four colours: Red, Blue, Green or yellow and white. It is used in bitmap images and when used often conjugate in large amounts to create the image. It is the 2d version of a voxel and vice versa.

The images below are all made of these pixels. If you look closely...


Pseudo code is the halfway point between programing languages and Plain English. It allows programmers to analyse and explain their programs in an understandable. it is half way between computer commands and human commands.


Random access memory is a form of memory. Clue is in the name... it can be deleted and edited at any time. The dis advantage is that it is volatile which means that it can corrupt the data.


Read only memory is the opposite of RAM. It cannot be rewritten or deleted after it is burned however the data won't be lost or randomly corrupt being un-volatile.


Unicode is the consortium of letters, number and symbols. Each is represented by a set of numbers. It is sort of similar to ACSII but is much larger.

Virtual memory

Virtual memory is the memory that the computer uses in processes. it uses this memory to remember. If it requires more memory to process then it uses more.

Assembly language

Assembly language is a type of programming language that is quite close to that of machine code but still uses words. It is mostly made up of short series of letters and numbers.


A Boolean data type is like the logic data type meaning its two values are true or false. Its values are either: and, or, equivalence, Xor and not. All of these are logic based commands.

Cache memory

The cache memory is often the memory within a component, commonly the CPU, that makes copies and remembers information so that when the information is required the cache uses the data it stored to speed up. Increasing the size of this will speed up your computer.

Dual core

Dual core or cores in general relate to the number of cores a computer has. A core will process and direct information to its required place. Having double cores means that you half the time taken for the entirety of the instructions to be processed.

1 cores = 1x 2 core = 1/2x 4 cores = 1/4x