A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

M

MIPS
acronym for millions of instructions per second, a method of measuring computer speed; widely used measurement in larger systems.

Machine cycle
a sequence of activities that occurs in the computer when interpreting and executing an instruction.

Machine language
the only programming language that can be understood and executed directly by a computer, consisting of various combinations of 0s and 1s; considered a first-generation programming language.

Macro
software capability of storing a series of steps that can be activated and used easily; macros save time when the same steps are used repeatedly for a particular activity.

Magnetic cartridge
magnetic tape system in the form of a small case (cartridge) rather that on large reels.

Magnetic disk
a platter used for storing data magnetically that can be in the form of a hard disk or a floppy disk; widely used with microcomputers.

Magnetic ink character recognition (MICR)
system designed primarily for processing checks in which special ink is used so that some preprinted data can be entered automatically.

Magneto-optical technology (MO)
use of magnetic technology for storing data on an optical disk, combined with laser technology for making changes to stored data.

Mailing list
a form of discussion possible by sending messages to email addresses of people who have put their addresses on the electronic list.

Mainframe computer
large, high-capability computer designed for multiple users and requiring special personnel to operate and maintain it.

Maintenance
system development phase that involves planned review of a system to keep it running appropriately, with adjustments made as new needs occur.

Management information system (MIS)
general reference to a system that provides some type of business information to managers for use in making decisions.

Marketing/sales information system
an organization's methods and results related to selling its products and services.

Medium
the means by which a transmission occurs, also referred to as a channel; examples include wire pairs, coaxial cables, optical fiber, and microwave.

Megabyte
equivalent of 1,048,576 bytes.

Megahertz (MHz)
a measure of clock speed; 1 megahertz equals 1 million cycles per second.

Menu-driven help screen
help facility that gives users on-screen options for choosing a topic with which they need assistance.

Message
a group of bits being transmitted.

Metadata
descriptions of data and identification of relationships among data.

Microcomputer
also called in other ways, e.g., as a desktop computer, or personal computer (PC), laptop, or notebook; designed as a single-user system, although groups of microcomputers can be linked to share resources.

Microprocessor
a microcomputer processor chip.

Middleware
software that links client and server applications in distributed systems.

Minicomputer
multiple-user system designed with fewer capabilities and at lower cost than a mainframe computer.

Model
a representation of some business activity or system that allows changes to be tested on the model instead of on the actual system.

Modem
device that converts digital data to analog (modulation) and analog data to digital (demodulation).

Monitor
the computer display screen, which is also referred to as a video display terminal (VDT) or cathode-ray tube (CRT).

Multimedia
use of special forms of input or output, such as sound and animation.

Multinational organization
business organizational design in which operations occur in more than one country, with separate, independent management in each country.

Multiprocessor
a system using multiple processors, which allows several programs to be processed independently while sharing memory.