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

P

Packet-switched service
a type of communications service in which messages travel in small groupings (packets) and may be relayed through several computers before arriving at the destination.

Parallel communications
use of multiple paths at one time to transmit bits of data.

Parallel processor
a system using multiple processors, each with its own memory, which allows one program to be subdivided and completed by separate processors operating independently.

Partition
subdivision in a computer's internal memory (partitions are also used to subdivide disk storage).

Physical design
converting the logical design of a system to an identification of specifications for each component of the system.

Pixel (picture element)
individual dot; various combinations of dots are used to create characters and graphics.

Point-of-sale (POS) terminal
technology used in many retail stores that includes a scanning system and cash drawer to obtain sales data automatically as each sale occurs.

Presentation graphics
software with a capability of creating graphic materials of high enough quality for use in making oral presentations.

Primary memory (or "memory")
internal location where data and programs are held temporarily for use in processing activities.

Procedures
the information system component that provides instructions to the people involved in the system.

Processing
conversion of data into a meaningful form (information).

Processing program
instructions for the compute system that cause data to be changed or manipulated, which is a primary purpose of the system.

Production/operations information system
an organization's main business activities, such as the types of products or services created during a specific time.

Program
a set of instructions or statements for a computer.

Programming language
a group of specific symbols and rules used to develop a program.

Project management software
software that assists in planning, scheduling, and controlling all aspects of important project activities.

Proprietary system
operating system developed for a specific computer, typically a mainframe.

Protocol
set of rules for transferring data.

Prototyping
a small working model of part or all of a system that can be used in evaluating various aspects during development.