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

S

Satellite signal
technology allowing input of data from satellites.

Screen resolution
clarity of images; resolution is a reference to the number of pixels, and a higher number of pixels (higher density) creates a clearer image).

Screen size
size of monitor, indicated in inches (measured diagonally).

Scripting language
used for customizing Internet Web pages.

Secondary storage
permanent or long-term storage of data outside the computer's CPU; referred to as nonvolatile because the contents are not erased when the computer power is turned off.

Sector
a subsection of a magnetic disk, used as part of the address to identify the location of stored data; a disk is divided into pie-shaped wedges, and an individual track within a wedge forms one sector.

Semistructured report
a type of report in which only a part of the needed information can be predicted and designed in advance.

Sender
the originator of a message being communicated.

Sequential access
data is retrieved in serial order, or the order in which it was stored; data stored on magnetic tape must be retrieved or accessed sequentially.

Serial communications
use of one path to transmit bits of data.

Serial processing
execution of instructions one at a time; inefficient and no longer used, after being replaced by concurrent processing.

Simplex
a communications channel over which data transmission travels in one direction only.

Simultaneous processing
using multiple processors to provide the capability of processing more than one task at a given moment; multiprocessing and parallel processing are forms of simultaneous processing.

Smart card
a card onto which data can be stored, allowing the card to be used for many purposes, such as for identification or for monetary transactions.

Smart icon
on-screen picture representing a specific function; selecting the picture activates the function (e.g., the user selects a printer icon to activate a printing activity).

Social issues
concerns about the quality of human life.

Software
instructions or programs for computer hardware.

Speech or voice recognition unit
technology that allows input to a computer system through use of the human voice.

Spreadsheet software
software designed primarily for numeric activities and containing vertical columns and horizontal rows into which data is entered, somewhat like an accountant's worksheet.

Strategic decisions
upper-management decisions that involve long-range planning and consideration of external as well as internal factors.

Structured report
a type of report that contains standard business information and can be designed in advance.

Supercomputer
very high-capability, high-cost computer, used primarily for complex calculations such as those in research projects.

Supply chain
sequence of activities and groups involved in the overall process of delivering products and services to a customer.

Synchronous communications
transmission of a block of characters at a time rather than one character at a time.

System
related elements working together to achieve a goal.

System software
software that serves as an intermediary between the hardware and the application software and people using the application software (e.g., by translating application commands into machine language and by providing on-screen information in a format that can be understood by humans).