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binary file

a file that contains codes which are not part of the ASCII character set. A binary file can contain any type of information that can be represented by an 8 bit byte - a possible 256 values.

bit

a binary digit of information that can have either of two values, 1 or 0 (zero).

blind carbon copy

a copy of a message which all persons on the Bcc: list receive. Recipients cannot see who else has received the message: hence the term "blind".

boot

this term derives from `bootstrap loader', a short program that was read in from cards or paper tape, or toggled in from the front panel switches. This program was always very short (great efforts were expended on making it short in order to minimise the labour and chance of error involved in toggling it in), but was just smart enough to read in a slightly more complex program (usually from a card or paper tape reader), to which it handed control; this program in turn was smart enough to read the application or operating system from a magnetic tape drive or disk drive. Thus, in successive steps, the computer `pulled itself up by its bootstraps' to a useful operating state.

BSD

one of the major variants of UNIX

buffer

a temporary area of memory which data can be read from and written to.

byte

a unit of memory or data consisting of 8 bits which is used to represent one character.


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