Failover A setup where a backup system in a cluster can automatically take over from a master system in the same cluster should it fail. This is made possible because the systems in the cluster either share the relevent hardware which holds the data or replicate the data to continually update it.
FAQ Acronym for Frequently Asked Question
FAT Acronym for File Allocation Table. This is a table in the system area of each disk that identifies each cluster as either being free, used, or bad.
Fatal Error An error in a program that causes the termination of the program or OS.
Fault Tolerant A system that continues to operate regardless of whatever problems should eventuate, eg. hard disk failure, loss or power, etc.
Fibre Optics Silicon dioxide glass fibres in a cable form that can carry data transmissions at very high speeds (theoretically up to several gigabits per second) using light as the carrier.
File attribute A setting in a file's directory entry that determines the status of the file, eg. read-only, hidden, archive, compress, etc.
File Compression Utility A program that compresses and decompresses a file for storage or transmission, eg. WinZip.
File Extension The suffix of a filename, preceded by a period (.). It is used by Windows to indicate what the file type is (eg. EXE for executable file or DOC for document). In Windows, this is usually three-characters long but can be two or four.
Filesystem A system of structuring files onto a physical disk. Examples are FAT (Windows 95/98), NTFS (Windows NT/2000), ext2 (Linux) and ISO9660 (CD-ROMs).
Finger A way to tell you the name associated with an e-mail address and whether or not that person is currently online. Other information may also be provided; it all depends on what the author of the information has to say. It does require that the appropriate services be running on a server. Go ahead... "finger" from a command prompt.
Flash Flash is a widely-used authoring tool for making animated vector graphics. The format was developed by Macromedia and you don't need to go too far on the Web without running into it.
Footprint The term footprint has a couple of different meanings, as follows:
- The square inches of space on your desk (or dining room table) that a computer sits on and covers up is its "footprint."

-Within the operating system, a memory footprint refers to the amount of RAM any given program uses when loaded.
FPS Acronym for Frames Per Second. The measure of the smotthness of moving images. Animations or moving images with a FPS of less than 30 often appear jerky.
Frames Independent browser panes which appears to the user as a single Web site. In fact, each pane points to a separate HTML file.
Freeware Copyrighted software given away for free by the author. Although it is available for the free, the author retains the copyright. This means that you are still restricted in what you can do with the software and under some circumstances how you can use it.
FTP File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is protocol used to transfer files over a TCP/IP network.
FUD "FUD" stands for fear, uncertainty, and disinformation. It's an acronym that nerds typically use to describe a bureaucrat's often panicked and unjustified reaction to new technology or matters technological. Widespread e-mail about a rumoured but entirely nonexistent virus is one example of FUD in action.
Full Backup The type of backup that backs up all selected files. It also turns off the archive bit to indicate that they have been backed up.
Fuzzy Logic A system of logic that can deal with the "gray area" between absolute truth and falsity. In other words, it's a system of logic more like the one we humans use in our heads. Not surprisingly, fuzzy logic plays a big part in artificial intelligence systems, which are designed to emulate the human mind.


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This page was last updated on Sunday, 14 December 2008