Wait State A time during the execution of a program when execution is interrupted for input/output operation.
WAN Wide area network, a network made up of LANs in different buildings, cities, or even countries. A simple example of a WAN is the Internet. In fact, the Internet is the world's largest WAN.
WAP The Wireless Application Protocol is a specification for providing Internet communications and advanced telephony services on digital mobile phones, pagers, personal digital assistants, and wireless terminals. For details about this specification, go to the WAP Forum at
Warm Boot A "warm boot" is a way of restarting your computer without actually shutting off the computer. For example, you can warm boot a DOS-based PC by pressing CTRL + Alt + Delete or warm boot a Windows 95 PC by clicking Start, choosing Shut Down, selecting Restart, and then clicking OK.
WDM Acronym for "Wavelength Division Multiplexing." What this does is modulate different data streams onto separate wavelengths of a lightstream. All this data is sent through an optical fiber cable and data that travels at different rates can be transmitted simultaneously because they occupy different wavelengths so as not to interfere with one another.
Web Clipping Internet-compatible cell phones and handheld computers rarely have screens large enough to show even a significant portion of a typical Web page. The solution is "web clipping," trimming away elements of the Web page so that the vital information can fit onto the tiny displays.
Web Services Standards-based software technology that uses the Internet or IP-based networks to allow applications to share data and functionality. Can more easily integrate existing systems with regard to platform or operating system.
White Paper Originally, a white paper was something a company published to explain the science or philosophy behind a particular product or product strategy. For example, IBM might publish a white paper on "the future of network computing." Today, most white papers are brochures masquerading as white papers: They're published in a white paper format--on white paper, with a simple design and a few unsophisticated diagrams but in fact extol the virtues of the company's products. This change occurred when responsibility for writing white papers shifted from research people to marketing people.
Whiteboard A whiteboard program lets one user create, edit or draw on screen while others view that work.
Wild Card In a search, a wild card is a character that you use in place of letters to indicate that you'll accept more than one possible result for that particular character. For example, to search a document for all forms of the word "mean" ("means," "meant," "meaning," "meanings," and so on), you'd search for "mean*". The asterisk is a wild card that indicates you'll accept any word as long as its first four letters are "mean." Of course, this particular search also returns the word "meander," which is not a form of the word "mean."
Windows RAM A special version of dual-ported RAM optimised for use on graphical-interface systems such as Windows.
WLAN Wireless LAN. Allows mobile users to connect to LANs through a radio connection such as microwave, infrared, etc.
Word The number of bits that a computer can handle in one operation, usually two bytes.
Workstation Refers to a computer that is in communication with a central file server.  Also, used to refer to an Engineering / Technical computer whose specifications are more advanced than a normal computer.
Write-protect To mechanically prevent a disk from being formatted, erased or written to. To write protect a disk you would usually move a tab or switch.
WSDL Acronym for Web Services Description Language.  It is an XML-based language that describes the type of Web services offered by businesses, developers, vendors and others.
WYSIWYG Acronym for "What You See Is What You Get".  Term used to mean that what you see on the screen is what you will get out if you print or save to file format such as PDF.


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This page was last updated on Sunday, 14 December 2008