Data Dictionary - O


  • Object-oriented Interface
  • Offset
  • OLE
  • Online State
  • Open Architecture
  • Open System
  • Operating System
  • Original Equipment Manufacturer
  • Orphan
  • Output Stream
  • Overflow Error
  • Override

Object-Oriented Interface
A type of user interface in which elements of the system are represented by visible screen entities such as icons (pictorial representations), which are used to manipulate the system elements. For example, the Macintosh Finder presents an object-oriented interface to the file system, representing it by using images of documents, file folders, and disk devices. Object-oriented display interfaces do not necessarily imply any relation to object-oriented programming.

In relative addressing methods, a number that tells how far from a starting point a particular item is located. For example, in the search for a specific data item stored within a known area (segment) of memory, an offset is used to tell the microprocessor how many bytes past the beginning of the segment the item is located. Using an offset is similar to saying “The loose stair is the fifth one from the bottom.”

Pronounced “oh-lay”; acronym for object linking and embedding, a way to transfer and share information among applications. When an object (such as an image file created with a paint program) is linked to a compound document (such as a spreadsheet or a document created with a word-processing program), the document contains only a reference to the object; any changes made to the contents of a linked object will be seen in the compound document. When an object is embedded in a compound document, the document contains a copy of the object; any changed made to the contents of the original object will not be seen in the compound document unless the embedded object is updated.

Online State
The state of a modem when it is communicating with another modem.

Open Architecture
A term used to describe any computer or peripheral design that has published specifications. A published specification lets third parties develop add-on hardware for an open-architecture computer or device. The term can also refer to a design that provides for expansion slots on the motherboard, allowing the addition of boards to enhance or customize a system.

Open System
In communications, especially with regard to the ISO Open Systems Interconnection model, a computer network designed to incorporate all devices – regardless of manufacturer or model- that can use the same communications facilities and protocols. In reference to individual pieces of computer hardware or software, an open system is one that can accept add-ons produced by third-party suppliers.

Operating System
Solaris, HP Unix, Mac, Linux, Windows 98 are examples of various operating systems that run under different kind of computer systems. Operating system provide users with basic usage functions and act as an environment or base for all other supported applications software to execute.

Original Equipment Manufacturer
Abbreviated OEM. The maker of a piece of equipment. In making computers and related equipment, OEMs typically purchase components from other OEMs, integrate them into their own products, and then sell the products to the public.

The first line of a paragraph printed alone at the bottom of a page or column of text, or the last line of a paragraph printed alone at the top of a page or column. Orphans are visually awkward and thus undesirable in printed materials.

Output Stream
A flow of information that leaves a computer system and is associated with a particular task or destination. In programming, an output stream can be a series of characters sent from the computer’s memory to a display or to a disk file.

Overflow Error
An error that arises when a number, often the result of an arithmetic operation, is too large to be contained in the data structure that a program provides for it.

To prevent something from happening or to initiate another response to a situation. For example, a user can often override and thus abort a lengthy sorting procedure in a database program by pressing the Escape key.

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