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Glossary of Computer Hardware Terms - The Letter M

written by: Jesma•edited by: J. F. Amprimoz•updated: 12/30/2008

Definitions and explanations of computing and networking terms beginning with the letter M. Here we look at such terms as Memory, Microprocessor, Motherboard, and Multitasking.

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    The Letter M


    A unit of information storage equal to 1,048,576 bytes.


    Any component in a computer that stores information for later use.

    Memory-Resident Program

    A program that stays in memory after it has been loaded, using up more memory than application software. Many viruses are memory resident.


    Stands for Megahertz, a unit of measurement indicating the frequency of one million cycles per second.


    A solid-state CPU like a computer on a chip. It is an integrated circuit that accepts instructions to be executed.

    MIDI - Musical Instrument Digital Interface

    An interface as well as file format standard for using a musical instrument with a computer and recording and storing the data from it. A MIDI file contains information about recorded notes: what note was played, how long it was held, the volume, and the type of instrument used.


    A PC system case style that is shorter than a full or mid-sized tower.


    Stands for MOdulator/DEMODulator. A device that transforms electrical signals from a computer into an audible form that can be transmitted over telephone lines, or vice versa.


    The main circuit board in a computer. Contains the socket for the CPU, slots for Memory and Expansion Cards, and Connectors for disk drives and peripheral devices. The motherboard determines the type of components that can be used in a computer.


    The integration of sound, graphics, animation, video, and text into one environment on a computer. A set of hardware and software technologies that are rapidly evolving computing.


    A term used with CD-ROM recording to describe a recording event. Multisession capability allows data recording on the disk at different times, essentially, over several recording sessions.


    In computing, to run several programs, sequences, or applications simultaneously.

    Multiuser System

    A configuration or computer system in which computer terminals share the same central processing unit. Most commonly seen with super-computers, where several users with terminals can login simultaneously and perform jobs on the centrally housed super computer.