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  • optical fibre
    Fibre optic cable, also known as optical fibre, is a very fine glass strand that allows rapid transmission of data, using modulated light beams. It is usual to put many strands together in a single cable, each one capable of carrying one or more data signals. Fibre optic cable provides interference-free, secure data transmission and, unlike metal wires, is not subject to corrosion.
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  • optical mark recognition (OMR)
    Machine recognition of data recorded as simple marks on a document. The OMR reader detects marks made in the predetermined positions and software interprets this as data. The marks may be printed or put on the form by hand, e.g. on a national lottery ticket. The OMR software only detects marks, not characters such as letters or numbers. It is very reliable and suited to small quantities of multiple-choice data.
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  • optimise
    A general term, meaning to make the best use of something. Program code, for example, can be optimised for speed.
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  • options
    Often found on websites or menus, options are different items from which a user can choose. For example, accessibility options, display options.
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  • OR
    In Boolean logic, OR produces a true result if any of the conditions are true.
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  • OR gate
    The output of an OR gate is TRUE if any input is TRUE, otherwise the output is FALSE.
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  • ordered list
    A list of data in some sort of order, e.g. alphabetical.
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  • orientation
    The direction of a display, e.g. a monitor or a printed page, either horizontal (called 'landscape' orientation) or vertical (called 'portrait' orientation).
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  • original equipment manufacturer (OEM)
    A firm which makes basic computer hardware for other manufacturers to build into their products. For example, a manufacturer assembles a washing machine using a microprocessor from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) as a control device, or a computer manufacturer fits another manufacturer
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  • outbox
    In an email program, the outbox is where outgoing email messages are stored.
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  • outdent
    The opposite of indent, moving text to the left by a specified amount. This can create a hanging paragraph, where the first line of text is outdented - and so starts further to the left than subsequent lines.
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  • outline view
    In word processing, software can be used to collapse a document so that the user sees only the main headings. This makes it easy to check consistency and reorganise sections of text in the document. There is a similar function in presentation software.
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  • output
    To output something is to send it to an output device, e.g. a printer or monitor.
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  • output device
    An output device is a peripheral unit that displays, in some way, the output from a computer, for example, a monitor.
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  • overwrite
    This is to replace a file or text with another file or text. The original will be lost.