file definition computer

This has led to a plethora of more or less standardized file structures for all imaginable purposes, from the simplest to the most complex. Depending on the extent of the damage, the original file can sometimes be recovered, or at least partially understood. Files can be edited and transferred through the internet on that particular computer system. Computer files can be also stored on other media in some cases, such as magnetic tapes, compact discs, Digital Versatile Discs, Zip drives, USB flash drives, etc. B    Any file that has any useful purpose, must have some physical manifestation. Viewing the contents of a file. Some systems also include a hidden flag to make certain files invisible; this flag is used by the computer system to hide essential system files that users should not alter. On other file systems this can be done via sidecar files or software-specific databases. For example, in the illustration shown in this article, the path /Payroll/Salaries/Managers uniquely identifies a file called Managers in a folder called Salaries, which in turn is contained in a folder called Payroll. Some computer systems allow file names to contain spaces; others do not. In a computer operating system, files can be stored on optical drives, hard drives or other types of storage devices. For example, when scrolling through hundreds of files you could identify a text file by looking for a file icon that looks like a notepad. [6] The introduction, circa 1961, by the Burroughs MCP and the MIT Compatible Time-Sharing System of the concept of a "file system" that managed several virtual "files" on one storage device is the origin of the contemporary denotation of the word. P    How do I change the icon of a Windows shortcut? Many modern computer systems provide methods for protecting files against accidental and deliberate damage. File manager programs are utility programs that allow users to manipulate files directly. Having unique icons is also helpful for when file extensions are hidden. See our directory page for further information on directories. Files are the basic units that a computer works with in storing and retrieving data. Case-sensitivity of file names is determined by the file system. This flag is useful for critical information that must not be modified or erased, such as special files that are used only by internal parts of the computer system. Copying files to another hard disk in the same computer protects against failure of one disk, but if it is necessary to protect against failure or destruction of the entire computer, then copies of the files must be made on other media that can be taken away from the computer and stored in a safe, distant location. Privacy Policy These are virtual files: they exist as objects within the operating system kernel. However, any file may be represented within any namespace by zero, one or more names. [7] Where files contain only temporary information, they may be stored in RAM. In Unix-like systems, user space programs do not operate directly, at a low level, on a file. How do I create a computer file? On Windows computers, extensions consist of a dot (period) at the end of a file name, followed by a few letters to identify the type of file. C Programming Language: Its Important History and Why It Refuses to Go Away, INFOGRAPHIC: The History of Programming Languages, 5 SQL Backup Issues Database Admins Need to Be Aware Of, PowerLocker: How Hackers Can Hold Your Files for Ransom. Reinforcement Learning Vs. Even when extensions are used in a computer system, the degree to which the computer system recognizes and heeds them can vary; in some systems, they are required, while in other systems, they are completely ignored if they are presented. For example, the picture of Windows Explorer above is the "Regedit.exe" file. H    W    Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia. More of your questions answered by our Experts. [10] Some other examples of reasons for which files become corrupted include: Although file corruption usually happens accidentally, it may also be done on purpose, as to fool someone else into thinking an assignment was ready at an earlier date, potentially gaining time to finish said assignment. In such systems, software employed other methods to track the exact byte count (e.g., CP/M used a special control character, Ctrl-Z, to signal the end of text files). Some file systems can store arbitrary (not interpreted by the file system) file-specific data outside of the file format, but linked to the file, for example extended attributes or forks. See our file system definition for further information about file management. [8] A file may be created corrupt, or it may be corrupted at a later point through overwriting. Permissions may also be used to allow only certain users to see the contents of a file or folder. For example, to create a text file you would use a text editor, to create an image file you would use an image editor, and to create a document you would use a word processor. ", "Open a document after a file corruption error", "What kills your Flash Drive and how you can avoid it", International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants, "Corrupt a file - Corrupt file online, deliver on time! If this file was on your computer, double-clicking the icon opens it in Adobe Acrobat or the PDF reader installed on the computer. R    In the latter case, a user can identify the name of the link with the file itself, but this is a false analogue, especially where there exists more than one link to the same file. For example, the file to which the link /bin/ls points in a typical Unix-like system probably has a defined size that seldom changes. Many older operating systems kept track only of the number of blocks or tracks occupied by a file on a physical storage device. Magnetic Storage Handbook 2nd Ed., Section 2.1.1, Disk File Technology, Mee and Daniel, (c)1990, Learn how and when to remove this template message, "On the Construction of Tables by Interpolation (Plate 6)", "What Does It Mean When Your File Is Corrupt? 26 Real-World Use Cases: AI in the Insurance Industry: 10 Real World Use Cases: AI and ML in the Oil and Gas Industry: The Ultimate Guide to Applying AI in Business: Opening the file in order to make the contents available to other programs. For example, File Explorer (formerly Windows Explorer) is commonly used in Microsoft Windows operating systems, and Nautilus is common under several distributions of Linux. What are the most common file types and file extensions? With most operating systems, the below characters are considered illegal and cannot be used. When a computer allows the use of folders, each file and folder has not only a name of its own, but also a path, which identifies the folder or folders in which a file or folder resides. J    1. Trying to create a file with these characters in the file name would generate an error or make the file inaccessible. Most computers organize files into hierarchies using folders, directories, or catalogs. Different types of files store different types of information. There are services that provide on demand file corruption, which essentially fill a given file with random data so that it can't be opened or read, yet still seems legitimate.[17][18]. In other words, there must be no identical names within a directory. Q    A file extension or file name extension is the ending of a file that helps identify the type of file in operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows. The most basic operations that programs can perform on a file are: Files on a computer can be created, moved, modified, grown, shrunk, and deleted. A file is a collection of data stored in one unit, identified by a filename. V    The folder and file names are separated by slashes in this example; the topmost or root folder has no name, and so the path begins with a slash (if the root folder had a name, it would precede this first slash). Early computers permitted only a few letters or digits in the name of a file, but modern computers allow long names (some up to 255 characters) containing almost any combination of unicode letters or unicode digits, making it easier to understand the purpose of a file at a glance. The data contained in the files could range from system-generated information to user-specified information. E    In modern computer systems, files are typically accessed using names (filenames). There are different types of files such as text files, data files, directory files, binary and graphic files, and these different types of files store different types of information. For instance, on newer MS Windows computers, the older FAT-type file systems of MS-DOS and old versions of Windows are supported, in addition to the NTFS file system that is the normal file system for recent versions of Windows. Although the content of the document file is arranged in a format that the word-processing program understands, the user is able to choose the name and location of the file and provide the bulk of the information (such as words and text) that will be stored in the file. A file handle is generally either an opaque data type or an integer; it was introduced in around 1961 by the ALGOL-based Burroughs MCP running on the Burroughs B5000 but is now ubiquitous. How to move files and folders on the computer. Techopedia Terms:    Hard disks have been the ubiquitous form of non-volatile storage since the early 1960s. A file is a container in a computer system for storing information. "Regedit" is the name of the file and ".exe" is the file extension that identifies the file as an executable file. On most modern operating systems, files are organized into one-dimensional arrays of bytes. There are different types of computer files, designed for different purposes. Are These Autonomous Vehicles Ready for Our World? Many computer systems use extensions in file names to help identify what they contain, also known as the file type. In new versions of Windows, the file extensions are hidden by default. In environments in which a file is named, a file's name and the path to the file's directory must uniquely identify it among all other files in the computer system—no two files can have the same name and path. #    2. For example, a payroll file might contain information concerning all the employees in a company and their payroll details; each record in the payroll file concerns just one employee, and all the records have the common trait of being related to payroll—this is very similar to placing all payroll information into a specific filing cabinet in an office that does not have a computer. A    The way information is grouped into a file is entirely up to how it is designed. A file may be designed to store a picture, a written message, a video, a computer program, or a wide variety of other kinds of data. Martin H. Weik. L    Deep Reinforcement Learning: What’s the Difference? What is the difference between security architecture and security design? The file extension helps in identifying the type of file, file format and the attributes associated with the file. How Can AI Help in Personality Prediction? The programmers who create the programs decide what files are needed, how they are to be used and (often) their names. Files are often copied to removable media such as writable CDs or cartridge tapes. Examples are /dev/null and most files under directories /dev, /proc and /sys. 3 Tips to Getting The Most Out of Server Virtualization. In most cases, computer programs that are executed on the computer handle these operations, but the user of a computer can also manipulate files if necessary. computer file - (computer science) a file maintained in computer-readable form mug book , mug file - a file of mug shots (pictures of criminals that are kept on file by the police) record - anything (such as a document or a phonograph record or a photograph) providing permanent evidence of or information about past events; "the film provided a valuable record of stage techniques" How to delete a file, directory, or folder.

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