<file system> An element of data storage in a file system.

The history of computing is rich in varied kinds of files and file systems, whether ornate like the Macintosh file system or deficient like many simple pre-1980s file systems that didn't have directories. However, a typical file has these characteristics:

* It is a single sequence of bytes (but consider Macintosh resource forks).

* It has a finite length, unlike, e.g., a Unix device.

* It is stored in a non-volatile storage medium (but see ramdrive).

* It exists (nominally) in a directory.

* It has a name that it can be referred to by in file operations, possibly in combination with its path.

Additionally, a file system may support other file attributes, such as permissions; timestamps for creation, last modification, and last access and revision numbers (a` la VMS).

Compare: document.

(01 Jan 2007)

1. A steel instrument, having cutting ridges or teeth, made by indentation with a chisel, used for abrading or smoothing other substances, as metals, wood, etc.

A file differs from a rasp in having the furrows made by straight cuts of a chisel, either single or crossed, while the rasp has coarse, single teeth, raised by the pyramidal end of a triangular punch.

2. Anything employed to smooth, polish, or rasp, literally or figuratively. "Mock the nice touches of the critic's file." (Akenside)

3. A shrewd or artful person. "Will is an old file spite of his smooth face." (Thackeray) Bastard file, Cross file, etc. See Bastard, Cross, etc. Cross-cut file, a file having two sets of teeth crossing obliquely. File blank, a steel blank shaped and ground ready for cutting to form a file. File cutter, a maker of files. Second-cut file, a file having teeth of a grade next finer than bastard. Single-cut file, a file having only one set of parallel teeth; a float. Smooth file, a file having teeth so fine as to make an almost smooth surface.

Origin: AS. Feol; akin to D. Viji, OHG. Fila, fihala, G. Feile, Sw. Fil, Dan. Fiil, cf. Icel. L, Russ. Pila, and Skr. Pi to cut out, adorn; perh. Akin to E. Paint.

To make ful; to defile. "All his hairy breast with blood was filed.Spenser." "For Banquo's issue have I filed mind.Shak."

Origin: OE. Fulen, filen, foulen, AS. Flan, fr. Fl foul. See Foul, and cf. Defile, v.t.

(01 Mar 1998)

Filatov's spots, Filatov, Vladimir, filbert, file < Prev | Next > File Allocation Table, File Attach

Bookmark with: icon icon icon icon iconword visualiser Go and visit our forums Community Forums