bootstrap

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bootstrap

[′büt‚strap]
(computer science)
The procedures for making a computer or a program function through its own actions.
(engineering)
A technique or device designed to bring itself into a desired state by means of its own action.

bootstrap

(operating system, compiler)
To load and initialise the operating system on a computer. Normally abbreviated to "boot". From the curious expression "to pull oneself up by one's bootstraps", one of the legendary feats of Baron von Munchhausen. The bootstrap loader is the program that runs on the computer before any (normal) program can run. Derived terms include reboot, cold boot, warm boot, soft boot and hard boot.

The term also applies to the use of a compiler to compile itself. The usual process is to write an interpreter for a language, L, in some other existing language. The compiler is then written in L and the interpreter is used to run it. This produces an executable for compiling programs in L from the source of the compiler in L. This technique is often used to verify the correctness of a compiler. It was first used in the LISP community.

See also My Favourite Toy Language.
References in periodicals archive ?
Instead he's dragged the club up by the boot straps and given every one a nasty shock.
M&S, which has managed to pick itself up by the boot straps, is about to launch a fresh strategy led by weird and wonderful technology.
March 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Grab your helmet and tighten your boot straps, Dippin' Dots Ice Cream returns to Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
We couldn't sink any lower and people have worked so hard to pull this club up by its boot straps.
Fergie has pulled herself up by the boot straps,paid off her debts and earned respect.
UniTrends recently announced Solar Shield(TM), a complete crash recovery system for Solaris allowing for full bare metal recovery without re-installing the operating system and carefully preserving device drivers, security patches, file system sizes and mount points, permissions and kernel boot straps.
Down-to-earth Aussie has dragged Jaguar up by its boot straps this year with some blistering performances in qualifying.
Pocket-sized West Ham link man Britton was another who declared his determination to haul Swansea up by the boot straps.
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