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Mac, Mc, or M' [Irish,=son], element in names derived from Irish and Scottish Gaelic patronymics. In most of these names the second element was a forename (e.g., Macdonald, in various spellings). Other names included titles or epithets (e.g., McIntosh [son of the chief]). Notions that some forms of the prefix are more typically Scottish or Irish are fallacious. Some of the names, however, have typical local distribution; thus, McLeod is Hebridean, McSweeney is especially Irish. See O; name.
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Early system on Ferranti Mercury. Listed in CACM 2(5):16 (May 1959).
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MAC(1) For Apple's Mac, see Mac computer.
(2) For the built-in hardware ID, see MAC address.
(3) For the network protocol layer, see MAC layer.
(4) See moves-adds-changes and mandatory access control.
(5) (Multiplexed Analog Components) A video format that was analog video and digital audio. See HD analog formats.
(6) (Mission Assurance Category) See DOD cyberspace glossary.
(7) (Medicare Administrative Contractor) See healthcare IT.
(8) (Message Authentication Code) A number computed from the contents of a text message that is used to prove the integrity of a message. The MAC is a checksum that is computed using an algorithm based on the DES or AES ciphers, which use a secret key. The MAC is then sent with the message. The recipient recomputes the MAC at the other end using the same algorithm and secret key and compares it to the one that is sent. If they are the same, it is assumed that the message has not been tampered with.
A MAC is like a digital signature, except that a secret key is used rather than a private key. Also known as the U.S. Government Standard Data Authentication Code (FIPS PUB 113). See digital signature, cryptography, DES and AES.
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