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Computer, Telephony & Electronics
Industry Glossary

A

The universal abbreviation for AMP, or ampere, a unit of measure of electrical current.

A4

The international standard paper size, 210 x 297 mm paper size, or 8.3 x 11.7 inches. This size is supported by most printer manufacturers.

AAC

See .AAC files.

AAUI

Apple Attachment Unit Interface, the Apple standard Ethernet interface between the NIC in a workstation and a standard Ethernet network. The AUI interface is a 15 pin serial type plug. MacIntosh computers use a special MAC only version (they do that with everything...) but also called AAUI. See AUI.

abend

1. Acronym for Abnormal End of Task. It refers to software crashes or lossage. Derived from an error message originally on the IBM 360 mainframe. Common error message on Novell systems in current use.
2. Acronym for Absent By Enforced Net Deprivation. Sent in E-Mail subject lines warning friends and others of forced loss of Internet access (due to moving, network outages, or illness).

absolute path

The path to a directory relative to the server root of UNIX and Linux servers. If the path shown at the command prompt, or in response to a "pwd" command is "/usr/xacme/cgi-bin", the absolute path would be "/usr/csg/cgi-bin/". A Perl file in that subdirectory would have the path "/usr/csg/cgi-bin/perlfile.pl". See virtual path.

absorption

The loss or dissipation of energy as it travels through any medium. For example, radio waves lose some of their energy as they travel through the atmosphere.

A/B switching

1. In computing, the act of moving a switch to allow printing, usually, to one of two printers on a single system.
2. In telephony, the ability for a wireless phone to switch from "A" to "B" frequency bands. A-band is the first frequency band assigned for analog cellular service to a non-wireline carrier in each of the US markets as designated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). B-band is the first frequency band assigned for analog cellular service to a wireline carrier in each of the US markets as designated by the FCC. Most markets have both "A" and "B" carriers.

AC

Alternating Current. The electricity supplied by your electric company. See AMP, coulomb, volt, current and power supply. It continually changes in potential going from zero to maximum voltage and back to zero. It also cycles to change from a positive direction to a negative direction. See DC.

AC-3

The coding system used by Dolby Digital. The two terms, AC-3 and Dolby Digital, are often used interchangeably. See audio.

AC97

The popular audio system from Realtek. You can obtain updated drives in generic form there but we suggest that you go to the website of the manufacturer that actually made the implementation of the chipset.

ACAP

Application Configuration Access Protocol, a standard for accessing program configuration information from a remote server, allowing a user to use and change their configuration from any workstation by reading or writing the values on a central server. Defined in RFC 2244.

Acceptable Use Policy - AUP

A formal set of rules that governs how a network may be used. For example, the original NSFnet Acceptable Use Policy forbade non-research use by commercial organizations. AUPs sometimes restrict the type of material that can be made publicly available; many AUPs ban the transmission of pornographic material. The enforcement of AUPs has historically been very uneven. This was true of the NSFnet AUP: its limitations on commercial activity were so widely ignored that it was finally abandoned in 1994, thus actually enabling the development of today's commercial Internet. See also Netiquette, Terms of Service (TOS).

access

1. The rights granted a user in a network. See authorization and authentication.
2. The ability to read, write, or update information (data) on some recording media such as disks; it can be a noun or a verb.
3. A Microsoft product that has become a standard for small database applications. Part of the Microsoft Office suite of programs.

access line

The physical telecommunications circuit connecting an end-user location with the serving central office in a local network environment. Also called the local loop or "last mile." See also local loop.

access network

That portion of a public switched telephone network (PSTN) that connects access nodes to individual subscribers. The access network today is predominantly, but not totally, passive twisted pair copper wiring.

access nodes

Points on the edge of the access network that concentrate individual access lines into a smaller number of feeder lines. Access Nodes may also perform various forms of protocol conversion. Typical Access Nodes are Digital Loop Carrier systems concentrating individual voice lines to T1 lines, cellular antenna sites, PBXs, and Optical Network Units (ONUs).

access numbers

1. This is the number that your modem calls to get connected to the Internet. It is a number that is provided by your ISP or online service.
2. This is also a number provided by wireless services for messaging functions to cellular phones and to pagers. The CSGNetwork Message Transmitter handles this duty via TCP/IP across the Internet.

access rate

The transmission speed of the physical access circuit between the end user location and the CO devices.

ACD

1. A telephony term for Automatic Call Distributor. A special facility of a PABX or Central Office (CO) switch that automatically routes incoming calls to the next available or longest idle agent or attendant in a line hunt group.
2. A telephony term for Automatic Call Delivery. A feature that allows cellular & wireless phones to receive incoming calls when roaming.

ACK

1. Acknowledge. Used to confirm one's presence. An appropriate response to a ping.
2. When one computer sends a block of data to another over a network, the second computer sends an acknowledgment code back to indicate that the transfer was successful. If there were errors detected in the transmission, the second computer would send a negative acknowledgment (NAK).
3. Acknowledge. A handshake signal sent to the computer indicating that the printer (or other peripheral device) has successfully received a character.

ACM

The abbreviation of the Association for Computing Machinery. Founded in 1947, ACM is the world's first educational and scientific computing society. Today, members, more than 80,000 computing professionals and students worldwide, and the public turn to the ACM for authoritative publications, pioneering conferences, and visionary leadership for the new millennium. See them at HTTP://WWW.ACM.ORG.

ACPI

The acronym for Advanced Configuration and Power Interface. It is an open industry specification co-developed by HP (Compaq), Intel, Microsoft, Phoenix, and Toshiba, the elite "who's who" in the computer industry power players. It establishes the foundational industry standard interfaces for operating system (OS) directed configuration and power management on various computers, including but not limited to, laptops, desktop stations, and servers. While Microsoft is the major thrust of the movement, the specifications are non-specific to Microsoft OS characteristics. OSPM (Operating System Power Management) and ACPI-CA (ACPI Component Interface) are also key segments of the overall scheme of allowing users to control their own destiny from the operating system level. You can get the entire specification (about 600 pages) in Word format or as a PDF, here.

active filter

A filter that uses an amplifier in addition to reactive components to pass or reject selected frequencies.

active matrix display

A type of flat-panel display in which the screen is refreshed more frequently than in conventional passive-matrix displays. The most common type of active-matrix display is based on a technology known as TFT (thin film transistor). The two terms, active matrix and TFT, are often used interchangeably. See CSTN and DSTN.

Active X

1. A very loosely defined set of technologies developed by Microsoft. ActiveX is an outgrowth of two other Microsoft technologies called OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) and COM (Component Object Model). As a moniker, ActiveX can be very confusing because it applies to a whole set of COM-based technologies. Most people, however, think only of ActiveX controls, which represent a specific way of implementing ActiveX technologies. See ASP.
2. A software technology developed by Microsoft that allows programmed capabilities or content to be delivered to Windows-based personal computers via the World Wide Web. Active X is notable for a complete lack of security controls; computer security experts discourage its use over the Internet. Microsoft's own take on live web content, ActiveX is proprietary system for embedding controls and the underlying code into any OLE application, most commonly a web browser.

actual size

A term used in scanning processes. It is the size of the original page when it was scanned; not enlarged using zoom or reduced using zoom out.

AD

An acronym for Active Directory. Active Directory is Microsoft's trademarked directory service, an integral part of the Windows 2000, 2003 and 2008 server architectures. Like other directory services, such as Novell Directory Services (NDS), Active Directory is a centralized and standardized system that automates network management of user data, security, and distributed resources, and enables interoperation with other directories. Active Directory is designed especially for distributed networking environments. Active Directory features include:
1. Support for the X.500 standard for global directories, including DNS and the capability for secure extension of network operations to the Web
2. A hierarchical organization that provides a single point of access for system administration (management of user accounts, clients, servers, and applications, for example) to reduce redundancy and errors
3. An object-oriented storage organization, which allows easier access to information
4. Support for the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) to enable inter-directory operability

Designed to be both backward compatible and forward compatible with other Microsoft structures (such as NT), it was intentionally not 100 percent compatible with Novell.

adapter

1. Usually a circuit board that goes in the motherboard (or mainboard) of the computer. It allows the computer to do a special function; often called an adapter card or an interface card. A network card (NIC), a video card, a sound card and the like are all adapters.
2. This is also a term that allows a change from one intended way of doing things to another way. For instance, the original serial port on computers was a DB25 type connector but more recently has been a DB9. An adapter changes one to allow operations as the other.
3. Circuit board or other hardware that provides the physical interface to a communications network; an electronics board installed in a computer which provides network communication capabilities to and from that computer; a card that connects the DTE to the network.

adapter card

1. See adapter.
2. In the case of peripheral manufacturers, such as HP with printers, it is an auxiliary device, perhaps an HP Jetdirect or PostScript® card, that is added to the printer. This card gives alternative or additional options to the printer.

ADC

An acronym for Analog to Digital Converter.

ADCCP

An acronym for Advanced Data Communications Control Protocol. An ANSI standard bit oriented data link control (DLC) protocol.

add-ons

1. Add-ons are programs written to work in conjunction with an online service or your browser that provide added functionality. They are generally written by third party companies or individuals and are often shareware, meaning you will need to register with the author and send in a fee if you decide to keep the program.
2. An optional, installable card that adds accessory functions to a computer. Add-ons might be, but are not limited to, sound cards, I/O cards, network cards, game ports, modems, controllers and real world interfaces.

address

1. A number that represents a unique bit location in memory.
2. There are three types of addresses in common use on the Internet: E-Mail addresses, IP addresses, and Uniform Resource Locators (URL).

Address Book

This is a feature or utility that holds frequently used Internet and/or your addresses, and is particularly helpful when sending mail or E-Mail to several people at once. Names can usually be easily added to and deleted from the address book with commands common to your particular software.

Address Bus

The collection of wires or traces over which the CPU sends a memory location to the memory or I/O device.

adjustable tray

In the case of printers, a paper tray that is able to adapt to more than one size of media. HP indicates that all trays used in the printers they produce are adjustable, allowing varied usage.

ADN

An acronym for Advanced Digital Network. This refers to the backbone, usually a 56kb or faster, "always on", network connection condition. This can be a leased line, a cable connection, xDSL, T1, T3 or similar.

ADSL

1. Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. A method of connecting full time to the Internet at speeds approaching T1 but without the bandwidth. The service runs on copper wires and allows voice on the same line. See DSL, XDSL and HDSL.
2. Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line transmits data asymmetrically meaning the bandwidth usage is much higher in one direction than the other. Typical ADSL applications transmit 8 Mbps downstream and 768Kbps upstream, depending on the length of the local loop. This is particularly beneficial for Internet access, remote access and video on demand because downstream usage far exceeds upstream usage. Additional POTS is available simultaneously because the transmission of analog signals does not require as much bandwidth as data transmission. In addition to asymmetrical data flow, ADSL can also be configured to adapt to line conditions and maintain the highest possible connection. RADSL is the reverse major flow.

ADSL Forum

The organization developing and defining xDSL standards, including those affecting ADSL, SDSL, HDSL, and VDSL. Members participate in committees to vote on ADSL specifications; auditing members receive marketing and technical documentation. See the site that they have at HTTP://WWW.DSLFORUM.ORG.

AES

An acronym for Advanced Encryption Standard. AES is an advanced encryption algorithm for securing sensitive but unclassified material by US Government agencies and, as a likely consequence, will probably evolve as the encryption standard for day to day commercial transactions in the private sector.

AFK

Away From Keyboard. An example of Internet shorthand used in chat rooms, E-Mail, and instant messages.

AFS

Acronym for the Andrew File System.

AGC

Acronym for Automatic Gain Control. Most often used in audio circuits; an electronic circuit which automatically increases the volume when someone is speaking quietly and drops the volume when someone is speaking loudly, to keep the transmitted signal constant. Can also be used with video and other raw signals.

agent

1. A software process empowered to transparently act for or represent a user by completing transactions, seeking information of specific interest, or communicating with other users and agents. The HotBot online service on the WWW is a good example of agent technology at work on the Internet, HTTP://WWW.HOTBOT.COM.
2. Another would be the generic process of a server based tape backup program that allows individual station to be backed up or allows them access for control of the backup; both processes are agents.
3. A program that performs some information gathering or processing task in the background. Typically, an agent is a given a very small and well-defined task. Although the theory behind agents has been around for some time, agents have become more prominent with the recent growth of the Internet. Many companies now sell software that enables you to configure an agent to search the Internet for certain types of information. In computer science, there is a school of thought that believes that the human mind essentially consists of thousands or millions of agents all working in parallel. To produce real artificial intelligence, this school holds, we should build computer systems that also contain many agents and systems for arbitrating among the agents' competing results.
The CSGNetwork Message Transmitter is an agent that is server bound. It connects to cellular and paging message services worldwide via the Internet.
5. The guy who a programmer turns to after losing his job by telling the SysAdmin how to do his job, while not doing his own.

AGP

AGP is an acronym for Accelerated Graphics Port, a standard for 3D graphics designed by Intel for their LX chipset motherboards in response to inroads in their market dominance by clone manufacturers. This technology is a co-operative effort by some internal Intel engineers and outside contractors. They have recently realized they are not truly competitive in that area and have signed a technology sharing agreement with S3. The port itself is a slot in the motherboard, similar to a PCI slot. It is positioned differently so the two cannot be confused. In Windows 98 and above, a PCI video card and an AGP video card can be used together to form a two monitor system for special purposes.

AH

See amp-hour.

AHCI

This is an acronym for Advanced Host Controller Interface, an interface specification that allows the storage driver to enable advanced Serial ATA (SATA) features such as Native Command Queuing and hot plug. This BIOS option controls the AHCI function of the SATA controller; turned off, the standard OS drivers are used. If on, the Intel based chipset can use the specific driver to do additional functions with SATA drivers.

AI

See artificial intelligence.

AIM

AOL's version of instant messaging. You can get it at HTTP://WWW.AIM.COM/INDEX.ADP. See others like AIM here.

Ajax

An acronym for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, was first coined by Jesse James Garrett. It is a newly revived idea but has been around since Internet Explorer 5.5 came along. This all assumes that there is a client-side program trying to get information from the server; when you send a request, you wait for the response to come back, but are free to do other things while you wait. The response probably won’t come back immediately, so you set up a function that will wait for the response to be sent back by the server, and react to it once that happens. JavaScript is used to make a request to the server. Once the response is returned by the server, you will generally use some more JavaScript to modify the current page’s document object model (DOM) in some way to show the user that the submission went through successfully. The data that you receive back from the server will often be packaged up as a snippet of XML, so that it can be easily processed with JavaScript. This data can be anything you want, and as long or as short as you want.

A-Law

An equation used as a CEPT standard that describes the non-linear compression performed in the analog-to-digital conversion process of PCM systems used in Europe and most other countries. See Mu-Law.

algorithm

A programming and mathematical term, an algorithm is a procedure or formula for solving a problem. The word is derived from the name of the Persian mathematician, Al-Khowarizmi (you remember Al in about 825 AD don't you?). A computer program can be viewed as an elaborate algorithm containing many smaller algorithms within. In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm usually means a small programming procedure that solves a particular task or recurrent problem. They are most often found in subroutines.

ALICE

1. A name give to an open source, natural language chat robot that relies on artificial intelligence for human interaction. You may find more details at HTTP://ALICEBOT.ORG. ALICE is programmed with AIML (Artificial Intelligence Markup Language). AIML is an XML specification for programming chat bots. Its simplicity and ease-of-use allows non-programmers, who have some HTML experience, to create their own chat bots. With AIML, developers can create customized chat bots with unique personalities and areas of expertise. The language and information on how to use it are both free. The term comes from the Jefferson Airplane and Gracie Slick; little did they know...
2. Columbia University's psuedo-intelligent health bot site. Go Ask ALICE!

alpha

1. The very first stages of tests on a pre-released product; usually internal only. See beta.
2. A powerful RISC processor developed by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) used in their line of workstations and servers. The DEC organization is now part of Compaq computer. It is the only microprocessor, other than x86 microprocessors, that runs Windows NT. As of 1998, versions of the Alpha chip contain nearly 10 million transistors and run at clock speeds from 300 to 600 MHz. See CISC.
As of July 2000, the Alpha processor is the heart of Compaq's line of Alpha servers and stations. The newest AlphaServers are offering multiple "terraflop" speed. See more about this at the AlphaServer section of Compaq's (HP's) site.

alphanumeric

A character set containing letters, digits, and punctuation marks.

alt

1. A top-level category of "alternative" USENET newsgroups. These unmoderated newsgroups can be started by anyone with the time, equipment, and expertise. The alt hierarchy covers perhaps the widest variety of topics ranging from the informative to the bizarre, and from the politically radical to the explicitly sexual. All of these are typically controversial. We have no links to any of them on this site!
2. The Alt key on the keyboard of IBM PC compatibles, typically used in conjunction with other keys.

AltaVista

An Internet and Intranet search engine technology service at HTTP://WWW.ALTAVISTA.COM formerly owned by Digital Equipment Corp., DEC, then a part of Compaq Computers. It is now owned by CMGI, Inc. This is a top rated engine and has many other user oriented Internet and Intranet services also. They have been Internet innovators and even now, lead the Internet portals in activity and capability.

ALU

Abbreviation for Arithmetic Logic Unit. The section of a computer, processor, or microprocessor that deals with the decision making process that separates calculators from computers. In the early days of computers, the ALU was an entire board, often referred to as the logic board. Designers eventually worked the size down enough to become a daughter board to the CPU card. Since early into 8 bit microprocessors, the ALU has been an integrated part of the CPU chip itself. The decision making process deals with Boolean functions and the typical greater than or less than, equal or not equal calls from higher level programs.

always on

A telephony slang phrase to designate a situation that is the exact opposite of dial-up. Current dial-up services require the user to "make a call" to the ISP. The connection is only active during the duration of the call. DSL, DSL-Lite and other xSL services enable the connection to be always on in a fashion similar to a local area network (LAN). When you get to the office you turn on your computer and stay on the LAN all day. DSL-Lite will be similar in that once you connect to the network you can remain on for as long as you’d like. Thus, you’ll be able to receive an E-Mail when it arrives. No longer will you have to dial-in just to download your E-Mail. Additionally, advances in push technology can be leveraged to create new exciting applications. See T1 and T3.

AM

An acronym for Amplitude Modulation. A particular technology, most commonly used in radio broadcasting, where blending a modulated signal into a carrier wave by varying the amplitude of the carrier creates the final transmit frequency.

ambient

Used in electronics and electrical situations, it is usually used in the same way as, surrounding, average, native or enclosing

AMD

Advanced Micro Devices Incorporated; a direct competitor in the microprocessor business to Intel. They have been in business in Sunnyvale, CA, since May of 1969 but have only been a serious threat to the industry for a few years. Get more details on AMD at HTTP://WWW.AMD.COM/US-EN. As of December 2005, in the current wars of processors, for the first time ever, AMD defeats Intel at its own game. In dual core processors, AMD seems to be far superior in every way, yet considerably less expensive. They are worth a look...

Amiga

The Amiga computer, launched by Commodore in 1985, combined superior multimedia technology with ease of use, inspiring millions of the most creative and enthusiastic computer users ever. It has long since gone by the wayside as technology passed it by.

AMP

1. Acronym for Asynchronous or Asymmetric Multi-Processing. This is an option built into many current operating systems to share CPU functions between two mirrored servers. Generally, one will do network activity such as file sharing and handling and the other will handle I/O activity such as printing, backups and communications. This is the opposite of SMP which supports multiple CPUs in the same computer.
2. Short for ampere, a measurement of electrical current. One coulomb flowing per second. Amperage. Abbreviated A or amp. Practical unit of electrical current; the current flow rate (quantity of electrons passing a point in 1 second). Voltage of 1 volt will send a current of 1 ampere through a resistance of 1 ohm.
3. Short for Amphenol, a company that pioneered various forms of connectors and plugs in the electrical industry. See them at HTTP://WWW.AMPHENOL.COM.
4. Short for amplifier, a term used for devices that increase output of sound or electrical voltage or current.
5. Acronym for Analog Mobile Phone or Advanced Mobile Phone.

amperage

See AMP.

ampere

See AMP.

amp-hour

Amp-hours (usually abbreviated as AH) are what most people mean when they say "amps per hour" etc. Amps x time = AH. AH is the main measure of battery capacity.

amplifier

A circuit that increases the voltage, current, or power of a signal.

amplitude

The magnitude or size of a signal voltage or current.

AMR

Audio Modem Riser is an Intel specification that defines a new architecture for the design of motherboards. AMR lets manufacturers create motherboards without analog I/O functions. Instead, these functions are placed on a separate card, with the codec chip, which plugs in perpendicular to the motherboard so that the motherboard and "riser" card form a right angle. Separating the analog I/O functions from the motherboard means higher audio quality and reduced production delays. Prior to the AMR specification, motherboard analog I/O functions went through a lengthy FCC and international telecom certification process. The AMR card is a daughtercard which does not use a conventional ISA, EISA, PCI or any other standard bus type slot. There are discussions at present for similar designs for network interfaces, external drives, video and graphics input. While there are at present as many downsides and benefits to this type of design, it does have realistic possibilities of reducing the physical space on a motherboard and changing the physical requirements of a connection side of a computer.

AMTA

An acronym for American Mobile Telecommunications Association. AMTA represents and promotes the interest of specialized wireless communications, meeting the educational, informational and regulatory needs of licensees and related businesses. See them at AMTAUSA.ORG.

analog

1. An electrical signal or wave form in which the amplitude and/or frequency vary continuously. See the opposite technology, digital.
2. Electrical information contained in continuously variable physical quantities. An example of analog is AC voltage producing a sine wave.

ANALOGX

No, this has nothing to do with Microsft's ActiveX technology. It is however, a site of very good technology. Though I have never met him, there is a light-hearted programmer type there by the name of Mark. Seems to be one of the Good Guys in the industry. We have used several pieces of software from him, not because they were free (OK, I'm cheap!), but because they work as good or better than available retail software. His work includes web software and music, all of which seems to be well done. Take a cruise down the technology highway to ANALOGX. Tell them a Troop of Boy Scouts from Palm Springs, CA sent you.

ANI

Acronym for Automatic Number Identification, a system similar to Caller-ID (CID), used by the telephone company and some classes of subscriber for identifying the caller. Unlike Caller-ID, ANI delivery is not blocked by * (star) codes.

anode

This is the positive electrode or terminal in a circuit. It is commonly linked with diodes and CRTs. In a diode, it is the material designated as P. It is the opposite of cathode.

ANSI

An acronym for the American National Standards Institute; a private, non-profit organization operating in the public interest to coordinate U.S. standards. Also, a common terminal control protocol. They have a site at HTTP://WWW.ANSI.ORG.

antenna

A device that is the beginning point for getting radio, TV or similar signals, for the final point for transmitting them. The energy to or from the antenna is called RF. An antenna is a specialized transducer that converts RF (radio-frequency) fields into AC (alternating current) or vice-versa. There are two basic types. The first is the receiving antenna, which intercepts RF energy and delivers AC to electronic equipment, and the transmitting antenna, which is fed with AC from electronic equipment and generates an RF field. In computer and Internet wireless applications, the most common type of antenna is the dish, used for satellite communications. Dish antennas are generally practical only at microwave frequencies (above approximately 3 GHz). The dish consists of a paraboloidal or spherical reflector with an active element at its focus. When used for receiving, the dish collects RF from a distant source and focuses it at the active element. When used for transmitting, the active element radiates RF that is collimated (meaning to line up, or in this case, to adjust the line of sight) by the reflector for delivery in a specific direction. At frequencies below 3 GHz, many different types of antennas are used. The simplest is a length of wire, connected at one end to a transmitter or receiver. More often, the radiating/receiving element is placed at a distance from the transmitter or receiver, and AC is delivered to or from the antenna by means of an RF transmission line, also called a feed line or feeder. See RG-8.

Anti-Virus

Anti-Virus software scans a computer's memory and disk drives for viruses or for code suspected of being a virus. If it finds a match for the criteria that it feels is that of a virus or virus-like condition, the application informs the user and may clean, delete or quarantine any files, directories or disks affected by the malicious code. Companies such as McAfee and Norton are leaders in the industry but we happen to like a smaller company that puts out an excellent product called AVG. You can get either a free version or a licensed business product from them at the AVG website. If you prefer, you can buy the licensed products from us as well.

AnyLan

See 100Base-VG-AnyLan.

AOL

The common abbreviation of America Online. It's also AOL's ticker symbol on the New York Stock Exchange. AOL is the world's largest ISP and online service. Check out AOL on the Internet."

AOLnet

This is America Online's own high-speed access network.

anonymous FTP

A service that allows free public access to archived documents, files, and programs via the File Transfer Protocol (FTP). It's not necessary to have a user ID and password when logging into an anonymous FTP site. The user ID "anonymous" bypasses local security checks; often E-Mail addresses serve as courtesy passwords. See also File Transfer Protocol, FTP.

API

See Application Program Interface.

APM

An acronym for Advanced Power Management. The pseudo-intelligence built into only portable computers to monitor and control its power consumption. APM puts your portable’s screen or hard drive into the sleep (low power consumptions) mode when you don’t need them, so your batteries will last longer. This is now common technology also on desktop systems, often referred to as the energy saving mode or green mode.

apogee

A term to describe planetary distance from an orbiting body. A typical orbit of a body around a planet, for instance, the moon around the Earth, is that of an ellipse. The point at which the moon is most distant from the Earth is called the apogee. The opposite is the Perogee.

app

"App" is an abbreviation of the word application and can be used in reference to any application regardless of platform. Though since the advent of smartphones, it has become the term to describe mobile applications, or applications designed to run on cellular devices. For example, Apple refers to the software that can be installed on their mobile devices the iPhone and iPod as "Apps", which can be purchased from the "App Store". The website Facebook also refers to applications that can be used through their web portal as apps, although they are not intended for a mobile device.

View CSGNetwork's Top Free Apps

Apple

Apple Computer, the other computer company. While they have been certainly a leader in technology, marketing decisions have kept them on the edge of bankruptcy for years. In 1997, the end was very close when Bill Gates and Microsoft bailed them out with a heavy cash influx. See the core of the company at HTTP://WWW.APPLE.COM.

applet

1. An applet is a small program that performs a simple task. The term applet is becoming more well known with Java, however applets are embedded in many Microsoft products such as Windows 95, and Excel. Those applets and the subsequent changes placed in the language version from Microsoft of JAVA have been the center of controversy with JAVA's creator, Sun Microsystems. In a legal action, Sun won an injunction requiring Microsoft to rewrite the version of JAVA they use to allow it to run on any platform as was the intent of the original software.
2. A Java program which is designed to run only on a web page. To use an applet on a web page, you would specify the name of the applet and the size (length and width--in pixels) that the applet can utilize. When the web page is accessed, the browser downloads the applet from a server and runs it on the user's machine (the client). Applets differ from applications in that they are governed by a strict security protocol. For example, even though applets run on the client, they can not read or write data onto the client's machine. Additionally, applets are further restricted so that they can only read and write data from the same domain that they are served from. See also Java.
Here is the code for a Java applet version of "Hello Word!":
import java.awt.Graphics;
public class HelloWorldApplet extends java.applet.Applet
{public void paint(Graphics g) {g.drawString("Hello world!", 5, 25);}}
3. An applet is NOT a small Apple or MAC.

Apple Talk

The Apple Macintosh standard communication protocol.

application

An application is a program or group of programs (suites) that perform a given task. Word or WordPerfect are examples of applications; accounting is an application. A smaller form of an application is an applet. Some applications (often called utilities) make up part of the various operating systems but usually run on the OS.

application layer

Layer 7 of the OSI reference model. This layer provides services to application processes (such as E-Mail, file transfer, and terminal emulation) that are outside of the OSI model. The application layer identifies and establishes the availability of intended communication partners (and the resources required to connect with them), synchronizes cooperating applications, and establishes agreement on procedures for error recovery and control of data integrity. Corresponds roughly with the transaction services layer in the SNA model.

Application Program Interface - API

A document for programmers that provides the technical specifications for interfacing with an application from another program.

Archie

A database service that automatically gathers, indexes, and catalogs files on Internet servers. The initial implementation of Archie provided an indexed directory of filenames from all anonymous FTP archives on the Internet. Later versions provide other collections of information. Archie was developed by McGill School of Computer Science.

archive

Data that is important information, stored for a long period of time in some recording media such as magnetic tapes, storage arrays or other non-active hard disks.

archive site

A server that provides access to an organized collection of files available to the public. Most of the time it refers to a group of data that is previous in time, not current, but still of historical and research interest.

array

An array is a collection of elements, all of the same data type, given a single name, and stored in adjacent memory locations. The subscript (or index) must have an integral value. In most (but not all) programming languages, the first array element always has subscript 0. The second array element has subscript 1, etc. When allocated, the elements are automatically initialized to 0 for numeric primitive-data-type values, to false for boolean variables, or to null for references (non-primitive type values). Arrays make the mathematical process of searching and sorting data much easier for programmers.

ARPANET

Forerunner of the Internet created by the United States military during the cold war. ARPANET was designed by its founders to be a military command and control center that could withstand nuclear attack. ARPANET's founders designed it so that authority was distributed over a large number of geographically dispersed computers. This concept of a computer network with distributed authority is the basis of the Internet. Theoretically, if 90% of the Internet were destroyed by nuclear attack, the remaining servers would be able to continue on, assuming that all life on Earth were not obliterated. Over time the defense-oriented purpose of the Internet was broadened to include research and development, universities and education, and recently, commerce. Our first server came on line in September of 1977 as number 88 in the group. Being part of a defense contractors' group heading, we did programming work at that time for NASA.

artificial intelligence - AI

A branch of computer science that studies how to endow computers with capabilities of human intelligence. For example, speech recognition is a problem being worked on by AI scientists. The branch of computer science concerned with making computers behave like humans. The term was coined in 1956 by John McCarthy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Artificial intelligence includes:
1. Games playing: programming computers to play games such as chess and checkers
2. Expert systems: programming computers to make decisions in real-life situations (for example, some expert systems help doctors diagnose diseases based on symptoms)
3. Natural language: programming computers to understand natural human languages
4. Neural networks: Systems that simulate intelligence by attempting to reproduce the types of physical connections that occur in animal brains
5. Robotics: programming computers to see and hear and react to other sensory stimuli

Currently, no computers exhibit full artificial intelligence (that is, are able to simulate human behavior) to human standards. The greatest advances have occurred in the field of games playing. The best computer chess programs are now capable of beating humans. In May, 1997, an IBM super-computer called Deep Blue defeated world chess champion Gary Kasparov in a chess match. In the area of robotics, computers are now widely used in assembly plants, but they are capable only of very limited tasks. Robots have great difficulty identifying objects based on appearance or feel, and they still move and handle objects clumsily. Natural-language processing offers the greatest potential rewards because it would allow people to interact with computers without needing any specialized knowledge. You could simply walk up to a computer and talk to it. Unfortunately, programming computers to understand natural languages has proved to be more difficult than originally thought. Some rudimentary translation systems that translate from one human language to another are in existence, but they are not nearly as good as human translators. There are also voice recognition systems that can convert spoken sounds into written words, but they do not understand what they are writing; they simply take dictation. Even these systems are quite limited; you must speak slowly and distinctly. In the early 1980s, expert systems were believed to represent the future of artificial intelligence and of computers in general. To date, however, they have not lived up to expectations. Many expert systems help human experts in such fields as medicine and engineering, but they are very expensive to produce and are helpful only in special situations. Today, the hottest area of artificial intelligence is neural networks, which are proving successful in a number of disciplines such as voice recognition and natural-language processing. There are several programming languages that are known as AI languages because they are used almost exclusively for AI applications. The two most common are LISP and Prolog. See ALICE.

AS

Autonomous System, a unique number identifying an Internet-connected network that has routing policies distinct from their upstream connection(s).

ASCII

Pronounced as-key, ASCII is a sequential formula for representing English characters as numbers, with each letter assigned a number from 0 to 127; however, not all of those are really printable characters. An acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interchange, this is the most common code for text on computers. In common usage, ASCII means a text file that doesn't include any formatting. In most programs, the "Save As Text" option will create an ASCII file in contrast to a specially formatted file or binary file. An ASCII file is a character by character save process. For example, the ASCII code for an upper case A is decimal 65; the lower case a adds decimal 32 to that and is 97. Most computers use ASCII codes to represent, display or print text, which makes it possible to transfer data from one computer to another. The meaning of the acronym name in itself is misleading as there really is no standard, just a strong suggestion. Many companies have taken generous, liberal and self-enhancing liberties in making modifications to suit themselves, IBM and Microsoft being at the top of the list.

Text files stored in ASCII format are sometimes called text files or ASCII files; they often have the file extensions .TXT, .txt, .ASC or .asc. Text editors and word processors are usually capable of storing data in ASCII format, although ASCII format is not always the default storage format. Most data files, particularly if they contain numeric data, are not stored in ASCII format unless there is a need for easy and quick interchange with several types of systems that access that data. Executable programs are not normally stored in standard ASCII format, though there are certain exceptions such as executable programs running under interpreters.

The standard ASCII character set uses only 7 bits of the 8 bit byte for each character. There are several larger character sets that use all 8 bits of the byte, which gives them an 128 additional characters in the set. The extra characters are used to represent characters not used in the English language, graphics characters or symbols, and mathematical representations or symbols. Several companies and organizations have proposed extensions for these 128 characters; none have made any effort to work together for standards. The DOS operating system uses a superset of ASCII called the ASCII extended set or PC ASCII. A more universal standard is the ISO Latin 1 set of characters used by many current operating systems and most current generation browsers. Typical non-conformer IBM (and several other mainframe makers), use another code set called EBCDIC. You can see the ASCII codes and what they do.

ASF

1. An acronym for Advanced Streaming Format. A set of standards from Microsoft that is utilized in WMP7 technology.
2. An acronym for Automatic Sheet Feeder. The technology dictates the different ways printers feed paper. Dot matrix printers usually run on a continuous Web of paper while laser printers or ink jet type printers are generally single sheet. They are also often referred to as page printers.

ASIC

1. Pronounced ay-sik, and short for Application Specific Integrated Circuit, a chip designed for a particular application. ASICs are built by connecting existing circuit building blocks in new ways. Since the building blocks already exist in a library, it is much easier to produce a new ASIC than to design a new chip from scratch.
2. An Application Specific Integrated Circuit is a chip designed for a specific application. Examples of an ASIC application can be SDSL or other broadband solutions.

ASLS

An acronym for Analog Single Line Station; a telephony term. An extension port on a PABX/KSU that will allow a standard household type phone to interface with the system.

ASN.1

Abstract Syntax Notation One is a language that defines the way data is sent across dissimilar communication systems. ASN.1 ensures that the data received is the same as the data transmitted by providing a common syntax for specifying Application layer (program-to-program communications) protocols. Each communications system contains a similar ASN.1 encoding/decoding scheme written in the language used on that particular system. When one system wants to send data to another, the first system encodes the data into ASN.1, sends the data, and the second system receives and decodes the data using the decoder written in the language used on that system. ASN.1 is an ISO /ITU-T bases on the OSI model. It was first defined in 1984 as part of CCITT X.409; revised in 1995; then became its own standard, X.208, in 1998.

ASP

1. An acronym for Application Service Providers. They are third-party entities that manage and distribute software-based services and solutions to customers across a wide area network from a central data center, in particular across the Internet. In essence, ASPs are a way for companies to outsource some or almost all aspects of their information technology needs. According to ASPnews.com, ASPs are broken down into five subcategories:

a. Enterprise ASPs; deliver high-end business applications.
b. Local/Regional ASPs; supply wide variety of application services for smaller businesses in a local area.
c. Specialist ASPs; provide applications for a specific need, such as Web site services or human resources.
d. Vertical Market ASPs; provide support to a specific industry such as healthcare.
e. Volume Business ASPs; supply general small/medium-sized businesses with pre-packaged application services in volume.

ASPs may be commercial ventures that cater to customers, or not-for-profit or government organizations, providing service and support to end users.
2. Microsoft's acronym for Active Server Pages, part of the capabilities of programming interfaces on NT & W2000 based servers.
3. A very nasty snake with a reputation for picking on women.

ASP+

The acronym ASP+, also called ASP.NET, is the next generation of Microsoft's Active Server Page technology (ASP), a feature of their Internet Information Server (IIS). Both ASP and ASP+ allow a user to dynamically, as opposed to conventional static pages, build Web pages on the fly by querying a relational database, such as Access or SQL. ASP+ is different and more powerful than its predecessor in two major ways.

1. It supports code written in compiled languages such as Visual Basic, C++, C#, and Perl; and,
2. It features server controls that can separate the code from the content, allowing WYSIWYG editing of pages. Although ASP+ is not backwards compatible with ASP, it is able to run side by side with ASP applications. ASP+ files can be recognized by their .aspx extension.

ASP.NET

See ASP and ASP+.

assembler

A compiler to reduce assembly language code instructions into machine language. See assembly language.

assembly language or assembler

A programming language that is once removed from a computer's machine language, often called assembler. The term assembler is often used as the slang to indicate the compiler used to reduce and compile the final code. Machine languages consist entirely of numbers and are almost impossible for humans to read and write. Assembly languages have the same structure and set of commands as machine languages, but they enable a programmer to use names instead of numbers. Each type of CPU has its own machine language and assembly language, so an assembly language program written for one type of CPU won't run on another. In the early days of programming, all programs were written in assembly language. Now, most programs are written in a high-level language such as FORTRAN or C. Programmers still use assembly language when speed is essential or when they need to perform an operation that isn't possible in a high-level language.

astable

The opposite of stable; it is unstable. Usually it is used in electronics to describe a particular circuit or part of a circuit. In an astable circuit, the output continually switches between the high and low states without any intervention from the user, producing a square wave. An astable has no stable state; hence the name astable. This type of circuit could be used to give a mechanism intermittent motion by switching a motor on and off at regular intervals. It can also be used to flash lamps and LEDs (when was the last time you were flashed?), and is useful as a clock pulse for other digital ICs and circuits. An astable circuit can be constructed using a 555 timer IC and a few other components. The 555 yields the astable heartbeat. Check out our Astable 555 Square Wave Calculator.

asymmetric

The opposite of symmetric. Usually means non-symetrical in whatever is in process. Uses non-like situations or multiple methods. For example, most DSL lines upstream at one rate and downstream at a different rate; they are asymmetrical in operation.

asymmetrical

See asymmetric.

asynchronous

1. A type of transmission in which each character is transmitted independently without reference to a standard clock. The counterpart is synchronous transmission.
2. Data transmission one character at a time to the receiving device, with intervals of varying lengths between transmittals, and with start bits at the beginning and stop bits at the end of each character, to control the transmission. In xDSL and in most dial-up modem communications, asynchronous communications are often found in Internet access and remote office applications.

AT

An acronym for Advanced Technology in motherboards. A particular set of characteristics defining a generic type of motherboard and chassis combination. The definition came from the original AT type computer, a 6mhz hummer from IBM. Subsequent to that, a smaller form set utilizing the same backplane and power supply characteristics, called Baby AT, was introduced to allow a smaller physical chassis. The current evolving subset to this is the ATX characteristic, incorporating a newer power supply and many advancements in speed, graphics and I/O. While the AT and Baby AT were somewhat compatible in that they used the same external connections and same power supply connections, the ATX is NOT compatible with AT boards, power supplies or chassis units. Also see LPX and NLX form factor boards.

ATA

An acronym for AT Attachment, a disk drive implementation that integrates the controller on the disk drive itself. This is often known as IDE technology or in more advanced forms, EIDE. There are several versions of ATA, all developed by the Small Form Factor (SFF) Committee: (Contrary to popular belief, this is not headed by Jenny Craig!)
1. ATA: Known also as IDE, supports one or two hard drives, a 16-bit interface and PIO modes 0, 1 and 2.
2. ATA-2: Supports faster PIO modes (3 and 4) and multiword DMA modes (1 and 2). Also supports logical block addressing (LBA) and block transfers. ATA-2 is marketed as Fast ATA and Enhanced IDE (EIDE).
3. ATA-3: Minor revision to ATA-2.
4. Ultra-ATA: Also called Ultra-DMA, ATA-33, and DMA-33, supports multiword DMA mode 3 running at 33 MBps.
5. ATA/66: A new version of ATA proposed by Quantum Corporation, and supported by Intel, that will double ATA's throughput to 66 MBps. The first ATA/66 computers were introduced in early 1999. Since Intel is also backing this, it is expected to become the standard.
6. ATA/100: A new version of ATA finalized in October of 2001. It is known as the Ultra DMA 100 standard.
7. ATA/133: A new version of ATA finalized in May of 2002 that sets the standards for the Ultra DMA 133.

ATAPI

An acronym for AT Attachment Packet Interface. This is an extension to the powerful EIDE (also called ATA-2) that enables the interface to support CD-ROM players and tape drives. Due to the support of the standard from Microsoft on W95 and (mostly) later operating systems, it has become the standard for such devices.

Athlon

A processor from AMD. According to AMD, the AMD Athlon processor continues to power the next generation in computing platforms, delivering the ultimate performance for cutting-edge applications and an unprecedented x86 computing experience. In the 3rd quarter of 2000, AMD is shipping the new AMD Athlon processors with performance enhancing on-chip L2 cache memory now. The new AMD Athlon processor is available in six speeds (1GHz, and 950, 900, 850, 800 and 750MHz) in both Slot A and the new Socket A packaging.

ATM

1. Asynchronous Transfer Mode. The ITU standard for a cell-relay based communications system encompassing voice, data and video traffic. ATM provides standards for 25Mbps and 155Mbps transmission speeds. Because of the expense of the architecture, most networks do not handle this all the way to the workstation but larger networks will use it as a backbone. The unique function of this over other backbones other than speed is the self handled ability to prioritize traffic and requests.
2. Automated Teller Machine. A computerized bank teller. It has NO attitude.
3. Asynchronous Transfer Mode is an emerging technology designed to facilitate the need for high-speed transmission of voice, video and data using the public telephone network, and therefore providing a solution for improper bandwidth allocation.
4. ATM is a connection oriented service that segments incoming data into a succession of small units called cells. Data transmitted from multiple sources is segmented into cells by the ATM network device, and the cells are then interleaved onto a single transmission media. See also TDM and packet switching.
5. An ATM cell is 53 bytes long containing a 5 byte header and a 48 byte payload packet. The header of an ATM cell contains all necessary information for data to reach the appropriate end point in whatever priority is specified. The payload portion of an ATM cell can contain any type of information, be it voice, video or data.
6. An ATM connection is actually one physical connection between two end points, that contains multiple virtual channels (VC). Furthermore, multiple VC’s can be grouped to traverse a Virtual Path (VP). See also PVC, SVC, VCI, and VPI.

ATM Forum

The organization tasked with developing and defining ATM standards. This is a very mature technology and the technical forum generally guiding it has evolved from HTTP://WWW.ATMFORUM.COM to become known as HTTP://WWW.MFAFORUM.ORG. Visit them for more info.

atomic time

Atomic Time (TA) scale: A highly accurate time scale based on atomic or molecular resonance phenomena. Passage of time is measured by counting cycles of a frequency linked to an atomic or molecular transition. Other scales reference mechanical devices such as quartz crystals or are based on the rotation rate of the earth. For more time information, also see Zulu time. To check the atomic time at the U.S. Naval Observatory, click here. You can also download a utility that will sync your Windows computer to the atomic clock technology.

ATSC

An acronym for Advanced Television Systems Committee; an international, non-profit organization developing voluntary standards for digital television. The ATSC has approximately 140 member organizations representing the broadcast, broadcast equipment, motion picture, consumer electronics, computer, cable, satellite, and semiconductor industries.

AT&T Worldnet

The telephone giant's Internet service, often called just Worldnet. AT&T has been a late comer to the ISP business but the service is a good one. They are going head to head with AOL, CIS and MSN for a share of the ISP market. Check out AT&T Worldnet on the Internet.

Attach File

This is a handy function available in most mailers that allows a member to "attach" a file, any file, to a piece of E-Mail. If a file is larger than 1MB, it is probably better to transfer it some other way. Many mailers, such as the mail servers on commercial networks, do limit the size of a mail file or attached file but the sizes of the attached files allowed generally have grown significantly since the late 90s and early 2000s.

attack

An attempt to subvert or bypass a system's security. Attacks may be passive or active. Active attacks attempt to alter or destroy data. Passive attacks try to intercept or read data without changing it.

attenuation

The reduction of a signal, sometimes gradual and self created, sometimes intentionally created. An example would be a network of two computers that is ten feet in length and a network of two hundred computers that is two thousand feet in length. As a signal starts and moves from one location on each network to another, that signal is attenuated. The largest attenuation is on the longer run of network cable. A device to intentionally reduce a signal strength is called an attenuator. Devices like this are often used by cable TV companies to keep from over powering a particular TV with signal.

attosecond

An extremely minute measurement of time (no, it is not the same as a quickie...). There are 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 (a million trillion) attoseconds in a second. For more information on both common and uncommon timely tidbits, see our displays of MANY time calculators and converters, and time zone conversions on our listing of various other converters and calculators.

attributes

Characteristics assigned to all files and directories. Attributes vary via operating systems or network operating systems. Attributes normally include Read Only, Archive, Hidden or System files, but may include others as well.

ATUR

An acronym for ADSL Termination Unit Remote. ATUR is the ADSL modem or PC card that physically terminates an ADSL connection at the end user’s location.

ATX

An acronym for Advanced Technology eXtended in motherboards. A particular set of characteristics defining a generic type of motherboard, power supply and chassis combination. The definition came from Intel, along with a consortium of hardware and software makers to define the ability of the design. The current definition of the ATX 1.1 characteristic, incorporates a newer, different (from AT) power supply, allowing machine shut down power off and better green controls. While the AT and Baby AT were somewhat compatible with each other in that they used the same external connections and same power supply connections, the ATX is NOT compatible with AT boards, power supplies or chassis units. This design offers many speed and graphics advancements, external fan control, along with other amenities, but is far more vulnerable to power fluctuations, surges, sags and frequency noise. You MUST pay close attention to power when working on them since certain parts of the chassis are "hot" all the time to enable "wake up calls" when needed. In my opinion, this technology has a long way to go. HP was a pioneer in the idea with certain printers not even having a switch for "off and on" operation. See AT. Also see LPX and NLX form factor boards.

audio

The audible or sound function of your multimedia interface. There are many types of audio interfaces currently available and while the Microsoft Media Player and the RealAudio Player are currently among the standards, MP3 and others have made significant advancements and may well overtake the leaders as the new standard. Some common terms and formats associated in the industry are 3-D audio, AC-3, AC97, AIFF, ASF, AU, audio scrubbing, digital audio, digitize, Dolby Digital (AC-3), fps, jitter buster, MIDI, MP3, MPEG (MPG), RealAudio, sampling, sound card, streaming, WAV, wave table, and synthesis.

audio scrubbing

The process of moving within an audio file or tape to locate a particular section. The term originally comes from the days of reel-to-reel players, when rocking a reel would give the impression of scrubbing tape across the head. Many audio scrub tools today allow the user to drag a cursor across the wave form to audition different sections of an audio file.

AUI

Short for Attachment Unit Interface, the portion of the Ethernet standard that specifies how a cable is to be connected to an Ethernet card. AUI specifies a coaxial cable connected to a transceiver that plugs into a 15-pin socket on the network interface card (NIC). See AAUI.

AUP - Acceptable Use Policy

See Acceptable Use Policy.

authentication

1. The verification of the identity of a person or process. This process is most often associated with the login (username) and password verification process. Some ISPs verify that you are who you say you are during the login process, and that you are not already logged on under that name. In certain cases, some specialized mail servers use a process called Authentication to verify mail processes.
2. The process of identifying an individual, usually based on a username and password combination, although the process can be many more steps. In security systems, authentication is distinct from authorization, which is the process of giving individuals access to system objects based on their identity. Authentication merely ensures that the individual is who he or she claims to be, but says nothing about the access rights of the individual. Authentication in whatever form, is usually followed by authorization. See RADIUS.
3. See PAP and CHAP.
4. A telephony term for a feature that decreases fraud by creating a unique set of variables to identify the phone's identity.

authorization

The process of granting or denying access to a network resource. Most computer security systems are based on a two-step process, sometimes more. The first stage is authentication, which ensures that a user is who he or she claims to be and in some cases, that the user is not already on the system. The second stage is authorization, which allows the user access in varied degrees to various resources based on the preassigned privileges associated with the user's identity. See RADIUS.

autochanger

A tape, CD, DVD or optical disc drive with the ability to change the media within it. Usually these are backup devices but not always. The devices also have the slang connotation of Juke Box by users that were around in the 50's and 60's.

autoexec.bat

A special batch file that DOS automatically executes during the booting process. The AUTOEXEC.BAT file, usually placed in the root directory, is an ideal place to include commands that initialize the operation of a PC. This file can be executed automatically at boot-up or at a C: prompt by typing the command autoexec.bat, or simply, autoexec. This process was only used with DOS support OSs and is not used on current generations systems such as XP.

AutoFont Support

A proprietary technology from Hewlett Packard; their standard for supplying font width information (metrics) for both scalable typefaces and bitmap fonts used by HP LaserJet printers.

autorun

A process on Windows XX CD installations, beginning with Windows 95, that allows the CD to start upon insertion or upon clicking on the drive. Some users find this annoying and disable the function. Contrary to popular belief, this is NOT an analogy to dog run, only for your car.

avatar

1. A graphical icon that represents a real person in a cyberspace system. When you enter the system, you can choose from a number of fanciful avatars. Sophisticated 3D avatars even change shape depending on what they are doing (e.g., walking, sitting, etc.).
2. A common name for the superuser account on UNIX systems. The other common name is root.

avionics

The aviation industry is a giant sector of the electronics industry, and uses the category term avionics for devices common to it. Though the E6B is not a true electronic computer, we have emulated some of the E6B computer calculations in our Aviation Calculators and Converters if you would like to use them.

AVS

A computer industry acronym for Age Verification Service.

AWG

An electronics industry acronym for American Wire Gauge. AWG is a measure of the thickness of copper, aluminum and other wiring in the U.S. and elsewhere. Copper cabling typically varies from 18 to 26 AWG. The higher the number, the thinner the wire. The thicker the wire, the less susceptible it is to interference. AWG is known as BS (Brown & Sharp wire gauge). The AWG gauging system is defined as a geometrical progression because of the drawing mechanism nature. The 36 AWG is defined as 5 mil diameter, and the 4/0 AWG is defined as 460 mil diameter. In general, thin wire cannot carry the same amount of electrical current the same distance that thicker wire can. Here is a table showing the attributes and an electrical wire gauge comparison table.

AWK

An interpreted programming language that is included in most versions of UNIX. The name is derived from the initials of its creators, Alfred Aho, Peter Weinberger, and Brian Kernighan, who developed the language in 1977 and 1978. The language is particularly designed for filtering and manipulating textual data. In this respect, it is similar to Perl, though Perl is more powerful. There are many variants of AWK, including GAWK, which is the GNU version.

AXFR

In DNS, any request for a complete transfer of all records for a zone.

AYSOS

An acronym for Are You Stupid Or Something? You don't make many friends with this in a chat room!

AZERTY

The standard French language keyboard layout. Term comes from the first six letters below the row of numbers. See also Dvorak and QWERTY.

Other -|- Letter B -|- Add A Word
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