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Computer, Telephony & Electronics
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A technology developed by Lucent Technologies and Rockwell International for delivering data rates up to 56 Kbps over plain old telephone service (POTS). It was long believed that the maximum data transmission rate over copper telephone wires was 33.6 Kbps, but K56flex achieves higher rates by taking advantage of the fact that most phone switching stations are connected by high-speed digital lines. K56flex bypasses the normal digital-to-analog conversion and sends the digital data over the telephone wires directly to your modem where it is decoded. Lucent and Rockwell have announced that future K56flex modems will conform to the new V.90 standard approved by the ITU. And users with older K56flex modems may upgrade their modems to support V.90. While K56flex offers faster Internet access than normal modems, there are several caveats to using an K56flex modem:

1. The high speeds are available only with downstream traffic (e.g., data sent to your computer). Upstream traffic is delivered using normal techniques, with a maximum speed of 33.6 Kbps.
2. To connect to the Internet at K56flex speeds, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) must have a modem at the other end that supports V.90.
3. Even if your ISP supports V.90, you might not achieve maximum transmission rates due to noisy lines.


A family of processors from AMD; the equivalent of the Intel original Pentium line. This was AMD's 5th generation of microprocessors. It had processor speeds of between 100 and 350 mhz, a 256kb L2 cache of half speed, and a 66 mhz bus. See FSB.


A family of processors from AMD; now in the 6th generation. This line was generally the equivalent of the Intel Pentium II line. It had processor speeds of between 400 and 450 mhz, a 256kb L2 cache of full speed, and a 100 mhz bus. See FSB.


A family of processors from AMD including the Athlon and Duron; roughly the equivalent of Intel's Pentium III line. This is AMD's 7th generation of Microprocessors. It had processor speeds of between 500 mhz and 1 ghz, a 512kb L2 cache of half speed, and a 100 mhz bus. See FSB.

KB or Kilobyte

A representative word meaning one thousand bytes, or approximately anyway. The correct amount is 1,024 bytes. See GB. In decimal systems, kilo stands for 1,000, but in binary systems, a kilo is 1,024 (2 to the 10th power). (In law enforcement, a kilo is a big bust! In Las Vegas, a big bust is ... never mind...) Technically, therefore, a kilobyte is 1,024 bytes, but it is often used loosely as a synonym for 1,000 bytes. For example, a computer that has 256K main memory can store approximately 256,000 bytes (or characters) in memory at one time. A megabyte is 2 to the 20th power (approximately 1 million) and a gigabyte is 2 to the 30th power (approximately 1 billion). Don't know your KB from your MB? Try our memory and storage converter. (Also see powers of ten, megabyte, terabyte, exabyte, petabyte, zettabyte and yottabyte.) In computer literature, kilobyte is usually abbreviated as K or Kb. To distinguish between a decimal K (1,000) and a binary K (1,024), the IEEE has suggested following the convention of using a small k for a decimal kilo and a capital K for a binary kilo, but this convention is by no means strictly followed.


KCMIL is a quantity of measure units; KCMIL is 1000 CMILS. All wire sizes larger than 4 ought AWG are given as KCMIL sizes. KCMIL wire size is the equivalent cross sectional area in thousands of circular mils. A circular MIL (CMIL) is the area of a circle with a diameter of one thousandth (0.001) of an inch, often termed CMA. Be aware that the wire sizes in the KCMIL system increase as the numbers get larger, which is exactly opposite from the AWG system.


A programming acronym for thousand (K) Delivered Source Instructions. It is a measure of a programmer's productivity or a project productivity.

Keep As New

An E-Mail option that keeps a piece of E-Mail in your new E-Mail list.


A scale of temperature measurement used primarily in special measurements requiring precision at near absolute; in the US, the Fahrenheit scale, or worldwide, the Celsius are is most often used for common temperature measurements. The Kelvin scale is used in the computer industry only by chip makers in the process of manufacturing. Strangely enough, the word degree is not used with the Kelvin scale. If you are not sure of your Celsius, Fahrenheit, Kelvin, Réaumur, or Rankine, try our multi-scale, online temperature converter!


1. A terminal program and file transfer protocol, kermit can be used to download files from a remote system to your home computer. Kermit is distinguished by it's ability to transfer files over telnet and other connections that would corrupt a binary transfer. It is officially available from the Columbia University Kermit software collection.
2. A protocol used for transferring files over a dial-up connection that is commonly used on BBS systems.
3. A little guy that keeps muttering "Its not easy being green..." and dates a pig (not Bill Clinton).


The kernel is the set of functions that make up the operating system, the essential center; used to provide an application interface between programs and the underlying virtual and physical devices the core that provides basic services for all other parts of the operating system. A real world synonym is nucleus. A kernel can be contrasted with a shell, the outermost part of an operating system that interacts with user commands. Kernel and shell are terms used more frequently in DOS, Windows, UNIX and some other 'NIX operating systems more than in IBM mainframe systems. Typically, a kernel, or any comparable code center of any OS, includes an interrupt handler that handles all requests or completed I/O operations that compete for the OS kernel's services, a scheduler (an possibly an additional but separate event handler) that determines which programs share the kernel's processing time in what order, and a management supervisor that actually gives use of the computer to each process when it is scheduled. A kernel may also include a manager of the operating system's address spaces in memory or storage, sharing these among all components and other users of the kernel's services. A kernel's services are requested by other parts of the OS or by application through a specified set of program interfaces sometimes known as system calls. Because the code that makes up the kernel is needed continuously, it is usually loaded into computer storage in an area that is protected so that it will not be overlayed with other less frequently used parts of the operating system. Is that always good enough to keep problems from happening? No or you would never get a message that states "XXXXXX has caused a problem with kernel. Your computer will now self destruct."

The kernel is not to be confused with the BIOS, the Basic Input/Output System. Some, though not many, kernels have been developed independently for use in any operating system that wants to use it. Most are machine specific. A well known example is the Mach kernel, developed at Carnegie-Mellon University, and currently used in a version of the Linux operating system for Apple's PowerMac computers.


On most computers, a keyboard is the primary text input device. While the mouse is also a primary input device but lacks the ability to easily transmit textual information. The keyboard also contains certain standard function keys, such as the Escape key, tab and cursor movement keys, shift and control keys, and sometimes other manufacturer-customized keys. The computer keyboard uses the same key arrangement as the mechanical and electronic typewriter keyboards that preceded the computer. The standard arrangement of alphabetic keys is known as the Qwerty keyboard, its name deriving from the arrangement of the five keys at the upper left of the three rows of alphabetic keys. This arrangement, invented for one of the earliest mechanical typewriters, dates back to the 1870s. Another well-known key arrangement is the Dvorak system, which was designed to be easier to learn and use. The Dvorak keyboard was designed with the most common consonants on one side of the middle or home row and the vowels on the other side so that typing tends to alternate key strokes back and forth between hands. Although the Dvorak keyboard has never been widely used, it has adherents.

Because many keyboard users develop a cumulative trauma disorder, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, a number of ergonomic keyboards have been developed. Approaches include keyboards contoured to alleviate stress and foot-driven pedals for certain keys or keyboard functions.


The fastest way to get from one area of an Internet service to another. Click on GO TO from the menu bar, and then GO TO KEYWORD. Type in the keyword for the area you'd like to visit. Also used by search engines to find what you are searching for.

Kids Only

An area of an ISP's service dedicated to kids. Such an area is usually kept free of the less than desirable parts of the Internet. Also a Parental Controls setting that prevents kids from accessing certain parts of some services. This action restricts access to certain parts of the Internet and services.

kill file

A file used by some USENET reading programs that filters out unwanted messages, usually from a particular author or on a particular subject. If you add someone to your kill file, you arrange for the person to be ignored by your news reader. Originally from Larry Wall's RN program.


See KB


A quick fix to a problem, usually hardware, that places expediency over elegance. Pronounced "klooj". Variant spelling is "kludge". See patch.


A person who understands the finer details of computer networking. See also hacker, newbie, and power newbie.


A artificially intelligent computer program that automates the search for animation.

Knowledge Base

A web based database of help and support for Microsoft products and services. They use a Q number designation for specific articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base. This is usually followed by a number such as Q1234. That number can be a keyed search specifically or the database can be searched by keywords for related items. This is a spectacular tool and is getting better everyday as they learn to index more and more words.


An acronym for Key Service Unit; a telephony term. A central control cabinet serving many multi-button key telephones. Contains equipment which enables the user to pick up and hold PABX or Central Office (CO) lines and provide flashing line, steady, busy and wink hold signals. Dial intercom service is also an option. May all be contained in a computer-like device cabinet or chassis.


An abbreviation for Kilo Volt Amp. A term describing power in a relationship of both thousands of volts (voltage) and amperage.


An abbreviation for KiloWatt. See watt, the measure of power.


1. An acronym for KiloWatt Hour. A measure of the amount of watts of energy used. Electricity is measured in units of power called watts. Like pennies, watts are pretty small. For most purposes, electricity is measured in kilowatts, or 1000-watt units. The watt or kilowatt rating on electrical devices, such as light bulbs, tells you how much electricity it requires. The higher the rating, the more electricity it uses. The number of kilowatts used is multiplied by the number of hours of use, and the result is a kilowatt-hour or KWH. The abbreviation is often lower or mixed case, kwh, KWh or kWh.
2. The initials of a very close friend of mine. See my own personal dumping tribute to him her.

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