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Computer, Telephony & Electronics
Industry Glossary


A particular designation for a fast form of connection, by phone line, to the Internet. T1 bandwidth is roughly 1.5 mbps per user, 1.544 to be exact; a powerful, high speed transmission line connection to the Internet; it can also alternatively handle 24 voice channels. There are also Fractional T1 lines. A T1 line can send a gigabyte of information in less than 10 seconds. It has the capability of many simultaneous (between hundreds and and several hundred, depending on what each connection is doing and how much of the resource they are using) "conversations" or connections within. T1 supports voice, data and video at different frequencies on the same connection. T1 is a "full time connection" as opposed to dial-up. Also known as T-1 and sometimes DS1. T1 services are the perfect solution for businesses having moderately high bandwidth needs and many users. T1 dedicated services are designed to support applications such as large File Transfer Protocol (FTP), World Wide Web or Gopher servers, extensive video or image file transfers, and CAD/CAM file transfers. See BPS, T3 and T4. The European equivalent is an E1.


A particular designation for a fast form of connection, by phone line, to the Internet. A legitimate but rarely used broadband designation exactly twice the speed and capability of T1; a T1 is 24 voice channels or 1544kbps while the T1c is 48 voice channels or 3152kbps. See T1.


A particular designation for a fast form of connection, by phone line, to the Internet. A legitimate but rarely used broadband designation exactly four times the speed and capability of T1; a T1 is 24 voice channels or 1544kbps while the T2 is 96 voice channels or 6312kbps. See T1.


A particular designation for a fast form of connection, by phone line but usually fiber optic, to the Internet. It is the backbone of the Internet and of major corporation systems. T3 bandwidth is roughly 45 mbps per user with the capability of many simultaneous (between hundreds and thousands, depending on what each connection is doing and how much of the resource they are using) "conversations" or connections within; it can also alternatively handle 672 voice channels. It is about 28 times the speed of a T1 line. Some companies also offer tiered T3 services which are fractional parts in 3 mbps chunks. T3 supports voice, data and video at different frequencies on the same connection. T3 is a "full time connection" as opposed to dial-up. This technology is also known as T-3 and DS3. See BPS, T1 and T4. The European equivalent is an E3.


A particular designation for a fast form of connection, by phone line but usually fiber optic, to the Internet. It is the backbone of the Internet and of major corporation systems. T4 bandwidth is roughly 274 mbps per user with the capability of many simultaneous (between hundreds and thousands, depending on what each connection is doing and how much of the resource they are using) "conversations" or connections within; it can also alternatively handle 4032 voice channels. T4 supports voice, data and video at different frequencies on the same connection. T4 is a "full time connection" as opposed to dial-up. This technology is also known as T-4 and DS4. See BPS, T3 and T1. The European equivalent is an E4.


TAI, Temps Atomique International, is the international atomic time scale based on a continuous counting of the SI second. In 1967, the Thirteenth General Conference of Weights and Measures adopted a resolution to replace the astronomical definition of the second - the second is the duration of 9,192,631,770 cycles of radiation corresponding to the transition between two hyperfine levels of the ground state of Caesium-133 atom. The International Atomic Time (TAI) is the international reference scale of atomic time based on the seconds as defined above in the International System of Units (SI). TAI is currently ahead of UTC by 32 seconds, as of this update. Check our Multiple Time Display Converter for current changes.

talk battery

DC voltage supplied by the CO, usually in the form of a rechargeable battery on-site, to the subscriber’s loop to operate the telephone equipment.


Acronym for There Ain't No Standard (or no one follows it). The largest problem in the computer industry. See "Wake up and smell the roses!"


A magnetically coated strip of plastic on which data can be encoded. Tapes for computers are similar to tapes used to store music. Often used as a generic name for diskette, CDR, CDRW or other recordable media. Storing data on tapes is considerably cheaper, at present than storing data on disks. Tapes also have large storage capacities, ranging from a few hundred kilobytes to several gigabytes. Accessing data on tapes, however, is much slower than accessing data on disks. Tapes are sequential-access media, which means that to get to a particular point on the tape, the tape must go through all the preceding points. In contrast, disks are random-access media because a disk drive can access any point at random without passing through intervening points. The reliability factor in tapes is excellent. Because tapes are so slow, they are generally used only for long-term storage and backup. Data to be used regularly is almost always kept on a disk. Tapes are also used for transporting large amounts of data. Tapes come in a variety of sizes and formats. Tapes are sometimes called streamers or streaming tapes. Some of the types are:

Half-inch 60MB to 400MB: Half-inch tapes come both as 9-track reels and as cartridges. The tapes themselves are relatively cheap but they require expensive tape drives.
Quarter-inch 40MB to 5GB Quarter-inch cartridges: (QIC tapes) are relatively inexpensive and support fast data transfer rates. Quarter-inch minicartridges are even less expensive, but their data capacities are smaller and their transfer rates are slower.
8-mm Helical-scan: 5GB to 40GB 8-mm helical-scan cartridges use the same technology as VCR tapes and have the greatest capacity (along with DAT cartridges), but they require relatively expensive tape drives. They also have relatively slow data transfer rates.
4-mm DAT 2GB to 24GB: DAT (Digital Audio Tape) cartridges have the greatest capacity (along with 8-mm helical-scan cartridges) but they require relatively expensive tape drives. They also have relatively slow data transfer rates.

tape drive

A device, like a tape recorder, that reads data from and writes it onto a tape. Tape drives have data capacities of anywhere from a few hundred kilobytes (KB) to several gigabytes (GB). Their transfer speeds also vary considerably. Fast tape drives can transfer as much as 20MB (megabytes) per second. The disadvantage of tape drives is that they are sequential access devices, which means that to read any particular block of data, you need to read all the preceding blocks. This makes them much too slow for general purpose storage operations. However, they are among the least expensive and most reliable media types for making backups.


A program used to create a single file archive from several files, often used to distribute programs for Unix. The Unix command has many options. Similar in many ways to the obscure option of MS-DOS's COPY command.


Transfer (or transport) Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (currently in revision 4, known as IPv4, and sometimes called 4bone), the method by which most Internet activity takes place. Members with access to TCP/IP through a SLIP or PPP connection can connect to many ISP services in this manner. As the name implies, it is a protocol for network activity. Most current networks support some sort of TCP or IP directly or indirectly. Currently in use examples of transfer or transport protocols are TCP/IP, IPX/SPX (Novell) and NetBeui. See IPv6.
As opposed to IP, TCP is connection oriented and assures reliable delivery of packets. When the destination host receives a segment it sends back an acknowledgment (ACK). If an ACK is not received by the source host within a certain period of time then the data is retransmitted. TCP uses sockets and ports to exchange data between applications. Ports provide a specific and universal location for message delivery, while sockets use the host IP address, port number and the type of service (TCP or UDP) to create a reliable connection. TCP uses sliding windows to buffer data between hosts. A buffer that is too large or small can cause poor network performance.


See terminal device.


Tone Dialing for the Deaf/Teletype, a method by which the hearing impaired can type messages over normal phone lines using special equipment. Many ISPs have a TDD/TTY for technical support. You can contact your local phone company for information on obtaining the equipment.


A telephony acronym for Time division multiplexing. TDM systems offer a synchronous transmission of data over a fixed bandwidth channel. The most popular TDM transports are a T1 (1.5 Mbps) transport and a T3 (45 Mbps) transport. This transmission medium is ideal for traffic requiring a CBR transport, such as voice.

Tech Support Live

Your ISP's real-time help forum, where you can ask staff for help in a modified chat room or forum. This is one of the best sources of first line defense support you can obtain on any online service.


The local telephone service provider. A generic term for the local telephone company operator in a given area. In the U.S., the major telcos are the seven regional Bell operating companies and the leading independent telcos, GTE (Verizon), SNET, and Sprint; in Europe, Asia and elsewhere, the term "telco" generally refers to the incumbent monopoly, but increasingly, as in the U.S., refers to competing local providers as well.


Pertaining to the telecommunications industry. Usually used with device or in place of device. Any sort of telecommunications device.


The science of sending signals representing voice, video, or data through telephone lines.


Telecommuting is a term used to indicate the process of working outside of the office by a modem hookup to the main office system. In most cases, because of modem technology, it is slow, awkward and requires a fair amount of equipment and technology (by comparison to being on the company network) to allow this function to happen. The theory of VPNs is the next generation of this technology. DSL, ADSL and ISDN technology, as alternatives to conventional modems, offer the speeds to make this a viable reality. According to a 1999 study, telecommuting has been growing at 13% to 17% a year since 1990 in North America. Roughly 75% of Fortune 1000 companies are likely to introduce it by 2003. Although work at the company premises does not appear to be threatened as previously indicated and forecast as a cost cutting measure, new forms of telecommunication such as voice and multimedia communication, as well as work group software are certain to make telecommuting more social and viable in the future. Major innovations in Internet technology may well cut the anticipated time to place this trend in motion.


The name given to any telecommunications system involving the transmission of speech information, allowing two or more persons to communicate verbally. There is no distinction between wired and wireless.


Television is a telecommunication system for broadcasting and receiving moving pictures and sound over a distance. The term has come to refer to all the aspects of television programming and transmission as well. The word television is a hybrid word, coming from both Greek and Latin. "Tele-" is Greek for "far", while "-vision" is from the Latin "visio", meaning "vision" or "sight". It is often abbreviated as TV.


Telnet is an application that lets you connect to another computer using the connection you've already established through a local provider. Because you are going through a local provider, in this case your ISP, there are no long distance charges to pay. Bulletin boards, online stores, and multi-user games are just some of the things you can tap into using telnet. For more information, contact your ISP. Telnet is usually used on the UNIX family of operating systems or on mid-size and up computers used as hosts. A Windows version is provided with W95, W98 and NT for possible Internet use.


A technology of a different form of time keeping; see more details on our TenTime converter.


1. A number equivalent to 2 to the 40th power (1,099,511,627,776) bytes. This is approximately 1 trillion (in the American system) bytes, or 1024 gigabytes.
2. A number equivalent to 10 to the 12th power (1,000,000,000,000). This is exactly one trillion, or 1000 billions; the inverse is pico. Don't know your KB from your MB? Try our memory and storage converter. (Also see powers of ten, kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte, exabyte, petabyte, zettabyte and yottabyte.)

terminal device

1. In telephony, a telephone, phone system, Fax, modem, or other phone device capable of terminating an analog phone line.
2. In computing, a monitor with keyboard, or a printer with keyboard, usually used as the master device.

Terms of Service, TOS, TOA

Terms Of Service or Terms of Agreement, your ISP's conditions and terms by which all members are expected to abide. For more information, contact your ISP.


Data that is alphanumeric type in content, as opposed to graphic data.

text box

A box into which you can type text, usually in a word processor, within a formatting procedure or a graphic.

text file

A file that contains only pure ASCII characters. This file usually has the extension .TXT or .ASC to identify it. Please also take a look at our information on the ASCII character set to see the ASCII codes and what they do.


Abbreviation of thin film transistor, a type of LCD flat-panel display screen, in which each pixel is controlled by from one to four transistors. The TFT technology provides the best resolution of all the flat-panel techniques, but it is also the most expensive. TFT screens are sometimes called active-matrix LCDs. See DSTN and CSTN.


Basic measurement of the heat content of natural gas. One therm equals 100,000 BTUs, the heat content of just under 100 cubic feet of natural gas. A decatherm equals ten therms or 1 million BTUs.


This is a special type of resistor. The resistance of all resistors changes slightly as they get hotter. Thermistors are usually made so that their resistance falls noticeably as the temperature around them rises. They can be used to detect temperatures very accurately when used with a simple comparator circuit. The resistance of a thermistor is specified at a certain temperature, for instance 47K at 25 degrees C.


When you run out of hardware memory, an advanced operating system will free up memory space by moving the contents of some of your memory to disk. When that information is needed again, it is read from disk back into memory. When your computer is thrashing, memory is being swapped back and forth at such a rate that your hard drive is constantly spinning and not much else is happening with your computer.


1. A series of postings on a particular topic. Threads can be a series of bulletin board messages (for example, when someone posts a question and others reply with answers or additional queries on the same topic). A thread can also apply to chats, where multiple conversation threads may exist simultaneously.
2. Also refers to an independent process taking place in a multi-tasking environment, such as tasks within an operating system or network OS (NOS).
3. One of several paths or routes of execution inside a single program, routine, process or context. Threaded programs allow background and foreground action to take place without the overhead of launching multiple processes or inter-process communication.
4. Slang for the clothes worn by nerd types of programmers in the 50's, 60's and 70's. They were usually out of style, worn to the point of being obviously "thread bare", often less than clean or sanitary. They usually had coffee stains and cigarette burns on them. Those wearing them usually wore thick glasses, had heavy beards, wore sandals or dirty sneakers (tennis shoes) and communicated well (and often) with walls and trees.


A programming term describing code which is either re-entrant or recursive. This also describes code that is protected from multiple concurrent execution by some means of total exclusion.


Thyristors are switching devices that do not require any control current once they are turned on. A small control pulse of current is all that is required to turn them on and when that pulse is removed the thyristor continues to conduct, assuming a minimum holding current is maintained by such devices as SCRs or triacs. Then there are pulse generating thyristors in which a holding current is meaningless as in the cases of unijunction transistors and Shockley diodes.


Thanks In Advance. An example of online shorthand used in chat rooms, E-Mail and instant messages.


To automatically arrange windows in a tile-like configuration. The alternative effect is to cascade.


Does anybody really know what time it is? For the official time in the USA, click here. In electronics and in the computer industry, time is most often associated with a cycle. Time is an observed phenomenon, by means of which human beings sense and record changes in the environment and in the universe. A better definition is tough, at best. Time has been called an illusion, a dimension, a smooth flowing continuum, and an expression of separation among events that occur in the same physical location. Time is a practical but elusive convenience in modern life. Though it has been around for quite a while, we still know very little about it, certainly little about how to use it well. Numerous standards (with just as many exceptions) have been set up, allowing people to coordinate events and, in general, try to keep their lives running smoothly. Over the centuries, a measure of time itself, many attempts have been made to define and accurately measure time. The most recognized source for accurate time is the US Naval Observatory. To check the atomic time at the U.S. Naval Observatory, click here. The earth has been divided into geographical international time zones that reflect the fact that high noon occurs at different times at different places on the planet. All of these time zones are referenced to the time at the longitude of Greenwich, England. A universal standard, coinciding almost exactly (but not quite) with the time at Greenwich, is known as Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). There are various other current time standards. The fundamental unit of time in the International System of Units (SI) is the second (s or sec). One second elapses during the occurrence of exactly 9,192,631,770 (9.192631770 x 109) cycles of the radiation produced by the transition between two levels of the cesium 133 atom. Other common units of time include the swatch beat, the hour, the mean solar day, and the synodic year (sun based earth year). Sir Isaac Newton believed that time is continuous, and that it flows at an unchanging rate everywhere in the universe. This was accepted by most scientists until the Michelson-Morley experiment around the end of the 19th century, from which it was discovered that the speed of light is the same regardless of the direction of propagation, and regardless of the motion of the source. Albert Einstein considered this result an axiom, from which he derived the special and general theories of relativity. According to relativistic physics, the rate at which time passes depends on the relative motion between observers, and also on the strength of a gravitational or acceleration field. For more information on both common and uncommon timely tidbits, see our displays of time and time zone conversions on our listing of time converters and calculators and our listing of various converters and calculators.


1. The non-ring side of the telephone line. The polarity of the circuit is that the Ring is negative 48 volts DC and the TIP is positive.
2. Something to be very careful of with the recent history of DOTCOMs.

title bar

1. The bar at the top of a window that displays the string of information about the item, usually a file name.
2. A place to go, a watering hole, if you are someone important, or think you are, such as Emperor of the World or such. See spacebar or status bar. Also see nerd.


Technical (or reasonably) Live Advisor, though with some techies, live would be a difficult thing to confirm. TLAs are volunteer staff who work in the Technical Live area of most services to answer general questions about that service, redirect members to online areas of interest, and to report system problems. TLAs can be recognized by a special screen name, usually starting with TLA. Contact your ISP for more information.


T-Mobile, a late player (since July, 2002) but still an industry leader in the cellular phone service provider industry. They provide the service but do not make the phones; they do have GREAT customer service as of January, 2006. We have used all of the cell services in our business, most provide reasonable coverage and phone service. However, T-Mobile (they are what we currently use and are the best we have found for both THE service and for service...) also seems to realize that taking care of the customer is a fundamental of the business. (Actually, a lack of customer service is the biggest complaint by users of the other major providers...) See them at HTTP://WWW.T-MOBILE.COM.


Pronounced tee-neff, and short for Transport Neutral Encapsulation Format, a proprietary format used by the Microsoft Exchange and Outlook E-Mail clients when sending messages formatted as Rich Text Format (RTF). When Microsoft Exchange thinks that it is sending a message to another Microsoft E-Mail client, it extracts all the formatting information and encodes it in a special TNEF block. It then sends the message in two parts - the text message with the formatting removed and the formatting instructions in the TNEF block. On the receiving side, a Microsoft e-mail client processes the TNEF block and re-formats the message. Unfortunately, most non-Microsoft E-Mail clients cannot decipher TNEF blocks. Consequently, when you receive a TNEF-encoded message with a non-Microsoft e-mail client, the TNEF part appears as a long sequence of hexadecimal digits, either in the message itself or as an attached file (usually named WINMAIL.DAT). These WINMAIL.DAT files serve no useful purpose so you can delete them.

TOD - (Tool on Demand)

The Tool on Demand (TOD) feature of some versions of the America Online software allows us to update portions of the client software on your computer without you having to upgrade to a completely new version. TOD's can be offered to you when you use a certain feature, like charting of stock quotes, or when you sign on or sign off. The updates take place automatically when you "accept" the TOD. Some TOD's require a restart of the America Online software. Most ISPs offer a similar service but the AOL service appears to be the most efficient to date. AOL can be accessed through HTTP://WWW.AOL.COM.


1. A switch that is either on or off. This can be either hardware of software but is usually associated with software configurations. See contact.
2. If it is on, to turn it off; if it is off, to turn it on.


In general, a token is an object that represents something else, such as another object (either physical or virtual), or an abstract concept as, for example, a gift is sometimes referred to as a token of the giver's esteem for the recipient. In computers, there are a number of types of tokens. Some specifics are:
1. A unique sequence of usually and typically 24 bits that confers the permission to access a token passing network, such as TR (token ring); there were several using this technology. The token contains origin and destination information and is sampled by all nodes on the network to see if the permission request needs a response from that node. While the idea was sound, the architecture did not lend itself for blistering speed. In a token ring network, the presence of a token (which is simply a particular bit setting) in a continually circulating transmission stream allows a device to change the bit setting (thus taking the token) and put a message in its place. The receiver of the message elsewhere in the token ring network removes the message and resets the bit setting (thus putting the token back) so that someone else in the ring of devices will be able to have a turn at using that message space.
2. A programming token is the foundational component of source code, also called variable, though perhaps, incorrectly. In reality, characters are categorized as one of five classes of tokens that describe their functions (constants, identifiers, operators, reserved words, and separators) in accordance with the rules of the programming language.
3. A security token is a physical device, such as a special smart card, that together with something that a user knows, such as a PIN, will enable authorized access to a computer system or network. The term also applies to interaction with thumb, finger and eye readers, as well as any other physical device that interacts to allow security operations to take place.

token ring

A type of LAN with nodes wired into a continuous ring. This was widely used in the '80s and made popular by IBM, based on architecture and design from Xerox, for small networks. It was limited in the quantity of stations that could be involved and often crashed if a member was removed. The problems associated with this type of network were more from hardware than from the architecture and implementation of the software. Cables of the time were a problem for high speed (of that era) networks. TR offered speeds of 4MBPS and 16MBPS. The alternative network of the era was ARCNet which was coax based but generally considered far more stable. 4MBPS TR was stable but virtual throughput was less than that of ARCNet in networks of more than 5 users because of the way data was handled. 16MBPS TR was faster than ARCNet but slower than the "new kid on the block" at the time, Ethernet at 10MBPS, and far less stable. Since Ethernet was stable generally, TR was more or less phased out before the bugs were ever worked out. That is a pattern that has been traditional with both IBM and Xerox in the small computer world. See twisted pair.


The row of buttons right below the menu that perform special functions quickly and easily. Often, these bars are definable and modifiable.

Top News

An area of the News channel of any ISP service that highlights the breaking news of the day.


The worldwide giant in the electronics industry. See them at main company website.


Having been warned or terminated by our Terms of Service Staff (TOSS or TOAST). The term TOAST, referred to as TOASTed is from Terms of Agreement Staff Terminated. You are history with that ISP. Most ISPs do not want users on their services if they have been TOASTed by another.

Touch Tone



An industry acronym for Technical Request. This is usually an internal request within a company for technical assistance by their own support staff.


1. A line or "wire" of conductive material such as copper, silver or gold, on the surface of or sandwiched inside a PCB, printed circuit board. These traces are often called individually a run. Traces carry an electronic signal or other forms of electron flow from one point to another. Traces that are on the surface of a board are covered with a non-conductive coating, except at contact or solder points, to keep unintentional contact from being made with other conductive surfaces.
2. To determine the "flow" of a program, often used as a synonym to debug.
3. In telephony, the act of determining the origin of a phone call.


The magnetic formatted concentric circles on one platter surface that contain sectors that contain data, on a disk drive. Cylinders can span platters (the surfaces) and actually contain tracks. On a single platter surface read by a head, such as a diskette, they are the same. The number of tracks is the number of cylinders x the number of heads.


The load of packets carried by a network or portion of a network. Heavy traffic slows down the response time of the individual packets.


1. The term normally associated with a financial operation, usually a purchase or trade. See IOTP.
2. A type of computer processing in which the computer responds immediately to user requests. Each request is considered to be a transaction. Automatic teller machines (ATM) for banks are an example of transaction processing. The opposite of transaction processing is batch processing, in which a batch of requests is stored and then executed all at one time. Transaction processing requires interaction with a user, whereas batch processing can take place without a user being present.


The process of writing applications so that they are able to run on more than one platform or on various types of devices, such as a web browser and a wireless device.

transceiver module

A solution for ADSL deployment and development. A transceiver module can house an ADSL chipset, which and be delivered to OEMs and system integrators for development of ADSL integration into their own ADSL network equipment. See DSL.


The purpose of a transformer is to convert one AC voltage to another AC voltage. (It does NOT change from AC to DC or DC to AC.) If we assume that our transformer is for house service in the U.S., the standard 120 volts comes in on the primary winding. Running down the middle of that winding (as well as around the outside) is an iron core. The AC current in the primary winding creates an alternating magnetic field in the iron just as it would in an electromagnet. The other winding, known as the secondary winding wraps around the same iron core. In the secondary winding the magnetic field in the core creates current. The voltage in the secondary is controlled by the ratio of the number of turns in the two windings. So if the primary and secondary windings have the same number of turns, the primary and secondary voltage will be the same, creating an isolation transformer. If the secondary winding has half as many turns as the primary then the voltage in the secondary will be half that of the voltage in the primary. Generally, a step down transformer (going from a hig voltage to a lower voltage) uses very fine wire while the secondary uses much thicker wire. Doing the math, if we need to drop the voltage from our normal house voltage down to 3 volts, there needs to be 40 times more turns in the primary than in the secondary.

Trans-I-Net Technology

Internet technology, in a series of modular programs that enables business functions on servers. This allows true business operation in the fast lane of the Technology Super Highway. This particular technology was developed by CSG and CSGNetwork.


A device composed of semi-conductor material that amplifies a signal or opens or closes a circuit, like a switch. Invented in 1947 at Bell Labs, transistors have become the key ingredient of all digital circuits, including computers. Today's microprocessors contains tens of millions of microscopic transistors. Prior to the invention of transistors, digital circuits were composed of vacuum tubes, which had many disadvantages. They were much larger, required more energy, dissipated more heat, and were more prone to failures. It's safe to say that without the invention of transistors, computing as we know it today would not be possible.
A transistor is a small electronic device that can cause changes in a large electrical output signal by small changes in a small input signal. That is, a weak input signal can be amplified (made stronger) by a transistor. For example, very weak radio signals in the air can be picked up by a wire antenna and processed by transistor amplifiers until they are strong enough to be heard by the human ear. A transistor consists of three layers of silicon or germanium semiconductor material. Impurities are added to each layer to create a specific electrical positive or negative charged behavior. "P" is for a positive charged layer and "N" is for a negative charged layer. Transistors are either NPN or PNP in the configuration of the layers. There is no particular difference here except the polarity of voltages that need to be applied to make the transistor operate. The weak input signal is applied to the center layer called the base and usually referenced to ground which is also connected to the bottom layer called the emitter. The larger output signal is take from the collector also referenced to ground and the emitter. Additional resistors and capacitors are required along with at least one DC power source to complete the transistor amplifier. The exact working and types of transistors is beyond the scope of this glossary and should be examined in a more detailed source.


1. In computer technology, a software package that takes source code from one language to another, such as BASIC to C.
2. Often used to mean the DOS level software running, called an interpreter, in such non-compiled languages as MBASIC.
3. A person, device or software that changes written or spoken languages to other languages. Try Babel from AltaVista on our site!


1. On every transaction sent from one place to another, there is a send function and a receive function. The process of the send function is often called the transmission.
2. An electronic message sent from one device to another, such as a text message. The sender is called a transmitter, as in the CSGNetwork Message Transmitter.


1. The broadcast side of a two-way radio system.
2. In an electronic message sending system, the device sending the message is called a transmitter, as in the CSGNetwork Message Transmitter.


A wireless communications, monitoring, or control device that picks up and automatically responds to an incoming signal. The term is a contraction of the words transmitter and responder. Transponders can be either passive or active. A passive transponder allows a computer or robot to identify an object. Magnetic labels, such as those on credit cards and store items, are common examples. A passive transponder must be used with an active sensor that decodes and transcribes the data the transponder contains. The transponder unit can be physically tiny, and its information can be sensed up to several feet away. Simple active transponders are employed in location, identification, and navigation systems for commercial and private aircraft. An example is an RFID (radio-frequency identification) device that transmits a coded signal when it receives a request from a monitoring or control point. The transponder output signal is tracked, so the position of the transponder can be constantly monitored. The input (receiver) and output (transmitter) frequencies are pre-assigned. Transponders of this type can operate over distances of thousands of miles. Sophisticated active transponders are used in communications satellites and on board space vehicles. They receive incoming signals over a range, or band, of frequencies, and retransmit the signals on a different band at the same time. The device is similar to a repeater of the sort used in land-based cellular telephone networks. The incoming signal, usually originating from a point on the earth's surface, is called the uplink. The outgoing signal, usually sent to a point or region on the surface, is the downlink. These transponders sometimes operate on an interplanetary scale.

transport layer

Layer 4 of the OSI reference model. This layer is responsible for reliable network communication between end nodes. The transport layer provides mechanisms for the establishment, maintenance, and termination of virtual circuits, transport fault detection and recovery, and information flow control. Corresponds to the transmission control layer of the SNA model. See also application layer, LLC, MAC, network layer, physical layer, PQ, presentation layer and session layer.


1. An electronic filter. You might want to see our Active Audio Filter Calculator as an example.
2. A particular programming software routine to catch and control user errors.


A channel of most ISP online services that will let you investigate the hottest travel spots, book reservations, and interact with other members who may have been where you are going. We have our own travel links.

trellis coding

A form of error correction found in many modems that allows for forward error correcting to account for bit errors from various interference on communications lines, such as crosstalk and background noise. This sort of routine anticipates errors and has pre-designated responses from an "action table".


Generally the reverse of an SCR. The triac is similar to two reverse parallel SCRs, and can conduct in each direction. The main SCR circuit is anode to cathode and is controlled by a positive gate voltage. The triac conducts in both directions.


An abbreviated way to say "WWW" when reciting a URL.

Trojan horse

An insidious and usually illegal computer program that masquerades as a program that is useful, fun, or otherwise desirable for users to download to their system. Once the program is downloaded, it performs a destructive act. A virus.


1. A telephone communication path or channel between two points, one usually being a Central Office (CO).
2. An unswitched line between telephone or long-distance company offices, used to carry voice, data, or billing information.

trunk port

An input on a PABX or KSU that is used to interface the system with CO lines.


Ta-Ta For Now or the Southern equivalent, Ta-Ta For Now, Y'all. (Where is that sound byte from Uncle Jeff?) An example of online shorthand used in chat rooms, E-Mail, and instant messages.


Talk To You Later. An example of online shorthand used in chat rooms, E-Mail, and instant messages.


A very non-standard abbreviation for Universal Time. See UTC, Coordinated Universal Time, popularly known as GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), or Zulu time.


A technology that enables one network to send its data via another network's connections. Tunneling works by encapsulating a network protocol within packets carried by the second network. For example, Microsoft's PPTP technology enables organizations to use the Internet to transmit data across a virtual private network (VPN). It does this by embedding its own network protocol within the TCP/IP packets carried by the Internet. For those that prefer formal wording, tunneling is also called encapsulation. See L2F and L2TP, two additional but competitive to PPTP, tunneling technologies.


See television.


A middleware software driver that allows the hardware scanner driver or hardware interface for a scanner to talk to a Twain Compliant information acquisition source within a software application. The organization governing the TWAIN standards is HTTP://WWW.TWAIN.ORG. It is rumored that the name came from many sources. One possibility is an acronym for Temporary Word And Image Navigator is one; Terminology Without An Interesting Name is another. It was also suggested that scanned data take the TWAIN from here to there (I doubt that is the right track). TWIAN.ORG says that the original name they chose, whatever it was, was already being used for something else; therefore, they have no official reason for the name. They do say it is NOT an acronym for anything. Unofficially, they selected TWAIN because the scanning hardware was in one place and the need for data from it, in another, and Never the TWAIN shall meet, or at least not until a TWAIN driver is positioned. Take your pick...


1. To make many minor adjustments. To fine tune. Also, a minor adjustment.
2. To irritate, bother or make angry. To "tweak his nose".


TweakUI is an abbreviation for Tweak User Interface. It is supplied as a download from Microsoft in the Power Toys, which are all UNSUPPORTED by Microsoft. TweakUI is a software utility that lets Windows 95, 98, ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000, and XP experienced or power users modify the desktop user interface and other system characteristics to their liking. It is not for the timid at heart and can cause serious problems. Using TweakUI, users can change the menu speed, how windows are animated, some of the windows operational settings, and a number of features about Microsoft Internet Explorer. TweakUI allows the user to change settings that are not easy to locate, including some in the system registry that are not accessable otherwise. For example, a user can speed up system startup by reducing the frequency with which the ScanDisk utility is run. Microsoft includes TweakUI as one of several "Power Toys" that can be optionally installed. Users are advised to always back up their registry (for example, copy it to a new file with another name) before doing anything that might modify it.

twisted pair

1. A term used for a popular style of network cabling adapted from telephone cable. The insulated wires, twisted around each other in pairs but electrically not contacting each other, help to reduce unwanted signals by creating an induction current. The small flow of induced current rejects some outside electrical signals. This wiring may be shielded or unshielded. Cable that is type rated type 1 is shielded and type 3 is unshielded. There are other type ratings but they are obscure in networking of computers. TR (token ring) networks, by definition, use type rated cable. (Some type ratings are duplicated as a category of cable.) 16MBPS TR uses type 1 cable and 4MBPS TR uses type 3. For network applications, there are usually 4 pairs of wires to a cable. All categories of cable are 4 pairs except type 1 which is 2 pair. The number of uniform twists per foot is the main factor in cable ratings; currently, the standard is a category rating of category 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6. Category 5 and 6 cable are the current standards for Ethernet and Fast Ethernet networks. They also work well for telephone and other low voltage installations that need good noise rejection. It is always found in 4 pair cables although, most installers only use 2 pair per cable to lessen noise to a single computer. Since most Ethernet cards only use the pin numbers 1, 2, 3 & 6 positions of the RJ-45 connector and do not ground the other 4 connections, it is often the case that if connected, those extra 4 wires act as a long wire RF antenna and can cause unusual disruptions of the network. In many cases, installers use one cable to connect 2 computers close to each other to a common hub, 2 pairs of internal wires to each. The category 5 standard states the twisted pairs must have at least 8 twists per foot. The general standard also (very) loosely implies that this cable should handle frequencies of 100MHZ or better. Enhanced category 5 cable, same specifications exactly (why is it enhanced?), handles frequencies of 200MHZ. Go figure! That is where the "at least" comes in within the standard (see TANS). Most enhanced category 5 cable has 12 twists per foot and costs a small fortune. A new shielded standard is in process called category 6S. It is made to category 5 specifications with each pair shielded and all four shielded pairs shielded again at least once more (another at least). (Most installers, as do I, feel that shielding actually causes more problems than it resolves.) It is supposed to handle 1GB Ethernet when it is a reality and will handle 400MHZ frequencies. Although not cast in concrete, some companies are fighting to have 12 twists per foot the standard rather than 8, since it has been proven to help with frequency and rejection. Category 4 cable is a high grade type 1, handling up to 20MHZ frequencies and mostly used for 16MBPS Token Ring. It has 5 to 6 twists per foot. Category 3 was the standard cable used for networking until 1993 brought the category 5 standard out. It was a high grade type 3, used for 4MBPS TR and 10MBPS Ethernet. It has 4 pairs with 3 twists per foot. Most telephone networks (POTS) use this cable today. Category 2 cable also has 4 pairs. It was used primarily between 1983 and 1993 as a phone and network cable standard. It handles frequencies of up to 10 MHZ and was used for 4MBPS TR and 10MBPS Ethernet. It has 2 to 3 twists per foot but did not handle noise very well. Category 1 cable includes most telephone cable made before 1983 and most 2 pair cable made today. It may or may not actually be twisted. It should not be used for reliable data transmission, even at slow speeds. It has no noise rejection at all.
2. A couple that you meet in a "biker bar" where SHE is the biker and he is riding on the back, or as is the case frequently in Palm Springs biker bars, they are both "HEs".
3. A 60's term for the telephone and POTS. Used in conjunction with radio transmissions to differentiate how future contact would be made. "On the air" was a call on CB or Ham radio while "On the TP (twisted pair)" was a call on the telephone. Since the advent of cell phones, the use of all radio has gone down tremendously and the term is now more or less, archaic.
4. In their day, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley; however, MJ qualifies by himself.

type 1

1. A kind of font used in the early days of experimentation of fonts within word processing programs. It was phased out prior to heavy use of Windows.
2. A specification and standard for networking cable, usually used in TR (token ring) networks. See twisted pair.

type 3

A specification and standard for networking cable, usually used in TR (token ring) networks or early Ethernet networks. See twisted pair.

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