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Universal Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line. Universal ADSL is a proposed specification that is intended to ensure global acceptance and interoperability of ANSI standard T1.413 ADSL based on DMT. UADSL promises a single standard supported by industrial partners, accelerating the development of ADSL specific chipsets, software and equipment. See DSL.


Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter, the chip that controls the data sent to and received from a serial port. An 8250 UART was standard in older PC systems and supported speeds up to 9600 bps. A 16550 UART is now standard in most PCs, and supports modem speeds up to 57,600 bps and beyond and direct connect speeds of 115,200 bps. Many UARTs had built in errors in the internal code and just didn't work correctly with many external modems. UARTs are hardware chips and are manufactured by many different chip makers. UARTS are also found as the serial interface on internal modems.


Universal ADSL Working Group. A Working Group established by leading companies in the personal computer, telecommunications, and networking industries aimed at accelerating the adoption and availability of high-speed digital Internet access for the mass market. Compaq, Intel and Microsoft joined with Ameritech, Bell Atlantic, BellSouth, GTE, SBC Communications, Sprint and U S WEST with support from 3Com Corporation, Alcatel, Analog Devices, Ariel Corporation, Aware, Bell Canada, Cirrus Logic, Cisco Systems, Copper Mountain Networks, Covad Communications, DSC Communications, Ericsson Telecom AB, Globespan Semiconductor, Lucent Technologies, MCI, Netspeed, Inc., Nortel (Northern Telecom), Orckit Communications, PairGain Technologies, Paradyne, Rockwell Semiconductor Systems, Siemens, Texas Instruments, Tut Systems, Inc. and Westell Technologies to Accelerate Mass Deployment of "Universal" ADSL Service. The group is pushing the new standard for low-cost deployment of ADSL. Also please see DSL.


A telephony acronym for Uniform Call Distributor. An ACD programmed to distribute calls to agents or representatives on a basis other than the next available. Each person in the group receives the same number of calls.


An acronym for Unsolicted Commercial E-Mail, one form of SPAM.


Universal Dummy. In any language, a person that will not allow himself to learn the proper way to use a computer. No further explanation is needed. Usually accompanied by phobias and paranoia, the worst of which is that, while you are using your computer, someone is always watching you, looking at you, following your every move. You make take a simple paranoia test here. If you feel anything out of the ordinary, seek professional help quickly!


The acronym for UniDirectional Link Protocol. This protocol is used by inexpensive, receive only antennas to receive data via satellite.


Acronym for Ultra Direct Memory Access. This is a protocol originally developed jointly by Quantum and Intel for transferring data between a computer's hard disk and its memory. The maximum data burst rate of an Ultra DMA hard drive is 33.3 mbps. The original DMA protocol served the same purpose as UDMA, but could only transfer data at about half the speed. Utilizing UDMA, programs can open faster and run more smoothly. This is because UDMA can send more data to the memory in less time than hard drives that don't support UDMA. Also, UDMA has a built in utility called Cyclical Redundancy Checking (CRC) which helps protect data better than earlier protocols.


Acronym for Ultra density Optical. UDO is an optical storage technology that increases capacities by using an extremely focused blue laser to write and read data. HP, Sony, and Plasmon collaborated on the original UDO standard, which, according to them is intended as a replacement for consumer market DVD as well as mass storage. UDO is, however, not backwards compatible with existing optical media and drives. UDO devices use phase change recording for both rewritable and write once read many (WORM) formats. First generation UDO media offers 30GB capacities, with 120GB expected by 2007. DVD capacity, at 4.7GB for a single-sided disc, is comparatively low. The cost of UDO storage is at present more expensive than tape, but significantly less costly than other optical storage formats.


Acronym for User Datagram Protocol, a simple connectionless TCP service that sends small amounts of data at one time and does not guarantee delivery. It is commonly used with applications such as NETSTAT, TFTP, SNMP, NETBIOS name service and NETBIOS datagram service; other uses are real-time video and audio since they are non-critical applications for the most part. Like TCP, UDP uses ports to provide the location to send packets.


A communications abbreviation for Ultra High Frequency.


An abbreviation for Ultra High Voltage, a term meaning any amount of voltage in excess of 800,000 volts.


User Interface. The hardware and software involved in getting data from the human user into the computer, and from the computer to the human user. The interface includes keyboard, mouse, video, printer and data capture. See GUI.


See Ethernet and 1000Base-T. You may also want to check out our bandwidth speed comparison.


The name given to Sun's processors in Sun computer systems. The processor has had three revisions, the last just released in October of 2000. There are several speed variations of the 64 bit chip, the fastest being 900 mhz. This technology competes with Motorola, Intel and AMD, though the processor has an entirely different instruction set.


See UV.


1. The Upper Memory Area acronym. In the DOS schema, this is the area of memory between 640KB and 1MB. I/O cards, video cards and network cards are some that take sections of this memory for themselves. It is usually (but not always) allocated in 4KB sections called blocks. See upper memory and UMB.
2. An acronym Unified Memory Architecture. Memory architecture in which main memory DRAM signals are shared by the system memory controller and the graphics controller. See Synchronous DRAMs (SDRAM).


The acronym for Upper Memory Block. In the DOS area known as the UMA, this is a segment of memory that can be used for TSRs, drivers of various flavors and other protected code that could run there without taking up the precious 640KB area that standard DOS applications use. Programs such as EMM386.EXE or other memory managers could control this area so as to allow many sections of code to run without crashing each other. It was a nightmare at best. See upper memory and UMA.


The acronym for Unique Material IDentifier. A methodology for materials suppliers to code a material that only THEY supply. While used in the computer and chip making industries, it is also used in other industries such as medical, food processing and weapons, to name a few.


The acronym for Universal Metric Time, a standard that has not as of yet, come of time. You can see our clock display for it, or you can go to the philosophy behind it, A Guide To Metric Time, for more information.


The acronym for Universal Mobile Telecommunications System; a so-called "third-generation (3G)," broadband, packet-based transmission of text, digitized voice, video, and multimedia at data rates up to and possibly higher than 2 megabits per second (Mbps), offering a consistent set of services to mobile computer and phone users no matter where they are located in the world. Based on the Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication standard, UMTS, endorsed by major standards bodies and manufacturers, is the planned standard for mobile users around the world by 2002.

unbuffered memory

This is where the chipset controller deals directly with the memory. There is nothing between the chipset and the memory as they communicate. See buffered memory and buffer.

UNC Path

An acronym for Universal Naming Convention; this is a syntax for a network resource, file or printer, in the standard format:


An acronym for User Network Interface. ATM Forum specification that defines an interoperability standard for the interface between ATM based products (a router or an ATM switch) located in a private network and the ATM switches located within the public carrier networks. The term is also used to describe similar connections in Frame Relay networks.


Like ASCII, Unicode is a code which assigns a number to each key on the keyboard. Unicode is newer and includes many characters not found in ASCII such as international characters and alphabets.

Uniform Resource Locator - URL

See URL, browser, HTTP or FTP.


In digital electronics, a term to describe literally one polarity, the fundamental electrical characteristic of internal signals in digital communications equipment.


In computing, one of something, usually a byte designation.


1. A popular multi-user operating system, the name is a play on an even older system, MULTICS.
2. An operating system found on many Internet computers. In fact, in one variation or another, they make up about 65% of the servers on the Internet with NT in second place. An original product of the AT&T Bell Labs group that is now available in several flavors. It is a true multi-user multi-tasking operating system, very similar to mini-computer systems prior to heavy graphic use. Graphical interfaces were added to UNIX and 'NIX look and act alikes. NIXies are die hard users that are cult-like in affection for the product. MAC users are a close and like group. The product does many things well but seems to be losing share of server percentage to Microsoft's NT platform. The operating system upon which the Internet was developed, UNIX was developed in the late 1960s/early 1970s as a joint venture, though Bell generally gets the glory and recognition. Others involved were General Electric, several other AT&T groups and Massachusetts Institute for Technology. UNIX grew with support from the University of California Berkeley and other universities. Pure UNIX is based upon a command line interface. However, just as DOS has Windows to provide a GUI environment, UNIX has GUI overlays as well, the two most notable are NextStep and X Windows. There are several commercial UNIX packages and there are several free versions of UNIX; ESSX and FreeBSD are examples. Linux used to be a public domain, free product but has come to be a viable alternative OS that is low cost and supported. Also seen spelled as "Unix".

unmanaged hub

An unmanaged hub is a concentrator that is stand alone and all functions are self contained. There is no overhead control program that monitors the operation of it. It has no network address and therefore cannot be addressed directly.


Unsend is a mail option on some "closed environment" mail systems, such as AOL, that will delete mail you've sent to someone, from that recipients mailbox. Once mail has been read, you cannot unsend it. If you send to several people, once any of them has read the mail, you cannot unsend it. Unsend only works with mail sent to other users of that same service, if provided.


The extraction of files compressed with Stuffit, primarily on the Macintosh. Most ISP's Macintosh software can extract these files using the OPEN command under the FILE menu. Most Stuffit files end in the .SIT command. See Apple


The extraction of files compressed with PKzip, primarily on the PC platform, but also on UNIX and Macintosh. Most Zip files end with .ZIP. Most ISP's software will decompress files of this type. See PKUnzip.


To move to a more recent version of hardware or software. The general reasons for upgrading are a need or desire to do something you can't at present, or, to keep up with the Gateses. The Gates' family of computer people makes a very nice living at requiring you to upgrade, OFTEN! The Gates family bank account deposit system (going in only!) can be accessed through HTTP://WWW.MICROSOFT.COM.


To send a file from one computer to another via modem or other telecommunication method. A common example is a file that is uploaded to a Bulletin Board Service (BBS), a website for shared files or ISP site. Another common method is to modify Website files on your local computer and the put them up on the server by upload through an uploading editor of some sort. Uploading is usually accomplished by FTP technology.

UPNP or Universal Plug And Play

See PNP and other add on devices.

upper memory

On IBM PCs, the original memory map that allowed to space between the upper end of the 640K "DOS memory" and address 1024. That area is reserved for devices such as video cards, SCSI cards, NICs and other add on devices. See UMA and UMB.


1. Uninterruptible Power Supply. A standby power source that provides power to a server or workstation or other device from a battery in the event of normal AC power failure. The UPS normally uses a standard 12 volt battery that is constantly charged. In the time that it is needed, the circuitry of the UPS amplifies the 12 volts to 117 volts (or another AC voltage) and supplies the wave form to satisfy the power requirements of the device. This allows the DC voltage to look and act like AC voltage to the device. It will normally only last a limited time. The idea is not to just continue working but to gracefully shut down the device in an anticipated manner.
2. The company that often brings computer equipment to your door or office. See the website of UPS (United Parcel Service) at HTTP://WWW.UPS.COM; they maintain a wonderful package tracking service on the Internet.
3. One of the two day-to-day directions; DOWNS is the other.


The flow of data to a network central data point from the user's station or computer. The opposite direction is downstream. Also see upload and download.

urban legend

A computer related story, which may at one time have been true, that has grown from constant retelling into a mythical yarn of the same proportion. Slightly short of an outright lie; certainly not impeachable. See Bill Clinton.


An acronym for Uniform Resource Identifier. Type of formatted identifier that encapsulates the name of an Internet object, and labels it with an identification of the name space, thus producing a member of the universal set of names in registered name spaces and of addresses referring to registered protocols or name spaces. RFC 1630


1. An acronym for Uniform Resource Locator, URL's are a standardized format for giving a pointer to information available from gopher,WWW, finger and other servers A Primer explaining the use of URL's is available. Defined in RFC 1738, they were extended to include relative (short) URLs in RFC 1738 and 1808.
2. Uniform Resource Locator, an HTTP address used by the World Wide Web to specify a certain site. For an example HTTP://WWW.CSGNETWORK.COM is the URL for CSG and CSGNetwork. URLs are handled in lower case characters. A complete URL has two parts separated by "://". The first is called the web protocol, for instance but not limited to, HTTP. The second is the host name for the host computer. In our above example, the protocol is HTTP and the host is CSGNETWORK.COM
. 3. The address that points to a specific Internet or Intranet service, usually HTTP or FTP and location. The location is a specific web page or file to download. A link to another site also contains the URL as does the browser, each time you attempt navigation to a site.

usage reports

This is generally information for a webmaster. It consists of statistics about visitor interaction with your account. The types of information available include Keyword Frequency, Search Box Counter, and Visitor Statistics.


1. This is the popular term and acronym for Universal Serial Bus. The name is somewhat incorrect in that the bus is not only serial but has other I/O properties as well. It is in fact a totally new external bus standard that in versions 1.0 and 1.1 supports data transfer rates of 12 Mbps (12 million bits per second) in the specification, though in reality usually averaged about 1.5 Mbps, and spans different platforms as well. A single USB port can be used to connect up to 127 peripheral devices, such as mice, modems, speakers, cameras, scanners, printers and keyboards. USB also supports Plug-and-Play (PNP) installation, hot plugging and multiple data streams. USB competes with DEC's ACCESS bus for lower-speed applications USB supports hot plugging. Starting in 1996, a few computer manufacturers including Compaq, Digital Equipment Corp, IBM, PC Co., Intel, Microsoft, NEC and Northern Telecom, started including USB support in their new machines; the orgainzation behind the support is WWW.USB.ORG. The early versions (1.0 and 1.1, 1998) are now termed Legacy USB in most current BIOS listings. USB 2.0 is the current specification. The USB 2.0 specification touts a 40 times faster data rate, among other improvements. Apple claims that it wasn't until the release of the then hot selling iMac in 1998 that USB became widespread. Clone PC makers say THAT is apple sauce, rotten to the core! No matter who started it, USB is expected to completely replace serial and parallel ports because of the high transfer rates and ease of implementation. Few admit that it was originally designed to replace SCSI operations, however, ALL of the SCSI 1 and 2 standards are part of the specifications. Another source of much information is USB Central. Here is the pin information.
2. In HAM and commercial radio, USB is the acronym for Upper Side Band.


A media storage and transfer technology primarily for computer to computer interchange; USBFD is abbreviation for USB Flash Drive and is part of a generic category of media called Digital Flash Media (DFM). This memory comes in sizes as of 2004 up to 10GB in size but will obviously increase as needed. This technology is also called a pen drive or pen flash. The technology has been manufactured in varied sizes and shapes by about 20 manufacturers as of 2004.


1. A network of systems that exchange articles using NNTP, UUCP, and other protocols to establish public message conferences on some or all of over 10,000 topics or newsgroups. There are many common news readers, some that can run on your home computer via SLIP and the Unix newsreaders.
2. Internet message boards, also known as Newsgroups. There are 10's of thousands of these available on most all ISP services. The most available distribution of newsgroups is USENET, which contains unique newsgroups covering practically every human proclivity. It is not part of the Internet, but can be reached through most Internet service providers. USENET was originally implemented in 1979-80 by Steve Bellovin, Jim Ellis, Tom Truscott, and Steve Daniel at Duke University. The names of newsgroups are comprised of a string of words separated by periods, such as "rec.humor.funny" or "misc.jobs.offered". The first word (i.e.. "rec" or "misc") represents the top level category of newsgroups. The second word (in these examples "humor" and "jobs") represents a subcategory of the first level, and the third word a subcategory of the second. Literally, groups of SIGs.


A person who uses computer software or hardware as opposed to someone who develops computer software or hardware. Sometimes used in a diminutive sense as in "I can't believe how brain-dead our users are." Probably because most talking about users are the other kind of users.

user agent

The client that initiates a request. User agents are often browsers, editors, spiders (web-traversing applications) or other end-user tools.

user ID

The name by which you are identified by a particular network. In order to log onto a system, you need to supply both a user ID and a password.


The network login name by which you are identified to a particular network. See user ID.


The troops to bring in when any situation gets out of control, including computers. See them and honor them at WWW.HQMC.USMC.MIL.


An acronym for Coordinated Universal Time (yes I know the acronym and the words don't match the order but I have been told, actually corrected, to this definition), is a time scale that joins Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is based solely on the Earth's inconsistent rotation rate, with highly accurate atomic time. When atomic time and Earth time approach a one second difference, a leap second is added into UTC. UTC was devised on January 1, 1972 and is coordinated in Paris by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures. UTC is set at 0 degrees longitude on the prime meridian the same as Greenwich Mean Time. To see UTC in relationship to other time zones, check out Time Zone Converter. To check the atomic time at the U.S. Naval Observatory, click here. For more time information, also see Zulu time. In some areas, the abbreviation TU is synonymous with UTC.


1. A small computer program that performs some very useful function. For example, utilities exist to convert files from one format to another, to compress files, to detect and eliminate viruses, and to defragment hard drives. Utilities fill the gaps in an operating system, providing useful features that were left out. As an operating system grows, it often incorporates the features that were previously delivered only by utilities.
2. Electric Company and Water Works in Monopoly.


1. Unshielded Twisted Pair. This is a type and category standard of cabling used in LANs. It means the individual twisted pairs and all of the twisted pairs are NOT covered with a foil shield inside the jacket of the cable. It is for all definitions, a specific type of phone cable in 2 pair, 4 pair or 6 pair configurations. It comes in many flavors of wire size, jacket thickness and composition as well as how many twists per foot it has for each pair. It is the inexpensive standard for Ethernet where electrical interference is not a substantial problem.
2. A cable with one or more pair of twisted copper wires bound in a plastic sheath. It is the preferred method to transport data and voice to business workstations and telephones. Unshielded wire is preferred for transporting high speed data because at higher speeds, radiation is created. If shielded cabling (STP) is used, the radiation is not released and creates interference. While the purpose of shielding is to keep radiation (RF) from occurring, some installers (as do I) feel that the shielding causes more problems than it resolves. Perhaps RF is not emitted but the reliability of the network is compromised.


The acronym for Universal Time Zone, as proposed by President Bush, on May 20, 2003. For more information, see out UTZ display and associated information.


Abbreviation for Unix-to-Unix Copy. UNIX software that allows E-Mail and news messages to be exchanged on a store-and-forward basis between remote computers. Before the rise of the Internet, this was the main way that remote UNIX machines were networked. It is no longer in wide use.


1. A popular method of exchanging binary files in Mail and via Usenet News the uuencode program converts a binary file into a (larger) file of alphanumeric characters that will not be corrupted when sent as a text file. UUEncode is available as a Unix command as well as MS-DOS and Macintosh versions. To convert the file back to the original binary form you can use the uudecode program or the popular Unix extraction program uuconvert.
2. A process of converting a binary file to ASCII characters so that it can be easily transmitted by an ASCII-only protocol such as basic text E-Mail. Once the uuencoded file has been transferred it is uudecoded at the other end to transform it back to its original binary form. Uuencoding is not a form of cryptography or a security protocol. Anyone with a uuencoded file has the capacity to uudecode (assuming of course they have the uudecode utility program on their computer).


One of the prime vendors and suppliers to the Internet backbone. MCI WorldCom is the parent organization to WWW.UUNET.NET. See MCI.


1. An abbreviation for UltraViolet light. UV is used in the electronics world to erase EPROMs and similar devices. An invisible band of radiation at the high-frequency end of the light spectrum. In computer technology, the band is used only for erasing EPROM data. It takes 5 minutes to 15 minutes of ultraviolet light to erase an EPROM chip, depending on the design and equipment.
2. Ultraviolet light is much like visible light except that it is of higher energy. It occupies that region of the electromagnetic spectrum between visible light and X-Rays. All forms of electromagnetic radiation can be described in terms of energy, frequency or wavelength (being equivalent). The choice of unit is dependent on the convenience it offers to those working with that radiation. Ultraviolet (UV) light is typically measured by wavelength in units of nanometres or Angstroms.


An acronym for Ultra eXtended Graphics Array, a display specification that is capable of displaying 1600 x 1200 resolution, or about 1.9 million pixels.

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