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Computer, Telephony & Electronics
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V.17: The standard for 14,400 bps full-duplex FAX transmissions across standard dialup telephone lines. See V.29 also.


V.21: The standard for full-duplex communication at 300 baud in Japan and Europe. In the United States, Bell 103 is used in place of V.21.


V.22: The standard for half-duplex communication at 1,200 bps in Japan and Europe. In the United States, the protocol defined by Bell 212A is more common.


V.22bis: The worldwide standard for full-duplex modems sending and receiving data across telephone lines at 1,200 or 2,400 bps.


V.27bis: The worldwide standard for half-duplex modems sending and receiving data across 4-wire telephone lines at 4,800 bps.


V.27ter: The worldwide standard for full-duplex modems sending and receiving data across telephone lines at 4,800 bps.


V.29: The standard for half-duplex modems sending and receiving data across 4-wire telephone lines at 1,200, 2,400, 4,800, or 9,600 bps. This is the protocol used by FAX modems. See V.17 also.


V.32: The standard for full-duplex modems sending and receiving data across phone lines at 4,800 or 9,600 bps. V.32 modems automatically adjust their transmission speeds based on the quality of the lines.


V.32bis: The V.32 protocol extended to speeds of 7,200, 12,000, and 14,400 bps.


V.32ter: The V.32 protocol extended to speeds of 19,200 bps.


V.34: The standard for full-duplex modems sending and receiving data across phone lines at up to 28,800 bps. V.34 modems automatically adjust their transmission speeds based on the quality of the lines.


V.42: An error-detection standard for high-speed modems. V.42 can be used with digital telephone networks. See MNP for a competing standard.


V.42bis: A data compression protocol that can enable modems to achieve a data transfer rate of 34,000 bps.


V.44: A data compression protocol, used on some V.92 modems, that can enable modems to achieve a data transfer rates of about 56,000 bps.


V.90: The standard for full-duplex modems sending and receiving data across phone lines at up to 56,600 bps, approved by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in February, 1998. The V.90 standard resolves the battle between the two competing 56 Kbps technologies, X2 from 3COM and K56FLEX from Rockwell Semiconductor. Both manufacturers have announced that their future modems will conform to V.90. In addition, most users who already purchased 56 Kbps modems will be able to apply a software upgrade to make their modems support V.90.


V.92: This is an enhancement to the V.90 protocol. This specification introduces three new features that will add convenience and performance for the modem user. Those are quick connect, Modem-on-Hold (MOH) and PCM Upstream. The quick connect feature of a V.92 modem cuts the modem negotiation or handshake time by up to 50% so you can dial-in faster. The main feature that makes a V.92 modem faster than a V.90 modem is V.44 the new compression protocol. It is based upon a compression scheme that can speed up your web browsing as much as 50%. Not all V.92 modems are required to have V.44 data compression. MOH is for the households that use the same phone line for both voice calls and data (Internet), so when the user is browsing the Internet, an incoming call cannot get through. MOH allows you to receive an incoming call and stay connected to the Internet (A Call Waiting service supplied by your phone company is all that is required). It also works in reverse; you can initiate a voice call while connected and keep the modem connection. PCM Upstream boosts the upstream data rates between the user and ISP to reduce upload times for large files and E-Mail attachments. A maximum of 48 Kbps upstream rates is supported. PCM Upstream will work particularly well with new equipment such as Internet connected digital cameras, which primarily upload, rather than download, information.


An abbreviation for Volt Amp. A term describing power in a relationship of both voltage and amperage.

vacuum tube

An electron tube, usually made of glass, evacuated to such a degree that its electrical characteristics are essentially unaffected by the presence of residual gas or vapor. Tubes have been essentially replaced by transistors and other solid state semiconductor devices for amplification and rectification. Cathode ray tubes (CRTs) are still used as display devices.


An term used in the computer industry to describe plain or generic. A stripped down version of anything; the product with any flash added. Often used to describe a product offered in OEM form to VARs by manufacturers so that they can add the sizzle to it in VAR form.


An acronym for Value Added Reseller. A marketing company that purchases OEM products in vanilla form, usually direct from a manufacturer, makes modifications or changes that directly change the product or indirectly (such as through software) modify the product, then sells it. VARs are supposed to support the product mutation they create. Few do!


In a programming language, a place holder and accumulator that can assume different values from either assignment or from a calculation. It is the foundation for all higher levels of programming techniques.

variable resistor

An adjustable resistor; they can normally be set to give anything from zero resistance to whatever is the maximum design value. Most have three pins so that they can also be used as a voltage divider.


1. An acronym for Variable Bit Rate. Refers to the transmission properties that data, video and voice uphold when traversing a transport medium. Information traveling at a variable bit rate is often associated with "bursty" LAN traffic and can often contain infrequent bursts of data traversing a transport medium. See also CBR.
2. A type of encoding of compressed audio that allows for different bit rates in the same file. It is possible for VBR to reduce file size and increase quality. The file size can be reduced by keeping bit rates down within less significant parts of audio. Increased quality comes from allowing high bit rates in more complex audio.
3. IT slang for Very Busy Run, meaning a high traffic network or segment of a network.


Visual Basic Runtime, this collection of libraries (VBRUN300.DLL, for example) allows Visual Basic programs to function. There are several versions of the VBRUN module. The current VBRUN500.DLL is backward compatible and handles most requests for new and older software. Many shareware files require these libraries. The runtime library is available on most BBS locations and most online service file download areas.


An acronym for Virtual Circuit; a telephony term. A circuit connection created to connect two devices between two networks. This connection is identified by a VPI/VCI pair and can be a permanent connection or a switched connection. See also VP, PVC and SVC.


The name given the attempt by the FCC to offer some morality protection for television viewers. It falls under the guidelines of Parental Controls. Television sets manufactured after July 1, 1999 were more or less supposed to include V-Chips on about half the product line. After January 1, 2000, most of the better sets were to include them. The guidelines are loose but they are a start. More information here and here.


An acronym for Virtual Circuit Interconnect; a telephony term. See also VC and VPI.


An acronym for Video Cassette Player. See VCR.


An acronym for Video Cassette Recorder. The typical item found next to the TV in most American households. This device allows the recording and playback of broadcast signals to or from a television. It was also used for several years as a backup medium for data. The VCR was one of the first devices in the electronics industry to experience two competing technologies edging for market share. It was Sony against the rest of the industry. Sony (Betamax) had the best product but the industry standard (VHS) won out. Subsequent versions were available in playback only (non-record) units, called video cassette players (VCP). You might want to look at our VCR Universal World Time Display Calculator.


An acronym for Video Data Organization.


Very high bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line. An extension of HDSL and the fastest xDSL technology. VDSL supports data rates up to 52 Mbps downstream and 1.5 Mbps upstream over short distances of 1,000 to 4,000 feet. Ideal for video services, VDSL also supports the same services as ADSL. See DSL.


1. In computer programming general technique and jargon, a single dimensional array. A vector can also mean a pointer for data.
2. In computer graphics, a line that is defined by its starting and ending point.
3. A company that put the S-100 bus on the map in the '70s and '80s. They were CP/M biggies and went heavily into the MP/M and TurboDOS worlds beginning the era of tightly coupled LAN's, well before it was popularized with IBM PCs and clones.
4. A quantity having both magnitude and direction. Normally represented by a line. The length of the line indicates magnitude and orientation indicates direction.


It's a brand new era in telecommunications, according to Verizon. The unique and complimentary strengths of Bell Atlantic and GTE have come together to form one of the world's premier communications companies, Verizon Communications. Bell Atlantic and GTE customers are now Verizon customers. They can be seen at HTTP://WWW.VERIZON.COM. We use Verizon's DSL only because there are no other options. We feel the same about our home and office service. After 15 years with AirTouch as our cell and pager service, we terminated them because of the poor service after becoming Verizon! Since GTE was absorbed by them, we would do the same if there was an alternative.
If Verizon is not the target of the the greatest quantity of complaint sites on the Internet, they are certainly one of the top five. Here is the OFFICAL Verizon complaints against the company site. Editors note... I have never seen one company with more complaints about it! Ours are not posted anywhere but we certainly have many.


An acronym of sorts for Very Easy Rodent Oriented Net-wide Index to Computerized Archives. Veronica is a program to track down information from Gopher databases. This is technology that is antiquated.


The particular release of a piece of software. The equivalent of the term model for hardware. Since software changes so quickly, supporters must know what version you are inquiring about in order to help you. The version is usually displayed in the splash screen (the opening screen) of the software and is often given in detail at the "ABOUT" drop down screen, usually in the help section of most software. Seldom do you see version 1.0 of any software.


1. A term used in marketing to describe sales efforts of a particular segment, a niche, of the marketplace, not all of it at once. For instance, in the marketing world of sports equipment, that of baseball is a vertical market dealing only with customers interested in baseball. In computers, a vertical market is one that deals only with a segment of the population using computers. For instance medical software is sold vertically to those in the medical business, such as doctor's offices, hospitals and clinics.
2. A column in spreadsheet software.
3. The lines going up or down on a monitor or TV. The opposite is horizontal.


An acronym for Video Electronics Standards Association (or Architecture). Usually used to refer to the VESA local bus (also known as VL-Bus) design, which provides higher video performance than the ISA classic architecture. The VL-Bus also had standards for disk and NIC connectivity, increasing performance in all areas. Hardware of the time was very sensitive and the standard was short lived because of the lack of long term stability of the bus connections. PCI (peripheral component interconnect) superseded this and AGP (advanced graphics port) is now current technology. VESA was an expensive technology, compared to ISA. People often compared VESA to VISA (pronounced the same) as both taking your money every month. See HTTP://WWW.VESA.ORG and HTTP://WWW.VISA.COM on the web.


Video Graphics Array. A VGA monitor has a 640x480 display resolution and can display up to 256 colors simultaneously on video monitors. See SVGA.


A communications abbreviation for Very High Frequency.


The acronym in telephony for Voice Interface Card. It connects the system to either the PSTN or to a PBX.


The visual portion of multimedia. What you see on the monitor of a computer system. The visual portion of a transmission, as opposed to "OTA" (on the air) broadcasting which is both video and audio.

video adapter

The card or chipset that produces video signals from the computer to your monitor. In the purest definition, it is a card, a board inside the computer. However, as technology has emerged to the use of chipsets within a motherboard's original design, it is much more common to find the equivalent of a card already built in to the motherboard. To either choice, this is the portion of the system that is listed as a display adapter in W95, W98, NT, ME, W2000 and XP system properties' device manager. It controls the ability of the video, such as number of colors and resolution.


1. A "broadcast" meeting that is sent over the Internet by way of streaming video. See RealVideo.
2. A netmeeting in which one or more participants has a camera involved, either still or video.


Vines is a client/server network designed and marketed by Banyan. The acronym is for VIrtual NEtwork System. It has enjoyed reasonable success in the UNIX family of networks and is more common on very large enterprise networks.


1. A commonly used adjective that means having all of the properties of x while not necessarily being x. For example, "virtual Friday" in a workplace is the last day of work before a break, that is to say it is like Friday but may or may not actually be Friday. A "virtual reality" is an artificial environment that appears to be its own reality. On a mainframe, a "virtual machine" gives the user all of the properties and "feel" of a separate personal computer. Virtual in the computer industry is a term that means the exact opposite of real and tangible.
2. Virtual items have no direct corresponding physical equivalent, for example most computers have one or more physical hard drives, on which can be defined a number of virtual storage areas called partitions.

virtual client

1. A piece of software that interfaces to a Virtual Private Network.
2. Someone that you may deal with in a virtual office, or someone that deals with the services of a virtual office.

virtual memory

A commonly used memory addressing scheme to allow computer to see hard disk space as substitute RAM. (See virtual.) The Windows swap file is an example of this technology. The advantage is that there is vast memory available, while the disadvantage is that is is slow compared to RAM. This technology has been used since the early 60's on mainframes.

virtual office

An office that is not a real office environment, such as telecommuters, people working out of the normal office and people working in home offices, presenting an image that is different. See virtual.

virtual path

The path to a file relative to the base URL. If the URL for a file is "http://www.csgnetwork.com/info/glossary.html, the virtual path and name would be "/info/glossary.html". See virtual. This is often used in Perl configurations. Also see absolute path.

Virtual Private Network - VPN

1. For data, the logical configuration of a group of hardware components that includes direct connection THROUGH (as opposed to TO) the Internet. Usually refers to a network in which some of the parts are connected using the public Internet, but the data sent across the Internet is encrypted, so the entire network is "virtually" private. This sort of arrangement allows certain users reasonable access to a fully operational corporate network via the Internet.
2. In telephony, a switched network with special services like abbreviated dialing. A customer can call between offices in different area codes without having to dial all eleven digits.

Virtual Reality Markup Language - VRLM

A scripting language used to define three-dimensional "worlds". VRML, pronounced ver-mal, and short for Virtual Reality Markup (or Modeling) Language, VRML is a specification for displaying 3-dimensional objects on the World Wide Web. You can think of it as the 3-D equivalent of HTML. Files written in VRML have a.wrl extension (short for world). To view these files, you need a VRML browser or a VRML plug-in to a Web browser. VRML produces a hyperspace (or a world), a 3-dimensional space that appears on your display screen. And you can figuratively move within this space. That is, as you press keys to turn left, right, up or down, or go forwards or backwards, the images on your screen will change to give the impression that you are moving through a real space. The newest VRML 2.0 specification was finalized in August, 1996. It is known officially as ISO/IEC 14772.


An insidious and generally nasty piece of computer code written to damage systems. Viruses can be hidden in executable program files posted online, secreted in mail attachments or can be distributed in other ways. A computer program written to secretly reproduce itself across many computer systems. Viruses can cause serious damage. There is software available to combat them. The sole purpose of viruses is harm and destruction of data. An entire multi-billion dollar a year business has emerged in efforts to protect systems from virus infections. See Symantec's Norton Anti-Virus as an example of first line defense.

Visual Basic or Visual other languages

Visual Basic (VB) is a current adaptation of the original computer language BASIC. While the name implies bare minimum, the seasoning of BASIC has been major. It is an extremely powerful compiled language, capable of both text and graphics. As of July of 2000, it is the most widely used language in Windows programming by a factor of 2 to 1. (As of January 2003, it still maintains about a 2 to 1 popularity ratio of lines of code and numbers of programmers worldwide.) Visual Basic came into being in 1991 and quickly replaced another Microsoft adaptation of BASIC as the most popular programming language in the world, QBASIC. See Visual Studio, a programming suite that VB is a member of.

Visual Studio

All of the Visual languages and applications are products of Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft Corporation can be accessed through HTTP://WWW.MICROSOFT.COM. The entire Visual Studio can be viewed for more information.


An acronym for Video In Video Out (pronounced vee-voh), is a graphics card port which enables some video cards to have bi-directional (input and output) video transfer, originally through a Mini-DIN connector and a specialized splitter cable, but now meaning any kind of video that has both input and output capability. VIVO was originally found predominantly on high end ATI video cards, although several high end NVIDIA video cards also carried this port as well. VIVO on these graphics cards typically support composite, S-Video, and Component as outputs and composite and S-Video as inputs. Many other video cards only support component and/or S-Video outputs to compliment VGA or DVI. It should be noted that while the component out signals support high definition resolutions, it does not support the HDCP standard which would be required for official HDTV support as set out by the EICTA. Also, a person using VIVO must have software that can display the input signal.

Some practical uses of VIVO include being able to display what's on your computer (including downloaded/recorded tv shows & movies) on a TV and being able to connect a DVD player or video game console to your computer and allow viewing via monitor. Note that VIVO cannot receive radio signals (either from an antenna or cable), and much like tunerless HDTV sets and composite monitors, there must be additional equipment to watch television programs.

As of mid-year 2007, there are MANY companies making VIVO type video configurations. Many laptops come with internal VIVO capability.


An acronym for Variable Length Subnet Masks are a mechanism for providing subnets of different sizes within a single IP block. Implemented in the OSPF routing protocol.


An acronym for VersaModule Eurocard bus; an alternative to the PC bus, S-100 bus and others. The original design was 32-bit bus developed jointly by Motorola, Signetics, Mostek and Thompson CSF. It is widely used in industrial, commercial and military applications with over 300 manufacturers of VMEbus products worldwide. While it is in use worldwide, it is often just called EuroBus. VME64 is an expanded version that provides 64-bit data transfer and addressing for use with modern and future CPU technology.


Found in Windows 9x machines, VMM32.VXD is the virtual device driver library that contains virtual device driver files needed for system start up. VMM32.VXD is different for every machine because each machine has different hardware configurations; therefore, if it gets corrupted, it cannot be copied from another computer unless the computer is an exact duplicate. More than likely, it'll need to be rebuilt. See "I wish I hadn't done that".


An abbreviation and coined word for Voice Coder. In digital cellular operations, speech is encoded before transmission to reduce the number of bits required to represent speech. Current reduction (early 2002) is about 25%. The technology was introduced by Samsung's cellular division.

voice recognition

The field of computer science that deals with designing computer systems that can recognize spoken words. Note that voice recognition implies only that the computer can take dictation, not that it understands what is being said. Comprehending human languages falls under a different field of computer science called natural language processing. A number of voice recognition systems are available on the market. The most powerful can recognize thousands of words. However, they generally require an extended training session during which the computer system becomes accustomed to a particular voice and accent. Such systems are said to be speaker dependent. Many systems also require that the speaker speak slowly and distinctly and separate each word with a short pause. These systems are called discrete speech systems. Recently, great strides have been made in continuous speech systems, voice recognition systems that allow you to speak naturally. There are now several continuous-speech systems available for personal computers. Because of their limitations and high cost, voice recognition systems have traditionally been used only in a few specialized situations. For example, such systems are useful in instances when the user is unable to use a keyboard to enter data because his or her hands are occupied or disabled. Instead of typing commands, the user can simply speak into a headset. Increasingly, however, as the cost decreases and performance improves, speech recognition systems are entering the mainstream and are being used as an alternative to keyboards.


An acronym for Voice Over IP. An emerging technology that is, voice delivered using the Internet Protocol, is a term used in IP telephony for a set of facilities for managing the delivery of voice information using the Internet Protocol (IP). In general, this means sending voice information in digital form in discrete packets rather than in the traditional circuit committed protocols of the public switched telephone network (PSTN). A major advantage of VOIP and Internet telephony is that it avoids the tolls charged by ordinary telephone service. Telephone companies just love that!

volt, voltage

The measure of the pressure difference of electricity (EMF or ElectroMotive Force). The pressure required to force one ampere of current through a resistance of one ohm. The flow of voltage is called current. In electrical devices, there is a possibility of both AC and DC voltage. DC voltage is produced by a battery or power supply. AC voltage is from the electric company or a power source or power supply. Extra high voltage (EHV) is any quantity over 345,000 volts. Ultra high voltage (UHV) is referred to any amount in excess of 800,000 volts.

voltage divider

By connecting two or more resistors in SERIES between the positive and negative supplies, you can split the voltage down into a series of steps. The size of these steps depends on the resistor values used. For instance, if two resistors, one 220 and another 470 ohms, were connected in series in that order between a 9 volt supply and ground, you would find that the voltage at the point in between the resistors is 6.13V. The first 220 ohm resistor loses 2.87V across it. The calculation is based on the ratio of sizes of the resistors used. Variable resistors can the middle pin, assuming they have one, to acquire the divided voltage.


1. The name given to a disk partition, or group of partitions, that is available to network users as a single designated drive. A drive may cover several volumes and a volume may span several physical drives under some operating systems.
2. The level of sound from multimedia components.


Volt-Ohm-Milliammeter. An electronic measuring device to measure voltage, amperage, resistance, electron direction flow and continuity.


An acronym for Very high frequency Omini-directional Radio site. A navigation aid providing VOR azimuth information to aircraft radio installation for the purposes of navigation. It is identified with a three letter identifier. If DME information is supplied, it is usually referred to as VORTAC.


An acronym for Very high frequency Omini-directional Radio Tactical Air Navigation site. A navigation aid providing VOR azimuth, TACAN azimuth, and TACAN distance measuring equipment (DME), all at one site. It is identified with a three letter identifier.


Vertical Industry Portal is a portal Web site that provides information and resources for a particular industry. Typical industry examples are medicine, automobiles, pets, beauty and health, computers and investments. Vortals are the Internet's way of catering to consumers' focused-environment preferences. Vortals typically provide news, research and statistics, discussions, newsletters, online tools, and many other services that educate users about a specific industry. As the Web becomes a standard tool for business, vortals will join and maybe replace general portal sites like AOL, CompuServe and Yahoo! as common gateways to the Internet.


Voice Operated eXchange Your voice starts it. When you stop speaking its stops. This is usually a telephone or radio activated device, such as a voice recorder or transmitter. In the case of a transmitter, the other method of transmission is push-to-talk (PTT).


A voxel is a unit of graphic information that defines a point in three-dimensional space. Since a pixel (picture element) defines a point in two dimensional space with its x and y coordinates, a third z coordinate is needed. In 3-D space, each of the coordinates is defined in terms of its position, color, and density. Think of a cube where any point on an outer side is expressed with an x, y coordinate and the third, z coordinate defines a location into the cube from that side, its density, and its color. With this information and 3-D rendering software, a two-dimensional view from various angles of an image can be obtained and viewed at your computer. Medical practitioners and researchers are now using images defined by voxels and 3-D software to view X-rays, cathode tube scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans from different angles, effectively to see the inside of the body from outside. Geologists can create 3-D views of earth profiles based on sound echoes. Engineers can view complex machinery and material structures to look for weaknesses. Voxel is also a company that makes a scanning camera that will produce 3-D images of the inside of the human body using a patented digital holography system. See them at HTTP://WWW.HOLORAD.COM as they have been totally acquired by them.


1. An acronym for Virtual Path; a telephony term. A grouping of virtual circuits that connects two networks. See also Virtual Circuit.
2. A "fall guy" in computer companies, especially Microsoft. The first thing you learn as a VP at Microsoft is, "I can't remember!".


1. An acronym for Virtual Path Interconnect; a telephony term. See also VP and VCI.


An acronym for Video RAM. VRAM has two separate data ports. One is dedicated to updating the image on the screen while the other one is used for changing the image data stored in memory. This "dual-ported" design gives higher performance than DRAM which cannot read and write simultaneously but is more expensive. With this design in mind, VRAM is DRAM with an on-board serial register/serial access memory designed for video applications. VRAM designs include a serial port for providing data to the CRT refresh circuitry and a parallel port for read/write data transfers from the graphics controller.


An acronym for voltage regulator module, a tiny module that installs on a motherboard to control and regulate the voltage fed to the microprocessor. Virtually all motherboards have regulation of some type, either a built-in voltage regulator chip or circuit, or a VRM, the only difference being that the VRM is socketed and therefore, easily changable if needed.


See Virtual Reality Markup Language.


Acronym for Virtual Storage Access Method. VSAM was a very popular 1960s through 1980s file management system tool used on IBM mainframes and other heavy iron using the same IBM OS or similar OS structures. Most systems that used the then popular ANSI 74 adaptation of COBOL were able to allow VSAM and ISAM data structures. VSAM speeds up access to data in files by using an inverted index (called a B+tree) of all records added to each file. Many legacy software systems use VSAM to implement database systems (then known as called data sets). In current systems, modern relational DBMSs are more efficient and flexible. The early beginnings of Oracle and IFMX's DB were based on this method. Novell's NOS still supports B+tree access if needed.


An abbreviation for Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR). The ratio of the transferring signal voltage as compared to reflected signal voltage measured along the length of a transmission line, often referred to as just SWR. Check out our Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR) Loss Calculator.

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