Term Description

Video Card

A video card (also called a video adapter, display card, graphics card, graphics board, display adapter, graphics adapter or frame buffer[1] and sometimes preceded by the word discrete or dedicated to emphasize the distinction between this implementation and integrated graphics) is an expansion card which generates a feed of output images to a display (such as a computer monitor). Within the industry, video cards are sometimes called graphics add-in-boards, abbreviated as AIBs,[2] with the word "graphics" usually omitted.

Portable Hard Drive

A magnetic disk drive that plugs into a USB, FireWire or eSATA port on a computer. Used for backup, secondary storage as well as transport, portable hard drives rival the capacity of many internal hard drives. External drives for stationary desktop use are larger than the portable drives used for transport.


32x means 32 times a certain factor. Used frequently with zoom lenses and CD-ROM drives. It applies to focal range of zoom lens from minimum to maximum and similarly with CD-ROM units. The first CD-ROM accessed data at 150 KB per second. In sequence, 2x=300KB per second, 4x=600KB per second. 32x equals up to 4800B per second. Because not all CD software is designed to perform at this optimal speed, 32x only applies to software that is optimized for it.


More commonly known as Three-Dimension. 3D follows what science defines as the most clear perception of physical reality. Many new games contain graphics that have greater depth and realism than the earlier 2-dimensional (2D) graphics. 2D is based on height and width and is considered `flat`. 3D is based on height, width, and depth. Many of the current PC models are already equipped with 3D graphics capabilities. Earlier PCs may require a 3D graphics accelerator upgrade to accommodate this feature. `3D` may also be used to describe sound. 3D sound means that there is a sense of spatial dimension, as if you were immersed into it - Surround Sound. Virtual 3D is an electronic simulation of 3D


A special speed application for certain modems. It allows file downloads from an internet site at speeds up to 56,000 baud per second (bps). The internet service provider, however, must be compatible with this standard. There are 2 speed standards that are currently available: 56x2 (developed by US Robotics) and K56Flex (developed by Lucent Technologies and Rockwell). Modem has the capability of reaching up to 56,000 bps Internet, 33,600 bps Data and 14,400 bps Fax data transfers with fall-back to slower speeds, as needed. Many modems now come with V90 standardization for virtual compatibility with all 56K protocols

A/D Converter

A device used to convert analog data to digital data. Analog data is continuously variable, while digital data contains discrete steps

Access Provider

The company that provides you with Internet access and, in some cases, an online account on their computer syste

Acoustic Coupler

A type of modem which converts digital signals into sound for transmission through telephone lines, and performs the reverse operation when receiving such signals. Acoustic couplers generally have cups for the telephone handset.

Active Matrix

Thin Film Transistor (TFT) is the technology used in active matrix screens of notebook computers. Active matrix displays are the closest things to the monitor displays used with desktop computers. They have excellent color resolution and can display motion accurately and rapidly. As such, they excel in high-level gaphic situations where imaging integrity is crucial. In contrast, passive matrix displays are designed for business functions such as word processing, budgeting and basic graphing.

Additive Primaries

Red, green, and blue are the primary colors of light from which all other colors can be made.

Address Resolution

Red, green, and blue are the primary colors of light from which all other colors can be made.


Advanced Interactive Executive - IBM's version of Unix.


Visibly jagged steps along angled or object edges, due to sharp tonal contrasts between pixels.


Alkaline batteries are an efficient battery type that is both economical and reliable. In alkaline batteries, the hydrous alkaline solution is used as an electrolyte. The most common use of this solution is in a manganese-dioxide primary cell with potassium hydroxide as an electrolyte. During cell discharge, the oxygen-rich manganese dioxide is reduced and the zinc becomes oxidized while ions are being transported through the conductive alkaline electrolyte.


Continuously variable signals or data.

Anonymous Login Convention (FTP)

Standard username (anonymous) and password (guest) which allows login within FTP for the purpose of retrieving an unprotected file.


American National Standards Institute. This organization is responsible for approving U.S. standards in many areas, including computers and communications. Standards approved by this organization are often called ANSI standards (e.g., ANSI C is the version of the C language approved by ANSI).


Software that lets users do relatively complex tasks, as well as create and modify documents. Common application types include word processors, spreadsheets, database managers, and presentation graphics programs.


AppleTalk Remote Access. A protocol (and product) that provides system-level support for dial-in (modem) connections to an AppleTalk network. With ARA, you can call your desktop Mac from a PowerBook and remotely access all the available services - files, printers, servers, e-mail, etc


An information system offering an electronic directory service for locating information in the Internet that is automatically updated. The best known use of archie is for scanning a database of the contents of more than 1000 Anonymous FTP sites around the world with more than 2,100,000 file names


Address Resolution Protocol. Used to dynamically discover the low-level physical network hardware address that corresponds to the high level IP Address for a given host, for instance. ARP is limited to physical network systems that support broadcast packets that can be heard by all hosts on the network. See also Proxy ARP.


Advanced Research Projects Agency NETwork. A pioneering long-haul network funded by ARPA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense responsible for the development of new technology for the military. It served as the basis for early networking research as well as a central backbone during the development of the Internet. The ARPANET consisted of individual packet switching computers interconnected by leased lines.


American (National) Standard Code for Information Interchange. A standard character-to-number encoding widely used in the computer industry.


Linking a document with the program that created it so that both can be opened with a single command.

AU Sounds

A type of audio format used in the World Wide Web.


Audio refers to sound. Sound is actually waves of air pressure that strike our eardrums and cause them to vibrate. Optimally, the human ear is capable of discerning frequencies within the 20Hz to 20,000Hz range. Typically, most adults over 30 have about a 40Hz to 17,000Hz range. The main task of an audio system is to transform electrical signals into air pressure waves that are as close as possible to the originally recorded sound.


Audio-Visual. AV Macintosh models have video-capture hardware and have sophisticated sound (and video) recording capabilities.


Network used to interconnect several networks together.

Backup File

In Windows 95, a compressed version of the original file and its locations created by Backup.


The capacity of the transmission medium stated in bits per second or as a frequency. The bandwidth of optical fiber is in the gigabit or billion bits per second range, while ethernet coaxial cable is in the megabit or million bits per second range.

Baseband System

A baseband system transmits signals without converting them to another frequency and is characterized by its support of one frequency of signals. Ethernet-based networks inside campus buildings are transmitted via baseband coaxial cable, with ethernet being the only service supported by the coaxial cable.


Filename extension for a batch file.

Batch Scanning

Sequential scanning of multiple originals using previously defined, unique settings for each.


A unit of measurement that denotes the number of bits that can be transmitted per second. For example, if a modem is rated at 9600 baud it is capable of transmitting data at a rate of 9600 bits per second. The term was derived from the name of J.M.E. Baudot, a French pioneer in the field of printing telegraphy.


Bulletin Board Service. A non commercial dial-up service usually run by a user group or software company. By dialing up a BBS with your modem, you can exchange messages with other users, and upload or download software.


Binary Gateway Interface. Provides a method of running a program from a Web server. Similar to a Common Gateway Interface (CGI). The BGI uses a binary DLL which is loaded into memory when the server starts. While more efficient han a CGI, the BGI must be compiled and is not easily portable to other environments.


A type of image containing only black and white pixels.


A numbering system with only two values: 0 (zero) and 1 (one).

Binary File

A file that contains more than plain text (i.e., photos, sounds, spreadsheet, etc.) In contrast to an ASCII file which only contains plain text.

Binary Number System

A counting system used in computers consisting of only 1's and 0's (zeros).


A file conversion format that converts binary files to ASCII test files.


Basic Input-Output System. Part of the computer's operating system that is built into the machine, rather than read from a disk drive at startup.


A unit of measurement that represents one figure or character of data. A bit is the smallest unit of storage in a computer. Since computers actually read 0s and 1s, each is measured as a bit. The letter A consists of 8 bits which amounts to one byte. Bits are often used to measure the capability of a microprocessor to process data, such as 16-bit or 32-bit.


An academic computer network that provides interactive electronic mail and file transfer services, using a store-and-forward protocol, based on IBM Network Job Entry protocols. BITNET-II encapsulates the BITNET protocol within IP packets and depends on the Internet to route them. There are three main constituents of the network: BITNET in the United States and Mexico, NETNORTH in Canada, and EARN in Europe. There are also AsiaNet, in Japan, and connections in South America. See CREN.

Black Point

A movable reference point that defines the darkest area in an image, causing all other areas to be adjusted accordingly.


Bluetooth™ wireless technology revolutionizes the personal connectivity market by providing freedom from wired connections - enabling links between mobile computers, mobile phones, portable handheld devices, and connectivity to the Internet. Interface, synchronize, exchange? All of the above, and more. Bluetooth technology redefines the very way we experience connectivity. Where it works Everywhere. Hardware that complies with the Bluetooth wireless specification ensures communication compatibility worldwide. As a low cost, low power solution with industry wide support, Bluetooth wireless technology allows you to bring connectivity with you. You define the boundaries of your productivity - in Europe, in Asia, in America, in whatever place your business may take you. Why it works Establishing a standard means integrating well tested technology with the power efficiency and low-cost of a compliant radio system (about the Specification). Establishing a standard also means a group of industry leading promoter companies who drive the specification forward (about the Bluetooth SIG). Bluetooth technology works because it has been developed as a cross industry solution that marries a vision of engineering innovation with an understanding of business and consumer expectations. Who`s making it work Bluetooth wireless technology is supported by product and application development in a wide range of market segments, including software developers, silicon vendors, peripheral and camera manufacturers, mobile PC manufacturers and handheld device developers, consumer electronics manufacturers, car manufacturers, and test and measurement equipment manufacturers.


Starting up a computer via the power switch, which loads the system software into memory. Restarting the computer via a keystroke combination is called rebooting or a warm boot.


Bits Per Second is the unit used for measuring line speed, the number of information units transmitted per second.


A dedicated computer used to connect two different networks. It uses data link layer address (i.e., ethernet physical addresses) to determine if packets should be passed between the networks.

Broadband System

A broadband system is capable of transmitting many different signals at the same time without interfering with one another. For local area networks, a broadband system is one that handles multiple channels of local area network signals distributed over Cable Television (CATV) hardware.


A packet whose special address results in its being heard by all hosts on a computer network.


A program that enables you to access information on the Internet through the World Wide Web.


Berkeley Software Distribution. Implementation of the UNIX operating system and its utilities developed and distributed by the University of California at Berkeley. BSD is usually preceded by the version number of the distribution, e.g., 4.3 BSD is version 4.3 of the Berkeley UNIX distribution. Many Internet hosts run BSD software, and it is the ancestor of many commercial UNIX implementations.


A mistake, or unexpected occurrence, in a piece of software or in a piece of hardware.


The amount of memory needed to store one character such as a letter or a number. Equal to 8 bits of digital information. The standard measurement unit of a file size.


An area of RAM reserved for data recently read from disk, which allows the processor to quickly retrieve it if it`s needed again.


A process in which frequently accessed data is kept on hand, rather than constantly being from the place where it is stored.


Software differentiation between upper and lower case characters. Also referred to as case sensitive.


Charge-coupled device. An integrated, micro-electrical light sensing device built into some image capturing devices.


Compact Disk, Read-Only Memory. A type of storage device that looks just like an audio CD and stores as much data as a large hard disk (600MB), making it a popular means of distributing fonts, photos, electronic encyclopedias, games, and multimedia offerings. As the name indicates, however, you can`t save or change files on a CD-ROM, only read them. Pronounced see-dee rom


Compact Disk, Read-Only Memory. A type of storage device that looks just like an audio CD and stores as much data as a large hard disk (600MB), making it a popular means of distributing fonts, photos, electronic encyclopedias, games, and multimedia offerings. As the name indicates, however, you can`t save or change files on a CD-ROM, only read them. Pronounced see-dee rom.


CD-RW = CD-ROM Rewritable. This means that the user can repeatedly write data to this type of CD when using a CD Recorder with rewritability. First generation CD-R disks may be used on CD-RW hardware for one-time record only. For rewriteability CD-RW disks must be used. The second generation, CD-RW, uses a rewritable technology permitting a CD to be rewritten and used like a regular storage disc (680MB capacity).


Common Gateway Interface. A method of running an executable script or program from a Web server. When a client requests a URL pointing to a CGI, the program is run and the results are returned to the client. This enables dynamic web pages and the ability to do database queries and other complex operations across the web


The "Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage". An organization that has established a number of widely-used color definitions.


The "Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage". An organization that has established a number of widely-used color definitions

Circuit Switched

A type of network connection which establishes a continuous electrical connection between calling and called users for their exclusive use until the connection is released. Ericsson PBX is a circuit-switched network.

Clickable Image

Any image that has instructions embedded in it so that clicking on it initiates some kind of action or result. On a web page, a clickable image is any image that has a URL embedded in it.

Client/Server Relationship

A client application is one that resides on a user's computer, but sends requests to a remote system to execute a designated procedure using arguments supplied by the user. The computer that initiates the request is the client and the computer responding to the request is the server. Many network services follow a client and server protocol.


An area used to temporarily store cut or copied information. The Clipboard can store text, graphics, objects, and other data. The Clipboard contents are erased when new information is placed on the Clipboard or when the computer is shut down.


The conversion of all tones lighter than a specified grey level to white, or darker than a specified grey level to black, causing loss of detail. This also applies to individual channels in a color image.


Color management system. This ensures color uniformity across input and output devices so that final printed results match originals. The characteristics or profiles of devices are normally established by reference to standard color targets.

Coaxial Cable

A type of cable that contains two conductors. The center conductor is surrounded by a layer of insulation, which is then wrapped by a braided-metal conductor and an outer layer of insulation.

Colour Cast

An overall color imbalance in an image, as if viewed through a colored filter.


A light-sensitive device for measuring colors by filtering their red, green, and blue components, as in the human eye. See also spectrophoto-meter.

COM1, COM2, etc.

Most serial ports and internal modems on DOS/WIN PCs can be configured to either COM1 or COM2 in order to accommodate the situation where both may exist. The DOS MODE command is used to change the output direction to such serial devices as modems.


Compaq was established in 1982 as one of the first manufacturer`s of office-based personal computers. Currently ranked in the "Fortune Global 100", Compaq is, internationally, the second largest computer company and the largest supplier of personal computers to the business and consumer sectors. Their models normally set the pace in features, performance and pricing. With offices in virtually every major country in the world ` , owners of Compaq products (particularly, owners of Compaq mobile solutions) may rest assured that Compaq is there to reliably lend a helping hand to any question about their hardware. Compaq may be reached on the world-wide web under ``. For Online Help and Drivers Download please visit Compaq`s easy to use internet support site:


The reduction in size of an image file. See also lossy and non-lossy.


A computer is an electronic device that processes data. With all its assumed speed and prowess, it is a technical slave. It is unable to do anything unless specific instructions (software) is fed into it via keyboard or drive. An operating system is fundamental instructions that organizes the processing tasks. After processing takes place, the results are displayed (output) on a monitor or printer.

Computer Search Service

Computer Search Service (CSS), a fee-based service, offers access to more than 500 databases, primarily in the sciences and social sciences, from which the Library can create customized bibliographies.


Computer Search Service (CSS), a fee-based service, offers access to more than 500 databases, primarily in the sciences and social sciences, from which the Library can create customized bibliographies.


Compatibility of hardware to certain architectures. Example: A printer designed for Windows will have a parallel printer port and will communicate in a language that Windows will understand. This printer will not work with a Macintosh-based computer.

Contone (CT)

An abbreviation for continuous tone. A color or greyscale image format capable of illustrating continuously varying tonal ranges, as opposed to line art.


A file sent to a web browser by a web server that is used to record once's activities.


A chip designed specifically to handle a particular task, such as math calculations or displaying graphics on-screen. A coprocessor is faster at its specialized function than the main processor is, and it relieves the processor of some work. A coprocessor can reside on the motherboard or be part of an expansion card, as with an accelerator.


Central Processing Unit; the brains of the computer. The CPU interprets and executes the actual computing tasks.

Central Processing Unit

Main processing unit of a computer. Among personal computers there are two very common CPU chips - Pentium (found in Windows based units) and PowerPC (found in Macintosh based units). The CPU carries out fundamental instructions that are fed to it via application and operating programs.


A problem (often caused by a bug) that causes a program, or the entire operating system, to unexpectedly stop working.


Corporation for Research and Educational Networking. This organization was formed in October 1989, when BITNET and CSNET (Computer + Science NETwork) were combined under one administrative authority. CSNET is no longer operational, but CREN still runs BITNET. See BITNET.


Refers to software (or anything else) that will work on more that one platform (type of computer).


California State University Network. A packet-switched network that connects the 22 campuses of the CSU system.


The representation of the mouse on the screen. It may take many different shapes. Example: I-beam, arrow pointer, and hand.


A term used to refer to the electronic universe of information available through the Internet.


Digital Audio Tape. The most common type of tape backup.


A modem converts data stored on a PC and permits it to be sent via a standard phone line to another PC or Internet service. A fax converts data that was printed on paper into electronic data that can be sent via a phone line to another fax device. The similarity among the primary functions prompted manufacturer`s to combine both into one device. A PC, however, must have a scanner to input a document and a printer tour outputting document. Modem communications is usually faster than fax comm.


A file created by a database manager that contains a collection of information organized into records, each of which contains labeled categories (called fields).


A board that attaches to (rides piggyback on) another board, such as the motherboard or an expansion card. For example, you can often add a daughtercard containing additional memory to an accelerator card.


Desktop color separation. An image format consisting of four separate CMYK PostScript files at full resolution, together with a fifth EPS master for placement in documents.


Defense Data Network. A global communications network serving the US Department of Defense composed of MILNET, other portions of the Internet, and classified networks which are not part of the Internet. The DDN is used to connect military installations and is managed by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).


Digital Equipment Corporation.


The expansion of compressed image files. See also lossy and non-lossy.

Dedicated Line

A telephone or data line that is always available. For example, a leased telephone line can be dedicated for computer data communications. This line is not used by other computers or individuals, is available 24 hours a day, and is never disconnected.

Default Route

A routing table entry which is used to direct packets addressed to networks not explicitly listed in the routing table.


A measuring instrument that registers the density of transparent or reflective materials. Colors are read as tonal information. See also colorimeter and spectrophotometer.


Density is a brightness control to lighten or darken a printout to more closely reflect its screen appearance and to compensate for deficiencies in toner or paper quality.


Density is a brightness control to lighten or darken a printout to more closely reflect its screen appearance and to compensate for deficiencies in toner or paper quality.


Removal of halftone dot patterns during or after scanning printed matter by defocusing the image. This avoids moire patterning and color shifts during subsequent halftone reprinting.


Usually refers to the cabinet that houses much of the processing circuitry of a computer system. A desktop cabinet is one that rests on top of a user`s desk. A tower cabinet usually rests below or alongside a desk. A tower cabinet usually has more space for expansion. Desktop also refers to a non-notebook computer and also to the work-area displayed on screen.

Dial-up Line

A communication connection from your computer to a host computer over standard phone lines. Unlike a dedicated line, you must dial the host computer in order to establish a connection. Dial-up line is currently the most popular form of Net connection for the home user.

Dialog box

A window that displays additional options or questions when a command is chosen.

Dichroic Mirror

A special type of interference filter, which reflects a specific part of the spectrum, whilst transmitting the rest. Used in scanners to split a beam of light into RGB components.


Data or voltages consisting of discrete steps or levels, as opposed to continuously variable analog data.


A machine which converts analog data into digital data on a computer (such as a scanner digitizing pictures or text).


Dual Inline Memory Module. A form of memory architecture that connects to different memory chips on both sides. This provides 128-bit bandwidth to enable more data to be transferred at a given time.

DIP Switches

Dual Interface Poll switches allow for either an ON or OFF setting with any number of circuits. DIP switches commonly allow you to change the configuration of a circuit board to suit your particular computer.

Direct Connection

A permanent communication connection between your computer system (either a single CPU or a LAN) and the Internet. This is also called a leased line connection because you are leasing the telephone connection from the phone company. A direct connection is in contrast to a SLIP/PPP or dial-up connection.


Direct exposure of image data onto printing plates, without the intermediate use of film.


Elimination of intermediate film and printing plates by the direct transfer of image data to printing cylinders in the press.


A system that your computer uses to organize files on the basis of specific information.

Disk Defragmenter

Arranges the blocks of information for a file into adjacent blocks on your hard drive, which may significantly improve the file access times.


The point of maximum density in an image or an original.


The point of minimum density in an image or an original.


Domain Name System. A general purpose distributed, replicated, data query service. Its principal use is the lookup of host IP addresses based on host names. The host names are also known as domain names. Some important domains are: .COM (commercial), .EDU (educational), .NET (network operations), .GOV (U.S. government), and .MIL (U.S. military). Most countries also have a domain. For example, .US (United States), .UK (United Kingdom), .AU (Australia).

Dolby Digital 5.0

This programme features a discrete four channel soundtrack encoded to an AC-3 bitstream. When played back through Dolby Digital equipment, sound will be heard from all five system speakers. The surround information will be discreet monophonic.

Dolby Mono

This programme features a mono soundtrack encoded to an AC-3 bitstream. When played through Dolby Digital equipment, sound will be heard from the centre channel speaker only.

Dolby Digital Stereo

This programme features a stereo soundtrack encoded to an AC-3 bitstream. When played back through Dolby Digital equipment, sound will be heard through the front left and front and front right speakers only.

Dolby Digital Surround

This programme features a matrixed surround soundtrack encoded to an AC-3 bitstream. When played back through Dolby Digital equipment, sound will be heard from all five system speakers. The surround information will be monophonic.

Domain Name Server

A computer that converts host names, such as to its corresponding IP Address, such as An SDSU computer provides this service any time mail is sent or received and permits users to use TELNET and FTP between SDSU and other sites.


Disk Operating System. The operating system used on IBM personal computers and compatible machines.

Dotted Decimal Notation

The convention for writing 32-bit IP Addresses as a set of four 8-bit numbers written in base 10 with periods separating them.


The reduction in resolution of an image, necessitating a loss in detail.


To retrieve a file from another computer using a modem.

Dots Per Inch

Dots Per Inch. A measure of the resolution of a printer, scanner, or monitor. It refers to the number of dots in a one-inch line. The more dots per inch, the higher the resolution.


A piece of software that tells the computer how to operate an external device, such as a printer, hard disk, CD-ROM drive, or scanner. For instance, you can`t print unless you have a printer driver. Hard disk drivers are invisible files that are loaded into memory when you start the computer, while scanner drivers are usually plug-ins accessed from within a particular application.

Drum Scanner

Early drum scanners separated scans into CMYK data, recording these directly onto film held on a second rotating drum.


Desktop Publishing.


This programme feature a discrete 5.1 channel soundtrack and must be played through DTS-capable equipment. When played through DTS equipment, sound will be heard from all five system speakers and a subwoofer.


Back-up of data.

Duplex (Full, Half)

Full duplex is data is flowing in both directions at the same time. When Remote echo is ON communication is occurring in full duplex. Half Duplex has data moving in only one direction at a time (Local echo is ON).


A drive, found in some computers, that plays or reads DVD software and movies. It can also read/play CD software and music


A drive, found in some computers, that plays or reads DVD software and movies. It can also read/play CD software and music


Drawing Interchange Format used for Macintosh graphic files. The standard file-exchange format for 3-D and CAD programs.

Dye Sublimation

A printing process using small heating elements to evaporate pigments from a carrier film, depositing these smoothly onto a substrate.


Electronic Mail. Private messages sent between users on different computers, either over a network or via a modem connection to an on-line service or BBS.


European Academic Research Network.


Extended Binary-Coded Decimal Interchange Code. A standard character-to-number encoding used primarily by IBM computer systems. See ASCII

Echo (Local, Remote)

Local echo ON causes all transmitted data to be sent to the screen of the sending computer. Remote echo ON causes everything that the remote computer (the one you are communicating with) transmits to be duplicated on your computer's screen. See Duplex.


The ability to add, delete or modify segments of recorded data (audio, video or text). Many hardware peripherals exist exclusively devoted to editing various diferent media. Professional VCR units may also have editing features and interface jacks to other editing devices. There are also numerous editing software applications designed for computers and these offer some ultra-precise features that are comparable to professional studio systems.


File transfer formatting that enables encrypted, compressed or binary files to be transferred without corruption or loss of data.


A way of coding information in a file or e-mail message so that if it is intercepted by a third party as it travels over a network it cannot be read.


Encapsulated PostScript. An EPS file usually has two parts: a PostScript (text) description that tells a PostScript printer how to output the resolution-independent image, and (optionally) a bit-mapped PICT image for on-screen previews. (EPS files without a PICT preview is usually displayed as a gray rectangle.) EPS files generally can't be edited, even by the program that created them (Illustrator files are exceptions).


Another term used for DCS.


An index to educational journal articles and documents collected by national clearing houses for educational information. It provides summaries of the articles and documents, and contains citations back to 1966.


An IEEE 802.3 standard data link layer which can operate over several different media including fiber optic, coaxial cable and twisted-pair cable. This 10 million-bit-per-second networking scheme is widely used on campus because it can network a wide variety of computers; it is not proprietary; and components are widely available from many commercial sources.

Executable File

Refers to a file that is a program. Executables in DOS and Windows usually have an .exe or a .com extension. In UNIX and Macintosh environments, executable files can have any name.

External Viewer

Program used for presenting graphics, audio and movies while browsing World Wide Web pages via a Web client program. Helper applications is another term for these external programs.


Frequently Asked Questions. A document that covers a topic of general concern to many users. FAQs are a good way for new users to get information on various aspects of the Internet.


Fiber Distributed Data Interface. An emerging standard for network technology based on fiber optics that has been established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). FDDI specifies a 100-million bit per second data rate.


A collection of information on a disk, usually a document or a program, that's lumped together and called by one name.

File Permissions

When you place files on a UNIX system you can assign the files various levels of permission, specifying who can access them, and what type of access they can have.

File Server

A computer that shares its resources, such as printers and files, with other computers on the network. An example of this is a Novell NetWare Server which shares its disk space with a workstation that does not have a disk drive of its own.

File Recorder

Used in reference to color transparency recording devices, and sometimes also to imagesetters.


A piece of software that an application uses for file-format conversion or special effects. PageMaker, for example, has a filter that lets it import Microsoft Word files, while Photoshop has dozens of filters for special effects (such as image blurring). Filters can be part of the main application or external programs called plug-ins.


A program that displays information about someone on the internet.


A mechanism that isolates a network from the rest of the Internet, permitting only specific traffic to pass in and out.


A type of cabling technology for transferring data to and from digital devices at high speed. Some professional digital cameras and memory card readers connect to the computer over FireWire. FireWire card readers are typically faster than those that connect via USB. Also known as IEEE 1394, FireWire was invented by Apple Computer but is now commonly used with Windows-based PCs as well

Flaming/Flame War

Reacting to someone's newsgroup posting or e-mail in a hostile manner by publicly chastising the person or bombarding the person with nasty e-mail.

Flatbed Scanner

Any scanning device that incorporates a flat transparent plate, on which original images are placed for scanning. The scanning process is linear rather than rotational.

Floating-point Processor

A special chip that handles sophisticated calculations, such as those used in spreadsheets, CAD, and scientific programs.

Floppy Drive

Floppy drive is a storage device that uses diskettes commonly referred as floppy disks. A typical floppy disk holds about 1.44 megabits of information (data). The floppy drive was the original storage file among the early versions of personal computers. In recent years, the floppy drive is used to enter new software that may come on floppy disks. The hard drive has replaced the floppy drive as the primary storage device because it holds significantly larger amounts of data than a floppy disk.


An object that can hold other objects, such as other folders and files.


The software that creates a typeface on a computer screen.


To initialize a disk to prepare it for use. The disk is checked for errors and organized so that data can be recorded and retrieved. Formatting a used disk erases any previously stored information.


For Position Only. A low resolution image placed in a document to indicate where the final version is to be positioned.


A condition where parts of a file are stored in different locations on a disk. When a file is fragmented, the drive's read/write head has to jump from place to place to read the data; if many files are fragmented, it can slow the drive's performance.

Frame-grabbing System

A combination of hardware and software, designed to capture individual frames from video clips for further digital manipulation, or consecutive replay on computer platforms.


File Transfer Protocol. The Internet standard high-level protocol for transferring files from one computer to another across the network.

FTP Site

A computer which stores files that can be retrieved using FTP. FTP sites which allow anyone to retrieve files (without having an account on that computer) are known as Anonymous FTP sites.

Gamma Correction

The correction of tonal ranges in an image, normally by the adjustment of tone curves.


The limited range of colors provided by a specific input device, output device or pigment set.

Gang Scanning

Sequential scanning of multiple originals using the same previously defined exposure setting for each.


A special-purpose dedicated computer that attaches to two or more disparate networks and converts data packets from one form to another.


Gigabyte. A unit of data storage size which represents 10^9 (one billion) characters of information. 10^9 bits of information (usually used to express a data transfer rate; as in, 1 Gigabit/second = 1Gbps).

GCG (Grey Component Replacement)

A technique for replacing all the neutral tones of an image with an appropriate amount of black.


Graphic Interchange Format (pronounced jiff). A file compression format developed by CompuServe for transferring graphic files to and from on-line services.


A consistent user interface and gateway into many on-line white pages and other address databases.


A metric unit of measurement.

Graphical User Interface (GUI)

The graphical visual representation of the working environment that presents the elements of your computer as objects on a desktop.

Grey Balance

The balance between CMY colorants required to produce neutral greys without a color cast.

Grey Levels

Discrete tonal steps in a continuous tone image, inherent to digital data. Most CT images will contain 256 grey levels per color.


A continuous tone image comprising black, white, and grey data only.


Slang term for a technically sophisticated computer user who enjoys exploring computer systems and programs, sometimes to the point of obsession.


A simulation of continuous tones by the use of black or overlapping process color dots of varying size or position.

Halftoning Factor

See quality factor.


A light line around object edges in an image, produced by the USM (sharpening) technique.


Unique character string identifier assigned to each entry in the NIC WHOIS database.


The process computers and modems go through in order to establish a connection and agree on the speed and protocols for data transmission.

Hard Drive

A primary storage unit on a computer that acts like a large filing cabinet. Its size is measured by how many bits of information it holds. Usually this information is entered in the form of files. This drive is used to store software, files and other data that the user would like repeated access to. A hard drive has a fixed disc which means that the disk is not removable or expandable. There are other drives (Zip, Jaz, SyJet, Sparq, etc) that store lots of information on removable discs.

Hayes Cmopatible

A modem is considered Hayes Compatible if it supports the Hayes command set (a language used to communicate with and control a modem).

High Key

A light image that is intentionally lacking in shadow detail.


The lightest tones in an image. A spectral highlight is a bright, reflected light source.


A chart displaying the tonal ranges present in an image as a series of vertical bars.

Home Page

The document that is displayed when you first open a web client program. Also, commonly used to refer to the first document you come to in a collection of documents on a Web site.


The main computer system to which users are connected.


Name which officially identifies each computer attached to the Internet.


A file containing lists of Internet Web pages, enabling you to easily access your favorite Web pages.


Hewlett Packard.


HyperText Markup Language. A system for tagging various parts of a Web document that tells the Web client programs how to display the document's text, links, graphics and attached media.


The color of an object perceived by the eye due to the fact that a single or pair of RGB primary colors predominates.


Describes hypertext in which various types of data can be stored - sound, images, video and so on - as regular text.


A text-linking strategy that lets you jump between related information in a document by clicking on a button or highlighted word. On-line help systems often use hypertext links, as do some programs designed for the electronic distribution of documents.


The blinking vertical line that shows the point at which text or graphics will be inserted.




International Business Machines Corporation.


A graphic symbol, usually representing a file, folder, disk or tool.

Image Map

A graphic divided into regions or "hotspots". When a particular region is clicked, it calls up a web page that has been associated with that particular region.


A device used to record digital data (images and text) onto monochrome film or offset litho printing plates by means of a single or multiple intermittent light beams. Color separated data is recorded as a series of slightly overlapping spots to produce either solid areas of line-art or halftone dots for printing continuous tones.


To bring data into a document from another document, often generated by a different application.

Inactive Window

A window that is open but is not the top window.


Internet gopher for the University of California at San Diego.

Information Technology

Includes matters concerned with the furtherance of computer science and technology, design, development, installation and implementation of information systems and applications.


Setting up a disk (any kind) to receive information. When a disk is initialized (formatted), its magnetic media is divided into tracks and sectors, and structure files that your computer uses to keep track of data are created.

Inline Images

Graphics that are contained within a document's textual information. In a Web document, these graphics can either be loaded automatically when the page is accessed or loaded manually by clicking on the image's icon.


A utility that copies system software or an application from floppy disks or a CD-ROM to your hard disk. An Installer may also decompress the new files, remove obsolete files, place extensions and control panels in their proper folders, and/or create new folders.


The leading manufacturer of central processing chips for PC systems, Intel has had processors in some of the earliest computers that incorporated Microsoft-based operating systems. Its introduction of the Pentium processor line set innovative benchmarks for unprecedented levels of performance. Intel also makes motherboards, network processors and a host of other processing circuits that help pave the future of personal computing. Intel`s new Pentium 4 processor is designed for greater visual and multimedia performance at unprecedented speeds. Intel also offers an extensive line of networking products for home and office and Cyber Cameras, among an entire line of system support and solutions


The way a computer interacts with a user or a peripheral.


The Internet (note the capital I) is the largest internet in the world. It is a three level hierarchy composed of backbone networks (e.g., NSFNET, MILNET), mid-level networks, and stub networks. The Internet is a multiprotocol internet.


In the image manipulation context, this is the increase of image resolution by the addition of new pixels throughout the image, the colors of which are based on neighboring pixels.


A brief interruption of the computer's activity so that an urgent task can be performed.


Internet Protocol is the standard that allows dissimilar hosts to connect to each other through the Internet. This protocol defines the IP datagram as the basic unit of information sent over the Internet. The IP datagram consists of an IP header followed by a message.

IP Address

Network addresses are usually of two types: (1) the physical or hardware address of a network interface card; for Ethernet this 48-bit address might be 0260.8C00.7666. The hardware address is used to forward packets within a physical network. (2) The logical or IP Address is used to facilitate moving data between physical networks and is made up of a network number, a subnetwork number, and a host number. All Internet addresses at SDSU have a network number of 130.191, a subnet number in the range of 1-254, and a host number in the range of 1-254.

IP Datagram

The basic unit of information passed across the Internet. An IP Datagram is to the Internet as a hardware packet is to a physical network. It contains a source and destination address along with data. Large messages are broken down into a sequence of IP Datagrams.


Internet Relay Chat. A program that allows you to carry on "live" conversations with people all over the world by typing messages back and forth across the Internet.


Information System for Advanced Academic Computing. Serves as a clearinghouse for information about the use of IBM-compatible hardware and software as aids to instruction and research in higher education. Membership is free to all students, faculty, and staff at these institutions.


International Organization for Standardization, the group that developed the OSI protocols.


Internet Service Provider. A company that provides access to the Internet. A service provider can offer simple dial-up access, SLIP/PPP access, or a dedicated line.


Industry standard color reference target used to calibrate input and output devices.


Interactive Television.


See aliasing.


An object-oriented programming language to create executable content (i.e. self-running applications) that can be easily distributed through networks like the Web.


Joint Photographic Experts Group is a graphic file format that has a sophisticated technique for compressing full-color bit mapped graphics, such as photographs.


KiloByte. A unit of data storage size which represents 10^3 (one thousand) characters of information.


Kilobit. 10^3 bits of information (usually used to express a data transfer rate; as in, 1 Kilobit/second = 1Kbps = 1Kb).


An error-checking file-transfer protocol used to copy files from one computer to another. Also the name given to the public domain software distributed by Columbia University, which supports this protocol.

Kernel Size

The number of pixels sampled as a unit during image manipulation and sharpening processes.


Specified words used in text search engines.


Local Area Network. A network of directly-connected machines (located in close proximity), providing high speed communication over physical media such as fiber optics, coaxial cable, or twisted pair wiring.

Laser Printer

Although a number of devices employ laser technology to print images, this normally refers to black-and-white desktop printers, which use the dry toner, xerographic printing process.


A 12-inch disk that's similar to an audio CD but holds visual images (such as high-quality movies) as well as music. Also called a videodisc.


Liquid Crystal Display is a thin layered screen that is used in many electronic devices such as watches, microwave ovens and other appliances. Notebook computers use LCD screens to permit imaging as compact and lightweight as possible. Crystal molecules are energized to form characters and shapes. The number of molecules and their twisting contfiguration contribute to define characters. Other layers filter these images to help improve contrast and clarity.

Line Art

Images containing only black and white pixels. Also known as bilevel images. The term line art is sometimes used to describe drawings containing flat colors without tonal variation.


Synonymous with anchors, hotlinks and hyperlinks.


Library Internet Online Network. A menued front-end system at SDSU that allows access to a number of databases such as library on-line catalogs, periodical indexes, and Internet gophers.


A distribution list management package whose primary function is to operate mailing lists. It allows groups of computer users with a common interest to communicate among themselves.

Lithium-ion Battery

Ultralife lithium-ion prismatic (rectangular) cells offer high energy density, high capacity and long cycle life in the most common, lightweight sizes. These cells, which operate over a wide temperature range, are ideal for portable devices such as cellular and mobile phones, PDA`s, notebook computers, MP3 players, military applications and any products requiring a reliable, high-energy power source. And like Ultralife`s Polymer rechargeable cells, our lithium-ion prismatic cells do not exhibit a memory problem, meaning that they can be recharged at any state of charge without first having to be completely discharged.

Local System

The system you are using. Interactions between your computer and another computer on the Internet are sometimes described using the terms "local" and "remote" systems. The local system is your computer and the remote system is the other computer.


Library of Congress catalog system. The Library of Congress has an extensive and useful congressional legislation system that you can use to look up the bills that are in Congress, as well as having nearly any book ever published in the United States.


The account name used to access a computer system.


Image compression that functions by removing minor tonal and/or color variations, causing visible loss of detail at high compression ratios.

Low Key

A dark image that is intentionally lacking in highlight detail.


This DVD contains strong language and political issues.


Lines per inch or per centimeter. Units of measurement for screen ruling.


This DVD contains strong language and explicit sexual scenes.


This DVD contains strong language, explicit sexual scenes and scenes of violence.


Slang term for someone who regularly reads newsgroup, BBS, or mailing list discussions, but rarely participates in them.


This DVD contains strong language and scenes of violence.


This DVD contains strong language, scenes of violence and political issues.


A type of browser designed to work with text-only Internet connections like dial-up UNIX shell accounts


The Lempel-Ziv-Welch image compression technique.

Mail Merge

The merging of database information (such as names and addresses) with a letter template in a word processor, in order to create personalized letters.

Mailing List

A list of Email users who are members of a group. A mailing list can be an informal group of people who share Email with one another, or it can be a more formal


A large, multi-tasking computer that is used by many users.


Machine-Assisted Realization of the Virtual Electronic Library. The Library of Congress' gopher. It presents information about the Library of Congress such as facilities and services, reading rooms, copyright, services to libraries and publishers, etc., as well as other Internet resources.

Math Coprocessor

Another name for a floating-point processor.


This often refers to a 2-dimensional array of CCD elements.


The material used to support the transmission of data. Examples include twisted-pair wire, coaxial cable, optical fiber, or electromagnetic wave (microwave).


An on-line catalog system containing books, music scores and recordings, audiovisual materials, maps, and computer files from UC libraries and the California State Library. Also featured are periodicals from several sources.


Can you remember who you are? If you do, you have memory. Memory is involved with the ability to store information for continuous or later use. Computers and other digital devices use electronic storage devices to store information that you can access, when needed. Among the memory devices that computers use are disc drives (Floppy, CD REwriteable, DVD-RAM discs), RAM (Random Access Memory chips - a sort of short-term memory), Flashcards (CompactFlash, SmartMedia, MemoryStick, MMC, SD), and others


A list of commands.

Menu Bar

The horizontal bar that contains the names of available menus. The menu bar is located below the title bar.


A collection of data that is ordered according to the rules of a given protocol suite, such that it is intelligible to the sending and receiving software.


Musical Instrument Digital Interface. A technology that enables a computer to record and play musical performance.


The middle range of tones in an image.


Military Network. A network used for unclassified military production applications. It is part of the DDN and the Internet.


Multi-purpose Internet Mail Extensions. A format originally developed for attaching sounds, images and other media files to electronic mail, but now also used with World Wide Web applications.

MIME Mappings

A list of file extensions and the types of files they belong to. When the server sends an HTTP reply, it sends a type/subtype header according to the requested file's extension.

MIME Type/Subtype

An HTTP header sent with a reply that determines how a client will view or use the message. The MIME type tells the general type of document, such as image or application, and the subtype tells the specific type such as GIF or ZIP.


Millions of Instructions Per Second.

Mirror Site

An FTP site that is created after the contents of an original FTP archive server are copied to it. Usually, mirror sites use larger and faster systems than the original, so it's easier to obtain material from the mirror. Mirror sites are usually updated daily, so everything on the original is also at the mirrors. Tip - Always use the mirror site that is physically closest to you.


A device which converts digital signals into analog signals (and back) for transmission over telephone lines (modulator and demodulator).


A repetitive interference pattern caused by overlapping symmetrical grids of dots or lines having differing pitch or angle.


Single-colored. An image or medium displaying only black-and-white or greyscale information. Greyscale information displayed in one color is also monochrome.


The heart, soul, and brains of a computer. This plastic board resembles a miniature city, but its buildings are actually chips for things like the processing, RAM, and ROM, and the tiny roads connecting them are circuit traces. Also called the logic board. There are no fatherboards or sonboards, but see daughterboard.


A texture similar to orange peel sometimes caused by sharpening. It is particularly visible in flat areas such as sky or skin.


A file extension found on the World Wide Web that denotes that the file is a movie or video in QuickTime format.


Moving Pictures Expert Group. MPEG is an international standard for video compression and desktop movie presentation. You need a special viewing application to run the MPEG movies on your computer. MPEG II is a newer standard for broadcast-quality video.


Any presentation or software program that combines several media, such as graphics, sound, video, animation, and/or text.


The division of a single transmission medium into multiple logical channels supporting many apparently simultaneous sessions.


The capability of an operating system to handle multiple processing tasks, apparently,

Navigation Tools

Allows users to find their way around a website or multimedia presentation. They can be hypertext links, clickable buttons, icons, or image maps.


A form of online etiquette. This term refers to an informal code of conduct that governs what is generally considered to be the acceptable way for users to interact with one another online.


The chief priest of network operating systems.


Usually refers to a Local Area Network (LAN). This is a group of computers that are connected together to a shared software/data base. The remote computers are terminals or clients. The computer that stores the shared software and data is known as the server. Some software, particularly games, may be used and interacted with several other clients on the network. Usually each terminal may require a `client` version of the program.


A term often used to denote USENET news, a popular forum for discussion on the Internet.

New Server

A machine that contains a number of USENET newsgroups. Also referred to a NNTP server.


A discussion group, usually found on USENET news. Each group devotes its discussions to a specific topic.


A software program that lets you subscribe to newsgroups as well as read and post messages to them.


Network File System. A protocol developed by Sun Microsystems which allows a computer system to access files over a network as if they were on its local disks. This protocol has been incorporated in products by more than two hundred companies, and is now a de facto Internet standard.


Network Information Center. A organization that provides information, assistance and services to network users.


This DVD contains scenes of nudity and strong language.


Network Operations Center. A location from which the operation of a network or internet is monitored. Additionally, this center usually serves as a clearinghouse for connectivity problems and efforts to resolve those problems.


A computer that is attached to a network; sometimes called a host.


In the scanning context, this refers to random, incorrectly read pixel values, normally due to electrical interference or device instability.


Image compression without loss of quality.


National Science Foundation Network. The NSFNET is a high speed network of networks which is hierarchical in nature. At the highest level is a backbone network which spans the continental United States. Attached to that are mid-level networks and attached to the mid-levels are campus and local networks. NSFNET also has connections out of the U.S. to Canada, Mexico, Europe, and the Pacific Rim. The NSFNET is part of the Internet.


Generally used to describe an illustration or font file as being created by mathematical equations. Also see Bit-map.


Optical Character Recognition. A technology that lets you scan a printed page (with a scanner) and convert it into text document that you can edit in a word processor.

Offset Lithography

A high-volume, ink-based printing process, in which ink adhering to image areas of a lithographic plate is transferred (offset) to a blanket cylinder before being applied to paper or other substrate.


Actively connected to other computers or devices. You're on-line when you've logged on to a network, BBS, or on-line service. A device such as a printer is on-line when it's turned on and accessible to a computer. If you're not on-line then you're off-line.

Online Services

A commercial service that (for a price) provides goodies such as e-mail, discussion forums, tech support, software libraries, news, weather reports, stock prices, plane reservations, even electronic shopping malls. To access one, you need a modem. Popular on-line services include America Online, CompuServe, and Prodigy.

Operating System

Software that supervises and controls tasks on a computer.

Optical Resolution

In the scanning context, this refers to the number of truly separate readings taken from an original within a given distance, as opposed to the subsequent increase in resolution (but not detail) created by software interpolation.

Optical Video Disc

Compact discs which use lights to read information.


A device that may or not be required but is not included in the packaging of a unit but available at an additional cost. When buying a cassette deck, pre-recorded or blank cassette tapes are optional add-ons. A cassette deck requires these cassettes in order to play or record but, usually, does not come with them. Likewise, a television would require an antenna (or DSS or cable connection) to adequately receive broadcasted channels. These, however, are not included and are options as well


Open Systems Interconnection, a set of standard protocol grouped into seven layers: the physical, data link, network, transport, session, presentation, and application layers.


This DVD contains scenes of political issues.


Public Access Catalog. The SDSU University Library's on-line catalog which lists the books held here and the journals subscribed to (but not their contents. It also provides information on circulation status, books and journals ordered but not yet received, receipt of journal issues, and more.


The unit of data sent across a packet switching network. While some Internet literature use the term to refer specifically to data sent across a physical network, other literature views the Internet as a packet switching network and describes IP Datagrams as packets.


Data transmission process, utilizing addressed packets, whereby a channel is occupied only for the duration of the packet transmission. SDSUnet is a are packet-switching network.


The oldest and most limited Macintosh graphic file format, holding only black-and-white bit maps at 72 dpi. Paint files (file type PNTG) are limited to 8 by 10 inches.

Parrallel Cable/Parallel Port

The oldest and most limited Macintosh graphic file format, holding only black-and-white bit maps at 72 dpi. Paint files (file type PNTG) are limited to 8 by 10 inches.


A word, number, or symbol that is typed after a command to further specify how the command should function.


A check bit used to make the sum of the bits in a unit of data either even or odd (including the parity bit). A unit of data that is 8 bits long would have no parity, and a unit of data 7 bits long would have an even parity bit to make an 8 bit word. Parity is used to check a unit of data for errors during transmission through phone lines or null modem cables.


To insert information from the Clipboard. Information can be pasted multiple times.


A route used in finding, retrieving, and storing files on a disk. The course leading from the root directory of a drive to a particular file.


Abbreviation for Personal Computer. Also commonly referred as a desktop or notebook computer that uses a Microsoft-based operating system like MS-DOS or Windows. When we refer to PC we associate it with a personal computer running MS-DOS or Windows and running on an Intel (or compatible) central processor. In the broadest sense, however, even a Macintosh may merit cosideration as a PC.


This programme feature an uncompressed digital stereo soundtrack for improved fidelity. When played, discrete stereo sound will be heard from the right and front left speakers.(Pulse Code Modulation)


A standard format for credit-card-size expansion cards, used to add features to laptop computers, hand-held computers, and desktop computers. The acronym stands for Personal Computer Memory Card International Association.


Portable Document Format. A PDF file is an electronic facsimile of a printed document.


A network setup that allows every computer to both offer and access network resources, such as shared files, without requiring a centralized file server. Macintosh computers utilize this type of network setup.


The Pentium processor was developed by Intel to replace the i486 CPU. It is the central processing unit in most current personal computers that also use Microsoft`s Windows 95 operating system. It is capable of handling 32-bit processing applications to provide significant speed and performance. Pentium is trademarked by Intel. Other CPU manufacturer`s making similar chips call them 586 or Pentium Class. The number of the chip reflects processing speed in megahertz. Updated versions of the Pentium processor series include the Pentium-III and Mobile Pentium and Mobile Pentium III, which extend performance even further and faster than previous Pentium models. The Pentium Mobile processors offer a unique feature called SpeedStep. This allows you some latitude in adjusting the maximum speed of the processor so you can conserve battery power, when needed. The Pentium III also has added many new features that optimize Internet browsing

Pentium 4

The Pentium processor was developed by Intel to replace the i486 CPU. It is the central processing unit in most current personal computers that also use Microsoft`s Windows 95 operating system. It is capable of handling 32-bit processing applications to provide significant speed and performance. Pentium is trademarked by Intel. Other CPU manufacturer`s making similar chips call them 586 or Pentium Class. The number of the chip reflects processing speed in megahertz. Updated versions of the Pentium processor series include the Pentium-III and Mobile Pentium and Mobile Pentium III, which extend performance even further and faster than previous Pentium models. The Pentium Mobile processors offer a unique feature called SpeedStep. This allows you some latitude in adjusting the maximum speed of the processor so you can conserve battery power, when needed. The Pentium III also has added many new features that optimize Internet browsing


A piece of hardware that's outside the main computer. It usually refers to external hardware such as disk drives, printers, and scanners sold by a third party.


Practical Extraction and Reporting Language. A robust programming language frequently used for creating CGI programs on web servers.


This DVD requires Parental Guidance for younger viewers.


This DVD requires parental guidance for younger viewers due to strong language.


The standard macintosh graphic file format for animations. Essentially a collection of bit-mapped PICT images in sequential order, much like movie frames.


PICT is the standard macintosh graphic file format for graphics that are cut or copied to the Clipboard and for drawings that won't be output on PostScript printers. This format is ideal for on-screen presentations, but page layout programs sometimes have problems with PICT files. Files are sometimes called metafiles because they can contain both bit maps and QuickDraw-based objects.


Picture element. Digital images are composed of touching pixels, each having a specific color or tone. The eye merges differently colored pixels into continuous tones.

Pixel Skipping

A means of reducing image resolution by simply deleting pixels throughout the image.


A software compression utility for the PC. It allows you to compress or "zip" a file or a number of files into one archive file in the ZIP file format.


Extends the capabilities of a web browser, allowing the browser to run multimedia files.


Peak Music power output. PMPO is a poor measure of amplifier power output. It is a mostly arbitrary figure that can be easily manipulated to make an amplifier look better on paper than it really is. Always use RMS power (continuous power) when judging the power output of an amplifier. PMPO is different than peak power (music power). Peak power is related to RMS power by an amplifier`s headroom (dynamic headroom). A headroom of 3dB indicates a doubling of continuous power, so an amp with 3dB of headroom and a continuous (RMS) power rating of 100 watts could produce 200 watts of peak power. If its headroom were 6dB, it could produce 400 watts of peak power. Note, however, that most quality amplifiers do not have headroom values of greater than 3dB. A higher headroom value typically indicates a poor power supply that cannot provide sufficient power at normal levels of output. The PMPO term is not a reliable measure of amplifier performance.


Photomultiplier tube. The light sensing device generally used in drum scanners.

Polymer Rechargeable Cells

The Ultralife Polymer? Rechargeable Battery System combines high-energy chemistry with state-of-the-art polymer technology. Every battery component is solid . . . there are no liquids that need to be contained by bulky, heavy cell housings. The result is a powerful, safer, thin and lightweight rechargeable battery with a wide operating temperature range. And, like Ultralife`s Lithium-ion prismatic rechargeable cells, our Polymer cells do not exhibit a memory problem, meaning that they can be recharged at any state of charge without first having to be completely discharged. The Ultralife Polymer cell operates at an average voltage of 3.8 volts. This is desirable for single-cell applications like mobile and cellular phones. Cells can be configured in series or parallel to achieve optimum voltage, capacity, and rate capability for a given application. Cells can be configured in almost any prismatic shape, and can be made thinner than 0.039 inch (1 mm), to fill virtually any space efficiently


A server using the Post Office Protocol, which holds users' incoming e-mail until they read or download it.


One of several rendezvous points where TCP/IP connections can be made on a computer. Ports are numbered, with several locations reserved for specific types of network activity, such as telnet on port 23, HTTP traffic on port 80 and USENET news (NNTP) on port 119.


The conversion of continuous tone data into a series of visible tonal steps or bands.


Pixels per inch or pixels per centimeter. Units of measurement for scanned images.


Pixels per inch or pixels per centimeter. Units of measurement for scanned images.


Parameter RAM (pronounced pee-ram). A small portion of the Mac's RAM set aside to hold basic information such as the date and time, speaker volume, desktop pattern, and key-board and mouse settings. PRAM is powered by a battery, so it doesn't lose the settings when you shut down. Sometimes, however, the PRAM data gets corrupted, causing crashes or other problems.


Compaq`s Desktop/Minitower computer line geared to provide the ultimate features and value for the home and small business users

Primary Colour

A base color that is used to compose the other colors.

Process Ink COlours

CMYK pigments used in printing processes, chosen to produce the widest range of color mixtures.


The color characteristics of an input or output device, used by a CMS to ensure color fidelity.


Information about an object, including settings or options for that object. For example, you look at properties of a file for information such as the file size, file type, and file attributes.


When data is being transmitted between two or more devices something needs to govern the controls that keep this data intact. A formal description of message formats and the rules two computers must follow to exchange those messages. Protocols can describe low-level details of machine-to-machine interfaces (e.g., the order in which bits and bytes are sent across wire) or high-level exchanges between application programs (e.g., the way in which two programs transfer a file across the Internet).

Proxy ARP

A technique in which one machine, usually a gateway, answers ARP requests for another machine. By pretending to be the physical network location of another machine, the gateway takes over the responsibility of routing packets destined for the other machine. For instance, a gateway can proxy ARP for addresses that the gateway identifies as being off the local network and that the gateway has a route for. The originating computer receives the gateway's proxy ARP reply and sends the datagram on to the gateway, which routes the datagram to its actual destination network.


Packet Switch Node; a store-and-forward packet switch (formerly called an IMP).


Software that has no copyright or fee, which means you can copy, use, and even alter and sell it.

Quality Factor

A multiplication factor (between 1 and 2) applied to output screen ruling to calculate scanning resolution for optimum output quality. This is also known as the halftoning factor.

Quarter Tones

Tones between shadow and midtones are known as 3/4 tones and those between highlight and midtones are known as 1/4 tones.


The process by which a web client requests specific information from a web server, based on a character string that is passed along.


A file extension for videos or "movies" (like animations) compressed using their QuickTime format.


The name QWERTY for our typewriter keyboard comes from the first six letters in the top alphabet row(The one below the numbers). It is also called the Universal Keyboard. It was invented by C.L.Sholes who put together the prototypes of the first commercial typewriter back in the 1860`s. The keyboard arrangement was considered important enough to be included on Shole`s patent granted in 1878, some years after the machine was put into production. QWERTY`s effect sped up typing rather than slowing it down.


Random Access Memory. RAM is the most common type of computer memory, and it`s where the computer stores system software, programs, and data you are currently using. It`s formally called dynamic RAM (DRAM) because it`s volatile, that is, the contents are lost when you turn off the computer (or crash). It`s pronounced ram and measured in megabytes.


A synonym for grid. Sometimes used to refer to the grid of addressable positions in an output device.


Recorder element. The minimum distance between two recorded points (spots) in an imagesetter.

Remote System

Another computer on the Internet to which you connect. Interactions between computers are often described using the terms "local" and "remote" systems. The local system is your computer and the remote system is the other computer.


A term used to define image resolution instead of ppi. Res 12 indicates 12 pixels per millimeter.


An increase or reduction in the number of pixels in an imge, required to change its resolution without altering its size. See also down-sampling and interpolation.


In general, this refers to how sharp and clear an image looks on screen or on paper, and how much detail you can see. It's usually determined by the number of dots (or pixels) per square inch (the more there are, the higher the resolution) and is used to describe printers, monitors, and scanners.


Request For Comments; technical note series which began in 1969 describing DARPA and Internet research and development, particularly in the areas of protocol design and internetworking. Not all (in fact very few) RFCs describe Internet standards, but all Internet standards are written up as RFCs.


Red, green, and blue are the primary colors of light perceived by the eye.


Routing Information Protocol used by Berkeley UNIX systems to exchange routing information among a set of computers attached to a network. RIP packets are sent and received by a program called routed.


On-line catalog at UCSD for books and other material in the libraries at the University of California at San Diego.


Read-Only Memory. It's like software that's hard-wired into your computer - basic, permanent information that tells it things like how to load up the operating system when you turn it on.


A special purpose computer that attaches to two or more networks and routes packets from one network to the other. A router uses network layer addresses (such as IP Addresses) to determine if packets should be sent from one network to another. Routers send packets to other routers until they arrive at their final destination.


Rels (recorder elements) per inch. A measurement of the number of discrete steps that exposure units in imagesetting devices can make per inch.


Interface between Data Terminal Equipment (DTE) and Data Communications Equipment (DCE) employing Serial Binary Data Interchange, a standard set by the international standards organization - Consultative Committee on International Telegraphy and Telephony. The interface between a terminal to a modem for the transfer of serial data.


Rich Text Format. A file format for text files that includes formatting instructions. Also called Interchange Format.


This DVD contains sexually explicit scenes.


The process of converting analog data into digital data by taking a series of samples or readings at equal time intervals.


The extent to which one or two of the three RGB primaries predominate in a color. As quantities of RGB equalize, color becomes desaturated towards grey or white.


A device that converts images (such as photographs) into digital form so that they can be stored and manipulated on computers.

Screen Frequency

The number of rows or lines of dots in a halftone image within a given distance, normally stated in lines per inch (lpi) or lines per centimeter (lpm). A frequency of 200 lpi would only be used in high-quality printing.

Screen Ruling

Another term used for screen frequency.

Screen Saver

A moving picture or pattern that is displayed on the screen when no activity takes place for a specified period of time.


A type of program that consists of a set of instructions for another application or utility to use.

Scroll Bar

The bar that appears at the right side or the bottom of a window that contains more information that can be displayed. The scroll bar is used to scroll an object or parts of a document into view when the entire object or document does not fit in the window.


Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory (SDRAM) is suited for personal computers that employ fast processing speeds including bus speeds of 66MHz or greater. As bus speeds move to 100MHz and beyond, the older RAM chips were unable to acquire the processed data fast enough. SDRAM chips are designed to provide flawless memory efficiency for the emerging ultra-rapid processors and faster bus speeds. It is the memory of choice among current personal computer systems


San Diego State University Network. The backbone network that connects multiple buildings on the SDSU campus.

Search Engine

A type of software that creates indexes of databases or Internet sites based on the titles of files, key words, or the full text of files.

Second Original

High-quality, contone reproduction of an image, intended to be identical to the original.

Secondary Colour

Color obtained by mixing two primary colors. Although known as primary colorants, C,M, and Y are the secondary colors of light. Red plus green produce yellow, for example.

Serial Cable/Serial Port

A cable used to connect peripheral devices through a computer's serial port. Normally a 25-pin connector on each end, yet can be a 9-pin on one. A Serial Port can either be plugged into an expansion slot on the motherboard of your computer or built into the motherboard itself. Serial ports are used for such devices as printers, mice, and modems.


A computer that shares its resources, such as printers and files, with other computers on the network. An example of this is a Novell NetWare Server which shares its disk space with a workstation that does not have a disk drive of its own.

Service (NT Service)

A process that performs a specific function in Windows NT and can be called by various other programs. Windows NT provides tools to monitor and administer services.


The darkest area of an image.


Software that you can try before you buy. It's distributed through on-line services, BBSs, and user groups. You're allowed to try it out and give copies to others, but if you want to keep using it, you must pay the registration fee.


A set of programs that allow Macromedia Director animation files to be played over the internet with a web browser.


Organization or facility where a host is located.


Through negotiations with a vendor, a renewable fee has been paid to allow a fixed number of copies of copyrighted software at one site.


Serial Line Internet Protocol. A protocol used to run IP over serial lines, such as telephone circuits or RS-232 cables, interconnecting two systems.


This DVD contains sexually explicit scenes, stong language and violence.


Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. Internet standard protocol for transferring electronic mail messages from one computer to another. SMTP specifies how two mail systems interact and the format of control messages they exchange to transfer mail.


This DVD contains explicit sexual scenes and nudity.


Logical address of a communications access point to a specific device or program on a host.


Software relates to the instructions and data that is fed into the computer. Often referred to as a program, it contains all the instructions that are essential to carrying out a series of applications. Software is either manually entered via a keyboard or pre-written on a form of media (disk). If software, for example, is on a CD-ROM. The CD is hardware and requires other hardware to read it. The information that has been encoded onto the CD is the software.


Many computers have a sound card built-in that enables the computer to reproduce sounds. Usually speakers and/or headphones need to be used to listen to these sounds. The sound card is the processing device that enables sounds to be heard. Most sound cards are 16-bit stereo. Some computers have expansion slots that permit an upgrade to more advanced sound cards, as applicable.


Refers to the practice of blindly posting commercial messages or advertisements to a large number of unrelated and uninterested newsgroups.


Isolated light pixels in predominantly dark image areas, sometimes caused by incorrect readings or noise in the scanning device.

Spectral Highlight

A bright reflection from a light source containing little or no detail.


An extremely accurate color measurement device using a diffraction grating to split light into its components wavelengths, which are then measured by numerous light sensors.


A number-related document whereby calculations and formulas are applied to the data organized in rows and columns of cells.


Structured Query Language, a syntax used by many database systems to retrieve and modify information.


See Aliasing.

Start/Stop Bits

A start bit signals the start of a unit of data in asynchronous communications. A stop bit signals the stop of a unit of data. The unit can vary in length depending on the protocol.


Sound is divided into 2 channels (left and right) to help provide realism.

Subnet Address

An extension of the Internet addressing system that allows a site to subdivide a single Internet address to cover multiple physical networks. This is done by dividing up the host address part of an IP Address into a local network number and host address number.


The base material used to carry out or support an image, for example, paper or film.

Subtractive Primaries

Another term for primary colorants.


Special form of speaker used to reproduce only the lower portion of the audible frequency spectrum usually from 80 Hz down to or below 20 Hz. True subwoofers should be able to play useful audible information down close to 20 Hz (the lower limit of human hearing). Most subwoofers feature one or more speaker drivers measuring ten or more inches in diameter (with powerful subwoofers often using drivers of a minimum twelve inches in diameter).


The capture of more grey levels per color than is required for image manipulation or output. This additional data allows shadow details to be heightened, for example.


This DVD contains explicit sexual scenes and strong language.

Syntax Error

Occurs when a user (or programmer) has put words in an order that a program does not understand.


An AT&T term for a digital carrier facility used to transmit a DS-1 formatted digital signal at 1.544 megabits per second.


A term for a digital carrier facility used to transmit


Formatting codes used in HTML documents. These tags indicate how the parts of a document will appear when displayed by a Web client program.


An area that runs across the bottom (usually) of the Windows 95 desktop. Running applications are represented as buttons on the taskbar, the current window is shown as a depressed button, all other applications are displayed as raised buttons.


Transmission Control Protocol. This is a transport layer protocol that establishes a reliable, full duplex, data delivery service used by many TCP/IP application programs. The TCP software uses the IP protocol to transmit information across the Internet.


Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. A set of protocols, resulting from ARPA efforts, used by the Internet to support services such as remote login (TELNET), file transfer (FTP) and mail (SMTP).


The Internet standard protocol for remote login (terminal connection) service. TELNET allows a user at one site to interact with a remote timesharing system at another site as if the user's terminal were connected directly to the remote computer.


Communication device that lets a user send information to a computer by typing on a keyboard, and prints responses from the computer on paper or a screen.

Terminal Mode

Many communications programs allow you to mimic a computer terminal, which is basically a keyboard and CRT display and/or a printer. A common terminal mode emulator is VT-100.

Terminal Ready (TR)

This light is illuminated when your computer has turned on the RS-232 (serial) interface. Sometimes this light will not come on until you have loaded your communications software into memory.

Terminal Server

A small, specialized, networked computer that connects many terminals to a LAN through one network connection. A terminal server can also connect network users to asynchronous ports or a host.

Thermal Wax Transfer

A printing process using small heating elements to melt dots of wax pigment on a carrier film, which are then transferred to paper or transparent film by contact. This differs from the dye sublimation process in that individual dots do not fuse together, so thermal wax transfer appears to be of a lower resolution.


In the context of Windows NT, a thread is sometimes used to refer to an NT service. Threading also refers to a low-level system architecture concept used in some multitasking operating systems.


The point at which an action begins or changes. The threshold setting used in scanning line art determines which pixels are converted to black and which will become white. The threshold defined in the USM process determines how large a tonal contrast must be before sharpening will be applied to it.


Tag Image File Format. A graphic file format, TIFF files are also bit maps, but they can be any size, resolution, or color depth. It is the most versatile, reliable, and widely supported bit-mapped format and is the standard format for saving scanned images. However, the format does have several variations which means that occasionally an application may have trouble opening a TIFF file created by another program.

Title Bar

The horizontal bar at the top of a window. The title bar shows the name of the window.

Tone Curves

Also known as gamma curves. These are used to smoothly adjust the overall tonal range of an image, or the individual tonal ranges of each color channel.


A collection of buttons that typically make the more common tools for an application easily accessible.

Transmeta Crusoe Processor

Transmeta's premier product is the Crusoe processor. It is a revolutionary x86-compatible family of solutions specially designed for the handheld and lightweight mobile computing market. The high-performance Crusoe processor consumes 60 to 70 percent less power and runs much cooler than competing chips, by transferring the most complex part of a processor's job ? determining what instructions to execute and when ? to software in a process called Code Morphing. Because it enables a battery charge to last twice as long, this technology allows all-day computing. What makes the Crusoe processor ideal for Internet devices and the ultra-light mobile PC category? Check out these features: • Remarkably low power consumption, allowing the processor to run cooler than conventional chips. • Battery life is extended up to a whole day. • High performance, optimized for real-life usage patterns. Crusoe delivers, whether you're browsing the web, watching a DVD, or recalculating your spreadsheet. x86 compatibility, so you are free to run the applications and Internet plug-ins of your choice. How did we do it? Revolutionary technology. The Crusoe smart processor is a flexible and efficient hardware-software hybrid that replaces millions of power-hungry transistors with software. Ultra-light mobile PCs and Internet devices made with Crusoe processors will be among the lightest, fastest, and coolest on the market


Terminate and Stay Resident.


A database of book reviews, magazines, and articles, including FAX article delivery. It provides table of contents information for over 14,000 journals in all disciplines held by the libraries in the Colorado Academic and Research Libraries consortium and provides on-line access to ERIC, at education database. Coverage for most journals begins with 1989.


A version of the UNIX operating system adapted for CRAY computers.


An operating system developed by Bell Laboratories that supports multiuser and multitasking operations.


Send a file to another computer using a modem.


Uninterruptible Power Supply. A unit that switches to battery power whenever the power cuts out.


Uniform Resource Identifier, a string of characters that represents the location or address of a resource on the Internet and how that resource should be accessed. A URI is a superset of the Uniform Resource Locator.


Uniform Resource Locator, a string of characters that represents the location or address of a resource on the Internet and how that resource should be accessed. World Wide Web pages are assigned a unique URL. Each hyperlink on a web page contains the URL of the page to be linked to. is the URL for this page.


The Universal Serial Bus (USB) is commonly found on most PC Pentium computers that use Windows98 as an operating system. It is beginning to be found on several peripherals especially monitors. The basic concept behind USB was to establish a universal connecting port among PC components that would help take advantage of the faster processing capabilities. It can now be found on the Apple iMac computer and Macintosh G3 computers (released in 1999). With true "hot-pluggability", the USB port provides convenient "Plug-and-Play" at remarkably fast data transfer rates. With additional pass-through connectors, many USB peripherals may be connected to one port


A network of newsgroups. There are thousands of newsgroups available through USENET. Each one covers a specific topic or subject area.


In its most general term, a user is anyone who uses a device to pursue a particular purpose. Any person who uses a computer or runs an application through a computer is a user. Any person who watches TV or plays a stereo is also a user

User ID

The string of characters that identifies you. The name by which you are known to the network. Also known as username.


Unsharp masking. A process used to sharpen images.


UNIX-to-UNIX Copy Program. This was initially a program run under the UNIX operating system that allowed one UNIX system to send files to another UNIX system via dial-up phone lines. Today, the term is more commonly used to describe the large international network which uses the UUCP protocol to pass news and electronic mail.


This DVD contains scenes of violence.


V90 is a compression standard for 56K internet downloads via modem. Originally there were 2 different standards: 56Kx2 and 56Kflex. Each required separate compatibility from an Internet Service Provider. V90 has been introduced to create uniformity. It also behaves as a compression standard for Internet downloads for improved real-time performance. It is backward compatible to work with older systems.


Very East Rodent-Oriented Net-wide Index to Computerized Archies. An index searcher of Gopher repositories. Searches are based on keyword criteria to help users find Gopher-based information without doing a menu-by-menu, site-by-site search.


Video relates to visual playback on a television (TV) or display on a monitor. A TV broadcast signal consists of sound (audio) and image (video). A TV has specific circuitry that allows the capture of these signals for playback. The audio signal is delivered to the speaker and the video signal is delivered to the visual screen. Audio and Video signals can be recorded for later playback. In order to do this, you need a Videocassette Recorder (VCR) or a DVD Player (or DVD Recorder/Player). To record live-action audio and video, there are camcorders, which integrate a camera and recorder in one compact unit. The term A/V represents audio and video. Using A/V in computers has been the basis of the term multimedia - combining audio and video into presentations and creative works. Video can also be transferred to and from the Internet. This is called Video Streaming. While a movie is among the most common uses for video production, video is an electronic system and a movie is a film-based system. A movie can be easily sent as a video signal but a video signal is not likely to be projected on the large screen of a movie theater


A 12-inch disk that's similar to an audio CD but holds visual images (such as high-quality movies) as well as music. Also called a laserdisc.


A program that replicates itself from one file or disk to another without your consent. They are spread through floppy disks, networks, and on-line services and can go undetected (unless you have an antiviral utility) until something goes wrong. Some viruses deliberately destroy data, and even those designed to be benign can cause crashes, slowdowns, and file corruption.


This DVD contains scenes of violence and strong language.


Digital Equipment Corporation proprietary operating system which runs on the VAX series of machines.


Video On Demand.


Video On Demand.


This DVD contains scenes of violence and political issues.


RAM-type memory exclusively devoted to video processing and video output. Helps influence amount of colors displayed on screen within a particular resolution setting.


Wide Area Information Server. WAIS is best at searches for various sources of academic information that has been indexed based on content. Its indexes consist of every word in a document and each word carries the same weight in a search.


A graphical pattern displayed on the desktop.

Web Browser

Also known as a Web client program, this software allows you to access and view HTML documents. Netscape, Mosaic, Lynx, WinWeb, and MacWeb are some examples of Web browsers.

Web Page

A document created with HTML that is part of a group of hypertext documents or resources available on the World Wide Web.

Web Walking

Using a Web client program to move through the documents available on the World Wide Web. This casual browsing nature of navigating the WWW has also been referred to as strolling, crawling and jumping.


A person or group of people who maintain and administer a web server. Webmaster also refers to a standard Email address at most web hosts where comments and questions can be sent.

White Point

A movable reference point that defines the lightest area in an image, causing all other areas to be adjusted accordingly.


An Internet program which allows users to query databases of people and other Internet entities, such as domains, networks, and hosts. The information for people generally shows a person's company name, address, phone number and email address.

Wide Area Network (WAN)

Network spanning multiple geographic distances, usually connected by telephone lines, microwave, or satellite links.


A character (usually * or ?) that can stand for one or more unknown characters during a search.


Microsoft`s response to the need for easier system access for the non-technical user. It employs a Graphic User Interface (GUI) which allows the user to choose applications and commands using a Mouse or comparable pointing device. The user would merely need to point to an icon (representative image) to click-on an application or command. There are also pull-down menus with commands categorically arranged. Dialog boxes offer users more refined selections and warn users of possible errors.


Microsoft`s Windows Millennium Edition was introduced around September 2000. As Windows 2000 was introduced earlier as a powerful operating system geared to improve performance with business applications, Windows Millenium Edition (popularly referred as `Me`) has been expressly designed for PC use at home. It offers improved power to manage digital photos and music, work with video, create a home network, and communicate with friends and relatives around the world. It includes many wizards, tutorials, and a newly developed `Help Center` to help simplify use of your computer while integrating system safeguards to help assure that things keep running smoothly. It also helps home users create a home network system, where members of the family can share information and peripherals. There are several important new Internet features that help speed browsing and e-mail. You`ll even be able to send Instant Messages, to friends on the web. `Me` will start showing up as the operating system on many home computer models that are being introduced at the end of 2000. It certainly is a great way to begin computing in this new millennium


A word is a group of letters assembled to represent an object or an idea. A series of words can create a phrase, sentence, paragraph, story and so on. It is one of the fundamental aspects of communication. A word processor is software that allows a computer to type words and the user to manipulate and edit the documents that are created. Among many word-processors that are available for use by Windows-based or Macintosh computers, Microsoft`s `Word" is a very popular word processing program

Word Processing

Entering, editing and formatting text with the use of spelling checkers, outlining, tables, footnotes, and tables of contents.


A networked personal computing device with more power than a standard IBM PC or Macintosh. Typically, a workstation has an operating system such as UNIX that is capable of running several tasks at the same time. It has several megabytes of memory and a large high-resolution display.


World Wide Web or W3 is the hypermedia document presentation system that can be accessed over the Internet using software called a Web browser.


What you see is what you get. The image you see on the screen matches what will print on paper. Pronounced wizzy-wig.


A data communications interface specification developed to describe how data passes into and out of public data communications networks. The CCITT and ISO approved protocol suite defines protocol layers 1 through 3.


Compressed version of a program or document.