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form) - the beginnings of the Internet. In 1969, the DOD established four nodes outside the military; at UC Santa Barbara and UCLA, SRI International, and the University of Utah. For a nice timeline history of the Internet with lots of acronyms, see Robert H Zakon's page at the Internet Society web site.
characters as numbers so computers can understand them. For example, the upper case letter "A" is 65, which to a computer looks like this - 1000001 - (computers only "understand" 0's and 1's, which is the binary numbering system.) The lower case letter "a" is 97, which is 1100001 in binary.
AFAIRChat Room Acronym; As Far As I Recall.
ATTYChat Room Acronym; AThousand Thank Yous.
AWGTHTGTWTAChat Room Acronym; Are We Going To Have To Go Through With This Again? It often shows up
passive matrix display. The most common type of active matrix display is a TFT (or "thin filmtransistor") display, in which
every LCD pixel is controlled by as many as four tiny transistors. The most important thing to know about an active
matrix display is that it remains sharp and viewable from
almost any angle--much like the display on a desktop computer
specified circumstances or events, runs all by itself and performs tasks for you. Your e-mail program, for example, might have an agent (or let you create one) that automatically deletes month-old messages or alerts you when you receive a message from a particular person. Server-side agents are agents that run on a network server and automate network administration tasks.
human brain--specifically, to solve problems by learning and reasoning. Originally, in the early 1950s, AI was called
"computer intelligence," which you have to admit is a much more accurate term; interestingly, it was an MIT professor,
and not a marketing weenie, who renamed it artificial intelligence in 1956. AI is still a ways from replacing human brains,
but as Deep Blue's victory of Gary Kasparov demonstrated, it can sure play a mean game of chess.
tell the operating system to perform some task. The Windows API consists of more than 1,000 functions that programs written in C, C++, Pascal, and other languages can call to create windows, open files, and perform other essential tasks. An application that wants to display an on-screen message can call Windows'MessageBox API function, for example.
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) describing how characters can be represented on a computer. The ASCII character set consists of 128 characters numbered from 0 to 127 and includes numerals, punctuation symbols, letters, and special control codes such as end-of-line characters. The letter A, for example, is represented by the number 65. Most personal computers use some form of the ASCII character set. (One exception: computers running Windows NT, which uses the newer and more expansive Unicode character set.)
manufacturers, that defines the IDE drive interface. AT refers to the IBM PC/AT personal computer and its bus
architecture. IDE drives are sometimes referred to as ATA drives or AT bus drives. The newer ATA-2 specification
defines the EIDE interface, which improves upon the IDE standard. See alsoIDE andEIDE.
bootstrap the operating system (which means it loads part of it from disk and then the part loaded looks after the rest)
and to manage the system hardware such as the disk drives and the communication ports. ABIOS was the version used
in the IBM PS/2 type computers which used the OS/2 operating system. The OS/2 system, unlike DOS, doesn't require
the BIOS to manage the system hardware, but the BIOS is retained for compatibility when running DOS programs.
and cheaper to upgrade as technology changes. The idea is to put the main components such as the microprocessor onto a circuit board which plugs into a "backplane bus". This consists of a set of connectors on a circuit board. Unused connectors or "slots" are available for other boards such as modems, sound boards and so on. Updating the technology should then simply be a matter of changing the microprocessor board, rather than exchanging the whole system.
technologies: bipolar transistors (for high speed) and CMOS transistors (for low power consumption) -- thus getting the best of both types. These logic chips are used with the latest 16- and 32-bit microprocessors which operate at such high speeds that traditional logic chips would not be suitable.
ACT Advanced CMOS with TTL inputs. A version of the AC logic chips allows easy connection to TTL logic chips.
A/D Analog to Digital converter.
ADC Analog to digital converter. In the "real world", quantities such as temperature, sound pressure, light intensity and
so on have values which are continuously variable -- these are called analogue quantities. A digital computer, however, requires its information in digital form -- as 1s and 0s. It is the job of the ADC to convert the one sort of information into the other. For example, temperature information can be given to a computer as follows: a therocouple will produce a small output voltage which is proportional to the temperature it senses. This voltage can then be amplified and fed to the ADC unit. The ADC ouputs a digital code (8 bits, for example) whose value is proportional to the size of its analog input. This code can now be used by the computer. To convert music to CD-quality digital form, it is turned into a 16-bit code (called a sample) 44 100 times per second.
sound output quality. They use sound stored in digital form. One method for producing sound in this form is PCM. The
sound amplitude is frequently sampled by a circuit called an analog to digital converter (ADC), each sample being
represented by, say, a 12-bit code. PCM works out the code for each sample "from scratch" each time. ADPCM uses a
more efficient coding method which notes the difference in sound amplitude between one sample and the next.AFTP
Anonymous File Transfer Protocol. Many remote sites (computers) on the Internet allow you to copy files from them
specialist chip that updates the display) fast access to the system memory chips. This isparticularly important when
complex displays -- such as 3D scens which occupy large lumps of memory -- need to be updated without cloggin up the
existing system buses.
Amstrad Alan Michael Sugar Trading
ANSI American National Standards Institute.
A/N Alpha/Numeric -- literally letters and numbers. used to describe keyboards and displays.
AOL America Online. A company which offers subscribers a connection to the Internet.
APA All Points Addressable. used to describe computer display sytems where each picture element (pixel) may be
minicomputers by Dick Pick in the late 1960s) which will run on a PC using the normal DOS directory structure for
storing files, rather than having to use a specially reserved section of the hard disk. Pick has a built-in database, virtual
memory (VM) management and is easy to use.
piece of system hardware (such as a graphics or sounds card) and the application software that is using it. It allows applications to be developed which are not dependant upon the particular hardware used -- the device manufacturer providing the final "driver" routines.
ARLL Advanced Run Length Limited. A method of squeezing data onto a hard disk. Also known as ERLL.
ARM Acorn RISC machine. Acorn's RISC microprocessor, as used in the Archimedes computer.
Arpanet Advanced Research Projects Agency network. This is an American computer network installed to link together
purpose. The idea is that one ASIC might replace several other chips in a system and hence lower the manufacturing
costs. At one time this would only have been economical with very large production quantities, but now specialist
software is available to assist with design, and a number of cheaper, "semi-custom" methods are also available.
of connecting peripherals such as tape drives and CD-ROMs to a computer. ASPI is an "open" standard (people don't have to pay for the privilege of adopting it) to encourage software developers to adopt a similar approach to the control of SCSI hardware so that compatibility can exist across products from different manufacturers.
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