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Word Explanation
forms

Sections of a WWW page that can be used to interact with the Web site by entering information either through typing in text, selecting one of a number of radio buttons, selecting from a scrollable list, or clicking in a checkbox. To use forms on a Web site, a browser that supports forms is needed, such as the current version of Netscape or Internet Explorer.

Favorites

A feature in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser that enables the user to record URLs that will be frequently used by adding them to a special menu. The equivalent in Netscape Navigator is Bookmarks. Once an URL is on the list, it is easy to return to that web page simply by clicking on the link in the list, rather than retyping the entire URL.

hardware platform

The CPU family which is the basis for a particular machine. Each hardware platform has its own machine language, and all software used by it must use that language. Some examples of hardware platforms are: x86 (Intel CPU: used by PCs); 680x0 (Motorola CPU: used by Macs); PowerPC (Apple, IBM, Motorola CPU: used in PowerMacs); VAX (Digital minicomputers); S/370 (IBM mainframes); Unisys (Unisys mainframes); SPARC (Sun); CDC (CDC mainframes and midrange computers); PA-RISC (HP workstations and minicomputers).

intelligent modem

A modem that has a command state in which it can be programmed, and an online state in which it performs automatic functions such as dialing, answering the phone, handshaking, and transmitting and receiving communications. The first intelligent modem was the Hayes Smartmodem from Hayes Microcomputer Products, Inc. The commands used by Hayes modems became an industry standard and are now used by many other modems.

HTML validation

Bringing an HTML-coded page into compliance with established HTML standards. There are a number of validation sites on the Internet that provide the service of checking an HTML page and identifying any problems. The reason for validating an HTML page is to make sure it can be read by the different browsers that are in use.

leadless chip carrier

(LCC or LLCC). A square chip package with flat contacts, instead of pin connectors, on each side. The leadless chip carrier is easier for the user to install than the leaded chip carrier. The user puts it into a specially designed socket and closes a clamp to establish its connections.

Honeywell

Originally, a manufacturer of temperature control devices. Honeywell's Information Systems division became one of the first major computer companies in the United States, producing advanced, high-performance computers. Honeywell took over General Electric computers, then later was taken over by Bull to become part of Bull HN.

Hollerith machine

The earliest automatic data processing system, developed by Herman Hollerith. The Hollerith machine was used to count the United States 1890 census. The data was recorded on hand-punched cards and counted by means of a tabulating machine.

hook

A feature of software or hardware that is included in order to provide for future expansion. In programming, for example, a hook may be instructed to call an outside routine, or may allow for entry of a variable. The more hooks, the more the product allows for additions or changes.

leaf
  1. In a hierarchical file system, a file on the lowest level. The hierarchical file system is described as a tree with a descending system of directories similar to roots, branches, and leaves. 2. The last node of a tree in database management. 3. A sheet of paper in a document; each side of the leaf is a page.
latency
  1. The time lag between the beginning of a request for data and the moment it begins to be received. 2. When reading data from memory, the number of processor cycles per bit delivered. 3. The time necessary for a packet of data to travel across a network. 4. The time it takes for the light emitted from a phosphor on a display screen to dim.
lexical analysis

The first stage of processing a computer language, in which a lexical analyzer reads the input and groups characters into lexemes (elemental units of language), which are then sent on to the parser.

literate programming

A programming method in which explanatory text accompanies the instructions in the computer programming language. The computer instructions may be marked to separate them from the text instructions, whereas in most programs it is the text comments that are marked.

Chromeffects

Add-on technology to Windows 98 that uses eXtensible Markup Language (XML) tags to describe ads or 3-D graphics, or to indicate to the client computer how to create animation locally, rather than sending all the information over the Internet. This technology can help speed up multimedia content transmitted over the Internet.

Autonomic Computing

A term coined by IBM to describe their vision about the future direction of computing. Analogizing it to the autonomic functions that take place in a human's central nervous system, autonomic computing would be comprised of networks that are "self managing, self diagnostic, and transparent to the user." IBM sees it as a paradigm shift in thought, as computers would be defined less by computational speed, and more by the ability to access information.

Meta tag

An identifying tag for HTML or XML documents that can be viewed in HTML or XML source. The tag allows information such as keywords that identify content, the author's name and other descriptive details.

Special Interest Group

(SIG). A subdivision of a computer user group or other organization that meets to share information about an area of special interest. For example, SIGGRAPH is the special interest group of the Association of Computing Machinery that addresses computer graphics.

single in-line memory module

(SIMM). A slim circuit board that holds Random Access Memory (RAM) chips. SIMMs can be plugged into sockets on the computer's motherboard to add memory to the computer. Depending on the computer, SIMMs may need to be installed in multiples of two or four.

Mac

A brand name and registered trademark for a line of computers from Apple Inc.

simulation

Creating a mathematical model of a real system, to see how the system works and, by changing variables, make predictions about how the system will change. For example, a mathematical simulation of an insect population and its habitat could include such variables as available food supply, natural predators, and rainfall. Changing one of the variables in the simulation would show how the population is affected when that variable changes in the real system. See also real-time simulation.

Simple Network Management Protocol

(SNMP). The Internet standard protocol for network management software. Using SNMP, programs called agents monitor various devices on the network (hubs, routers, bridges, etc.). Another program collects the data from the agents. The database created by the monitoring operations is called a management information base (MIB). This data is used to check if all devices on the network are operating properly.

single-density

(SD). The first generation of floppy disks are now called single-density, in comparison with the double-density disks which came out later. Single-density 5.25" floppies have a 180k capacity. The 3.5" floppies are 360k DOS, 400k Mac. The single-density format is now obsolete.

Stuffit

A Macintosh file compression utility from Aladdin Systems, available as shareware. Mac files downloaded from the Internet often are in Stuffit format, and can be decompressed with Stuffit Expander.

SCSI

Small Computer Systems Interface. (Pronounced "scuzzy".) A high-speed interface that can connect to a computer devices such as hard drives, CD-ROM drives, floppy drives, tape drives, scanners, and printers. It was developed by Shugart Associates (now called Seagate). SCSI can connect up to seven devices; each one is given an identification number from 0 to 7, which is set with a manual switch. Newer versions of SCSI can connect up to 15 devices. The SCSI cable transfers eight bits at a time, in parallel.

Smartdrive

A DOS and Windows disk cache program from Microsoft. Typing SMARTDRV /S at the DOS prompt will display cache size and percentage of cache hits. The SMARTDRV line in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file can be used to set cache size.

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