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There are 300 names in this directory beginning with the letter R.
R:BASE

A relational DBMS from Microrim, Inc., Bellevue, Washington.

RACF

Resource Access Control Facility. A large system security program for IBM mainframes that checks passwords and prevents unauthorized users from accessing files.

rack

A frame or cabinet for mounting computer components.

rack mounted

Built to fit into a metal rack. Some computer components are rack mounted units.

RAD

Rapid Application Development. A way of developing a system by completing a working part, implementing it, and adding more working parts every few months, instead of waiting to finish the entire project before putting the system into use. Otherwise, changes take place so fast in the computer industry that an application can be obsolete by the time it is implemented. Development tools such as visual programming and computer-assisted software engineering help with Rapid Application Development.

RAD tool

Rapid Application Development tool. Software that speeds up the development of applications.

radio

Wireless transmission of electric signals by way of electromagnetic waves, including the use of electromagnetic waves to transmit electric impulses that carry converted sound signals.

radio buttons

A group of buttons on the computer screen of which only one
can be selected at a time (by clicking on it). Radio buttons are used a lot with interactive forms on World Wide Web pages.

radio frequency

(RF). Electromagnetic frequencies in the range extending from below 3 kiloherz to 300 gigahertz, which includes radio and television transmission. These frequencies are above audio signals and below the frequencies of visible light.

radio frequency interference

(RFI). Interference from high-frequency electromagnetic waves emanating from electronic devices.

radio-frequency fingerprinting

An electronic fingerprint that makes it possible to identify a wireless handset by its unique radio transmission characteristics.

radiosity

A more accurate but also more process-intensive technique than raytracing, that calculates patterns of light and shadow for rendering graphics images from three-dimensional models.

radiotelephone

A device that sends telephone signals without wires, by means of radio waves.

radix

1. The base of a system of numbers; decimal numbers are radix ten, binary numbers are radix two, and hexadecimal numbers are radix sixteen. 2. The positive integer by which the value of one digit place must be multiplied to give the value of the next higher digit place; for example, in a decimal system, each digit place is multiplied by 10 to arrive at the value of the next higher digit place, so the radix is 10.

ragged left

Text in which the left margin is not aligned.

ragged right

Text in which the right margin is not aligned.

RAID

Redundant Arrays of Independent Disks (Originally “Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks”). The use of two or more disk drives instead of one disk, which provides better disk performance, error recovery, and fault tolerance, and includes interleaved storage techniques and mirroring of important data. This approach was developed by a research project at the University of California, Berkeley.

RAID

Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks. Comes in different levels 0,1,0+1,5, etc.

RAIDmark

A benchmark program by DynaTek Automation Systems Inc., that measures the performance of RAID arrays. RAIDmark measures cache size, system overhead, and application-level performance. There are MS-DOS and Novell versions.

RAM

Random Access Memory. The working memory of the computer. RAM is the memory used for storing data temporarily while working on it, running application programs, etc. “Random access” refers to the fact that any area of RAM can be accessed directly and immediately, in contrast to other media such as a magnetic tape where the tape must be wound to the point where the data is. RAM is called volatile memory; information in RAM will disappear if the power is switched off before it is saved to disk. There is also a form of non-volatile RAM, which must be continually energized by a battery to maintain its content. The most common form of RAM is built from semiconductor integrated circuits.

RAM cache

Random Access Memory cache. Extremely fast memory chips that help the computer to operate faster by temporarily storing frequently-accessed or recently-accessed data. Internal cache (L1) is built into the CPU; external cache (L2) is on the motherboard. When the CPU needs data, it first checks the internal cache, which is the fastest source. If the data is not there, it checks the external cache. If the data still is not found, a search of the slower RAM must be made.

RAM disk

Random Access Memory disk. A program which simulates a hard disk drive, using part of the computer's random access memory, for fast processing of data. Files can be copied into the RAM disk and edited. The RAM disk can not store files permanently; the updates must be written to the hard disk or floppy disk before the power is turned off.

RAM refresh

Random Access Memory refresh. The recharging of dynamic RAM chips, which must be refreshed hundreds of times a second in order to hold their content.

Rambus DRAM

Rambus Dynamic Random Access Memory. A high-bandwidth, high-speed DRAM from Rambus Inc. of Mountain View, California, used mainly for video accelerators.

Rambus Inc.

The Mountain View, California, company which developed Rambus DRAM.

RAMDAC

Random Access Memory Digital-to-Analog Converter. A chip that stores the color palette and converts digital information into analog signals to a color monitor. It has three analog-to-digital converters and a static RAM for storing the color palette. Each color is composed of three values representing red, green, and blue, which together make up the chosen color. Each of the three values is fed to one of the digital-to-analog converter, and the output from these three goes to the monitor to make the final color.

RAMIS

Rapid Access Management Information System. Database software from On-Line Software International.

random access

A way of storing and retrieving information in which all information locations are immediately available. For example, on a music CD any song can be selected and played randomly. A music tape, by contrast, has sequential access; to get to a particular song it is necessary to wind the tape past all the other songs before it.

random access memory

(RAM). The working memory of the computer. RAM is the memory used for storing data temporarily while working on it, running application programs, etc. “Random access” refers to the fact that any area of RAM can be accessed directly and immediately, in contrast to other media such as a magnetic tape where the tape must be wound to the point where the data is. RAM is called volatile memory; information in RAM will disappear if the power is switched off before it is saved to disk. There is also a form of non-volatile RAM, which must be continually energized by a battery to maintain its content. The most common form of RAM is built from semiconductor integrated circuits.

random access memory digital-to-analog c

(RAMDAC). A chip that stores the color palette and converts digital information into analog signals to a color monitor. It has three analog-to-digital converters and a static RAM for storing the color palette. Each color is composed of three values representing red, green, and blue, which together make up the chosen color. Each of the three values is fed to one of the digital-to-analog converter, and the output from these three goes to the monitor to make the final color.

random number generator

A software routine that generates random numbers.

ransom note typography

The use of many different fonts on a page. The expression comes from ransom notes in which the letters are cut out of newspapers and pasted together. Using too many fonts makes a page too busy, and looks unprofessional, unless the ransom note look is being used intentionally for a special effect.

Rapid Access Management Information Syst

(RAMIS). Database software from On-Line Software International.

Rapid Application Development

(RAD). A way of developing a system by completing a working part, implementing it, and adding more working parts every few months, instead of waiting to finish the entire project before putting the system into use. Otherwise, changes take place so fast in the computer industry that an application can be obsolete by the time it is implemented. Development tools such as visual programming and computer-assisted software engineering help with Rapid Application Development.

rapid prototyping

Creating a quick prototype of a software project for demonstration purposes, which can be refined later.

RARE

European Association of Research Networks. See TERENA.

RARP

Reverse Address Resolution Protocol. The opposite of Address Resolution Protocol (ARP). RARP uses a computer's hardware address to find its Internet address. It is mainly used by diskless workstations.

raster

1. The scan pattern on a display screen, in which the area is scanned from side to side in horizontal lines and from top to bottom by an electron beam. 2. A bitmapped graphic.

raster burn

1. Eyestrain from staring at a computer screen for too long; this can happen sooner with a poor quality display or have a glare on the screen. 2. Damage to a computer screen caused by leaving it on for long hours without a screen saver.

raster display

A display such as the computer screen or television screen, in which the images are formed by a scanning electron beam that moves in horizontal lines from side to side and top to bottom of the screen. The images on a raster display are made up of many tiny dots.

raster font

A bitmapped font. A font in which each character is formed from pixels arranged to make the shape of the character. Such an arrangement of pixels is called a bitmap.

raster graphics

Bitmapped graphics; computer graphics in which the image is made up of tiny dots, called pixels.

raster image processor

(RIP). Hardware, software, or both which prepares images for output in rasterized format on the computer screen or printer.

raster pattern generator

(RPG). The set of electronic circuits that convert raster patterns into bit patterns.

rasterize

To convert images into raster (bitmap) form for display or printing. Vector graphics, and vector and outline fonts must be rasterized for printing or display; all output of a display screen or printer is in raster format.

rational number

A real number that can be expressed as the quotient of an integer divided by a nonzero integer.

raw data

Unprocessed data.

raw mode

A mode that allows a computer to input or output raw data.

ray tracing

Using the computer to create a realistic graphic image by calculating the paths taken by rays of light hitting the object from various angles, thus creating reflections and shadows which give the image a three-dimensional look.

RBOC

Regional Bell Operating Company. One of seven regional telephone companies created by the divestiture of AT&T in 1984. Each of them owns two or more local telephone companies called Bell Operating Companies (BOCs). The original RBOCs were Ameritech, Bell Atlantic, BellSouth, Nynex, Pacific Telesis, SBC Communications, and U.S. West. Later SBC Communications became Southwestern Bell.

rcp

Remote copy. A UNIX utility that copies files over an Ethernet.

RD

Receiving Data. A modem status signal indicated by a flickering light on the modem, which means the local modem is receiving data from a remote computer.

rdb

A UNIX program that can be used to create a database or spreadsheet.

RDBMS

Relational Database Management System. A system for database management of a relational database. See relational database and database management system (DBMS).

RDF

Resource Description Framework. A specification being developed by the W3C to provide an infrastructure to support metadata on the Internet and WWW. For example, using RDF, data about a Web page could be divided into a main subject, secondary subjects, date of creation, name of author, etc. Putting this data into fields (which can be indicated by XML tags) would allow search engines to do smarter searches. A search engine could find, for example, all documents written by a particular author before a given date, on a specific subject. RDF does not specify names for the fields, but defines the syntax for how different fields relate to Web pages and to one another. Other examples of how RDF could be used include sitemaps, content ratings, digital libraries, and distributed authoring.

rdram

Rambus Ram

rdram

Rambus Ram

read

To input data from a storage device, a data medium, or any other source.

read cycle

The cycle in which data is read from memory.

read error

A failure to read data properly.

read news

(rn). A newsreader for an Internet newsgroup.

read only

Able to be read but not changed. A read only file or disk can be read but not edited. For example, read only memory (ROM) or CD-ROM.

read-only memory

(ROM). Memory that can be read but not changed. Read-only memory is non-volatile storage; it holds its contents even when the power is turned off. Data is placed in ROM only once, and stays there permanently. ROM chips are used for storage of the essential software of the computer, called firmware. Some kinds of ROM are PROM, EPROM, EEPROM, and CD-ROM.

read/write head

The part of a drive that reads and writes information on a disk or tape.

read/write memory

A kind of memory that can be read or written; random access memory.

README file

A text file that comes with some software and gives information on the program, often additional information not in the manual.

Ready, Set, Go

A Macintosh page layout program.

Real Audio

See RealAudio.

real estate

Computer jargon for an area of space, such as the area on the surface of a computer chip or the area available on a desktop.

real number

Any rational or irrational number; a number that corresponds to a point on a number line.

real soon now

(RSN). A slightly sarcastic expression which means probably not so soon, or maybe never.

real time

Able to respond immediately; this term refers to a system which must respond to external events, such as process control at a manufacturing plant or an embedded system that runs a piece of equipment.

real-time chat

Live back-and-forth conversation on the Internet by means of typing on the computer keyboard. Real-time means the participating users are getting the messages and responding to each other immediately, as opposed to messages sent back and forth by email.

real-time clock

A circuit within a computer that keeps track of the date and time. Usually, the real-time clock is powered by a battery so it keeps running when the computer is turned off.

real-time compression

Compression and decompression that is immediate; there is no apparent time lag for compressing or decompressing as files are opened or transmitted.

Real-Time Engineering Environment

(RTEE). Computer Aided Software Engineering (CASE) tools from Westmount.

real-time operating system

(RTOS). An operating system that works in a real-time computing environment.

real-time simulation

Simulation of events in the time frame in which they would naturally happen; for example, aircraft flight simulation is used to train pilots. See simulation.

RealAudio

Software which makes it possible to play radio and sound files over the Internet. RealAudio client software can be downloaded for free, and is used as a plug-in with web browsers like Netscape, Mosaic, and Internet Explorer. RealAudio server software is available for many platforms. Talk, music, and live radio can be heard using RealAudio.

reassembly

The restoration of a fragmented IP packet into its previous form after sending it over a network.

reboot

A warm boot, or a boot after the computer has not been turned off for long.

rec

Top-level newsgroup category for a recreational newsgroup.

receive only terminal

RO terminal. A terminal that has printing capability only, and does not have a keyboard.

receiver

A device that receives a signal.

Recommended Standard

(RS). One of a set of standards from the Electronics Industries Association for hardware devices and their interfaces. RS-232 is a well-known standard for transmitting serial data by wire.

Recommended Standard-232

(RS-232). An Electronics Industries Association standard asynchronous serial line which is used commonly for modems, computer terminals, and serial printers. RS-232 uses a 25-pin or 9-pin connector. The standard designates the purpose for each of the 25 or 9 lines, including lines for sending and receiving data, ground connections, and control lines. However, often not all of the lines are used. Some connections use only three: one for data in each direction, and one for a ground. Data sent over RS-232 is a stream of bits at a constant speed. Each character is preceded by a start bit and followed by one or two stop bits; a positive voltage is transmitted for a 0 bit, a negative voltage for a 1. RS-232 is normally used for short distances; the maximum distance with high-quality cable would be several hundred feet. The standard is now officially called EIA-232D, but RS-232 is the name in common use.

record

In a database, a group of fields that make up one complete entry. A record about a customer might contain fields for name, address, telephone, etc. A group of records makes up a file.

record head

A device that records signals onto a magnetic tape.

record layout

The way a record is formatted, including placement, order, type, and size of fields, checkboxes, and other features.

record separator

(RS). A character used to identify a logical boundary between adjacent records. Often it is ASCII character 30: Control^ .

recordable drive

A drive that reads CD-ROMs and audio CDs, and can record on CD-ROMs.

recover

To bring back a file that accidentally got deleted. There are programs designed to help recover files, such as Norton Utilities. The best idea is to have a backup copy.

rectifier

A device that converts alternating current into direct current.

recursive

Referring back to itself. See recursive.

recycle bin

On a Windows desktop, the recycle bin is like a trash basket where unneeded files can be thrown away. Dragging a file into the recycle bin removes it from its former place on the computer, and emptying the recyle bin deletes all the files in the bin.

Reduced Instruction Set Computer Operati

(RISC OS). A RISC-based operating system developed by Acorn Computer for the Archimedes personal computers. The system has a graphical user interface and command line interpreter, and supports cooperative multitasking.

Reduced Instruction Set Computing

(RISC). A microprocessor design which is intended to make operations run faster by processing a few simple instructions rather than many complex ones. CISC (complex instruction set computing) processors do more of the processing of complex operations within the CPU than RISC processors, which require certain operations to be performed by the software before the data gets to the CPU. The operating system must be set up for RISC, and the applications used must be compiled specifically for RISC architecture, otherwise the RISC processor must emulate a CISC processor, and the benefits of RISC are lost. Examples of computers with RISC architecture are the IBM RISC Sytem/6000, the PowerPC, and the PowerMac.

Redundant Arrays of Independent Disks

(RAID) Originally “Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks”. The use of two or more disk drives instead of one disk, which provides better disk performance, error recovery, and fault tolerance, and includes interleaved storage techniques and mirroring of important data. This approach was developed by a research project at the University of California, Berkeley.

reformat

To reinitialize a hard or floppy disk, which erases all the data on it.

refresh rate

The maximum number of frames per second that a computer monitor can display, expressed in hertz. Each frame begins with the electron gun at the upper left corner of the screen. An electron beam is scanned horizontally across the screen, making one line; it moves down slightly to make the next line, and continues until it reaches the bottom. The electron gun returns to the upper left corner to begin the next frame. Too low a refresh rate causes a flickering screen which is hard on the eyes.

Regional Bell Operating Company

(RBOC). One of seven regional telephone companies created by the divestiture of AT&T in 1984. Each of them owns two or more local telephone companies called Bell Operating Companies (BOCs). The original RBOCs were Ameritech, Bell Atlantic, BellSouth, Nynex, Pacific Telesis, SBC Communications, and U.S. West. Later SBC Communications became Southwestern Bell.

regional network

Also called mid-level network. A network on the second level of the Internet hierarchy, connecting stub networks to the backbone.

register set

The set of all a CPU's registers.

Registry

A central hierarchical database used by Windows OS to store configuration information. The Registry has information Windows continually accesses during operations, such as what types of applications are installed on the computer and what kind of document each can create. It is possible to edit the Registry. However, a computer can be disabled if there are any errors after editing the Registry.

regression testing

When making improvements on software, retesting previously tested functions to make sure adding new features has not introduced new problems.

REGS

Abbreviation for registers.

reinstall

To install software again; necessary when a program has been corrupted.

REJ

Reject. In communications, a command or response that requests data be retransmitted.

reject

(REJ). In communications, a command or response that requests data be retransmitted.

relational database

A database in the form of tables which have rows and columns to show the relationships between items, and in which information can be cross-referenced between two or more tables to generate a third table. A query language is used to search for data. If data is changed in one table, it will be changed in all related tables. A database that has only one table is called a flat file database.

relational database management system

(RDBMS). A system for database management of a relational database. See relational database and database management system (DBMS).

relational query

A query that requires cross-referencing two or more tables of a relational database.

relative address

An address in memory that is described in terms of its displacement from a base address Also called indirect address. See also absolute address.

relative cell reference

A reference to a cell in a spreadsheet, such as B3, that indicates its relationship to other cells. When a formula containing relative cell references is copied to a different cell, it maintains its relative references. For example, the formula may state that the data in cell A3 is multiplied by the data in cell A1. Since this is a relative cell reference, it means the data in the current cell is to be multiplied by the data in the cell two rows above it. If the formula is moved to cell B3, the data in cell B3 will be multiplied by the data in cell B1.

relative path

A designation of the location of a file in relation to the current working directory, as opposed to an absolute or full path which gives the exact location.

relative pathname

A pathname that is defined in relation to the current working directory

relative reference

A reference to a cell in a spreadsheet, such as B3, that indicates its relationship to other cells. When a formula containing relative references is copied to a different cell, it maintains its relative references. For example, the formula may state that the data in cell A3 is multiplied by the data in cell A1. Since this is a relative reference, it means the data in the current cell is to be multiplied by the data in the cell two rows above it. If the formula is moved to cell B3, the data in cell B3 will be multiplied by the data in cell B1.

relative vector

A vector whose end points are indicated as coordinates relative to a base address.

relcom

Top-level newsgroup category for a Russian language newsgroup.

release

1. Making a version of software available to the public. 2. A software version which has been made available to the public.

release number

The number after the decimal place in a program number such as Word 3.2, WordPerfect 6.1. A release number indicates a minor change in a program (for example, Pagemaker 4.0 to Pagemaker 4.1), whereas a version number indicates a major change (Pagemaker 4 to Pagemaker 5).

released version

A version of software which has been made available to the public.

rem

Remarks. In programming, "rem" introduces a comment made for other programmers to read which is not part of the program instructions. It can also be used to disable certain lines of code.

remedial maintenance

Maintenance service that is needed to repair problems with the computer.

Remington Rand

A business machine company responsible for many breakthroughs in computing. E. Remington and Sons began by coming out with the first commercially successful typewriter in 1873. In 1925 Remington Typewriter Company produced the first electric typewriter. The company merged with Rand Kardex in 1927 to form Remington Rand. In 1949, Remington Rand produced 409, the world’s first business computer; later sold as the Univac 60 and 120, it was the first computer used by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. In 1950 Remington Rand acquired the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation, creators of UNIVAC I. UNIVAC I was released in 1951 and became the first commercially successful computer, with about 40 sold. In 1953, Remington Rand introduced UNIVAC 1103, the first commercial computer to use random access memory (RAM). Remington Rand merged with Sperry in 1955 to form Sperry Rand.

remote

At a distance; in communications, referring to a system, application, or device that must be accessed through a network. Contrast local.

remote access concentrator

A remote access server that supports one or more T1/E1 lines. Remote access concentrators allow multiple ISDN and analog calls to come in over one port from the telephone company, allowing for higher call densities than remote access servers; they include dial-up protocols, authentication, and greater accessibility. See remote access server.

remote access server

(RAS) The host computer within a LAN that gives access to remote users using analog modems or ISDN connections via the host computer's modem. See also remote access concentrator.

remote console

A console in another location that controls a local computer.

Remote Image Protocol

(RIP). A graphics format from TeleGrafix Communications, Inc., which can transmit graphics over low-speed lines. With a communications program that supports RIP, it is possible to use graphical interfaces on a BBS, with full color and high resolution imaging. RIP is more sophisticated than its predecessor ANSI.

remote job entry

(RJE). Transmission of a batch job to a remote computer which processes the job.

remote login

Logging in to a remote computer by a program based on Telnet, to access files, etc.

remote resource

A peripheral device that is accessed through a network; for example, a printer that serves computers on a network.

remote system

Any other computer in the network with which the local computer can communicate.

Remote Write Protocol

(RWP). An Internet protocol for exchanging short messages between terminals.

removable disk

A disk that can be put in the disk drive when reading from it or writ?t, and removed when not in use. Removable disks include floppy disks, optical disks, disk cartridges, SyQuest disks, and more; new formats are always being developed.

removable hard disk

A hard disk in a portable unit that can be removed from the computer, transferred to another computer, or kept in a disk library. Removable hard disks can be used for backup or for storing or transferring very large files. Examples are the Bernoulli and SyQuest disks.

remove spots

An image-editing filter that eliminates spots from photographs and and other images. It works by removing all pixel groups below a certain size, and the picture may lose some of its detail.

rename

To change the name of a file, folder, directory, or disk.

render

To use computer graphics to draw three-dimensional objects realistically.

rendering

Realistic drawing of three-dimensional objects using computer technology.

repeat rate

The speed at which a character is repeated when its keyboard key is held down.

repeater

A device that amplifies or refreshes a stream of data transmitted over a network, so it can travel to more remote computers. Without repeaters, a transmission will deteriorate as it travels farther and farther from the source.

repeating keys

A function of most computer keyboards. Holding down a key (instead of just touching it) makes its character repeat.

repetitive strain injury

(RSI). A condition caused by repetitive movements such as typing, in combination with bad posture caused by a poorly designed work space, general job stress, etc. Symptoms are numbness, pain, or general fatigue in fingers, arms, wrists, neck, back, or shoulders. Some ways of avoiding repetitive strain injury are proper height of work tables and chairs, a chair that has good back support, a wrist support for keyboarding, and taking breaks to stretch and exercise.

Report Program Generator

(RPG). A programming language developed by IBM in the 1960s to simplify programming for business applications. RPG presents a basic structure with common elements used in all business programs, so the programmer only needs to specify the details.

Request For Comments

(RFC). A series of numbered international documents (RFC 822, RFC 1123, etc.) that set standards which are voluntarily followed by many makers of software in the Internet community. The standards are created informally by various technical experts based on experience, rather than by formal committees.

request for proposal

(RFP). A request for bids that indicates the specifications for a software project or other system needs.

Request For Technology

(RFT). A request from the Open Software Foundation for proposals for new standards.

request to send

(RTS). A modem status signal which is a communication between the local modem and the local computer. The request to send signal asks if the modem is free to receive data from the local computer, which it will then transmit to a remote computer.

required hyphen

Same as hard hyphen. A hyphen that always prints; for example, the hyphen in “cost-effective.” A soft hyphen, by contrast, will only be set when a word that is not normally hyphenated falls at the end of a line, and must be broken for proper type spacing.

requirements

Before developing new software, a statement of what capabilities it needs to have, based on the needs of the users.

requirements analysis

An analysis before installing a computer system to see what kind of hardware and software the customer needs.

RescueWare

Technology for Year 2000 computer fixes, from North Carolina Research Triangle company Relativity Technologies.

Research Systems, Inc.

(RSI). The company that distributes Interactive Data Language (IDL).

ResEdit

Resource Editor. A Macintosh utility that allows the user to modify menus, desk accessories, etc., by editing the resource fork.

reserved memory

The memory area of 640-1024 Kb on an IBM PC, which is reserved for BIOS and add-on cards.

reset button

A button that restarts a computer and clears its memory, without turning the power off and on again; sometimes a computer has to be restarted when it is not responding to commands. Not all computers have a single reset button; on some computers a combination of keyboard keys will restart the computer.

resident font

A font which is built into a printer’s read-only memory (ROM) chips. PostScript laser printers normally have a collection of resident fonts. Fonts usually included are Avant Garde, Bookman, Courier, Helvetica, New Century Schoolbook, Palatino, Symbol, Times, Zapf Chancery, and Zapf Dingbats. For each resident font, a screen font must be installed on the computer in order to display the font onscreen. Additional fonts, in which both screen font and printer font must be installed on the computer itself, are called downloadable fonts.

resilience

The ability of a system to keep working with one or more of its components malfunctioning. Also called fault tolerance.

resistance

The amount of opposition a body or substance offers to the passage of electric current through it. Resistance is measured in ohms. See Ohm's law.

resistor

A component that has electrical resistance and that is used to control the flow of current in an electronic circuit.

resolver

The software in TCP/IP that sends requests to the Domain Name Server to convert hostnames (such as www.currents.com) to Internet addresses (such as 117.134.4.2).

resource

A facility of a computing system needed in order to perform an operation or task. Resources include memory, storage, input/output units, processing units, data sets, files, and programs.

Resource Access Control Facility

(RACF). A large system security program for IBM mainframes that checks passwords and prevents unauthorized users from accessing files.

resource compiler

Software that links a resource (such as a menu, font, or dialog box) into a program in a graphical user interface.

Resource Description Framework

(RDF). A specification being developed by the W3C to provide an infrastructure to support metadata on the Internet and WWW. For example, using RDF, data about a Web page could be divided into a main subject, secondary subjects, date of creation, name of author, etc. Putting this data into fields (which can be indicated by XML tags) would allow search engines to do smarter searches. A search engine could find, for example, all documents written by a particular author before a given date, on a specific subject. RDF does not specify names for the fields, but defines the syntax for how different fields relate to Web pages and to one another. Other examples of how RDF could be used include sitemaps, content ratings, digital libraries, and distributed authoring.

resource fork

Macintosh files have two parts: the resource fork and the data fork. The data fork contains data (just as files on other computers do). The resource fork contains programming information: in a document file, it holds the formatting codes; in an application file, it contains such elements as menus, dialog boxes, icons, etc. When transferring files over a network, Macintosh files have to be compressed and transmitted differently from files with just data in them; sometimes only the data fork is sent.

resource requirements

The system elements required by a kind of software or hardware, such as amount of memory, amount of disk space, memory addresses, etc.

resource type

The category of a resource in a graphical user interface; for example, MENU (menu resource), ICON (icon resource), DLOG (dialog box), ALRT (alert box).

response time

The time it takes for a computer to respond to a user command.

restart

To start a computer again without turning the power off. Also called warm boot.

restore

To retrieve a file from backup. If a file has been accidentally erased or corrupted, it can be restored if there is a backup.

restricted function

A function of the computer that cannot be used by a particular application.

restriction

A limitation in a program's capabilities.

Restructured Extended Executor

(REXX). REXX is a high-level language designed to support personal programming, operating system command files, macros and prototyping. Originally provided by IBM as a component of the mainframe VM/CMS system, it is now available in many environments. Elegantly simple, REXX is easy to use, versatile and fast for program development, debugging and maintenance.

Retrieve

An early query language from Tymshare Corporation.

retrieve

To locate data in storage, so it can be displayed on the screen and/or processed.

retrocomputing

Emulation of outdated technology using more modern computers, sometimes done humorously.

Retrospect Express

A Macintosh backup program that automatically saves files according to a schedule programmed by the user, and remembers where the files are.

return

To press the return key on the keyboard. This action is used to put a paragraph return in the text, select items in a dialog box or close the box, or enter other information such as a search query or requested action. On some keyboards the return key is called the “enter” key.

return character

ASCII character 13. The return character ends a line or paragraph.

return key

The key on the keyboard that ends a line or paragraph, or enters a command; also called the enter key.

Reunion

A computer program for storing and handling genealogical data.

reusability

A characteristic of some programming styles or languages (for example, object-oriented programming) in which code written for one application can be reused with different applications.

reuse

To employ code written for one application in a different application.

Reverse Address Resolution Protocol

(RARP). The opposite of Address Resolution Protocol (ARP). RARP uses a computer's hardware address to find its Internet address. It is mainly used by diskless workstations.

Reverse DNS

The ability to locate a domain name using a Host IP address.

reverse Polish notation

(RPN). A way of expressing a sequence of calculations without using parentheses to show which operation must be performed first. Reverse Polish notation goes in the opposite direction from Polish notation. For example, the expression 2(4+5), which instructs the reader to add 4 + 5 and multiply by 2, would be written 2 4 5 + * in reverse Polish notation. To make the calculation, read from left to right until you find an operation, then perform the operation on the numbers immediately to the left of it, and continue to the next operation. So 2 4 5 + * becomes 2 9 * and then 18. See also Polish notation.

revision

A release of software which has only minor changes from the previous version.

revolutions per minute

(rpm). The speed at which a disk drive rotates is measured in revolutions per minute.

rewritable

Able to be rewritten many times; for example, storage media such as magnetic disks and tapes.

rewritable optical discs

Optical discs that can be written, erased and rewritten many times, just as magnetic disks can be. The three main recording technologies for rewritable optical discs are magneto-optical (M-O), phase change, and dye polymer.

REXX

Restructured Extended Executor. REXX is a high-level language designed to support personal programming, operating system command files, macros and prototyping. Originally provided by IBM as a component of the mainframe VM/CMS system, it is now available in many environments. Elegantly simple, REXX is easy to use, versatile and fast for program development, debugging and maintenance.

RF

Radio Frequency. Electromagnetic frequencies in the range extending from below 3 kiloherz to 300 gigahertz, which includes radio and television transmission. These frequencies are above audio signals and below the frequencies of visible light.

RFC

Request For Comments. A series of numbered international documents (RFC 822, RFC 1123, etc.) that set standards which are voluntarily followed by many makers of software in the Internet community. The standards are created informally by various technical experts based on experience, rather than by formal committees.

RFI

Radio Frequency Interference. Interference from high-frequency electromagnetic waves emanating from electronic devices.

RFP

Request For Proposal. A request for bids that indicates the specifications for a software project or other system needs.

RFT

Request For Technology. A request from the Open Software Foundation for proposals for new standards.

RG58

An inexpensive, quarter-inch diameter coaxial cable used for 10base2 Ethernet wiring.

RGB

Red, Green, Blue. The three primary colors of light which, mixed together in various proportions, produce all the other colors. In a color cathode ray tube three electron guns direct these three colors of light at the screen in separate beams.

RGB monitor

Red Green Blue monitor. A display screen in which separate red, green, and blue signals are used to make up the different colors on the screen. It can be an analog or digital display.

Rhealstone

A benchmark program.

RI

Ringing. A modem status signal indicated by a light on the modem, which means the telephone on the other end is ringing.

RIAA

Recording Industry Association of America.

rib site

A computer that has a high-speed connection to a backbone site, and provides regional service for email and newsgroups.

ribbon cable

A flat cable used in the computer for such purposes as internal connection to peripherals.

rich email

Email that has voice messages attached.

rich media

Presentations that communicate their messages using a combination of media; a rich media presentation may include text, graphics, animation, sound, video, etc.

rich text

Text that contains formatting codes indicating italics, bold, etc., rather than plain ASCII.

Rich Text Format

(RTF). A way of formatting text designed by Microsoft, and intended as a universal standard for exchanging documents between different programs. Special symbols indicate such characteristics as bold, italic, the formatting of paragraphs, etc. Word processing files in some programs can be saved in Rich Text Format.

right arrow

A keyboard key which has a picture on it of an arrow pointing to the right; it moves the cursor to the right on the page.

right brace

ASCII character 125: } .

right bracket

ASCII character 93: ] .

right click

Clicking the right side button on the mouse.

right justified

Aligned on the right margin; same as flush right.

right paren

ASCII character 41: ) . Also called right parenthesis.

right parenthesis

ASCII character 41: ) . Also called right paren.

rightsizing

Finding a computer system that is the right size for the user and the use to which it will be put. Compare upsizing and downsizing.

rigid disk

A hard disk.

Rio

An MP3 player from Diamond Multimedia. It is a compact portable music player capable of playing music files downloaded from the Internet or from CDs. It has 32MB of rewritable built-in flash memory which can hold about half an hour of CD-quality music (128 kbps). A 16MB external flash card can increase playing time.

Riordan's Internet Privacy Enhanced

(RIPEM). An implementation of PEM (Privacy Enhanced Mail) from Mark Riordan.

RIP

1. Routing Information Protocol. An interior gateway protocol used with TCP/IP and NetWare. It provides routing information such as what networks are accessible and the number of hops required to reach each one. 2. Remote Image Protocol. A graphics format from TeleGrafix Communications, Inc., which can transmit graphics over low-speed lines. With a communications program that supports RIP, it is possible to use graphical interfaces on a BBS, with full color and high resolution imaging. RIP is more sophisticated than its predecessor ANSI. 3. Raster Image Processor. Hardware, software, or both which prepares images for output in rasterized format on the computer screen or printer.

RIPEM

Riordan's Internet Privacy Enhanced Mail. An implementation of PEM (Privacy Enhanced Mail) from Mark Riordan.

ripper

A program that enables the user to digitally copy songs off a CD into many different formats including MP3, WAV, AIFC, and more.

ripperX

A graphical interface to CDParanoia and 8Hz-MP3 which performs CD ripping and MP3 encoding. ripperX is written in GTK. It can play downloaded files via CD, WAV and MP3 players.

ripping

Digitally extracting audio tracks from a CD which can then be stored as a file on your computer.

RISC

Reduced Instruction Set Computing. A microprocessor design which is intended to make operations run faster by processing a few simple instructions rather than many complex ones. CISC (complex instruction set computing) processors do more of the processing of complex operations within the CPU than RISC processors, which require certain operations to be performed by the software before the data gets to the CPU. The operating system must be set up for RISC, and the applications used must be compiled specifically for RISC architecture, otherwise the RISC processor must emulate a CISC processor, and the benefits of RISC are lost. Examples of computers with RISC architecture are the IBM RISC Sytem/6000, the PowerPC, and the PowerMac.

RISC OS

Reduced Instruction Set Computer Operating System. A RISC-based operating system developed by Acorn Computer for the Archimedes personal computers. The system has a graphical user interface and command line interpreter, and supports cooperative multitasking.

RISC PC

A RISC-based personal computer from Acorn Computers.

RISC Technology Personal Computer

RT-PC. The first RISC-based UNIX computer from IBM.

Ritchie, Dennis

One of the developers of UNIX.

RJ-11

The standard telephone jack used in North America for plugging a telephone or modem into the wall.

RJ-45

A serial connector used with Ethernet and Token Ring devices that looks like a telephone jack but has eight wires instead of four or six.

RJE

Remote Job Entry. Transmission of a batch job to a remote computer which processes the job.

RKM

Rom Kernel Manual. A series of publications containing information about the Amiga operating system kernel, for use by software developers.

RLE

Run-Length Encoding. A data compression technique that substitutes a single character and a number for a run of identical characters; for example 17* would represent a run of 17 asterisks.

rlogin

Remote login. A UNIX utility that allows a user to log in to a remote host on a network as if it were directly connected, and make use of various services.

rm

A UNIX command to delete (remove) a file.

RMAIL

A mail user agent written for Emacs.

RMB

Right Mouse Button.

RMC

Right Mouse Click.

rmdir

A UNIX command to delete (remove) a directory. The directory must be empty.

RMON

Remote Monitor or Remote Monitoring.

rn

(read news). A newsreader for an Internet newsgroup.

RNG

Ringing. A modem status signal indicated by a light on the modem, which means the telephone on the other end is ringing.

RO terminal

Receive Only terminal. A terminal that has printing capability only, and does not have a keyboard.

RoboCup

An international effort to advance the science of artificial intelligence and robotics by building a team of robot soccer players that can beat a human World Cup champion team. Five-robot teams compete in front of spectators; the robot designers describe the technology they used to get the competitive edge. The largest robots are about 18 inches in diameter.

robot

1. A mechanical device that performs a task that would otherwise be done by a human. Robots can be useful for jobs that are boring or dangerous for humans to perform. The simplest robots are capable only of repeating a programmed motion; the most sophisticated models can use sensors and artificial intelligence to distinguish between objects, understand natural language, and make decisions. Robots can be programmed or operated by remote control. 2. A computer program that performs intelligent tasks such as retrieving World Wide Web documents and indexing references. 3. A program that performs a programmed communication function such as automated email answering, responding to newsgroup message, or regulatory functions in IRC, graphical chat, and other online environments.

robotics

The design, manufacture, and use of robots.

robust

Referring to a system that holds up well under exceptional conditions.

Rockwell International

An international company based in Seal Beach, California, composed of leading businesses in industrial automation, semiconductor systems, avionics and communications systems, and automotive component systems. Rockwell has pioneered technology in microprocessors, factory automation controls and motors, radios, advanced aircraft and space vehicles, advanced communications systems and Global Positioning Systems (GPS).

Rockwell Protocol Interface

(RPI). A feature in some modems that allows data compression and error correction to be performed by software instead of hardware.

Rocky Mountain Basic

A form of BASIC used on the Hewlett Packard 680×0-based systems.

rococo

Too elaborate; having too many unnecessary and resource-consuming enhancements; used in computing terminology to refer to programs that are overcomplicated, overdeveloped, and unwieldy.

rogue

A popular Dungeons-and-Dragons-style game played on UNIX systems, which has been the inspiration for many other computer adventure games.

rogue Website

A website that performs some illegal or malicious activity such as stealing passwords or downloading a virus or Trojan Horse to the user's computer.

role playing game

(RPG). A game which may be played on computer or with pen and paper, in which the players act out a different reality. Classic role-playing games involve creating a character, assigning a set of attributes such as strength, dexterity, willpower, charisma, etc., and moving the character through adventures in a fantasy, historical, or futuristic environment, usually containing enemies to fight and treasures to find. The game is often led by a gamemaster or dungeonmaster who does not play a character but who has keys to the game, hidden rules, and a secret map that the players can't see; the gamemaster tells a player what each room looks like upon entering, when he has run into something invisible, whether he hit the dragon enough times to kill it, etc. The first gamemaster is usually the designer of the game.

rollback

A feature in database management systems that undoes the last transaction and returns the database to the way it was before the change; performed automatically when a transaction is interrupted by machine error.

ROM

Read-Only Memory. Memory that can be read but not changed. Read-only memory is non-volatile storage; it holds its contents even when the power is turned off. Data is placed in ROM only once, and stays there permanently. ROM chips are used for storage of the essential software of the computer, called firmware. Some kinds of ROM are PROM, EPROM, EEPROM, and CD-ROM.

Rom Kernel Manual

(RKM). A series of publications containing information about the Amiga operating system kernel, for use by software developers.

Roman type

A style of type modeled after the engraved letters of ancient Rome. Examples of Roman typefaces are Times Roman and Palatino. Roman type has proportionally spaced letters and serifs, and is the most readable type. It is the most common type used for the text of books and newspapers.

root directory

The top level in a hierarchical filing system, which comes up when the computer is first turned on. On a PC the root directory is called C:. Other directories branch down from the root directory.

rot13

An encryption method in which each letter is replaced with the one 13 letters away from it in the alphabet. Because there are 26 letters in the alphabet, the same program can be used to encode and decode. It is often employed on Usenet.

rotational latency

The time it takes for a sector on a disk to rotate to the right position under the read/write head, so that the requested data can be retrieved. Rotational latency is one part of access time, the total amount of time it takes a computer to access an item of data.

round tape

Standard half-inch magnetic tape which is on round reels, as opposed to square tape which is in cartridges.

round-trip time

(RTT). The time it takes to send a packet to a remote host and receive a response; used to measure delay on a network at a given time.

router

A device that finds the best path for a data packet to be sent from one network to another. A router stores and forwards electronic messages between networks, first determining all possible paths to the destination address and then picking the most expedient route, based on the traffic load and the number of hops. A router works at the network layer (layer 3 of the OSI model); a bridge works at the data link layer (layer 2). A router does more processing than a bridge does. A router can be hardware or a combination of hardware and software.

routers

Specialized computers that store and forward data packets between networks, first determining all possible paths to the destination address and then picking the best route based on traffic load and number of hops. A router can be a hardware device or a combination of hardware and software.

Routing Information Protocol

(RIP). An interior gateway protocol used with TCP/IP and NetWare. It provides routing information such as what networks are accessible and the number of hops required to reach each one.

row

A horizontal set of data, as in a table or spreadsheet. The vertical set of data is called a column.

row A

The bottom row on a keyboard, which has the space bar and control keys.

row B

The lower letter row on a keyboard (second row from the bottom).

row C

The middle letter row on a keyboard (third row from the bottom).

row D

The upper letter row on a keyboard (fourth row from the bottom).

row E

The numeral row on a keyboard (fifth row from the bottom).

RPG

1. Role Playing Game. A game which may be played on computer or with pen and paper, in which the players act out a different reality. 2. Report Program Generator. A programming language that was developed by IBM in the 1960s to simplify programming for business applications. 3. Raster pattern generator. The set of electronic circuits that convert raster patterns into bit patterns.

RPI

Rockwell Protocol Interface. A feature in some modems that allows data compression and error correction to be performed by software instead of hardware.

rpm

Revolutions Per Minute. The speed at which a disk drive rotates is measured in revolutions per minute.

RPN

Reverse Polish Notation. A way of expressing a sequence of calculations without using parentheses to show which operation must be performed first. Reverse Polish notation goes in the opposite direction from Polish notation. For example, the expression 2(4+5), which instructs the reader to add 4 + 5 and multiply by 2, would be written 2 4 5 + * in reverse Polish notation. To make the calculation, read from left to right until you find an operation, then perform the operation on the numbers immediately to the left of it, and continue to the next operation. So 2 4 5 + * becomes 2 9 * and then 18. See also Polish notation.

RR

Real Reality; as opposed to VR, Virtual Reality.

RS

1. Recommended Standard. One of a set of standards from the Electronics Industries Association for hardware devices and their interfaces. RS-232 is a well-known standard for transmitting serial data by wire. 2. Record Separator. 3. Request To Send. A modem status signal which is a communication between the local modem and the local computer. The request to send signal asks if the modem is free to receive data from the local computer, which it will then transmit to a remote computer.

RS-232

(Recommended Standard-232). An Electronics Industries Association standard asynchronous serial line which is used commonly for modems, computer terminals, and serial printers. RS-232 uses a 25-pin or 9-pin connector. The standard designates the purpose for each of the 25 or 9 lines, including lines for sending and receiving data, ground connections, and control lines. However, often not all of the lines are used. Some connections use only three: one for data in each direction, and one for a ground. Data sent over RS-232 is a stream of bits at a constant speed. Each character is preceded by a start bit and followed by one or two stop bits; a positive voltage is transmitted for a 0 bit, a negative voltage for a 1. RS-232 is normally used for short distances; the maximum distance with high-quality cable would be several hundred feet. The standard is now officially called EIA-232D, but RS-232 is the name in common use.

RSI

1. Repetitive Strain Injury. 2. Research Systems, Inc. The company that distributes Interactive Data Language (IDL).

RT-PC

RISC Technology Personal Computer. The first RISC-based UNIX computer from IBM.

RTEE

Real Time Engineering Environment. Computer Aided Software Engineering (CASE) tools from Westmount.

RTF

Rich Text Format. A way of formatting text designed by Microsoft, and intended as a universal standard for exchanging documents between different programs. Special symbols indicate such characteristics as bold, italic, the formatting of paragraphs, etc. Word processing files in some programs can be saved in Rich Text Format.

RTOS

Real Time Operating System. An operating system that works in a real-time computing environment.

RTS

Request To Send. A modem status signal which is a communication between the local modem and the local computer. The request to send signal asks if the modem is free to receive data from the local computer, which it will then transmit to a remote computer.

RTT

Round-Trip Time. The time it takes to send a packet to a remote host and receive a response; used to measure delay on a network at a given time.

RTTY

Radio teletypewriter.

run native

To run in native mode, rather than in emulation mode. Software written for a particular type of computer will run faster on it than software which was written for another type of computer and must be run by emulation.

run time

(noun). 1. The time during which a process is being run. 2. The amount of time it takes for a process to execute, excluding load time, interruption by other processes, etc.

run-length encoding

(RLE). A data compression technique that substitutes a single character and a number for a run of identical characters; for example 17* would represent a run of 17 asterisks.

run-time

(adjective). Occuring while a program is being executed.

ruptime

A Berkeley UNIX command that brings back a status report for all hosts on the network.

Russian New Year exploit

A technique which enables a malicious outsider to gain control of a user's local machine simply by means of a visit to a website. This exploit originated in Russia under the name “'Novim Godom,” which means “Happy New Year.” It is implemented by hiding a CALL function somewhere in the HTML code for a website's frames. The CALL function can attack any PC which has Outlook 98 or Microsoft Excel 95 or 97 installed. The program does not have to be open, and the user does not even have to do anything such as opening an email attachment or executing a downloaded program, for the attack to work; a visit to the website where the exploit is installed is enough. The exploit can be used to erase files or gain access to private information, and the user may never know the attack occurred. Two Microsoft Office service upgrades and a patch to Excel, all available on the Microsoft website, will eliminate the vulnerability. Users of Netscape 4.5 are immune.

rwho

A Berkeley UNIX command that brings back a report of who is logged in for all hosts on the local network.

RWP

Remote Write Protocol. An Internet protocol for exchanging short messages between terminals.

RXD

Receiving Data. A modem status signal indicated by a light on the modem, which means the local modem is receiving data.

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