Network Chico Computer
Some definitions from the Sharpened Glossary
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SATA: "Serial Advanced
Technology Attachment" Often abbreviated SATA or S-ATA is
an evolution of the Parallel ATA physical storage interface.
Serial ATA is a serial link using a single cable with a minimum
of four wires which creates a point-to-point connection between
devices. Transfer rates for Serial ATA begin at 150 MB/s and
300 MB/s for SATA II. One of the main design advantages of Serial
ATA is that the thinner serial cables facilitate more efficient
airflow inside a form factor and also allow for smaller chassis
designs. In contrast, IDE cables used in parallel ATA systems
are bulkier than Serial ATA cables and can only extend to 40cm
long, while Serial ATA cables can extend up to one meter. Serial
ATA supports all ATA and ATAPI devices .
SCSI: "Small Computer
System Interface" SCSI is pronounced "scuzzy."
SCSI is a computer interface that can be used to attach devices
like hard drives and scanners to your computer. You can connect
up to seven devices to a SCSI interface and still get good performance
from all of them. SCSI can support faster data transfer rates
than the other popular storage interface IDE.
The different types of SCSI interfaces are listed below:
- SCSI-1: Uses an 8-bit bus and supports data transfer speeds
of 4 MBps
- SCSI-2: Uses a 50-pin connector instead of a 25-pin connector
and supports multiple devices. It is currently the most common
type of SCSI. Data transfer speeds are typically around 5 MBps
- Wide SCSI: Uses a wider cable (168 cable lines to 68 pins)
to support 16-bit data transfers
- Fast SCSI: Uses an 8-bit bus but doubles the clock rate to
support data transfer speeds of 10 MBps
- Fast Wide SCSI: Uses a 16-bit bus and supports data transfer
speeds of 20 MBps
- Ultra SCSI: Uses an 8-bit bus and supports data rates of
- SCSI-3: Uses a 16-bit bus and supports data rates of 40 MBps.
Also called Ultra Wide SCSI
- Ultra2 SCSI: Uses an 8-bit bus and supports data transfer
speeds of 40 MBps
- Wide Ultra2 SCSI: Uses a 16-bit bus and supports data transfer
speeds of 80 MBps
Dynamic Random Access Memory" SDRAM is an improvement to
standard DRAM in that it retrieves data alternately between two
sets of memory. This eliminates the delay caused when one bank
of addresses is shut down while another is prepared for reading.
It's called "Synchronous" DRAM because the memory is
synchronized with the clock speed that the computer's CPU bus
speed is optimized for. The faster the bus speed the faster the
SDRAM can be. SDRAM speed is measured in Megahertz which makes
it easy to compare the the processor's bus speed to the speed
of the memory.
Search engine: Google,
Excite, Lycos, AltaVista, Infoseek, and Yahoo are all search
engines. They index millions of sites on the web so that web
surfers like you and me can easily find web sites with the information
we want. By creating indexes, or large databases of web sites
(based on titles, keywords, and the text in the pages), search
engines can locate relevant web sites when users enter search
terms or phrases. When you are looking for something using a
search engine it is a good idea to use words like AND, OR, and
NOT to specify your search. Using these boolean operators you
can usually get a list of more relevant sites.
Serial port: The serial
port is a type of connection on PCs that is used for peripherals
such as mice, gaming controllers, modems, and older printers.
It is sometimes called a COM port or an RS-232 port which is
its technical name. If that's not enough to confuse you there
are two types of serial ports; DB9 and DB25. DB9 is a 9-pin connection
and DB25 uses a 25-pin connection. A serial port can only transmit
one bit of data at a time whereas a parallel port can transmit
many bits at once. The serial port is typically the slowest port
you'll find on a PC if you find one at all. Most newer computers
have replaced serial ports with much faster and more compatible
Server: As the name implies
a server serves information to computers that connect to it.
When users connect to a server they can access programs, files,
and other information from the server. Common servers are web
servers, mail servers, and LAN servers. A single computer can
have several different server programs running on it.
Shareware: There's commercial
software and then there's shareware. With commercial software
you have to pay for the product before you use it. With shareware
you can use the product for a trial period and then decide if
you want to keep it. If you want to keep the software after the
trial period is up you're supposed to (and should) register the
product and pay the shareware fee. As an extra incentive to pay
for the software many shareware programs disable certain features
in the non-registered version and some will keep bugging you
to register the program after the trial period has expired. Shareware
programs are usually less expensive than commercial software
programs but they are usually less expensive to develop as well.
This is why shareware programs are typically not as robust as
commercial software programs. However there are numerous shareware
programs out there such as system utilities that can be very
useful. The most common way to get shareware these days is off
the Internet. Check out C|net's Shareware.com for a huge selection of these
great little programs.
SIMM: "Single In-Line
Memory Module" This is an older type of computer memory.
A SIMM is a small circuit board with a bunch of memory chips
on it. SIMMs use a 32-bit bus which is not as wide as the 64-bit
bus dual in-line memory modules (DIMMs) use. Newer processors
require a 64-bit memory bus so it is best to use DIMMs. Sometimes
you can get away with installing SIMMS but they generally have
to be installed in pairs.
Skin: This strange term
refers to the appearance of a program's interface. By changing
the skin of a program you can make the interface look completely
different, but usually still have all the same functions. It
is similar to a "Theme" you may use to customize the
appearance of your computer's desktop. Skins have become particularly
popular for MP3 players. Because of the simple interface of most
MP3 programs it is easy to create different looks for the interface.
Other programs such as Netscape 6, ICQ, Yahoo Messenger, and
Windows Media Player also support skins. If you're one of those
people who can't stand seeing the same thing over and over again
skins are for you. Some programs that support skins even provide
a skin development kit that your can use to create your own.
Though this allows for an unlimited amount of interface customizing
it can make it hard to recognize or use the same program on different
Slashdot: Press releases
can often trigger increased interest in a certain topic and if
a web site link is provided in the release this can translate
to increased hits to the web site. If the increase in traffic
is so dramatic that it causes the server to be completely unreachable
the server is said to have been "slashdotted." The
name came into being after October 1998 when a press release
was published on the Slashdot.org
web site resulting in a major surge in traffic to another web
server causing it to go down. You can also use the term as a
verb as in "Dude, thanks to that stupid article, our server
got slashdotted today, man." It is often abbreviated as
Analysis And Reporting Technology" It is used to protect
and prevent errors in hard drives. The SMART technology basically
monitors and analyzes hard drives (hence the name) then checks
the health of your hard drive and lets you know if there are
any problems. The main purpose of SMART is to keep your hard
drive running smoothly and prevent it from crashing.
SMTP: "Simple Mail
Transfer Protocol" This is the protocol used for sending
e-mail over the Internet. Your e-mail client (such as Outlook,
Eudora, or Mac OS X Mail) uses SMTP to send a message to the
mail server and the mail server uses SMTP to relay that message
to the correct receiving mail server. Basically SMTP is a set
of commands that authenticate and direct the transfer of electronic
mail. When configuring the settings for your e-mail program you
usually need to set the SMTP server to your local Internet Service
Provider's SMTP settings (i.e. "smtp.yourisp.com").
However the incoming mail server (IMAP or POP3) should be set
to your mail account's server (i.e. hotmail.com), which may be
different than the SMTP server.
Spam: Originating from
the name of Hormel's canned meat, "spam" now also refers
to junk e-mail or irrelevant postings to a newsgroup or bulletin
board. The unsolicited e-mail messages you receive about refinancing
your home, reversing aging, and losing those extra pounds are
all considered to be spam. Spamming other people is definitely
not cool and is one of the most notorious violations of Internet
etiquette (or "netiquette"). So if you ever get the
urge to let thousands of people know about that hot new guaranteed
way to make money on the Internet please reconsider.
Spyware: As the name implies
this is software that "spies" on your computer. Nobody
likes to be spied on and your computer doesn't like it either.
Spyware can capture information like web browsing habits, e-mail
messages, usernames and passwords, and credit card information.
If left unchecked the software can transmit this data to another
person's computer over the Internet. So how does spyware get
on your computer? Just like viruses spyware can be installed
when you open an e-mail attachment containing the malicious software.
It can also be installed when you install another program that
has a spyware installer attached to it. Because of the insidious
nature of spyware most people don't even know when spyware is
on their computer. Fortunately you can purchase anti-spyware
utilities that will search for spyware on your computer and stomp
the unwanted software out of your system. A good way to prevent
spyware from infecting your computer is to install a security
program that lets you know when any program is being installed
so that you can choose to authorize or stop the installation.
Query Language" SQL can be pronounced as either "sequel"
or "S-Q-L." It is a query language used for accessing
and modifying information in a database. Some common SQL commands
include "insert," "update," and "delete."
The language was first created by IBM in 1975 and was called
SEQUEL for "Structured English Query Language." Since
then it has undergone a number of changes with the a lot of influence
from Oracle Corporation. Today SQL is commonly used for web database
development and management. Though SQL is now considered to be
a standard language there are still a number of variations of
it such as mSQL and mySQL. By using a scripting language like
PHP SQL commands can be executed when a web page loads. This
makes it possible to create dynamic web pages that can display
different information each time they load.
Stack: A stack is a type
of data structure for storing information in a computer. When
a new object is entered in a stack it is placed on top of all
the previously entered objects. In other words, the stack data
structure is just like a stack of cards, papers, credit card
mailings, or any other real-world objects you can think of. When
removing an object from a stack the one on top gets removed first.
This method is referred to as LIFO (last in, first out). The
term "stack" can also be short for a network protocol
stack. In networking, connections between computers are made
through a series of smaller connections. These connections, or
layers, act like the stack data structure in that they are built
and disposed of in the same way.
Streaming: Data streaming,
commonly seen in the forms of audio and video streaming, is when
a multimedia file can be played back without being completely
downloaded first. Most files, like shareware and software updates
that you download off the Internet, are not streaming data. However,
certain audio and video files like Real Audio and QuickTime documents
can be streaming files, meaning you can watch a video or listen
to a sound file while it's being downloaded to your computer.
With a fast Internet connection you can actually stream live
audio or video to your computer.
System Unit: This is the
technical term that refers to the box that houses your computer.
The system unit refers to the computer itself but does not include
the monitor, the keyboard, the mouse, or any other peripherals.
Systray: The systray,
short for "system tray," is located on the right side
of the Windows toolbar. It is the collection of small icons on
the opposite side of the Start Menu. The volume control and the
date & time are default items in the systray and many more
can be added. Some common icons that get placed in the systray
are virus-scan, mouse, and instant messenger icons. They usually
get put in the systray (whether you like it or not) when their
respective programs are installed. The nice thing about the systray
is that it allows quick and easy access to programs and control
settings. Most systray icons will open a control panel or program
when double-clicked. However if you install too many of them
the area can get so cluttered you may find it easier to just
browse your hard drive and open the program.
Network Chico Computer
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