Glossary

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A

Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP)
Located on the system board, an accelerated graphics port is a dedicated high-speed port for moving large blocks of data between a PC graphics controller and the system memory.

ActiveX
ActiveX is a set of technologies that are built on the Component Object Model (COM), which enable software components, regardless of the language in which they were created, to work together in a networked environment. Although ActiveX technologies are mainly based on developing interactive content for the World Wide Web. They are also used with desktop software applications and other types of programs. To view a web page that uses ActiveX, your Web browser must have ActiveX support. The Internet Gaming Zone uses ActiveX Lobby and thus requires an ActiveX compatible browser.

Adapter Address
A 6-byte hex hardware address unique to each Network Interface Card (NIC) and assigned by manufacturers. The address is often printed on the adapter. An example is 00 00 0C 08 2F 35.

Adapter Card
Also called an Interface Card. A small circuit board inserted in an expansion slot and used to communicate between the system bus and a peripheral device.

Address Resolution Protocol (ARP)
A method used by TCP/IP that dynamically or automatically translates IP addresses into physical network addresses such as Ethernet ID's or Token Ring MAC addresses.

America Online (AOL)
A basic service featuring e-mail, newsgroups, and remote log-on for a large client base for a nominal fee. AOL is the acronym for America Online.

Analog Controller Device
An analog controller device involves a method of signal representation by using an infinitely smooth universe of numeric values. Measurements that are characterized as analog include readings of both voltage and current. Some joysticks or gamepads are examples of analog  controller devices.

Anti-Virus Software
Utility programs that prevent infection, or scan a system to detect and remove viruses. Norton Anti-Virus and McAffe Associates Virus Scan are two popular AV packages.

AppleTalk
An inexpensive LAN developed by Apple Computer used by both Apple & non-Apple computers for sharing resources, such as file servers and printers.

Application
A program that perform a specific task, such as word processing, database management, or mathematical calculations, (for example, Word, WordPerfect, and Excel).

Application Programming Interface (API)
A set of routines that application programs use to request and perform lower-level services. The operating system performs these lower-level services.

ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange)
A coding system that is used by personal computers to store character data, such as letter of the alphabet, numerals, some symbols, and certain control characters.

Asynchronous Transmission
Relies on bits being sent before and after the data to communicate when each modem should transmit. These bits are called stop bits and start bits. Asynchronous transmission can also use parity checking. See also "Synchronous Transmission".

AT Commands
A set of commands used by a PC to control a modem. AT is the ATtention command, which alerts a modem to prepare to receive additional commands. For example, ATDT means attention and listen for a dial tone.  AT commands make up the modem's
init string. See common AT commands diagram below:

AT Attention
Hn Hook
0=on hook (hang up)
1=off hook (take receiver off hook)
Dn Dial
n=phone number, i.e. 5550000
Special dialing commands:
P Pulse dialing
T Tone dialing
, Pause

In the dialing command ATDT15550000, the AT is the attention signal, D is the dial command, and T tells the modem to use tone dialing. 1-555-0000 is the phone number being dialed.

Attachments
Files that accompany a piece of e-mail.

Attenuation
Attenuation is the loss of signal strength which begins to occur as the signal travels further along a copper cable.

Autoexec.bat
One startup file on an MS-DOS computer. It tells the computer what commands or programs to execute automatically after bootup. This file contains basic start up commands that configure and initialize installed devices, such as the sound card, CD-ROM drive, and mouse, in order to prepare these devices for operation through MS-DOS. Check out the Startup File Examples and the Boot Disk Instructions documents for additional information.

AutoPlay
A feature of some Windows CD-ROM applications which automatically executes in Windows when placed in the drive, or when present in the drive at start-up.

 

B

Backbone
A network used to link several networks together. For example, several Token Rings and Ethernets may be connected using a single FDDI backbone.

Bandwidth
The range of frequencies that a communications cable or channel can carry. In general use, the term refers to the volume of data that can travel on a system buy or over a cable.

Baseband Transmission
Baseband systems transmit data in digital signal (O,1).

Batch File
This is an ASCII text file containing a series of DOS instructions to the computer, telling it to perform a specific task (for example, AUTOEXEC.BAT is a batch file that contains a series of startup commands). Batch file names appear with the extension ".bat" in MS-DOS.

Baud Rate
A line speed of communication between two devices such as a computer and a printer, or a modem. This speed is measured in the number of times a signal changes in one second. The term "baud" is now being replaced by the more accurate "bits per second" (BPS) as a measurement of modem speed.

BBS (Bulletin Board System)
A computer system with a modem or modems to serve as an information or file source where dial-up users can download files or information from. Typically run by local users.

Binary
The binary number system only has two digits, or bits: 0 and 1. Binary files are non-text and are usually readable only by a program. These files are often compressed or coded in such a way as to be easy for a particular program to read. Any image can be described as binary.

BIOS (Basic Input/Output System)
Firmware that controls much of a computer's input/output functions, such as communication with disk drives, the printer, RAM chips and the monitor.

Bit
Bit stands for binary digit, the smallest unit of information processed by a computer. It can be represented by either a 1 or 0. Eight bits make a byte.

Boot Disk
For DOS, a floppy disk that can upload the operating system files necessary for computer startup. It must have the two hidden system files IO.SYS and MSDOS.SYS, and also COMMAND.COM. Check out the Startup File Examples and the Boot Disk Instructions documents for additional information.

BPS (Bits Per Second)
The speed at which a device can transfer data. Often used as a measurement of modem speed, although on modems over 300 Baud, this is an inaccurate measuring tool.

Broadband Transmission
Broadband systems transmit data in analog waves.

Browser
A search engine that allows you to find items or information on a server or the web, based upon the information you have entered on your PC. Using the Internet, a web browser can access a server by either the IP address or the domain name.  The browser can also further identify files and folders to access by putting an extension, containing paths and filenames, on the domain name.

Buffers
A temporary memory area where data is kept before being written to a hard drive or sent to a printer, thus reducing the number of writes when devices communicate at different speeds.

Burst Transfer
A means of sending data across the system bus, with one packet immediately following the next, without waiting for clock beats and/or addressing of the information being sent.

Bus
Strips of parallel wires or printed circuits used to transmit electronic signals on the system board to other devices. Most Pentium systems use a 32-bit bus.

Byte
In data measurement, a byte is the equivalent of one character (a letter, a number, a punctuation mark, etc.) and is made up of 8 bits of data. See also "Megabyte".

 

C

Call Waiting
If you have call waiting, it could potentially interrupt your modem connection. Unless you are expecting a very important phone call while trying to use your modem, it's probably best to have call waiting disabled. You can do so either through the Dialing Properties in the modem Control Panel or by customizing your init string. Common AT commands to disable call waiting include *70, 70#, and 1170. See also "init string" and "AT Commands".

Cards
Adapter boards or interface cards placed into expansion slots to expand the functions of a computer, allowing it to communicate with external devices such as monitors or printers.

Carrier
A reference signal used to activate a phone line to confirm a continuous frequency; used to indicate that two computers are ready to receive or transmit data via modems.

CD-ROM
An acronym for compact disk read-only media. This is a high capacity disk (having about a 600MB storage capacity) that contains data stored with laser optic technology, rather than with magnetic means, as is the method used to store data on a hard drive or floppy diskette.

Central Processing Unit (CPU)
Also called a microprocessor. The heart and brain of the computer, which receives data input, processes the information, and executes instructions.

Checksum
A method of error checking of transmitted data, whereby the digits are added up and their sum compared to an expected sum.

Chipset
A set of chips on the system board that collectively controls the memory cache, external buses, and some peripherals.

Client
A computer that accesses shared network resources provided by a server.

Clock Speed
The speed at which the CPU operates, usually expressed in MHz. A Pentium may have a speed of 166 MHz, while a Pentium II may operate at 300 MHz.  

Clone
Originally, a computer that was compatible with IBM computer hardware and MS-DOS software. Today, the word clone often refers to no-name Intel and Microsoft compatibles.

Cluster
One or more sectors that constitute the smallest unit of space on a disk for storing data (also referred to as a file allocation unit). Files are written to the disk as groups of whole clusters.

CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor)
A type of microchip that requires relatively less electricity and produces less heat than other types of chips. The configuration chip on the system board is an example of a CMOS chip.

Cold Boot
Involves turning off the computer manually, waiting for the machine to stop running, and then starting it back up again.

COM Port
A communications port is a serial port on a computer. Data traveling through a serial port will be transferred single file, one bit at a time (i.e. in a series). Serial ports are rather like a two-lane highway. Data can only travel one bit (one car) at a time in one direction. The following is a list of available COM Ports and their default resources:

COM Port Port
Address
IRQ
COM 1 03F8 4
COM 2 02F8 3
COM 3 03E8 4
COM 4 02E8 3

As you can see, COM1 and COM3 share an IRQ as do COM2 and COM4. Most systems have the mouse configured to COM1, the modem to COM2, and do not have any devices assigned to COM3 and COM4. With this configuration, the mouse and modem can work together without conflicts. However, if devices are added to COM3 and COM4, it may be advantageous to manually configure their IRQs in order to avoid conflicts with COM1 and COM2.

Command.com
This is the command interpreter for MS-DOS, and it is one of the necessary start-up files on a PC system.

Command Line
Usually a DOS prompt. This is where you type in the ‘instructions’ or ‘commands’ to execute something. In DOS games, you would enter the name of the game directory and the commands to launch the game.

Command Set
Also referred to as "AT commands" or the "Hayes command set." A command set is a group of instructions that tell the modem how to carry out particular functions, such as "hang-up," "answer," "dial," etc. See "AT Commands" for more details.

Compatibility
This is the degree to which a computer, one of its peripheral devices, a data file or a program can work with or properly interpret the same commands, format or programming of another system or application. Compatibility issues are the impetus for the computer industry to strive to establish standards that will allow for hardware and software to work together regardless of the differences in various hardware & software configurations or designs.

Compress Data
See "Data Compression".

CompuServe
Similar to AOL, a commercial Online service featuring e-mail, newsgroups, and remote log-on for a large client base for a nominal fee.

Config.sys
This is a special text file that enables or disables various system features, sets restrictions on resources, and specifies the loading and configuration settings of device drivers that initialize various hardware components on the system at start up. It is one of the necessary start-up files for an MS-DOS system. Check out the Boot Disk Instructions documents for additional information.

Configuration Files
The configuration (the sum of a computer system’s internal and external components) of a computer affects the way it functions and the way in which it can be used. The configuration can be adjusted by changing various settings in the configuration files. On PC systems, the configuration files include the autoexec.bat and the config.sys files.

Conventional Memory
This is the amount of memory addressable by an IBM compatible system operating in Real Mode. The first 640K of memory addresses are called conventional memory. This is the only kind of RAM memory accessible to MS-DOS applications without using special procedures for loading Expanded Memory and/or making use of Upper Memory. Check out the Boot Disk Instructions documents for specific memory requirements for LucasArts games.

Corrupted Files
Data and program files that are damaged for any of a variety of reasons, ranging from power spikes to user error.

CPS (Characters Per Second)
The rate at which a device can transfer data characters. A character is 1 byte (or 8 bits) of data.

CPU
See "Central Processing Unit".

Crosstalk
The interference that one wire, in a twisted pair, may produce in the other.

Cutscene
This is a short intermission while a game is playing that often adds to the story line, and it usually consists of animated video and sounds. It will sometimes contain information about the upcoming part of the game as well.

 

D

Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC)
A component that converts digital data back into analog signals just before output from the computer. For example, DAC technology is used to convert digital sound to analog sound just before playback to the speakers.

Data Bit
See "Bit".

Data Compression
Reducing the size of files by various techniques such as using a shortcut code to represent repeated data.

Data Path
The size of a system bus, such as a 32-bit wide data path in a PCI bus.

DCE (Data Communications Equipment)
The hardware, usually a dial-up modem, that provides the connection between a data terminal and a communication line.

Defragment
To optimize or rewrite a file to a disk in one continuous chain, thus speeding up data retrieval.

Desktop
The on-screen work area that has icons and menus to organize the access of files and applications in an easy to use arrangement. The name comes from the design of this interface appearing somewhat like the top of a work desk that has files, folders, and other tools to help organize the material being worked with.

Device Driver
A small program that tells the computer how to communicate with an input/output device such as a video card, printer, or modem.

Device Manager
A Windows program that allows the user to view and set hardware configurations.

Diagnostic Software
Utility programs that help troubleshoot computer systems. Some DOS diagnostic utilities are CHKDSK and SCANDISK. PC Technician is an example of a third-party diagnostic program.

Dial Up
To connect or the act of connecting to an online service provider or BBS, etc., using a modem.

Dial-Up Networking
A Windows application that allows a PC to remotely connect to a network through a phone line. A Dial-Up Network icon can be found under My Computer. See also "Modem Control Panel" and "HyperTerminal".

Dialing Commands
See "Command Set".

Digital Control Device
These devices map values with discrete numbers (a limited range of values), as opposed to an analog control device, which represents values by a continuously variable physical property, quantifying both the variation and proportion or ratio with an infinite number of values within the range that the device can support. A gamepad is one example of a digital control device, while most joysticks are analog control devices.

Directory
A DOS table that contains file information such as name, size, time, and date of last modification, and the cluster number of the file's beginning location.

Direct Serial Connection
See "Null Modem".

DirectX (DX)
The DirectX is an Application Program Interface (API) platform developed by Microsoft which provides an environment that allows developers to use a standardized format when programming a game, thus making it accessible to a wide variety of different hardware features. Prior to DirectX, developers were forced to write hardware-specific code (with a specific driver for each different piece of hardware). DirectX is a library provided by Microsoft to sit in the operating system and provide game programmers with seamless access to all of the hardware features available today. The DirectX library is divided into 5 main sections: DirectDraw, Direct3D, DirectSound, DirectInput, and DirectPlay. These include:

DirectPlay: This is the multiplayer gaming module in DirectX which provides seamless access to networking functionality for gaming. DirectPlay supports direct serial connections, modem play, LAN play and Internet Play. DirectPlay also supports third-party on-line gaming services by allowing them to develop their own DirectPlay drivers for use with games that support DirectPlay.

Direct3D: Sits on top of DirectDraw and provides access to hardware 3D acceleration if it is available. Direct3D is designed to work with the full range of 3D cards on the market, giving a smooth interface to your 3D hardware. Using Direct3D with your 3D accelerator can provide tremendous speed improvements as well as better image quality at higher resolutions.

DirectInput: Provides a means for the programmer to make use of the large variety of input devices on the market - from mice, keyboards and joysticks to gamepads and beyond. It also allows programmers to use some of the later advanced features in some hardware.

DirectSound: Provides access to the audio hardware on the system, allowing for the full features of the audio hardware to be used (such as 3D sound). As with the other components, DirectSound is a seamless way to write directly to your sound hardware.

DirectDraw: Provides access to video hardware for 2D graphics, allowing the use of the full range of resolutions and color depths provided by modern hardware. DirectDraw also improves performance of some 2D graphics functions by allowing video acceleration in hardware.

Since DirectX is relatively new in the computer world, we have found that some older systems may contain hardware that may not be fully DirectX compatible. If you are unsure whether or not your system will support DirectX, please contact the manufacturer of your system for more information.

Disk Cache
A method whereby recently retrieved data and adjacent data from a hard drive are read into memory in advance, anticipating the next CPU request. Also a process by which data written to the hard drive is accumulated in memory to reduce the number of writes to the drive.

Disk Compression
Compressing data on a hard drive to allow more data to be written to the drive.

Disk Manager
Software that controls disk access and management. Some systems with large hard drives have a Disk Manager program (i.e. OnTrack) that require a special procedure in order to make use of a floppy boot disk, since a dynamic overlay program must be loaded from the boot sector of the hard drive in order for the system BIOS to recognize the hard drive.

Display Adapter
Another name for a video controller card.

DMA (Direct Memory Access) Controller
A chip or chip logic set on the systemboard that provides channels that a device may use to send data directly to memory, bypassing the CPU.

Domain
A logical group of networked computers, such as those on a university campus, that share a centralized directory database of user account information and security for the entire domain.

Domain Controller
Authenticates domain logons and maintains the security policy and the master database for a domain.

DOS (Disk Operating System)
An operating system (the software that controls hardware resources on a computer system) that loads from disk devices at start-up (when booting). Popular operating systems include MS-DOS, Mac OS, Windows and UNIX. The term DOS is often used to refer specifically to Microsoft’s MS-DOS, since it is the most common disk operating system.

DOS Compatibility Mode
DOS compatibility mode is a function that occurs in Windows 95 when the hardware is only using 16-bit DOS drivers to control one or more aspects to your computer. There are several things that can cause DOS Compatibility Mode:

  1. You are using 16-bit drivers that do not permit Windows 95 to use its 32-bit drivers to control a piece of hardware.
  2. The piece of hardware in question was not recognized by Windows 95 or any of its default drivers and hardware specific drivers may not have been loaded for that particular device.
  3. You are using an older motherboard that does not have the ability to run 32-bit applications thus forcing Windows 95 to run ALL drives in DOS compatibility mode.
  4. Your CD-ROM drive is being controlled through a sound card's IDE (Integrated Device Electronics) interface. When configured this way, Windows 95 will not detect that there is a CD-ROM drive present and will not install drivers for it.

For updated 32-bit Windows 95 drivers contact either the computer or the hardware manufacturer for the device in question.

DOS Extender
A program that allows a DOS application to use a flat 32-bit memory model so it can easily access memory above the 1 MB limit for better performance and ease of configuration (as opposed to loading an Extended Memory Manager). Protected Mode programs use a DOS Extender to manage the memory as one large block. See also "Protected Mode" and "DOS4GW.EXE".

DOS4GW.EXE
The most common DOS Extender (made by Rational Systems, Inc.), which is used to manage memory as one large block with DOS applications that run in Protected Mode. See also "DOS Extender" and "Protected Mode".

DOS Mixer
A utility that is provided by the sound card manufacturer to control the volume levels in Dos. The Mixer in Windows is a separate utility that does not effect the sound in Dos.

Download
A method of retrieving files or information from another computer, a BBS, or the Internet.

DTE (Data Terminal Equipment)
This term refers to both the computer and a remote terminal or other computer to which it is attached.

Dual Boot
The ability to boot using two different operating systems, such as Windows NT and Windows 95. However, programs cannot be shared between Windows NT and the other OS.

 

E

EDO (Extended Data Output) Memory
A type of RAM that may be 10-20% faster than conventional RAM because it eliminates the delay before it issues the next memory address.

EISA (Extended Standard Industry Architecture) Bus
A 32-bit bus that can transfer 4 bytes at a time at a speed of about 20 MHz.

ESD (Electrostatic Discharge)
Another name for static electricity, which can damage computer chips and destroy systemboards, even thought it may not be seen or felt by the naked eye.

Electronic Mail (E-Mail)
The wave of the future. Instead of writing a letter on paper and running to the mailbox to send it (also allowing multiple days for delivery!), you can send a letter electronically from the comfort of your PC (or Mac). Delivery is nearly instantaneous to the recipient.

EMM386.EXE
A DOS utility that creates upper memory blocks (commonly used in pre-Windows 95 systems).

Enhanced BIOS
A newer BIOS that has been written to accommodate the larger capacity gigabyte hard drives.

EIDE (Enhanced IDE Technology)
A newer drive standard that allows systems to recognize drives larger than 528 MB and to handle up to four devices on the same adapter.

Error Correction
The ability of some modems to identify transmission errors and then automatically request another transmission.

Ethernet
The most popular network topology use today. It uses Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) and can be physically configured as a bus or star network.

Expanded Memory (EMS)
Memory outside of the conventional linearly addressed memory that is accessed in 16K segments, or pages, by way of a window to upper memory. See also "Real Mode".

Extended Memory (XMS)
Memory above the initial 1024 KB, or 1 MB, area. See also "Protected Mode".

External Cache
Static cache memory, stored on the systemboard, that is not part of the CPU (also called L2 cache).

 

F

FAQ
An acronym for "Frequently Asked Questions." This is a list of common issues or questions that may come up. Usually used as a way to help prevent the same question being asked multiple times. FAQ’s can often be found in newsgroups or on the website of the particular product’s manufacturer that the FAQ is written for.

FIFO Buffers
A buffer on a 16550 UART chip that solves the problem of lost data, which sometimes occurred with the older 16450 UART chips.

File Allocation Table (FAT)
A DOS table at the beginning of a disk that tracks where files are stored on the disk according to the file allocation units used by the files.

File Compression
In order to make downloading files easier, a lot of files are compressed. This makes them smaller and easier to download (taking up less time). Depending on the compression method, you may need a utility (such as PKUNZIP or WINZIP) to decompress the file. Some files may be self-extracting. Check out Manufactures Links for more information on how to obtain PKUNZIP or WinZip.

Filename Extension
This is a 3-letter abbreviation (following a period) for the type of file it is. For example, an .EXE file means it is an EXECUTABLE and a .TXT file is a TEXT file.

Firmware
Software that is permanently etched onto a chip.

Flash Memory
A type of RAM that can electronically hold memory even when the power is off.

Flash ROM
ROM that can be reprogrammed or changed without replacing chips.

Flow Control
When using modems, a method of controlling the flow of data from a sending PC by having the receiving PC send a message to the sending device to stop or start data flow. Xon/Xoff is an example of a flow control protocol.

Format
To prepare a disk for use by creating a FAT and root directory on the disk. During formatting, any data on the disk is lost.

Fragmented Files
Files that are spread out over different portions of a disk so that they are not in contiguous clusters.

Frame Buffer
An area of memory on a video controller that is used to store the data to be displayed on the screen.

Freeware
Software distributed and used free of charge, usually as samplers of a complete product. It is important to note that this free software is still governed by copyright laws so you cannot misuse or modify it.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
An Internet standard that provides for the transfer of files from one computer to another. FTP can be used at a command prompt, or with a GUI interface, which is available with FTP software or with a Web browser. When using a Web browser, enter the command "ftp" in the browser URL line instead of the usual "http://" used to locate a Web site. LucasArts maintains an FTP site where demos and patches may be accessed by the public at "ftp://ftp.lucasarts.com".

 

G

Game Card
We commonly recommend disabling the I/O port and enabling the joystick port on the sound card. The joystick port on the sound card is a good alternative to I/O card based joystick ports. The best possible joystick port is typically present on dedicated and/or speed adjustable game cards, which is a relatively inexpensive expansion card designed specifically for use as a dedicated game port.

General Protection Fault (GPF)
Windows error that occurs when a program attempts to access a memory address that is not available or is no longer assigned to it.

Gigabyte
Approximately 1 billion bytes of data (actually 2 to the 30th power, or 1,073,741,824 bytes).

Graphics Accelerator
A type of video card that has an on-board processor that can substantially increase speed and boost graphical and video performance.

GIF
This is an acronym for Graphics Interchange Format. One of the may formats in which graphics can be distributed. A GIF file has the file extension .GIF.

Graphical User Interface (GUI)
A user interface, such as the Windows interface, that uses graphics or icons on the screen for running programs and entering information.

 

H

Handshaking
When two modems begin to communicate, the initial agreement made as to how to send and receive data. It often occurs when you hear the modem making noises as the dial-up is completed.

Hardware
The physical machinery that constitutes the computer system, such as the monitor, the keyboard, the system unit, and the printer.

Header
Information sent ahead of data being transferred over a network to identify it to receiving protocols. An IP header consists of thins such as header and datagram length, flags, checksum, addresses, and so forth.

Heap
A memory block set aside for a program's data. If the heap fills up, an "Out of memory" error may occur, even if there is plenty of regular RAM left, especially in 16-bit applications.

High Resolution
See "Resolution".

High Memory Area (HMA)
The first 64K of extended memory. The method of storing part of DOS in the high memory area is called loading DOS high.

HIMEM.SYS
A utility that makes memory above 640K available. HIMEM accesses memory addresses above 1MB, including the high memory area from 1024K to 1088K. This file must be loaded before EMM386. The HIMEM.SYS driver is included with all DOS 4.0 and later operating systems. See also "EMM386.EXE" and "Memory Management".

Home Page
This is the first page you see when you access a site on the World Wide Web. It is like the cover of a book.

Host
Your link to the Internet.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language)
Hypertext Markup Language is used for writing pages for the World Wide Web. HTML allows text to include codes that define fonts, layout, embedded graphics, and hypertext links. Hypertext provides a method for presenting text, images, sound, and videos that are linked together in a non-sequential web of associations. The hypertext format allows the user to browse through topics in any order. There are tools and protocols that help you explore the Internet. These tools help you locate and transport resources between computers.

HTTP (HyperText Transport Protocol)
The common transfer protocol used by Internet browsers on the World Wide Web.

Hub
A hub is a component that provides a common connection among computers in a network. It is the central component in some server-based networks. A hub allows computers of different types to all communicate together. Most hubs are active in that they regenerate and retransmit signals. This type of hub is referred to as an "active hub" and it requires electrical power to run. A "passive hub" can be a wiring panel or punch-down block. Passive hubs simply organize the wiring. They do not amplify or regenerate the signal. The signal passes through the passive hub. Passive hubs do not require electrical power to run. A "hybrid hub" is one that will accommodate several different types of cables. Usually these include one main hub connected to several secondary hubs that then connect to computers. A break in any of the cables attached to a hub affects only that segment. The rest of the network keeps functioning. See also "Server-Based Network".

HyperTerminal
You can use some Windows tools, such as the modem control panel, to test your modem. (Note: Not all systems have this utility installed. If your system does not, test the modem using the other two methods or consult your Windows documentation on installing HyperTerminal).

  1. From the Windows 95 Start Menu, select Programs -> Accessories -> HyperTerminal
  2. Double Click on the Hypertrm icon (sometimes called Hypertrm.exe)
  3. Under the Named field, type in the word time and then click OK
  4. In the phone number field, type in 767-1111. This is the public service number to check the correct time of day and should be valid in most area codes.
  5. In the next window, click on Dial. This will bring up a display of the status of your connection as the modem attempts to dial. You should hear a recorded message stating the correct time if the connection is successful.
  6. After the connection sequence has finished, exit the HyperTerminal window.
  7. When prompted to save the session, reply "NO".

See also "Modem Control Panel" and "Dial-up Networking".

HyperText
The linking of images, sounds, and text.

 

I

Integrated Device Electronics (IDE) drive
A hard drive whose disk controller is integrated into the drive, eliminating the need for a signal cable and thus increasing speed, as well as reducing price.

Init String
Also referred to as AT commands. An init string (initialization string) is a series of commands used to instruct the modem to perform certain tasks, such as "dial", "hang up", "use software flow control", and so on. Some modem manufacturers design special features into their models. Customized init string commands are provided in order to take advantage of these features. The modem's documentation will specify the recommended commands for the init string. See also "AT Commands" and "Command Set".

Internet
The worldwide collection of over a million hosts that can communicate with each other using TCP/IP. The lowercase internet basically means multiple networks connected together.

Internet Access Provider
See "Internet Service Provider".

Internet Gaming
LucasArts multiplayer games have direct support for TCP/IP, the native protocol used on the Internet. Now you can challenge your friends or other online players to a game anytime, provided you have an account with an Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Internet Service Provider (ISP)
A commercial group that provides a user with software for Internet access for a monthly fee. AOL, Prodigy, GTE, and CompuServe are four examples of ISP's.

Intranet
private internet used by a large company over a fairly wide geographical area.

I/O PORT
This port is typically used to connect a Joystick to a computer. An I/O Port (a.k.a. Joystick port) can be active without the presence of a port on the back of a computer. The common places to disable a I/O Port are on the systemboard or controller card, usually it requires moving a DIP switch/jumper to a disabled position to correct joystick port conflicts with sound cards and/or dedicated game cards. In some cases, the I/O Port can be controlled by the system BIOS. We recommend contacting the manufacturer for further information on how to disable the I/O Port on your computer.

IP (Internet Protocol)
The main protocol used on the Internet.

IP Configuration Viewer
This utility (included with Windows 95) allows you to view your TCP/IP settings, such as your IP address. To join an Internet game, you will need to know the IP Address of the computer hosting the game. The host can use WINIPCFG.EXE to identify the IP address and give this number to you so that you can find their game on the Internet.

IP (Internet Protocol) Address
A 32-bit "dotted decimal" address consisting of four numbers separated by periods used to uniquely identify a device on a network that uses TCP/IP protocols. The first numbers identify the network, the last number identifies the host. An example of an IP address is 207.97.102.113. See IP Configuration Viewer for information on how to obtain your IP address.

IP Number
This is a four part number that is your particular identification number for your computer on the Internet. However, you or your computer are not referred to by this number, but rather by the name you may use. Every machine that is on the Internet has a unique IP number - if a machine does not have an IP number, it is not really on the Internet. Most machines also have one or more Domain Names that are easier for people to remember.

IPX/SPX
A protocol developed and used by Novell NetWare for LANs. The IPX portion of the protocol works at the Network layer, which is responsible for routing, and the SPX portion of the protocol manages error checking at the Transport layer.

IRQ (Interrupt Request) Number
A number that is assigned to a device and is used to signal the CPU for servicing (for example, the normal IRQ number for COM 1 is IRQ 4).

ISA (Industry Standard Architecture) bus
An 8-bit bus used on the original 8088 PC. 16-bit ISA buses were designed for the 286 AT. ISA buses are often used on Pentium systemboards.

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)
A communications standard that can carry digital data simultaneously over two channels on a single pair of wires, at about five times the speed of regular phone lines.

 

J

JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
A "lossy" graphical compression scheme that allows the user to control the amount of data that is averaged and sacrificed as file size is reduced. It is a common Internet file format. See "Lossy Compression".

Jumpers
Small, plastic-coated conductive shorting blocks that are installed on pins on circuit boards to close or complete a circuit to configure the board. They are often labeled JP 1, JP 2, and so on.

 

K

Keyboard
A common input device through which data and instructions may be typed into computer memory.

L

LAN (Local Area Network)
When two or more computers are linked via a network cable, usually in a limited geographical area, such as the same floor in a building or in the same company, they are referred to as being on a Local Area Network.

Latency
This term is a measure of the amount of time that it takes for data to travel from one computer to another over a network or the Internet. This lag time can be measured using the PING command. See the Useful Utilities section for more information on the PING command and latency. Latency is usually not an issue on a Local Area Network, but on the Internet, excessive latency can cause game performance to degrade substantially. Therefore, when playing any game over the Internet, it is important to have a low latency connection. High latencies can cause poor multiplayer performance and can decrease stability.

Legacy Device
An older device or adapter card that does not support PnP, and may have to be manually configured through jumpers or DIP switches.

Line Noise
Static over a phone line that can cause poor modem connections.

Loading High
The process of loading a driver or TSR (Terminate Stay Resident) into upper memory.

Local Talk
Allows for a Local Area Network setup and is a built-in feature on Macintosh systems.

Logical Block Addressing (LBA)
A method in which the operating system views the drive as one long linear list of LBAs, permitting larger drive sizes to be accessed by the OS.

Lossy Compression
A method that drops unnecessary data, but with image and sound loss. JPEG allows the user to control the amount of loss, which is inversely related to the image size.

Low Resolution
See "Resolution".

 

M

Mail Server
Central point where e-mail is stored. Several people within a company or organization use the same mail server but each person has their own e-mail address.

Mailing List
A group of names relating to a particular topic that can receive postings.

Media
A collective word to refer to physical material, such as a disk or tape. In network terminology, it is used to refer to the material that connects computers and resources together on a network (i.e. the cables and connectors).

Megabyte (MB)
Abbreviated as MB, Meg or M, this is a measurement of memory equaling 1 million bytes or 1,048,576 bytes. See also "Byte".

Megahertz (MHz)
One million hertz. CPU speed is measure in MHz (for example, a Pentium III may have a speed of 800 MHz).

MemMaker
A DOS utility that can increase the amount of conventional memory available to DOS based software applications, by loading drivers and TSRs into upper memory.

Memory Cache
A small amount of faster RAM that stores recently retrieved data, in anticipation of what the CPU will next request, thus speeding up access time.

Memory Conflict
A problem that occurs when two programs attempt to use the same memory address at the same time. This may cause the computer to lockup or "hang".

Memory Management
The process of increasing available conventional memory, required by DOS based programs, accomplished by loading device drivers and TSRs into upper memory.

Microprocessor
Consists of a central processing unit (CPU) on a single chip that can have over a million transistors in a single, integrated-circuit package that is roughly 1 square inch in size.

MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension)
When audio or visual messages or pictures are sent via e-mail, they are sent in the MIME format (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension).

Mirror Site
A duplicate of another site containing all the same information and files.

MMX (Multimedia Extensions) Technology
A variation of the Pentium processor designed to manage and speed up high-volume input/output needed for graphics, motion video, animation, and sound.

Modem
Computers are not capable of communicating over a phone line on their own, because computers communicate in digital signals while telephone lines communicate in analog waves. A device is needed to translate signals from digital to analog and vice-versa. This device is a modem. A sending modem "MOdulates" digital signals into analog ones, while the receiving modem will "DEModulate" analog signals back into digital ones.

Modem Control Panel
You can use some Windows tools, such as the modem control panel, to test your modem.

  1. From the Windows 95/98 Start Menu, select Settings > Control Panel.
  2. Double-click on the Modem icon.
  3. Click on the Diagnostics tab at the top.
  4. Highlight the COM Port for your modem.
  5. Click on More Info. Windows 95/98 will now attempt to communicate with the modem.

See also "HyperTerminal" and "Dial-up Networking".

Monitor
The most commonly used output device for displaying text and graphics on a computer (for example, a 17inch SVGA monitor).

Motherboard
The main circuit board on a computer system that includes the processor, main memory, support circuitry, and bus controller & connector. Other circuit boards (i.e. memory expansion boards, I/O boards, etc.) can be connected to the motherboard via the bus connector.

Mouse
A pointing and input device that allows the user to move the cursor around the screen and select programs with the click of a button.

MPC (Multimedia Personal Computer) specifications
A Microsoft and consortium of hardware manufacturers standard of measuring the data transfer rate and CPU usage of a CD-ROM drive for multimedia PCs. Many programs, especially games, on CD-ROM have requirements based on the MPC rating of a CD-ROM drive.

MPEG (Motion Picture Experts Group)
A processing-intensive standard for data compression for motion pictures that tracks movement from one frame to the next, and only stores the new data that has changed.

MS-DOS
See "DOS".

MS-DOS Mode
The truest emulation of standard MS-DOS on a Windows 95 computer system. MS-DOS mode requires that the Real Mode device drivers for peripheral devices, such as the mouse, the CD-ROM drive and the sound card, be installed and specified to load in the system’s start-up files in order for these devices to function in this mode. To access MS-DOS mode, click on the Start Menu in Windows 95, select Shut Down, and choose the 3rd option listed there: "Restart the Computer in MS-DOS mode" and select "Yes."

MSDOS.SYS
A read-only, hidden MS-DOS system file that must be on the boot disk for a system to boot successfully.

Multimedia
A type of computer presentation that combines text, graphics, animations, photos, sound, and/or full-motion video.

Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI)
Pronounced "middy", a standard for transmitting sound from musical devices, such as electronic keyboards, to computers where it can be digitally stored.

 

N

National Television Standards Committee (NTSC)
An organization that sets standards for such devices as video-capturing cards.

NetBEUI (NetBIOS Extended User Interface)
A proprietary Microsoft networking protocol used only by Windows based systems, and limited to LANs because it does not support routing.

Network Interface Card (NIC)
A network adapter board that plugs into a computer's systemboard and provides a port on the back of the card to connect a PC to a network.

Network
Consists of two or more computers connected to each other by a cable so that they can share data. A group of computers and other devices connected together is also referred to as a network, and the concept of connected computers sharing resources is called networking. One advantage of networking is that it is much cheaper to share resources, such as a printer, rather than installing a printer at every computer on the network. It's also faster to send and receive files via a network than it is to copy one document from a floppy disk onto every system that needs to use it and then have to recopy & redistribute the document each time it's modified.

Newsgroup
A group of individuals who converge on Usenet to post electronic messages about a particular topic.

Node
Each computer, workstation, or device on a network.

Noise
An extraneous, unwanted signal, often over an analog phone line, that can cause communication interference or transmission errors. Possible sources are fluorescent lighting, radios, TVs, or bad wiring.

Non-parity Memory
Slightly less expensive, 8-bit memory without error checking, used on Macs and recently in DOS PCs.

Null Modem
A cable that is used to regulate data flow in a peer-to-peer network. Data can only travel in one direction at one time on a peer-to-peer network. A null modem acts as a switching mechanism to control the direction of data flow so that the two computers do not try to send data to each other simultaneously.

 

O

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer)
Some OEM’s purchase computer components from other retailers to be integrated into their own finished products that are available for sale on the public market.

Offline
The act of working on a computer that is not currently connected to another computer or network.

On-board BIOS
Basic input/output system services found on a supporting circuit board such as a controller card.

On-board Ports
Ports that are directly on the systemboard, such as a built-in keyboard port or on-board serial port.

Online
The act of working on a computer that is connected to another computer or service.

OpenGL
Open Graphics Library. An application programming interface (API) used for 2-D and 3-D color-graphics programming. OpenGL is independent of operating systems and is an industry standard. It is typically used for engineering, visualization, simulation, and other graphics-intensive programming applications.

Operating System (OS)
Programs that control the computer's input and output operations, such as saving files and managing memory. Windows, OS/2, Mac OS, and UNIX are examples of operating systems. See also "DOS".

 

P

Packet
Network segments of data that also include header, destination addresses, and trailer information.

Page
Memory allocated in 4K or 16K segments within a page frame.

Page Fault
A program interrupt that occurs when an application requests data or instructions stored in virtual memory.

Parallel Port
A female port on the computer that can transmit data in parallel, 8 bits at a time, and is usually used with a printer. The DOS names for parallel ports are LPT1 and LPT2.

Parity
An error-checking scheme in which the bits in a byte are added to determine the value of a ninth, or "parity", bit. The value of the parity bit is set to either 0 or 1 to provide an even number of ones for even parity or an odd number of ones for odd parity.

Partition Table
A table written at the very beginning of a hard drive that describes the number and location of all partitions, and identifies the boot partition.

PC-Compatible
A computer that uses an Intel (or compatible) processor and can run DOS and Windows.

Peer-to-Peer Network
One of the two basic types of networks. In a peer-to-peer network, there is no dedicated server or hierarchy among the computers. All the computers are equal and therefore are known as peers. Normally, each computer functions as both a client and a server, and there is no one assigned to be an administrator responsible for the entire network. The user at each computer determines what data on their computer gets shared on the network. See also "Server-based Network".

Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI)
A bus common on Pentium computers that runs at speeds of up to 33 MHz, with a 32-bit-wide data path.

Peripheral Devices
Devices that are attached to the computer to enhance its capabilities, such as the monitor, printer, and mouse.

PING
This is a DOS command-line program (included with Windows 95) that allows you to measure latency between your computer and another computer on a TCP/IP network or the Internet. It sends a small amount of data to an IP Address you specify and awaits a response. When it gets a response from the other computer, it will display (in milliseconds) how long it takes for the data to make the trip over the network. This is called "pinging" the host.

Pipeline Burst Cache
The most common cache on systemboards today, which is slightly slower than other types of cache, but is less expensive.

Pixels
Small dots on a fine horizontal scan line that are illuminated to create an image on the monitor.

Plug-and-Play (PnP)
A technology in which the operating system and BIOS are designed to automatically configure new hardware devices to eliminate system resource conflicts (such as IRQ, DMA, or port conflicts).

Point to Point Protocol (PPP)
A common way PCs with modems can connect to an internet. The Windows Dial-up Networking utility, found under My Computer, uses PPP.

Port
A physical connector at the back of a computer that allows a cable from a peripheral device, such as a printer, mouse, or modem, to be attached. See also "COM Port".

Port Address
A dedicated memory location assigned to a particular device.

POST (Power-On Self-Test)
A self-diagnostic program used to perform a simple test of the CPU, RAM, and various I/O devices. The POST is performed when the computer is first turned on.

Power Supply
A box inside the computer case that supplies power to the systemboard and other installed devices. Power supplies normally provide between 5 and 12 volts DC.

Printer
A peripheral output device that produces printed output to paper. Different types of printers include dot matrix, ink-jet, and laser.

Processor
See "Central Processing Unit (CPU)" and "Microprocessor".

Productivity Software
Business-related programs, such as word processors and spread sheets applications.

Proprietary
When a company has exclusive rights to manufacture and/or market a product. Proprietary computer components are typically more difficult to find and more expensive to buy.

Protected Mode
Protected Mode utilizes all the available RAM to run a program. Protected Mode programs use a DOS Extender to manage the memory as one large block. The most common DOS Extender is DOS4GW (DOS4GW.EXE). Memory managers are not required or recommended for use with Protected Mode programs. Memory managers (i.e., HIMEM.SYS, EMM386.EXE, and QEMM) can decrease performance or crash a protected mode program. In our experience, we have found that 500K of free conventional memory is necessary to allow the Dos Extender (DOS4GW.EXE) to launch so that it can manage the memory for the game.

Protocol
A set of pre-established regulations for communication. Examples of protocols are modem parity settings and the way in which header and trailer information in a data packet is formatted.

Public Domain
Software that can be used, distributed and even modified without consequence.

 

Q

QEMM
Many PC applications that were produced before the introduction of extended memory make use of expanded memory. One of the most common third party memory manager programs available that enables applications to use extended memory as though it were expanded memory is QEMM by Quarterdeck. However, we have had reports of our games experiencing problems with this device driver, so we recommend the use of EMM386.EXE to allocate extended memory as expanded memory for use with our games which require expanded memory, such as "X-Wing Collector’s CD-ROM." See also "HIMEM.SYS," "Expanded Memory (EMS)," and "Extended Memory (XMS)".

 

R

Random Access Memory (RAM)
Temporary memory stored on chips or modules such as SIMMS or DIMMS inside the computer. Information in RAM disappears when the computer's power is turned off.

Read Only Memory (ROM)
Chips that contain programming code and cannot be erased.

Real Mode
Allows Intel processors to emulate the 8088 chip found in the original IBM PC. One of the many limitations of running in real mode is that the program must fit entirely into a computer’s lower 640K of memory (conventional memory). Also, if a real mode program requires device drivers and/or TSR’s to be loaded (i.e. sound card, mouse, CD-ROM, etc.), there is usually not enough free conventional memory for everything to fit into the 640K area and still have enough left over for the program to run. Therefore, it is necessary to load device drivers and TSR’s into upper memory using a memory manager such as EMM386.

Redirector
A small section of code in the network operating system that intercepts requests in the computer and determines if they should be left alone or redirected out to the network. This allows computers attached to a network to work as stand-alone systems as well as allowing for the remote access of data via the network.

Refresh
The process of periodically rewriting the data on dynamic RAM.

Resolution
Describes the clarity or detail level attainable by a monitor or printer when producing an image. It also applies to the number of pixels per unit of measurement on a video display. Usually this measurement denotes the total number of pixels displayed horizontally and vertically on screen, such as 320x200 (a low resolution setting) and 800x600 (a high resolution setting).

Resource Management
The PnP process of allocating resources to devices at startup.

RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) chips
Chips that incorporate only the most frequently used instructions, so that the computer operates faster (for example, the PowerPC uses RISC chips).

RJ-11
A 4 wire connector used to join a telephone line to a wall plate or communication peripheral such as a modem. Used with twisted-pair cabling and used in Token Ring topologies.

RJ-45
Similar to the RJ-11 only it's an 8 wire connector, therefore having twice the number of conductors as an RJ-11.

Root Directory
The main directory on the computer (often represented as C:\ on a hard drive), which typically contains other directories, such as Windows and MSOffice.

 

S

SCSI (Small Computer System Interface)
A faster system-level interface with a host adapter and a bus that can daisy-chain as many as seven other devices together.

Self-Extracting File
A compressed file that is self-expanding when you open it.

Serial Mouse
A mouse that uses a serial port and has a female DB-9 plug.

Serial Port
Male ports on the computer used for transmitting data serially, one bit at a time. They are commonly used for modems and mice, and in DOS are called COM 1 or COM 2.

Server
A Server is a computer that provides shared resources to network users.

Server-Based Network
One of the two basic types of networks. In a server-based network, one or more computers act as servers to all clients on the network. There is a clear distinction between server and client. Network administration is centralized and involves a variety of tasks including: managing users and security, making resources available, maintaining applications and data, and installing and upgrading application software. A server-based network is designed to provide access to many files and printers while maintaining performance and security to the user. See also "Peer-to-peer Network".

SGRAM (Synchronous Graphics RAM)
Memory designed specifically for the video card processing that can synchronize itself with the CPU bus clock.

Shared Data
Files provided by servers across the network.

Shared Resources
Files, printers, or other items that are shared by network users.

Shareware
Software that is freely distributed on a time-trial basis. Should you decide to keep it, you pay a fee to the originator of the program.

Shielding
Protects transmitted data by absorbing stray electrical signals, called noise, so that there is no interference with or distortion of the data traveling through the cable. The outer cover of a cable consists of a non-conducting outer shield, usually made of rubber, Teflon, or plastic.

Short-Cut
A fast way to access an application is to run a short-cut to the application. Windows allows for the creation of short-cuts to applications that can be placed on the desktop for easy access. On a Macintosh system, a short-cut is referred to as an "alias."

Signal Bounce
Because the data is sent to the entire network, it will travel from one end of the cable to the other and continue uninterrupted if it isn't either received by a computer or terminated. This is referred to as signal bounce. The presence of this continuous signal bouncing back and forth over the network prevents any other computer on the network from sending a signal at the same time. See also "Terminator".

SIMM (Single In-Line Memory Modules)
Miniature circuit boards that are used in newer computers in place of traditional RAM chips. These mini-boards hold 8, 16, or 32 MB on a single module.

Sleep Mode
A mode used in many "green" computers that allows them to be programmed through CMOS to suspend the monitor or even the drive if the keyboard and/or CPU have been inactive for a set number of minutes.

Slot
A socket on the systemboard into which adapter boards or interface cards can be installed.

Software
Computer programs or instructions to perform a specific task. Software may be operating systems or applications software such as a word processing or spreadsheet program.

Software Cache
A disk cache that is stored on the hard drive as software and uses RAM to hold the cache. It is usually loaded into memory as a TSR.

Stand-Alone System
A stand-alone computer is one that is not connected to a network. Computers attached to a network can also function as stand-alone systems.

Startup Files
The files that load during the boot sequence (when you start up a PC system) are often referred to as startup files. The config.sys and autoexec.bat are examples of startup files.

Static RAM (SRAM)
RAM chips that retain information without the need for refreshing as long as the power is on. They are more expensive than traditional DRAM.

Surge Suppressor
A device or power strip designed to protect electronic equipment from power surges and spikes.

Synchronous Transmission
Synchronous communication relies on a timing scheme coordinated between two devices to separate groups of bits and transmit them in blocks known as frames. In synchronous transmissions, the digital pulses are coordinated by the system clock of either computer. Start and stop bits are not required since the bits are sent and received in a timed, controlled matter. Transmission simply stops at the end of one frame and starts again with a new one. If there is an error, the data is retransmitted.

System Administrator
A person in charge of a host machine or network.

System BIOS
Basic input/output system chip(s) residing on the systemboard that control(s) normal I/O to such areas as system memory and video display.

Systemboard
The main board in the computer, also called the motherboard. The CPU, ROM chips, SIMMs, and interface cards are plugged into the systemboard.

System Disk
A disk that includes an operating system and can be used to boot or start a computer. A floppy boot disk is a simple type of system disk, that on a PC system running MS-DOS must contain 3 essential files, a config.sys file, an autoexec.bat file, and a command.com file.

 

T

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)
The suite of protocols developed to support the Internet. TCP is responsible for error checking, and IP is responsible for routing.  You need this protocol loaded and configured properly to play LucasArts games on the Internet.

Temp Directory
A location to which inactive applications and data can be moved as a swap file, while Windows continues to process current active applications.

Temporary File
A file that is created by Windows applications, to save temporary data, and that may or may not be deleted when the application is unloaded.

Terminate-and-Stay-Resident Program (TSR)
A program that is loaded into memory but is not immediately executed, such as a screen saver or a memory-resident anti-virus program.

Terminator
To stop a network signal from bouncing, a component called a small terminator device is placed at each end of the cable to absorb free signals. Absorbing the signal clears the cable so that other computers can send data. Every cable end must be plugged into something such as a computer or cable extender. Any open cables must be terminated to prevent signal bounce. See also "Signal Bounce"

Text
Refers to a file that only contains ASCII characters. The file name extension is .txt.

Transformer
A device that converts AC to DC or DC to AC current. A computer power supply is basically a transformer.

Trojan Horse
A type of infestation that hides or disguises itself as a useful program, yet is designed to cause damage at a later time.

TSR
See "Terminate-and-Stay-Resident Program (TSR)".

 

U

UART (Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter) Chip
Helps to convert parallel data from the computer into a serial data stream for transmission over a phone line (i.e. modem) and accepts serial data from the modem and converts it back into parallel data for the CPU. UART's also have a character buffer to store extra characters that the CPU doesn't have time to process immediately. The buffer sizes on earlier UART's were only able to store one character. Data characters which were stored in them would often get over-written by in-coming characters if the CPU was too busy to process them in time. The 16550 UART has a 16 character FIFO buffer and performs flow control. This decreases the number of character over-runs. It is recommended to enable the FIFO Buffer setting if the modem has a 16550 UART. See also "FIFO Buffers".

UniVBE / VESA
A driver that is used to initialize a video card for high resolution. UniVBE is good, but we recommend using the VESA (high resolution) driver from the manufacturer of the video card, this driver takes advantage of the video card's built-in features for high resolution. Using the VESA driver from the manufacturer can, in some cases, increase the overall performance of the game and allow you to play a high resolution game in high resolution without any difficulties.

Universal Serial Bus (USB)
A bus developed by Intel Corporation, intended to be used by low volume I/O devices such as modems, joysticks, trackballs, and mice.

Upload
The act of sending a file to another computer.

Upper Memory Block (UMB)
A group of consecutive memory addresses in RAM from 640K to 1 MB that can be used by device drivers and TSRs.

UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply)
A device designed to provide a backup power supply during a power failure. Basically, a UPS is a battery backup system with an ultra fast sensing device.

URL (Universal Resource Locator)
A unique address that identifies the domain name, path, or filename of a World Wide Web site. The LucasArts URL address is http://www.lucasarts.com.

USENET
A network of literally thousands of newsgroups about every topic possible.

Username (also referred to as User I.D.)
A individual’s identification or ‘screen name’ when connecting to a network or ISP. The name seen by other users on a network, the World Wide Web, etc.

Utility Software
Software packages, such as Norton Utilities, PC Backup, or PC Tools, that provide the means for data recovery and repair, virus detection, and the creation of backups.

 

V

VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) VL Bus
See UniVBE / VESA.

Video Card
An interface card installed in a computer to control the monitor.

Video Controller Card
A card installed in the computer that controls the monitor.  Another name for display adapter.

Video Driver
A program that tells the computer how to effectively communicate with the video adapter card and the monitor. It is often found on a utility disk that is shipped with the card.

Video RAM (VRAM)
RAM on video cards that allows simultaneous access from both the input and output processes.

Virtual Memory
Hard disk space used as though it is RAM in order to increase total RAM in a system. Since hard drives are much slower than RAM access, virtual memory is relatively slow.

Virus
A program that often has an incubation period, is infectious, and is intended to cause damage. A virus program might destroy data and programs or damage a disk drive's boot sector. For example, a Trojan horse or worm are both different forms of viruses.

 

W

WAN (Wide Area Network)
A network that links networked computers over long distances, such as a different town or cross-country.

Warm Boot
First, leave the boot disk in the "A" drive. Hold down the <CTRL> and <ALT> keys at the same time, while holding these keys down, press the <DEL> key. This will reboot your computer. If your are having trouble with a warm boot, try a cold boot.

Web Browser
See "Browser"

Wire Tapping
A general term for the process of physically breaking through the cable cover and making contact with the copper core. Data can be intercepted from a cable using a wire tap, and it can also cause interference with the signal being transmitted. Wire tapping does not work on Fiber-Optic cable.

World Wide Web (WWW)
A conglomeration of special Internet services and special interest groups spanning across the globe. WWW browsers can display special text and graphics and is a mine of both useful and useless information! Today, it is a great way to contact companies and manufacturers regarding their products. In the software industry, it is a way of accessing the latest drivers for your hardware and information about their products.

WORM
An infestation designed to copy itself repeatedly to memory, on drive space, or on a network until little memory or disk space remains.

 

X

XMS
See "Extended Memory (XMS)".

 

Y

YUV
A scheme of determining color by specifying brightness or luminance (Y), the color or hue (U), and the intensity or saturation (V).

 

Z

ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) Socket
A chip socket that has a small locking lever attached to its side. If the lever is raised, the CPU can be easily lifted out of its socket.

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