Phil Storrs PC Hardware book

Computer Acronyms

Note: As this document is an HTML document and is indexed using the table below, it is best to use it on-line as required, rather than printing it.





ABT Advanced BiCMOS Technology (a high speed BiCMOS logic family) ACL Advanced CMOS logic (a high speed CMOS logic family) AGP Advanced Graphics Port (an enhanced version of the PCI Bus, designed for the Video Interface card) AI Artificial Intelligence AIFF A format for storing Sound Files, originally used by Apple and Silicon Graphics ANSI American National Standards Institute API Application Programming Interface ASCII American Standard Code for Information Interchange ASIC Application Specific Integrated Circuit ASPI Advanced SCSI Programming Interface ATM Asynchronous Transfer Mode Back to the index


BIOS Basic Input/Output Services (System) (the "firmware" in a PC computer) BMP BitMaP (the most commonly used image file format in Windows) BNC Bayonet Neill-Concekman (a coax. connector often used with network cables) bps Bits Per Second Bps Bytes Per Second BTL Backplane Transceiver Logic (a high speed logic technology used in FutureBus) Back to the index


CAD Computer-Aided Design CAE Computer-Aided Engineering CAI Computer-Aided Instruction CAM Common Access Method CAM Computer-Aided Manufacturing CAN Control Area Network (a two-wire serial bus for use in automobiles) CASE Computer-Aided Software Engineering CBL Computer-Based Learning CBT Computer-Based Training CCITT Consultative Committee International Telephone Telegraphic (this international body has been replaced by the ITU-T) CD-I CD-Interactive CD-R CDROM wRitable (Can be written to only once, a WORM device) CD-RW CDROM Re-Writable (Can be written and rewritten like a magnetic disk) CEG Continuos Edge Graphics (a video enhancement technique) CGA Colour Graphics Adaptor (the first PC colour video system) CGI Common Gateway Interface (a standard for programs to interface to Internet Servers) CIS Card Information Structure (part of PCMCIA standards) CMOS Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (also used to describe the area of RAM memory used to store configuration data in PC computers) CMY Cyan, Magenta, Yellow (an alternative colour generation system to RGB) CP/M Control Program for Microprocessor (Microcomputer) (an ancestor of MsDOS) CPS Characters Per Second CPU Central Processor Unit (the processor chip in a computer) CRC Cyclic Redundancy Check CRT Cathode Ray Tube (often used to refer to the monitor in a computer system) CSMA/CD Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detect CUI Character Based Interface (DOS is a CUI) Back to the index


DAC Digital to Analog Converter DAT Digital Audio Tape (used as a data backup media) DD Double density (a floppy disk term) DDE Dynamic Data Exchange DIMM Dual Inline Memory Module (latest RAM technology) DIP Dual Inline Package (an IC package) DIL Dual InLine (same as above) DLT Digital's Linear Tape (a tape backup standard) DMA Direct Memory Access DNA Digital Network Architecture (a DEC networking system) DOS Disk Operating System dpi dots per inch (a way of specifying a printers resolution) DRam Dynamic Ram DTMF (TMF) Dual Tone Multi-Frequency generator (used in telephony to provide dial tones) DVD Digital Vesatile Disk (the next generation of CDROM technology) Back to the index


ECMA European Computer Manufacturer Association ECC Error Correction Code EDO Extended Data Output (an advanced DRam technology) EPROM Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory (erased by exposing chip to UV light) EEPROM Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory EGA Extended Graphics Adaptor (Video standard introduced with the AT computer) EISA Extended Industry Standard Architecture (a 32 bit BUS standard) EMM Extended Memory Management (refers to memory above an address of One Meg.) EMS Extended Memory Specification (refers to memory above an address of One Meg.) EPS Encapsulate PostScript (a printer communications standard) ESDI Enhanced Small Device Interface (a hard drive interface standard) ExCA Exchangeable Card Architecture Back to the index


FAQ Frequently Asked Questions FAT File Allocation Table FDDI Fibre Distributed Data Interface FIFO First-In, First-Out (refers to a type of data buffer) FPRam Fast Page mode Ram FPU Floating Point Unit (often called a Maths Co-processor) FTP File Transfer Protocol Back to the index


GAL Generic Array Logic (a programmable logic devices that have a hard wired array) GIF Graphic Interchange Format (a high compression image file format) GIGO Garbage In, Garbage Out GUI Graphical User Interface (Microsoft Windows is an example of a GUI) Back to the index


HD High Density (a floppy disk term) HDLC High Level Data Link Control HMA High Memory Area HPFS High Performance File System (use by IBM's OS/2) HTML HyperText Markup Language HTTP HyperText Transfer Protocol Back to the index


IC Integrated Circuit I2C Inter-Integrated Circuit bus (a simple, inexpensive two-wire serial bus used to control IC components in a system) IDE Inbuilt (Internal) Drive Electronics (a hard drive interface) IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (a professional body) IP Internet Protocol IRC Internet Relay Chat (real-time multi-party conferencing system on Internet) IRQ Interrupt ReQuest ISA Industry Standard Architecture (the Bus standard first introduced by IBM in the AT computer - has sixteen bit data path and 24 bit address) ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network ISO International Standards Organisation ISR Interrupt Service Routine IVT Interrupt Vector Table I/O Input / Output Back to the index


JEIDA Japan Electronics Industry Development Association JPEG Joint Photographic Experts Group (refers to a static image compression format) Back to the index


Kbps Kilobits per second KB KiloBytes KISS Keep It Simple, Stupid Back to the index


LAN Local Area Network LCD Liquid Crystal Display (an alternative display device to the CRT, used in Laptops) LIM Lotus Intel Microsoft LPT Line PrinTer Back to the index


Mbps Meg Bits Per Second MBps Meg Bytes Per Second MCA Micro Channel Architecture (an advanced BUS standard introduced by IBM) MDA Mono Display Adaptor (a video system standard) MFM Modified Frequency Modulation (a disk recording method) MGA Mono Graphics Adaptor (Hercules video card) (a video system standard) MIDI Musical Instrument Digital Interface MIPS Millions of Instructions Per Second MLDP MuTiMedia laser Disk Player MMCD Multi Media CD MMX MutiMedia eXtensions (additions to the Pentium processor instruction set) MPC Multimedia PC MPEG Motion Picture Experts Group (a defining body of the CCITT) MTBF Mean Time Between Failure MUD Multi-User Dungeon (a series of games played by users of the Internet) Back to the index


nn News Network (a global electronic mail news system) NLQ Near Letter Quality NTFS NT File System (used by Windows NT) NTSC National Television Standard Committee (the television system used in the USA) NRZ Non Return to Zero Back to the index


OCR Optical Character Recognition OEM Original Equipment Manufacturer OLE Object Linking and Embedding OS/2 Operating System 2 (an alternative to MSDos, introduced with the IBM PS/2) OSI Open Systems Interconnection OTP One Time Programmable Back to the index


PAL Phase Alternate Lock (the television system used in Europe and Australia) PAL Programmed Array Logic - an alternative name for a PLA (a trademark of AMD) PCI Peripheral Component Interconnect (a local bus standard) PCMCIA Personal Computer Memory Card International Association PDA Personal Digital Assistants PGA Pin Grid Array (an IC packaging used for modern Processor chips) PIF Program Information File (files used by MsWindows to run applications) PLA Programmable Logic Array PLC Programmable Logic Controller PLCC Plastic Leaded Chip Carrier (an IC package used for older processor chips) PLD Programmable Logic Device PLL Phase-Locked Loop PnP Plug and Play POST Power On Self Test Back to the index


QIC Quarter Inch Cartridge (a tape backup standard) Back to the index


RAID Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks RAM Random Access Memory RGB Red Green Blue (refers to the video signals required to produce a colour image) RISC Reduced Instruction Set Computer (a processor technology, used in the PowerPC) RLL Run Length Limited (a disk recording method) ROM Read Only Memory RTFM Read The "Flaming" Manual Back to the index


SCSI Small Computer System Interface SDLC Synchronous Data Link Communications (an IBM computer networking protocol) SDRam Synchronous D Ram (the latest DRam technology) SECAM Sequential Colour and Memory System (television system used in France, Russia) SEC Single Edge Contact (the socket used for the Pentium II processor) SIG Special Interest Group SIP Single Inline Package (package type used for Ram Memory - older technology) SIMM Single Inline Memory Module (package type used for Ram Memory - current technology) SMBUS System Management Bus SMD Surface Mount Device (a method of mounting components on a circuit board) SMT Surface Mount Technology SMTP Simple Mail Transfer Protocol SNA System Network Architecture (an IBM networking standard) SNTP Simple Network Management Protocol SPG Serial Parallel Games (used to describe an interface card providing these functions) SSA Serial SCSI Architecture Back to the index


TCP/IP Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol TIFF Tagged Image File Format (a versatile image file format ) TSR Terminate and Stay Ready (refers to a "memory resident" program) TTL Transistor Transistor Logic (a logic device technology) TTY Teletype (usually refers to a simple ASCII terminal device) TWAIN Toolkit Without An Interesting Name (standard specification for image scanners) Back to the index


UART Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter (chip used in serial I/O ports) UDP User Datagram Protocol UMB Upper Memory Block UPS Un-interrupted Power Supply URL Universal Resource Locater USB Universal Serial Bus Back to the index


VDM Virtual DOS Machine VDT Video Display Terminal (another name for a video display monitor) VDU Video Display Unit (another name for a video display monitor) VESA Video Electronics Standards Association VGA Versatile Graphics Array (Adaptor) (a video system standard) VLSI Very Large Scale Integration VRM Voltage Regulator Module (a socket found on many modern system boards) VRam Video Ram (a special Ram technology used for video Ram on video interface cards) Back to the index


WAIS Wide Area Information Service (a search service on the Internet) WAN Wide Area Network WORM Write Once, Read Many times (an example is the CD-R disk) Wysiwyg What You See Is What You Get WRam Windows Ram (a special Ram technology used for video Ram on video interface cards) WWW World Wide Web (part of the "Information Super Highway") Back to the index


XGA eXtended Graphics Array (a video system standard) XIP eXecute In Place XMM eXtended Memory Manager XMS eXtended Memory Specification Back to the index


Back to the index


ZIF Zero Insertion Force socket Back to the index

The opening index The PC Glossary

Book one index Book two index Book three index Book four index Book five index

Copyright © Phil. Storr, last updated 26th December 1998