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Help! My MAC keeps shutting off on its own and/or gives me a Kernel error.

Article ID: 140
Last updated: 14 May, 2012

Apple Hardware Test (AHT)

Macintosh users who are experiencing frequent kernel panics or random shut-downs should use the Apple Hardware Test application that ships with every Mac.   The test is useful in determining what, if any, components are failing so you can have it repaired or serviced by Apple.

 Running AHT

  1. Insert the software restore DVD into the computer (AHT will not run from a standalone OS X DVD).

  2. Startup the computer, holding the "D" key to enter the Apple Hardware Test application.

 AHT Uses

Apple Hardware Test allows you to run a series of tests on your system’s RAM, logic board, modem (if present), video RAM, and Apple’s Airport Card. It will not test non-Apple devices. There are two tests; "Basic" and "Extended Testing". The basic test usually takes approximately 4 minutes, the extended test usually takes about 20 minutes.

Apple Hardware Test also consists of a version of the Apple System Profiler, and allows you view your computer’s memory configuration, video card info, active communication ports, and basic system info such as your serial number, Boot ROM version, and model number.   

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For more information or to get assistance,  Contact the helpdesk at 518-244-4777 or by emailing helpdesk@sage.edu.
Article submitted by Jon Brennan

'; glosarry_items[7] = '

A text editor is any word processing program that you can use to type and edit text. Hey, they don\'t call it a text editor for nothing... Word Pad and NotePad for Windows and SimpleText and TextEdit for the Mac are common text editors. Larger programs such as Microsoft Word and Word Perfect are also text editors, but they have many more features. You can actually write HTML code and create HTML pages with a simple text editor, as long as you know the correct HTML syntax.

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As the name implies, multimedia is the integration of multiple forms of media. This includes text, graphics, audio, video, etc. For example, a presentation involving audio and video clips would be considered a \"multimedia presentation.\" Educational software that involves animations, sound, and text is called \"multimedia software.\" CDs and DVDs are often considered to be \"multimedia formats\" since they can store a lot of data and most forms of multimedia require a lot of disk space.

Due to the advancements in computer speeds and storage space, multimedia is commonplace today. Therefore, the term doesn\'t produce the same excitement is once did. This also means it is not as overused as it was back in the late \'90s. Thank goodness.

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Like Java, this is a programming lanuguage designed by Sun Microsystems, in conjuction with Netscape, that can be integrated into standard HTML pages. While JavaScript is based on the Java syntax, it is a scripting language, and therefore cannot be used to create stand-alone programs. Instead, it is used mainly to create dynamic, interactive Web pages. For example, Web developers can use JavaScript to validate form input, create image rollovers, and to open those annoying pop-up windows. Like so many other things, we have to take the good with the bad.

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A batch file is a type of script that contains a list of commands. These commands are executed in sequence and can be used to automate processes. For example, some programs may include a batch file that executes a number of commands as the program starts up. A user can also create a custom batch file to automate tedious processes such as copying multiple directories or renaming several files at once.

Batch files are run by the COMMAND.COM program, which is part of DOS and Windows. Therefore, batch files can only be run within the Windows operating system. Macintosh and Unix have other scripting tools, such as AppleScript and Unix shell commands, that can be used for similar tasks. Because batch files contain executable commands, it is important not to open unknown batch files on your hard disk or in e-mail attachments.

'; glosarry_items[11] = '

A computer peripheral is any external device that provides input and output for the computer. For example, a keyboard and mouse are input peripherals, while a monitor and printer are output peripherals. Computer peripherals, or peripheral devices, are sometimes called \"I/O devices\" because they provide input and output for the computer. Some peripherals, such as external hard drives, provide both input and output for the computer.

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Also known as an \"IP number\" or simply an \"IP,\" this is a code made up of numbers separated by three dots that identifies a particular computer on the Internet. Every computer, whether it be a Web server or the computer you\'re using right now, requires an IP address to connect to the Internet. IP addresses consist of four sets of numbers from 0 to 255, separated by three dots. For example \"66.72.98.236\" or \"216.239.115.148\". Your Internet Service Provider (ISP), will assign you either a static IP address (which is always the same) or a dynamic IP address, (which changes everytime you log on). ISPs typically assign dial-up users a dynamic IP address each time they sign on because it reduces the number of IP addresses they must register. However, if you connect to the Internet through a network or broadband connection, it is more likely that you have a static IP address.



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Most of the processing done on a computer is done via the computer\'s central processing unit, or CPU. So in order to give the CPU a break and help it run more efficiently, a video card can be used to process the graphics portion of the processing load. Because most of today\'s programs are graphically oriented, the video card can help almost any program run more efficiently. However, the difference in performance is especially noticeable in image editing applications and 3D games.

Video cards, also called graphics accelerators, can speed up both 2D and 3D graphics rendering. Programs such as photo editors and Web browsers may benefit from 2D acceleration, while CAD design programs and video games will most likely benefit from the card\'s 3D acceleration. Some programs rely so heavily on the video card, that they will not run if a supported video card is not installed.

Most video cards support the OpenGL and DirectX libraries. These libraries include commands for manipulating graphics that programmers can include in their code. Some of these commands may include moving or rotating an object, morphing polygons, or casting light and creating shadows. By using standard OpenGL or DirectX functions, it makes it easier for developers to create graphically-oriented programs. Of course, it also makes it necessary for the computer to include a supported video card in order for the program to run.

Video cards are typically installed in either the PCI or AGP slots in the back of a computer. Most computers come with a video card installed in one of these slots, which means it can be upgraded at a later time.

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A standalone device is able to function independently of other hardware. This means it is not integrated into another device. For example, a TiVo box that can record television programs is a standalone device, while a DVR that is integrated into a digital cable box is not standalone. Integrated devices are typically less expensive than multiple standalone products that perform the same functions. However, using standalone hardware typically allows the user greater customization, whether it be a home theater or computer system.

Standalone can also refer to a software program that does not require any software other than the operating system to run. This means that most software programs are standalone programs. Software such as plug-ins and expansion packs for video games are not standalone programs since they will not run unless a certain program is already installed.

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PostScript is a page description language (PDL) that describes a page\'s text and graphical content. It can be used to define the appearance of graphics and text for both screen and print. The language was developed by Adobe in 1984 and has since gone through may revisions and updates.

Before PostScript was introduced, publishing systems relied on proprietary typesetting systems, which often caused incompatibilities between computers and printing systems. In fact, before the days of PostScript, pages that incorporated text, images, and line art had to be manually assembled on a paste-up board and then photographed. The resulting picture was sent to a printing plate, which was used to make copies of the document -- pretty archaic compared to the simple printing options available today.

Adobe PostScript makes it possible to produce high quality page content that can include text, images, and line art in a standard format compatible with multiple devices. For example, PostScript (.PS) files will print the exact same way from different PostScript compatible printers. They can also be opened using Adobe Acrobat and will look the same on Macintosh and Windows platforms. In fact, the evolution of PostScript led to the development of Adobe Acrobat, which creates PDF documents.

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The clipboard is a section of RAM where your computer stores copied data. This can be a selection of text, an image, a file, or other type of data. It is placed in the clipboard whenever you use the \"Copy\" command, which is located in the Edit menu of most programs.

Data from the clipboard can be pasted into a document or program using the \"Paste\" command, which is also located in most programs\' Edit menu. For example, an image copied to the clipboard from your photo album may be pasted into an image editing program such as Photoshop. A Web address can be copied to the clipboard from an e-mail and pasted into your Web browser\'s address field.

Some programs allow you to see what data is stored in the clipboard. For example, the Finder in Mac OS X allows you to choose \"Show Clipboard\" from the Edit menu. When you copy data to the clipboard, whatever data was already stored in the clipboard is typically replaced by the new data. Because the clipboard data is stored in RAM, it is also deleted when your computer is shut down or restarted.

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Computers are made up of many different parts, such as a motherboard, CPU, RAM, and hard drive. Each of these parts are made up of smaller parts, called components.

For example, a motherboard includes electrical connectors, a printed circuit board (PCB), capacitors, resistors, and transformers. All these components work together to make the motherboard function with the other parts of the computer. The CPU includes components such as integrated circuits, switches, and extremely small transistors. These components process information and perform calculations.

Generally speaking, a component is a element of a larger group. Therefore, the larger parts of a computer, such as the CPU and hard drive, can also be referred to as computer components. Technically, however, the components are the smaller parts that make up these devices.

Component may also refer to component video, which is a type of high-quality video connection. A component connection sends the video signal through three separate cables ? one for red, green, and blue. This provides better color accuracy than composite video (typically a yellow connector), which combines all the color signals into a single cable.

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A boot disk is actually not a computer disk in the shape of a boot. If it was, most disk drives would have a difficult time reading it. Instead, a boot disk is a disk that a computer can start up or \"boot\" from. The most common type of boot disk is an internal hard drive, which most computers use to start up from. The operating system installed on the hard drive is loaded during the boot process.

However, most computers allow you to boot from other disks, including external Firewire hard drives, CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs, and floppy disks. In order to function as boot disks, these disks need to have an operating system installed that is understandable by the computer. This can either be a full-blown operating system like Windows or Mac OS X, or a small utility operating system, such as Norton Utilities or DiskWarrior.

CD and DVD boot disks are often used to start up a computer when the operating system on the internal hard drive won\'t load. This can happen when bad data blocks or other errors occur on the disk. By running a disk repair utility from the CD or DVD, you can often fix the hard drive and restart from it, using the full operating system.

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A mainframe is an ultra high-performance computer made for high-volume, processor-intensive computing. They are typically used by large businesses and for scientific purposes. You probably won\'t find a mainframe in any household. In the hierarchy of computers, mainframes are right below supercomputers, the most powerful computers in the world. (Which is why they are aptly named \"supercomputers.\") Yet a mainframe can usually execute many programs simultaneously at a high speed, whereas supercomputers are designed for a single process. Currently, the largest manufacturers of mainframes are IBM and Unisys.

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Computer software is a general term that describes computer programs. Related terms such as software programs, applications, scripts, and instruction sets all fall under the category of computer software. Therefore, installing new programs or applications on your computer is synonymous with installing new software on your computer.

Software can be difficult to describe because it is \"virtual,\" or not physical like computer hardware. Instead, software consists of lines of code written by computer programmers that have been compiled into a computer program. Software programs are stored as binary data that is copied to a computer\'s hard drive, when it is installed. Since software is virtual and does not take up any physical space, it is much easier (and often cheaper) to upgrade than computer hardware.

While at its most basic level, software consists of binary data, CD-ROMs, DVDs, and other types of media that are used to distribute software can also be called software. Therefore, when you buy a software program, it often comes on a disc, which is a physical means of storing the software.

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A metafile can refer to two different types of computer files. The first is a file that describes the contents of other files. This type of metafile may contain metadata, which defines a group other files and gives a summary of what data they contain.

The second type of metafile is most often used in computer graphics. These files define objects and images using a list of coordinates. They are typically used for vector images, such as Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, and EPS files, but can include raster images as well.

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An abbreviation designed to help the user remember the menu or process for which it stands. Each mnemonic will either run a process or take the user to another menu. For example, STUI stands for \"Student Inquiry\".

'; glosarry_items[23] = '

Computer hardware refers to the physical parts of a computer and related devices. Internal hardware devices include motherboards, hard drives, and RAM. External hardware devices include monitors, keyboards, mice, printers, and scanners.

The internal hardware parts of a computer are often referred to as components, while external hardware devices are usually called peripherals. Together, they all fall under the category of computer hardware. Software, on the other hand, consists of the programs and applications that run on computers. Because software runs on computer hardware, software programs often have system requirements that list the minimum hardware required for the software to run.

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A filename is a text string that identifies a file. Every file stored on a computer\'s hard disk has a filename that helps identify the file within a given folder. Therefore, each file within a specific folder must have a different filename, while files in different folders can have the same name.

Filenames may contain letters, numbers, and other characters. Depending on the operating system, certain characters cannot be used since they conflict with operators or other syntax used by the operating system. Different operating systems also have different limits for the number of characters a filename can have. While older operating systems limited filenames to only 8 or 16 characters, newer OS\'s allow filenames to be as long as 256 characters. Of course, for most practical purposes, 16 characters is usually enough.

Filenames also usually include a file extension, which identifies the type of file. The file extension is also called the \"filename suffix\" since it is appended to the filename, following a dot or period. For example, a Microsoft Word document may be named \"document1.doc.\" While technically the filename in the preceding example is \"document1\" and \"doc\" is the extension, it is also acceptable to refer to \"document1.doc\" as the filename. In some cases, the filename may even refer to the file\'s directory location, i.e. (\"\\My Documents\\School Papers\\document1.doc\").

You can name a file by clicking on the file\'s icon or filename, waiting for a second, then clicking on the filename again. As long as the file is not locked, the filename will become highlighted, and you can type a new name for the file. You can also name a file the first time you save it from a program or by selecting \"Save As...\" from the program\'s File menu.

'; glosarry_items[25] = '

Clip art is a collection of pictures or images that can be imported into a document or another program. The images may be either raster graphics or vector graphics. Clip art galleries many contain anywhere from a few images to hundreds of thousands of images.

Clip art is typically organized into categories, such as people, objects, nature, etc., which is especially helpful when browsing through thousands of images. Most clip art images also have keywords associated with them. For example, a picture of a female teacher in a classroom may have the keywords \"school,\" \"teacher,\" \"woman,\" \"classroom,\" and \"students\" associated with it. Most clip art programs allow you to search for images based on these keywords.

When you find a clip art image you want to use, you can copy it to your computer\'s clipboard and paste it into another program, such as Photoshop or Microsoft Word. You may also be able to export the image to the Desktop or another folder on your hard disk. Most clip art is royalty free, meaning you can use the images without paying royalties to the creators of the images. So if you buy a clip art package with 50,000 images for $50.00, you are only paying 1/10 of one cent for each image. That\'s a pretty good deal.

'; glosarry_items[26] = '

Technically, a computer is a programmable machine. This means it can execute a programmed list of instructions and respond to new instructions that it is given. Today, however, the term is most often used to refer to the desktop and laptop computers that most people use. When referring to a desktop model, the term \"computer\" technically only refers to the computer itself -- not the monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Still, it is acceptable to refer to everything together as the computer. If you want to be really technical, the box that holds the computer is called the \"system unit.\"

Some of the major parts of a personal computer (or PC) include the motherboard, CPU, memory (or RAM), hard drive, and video card. While personal computers are by far the most common type of computers today, there are several other types of computers. For example, a \"minicomputer\" is a powerful computer that can support many users at once. A \"mainframe\" is a large, high-powered computer that can perform billions of calculations from multiple sources at one time. Finally, a \"supercomputer\" is a machine that can process billions of instructions a second and is used to calculate extremely complex calculations.

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Stands for \"Digital Versatile Disc Random Access Memory.\" DVD-RAMs are writable DVDs. The discs can also be erased and rewritten like the DVD-RW and DVD+RW formats. However, DVD-RAM discs work only when placed in an enclosing cartridge, meaning they won\'t fit in most standard DVD players or DVD-ROM drives. The first DVD-RAM media could hold 2.6GB on a single-sided disc, but newer double-sided discs can store up to 9.4GB.

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As computer users, we have become accustomed to icons that represent files, folders, programs, and other objects on the computer. Many software programs also use icons to represent tools, which are often found in the program\'s toolbar. While these icons can save screen space and make the program\'s interface more attractive, it can sometimes be difficult to tell what all the tool icons mean. While some tool icons are obvious (such as a printer icon to print and a scissors icon to cut a text selection), others are a bit more ambiguous. For this reason, programs often include tooltips that explain what each tool icon represents.

Tooltips are displayed when you roll over an icon with the cursor. It may take a second or two to display the tooltip, but when it does appear, it usually is a small box with a yellow background explaining what the icon represents. For example, in Microsoft Word, when you roll over the disk icon, the tooltip \"Save\" appears. This means clicking on the disk icon will save your document. In Photoshop, when you roll over the wand icon, the text \"Magic Wand Tool (W)\" appears. This indicates that clicking the the wand icon or pressing the W key will activate the magic wand selection tool.

Not all programs incorporate tooltips, but most modern programs include them as part of a user-friendly interface. Operating systems also support them in different ways. For example, Mac OS X will show the full text of a long filename when you place the cursor over the filename. Windows includes tooltips for the systray icons and also tells you information about each file and folder you place the cursor over. If you drag your cursor over different icons on your computer, you may find tooltips you never knew were there!

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This term is used to describe the architecture of an integrated circuit. For example, the chipset of a modem card would be much different than the chipset of a computer\'s CPU. Processors themselves also have different chipsets. For example, a Pentium II and Pentium III have slightly different chipsets, and the PowerPC processors have other kinds. Though there are many different types of chipsets that reside in today\'s computer hardware, the average user does not need to know much about them. After all, as long it works, who cares? =)

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Stands for \"Digital Versatile Disk Rewritable.\" A DVD+RW is like a DVD+R, but can be erased and rewritten. DVD+RWs must be completely erased in order for new data to be added. DVD+RW discs can hold 4.7GB of data and do not come in double-sided or double-layer versions like DVD+Rs do. Still, 4.7GB of data is a lot of storage space. Combined with their ability to be re-recorded, DVD+RWs are a great choice for making frequent backups of your data. To record data onto a DVD+RW disc, you\'ll need a DVD burner that supports the DVD+RW format.

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Just like humans, computers rely a lot on memory. They need to process and store data, just like we do. However, computers store data in digital format, which means the information can always be called up exactly the way it was stored. Also, unlike our memory, the computer\'s memory doesn\'t get worse over time.

While memory can refer to any medium of data storage, it usually refers to RAM, or random access memory. When your computer boots up, it loads the operating system into its memory, or RAM. This allows your computer to access system functions, such as handling mouse clicks and keystrokes, since the event handlers are all loaded into RAM. Whenever you open a program, the interface and functions used by that program are also loaded into RAM.

RAM is a very high-speed type of memory, which makes it ideal for storing active programs and system processes. It is different than hard disk space in that RAM is made up of physical memory chips, while hard disks are magnetic disks that spin inside a hard drive. Accessing RAM is much faster than accessing the hard disk because RAM access is based on electric charges, while the hard drive needs to seek to the correct part of the disk before accessing data. However, all the information stored in RAM is erased when the computer\'s power is turned off. The hard disk, on the other hand, stores data magnetically without requiring any electrical power.

Another common type of memory is flash memory, which is typically used for small devices such as digital cameras, USB keychain drives, and portable music players like the iPod nano. This kind of memory, known as \"electrically erasable programmable read-only memory\" (EEPROM), is convenient for portable devices, since it stores information even when its power source is turned off, but is smaller and more resilient than a hard drive.

To summarize, memory is a vital part of the way computers and many electronic devices function. While memory and RAM can often be used synonymously, it is good to know about other types of memory as well. Hopefully you will be able to store the information you\'ve learned in your own memory.

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Stands for \"Digital Versatile Disk Rewritable.\" A DVD-RW is like a DVD-R but can be erased and written to again. Like CD-RWs, DVD-RWs must be erased in order for new data to be added. DVD-RWs can hold 4.7GB of data and do not come in double-layered or double-sided versions like DVD-Rs do. Because of their large capacity and ability to be used mulitple times, DVD-RW discs are a great solution for frequent backups. To record data onto a DVD-RW disc, you\'ll need a DVD burner that supports the DVD-RW format.

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A computer script is a list of commands that are executed by a certain program or scripting engine. Scripts may be used to automate processes on a local computer or to generate Web pages on the Web. For example, DOS scripts and VB Scripts may be used to run processes on Windows machines, while AppleScript scripts can automate tasks on Macintosh computers. ASP, JSP, and PHP scripts are often run on Web servers to generate dynamic Web page content.

Script files are usually just text documents that contain instructions written in a certain scripting language. This means most scripts can be opened and edited using a basic text editor. However, when opened by the appropriate scripting engine, the commands within the script are executed. VB (Visual Basic) scripts, for example, will run when double-clicked, using Windows\' built-in VB scripting support. Since VB scripts can access and modify local files, you should never run a VB script that you receive as an unknown e-mail attachment.

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In order for storage media, such as a hard drive, to be recognized by your computer, it needs to be formatted. Formatting a disk involves testing the disk and writing a new directory structure, or \"address table,\" onto the disk. If you would like to erase or initialize a hard drive, you can use a disk utility program to reformat it. This will create an blank, empty disk for storing your files. While the disk appears to be empty, most of the files on the disk are actually untouched by the formatting process. When you format a disk, it creates a new address table, making the entire disk available for writing. However, the files are still on the disk -- they just don\'t show up since the are no longer part of the directory structure. So if you accidentally format a disk (which is pretty hard to do), you can still retrieve most of your files using an advanced disk utility such as Norton Disk Doctor or DiskWarrior.

The term \"format\" can also be used to describe the layout or style of text in a text document. When you format the layout, you choose the page margins and the line spacing. When you format the text, you choose the font, the size, and the styles, such as bold, italic, and underlined.

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Stands for \"Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol.\" These two protocols were developed in the early days of the Internet by the U.S. military. The purpose was to allow computers to communicate over long distance networks. The TCP part has to do with the verifying delivery of the packets. The IP part refers to the moving of data packets between nodes. TCP/IP has since then become the foundation of the Internet. Therefore, TCP/IP software is built into all major operating systems, such as Unix, Windows, and the Mac OS.

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Stands for \"Beginner\'s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.\" BASIC is a computer programming language that was developed in the mid-1960s to provide a way for students to write simple computer programs. Since then, the language has evolved into a more robust and powerful language and can be used to create advanced programs for today\'s computer systems.

BASIC originally used numbers at the beginning of each instruction (or line) to tell the computer what order to process the instructions. Lines would be numbered as 10, 20, 30, etc., which would allow additional instructions to be placed between commands later on if needed. \"GOTO\" statements enabled programs to loop back to earlier instructions during execution. For example, line 230 of a BASIC program may have an \"if\" clause that tells the computer to jump back to line 50 if a variable is less than 10. This instruction might look something like this:

230 IF (N < 10) THEN GOTO 50

More modern BASIC implementations use \"while loops,\" which perform a series of instructions as long as a certain case is true. Newer BASIC development software also supports more data types, such as integers, strings, and arrays, for storing variables and other data. While the first BASIC development environments were strictly text-based, today\'s BASIC programming software allows developers to design much of their programs visually, using a graphical user interface. Some of the more popular BASIC development programs used today include REALbasic and Microsoft Visual Basic.

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Stands for \"Digital Versatile Disc Recordable.\" DVD+R discs look the same as regular DVDs, but can be used to record data. Single-sided, single-layer DVD+R discs can store 4.7GB of data, while double-layer discs can store 8.5GB and double-sided DVD-Rs can store 9.4GB. The DVD+R format is not quite as common as the DVD-R format, but is still supported by most current DVD players and DVD-ROM drives. Drives that can read both DVD+R and DVD-R discs are often referred to as DVD?R drives.

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Stands for \"Digital Versatile Disc Recordable.\" A DVD-R looks the same as a regular DVD, but like a CD-R, it can be used to record data. Once a DVD-R has been \"burned,\" or written to, it cannot be written to again. A basic single-sided, single-layer DVD-R disc can store 4.7GB of data. Double-layer discs can store 8.5GB, while double-sided DVD-Rs can store 9.4GB.

DVD-R is the most common format of writable DVDs (compared to the DVD+R and DVD-RAM formats). Most DVD players and DVD-ROM drives can read DVD-R discs. That means you can use a DVD-R disc to back up several gigabytes of data on your computer or make your own video DVD. The Apple SuperDrive used in many Macintosh computers supports the DVD-R format.

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In the computer world, a frame can be many different things. The different definitions of \"frame\" are listed below:

  1. Some Web sites use HTML frames, where the pages are broken up into various areas. Each area consists of an independent Web page. Frames allow the multiple Web pages to all show up in the same page.

  2. Graphics and desktop publishing programs also use frames. In these programs, frames are rectangular areas meant for inserting graphics and text. They allow users to place objects wherever they want to on the page.

  3. In video and animation, frames are individual pictures in a sequence of images. For example, a Flash movie you see on the Web may play 12 frames per second, creating the appearance of motion. Most video is shot at 24 or 30 frames per second, or FPS. FPS is often measured in 3D games as a way of checking how fast the graphics processor of a computer is.
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The reason this term is in the glossary is because way too many people confuse \"Apple\" with \"Macintosh.\" Apple is the company that makes Macintosh computers -- not the other way around. Apple\'s product line includes Power Macs, PowerBooks, iMacs, iBooks, and the popular hard drive-based MP3 player, the iPod. Apple also develops a large number of software programs, such as iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD. Notice a pattern here?

Though most of Apple\'s product names now start with the letter \"i\", the company has a history of creative innovation. Though Apple has less than ten percent of the marketshare in the computer business, the company still manages to lead the industry in new directions.

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In general, \"media\" refers to various means of communication. For example, television, radio, and the newspaper are different types of media. The term can also be used as a collective noun for the press or news reporting agencies. In the computer world, \"media\" is also used as a collective noun, but refers to different types of data storage options.

Computer media can be hard drives, removable drives (such as Zip disks), CD-ROM or CD-R discs, DVDs, flash memory, USB drives, and yes, floppy disks. For example, if you want to bring your pictures from your digital camera into a photo processing store, they might ask you what kind of media your pictures are stored on. Are they on the flash memory card inside your camera or are they on a CD or USB drive? For this and many other reasons, it is helpful to have a basic understanding of what the different types of media are.

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A font is a specific typeface of a certain size and style. For example, one font may be Arial 12 pt bold, while another font may be Times New Roman 14 pt italic. Most word processing programs have a Font menu that allows you to choose the typeface, size, and style of the text. In order to use a font, you must have it installed on your computer. Windows provides access to fonts using the Fonts control panel. The Mac OS stores fonts in a Fonts folder and includes a separate \"Font Book\" application for managing fonts.

'; glosarry_items[43] = '

When you boot a football, you kick it really far. When you boot a computer, you simply turn it on. Kicking your computer really far is not recommended, though you may be tempted to do so at times. The term \"boot\" comes from the word \"bootstraps,\" which people at one time used to get their boots on. Likewise, \"booting\" a computer gets it up and running.

In simple terms, to boot a computer is to turn it on. Once the computer\'s power is turned on, the \"boot process\" takes place. This process involves loading the startup instructions from the computer\'s ROM, followed by loading the operating system from the current boot disk. The boot disk is usually an internal hard drive, but can also be an external drive, a CD or DVD-ROM, or even a floppy disk. Once the operating system software is loaded, the boot process is complete and the computer is ready to be used.

'; glosarry_items[44] = '

Stands for \"Voice Over Internet Protocol,\" and is often pronounced \"voip.\" VoIP is basically a telephone connection over the Internet. The data is sent digitally, using the Internet Protocol (IP) instead of analog telephone lines. This allows people to talk to one another long-distance and around the world without having to pay long distance or international phone charges.

In order to use VoIP, you need a computer, an Internet connection, and VoIP software. You also need either a microphone, analog telephone adapter, or VoIP telephone. Many VoIP programs allow you to use a basic microphone and speaker setup. Others requires VoIP phones, which are like regular telephone handsets, but typically connect to your computer via USB. Analog telephone adapters allow you to use regular phones with your computer. IP phones are another option that connect directly to a router via Ethernet or wirelessly. These phones have all the necessary software for VoIP built in and therefore do not require a computer.

The largest provider of VoIP services is Vonage, but there are several other companies that offer similar services. While Vonage charges a monthly service fee, programs like Skype and PeerMe allow users to connect to each other and talk for free. However, these free services may offer fewer connections, lower audio quality, and may be less reliable than paid services like Vonage.

VoIP is also referred to as IP telephony, Internet telephony, and digital phone.

'; glosarry_items[45] = '

Stands for \"Video Random Access Memory\" and is pronounced \"V-RAM.\" System RAM is great for loading and running programs, but when you need graphics power, VRAM is where it\'s at. This is the memory used to store image data that the computer displays; it acts as a buffer between the CPU and the video card. When a picture is to be displayed on the screen, the image is first read by the processor and then written to the VRAM. The data is then converted by a RAM digital-to-analog converter (RAMDAC) into analog signals that are sent to the display. Of course, the whole process happens so quickly, you don\'t notice it. Unlike most system RAM, VRAM chips are dual-ported, which means that while the display is reading from VRAM to refresh the currently displayed image, the processor is writing a new image to the VRAM. This prevents the display from flickering between the redrawing of images.

There are many different types of VRAM. One popular kind is called Synchronous Graphics RAM (SGRAM). It is an inexpensive type of RAM that is clock-synchronized. This means data can be modified in a single operation rather than as a sequence of read, write, and update operations. This allows background, foreground, and image fills to be handled more efficiently. Another type of VRAM is Rambus Dynamic RAM (RDRAM). It is designed by Rambus and includes a proprietary Rambus bus that speeds up the transfer of data through it. Video editing pros like this chip since it is optimized for video streaming. A third type of VRAM is Window RAM (WRAM). This high-performance VRAM is dual-ported, has about 25% more bandwidth than standard VRAM, and typically costs less. Finally, there is Multibank Dynamic RAM (MDRAM). This is also high-performance VRAM, developed by MoSys, which divides the memory into divisions of 32 KB that can be accessed individually. This makes memory transfers more efficient and increases overall performance. Another advantage of MDRAM is that it can be manufactured with just the right amount of memory for a given resolution, so it is cheaper to manufacture than most other types of VRAM.

'; glosarry_items[46] = '

The iPod is a portable music player developed by Apple Computer. Though it is an Apple product, the iPod can be used with both Macs and PCs. The iTunes software, also created by Apple, is used to organize and transfer songs and playlists to the iPod. Both iTunes and the iPod support a wide variety of audio formats, including MP3, AAC, WAV, and AIFF. MP3 is the most common audio compression format, while AAC is the format used by the iTunes Music Store. WAV and AIFF are nearly identical formats that store CD-quality audio.

Since introducing the iPod in 2001, Apple has released several new versions of the popular device. These include iPod, iPod mini, iPod Special Edition, iPod photo, and iPod shuffle. iPod mini is a smaller version of the iPod that comes in various colors and stores fewer songs. iPod Special Edition is a variation of the basic iPod (the first being a black U2 iPod with the signatures of the band members on the back). iPod photo is an iPod with a color screen that allows users to store and view a library of photos as well as play music. iPod shuffle is an extra small iPod that only holds a couple hundred songs and does not have a screen.

All iPods store data on an internal hard drive, except the iPod Shuffle, which uses flash memory. This means each iPod, including the shuffle, can also be used as a hard drive. Aside from being a music player, the iPod can serve as a backup device, a basic organizer, and an alarm clock. To transfer files to the iPod, you must first connect it to your computer using a USB or Firewire cable. iTunes can automatically transfer your playlists and songs or you can change the program\'s preferences to manually update the iPod.

Because of its superb interface and unmatched ease of use, the iPod has become the staple product of the portable music player market. Granted, the \"cool factor\" of owning an iPod has certainly helped it gain popularity as well.

'; glosarry_items[47] = '

IPv4 is the current version of of the Internet Protocol (as of late 2006). Each computer or device connected to the Internet must use an IP address in order to communicate with other systems on the Internet. IPv4 distributes IP addresses in a 32-bit format, which looks like 111.111.111.111. Each three-digit section can include a number from 0 to 255, which means the total number of IPv4 addresses available is 4,294,967,296 (256 x 256 x 256 x 256 or 2^32).

Because the number of systems connected to the Internet is quickly approaching the number of available IP address, IPv4 addresses will run out soon. (Nice planning, guys). When you consider that there are over 6 billion people in the world and many people have more than one computer connected to the Internet (for example, at home, school, work, etc.), it is not surprising that roughly 4.3 billion addresses is not enough. Also, as mobile devices such as cell phones and PDAs begin to use Internet access more often, they will also require unique IP addresses.

To solve this situation, a new IP system, called IPv6, has been developed and is in the process of replacing the current IPv4 system. IPv6 addresses are 128-bit, which means there are exponentially more addresses available than IPv4. During this transitional process from IPv4 to IPv6, most systems connected to the Internet are assigned both an IPv4 and IPv6 address.

'; glosarry_items[48] = '

As if computer terms weren\'t hard enough to understand, there are three different meanings of the word \"port.\"

1. An Internet port. This is a number that indicates what kind of protocol a server on the Internet is using. For example, Web servers typically are listed on port 80. Web browsers use this port by default when accessing Web pages, but you can also specify what port you would like to use in the URL like this: http://www.excite.com:80. FTP uses port 21, e-mail uses port 25, and game servers, like a Quake server or Blizzard.net use various other ports. It is good to know what a port is, but you seldom have to specify it manually, so don\'t worry if this is new to you.

2. A hardware port. This refers to any one of the ports that are on the back of a computer where devices can be hooked up (like a keyboard, mouse, printer, digital camera, etc). Some common ports found on today\'s computers are USB, Firewire, and Ethernet.

3. The verb, \"port.\" This refers to the editing of a software program\'s code so that it can run on another platform. For example, to get Final Fantasy VII to run on a PC, programmers needed to port it to the PC from the Playstation. Popular Windows games are often ported to the Macintosh as well.

'; glosarry_items[49] = '

Every computer system and device connected to the Internet is located by an IP address. The current system of distributing IP addresses is called IPv4. This system assigns each computer a 32-bit numeric address, such as 120.121.123.124. However, with the growth of computers connected to the Internet, the number of available IP addresses are predicted to run out in only a few years. This is why IPv6 was introduced.

IPv6, also called IPng (or IP Next Generation), is the next planned version of the IP address system. (IPv5 was an experimental version used primarily for streaming data.) While IPv4 uses 32-bit addresses, IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses, which increases the number of possible addresses by an exponential amount. For example, IPv4 allows 4,294,967,296 addresses to be used (2^32). IPv6 allows for over 340,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 IP addresses. That should be enough to last awhile.

Because IPv6 allows for substantially more IP addresses than IPv4, the addresses themselves are more complex. They are typically written in this format:

hhhh:hhhh:hhhh:hhhh:hhhh:hhhh:hhhh:hhhh

Each \"hhhh\" section consists of a four-digit hexadecimal number, which means each digit can be from 0 to 9 and from A to F. An example IPv6 address may look like this:

F704:0000:0000:0000:3458:79A2:D08B:4320

Because IPv6 addresses are so complex, the new system also adds extra security to computers connected to the Internet. Since there are so may IP address possibilities, it is nearly impossible to guess the IP address of another computer. While most computer systems today support IPv6, the new Internet procotol has yet to be fully implemented. During this transitional process, computers are often assigned both an IPv4 and an IPv6 address. By 2008, the U.S. government has mandated that all government systems use IPv6 addresses, which should help move the transition along.

'; glosarry_items[50] = '

A file is a collection of data stored in one unit, identified by a filename. It can be a document, picture, audio or video stream, data library, application, or other collection of data. The following is a brief description of each file type.

Documents include text files, such as a Word documents, RTF (Rich Text Format) documents, PDFs, Web pages, and others. Pictures include JPEGs, GIFs, BMPs, and layered image files, such as Photoshop documents (PSDs). Audio files include MP3s, AACs, WAVs, AIFs, and several others. Video files can be encoded in MPEG, MOV, WMV, or DV formats, just to name a few.

A library file is a unit of data that is referenced by a specific program or the operating system itself. These include plug-ins, components, scripts, and many others. An application is a program, or executable file. Programs such as Microsoft Internet Explorer and Apple iTunes are both applications, but are also files.

Files can be opened, saved, deleted, and moved to different folders. They can also be transferred across network connections or downloaded from the Internet. A file\'s type can be determined by viewing the file\'s icon or by reading the file extension. If the file type is associated with a specific application, double-clicking the file will typically open the file within the program.

'; glosarry_items[51] = '

Stands for \"Electronic Data Interchange.\" EDI is a standardized method for transferring data between different computer systems or computer networks. It is commonly used for e-commerce purposes, such as sending orders to warehouses, tracking shipments, and creating invoices.

Because may online retailers sell products that they do not physically stock, it is important to have an easy way to transfer order information to the locations where the goods are stored. EDI makes this possible. Some common EDI formats include X12 (U.S.), TRADACOMS (U.K.), and EDIFACT (International).

'; glosarry_items[52] = '

Stands for \"Digital Versatile Disc.\" It can also stand for \"Digital Video Disc,\" but with the mulitple uses of DVDs, the term \"Digital Versatile Disc\" is more correct. Yep, the technology naming people just love to confuse us. A DVD is a high-capacity optical disc that looks like a CD, but can store much more information. While a CD can store 650 to 700 MB of data, a single-layer, single-sided DVD can store 4.7 GB of data. This enables massive computer applications and full-length movies to be stored on a single DVD.

The advanced DVD formats are even more amazing. There is a two-layer standard that doubles the single-sided capacity to 8.5 GB. These disks can also be double-sided, ramping up the maximum storage on a single disc to 17 GB. That\'s 26 times more data than a CD can hold! To be able to read DVDs in your computer you\'ll need a DVD-ROM drive. Fortunately, DVD players can also read CDs. To play DVD movies on your computer, you\'ll need to have a graphics card with a DVD-decoder, which most computers now have.

'; glosarry_items[53] = '

Windows users will see this term a lot when looking for files on the Internet. A zip file (.zip) is a \"zipped\" or compressed file. For example, when you download a file, if the filename looks like this: \"filename.zip,\" you are downloading a zipped file. \"Zipping\" a file involves compressing one or more items into a smaller archive. A zipped file takes up less hard drive space and takes less time to transfer to another computer. This is why most Windows files that you find on the Internet are compressed.

To use a zipped file, you\'ll need to unzip it first. PKZIP for DOS, or WinZip for Windows, are some popular programs that can unzip files for you. Fortunately, these programs can be downloaded for free from Web sites like Download.com. Macintosh files are most often \"stuffed\" into Stuffit files (.sit), which can be \"unstuffed\" using Aladdin\'s Stuffit Expander.

The term \"Zip\" also refers to a product by Iomega. The company makes a removable storage device called a Zip Drive. Depending on the model, these drives can hold 100, 250 or 750 MB Zip disks. They are usually used for backup and for transferring large files to different locations. However, Zip drives are not as fast as hard drives, so it is usually not a good idea to run programs off them.

'; glosarry_items[54] = '

Stands for \"Random Access Memory,\" and is pronounced like the male sheep. RAM is made up of small memory chips that are connected to the motherboard of your computer. Every time you open a program, it gets loaded from the hard drive into the RAM. This is because reading data from the RAM is much faster than reading data from the hard drive.

Running programs from the RAM of the computer allows them to function without any lag time. The more RAM your computer has, the more data can be loaded from the hard drive into the RAM, which can help speed up your computer. In fact, adding RAM can be more beneficial to your computer\'s performance than upgrading the CPU.

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This is an automated software program that can execute certain commands when it receives a specific input (like a ro-\"bot\"). Bots are most often seen at work in the Internet-related areas of online chat and Web searching. The online chat bots do things like greet people when they enter a chat room, advertise Web sites, and kick people out of chat rooms when they violate the chat room rules. Web searching bots, also known as spiders and crawlers, search the Web and retrieve millions of HTML documents, then record the information and links found on the pages. From there, they generate electronic catalogs of the sites that have been \"spidered.\" These catalogs make up the index of sites that are used for search engine results.

'; glosarry_items[56] = '

Stands for \"Network Interface Card.\" Pronounced \"nick,\" this is the card that physically makes the connection between the computer and the network cable. These cards typically use an Ethernet connection and are available in 10, 100, and 1000 Base-T configurations. A 100 Base-T card can transfer data at 100 Mbps. The cards come in ISA and PCI versions and are made by companies like 3Com and LinkSys. So if you want to connect your computer to a network, you better get yourself a NIC.

'; glosarry_items[57] = '

Stands for \"Internet Protocol.\" It provides a standard set of rules for sending and receiving data through the Internet. People often use the term \"IP\" when referring to an IP address, which is OK. The two terms are not necessarily synonymous, but when you ask what somebody\'s IP is, most people will know that you are referring to their IP address. That is, most people who consider themselves computer nerds.

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Article ID: 140
Last updated: 14 May, 2012
Revision: 1
Views: 7044
Comments: 0
Posted: 17 Jul, 2008 by -- .
Updated: 14 May, 2012 by -- .
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