Your Guide to Geek Speak Internet, Philippines and Internet in the Philippines



by Joy Arrieta

AIFF stands for Audio Interchange File Format, an Apple Macintosh sound file type that you can play on either a Mac or a PC but not without installing a browser plug-in first. Fortunately, the Web is overrun with places to download such a plug-in.

Codec is an abbreviation for "compressor-decompressor" and, not surprisingly, is any technology that compresses and decompresses data. MPEG and MP3 are excellent examples of codecs.

JDK stands for Java Development Kit, a package of software tools that enable a programmer to write Java applets or applications.

Certified irc nuts know what BBIAB or BBIAF mean. Let's say you're in the middle of a very interesting chat and your mother hollers from the kitchen and tells you to set the table for dinner, you type BBIAB or BBIAF on your chat window to let the other person know you'll be away from the keyboard for a few minutes. BBIAB stands for "Be Back In A Bit" and BBIAF is for "Be Back In a Few/Flash."

When bit-heads talk about a batch, they're talking about a bunch of files, grouped together to be printed or transferred or transmitted or otherwise acted upon all at one time. Obviously, doing something to a batch of files at once is a lot more efficient than doing the same thing to each file individually.

Buffer page
A buffer page is a page that either requires you to do something (such as read a warning or prove your age) OR tries to get you to do something (such as visit one of the site's advertisers) BEFORE you enter the site itself.

Google is a new, bare-bones search engine, the beta (or prefinal) version of which is currently being tested on the Web. Google doesn't offer all the organizational categories, site reviews, and other sizzle features you find on other search engines. Instead, it concentrates on delivering as many sites that match your search criteria in the shortest possible time. It's named for "googol," which is 10 to the 100th power, a huge number. Try it out at

A supercomputer is a giant computer with incredible calculation power, used for special calculation-intensive applications--such as cinema-quality animation and high-level artificial intelligence. Or playing chess (which, we suppose, qualifies as high-level artificial intelligence). It was an IBM supercomputer named Deep Blue that beat Russian grandmaster Garry Kasparov in a series of chess games a few years ago--and then once again in a rematch this May.

A mainframe is a large computer capable of serving applications and data to thousands of users at the same time. Whereas a supercomputer (explained in yesterday's tip) is designed to use all of its colossal power to run a single application as quickly as possible, a mainframe is designed to run many applications at the same time.

A minicomputer is a class of computer that falls somewhere between a personal computer--which is designed to service one person at a time--and a mainframe computer, which is designed to service thousands of people. A minicomputer typically has multiple processors (say, four Pentium chips) and can simultaneously support several hundred workstations. And it isn't "mini" at all: It typically requires its own space on the floor rather than on a desk.


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