by Joy Arrieta
This is the popular name for the Ethernet local-area-networking
standard more officially known as 10Base-2. This standard could move
10 megabits per second on a cable up to 200 meters long. It was called
"cheaper" because the cable it employed didn't cost as much as the
standard Ethernet cable. Because the cable was also a thin coaxial
design, 10Base-2 also earned the name ThinNet.
An e-book is a book you read on your computer. Some e-books are
nothing more than screen after screen of text, which you scroll
through with your mouse. Others are wildly interactive affairs, with
special navigational controls, multiple story lines from which to
choose, animated illustrations, and so on. Soon, this term will
probably redefine itself to mean one of those books you read on a
pocket-sized computer designed specifically for reading e-books.
An aglet is an "agile applet"--a tiny program that can move among
computers in a network, performing actions automatically based on
computer system events.
A "jello" page presents everything within a fixed-width column that is
always centered within your browser window, no matter how wide you
make the window.
DCC stands for "digital content creation"--a name recently given, by
computer companies, to the "target market" of folks who create
audio/visual media for the Web. Computer companies have bothered to
name this group because as a rule, digital content creators are in the
market for the fastest, most powerful computers and monitors
CAE stands for "computer-aided engineering," a class of software that
lets engineers analyze engineering designs created with a CAD
(computer-aided design--from yesterday's tip) application. For
example, an engineer can use a CAD program to draw a bridge and then
use a CAE program to see if the bridge holds up under various stresses
A digitizing tablet is like an electronic pad of paper: You draw on
the pad with an electronic pen (usually called a "stylus"), and your
drawing appears on the computer screen. Most graphic artists consider
the digital tablet a more intuitive drawing tool than the mouse.
WAP stands for "wireless application protocol," a technical
specification for enabling people to securely access digital
information (such as messages, e-mail, faxes, and so on) via their
mobile phone, pager, personal digital assistant (PDA), or other
PRAM stands for "parameter RAM" (RAM, as we've probable told you many
times, stands for "random-access memory," the memory in your
computer). You can find PRAM in a Macintosh computer (probably an
OLDER Macintosh computer). It's a small amount of memory, with its own
battery power, that stores system parameters--such as the arrangement
of items on the desktop--when the computer is shut down.
Chad--a collective noun--consists of the little rectangular pieces of
paper punched out of computer punch cards. Someone named Chadless
invented the Chadless keypunch--a device that punched little u-shaped
holes into computer cards, eliminating the mess of the little
rectangular pieces of paper. And since this new punch was called
"Chadless," computer geniuses immediately deduced that the old punch
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