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Latency: The time it takes for a packet to cross a network connection, from sender to receiver.
Lossless: A term describing a data compression algorithm which retains all the information in the data, allowing it to be recovered perfectly by decompression.
Memory Leak: An error in a program's dynamic store allocation logic that causes it to fail to reclaim discarded memory, leading to eventual collapse due to running out of memory.
Mobo: Short term for Motherboard is the main circuit board inside a computer, containing the central processing unit, the bus, memory sockets, expansion slots, and more.
MP3: A digital audio compression algorithm that acheives a compression factor of about twelve while preserving sound quality. It does this by optimising the compression according to the range of sound that people can actually hear. MP3 is currently (July 1999) the most powerful algorithm in a series of audio encoding standards developed under the sponsorship of the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and formalised by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
MPEG-4 Audio: An AAC flavour supporting different qualities for different targets. One stream can contain up to 3 streams for 11.025 kHz (Stream 1), 22.05 (Stream 1 and 2) and 44.1 kHz (all 3 Streams) sampling frequency.
Multithreading: Sharing a single CPU between multiple tasks (or "threads") in a way designed to minimise the time required to switch threads. This is accomplished by sharing as much as possible of the program execution environment between the different threads so that very little state needs to be saved and restored when changing thread.
Newbie: An inexperienced user of a particular system.
Northbridge: The single integrated circuit in a core logic chip set that connects the CPU to the system memory and the AGP and PCI busses.
Ogg Vorbis: Ogg Vorbis is a new audio compression format. It is roughly comparable to other formats used to store and play digital music, such as MP3, VQF, AAC, and other digital audio formats. It is different from these other formats because it is completely free, open, and unpatented.
OpenGL / OGL: A multi-platform software interface to graphics hardware, supporting rendering and imaging operations. The OpenGL interface was developed by Silicon Graphics, who license it to other vendors.
Optical Mouse: Any kind of mouse that uses visible light or infrared to detect changes in its position.
Overclocking: Any adjustments made to computer hardware (or software) to make its CPU run at a higher clock frequency than intended by the original manufacturers.
P2P: a commonly used protocol for downloading software, MP3 music or other files with other ordinary users on the Internet. P2P is often used to obtain freeware, shareware, and bootleg software. P2P exchange is often made practical through web sites that act as clearinghouses listing people who have or want something.
Packet: The unit of data sent across a network. "Packet" is a generic term used to describe a unit of data at any layer of the OSI protocol stack, but it is most correctly used to describe application layer data units.
Page Fault: In a paged virtual memory system, an access to a page (block) of memory that is not currently mapped to physical memory. When a page fault occurs the operating system either fetches the page in from secondary storage (usually disk) if the access was legitimate or otherwise reports the access as illegal.
Pentium: Intel's superscalar successor to the 486. It has two 32-bit 486-type integer pipelines with dependency checking. It can execute a maximum of two instructions per cycle. It does pipelined floating-point and performs branch prediction. It has 16 kilobytes of on-chip cache, a 64-bit memory interface, 8 32-bit general-purpose registers and 8 80-bit floating-point registers. It is built from 3.1 million transistors on a 262.4 mm^2 die with ~2.3 million transistors in the core logic. Its clock rate is 66MHz, heat dissipation is 16W, integer performance is 64.5 SPECint92, floating-point performance 56.9 SPECfp92.
Pentium II: The first Pentium II's produced were code named Klamath. They were manufactured using a 0.35 micron process and supported clock rates of 233, 266, 300 and 333 MHz at a bus speed of 66 MHz. Second generation Pentium II's, code named Deschutes, are made with a 0.25 micron process and support rates of 350, 400 and 450 MHz at a bus speed of 100 MHz.
Pentium III: The microprocessor that was Intel Corporation's successor to the Pentium II, introduced in 1999 with a 500 MHz clock rate. The Pentim III is very similar to the Pentium II in architecture. Its external bus can be clocked at 100 or 133 MHz, it can have up to 512 KB of secondary cache, and it comes in various packages including SECC2 and FC-PGA.
Peripherals: Any part of a computer other than the CPU or working memory, i.e. disks, keyboards, monitors, mice, printers, scanners, tape drives, microphones, speakers, cameras etc.
Pixel: The smallest resolvable rectangular area of an image, either on a screen or stored in memory. Each pixel in a monochrome image has its own brightness, from 0 for black to the maximum value (e.g. 255 for an eight-bit pixel) for white. In a colour image, each pixel has its own brightness and colour, usually represented as a triple of red, green and blue intensities.
Port: A logical channel or channel endpoint in a communications system. The Transmission Control Protocol and User Datagram Protocol transport layer protocols used on Ethernet use port numbers to distinguish between (demultiplex) different logical channels on the same network interface on the same computer.
Pull Down / Drop Down Menu: A menu in a graphical user interface, whose title is normally visible but whose contents are revealed only when the user activates it, normally by pressing the mouse button while the pointer is over the title, whereupon the menu items appear below the title.
Query: request for information, generally as a formal request to a database or search engine.
Raster: The area of a video display that is covered by sweeping the electron beam of the display in a series of horizontal lines from top to bottom. The beam then returns to the top during the vertical flyback interval.
Readme File: An introduction traditionally included in the top-level directory of a Unix source distribution, containing a pointer to more detailed documentation, credits, miscellaneous revision history, notes, etc
Real-time: Describes an application which requires a program to respond to stimuli within some small upper limit of response time (typically milli- or microseconds). Process control at a chemical plant is the classic example. Such applications often require special operating systems (because everything else must take a back seat to response time) and speed-tuned hardware.
Refresh Rate: The scan rate is controlled by the vertical sync signal generated by the video controller, ordering the monitor to position the electron gun at the upper left corner of the raster, ready to paint another frame. It is limited by the monitor's maximum horizontal scan rate and the resolution, since higher resolution means more scan lines. Increasing the refresh rate decreases flickering, reducing eye strain.
Rollback: Reverting data in a database to an earlier state, usually in response to an error or aborted operation.
Root Directory: The topmost node of a hierarchical file system.
Run Time: The elapsed time to perform a computation on a particular