Author Topic: Computer Terms Beginning with "P"  (Read 4104 times)

Offline MysteRy

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "P"
« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2014, 02:17:46 PM »
Phreaking

Example: "His phreaking skills allowed him to bypass the central telephone switches."

Phreaking refers to experimenting with or exploiting a telephone system and is often considered to be the predecessor of computer hacking. Early phreaking techniques allowed users to bypass telephone company switches and make free long distance calls. This activity later evolved into using modems to gain unauthorized access to computer systems. Phreaking is much less common today than in past decades since cell phone companies offer free long distance service and digital telephone systems are more secure.

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "P"
« Reply #31 on: April 10, 2014, 02:18:33 PM »
Piconet

A piconet is a network that is created using a wireless Bluetooth connection. Some examples of piconets include 1) a cell phone and a computer, 2) a laptop and a Bluetooth-enabled digital camera, or 3) several PDAs that are connected to each other.

Piconets can include anywhere from two to eight devices. One device serves as the master device, while the rest of the devices within the network are slave devices. The master device acts as the hub, meaning the slave devices must communicate through the master device in order to communicate with each other. In most piconets, the computer serves as the master device.

The term "piconet" is derived from the words "pico," which means "very small" (technically, one trillionth), and "net," which is short for "network." Therefore, the word "piconet" literally means "very small network."

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "P"
« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2014, 02:19:11 PM »
PIM

Stands for "Personal Information Manager." A PIM is a software application that serves as a planner, notebook, and address book all in one. It can also include things like a calculator, clock , and photo album. PIMs are especially popular for PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants), since this is why most people have them. However, for those of us who don't have all the latest portable gadgets, PIM programs are also developed for desktop computers.

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "P"
« Reply #33 on: April 10, 2014, 02:19:43 PM »
Ping

This term refers to a golf equipment brand, as well as the sound made by striking your glass with a spoon at the dinner table. However, it also has a computer-related meaning. A ping is a test to see if a system on the Internet is working. "Pinging" a server tests and records the response time of the server. Pinging multiple computers can be helpful in finding Internet bottlenecks, so that data transfer paths can be rerouted a more efficient way. A good way to make sure you do not get disconnected from your dial-up ISP for being idle is to send a ping every 5 minutes or so. There are a number of shareware Ping programs that will do this for you.

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "P"
« Reply #34 on: April 10, 2014, 02:20:17 PM »
Pinterest

Pinterest is a website created for women. It allows users to share photos about topics such as cooking, clothing, and home decor.

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "P"
« Reply #35 on: April 10, 2014, 02:20:51 PM »
Pipeline

Computer processors can handle millions of instructions each second. Once one instruction is processed, the next one in line is processed, and so on. A pipeline allows multiple instructions to be processed at the same time. While one stage of an instruction is being processed, other instructions may be undergoing processing at a different stage. Without a pipeline, each instruction would have to wait for the previous one to finish before it could even be accessed.

To understand the benefit of a pipeline, imagine that a car manufacturing plant had to wait for each car to be fully completed before starting on the next one. That would be horribly inefficient, right? It makes much more sense to work on many cars at once, completing them one stage at a time. This is what a pipeline in a computer allows. Pipelining, as it is called, often keeps around six instructions at once in the processor at different stages of processing. Pipelines can be used for the CPU as well as for accessing memory (DRAM).

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "P"
« Reply #36 on: April 10, 2014, 02:21:39 PM »
Piracy

When someone installs and uses commercial software without paying for the program, it is called "pirating" the software. This name comes from the traditional meaning of the word "pirate," which is a sea-faring criminal that steals and loots belongings from others. But far from the stereotypical sea pirate, a software pirate can be anyone who owns a computer. Software piracy is committed by simply downloading or copying a program that a user has not paid for.

Since computer programs are stored in a digital format, they are easy to copy and reproduce. For example, a game may be burned to a CD and transferred to the computer of an individual who has not paid for the program. Software programs can also be illegally downloaded from the Internet from unauthorized sources. Since pirating software does not require many resources, it has grown into a major problem for the computer industry.

While it may seem like an innocuous act, pirating software is the same as stealing. Software companies often invest thousands or even millions of dollars into creating the programs they sell. The income from selling these programs is what allows companies to produce the software and to continue improving the programs we use. Just because it is possible to copy a software program does not mean it is OK. Installing a commercial program from an illegal copy is the same thing as walking out of a store with the program and not paying for it.

While there are some programs that are free to use (such as shareware and freeware programs), it is important to pay for commercial software. You can avoid software piracy by only downloading software from authorized sources and making sure that you have valid software licenses for all the programs you use. Remember that paying for software programs supports the software industry, which is good for all of us!

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "P"
« Reply #37 on: April 10, 2014, 02:22:14 PM »
Pixel

The term "pixel" is actually short for "Picture Element." These small little dots are what make up the images on computer displays, whether they are flat-screen (LCD) or tube (CRT) monitors. The screen is divided up into a matrix of thousands or even millions of pixels. Typically, you cannot see the individual pixels, because they are so small. This is a good thing, because most people prefer to look at smooth, clear images rather than blocky, "pixelated" ones. However, if you set your monitor to a low resolution, such as 640x480 and look closely at your screen, you will may be able to see the individual pixels. As you may have guessed, a resolution of 640x480 is comprised of a matrix of 640 by 480 pixels, or 307,200 in all. That's a lot of little dots.

Each pixel can only be one color at a time. However, since they are so small, pixels often blend together to form various shades and blends of colors. The number of colors each pixel can be is determined by the number of bits used to represent it. For example, 8-bit color allows for 2 to the 8th, or 256 colors to be displayed. At this color depth, you may be able to see "graininess," or spotted colors when one color blends to another. However, at 16, 24, and 32-bit color depths, the color blending is smooth and, unless you have some kind of extra-sensory vision capability, you should not see any graininess.

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "P"
« Reply #38 on: April 10, 2014, 02:22:45 PM »
Plain Text

Example: "Plain text is the most efficient way to store textual data."

Plain text is another name for unformatted text. Unlike rich text, plain text does not support italics, underlining, bold characters, fonts, or font sizes. Since plain text documents do not contain any text formatting information, they take up less disk space than rich text documents. Therefore, plain text is commonly used for log files and other types of text documents that don't require formatted text.

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "P"
« Reply #39 on: April 10, 2014, 02:23:15 PM »
Platform

In the computer world, a "platform" typically refers to a computer's operating system. For example, a Dell computer running Windows XP would be considered to be running on a Windows platform. An iMac, on the other hand, runs on the Macintosh platform. It is a more generic way of referring to a computer's operating system than having to specify, for example, Windows XP Professional SP 2, or Mac OS X 10.3.5. The term platform is often used when referring to what kind of computer systems a certain software program will run on.

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "P"
« Reply #40 on: April 10, 2014, 02:23:48 PM »
Plug and Play

Plug and Play, sometimes, abbreviated PnP, is a catchy phrase used to describe devices that work with a computer system as soon as they are connected. The user does not have to manually install drivers for the device or even tell the computer that a new device has been added. Instead the computer automatically recognizes the device, loads new drivers for the hardware if needed, and begins to work with the newly connected device.

For example, if you connect a Plug-and-Play mouse to the USB port on your computer, it will begin to work within a few seconds of being plugged in. A non plug-and-play device would require you to go through several steps of installing drivers and setting up the device before it would work.

While Plug and Play usually refers to computer peripheral devices, such as keyboards and mice, it can also be used to describe internal hardware. For example, a video card or hard drive may be a Plug and Play device, meaning the computer will recognize it as soon as it is installed. The only difference is that internal components usually require the computer to be turned off when they are installed, while external devices can typically be installed while the computer is running.

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "P"
« Reply #41 on: April 10, 2014, 02:24:30 PM »
Plug-in

Example: "The Eye Candy plug-in adds extra image filters to Adobe Photoshop."

A plug-in (also "plugin") is software add-on that adds extra features and capabilities to an application. Typically, plug-ins are stored within a subdirectory of the application folder. When the application is opened, the plug-ins are loaded into the program.

Plug-ins are available for a wide variety of programs, including Web browsers, graphic editors, and audio and video applications. Web browser plug-ins often enable specific types of media to be viewed directly in the browser. Plug-ins for graphics, audio, and video applications may add extra editing tools or filters to the program. While some programs include preinstalled plug-ins created by the developer, many plug-ins are developed by third-party companies.

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "P"
« Reply #42 on: April 10, 2014, 02:25:23 PM »
PMU

Stands for "Power Management Unit." The PMU is a microcontroller, or integrated circuit, that controls the power functions of Macintosh computers. Though it is not a large component, the PMU contains several parts, including memory, software, firmware, and its own CPU. Some responsibilities of the PMU include:

Telling the computer when to turn on, turn off, go to sleep, and wake up.

Maintaining the system's PRAM (Parameter Random Access Memory).

Managing system resets from various types of commands.

Managing the real-time clock (date and time).

Because every function the computer performs requires electrical power, the power management unit is an essential part of every Macintosh computer. Therefore, it is important that the PMU functions correctly. In the rare case that the PMU stops functioning or behaves erratically, it can be reset, which should fix any problems caused by the PMU.

The method for resetting the PMU depends on the type of Macintosh computer. Some Macs have a small reset button on the logic board that can be pressed when the computer is off. Other models include a reset button on the outside of the computer. These buttons typically have an icon of a triangle pointing to the left, indicating it is a reset button. The PMU on some PowerBook G4 models can be reset by turning off the computer, removing the battery and power supply, and pressing Shift-Control-Option-Power. Since different machines require different methods for resetting the PMU, it is best to check your manual or Apple's Support website to find out the proper way to reset your Mac's PMU.

In newer Macs, such as the MacBook and MacBook Pro, the PMU is referred to as the System Management Controller, or SMC.

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "P"
« Reply #43 on: April 10, 2014, 02:26:53 PM »
PNG

Stands for "Portable Network Graphic." This format was designed as an alternative to the GIF format (which has been plagued by copyright issues). Like GIFs, PNG files are lossless, meaning they don't lose any detail when they are compressed. They support up to 48-bit color or 16-bit grayscale and typically compress about 5% to 25% better than GIF files. However, they do not support animations like GIFs do. A format similar to PNG, called MNG, is currently under development, and will support animations.

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Re: Computer Terms Beginning with "P"
« Reply #44 on: April 10, 2014, 02:29:21 PM »
Podcast

The name "podcast" combines the terms iPod and broadcast into a single catchy word. As the name suggests, podcasts are audio and video broadcasts that can be played on an iPod. However, because podcasts are downloaded using Apple iTunes and can be played directly within the program, you don't actually need an iPod to listen to a podcast.

Podcasts are distributed by both professional organizations as well as amateur audio producers who want to share their content with others. News organizations such as NPR and CNN offer podcasts of their news stories, while other types of podcasts can be downloaded from Comedy Central, G4 TV, VH1, and many other broadcasting companies. Podcasts can be browsed within the iTunes Music Store or found directly on an organization's website, which often provides links to current podcasts.

Amateur podcasts can be created by anyone who has a microphone or digital video camera and a computer with recording software. In fact, recent versions of Apple's GarageBand include special options for creating and exporting podcasts. Amateur podcasts are not always available through the iTunes store, but can be distributed on the Web. A simple link to the podcast will open the file in iTunes, making it possible for anyone with a website to publish podcasts.

Podcasts are often distributed in "episodes," meaning new podcasts are made available on a regular basis. Users can subscribe to these podcasts, which iTunes can automatically download as they become available. Once podcasts are downloaded, the files are saved in the iTunes Library and can be viewed within the Podcasts section. They can be played within iTunes or transferred to an iPod, so users can watch or listen to podcasts while they are on the go.

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