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Welcome to our Glossary.

Here you can find the meaning of words and expressions commonly used by computer-users.

Use the query form below to enter a word or part of a word you are looking for. Click the "Search" button to start the search.

Search for: Click here to start the search

You can also take a look at all the words starting with a particular character, select one below:

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

We are looking for more words here, so please mail me any words you don't know and I'll try to find out what they mean. Or send me words you do know and their meaning, so we can add them too and get an even better glossary (either in Dutch or English is fine).

Words in our glossary starting with "S" ...

Glossary ...


S-Video (Super-Video)
Analog video format where all signals remain seperated which produces a better image quality as seen with Composite Video.

S/PDIF
Sony and Philips developed this digital Audio interface. This interface can for example be used for Dolby digital audio. Commonly the connector/cable is either optical or coax based. This interface can be found on more and more PC's, DVD-players and amplifiers.

Safe Mode
This is a Windows mode that is automatically loaded if Windows crashes during boot up. You can access Safe Mode anytime if you press the "F8" key when the screen says "loading Windows 95." This will bring you to a menu that allows you to boot into safe mode. Safe Mode is a special mode of Windows 95 that loads with minimal driver support. The purpose of it is to help resolve boot problems. In Safe Mode Windows will use the standard VGA driver with 60 Hz refresh rate.

Safedisc and Safedisc 2
Safedisc (1 and 2) is the name of a CD copy protection system. The Safedisc protection uses unreadable sectors to verify the CD. These sectors are ALWAYS stored in the beginning of the CD (first 4 - 5%, still the same for Safedisc 2)! The basic trick is that when copying a CD, the CD-reader will attempt to use the error-correction to fix this particular unreadable section - resulting in a CD without the unreadable sectors which then again can be detected by the software on the CD. There are meanwhile many different programs being able to do perfect copies - but they have all one thing in common, they need a recorder not automatically correcting unreadable sectors when burning the CD. Check for these files on the CD or in the installation dir (the "00000001.TMP" is normally always in the root of the CD): 00000001.TMP, CLCD16.DLL, CLCD32.DLL and CLOKSPL.EXE (this last one not always found with SafeDisc 2).

Sample
A small portion representative of something. Usual meaning a small amount of sound from an instrument, enough to reproduce the sounds of that instrument.

SAN (Storage Area Network)
This is a network of connected storage devices typically on the same high speed connections as servers in an enterprise. Often, the storage devices in a SAN are connected by fiber.

SAP (SAP/R3)
This stands for "Standard Accounting Program." A program some large businesses run their accounting on.

SAP (Service Advertising Protocol)
Used on NetWare networks to advertise available network services. For example, a NetWare server uses SAP to let other computers know that it's offering up some shared files.

Save
This term describes the movement of data from a computers volatile DRAM to the non-volatile hard disk or other media.

SC242 (Slot Connector 242)
This is a 242-pin connection form factor that Slot 1 and Slot A cartridges and connections are modeled after.

SC330 (Slot Connector 330)
This is a 330-pin connection form factor that Slot 2 and Slot B cartridges and connections are modeled after.

Scalable
This adjective describes applications or systems that are able to scale to large amounts of users.

Scalar
A scalar value, in mathematical terms, is any single real number. "Scalar" is also used to identify a variable that can hold one value, either numbers or strings.

SCAM (SCSI Configured Auto-Magically)
This SCAM is actually a good thing. It allows SCSI devices to automatically be configured with an ID number, even if they aren't assigned one. This makes adding SCSI devices much easier.

Scammer
swindler: a person who swindles you by means of deception or fraud. See also Swindler.

Scandisk
This is a Microsoft program that first shipped with DOS version 6, replacing the venerable chkdsk.exe program. Technically, the program is scandisk.exe. It is available in MS-DOS version 6.x, and non-NT versions of Windows. It added the ability to do a surface scan for physical defects on drive media, and a nicer UI than chkdsk, which had no UI.

Scanner
A device used to copy an image from a physical source (e.g., photograph) into a computer.

Scart
Syndicat de Constructeurs des Appareils Radioricepteur et Television. Audio/Video connector for TV/VCR/etc, commonly used in Europe.

Scoubidou
Knotstring. Brand name for plastic strings used for knotting techniques. It's a kind of game which seems to be popular in Europe.

Scrape
- Scratching sound - Indication of damage / Junk

Screener
A screener is a preview presentation of a movie for cinema's and award reviews. So this is basically a video (video tape or DVD) send out by the movie companies to show their products. Usually these are of high quality with either (or both) black and white scenes every now and then or text scrolling by notifying that this is an illegal copy. Some bozo's confuse this with the very poor quality CAM recordings.

Screensaver
This is a program that displays an image, animation or just a blank screen on a computer after no input has been received for a certain length of time. Screensavers were originally designed so that images would not be burned into the phosphors of older CRT screens, but soon turned into a source of entertainment. Screensavers are unnecessary today as CRT screens are much more resistant to burn-in.

Script
A group of commands usually stored in a file and run one at a time so that you don't have to type them in one at a time. Script is the newer, sexier term for batch. Don't talk about batch files anymore!

Scroll Lock
The scroll lock key is for most a way to turn the "scroll lock" light on and off on your keyboard and nothing more. The scroll lock key was intended to function as a third "state" key, freezing text output. Some software makes use of it, but most does not.

SCSI (Small Computer System Interface)
A standard data pathway used mostly for hard drives and CD-ROM drives, but also a common interface for scanners and sometimes printers. Currently the fastest (and the most flexible) method of interfacing with hard drives. It comes in two major varieties: SCSI-2 or WIDE SCSI. Both can now be Ultra, which doubles the speed.

SCSI bus termination
Because of the amount of signals that SCSI format sends through small wiring, termination is required. The termination is accomplished by using resistors across certain signal wires. If the chain were not terminated, the signals would bounce off the end of the chain and cause interference with real signals.

SCSI-2
This version of SCSI originally came in two varieties: Fast-SCSI 2 and Fast-Wide SCSI 2. Recent extensions to the SCSI 2 specification include Ultra SCSI and Ultra2 SCSI. Ultra3 SCSI is now called Ultra 160M.

SCSI-3
This is not Wide SCSI. It is also not Ultra SCSI. In fact, the SCSI 3 specification does not exist yet. When it is created, it will probably use some sort of Fiber-channel interface. However, Wide SCSI or Ultra-SCSI are sometimes referred to as SCSI-3.

Scuzzy
This is how the abbreviation SCSI is pronounced. See SCSI.

SD (card/slot)
(Secure Digital) Small media type (same as MMC) that has extra connections to secure data. SDIO (Secure Digital Input/Output) slots that will accept not only memory but expansion hardware will support SDIO Bluetooth, WiFi, and other expansions.

SD-RAM
Synchronous Dynamic Ram. This ram is directly dependent on the clock speed (FSB) of the computer system. It works at the same speed as the system bus. SD-Ram comes in 2 different speeds. It comes in PC-100 and PC-133. Meaning that if u buy a PC-133 chip, it means that you are buying a chip that is running at 133MHZ and is more faster then the 100MHZ one. SD-ram comes in sizes of 32, 64, 128, 256, and 512MB. I have seen that you can get a 1gig SD-ram chip but hell they are a lot of cash! This ram used to be the standard ram for most computers (up to Pentium III).

SDK (Software Developer's Kit)
This is a programming help that is tailored towards a particular purpose. The kit usually includes so calle d "include" files for a particular compiler and the documentation that goes with it. Some SDK's even includes a compiler, linker, and an editor. Most hardware manufacturers have sdk's available that work specifically with their hardware.

SDRAM (Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory)
Like DRAM but arranged with a more efficient data pathway which allows for faster throughput.

SDSL (Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line)
This is a form of digital subscriber line that has the same transmission speed upstream and downstream. It is most often used for business use. Contrast this with the consumer version, ADSL.

SDTV
See 480i.

SDX (Storage Data Acceleration)
This technology was introduced by Western Digital. The idea behind it is that slower drives such as CD and DVD drives would attach directly to larger, faster hard drives. There would be a 10-pin connector between the hard drive and the other peripheral, as opposed to the 40-pin IDE connector. A portion of the hard drive will be used as cache for the CD drive or other device. This can speed up CD-ROM drives by 50%-300% depending on what operations are being performed. You would have had to buy specialized hard drives and CD drives to take advantage of this technology, but it flopped, so don't worry about it.

Search Engine
Literally, the software used to search for information within a given database. Often used to mean a website with a database of other websites and the information they contain. Since the Web is such a large place, it is handy to go to search engines when you can't find the information you are looking for. (Yahoo! and AltaVista are search engines.)

Search-engine
Internet page and/or service to help you find the information you are looking for on the Internet.

Seat
This refers to the installation of memory or other accessories into a computer. It can also be used as a noun to describe a single license, or a single client workstation for licensing purposes.

SECA
Broadcast encoding system previously mostly used in European countries. It looks like the DBV standard, but is slightly different. Now a-days SECA is being replaced by SECA2.

SECAM
TV-system used in France. Not widely used.

SECC (Single Edge Contact Cartridge)
The SECC is a processor cartridge designed to hold Intel's Pentium II and some external cache. It then plugs into a motherboard that supports Slot 1. This was replaced by SECC2 in some Pentium II 450's and all Pentium III's. SECC2 is a smaller and more cooling efficient design, allowing the processor to come in directo contact with a heatsink.

Sector
This is a piece of a track of a hard drive or other disk media. Each track is split up into groups of sectors.

SecuROM
Refers to a CD copy protection, where the protection is to be found in data written in so called sub-channels. Not all CD-recorders can actually write these subchannels, hence making copying a bit tricky. Try CloneCD. Check for these files on the CD or in the installation dir: CMS16.DLL, CMS_95.DLL, CMS_NT.DLL.

Semiconductor
A semiconductor is a substance (usually Silicon doped with Germanium or Arsenic) that selectively conducts electricity. The selection usually occurs by running another current through a different axis. This is the principle of an transistor, and thus of chips as well.

Serial
A means of operation meaning in sequence, or one after the other. See COM-port.

Serial ATA (SATA)
This is a specification that for consumer hard drive connections that boosts the data transfer rate up to 1.5Gbps, about three times the speed of UDMA/66. In addition, it changes IDE/ATA from a parallel interface requiring 40 separate wires to connect components, to a serial interface requiring only six wires. 2x and 4x versions of Serial ATA double and triple the speed of Serial ATA.

Serial Port
A data pathway that is usually used to connect modems and mice. Comes in 9- and 25-pin varieties, which are the same. See Com-Port and RS-232.

Server
This refers to a machine whose sole purpose is to supply data, so that other machines can use it. See also client/server. This also describes any software process that runs on a server machine, and responds to client processes or programs locally, or across a network.

Server Farm
This is a group of servers, usually located in a secure area, and sometimes collocated at an ISP. These servers all serve a generic purpose and have some sort of load balanced across them. If one server in the farm dies, business carries on as usual. If performance is slow, you add more servers.

Server Side Javascript
Scripting language used by ASP engines for creating dynamic webpages. Alternatively one could use VBScript.

Servlet
See Java Servlet.

SGRAM (Synchronous Graphics RAM)
This is actually a form of SDRAM with some additional features to speed up 3D graphics. It is used on some graphics cards.

Shading
See Rendering.

Shadow Mask
A thin sheet of metal with small holes poked through it used to focus the light from the electron beam on most CRT monitors. See also Slot Mask.

Share
Pretty basic: sharing usually refers to the action where you make resources you have available to others. Naturally this can be money, food, etc, but in the Internet it commonly refers to copying files or making files available to be copied by other people. Files can be programs, documents, movies, pictures, music, etc.

Shareware
This is software that can be installed and distributed freely. Some shareware is free but requires fees to be paid to the author before all features are available. Other shareware is full featured but "nags" you to pay the fee with extra screens that must be bypassed. Most shareware requires you to pay for it within 30 days of installation, or you must uninstall if from your system. See also freeware.

Shell
This most commonly refers to the various text-based user interface programs available for UNIX. The shell is the part of UNIX that interacts with the user and accepts typed commands. Different shells have different functionality, so it is important to have the proper shell loaded, or you may find yourself lost as things are displayed differently and familiar commands are not supported.

Shell Account
Used with Internet dial-up accounts that can access a UNIX system at the command line instead of just connecting to the Internet through a browser. Shell accounts are offered by many ISPs, but smaller ISPs are taking over most of the market as the larger ISPs now cater mainly to volume users instead of more technical users.

Shortcut
A pointer to an actual program or file, as opposed to a full copy of that file. Shortcuts can also point to other shortcuts, and are used mainly because they take up less space. For example, in Windows, you can place a shortcut to a 200K file on the desktop and it only takes up 1KB, as opposed to copying the entire file to the desktop, which would take up a full 200K.

Shrink-wrap licence
A licence form where the user agrees to the terms of the contract by opening the shrink-wrap of a software package. Usually a statement like "by opening this package the user agrees? blabla" can be found on the package.

Silicon
An element commonly associated with glass. Called silica when bonded with oxygen. Sand and quartz is a form of silica. Not to be confused with "silicone." The main component of computer chips.

SIMD (Single Instruction Multiple Data)
This refers to a processor instruction that can perform operations across multiple data instructions. So, instead of saying Add A,B, you may say Add Row A, Row B or something to that effect. Instructions of this nature are often associated with 3D graphics and multimedia.

SIMM
(Abveration) Single In-line Memory Module. Small board with several memory modules onboard.

Single-Ended SCSI
This is the normal form of SCSI. It implies that there is a wire for each SCSI signal sent.

SIPP
1) Memory modules: SIPP modules are just like SIMMS except they have pins sticking out the end instead of a card edge connector. See also SIMM. 2) Single Instruction Parallel Processing: A processing technique for use with multiprocessor environments where only one single instruction is needed to execute multiple instructions at once - thus saving bandwidth and time.

Site License
Usually, software manufacturers will sell their software based on the amount of users using the software. As the amount of users increases, and prices get higher, software manufacturers will sometimes sell a site license that entitles an entire site to use as many licenses as they need to at a particular location for a single price. This makes management of a large amount of licenses unnecessary and simplifies things for the customer and the software vendor. For example, one company may have a 1-user, 5-user, 10-user, 25-user and finally a site-license version of their software. The site license will be the most expensive, but may be more economical if you have a large amount of users.

SiteHosting
See WebHosting.

Skin
This refers to a graphic or graphic scheme that is placed over a 2D or 3D object. For 3D games, such as Quake, you can wrap a 2D graphic skin around your 3D character to change its appearance. Another skin example would be a web browser that customizes the way it looks. Most programs that allow the use of skins have publicly available standards for creating new skins.

SKU
Stock Keeping Unit. A common term for a unique numeric identifier, used most commonly in business to refer to a specific product (commonly different per color, size, weight, etc).

SKU (Stock Keeping Unit)
This is a number associated with a particular product, often represented by a barcode. The SKU is used to track inventory and may or may not be shown to customers when shopping on the Web.

SLA (Service Level Agreement)
This is a promise of maintaining a consistent level of data transfer over a network. Every ISP typically has a SLA that states the promise of data availability that the ISP will provide for their customer. Usually SLAs are only given to business customers that pay more for their connections than home users. Thus, business connections are typically more reliable and also cost more. SLAs are important for companies that can lose millions of dollars when their customers cannot access their webservers.

Slashdot Effect
This describes what happens when a highly trafficked website links to a smaller website and sends such a large amount of traffic towards the smaller website over a short period of time that the website becomes inaccessible or at least very slow. The phrase was first used to describe the effect that Slashdot.org had when it linked to small sites in their daily news items.

Slave
This usually refers to an IDE setting on a hard drive or other IDE device. When two devices are used on a single IDE channel, one is set to master, and the other to slave. See also master.

SLED (Single Large Expensive Drive)
Back in the early days of hard disks, you had two choices, SLED or RAID. SLED systems used a single high capacity hard drive to store lots of data. The drive may have contained a platter that was 3 feet (1 meter) across. It was very expensive. RAID allowed users to link a bunch of smaller, cheaper hard drives together for redundancy and to save the cost of a SLED. As costs and physical sizes of high capacity hard drives decreased, the term SLED began to lose much of its meaning.

Sleep mode
The placement of a computing device into an inoperable mode where less power is consumed by shutting down unnecessary devices, but leaving all data in RAM. Typically, you return from sleep mode by using the keyboard or mouse and devices are switched back on. Sleep mode in its early incarnations was very problematic in some PCs and would often crash programs and operating systems that were not completely compatible with the sleep mode capable by the PCs BIOS.

SLI
Scalable Link Interface. This is a technology from Nvidia that allows 2 (PCIE) video cards in the same computer system to be linked, thus sharing the load of the 3D image being created. Cards in SLI are linked via a small hardware bridge. This makes for some powerful gaming systems. See also Crossfire (ATI).

SLIP (Serial Line Internet Protocol)
A protocol used to connect your computer to the Internet using serial connection.

Slocket
This is a circuit board that most commonly accepts a Socket 370 and / or FC-PGA microprocessor and in turn, plugs into a Slot 1 motherboard connection. Thus, socketed microprocessors can be made to work on motherboards with only slot connections.

Slot 1
This is a cartridge slot found on motherboards that accepts an SECC or SECC2 cartridge. It works with Intel's Pentium II and III chips, and some Celerons were also shipped that use slot 1. Most Celerons today use Socket 370.

Slot 2
This is an Intel designed specification that accepts a slot 2 cartridge. Intel ships its Xeon family of processors in a slot 2 cartridge. Slot 2 motherboards always accept at least two slot 2 cartridges. If you use only one processor in a slot 2 motherboard, you must put a termination card in the second slot.

Slot A
This slot developed by AMD is mechanically compatible with Intel's Slot 1, but not electrically compatible. This slot uses the Alpha chips EV-6 memory bus, capable of transferring data at speeds at and over 200MHz.

Slot B
This slot developed by AMD is similar to Intel's Slot 2. It is mechanically compatible, but not electrically compatible. Just as Intel uses Slot 2 for it's higher end Xeon processors, AMD designed Slot B for K7 processors with high speed L2 caches, for use in servers and workstations.

Slot Mask
This form of mask is similar to a shadow mask, but instead of a sheet of metal with holes poked into it, it is a series of fine, vertically-aligned metal wires. See Shadow-Mask.

Slotket
See Slocket.

SLR
When refering to a camera, this means Single Lens Reflex. These are the more fancy cameras where often the lens can taken off the body of the camera and exchanged for another lens. The basic thing is that the use a mirror inside the camera which either reflects the image caught by the lens to the viewer of the camera, or to the film in the camera when shooting a picture. This way the end result will be a picture matching exactly what you saw in the viewer/finder of the camera.

SLS (Softlanding Linux System)
One of the first Linux distributions, based on a number of floppies, that eventually became the Slackware distribution.

Smalltalk
An early object oriented programming language developed in 1972 by the Software Concepts Group (led by Alan Kay) for the Xerox PARC project. It added onto the Simula-67 programming language, and is still in use today by some.

SMART (Self-Monitoring Analysis & Reporting Tool)
This technology reports on a variety of hard drive attributes. You need a compliant BIOS and SCSI and/or IDE controller, a hard drive that supports SMART, and some sort of software package that reports on these conditions. Once you have that, you should be able to receive system warnings about your hard drive. Many hard drive manufacturers have added onto the SMART technology or changed it around so that it has proprietary features for their drives. The good news about SMART is that having SMART is much better than not having it, and you can be warned of hard drive failure before it happens and backup your drive while it still works. Thus, your data is safer with SMART around.

Smartcard
Piece of plastic (the size of a creditcard) with a computerchip on it that holds data. Commonly used for pay-TV, ATM's, ID's etc.

SmartMedia
This is a type of flash memory card that is roughly 1/3 the size of a PC Card (PCMCIA card) and less than 1mm thick. It is used to store data from and exchange data between PDAs, digital cameras and other devices. SmartMedia is not used that often.

SMB (Server Message Block)
This is a client-server method of communication that allows a client to make requests for resources over a network. A server responds to these requests. SMB runs over most common network protocols, including NetBEUI, IPX/SPX and TCP/IP.

SMB or SMBus (System Management Bus)
This is a standard created by Intel in 1995. It is a 2-wire specification that uses a connector the size of an RJ-45 plug and allows for communications between an external UPS or power device and a computer. Now-a-days SMB is also used for monitoring temperature, fan-speed, etc.

SMP (Symmetric Multi Processing)
This refers to a technology where a computer uses multiple processors to process different instructions at the same time, in separate processing units. It is a form of parallel computing.

SMS (Short Message Service)
Service for sending short text messages over a GSM network similar to paging. Maximum size is 160 characters per message.

SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)
Name for protocol used for transfering e-mail. Usually SMTP uses the port 25 (TCP/IP).

Smurf Attack
This is a network based attack where the attacker(s) send out false ICMP echo requests that appear to originate from the IP address of the machine or network under attack. This type of attack can be used to flood a network or device with "responses" to the false ICMP requests.

SNA (Systems Network Architecture)
This is an IBM architecture for enterprise computing systems. IBM has created a complete suite of programs to work on their proprietary hardware for enterprise computing.

Snail Mail
This simply refers to physical mail that travels postal service, as opposed to e-mail. The slow-moving snail is a reference to the relative speed of physical mail vs. the seemingly instantaneous speed of electronic mail.

SNMP
Simple Network Management Protocol. Standard interface for exchanging network management info with for example a switch or router.

SO-DIMM (Small Outline DIMM)
This is a small form factor DIMM that is designed for use in laptops, graphics cards and other devices that require a smaller than normal DIMM. The SO-DIMM allowed for an easily interchangeable SDRAM module for small form factor devices, replacing numerous proprietary laptop memory standards.

SOAP
Simple Object Access Protocol. A lightweight and simple XML-based protocol that is designed to exchange structured and typed information on the Web. The purpose of SOAP is to enable rich and automated Web services based on a shared and open Web infrastructure. SOAP can be used in combination with a variety of existing Internet protocols and formats including HTTP, SMTP, and MIME and can support a wide range of applications from messaging systems to RPC.

Socket
In network speak, a socket is composed of an IP address and a port number. For example, a socket could be "206.119.148.38 port 80." See also overzicht van poorten. Another meaning to socket refers to the pin grid array interface between some CPUs and what they plug into.

Socket 3
This is the PGA socket that an intel 80486 class chip plugs into.

Socket 370
This is the common name for Intel's newest PGA processor socket entitled the PPGA form factor. Intel initially designed Socket 370 to work with Celeron processors.

Socket 4
This is a large socket, that was used with the original Pentium 60 and 66 processors. This quickly gave way to the smaller and more accepted Socket 5.

Socket 5
This socket was first used with the Pentium 75 processor. However with starting of the Pentium 150 it has been replaced by Socket 7.

Socket 7
This is a PGA socket designed to accept an Intel P54c or P55c (Pentium class) chip, an AMD K5, K6 or K6-2 chip, or a Cyrix 6x86 or MII chip. It's memory bus is limited to a speed of 66MHz. Super 7 is the next generation of this Socket design.

Socket 8
This PGA socket is designed to accept an Intel Pentium Pro chip.

SOCKS
A protocol for communication through a firewall or proxy server. The SOCKS protocol uses TCP/IP sockets for communication. SOCKS is supported by Navigator and IE and allows them to communicate through proxy servers and firewalls, assuming the user has proper privileges to do so.

Soft Copy
This refers to an electronic copy of a document, as opposed to a hard copy, or physical printout of that document.

Soft Reset (Software Reset)
Reset initiated by software. For example a little shutdown program or even pressing the CTRL+ALT+DEL. This does not always iniate a Reset!

Software
The programs that run on computer hardware. This can include operating systems, office suites, games, and Web browsers. Software runs on hardware.

Software License
A license is the "right" to use a particular piece of software (either a program or an operating system). Usually, you will need a license for each copy of a program.

SOHO (Small Office / Home Office)
Class of equipment or software purchasers characterized by their requirements for low-cost but functional computers, fax machines, printers and other office equipment. Most computer makers target this market as a separate market segment between that of standard consumers and small businesses.

SOI (Silicon on Insulator)
This is the practice of placing a thin layer of silicon on top of an insulating material in order to speed up the performance of a microprocessor by reducing the capacitance of the transistors, and making them operate faster.

Solaris
This is a UNIX based operating system developed by Sun Microsystems and used widely for enterprise level servers. It is designed to work with Sun's own SPARC chips as well as Intel microprocessors.

SONET (Synchronous Optical NETwork)
This is a fiber optic network in a ring topology, often used to carry voice signals or Internet traffic. One ring is described as hot, or carrying data. The other ring is the protect, or standby, ring that transmits data in the opposite direction in case of service degradation or a fiber cut.

Sonictron
Viewsonic's answer to Sony's Trinitron. Like Trinitron, it uses an slot mask instead of a shadow mask.

Soundcard
A PC-card for recording and playback of audio.

Source
See source code.

Source Code
This refers to the uncompiled code of a computer program. Before compiling, you can look at the instructions and tell what the program does, if you are familiar with the programming language. After compiling the source code is transformed into machine code that is much more low level and hard to follow, making optimizations and fixes almost impossible. Thus, some developers package the source code with their software so that if people want to improve it or fix it, or just tell how it works, they can do that.

Southbridge
This is part of a chipset in a PC that controls communications between the ISA bus, IDE controller, BIOS, USB, power control, and PS/2 ports. See also northbridge. You must pair a northbridge and southbridge chip to create a full chipset.

Spam
Besides being a canned meat - "spiced ham" made by Hormel, spam has taken on a new meaning. Spam is the common term for unsolicited e-mail. Some common types of spam include ads for pornographic sites, pyramid schemes, and advertisements for products that allow you to send spam. Other types of spam are messages that claim that you will win a prize or help a dying child by sending messages to all of your friends. In addition to being a noun, spam is also a verb, as in "Don't spam me!" Often spammers will take the list of addresses that reply to them and compile new lists to spam. See also SpIM.

Spatial Database
This is simply a database that contains geographical or "spatial" information. For example, you could have a database of population by county in the United States, or amount of sales by state, or amount of employees per site.

Spawn camping
See Spawning.

Spawn point
See Spawning.

Spawning
1) Term used to denote the process where fish, and other water dwelling organisms, deposit and fertilize eggs during reproduction. 2) The term has been adopted in video games, especially first-person shooters. In its most basic sense, the phrase simply means any shooting game with a first person perspective (which would mean games like Unreal, Quake, Doom, and many combat flight simulators, etc.). In this context, spawning is the creation of a player's avatar in the game. This occurs at the beginning of the round or immediately after being killed. Most games have "spawn points" scattered throughout the map, though in levels designed for team play, there may simply be two areas, one for each team. Some players will lie in wait around spawn points to kill players as they spawn, a practice known as spawn camping.

SPD (Serial Presence Detect)
This refers to an 8-pin serial EEPROM chip available on some SDRAM memory that keeps specific information about a DIMMs size, speed, voltage, drive strength, number of row and column addresses, DIMM manufacturer and RAM manufacturer. If a motherboard supports SPD, it can set it's BIOS automatically based on these settings to achieve maximum compatibility.

Speaker Shielding
The ferro-magnetic shielding around the magnets of speakers that prevents interference with the monitor and stops damage to magnetic media such as floppies, Zip disks, and Jaz disks. Speaker shielding CAN damage MOs or CDs, however.

SpeedStep
This is an Intel standard that allows their mobile processors to run at a lower MHz speed when used in a notebook that is not plugged into a power source.

SPID (Service Protocol Identifier)
This is a unique identifier that an ISDN provider's ISDN switch uses to identify ISDN clients. SPIDs are often similar in format to a phone number, but vary between ISDN providers.

Spider
Also known as a Web crawler, a robot, Web spider, or sometimes a worm. A program that runs on the Internet, goes out to an URL (Web page), and requests all links that are referred to on that page. Robots learn as they go, building a database of links. They index based on meta tags in the HTML or the title, or just about anything else you can imagine. Usually, they come from search engines and are designed to keep the search engines current.

spIM
Unsolicited commercial messages sent via an instant messaging system like MSN messenger, Yahoo messenger, AIM, ICQ, etc. See also Spam.

Spindle
This refers to the centerpiece of a hard drive which holds one or more hard drive platters. Often, the term spindle is used to differentiate hard drives from hard disk platters in discussion when referring to large RAID subsystems holding many hard drives, such as "We'll be using 50 spindles instead of 10 spindles in the new RAID box." Basically, a spindle is seen as a limiting factor in performance. Generally, more spindles in a system mean higher possible performance.

SPL (Sound Pressure Level)
This is a measure in decibels of the sound power produced by an object. It is measured with a sound level meter. There are contests held to see what vehicle can produce the highest SPL through its sound system.

Spoof
This is a generic term for misleading a computer system into believing that you are not who you say you are. Most commonly, it refers to a TCP/IP trick that allows you to get around network security by impersonating a TCP/IP address inside of the network.

Spool / Spooler
This is the intermediary device between a computer and a printer. In the old days, if you had no spooler, your computer would wait as the printer slowly printed a document. You would send your print data to a spooler to accept the data and save it temporarily to hard disk or memory while it deals with the slow printer for you. Nowadays, print-server is a more current term for describing this type of device. Most modern operating systems contain spooler processes that take care of printing in the background and you don't notice any delays anyway.

Spreadsheet
This is a type of computer program that displays a group of cells (a 2D graph pattern) and allows for easy mathematical operations and relationships between the cells. The first major spreadsheet was Lotus 1-2-3. Today's most popular spreadsheet is Microsoft Excel.

SpyWare
Software that 'traces' what you are doing and sometimes reports this to a company or organisation. Highly undesirable since your privacy is definitly invaded here and most people don't even know it is happening to them. A tool like AdWare can help you remove it from your PC.

SQL (Structured Query Language)
This is a scripting/query language, used with a type of relational database that features data in rows and columns. Each row represents a record. Each column is a field. Most serious database solutions today use some form of SQL to store and access large quantities of data quickly and reliably. The SQL language was originally developed by IBM in the mid 1970s. The original SQL language (SEQUEL2) was described in the November 1976 IBM Journal of R&D. In 1979, Oracle Corporation introduced the first commercially available implementation of SQL.

SRAM (Static Random Access Memory)
Much more expensive and physically larger than DRAM, but much faster. The fastest SRAM has a latency of about 5 nanoseconds.

SS7 (Super Socket 7)
This refers to a motherboard that is built on the Super 7 platform, which is an extension to the Socket 7 platform that accepts Super 7 microprocessors.

SSD (Solid State Drive)
SSD storage is basically a huge block of RAM chips that functions like a hard drive. Solid state drives are extremely expensive, but offer very high data speeds that are necessary in some applications. They can also be used as large caches on huge RAID subsystems

SSE (Streaming SIMD Extensions)
This in the name for Intel's instructions set, introduced in their Pentium III processor. The SSE extensions are similar to AMD's 3DNow! set of instructions. These extensions are a set of 70 instructions that perform SIMD operations. In addition, to support these instructions, Pentium III's come with 8 128-bit registers dedicated to them.

SSI (Server Side Includes)
This is a method of calling or "including" code into a web page. To utilize SSI, your web server must be set to check for and respond to these codes called in HTML pages. The SSI calls are embedded in HTML comments, so if they are called from a server that doesn't support SSI, or is not actively looking for them, they are ignored. You can use SSI to easily include a particluar bit of HTML code on a group of HTML pages. This can be used to create a single look and feel across multiple HTML pages. You can also use SSI to call CGI programs.

SSI (Small Scale Integration)
This refers to chips containing tens of transistors. Today, that's a very simple chip. See also VLSI, LSI, and MSI.

SSID
SSID, or Service Set Identifier, is the workgroup name of your Wireless Network. All devices (Access Points, Wireless Routers, and Wireless Network Adapters) must all have the same SSID to communicate on the Wireless Network.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)
This is a protocol specified by Netscape that allows for "secure" passage of data. It uses public key encryption, including digital certificates and digital signatures, to pass data (for example: credit-card information) between a browser and a server. It is an open standard and is supported by Netscape's Navigator and Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

SSMP (Simple Screen Management Protocol)
This is a communications protocol for text-based terminals.

Stack
This is a data construct that first-in, last-out (FILO). Think of a stack of pancakes. The first pancake cooked (first in) is put on a plate, and then covered with other pancakes as they are finished. The original pancake is the last one that leaves the plate if you eat them one at a time. See also queue

Stack Page (SP)
A stack page, a reserved piece of memory used by functions and procedures (so basically, applications too) to temporarily store data. In Windows for example, a piece of 4K of memory that a 32-bit device driver uses to hold data and instructions as it works.

Star topology
This is a network topology that has network hubs at the center, with all connected computers linked back to the hub by a single cable. Thus, if one cable goes down, the rest of the computers can still communicate.

Static IP Address
An IP address that does not change. Most IP addresses for client machines are handed out by a method such as a DHCP server that manages a range of IP addresses. Static IP addresses are typically reserved for servers or routers. Most IP addresses handed out by an ISP are not static, but you can find ISPs that offer static IP addresses.

Stellent
Stellent is a Minnesota-based content management software corporation.

Stepping (CPU Model)
This refers to the version of a chip. Microprocessors typically have many different steppings where performance is increased or minor bugs are fixed. The steppings are generally not touted as a new release of the chip, because chips are not as easily upgradeable as software. You would have to buy a whole new chip to upgrade it.

Stichting ThuisKopie (Dutch)
Dutch regulations, similar to AHRA, Audio Home Recording Act of 1992, which allows comsumers to create copies of recordings for personal, non-commercial use.

Streaming
This term is often used to describe technology that is capable of playing audio or video while it is still downloading. This saves you some waiting.

Streaming audio
Audio that is played back while still downloading the rest of the audio.

Stub
This refers to a discontinuity in a SCSI bus. There are required lengths between stubs for the various SCSI standards. Each SCSI device counts as a stub. You can think of anything that's not a continuous SCSI cable as a stub.

Subnet
This is a term that refers to a group of TCP/IP addresses defined by a subnet mask. A subnet mask determines how many addresses are in the same subnet as a particular TCP/IP address. Addresses in your subnet are reachable without going through a router, and thus can be reached by broadcasts. To reach addresses outside of a particular subnet, you must transmit through a router. This is all part of the TCP/IP protocol.

Subnet Mask
See Subnet. When a TCP/IP device tries to communicate with another device, the bits of the TCP/IP destination address are "ANDed" with the subnet mask to determine whether the address is a local address (broadcastable) or must be reached through a router.

Subroutine
This refers to a mini program that resides inside another program and is called within that program. Typically, you put together a subroutine when you have to do similar repetitive tasks in different areas of your program and you don't want to code the same thing over and over again.

Super 7
This is a specification designed by an alliance of non-Intel companies. The Super 7 architecture extends the socket 7 architecture to include support for an AGP graphics port and memory bus speeds of 100MHz.

Super Bypass
This refers to a means of reducing memory latency in the AMD 750 chipset - the first chipset designed to work with the AMD Athlon. The first AMD 750 chipsets had some trouble with it.

Super Threading
Super-threading is a form of simultaneous multithreading, similar in design to hyper-threading. In super-threading, the processor can execute instructions from a different thread each cycle. Thus cycles left unused by a thread can be used by another that is ready to run. Still, a given thread is almost surely not utilizing all the multiple execution units of a modern processor at the same time. More advanced implementations of SMT allow multiple threads to run in the same cycle, using different execution units of a superscalar processor.

Super Video CD (SVCD)
A format for storing movies on a CD. It's backwards compatible with VCD 1.1, 2.0 and 3.0, SVCD supports higher resolutions and 2.2Mbps variable bitrate (VBR) MPEG-2 video encoding as well as MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 audio encoding. The resolution of SVCD video is 480x576 (PAL), 480x480 (NTSC), up from VCD's 352x288 (PAL) resolution. SVCD supports 5.1 audio, but it is not Dolby 5.1. You must use a 2x or faster CD-ROM drive to read SVCDs, as opposed to 1x drives for VCD. Video quality is between VCD and DVD quality, and SVCDs are mainly found in Asia.

Supercomputer
This refers to a computer that is able to operate at a speed that places it at or near the top speed of currently produced computers. Most supercomputers cost millions of dollars, and the traditional model of using one large computer with proprietary hardware is being challenged by using a cluster of cheaper computers with more standard hardware.

Superscalar
This term describes a processor that is capable of executing more than one instruction during a processor cycle. Processors can do this by fetching multiple instructions in one cycle, deciding which instructions are independent of other instructions, and executing them.

Superstitial ad
This describes a pop-up banner ad. Superstitial ads load after a Web page is done loading, and pop up when a link is clicked on. The pre-loading ensures that the ads don't slow the browsing experience and offer full-quality rich media ads. However; most visitors experience this as irritation.

Surf
This term is synonymous with browsing, as in browsing the Web with a Web browser.

Surge Protector
A specialized outlet that uses capacitors to keep spikes in the power supply from damaging electronic devices.

SVF file format
1. SVF (Simple Vector Format) is designed to be a simple format for describing vector images. The basic drawing objects include points, lines, circles, arcs, bezier curves and text. Features of the format include layers (for controlling the visibility of objects), hyperlinks (for allowing the user to click on a portion of the drawing to perform an action), notifications (for sending messages when the user has passed a certain zoom level), fills, and the ability to override the default colors. 2. SVF is also a fileformat used for verifying the integrity of RAR files. Commonly used when downloading large quantities of RAR files, to verify if they are OK.

SVGA (Super VGA)
This is an extension to the original VGA standard which allows resolutions of 800x600. See also VGA.

Swap file
An area of your hard drive that the computer uses for RAM. Although slower, it is usually much more abundant.

SWF
Macromedia Flash/Shockwave file extension. This file contains a Flash or Shockwave movie.

Swindler
A person who rips you off you by means of deception or fraud. See also Scammer.

Switch
This refers to a hub that directs network packets to the port they are intended for, without broadcasting them to all connections. Switching is an alternative to moving to faster architectures. Switched 10Base-T can move data faster in some cases than a 100Base-T hub, because the 100Base-T hub takes up the hub's entire bandwidth with each packet sent.

SXGA (Super XGA)
This term describes a display with 1280x1024 pixel resolution.

SXGA+ (Super XGA+)
This term describes a display with 1400x1050 pixel resolution. It is a hybrid resolution between SXGA and UXGA found on some LCD screens in laptop PCs.

Sybase
This company makes a SQL database product that competes with Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server. It's also the type of SQL that Microsoft based Microsoft SQL Server on.

Symbian
Consortium of some manifacturers (I.e. Psion, Ericsson, Nokia) promoting the use of the EPOC operating system.

Symbolic Link
A lightweight reference to files and folders. This is used in several filesystems. A symbolic link allows multiple references to files and folders without requiring multiple copies of these items. Symbolic links are fragile because if what they refer to moves somewhere else in the file system, the link breaks. However, they are useful in cases where the location of the referenced file or folder will not change.

Symbolrate
Symbolrate indicates the amount of symbols (usually BITS) that can be decoded or handled per second by a piece of equipment (for example a satellite reciever or a modem).

Sync (Synchronize)
This is the act of updating one set of data based on another similar set with some updates made to it. Synchronization can go one way or two ways and follows a set of rules defined by the synchronization procedure. Synchronization is often used to update data such as address book data on PDAs, or to update data on a computer after updates were made to a copy of the data on a PDA.

Synchronous
Meaning that things happen at the same time. More commonly, used in electronics to signify something occurring at the set pace of a clock, much like a metronome.

System Bus
The path between a microprocessor and the chipset on the motherboard. This bus may or may not run at the same speed as the memory bus.

System Software
This term can refer to all of the software that comes with a computer system, or more specifically, the operating system.

SysTray (System Tray)
The system tray is the location on the far right of the Windows 95/98/NT taskbar. Within it always resides the clock, and often other user-installed programs that monitor the system or run constantly. If you double-click on items in the systray, you usually get some sort of window to open up and tell you about why the item is there and what you can do with it.


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