tech2.html ~ Sep 27, 2002

for a more recent and larger list of terms, see /tech/glossary

Active X

-- A loosely defined set of technologies developed by Microsoft.
ActiveX is an outgrowth of two other Microsoft technologies called OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) and COM (Component Object Model).
As a moniker, ActiveX can be very confusing because it applies to a whole set of COM-based technologies. Most people, however, think only of ActiveX controls, which represent a specific way of implementing ActiveX technologies.
--from's webopedia:ActiveX definition and links page

-- Most web pages are static documents with little interactivity. Microsoft has created a programing language, called ActiveX, to remedy this situation. ActiveX "controls" promise to make the web surfing experience comparable to that of highly produced CD-ROMS, where you can listen to music, watch animation and video clips and interact with the program.
-- from
highly recommended: glossary

3D Studio

"The other thing I want to share with you is something I created using 3D Studio. I reconstructed a 3D model of the label (for those of you who don't know: the five-pointed star with the head in the middle with hanging pieces of skin IS actually the label). This label is slowly revolving in an FLI."


Advanced SCSI Peripheral Interface

<storage, programming> (ASPI) A set of libraries designed to provide programs running under Microsoft Windows with a consistent interface for accessing SCSI devices. ASPI has become a de facto standard.

The ASPI layer is a collection of programs (DLLs) that together implement the ASPI interface. Many problems are caused by device manufacturers packaging incomplete sets of these DLLs with their hardware, often with incorrect date stamps, causing newer versions to get replaced with old. ASPICHK from Adaptec will check the ASPI components installed on a computer.

The latest ASPI layer as of March 1999 is 1014.

The ATAPI standard for IDE devices makes them look to the system like SCSI devices and allows them to work through ASPI.

Adaptec's I/O operating invironment is based on the Advanced SCSI Programming Interface (ASPI) standard, "originated by Adaptec to addressmultiple peripheral connectivity needs across various operating systems. The ASPI standard allows major developers to write one application module to a standard, while maintaining compatibility with multiple SCSI host adapters and a variety of bus architectures (ISA, EISA, MCA)."


ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) is a dedicated-connection switching technology that organizes digital data into 53-byte cells or packets and transmits them over a medium using digital signal technology. Individually, a cell is processed asynchronously relative to other related cells and is queued before being multiplexed over the line.

Because ATM is designed to be easily implemented by hardware (rather than software), faster processing speeds are possible. The prespecified bit rates are either 155.520 Mbps or 622.080 Mpbs. IEEE Spectrum reports that speeds on ATM networks are expected to reach 10 Gbps. Along with SONET and several other technologies, ATM is a key component of broadband ISDN (BISDN). more


(Broadband Integrated Services Digital Network)
BISDN is both a concept and a set of services and developing standards for integrating digital transmission services in a broadband network of fiber optic and radio media. BISDN will encompass frame relay service for high-speed data that can be sent in large bursts, the Fiber Distributed-Data Interface (FDDI), and the Synchronous Optical Network (SONET). BISDN will support transmission from 2 Mbps up to much higher, but as yet unspecified, rates.

BISDN is the broadband counterpart to ISDN, which provides digital transmission over ordinary telephone company copper wires on the narrowband local loop.


dynamic HTML:  The W3C may not have an official definition for it, but dynamic HTML combines HTML, style sheets, and scripts to make Web pages more interactive. It sounds great. But while both Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 and Netscape Communicator 4.0 support dynamic HTML features, they do so in different--and incompatible--ways. The companies say they will work to make their browsers compatible with whatever specification the W3C finally decides upon. However, the browsers may be in their fifth generation before users see a concrete standard.
from CNET's Internet Glossary

HTML versions


Scripting: The use of scripting languages in HTML documents began during the Java craze of 1995-1996, when Netscape Communications, apparently seeking to cash in on the rocketing popularity of Java, renamed their proprietary "Netscript" extensions of HTML "JavaScript." JavaScript, which has nothing to do with the Java programming language, was a non-standard and often buggy and insecure method of implementing real-time interactivity on Web pages. The HTML 4 specification acknowledges the use of scripts and provides a new element, SCRIPT, that allows many kinds of scripting languages to be used on Web pages.


CNET's MP3 page
MP3 is short for MPEG Layer 3, a file format (or codec) that compresses standard audio tracks into much smaller sizes without significantly compromising sound quality.


20 questions on XML
XML slide 1 XHTML 1.0: The Extensible Hypertext Markup Language

Comparing Your Bus Options

When it comes to the bus, your basic choices for storage are:
  • IDE (Integrated Device Electronics) a parallel interface that is the most common used for disk drives. The controller electronics reside on the drive itself, requiring no separate adapter card.
  • SCSI (Small Computer System Interface) a high-speed parallel interface, also known as “scuzzy.” SCSI has been the popular choice of workstation and server vendors.
  • IEEE 1394, a high-speed serial bus, which makes it great for use with multimedia peripherals such as video camcorders and other high-speed devices like the latest hard disk drives and printers.

SCSI Symbol "Pioneered by Adaptec's founders in 1979, the Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) is an industry-standard Input/Output (I/O) bus specification. The SCSI standard defines a high- performance interface between peripherals and microcomputers, enabling fast data transfer, and management of as many as seven peripheral devices (like hard disk drives, CD- ROM, etc.) from one host adapter. SCSI host adapters and software enable peripherals to process information quickly, while the host computer is free to work on other tasks."


FireWire is Apple Computer's version of a 1999 standard, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers 1394 High Performance Serial Bus, for connecting devices to your personal computer. FireWire provides a single plug-and-socket connection on which up to 63 devices can be attached with data transfer speeds up to 400 Mbps (megabit per second). The standard describes a serial bus or pathway between one or more peripheral devices and your computer's microprocessor.
It’s a thin twisted cord with a 6-pin connector.
"The popularity of FireWire devices has skyrocketed recently. You can now buy all kinds of FireWire storage and peripherals. However, not all FireWire cards are created equal. Many FireWire PC and PCI cards are made specifically to support DV camcorders and won’t work with other types of devices. Look for the following when shopping for a FireWire card for your older Mac: number of ports (get at least two), four-pin or six-pin connectors (only six-pin connectors provide power to external devices), speed (100, 200, or 400 mbps), and supported peripheral types. Finally, make sure you have the latest FireWire extensions (found in Apple’s support site) and either OS 8.6 or OS 9."
once again, Windows follows Apple's lead....
"Windows Me, Windows 2000, and Windows 98 Second Edition operating systems all support the 1394 standard. Sometimes called "Firewire," IEEE 1394 is most-commonly used for connecting digital cameras and camcorders to your computer. But experts also see a future for IEEE 1394 as a storage interface, especially to connect external hard drives to your computer.
1394 can transmit data at up to 400 megabits per second, 30 times the speed of USB. While its theoretical maximum speed is lower than the theoretical maximum for the ATA/IDE or SCSI interface, in practice 1394 may provide greater throughput for your hard drive. "

Another new approach to connecting devices, the USB (Universal Serial Bus), provides the same "hot plug" capability as the 1394 standard. It's a less expensive technology but data transfer is limited to 12 Mbps (million bits per second).


Local-area network (LAN)

- High-speed, low-error data network covering a relatively small geographic area. LANs connect workstations, peripherals, terminals, and other devices in a single building or other geographically limited area. LAN standards specify cabling and signaling at the physical and data link layers of the OSI model. Ethernet, FDDI, and Token Ring are widely used LAN technologies. Compare with MAN and WAN.

Metropolitan-area network (MAN)

- Network that spans a metropolitan area. Generally, a MAN spans a larger geographic area than a LAN, but a smaller geographic area than a WAN.

Wide-area network (WAN)

- Data communications network that serves users across a broad geographic area and often uses transmission devices provided by common carriers. Frame Relay, SMDS, and X.25 are examples of WANs. Compare with LAN and MAN.

RACs (remote access concentrators)

Corporations use RACs to collect modem calls from distant employees and connect them to enterprise database, email, order entry and other systems. ISPs use RACs to manage the modem calls from their subscribers.

RAS (remote access servers)

'Few aspects of modern data networks are as daunting as implementing "RAS"--the collective acronym for remote access service, servers, systems and subnetworks. That's not surprising: Fast and efficient dial-in connectivity to the resources on your network involves a mixture of technologies, hardware and software integration, and a host of issues that can affect performance.'
more (1997)
Cisco has taken to calling them "Universal Access Servers" (UAS) or just ACCESS SERVERS...

OSI Reference Model

- Open System Interconnection reference model.
Network architectural model developed by ISO and ITUT-T The model consists of seven layers, each of which specifies particular network functions such as addressing, flow control, error control, encapsulation, and reliable message transfer. A LAYERED NETWORK MODEL was developed to reduce complexity and aid in standardization.
The highest layer (the application layer) is closest to the user; the lowest layer (the physical layer) is closest to the media technology.
The lowest layer is implemented in hardware. The next to lowest layer is implemented in hardware and software, while the upper five layers are implemented only in software.
Layer 7: Application LayerUpper Layers:
application issues
Layer 6: Presentation Layer
Layer 5: Session Layer
 Lower Layers:
handle data transport issues
Layer 3: Network
Layer 2: Data Link
Layer 1: Physical (hardware)

The OSI reference model is used universally as a method for teaching and understanding network functionality.