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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 "R" ...

Glossary ...

R00 is a numbered file for a group of RAR files. Files are numbered as such: .RAR, .R00, .R01, .R02, .R03, etc. Newer versions of WinRar (>3.0) rather use .part01.RAR, .part02.RAR, etc.

This is a metal frame used for holding server computers and networking equipment. A standard rack is 19" wide. There are wider racks that are 23" wide and built to hold wider equipment. Racks range in height, but are typically 24 and 42 rack units, with each unit being 1.75".

Rack Units (U)
This refers to the distance of 1.75" between screw holes in a rack used to hold server equipment. If you are shopping for rack equipment, keep in mind the height of the rack you have to work with, and the "U" rating of the equipment. Heights of 1U indicate equipment that can fit into a 1.75" tall rack space.

Radio Button
This is a GUI term, denoting that the user has a group of selections to make, and they can only make one selection at a time. As it relates loosely to a radio, you can only listen to one station at a time. In computer world, an example of where a radio button may be used is on a web site where you need to pick which type of payment you're using: Visa, Mastercard, Discover or AMEX. Usually, you'll have radio buttons, and you can pick only one method of payment. Radio buttons are represented by a group of small circles. When you click on one of them, you get a dot on your selection. There is always a default selection.

RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Drives)
A group of harddisk functioning as one disk (for the Operating System), allowing more speed (RAID-0) or better security (RAID-1, RAID-5 etc).

Also known as disk striping, this form of RAID combines two or more hard drives into a single logical drive. Any data is written in blocks first to one drive, then the next, and so on. A RAID 0 configuration sacrifices redundancy for raw speed.

There are two forms of RAID 1: disk duplexing and disk mirroring. Disk mirroring involves two hard drives that are on the same drive controller. The same data is written to both drives, so write operations are slower because you must write data to both drives. Read operations are the same speed, as if you only had one drive. Disk duplexing is much like disk mirroring, but each drive is on a separate controller. This speeds up the normally slow write operations and also adds a level of redundancy, in case one of your controller cards dies. With RAID 1, you get half the space you paid for because you're writing twice as much data.

RAID 1+0 (=RAID 10)
This form of RAID was originally called RAID 1+0 and is now commonly referred to as RAID 10. This is basically a bunch of RAID 1 drives linked together with RAID 0. Hence, you get the speed benefits of RAID 0 with the redundancy benefits of RAID 1. The only problem is that you use a lot of drives to do it. Like RAID 1, you only get half of the space that you've paid for. Of course, it may be worth it if you can rest easier at night. RAID 10 is generally a bit faster than RAID 5.

This form of RAID protection stripes data across 2 or more drives, and also stripes an ECC parity code across 1 or more drives. This code is used to verify that the data read and written is correct. As more data drives are used, you want to increase the number of parity drives to increase performance. This RAID type is not often used.

This is a form of RAID protection that uses at least 3 drives, where one drive holds all of the parity data. The other 2 or more drives contain data striped across them in bits or bytes. This RAID type is not often used.

This is similar to RAID 3, in that an extra drive is used to store all parity information. However, data is striped by drive sector, instead of by bits or bytes, so that read operations are faster. This RAID type is not often used.

A RAID 5 configuration utilizes three or more hard drives and stripes the data across them, much like RAID 0. The difference is that parity information is striped across the drives as well, so if you lose any one drive, the information can be reconstructed from the parity information. If one drive fails, you get a mix of parity and data on the remaining two drives and you can reconstruct all of the data. To reconstruct the data, you must remove the failed drive and replace it with another. During reconstruction, the array continues to be slow. Once the RAID is reconstructed, performance returns to normal levels.

RAM (Random Access Memory)
The place in your computer that programs reside when running. You can access any part of the memory, and it can easily be overwritter with new values.

Rambus DRAM

RAMDAC (RAM Digital / Analog Converter)
This is the part of a graphics card that transfers the digital color signals into analog signals that a CRT monitor can understand. Faster RAMDACs are necessary if you want to use higher resolution displays at higher color and refresh rates.

Random Seed
This is a base value for a random number generator, which uses it in it's formula to generate a random number. If you would always use the same random seed number, then the random generator will always generate the same repeating sequence of random number. So this is not really random. In order to make it unpredictable, one should have a random seed that changes. For example by using the current time as the random seed.

This is the file extension of a type of compressed file created by the WinRAR program by RarSoft. It is considered by many to be more versatile than other compression programs on the market such as WinZip.

RAS (Remote Access Server)
This is a general term for any server that offers remote access to a network over phone line, WAN link, or even over a LAN.

RAS (Remote Access Services)
Remote Access Service refers to the ability to dial into another computer or network remotely. In the context of WinRoute, RAS simply refers to a dial-up connection.

Raster Graphics
This form of graphics is probably what you are looking at now. Composed of pixels on a bitmap, it allows for solid colored objects and graphics as we know them. See also vector graphics.

The term raw refers to any data that has not been translated, ordered of shaped in any way. It also refers to sending print data directly to a printer, instead of translating it first to an EMF file. Printing to raw format uses less CPU power for translation, but skips the print spooler and makes printing more dependent on the application, and less on the OS.

RCA cables (Radio Corporation of America cables)
This refers to the standard single-ended analog cables used to connect audio and video devices to each other. Typically, a red input is for the left channel of sound, and white is for the right, and yellow is for video.

Short for REPLY, commonly used in email applications.

Read Only
Usually applied to a file or other kind of document. Means that the object cannot be written to, which means that you can't save any modifications you make to it.

Funny word, to incidicate literature like books and magazines. Basically anything you can read.

A concept in Windows Vista for adding memory to a system. You can use non-volatile flash memory, such as that on a USB flash drive, as a cache in the hope to improve performance.

Real-time refers to tasks that are time critical and must happen in our time. Real-time is the highest priority you can give to a thread or process in the Windows environment. Even though this is accounted for in the operating systems, Windows is a poor real-time OS. The user interface should always be real-time. If you move the mouse, your pointer should move on screen immediately. Unfortunately, Windows can bog down enough so that this doesn't happen. Other real-time applications can include medical applications and control of real world systems. For example, you want to make sure that the train switches tracks on time and not too late because your server is bogged down.

Streaming audioformat where audio is played back while still downling the rest of the audio from the Intenet.

To restart a computer. It comes from "boot," which is a term that means starting the operating system on the computer. When you are using your computer and have weird problems, the tech guy comes over and says "time to reboot." If you are the tech guy, you'll find yourself saying this far too often.

See recursive.

This is a programming term. It describes a process where a function or procedure is able to call itself within the function or procedure.

In a redundant system, if you lose part of the system, you can continue to operate. For example, if you have two power supplies and one takes over if the other one dies, then that is a form of redundancy. You can take redundancy to ridiculous levels, but you spend more money.

Refresh Rate
How often something is rewritten or updated. The refresh rate of your monitor and graphics card can cause your monitor to appear to flicker if set improperly.

A CPU contains registers that it uses for temporary storage of data. You can think of a register as a kind of L0 cache. If the processor has to add the values of two memory locations, it may first fetch each from memory and place them into it registers, and then do an operation that adds two registers.

Collection of data and settings used by Windows. Replacement for the old WIN.INI and SYSTEM.INI.

Relative URL
This refers to a URL that does not include strict directory information; instead, you give the link directions like "back two directories and up one directory" in standard command line format like "../../imagedir/image.jpg". This way, you can change domain names or IP addresses of your Web server and not have to recode your HTML pages. However, if you change directory names (or depth), you must change even your relative URLs.

A function of a layer by means of which a layer entity receives data from a corresponding entity and transmits it to another corresponding entity. Basically: the process of passing on information, not limited to any computer related technolgy.

Remote Control
This is a means of taking control of a remote computer, usually on a remote network. Programs like pcAnywhere and a host of others offer this ability. Usually, you call the remote computer with a modem and control the computer by interacting with your computer while seeing on your screen a representation of what is actually happening on the remote computer. The downside to remote control is that each remote connection requires a separate computer. You can't have multiple people controlling one computer remotely and seeing a useful representation of what is on the remote display. Well known applications for this purpose are VNC (free), PC-Anywhere and Terminal Services (part of Windows).

Removable Storage
This type of storage allows you to remove the actual storage media from a drive and replace it with other media. CD-ROM, floppy drives, Jaz, Zip, Syquest, and Bernoulli are all removable storage.

To deliver, create or make available. This can be used for example when the computer has to generate a list (ie. Render a list) or in graphics: to determine how colors are used on each triangle (3D graphics).

A netwerk device that repeats a signal in order to amplify it so tranportation over a long distance has a good QoS.

This refers to the disconnection and reconnection of an add-on board, memory, processor, hard drive, or other accessory. The reason for reseating an accessory is usually to test whether it is connected properly in the first place and to ensure that it is not the source of computer problems.

Anyone that buys computer equipment or software and sells it. In most states in the US, you need a reseller license.

This is a two terminal electronic component that resists an electrical current and turns the extra current into heat. Resistors are rated in ohms and can be used to regulate the voltage and current in a circuit. Basically, a resistor resists the flow of electricity. Resistors are used to lower voltages and currents so that components that require smaller voltage / current can function properly. If a power supply puts out 12 volts, and you have a chip that runs on three, you need a resistor to cut down the voltage.

The amount of pixels a printer of monitor can display per given surface (for example inches). Often expressed in DPI - Dots Per Inch. It defines how small the smallest possible dot can be.

This refers to the process of an operating system on a computer shutting down, and then starting back up automatically. During a restart, the user does not need to hit the power switch.

Return to its original or usable and functioning condition. See also Backup.

Retail version
Retail version refers to the version of a product, as it was intended to be sold in shops. Meaning; in a nice box, with manual and all the required mounting parts. This in contrast to the OEM version, which is usually a bit cheaper than the retail version, which comes in a plastic bag without the manual and the mounting parts. See also OEM.

Retention Mechanism
The mechanisms, for example, attached to a motherboard that hold onto a Slot 1, Slot 2 or Slot A cartridge so that it doesn't come loose during usage or shipping. The mechanism is usually made of black plastic and holds the processor cartridge in place.

Reverse Engineering
This is the process of understanding a system with or without knowing how the system actually functions internally, but only judging how the system responds to various inputs. In that way, a company can create a product with similar or equivalent behaviour to another company's product without infringing on their patents.

Meaning that what was written can be erased so that it can be written to again. See also CDRW.

RF (Radio Frequency)
This is the range or frequencies between 10 kilocycles per second to 300,000 megacycles per second in which radio waves can be transmitted. It can also refer to a frequency used for a specific radio station.

RFC (Request For Comments)
This refers to a document that was created to define accepted or proposed Internet standards or standards of practice. The acceptance of a document as an RFC is governed by the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force). RFCs begin life as Internet-Drafts, which may be written by anyone. The IETF decides which Internet-Drafts become RFCs. RFCs are most often created by groups of interested individuals hoping to create a standard for interoperability over the Internet.

RGB (Red, Green, Blue)
CRT monitors, including television sets, use red, green and blue light to represent the entire color spectrum. When you put red, green and blue light together, you get white light. This is ideal for representing images on the black screen. Most graphics programs will let you create colors by setting levels of red, grean and blue. See also CMYK.

Rich Media
This refers to a type of Internet advertisement that allows for more interaction than a simple click. It may incorporate a usable dropdown menu, radio buttons or even Flash or Shockwave animation and sound. Some ad banners appear to be rich media, but when clicked on, they do not interact with the user and only forward them to a different website using a standard image and link tag.

RIMM (Rambus In-line Memory Module)
This is the form factor for Rambus RDRAM. By comparison, SDRAM is mainly found on DIMMs, and EDO RAM is usually on SIMMs. RIMMs require that if you do not fill all RIMM slots with RDRAM memory, you must keep the empty slots filled with termination boards to ensure that the high speed Rambus memory signals do not bounce improperly.

Ring topology
A ring topology refers to a network that is connected on both ends to one source, with client machines hanging off of the ring. If you break the ring, all computers in the ring lose connectivity.

This refers to the action of copying music track(s) off of a music CD and converting them into some form of compressed file, typically MP3. Currently also the action of copying and converting a movie track from a DVD or other source.

See Grabbing and Rip.

RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing)
RISC chips use a simpler instruction set than CISC chips to get their work done. This results in more instructions that need to be processed by the processor, but they are easier to process, so the chips can process more instructions per clock cycle than a CISC chip. Chip philosophers argue the benefits of RISC vs. CISC, but there is no clear cut winner. See also CISC for additional info.

Riser Card
This is a card that plugs into a motherboard and enables other cards to be plugged into it horizontally. Architectures that support riser cards are typically designed to allow tall cards to be plugged into shorter enclosures. Servers often use riser cards.

This is the standard phone jack connector and supports 4 separate copper wires.

This is the standard Ethernet network connector, supporting 8 copper wires. You plug an RJ-45 cable into an RJ-45 port. It?s is also used in Europe for ISDN connections.

RMON (Remote Monitoring)
This is part of the MIB that is used in SNMP. RMON defines 9 types of information that can be used to monitor networks and network devices. RMON2 is an extension of the RMON specification.

RMS (Root Mean Square)
Mathematically this refers to the square root of the average of a group of numbers. You will most often see RMS referring to the power rating of an audio amplifier. RMS power is different than peak power, and is a more accurate rating of power than peak. If an amplifier lists a power rating in watts and doesn't say whether it is RMS or peak, you can assume it is peak, as peak ratings are typically much higher than RMS power. Manufacturers of high quality audio components will always list the RMS power of their amplifiers.

Besides being a mechanical device used to mimic human form, usually to accomplish some repetitive task, this refers to a computer program that scans web pages and links. Like a spider program, robots are used to scan web pages and index them. You can insert a file called robots.txt to the main directory of your website to tell the robots which directories not to index.

Online speak for "Rolling On The Floor Laughing".

ROM (Read Only Memory)
Memory containing a program, data, or information about the device that has been programmed onto the chip at the factory and cannot be changed.

Roman numbers
The old romans used an alternative way of writing down numbers. They didn't use our 1,2,3,etc, they used characters for this: I=1, X=10, L=50, C=100, D=500 and M=1000. Combining these characters: CD=400, CL=150, MMIII=2003, etc. Smaller values before larger values, indicate substraction, for example C (100) and D (500) makes 500-100 = 400. A smaller value following a larger numbers tells you to add: C (100) and L (50) gives 100+50=150.

In UNIX, this refers to the main system user that has full access to all files on a system. It also refers to the base directory of a file system. For example, the root of a CDROM can be "D:" (if D represents the drive letter of your CDROM player).

Root directory
This is the base directory of an operating system. This term is typically used for the UNIX OS, but can apply to a webserver as the directory that a browser defaults to. It refers to the directory represented by a slash, or "/" character in UNIX, or a "" character in Windows. To change to the root directory, use the command "cd /" in UNIX or "cd " in Windows.

ROP (Raster Operation)
A raster operation refers to a set of low-level graphics operations in Windows, i.e., operations that deal with raster graphics.

A network device that makes sure packeges (usually IP) are delivered (routed) to the proper destination.

RPC (Remote Procedure Call)
This is a method a program can use to make a call to another program across a network without specifically dealing with network protocols.

Also known as an Role Playing Game. A game in which people take on an alternate identity they play a role as someone else. Dungeons & Dragons is a classic role playing game. In contrast to a MMO, RPGs do not necessarily need to be played online. See also MMO.

RPG (Report Program Generator)
This is a programming language for minicomputer mainframes such as the IBM AS/400. RPG began as a program to generate reports, as you could have guessed from the name, but is now a full programming language that is widely used.

RPM (Red Hat Package Manager)
This is a packaging system based on files with the .rpm extension that contain dependency information, pre- and post-install scripts, as well as the actual user runtimes (files / executables) that are part of the package. Microsoft people might think of this as an .msi file.

RPM (Revolutions per Minute)
This is a measurement that applies commonly to hard drives, and removable drives like CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs. It also applies to anything that moves in a circular motion.

RS-232 (Recommended Standard 232)
This is the de facto standard for communication through PC serial ports. It can refer to cables and ports that support the RS-232 standard.

RSMTP stands for Remote SMTP. It's a special protocol, used in applications like SMAIL (Unix/Linux). Some Windows application may use it too, however this will be invisable to the enduser. The difference is that with normal SMTP, e-mail message are sned/received as individual "files" per mail message. With RSMTP, alle the e-mail messages are bundle to one big "file" and send/received as such.

Online speak for "Read The Fucking Manual".

Online speak for "Read The Manual".

Real Time Protocol. A relatively new protocol supporting realtime services like telephony.

Ruggedized notebooks, PDAs, and Tablet PCs are the John Waynes of portable computing. They are macho-ready for action anywhere, anytime, in any condition. Drop them, spill liquid on them, expose them to harsh weather conditions or chemicals; these machines can take it. In general these machines are very solid, but in general of an older generation (slower, less capable), and much more expensive.

This refers to the time when a program or process is running. When it's running it may need runtime libraries and have runtime variables with runtime values. It's also used to refer to runtime versions of software that include functionality of the software as the means to an end of running some other software, such as packaging a DOS program with a runtime version of DOS, so that you don't even need DOS on your computer to run the program.

Runtime Error
This is an error that happens when a program is executed. When you run / execute a program, and get a runtime error, that means that there is as error in the program that was not or could not be detected by the compiler when the program was initially compiled.

Runtime Library
This is a group of programming functions that are called when a program is run, as opposed to embedded into the program when it is compiled. See also DLL.

RX (Reception)
This refers to the act of downloading or receiving data. Often, the term "RX" is used on indicator lights on modems or network cards to indicate that data is flowing into the device.

RX (Reception)
This refers to the act of downloading or receiving data. Often, the term "RX" is used on indicator lights on modems or network cards to indicate that data is flowing into the device.

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