W3 Info Tec

Copyright 1994-2003, Daniel Frankl, Ph.D.
D AC Digital-to-Analog Converter

DAD Desktop Applications Director (PerfectOfficeR)

daemons Unix based applications that are activated during set intervals by certain system operations. Once activated they run their course and return to their initial dormant state.

DAO Data Access Object (VB 4.0 Prof. Ed. Client server application)

DARPA Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (new name for ARPA [Advanced Research Projects Agency] US government agency responsible for the inception of the Internet)

.dat Data File Extension

A hardware or software driven method to slim down the quantity of data transmitted without compromising the amount or integrity of the original information. Data compression speeds up significantly data transfer rate in modems.

Data Mode A modem condition during which data is either sent or received from a remote apparatus. For the data mode to be activated a connection between the two interacting devices needs to be first established.

DAVIC Digital Audio-Visual Council

DBCS Double-Byte Character Set

DBF Database File

DBMS Database Management Systems (e.g., dBASE, RBase, Access)

DC (1) Data Compression protocol (software function for modems; see Data Compression)
(2) Direct Current (Electric current that flows in one direction only. Electric cells or batteries are a source of direct current; also see AC [Alternating Current]).

DCC Direct Cable Connection (feature available in MS Win '95 that when combined with a Direct Parallel Universal cable will allow file transfers, data synchronization, and guest network access [by Parallel Technologies 800/789-47840]).

DCE (1) Data Communications Equipment (e.g., fax, modem...)
(2) Distributed Computing Environment

DCI Display Control Interface (makes it possible for WinG & Video for Windows to access video hardware).

DCOM Distributed COM [Component or Common Object Model; also see OLE (allows the distribution of parts of applications across a network)

DCT Discrete Cosine Transformation (technoloy used in JPEG [Joint Photographic Expert Group])

DDC Digital Data Channel (a system designed to facilitate proper monitor configuration and thus eliminate flicker and other configuration related distortions).

DDE Dynamic Data Exchange (Data exchange links between Windows & OS/2 programs)

DDos Distributed Denial-of-Service (attacks that overwhelm servers with traffic and block access to the services that are provided by that server)

deCSS decode Content Scramble System (Perl [Practical extraction and recording language)

DDI Device Driver Interface is an API (Application Programming Interface) that communicates with the GDI [Windows Graphics Device Interface] and the hardware driver. It helps coordinate information regarding the location of an object [PC MAGAZINE, July 1994, p. 177].

Debugging The process of elimination or correction of errors (bugs) in a software program's code.

Decibel One tenth of one bel (standard unit for the evaluation of sound intensity; the higher the decibel on a PC sound system the clearer the sound at higher power levels).

A computer application that allows the user to generate typeset-quality text and graphics.

Device Any hardware unit that is either part of, or is connected to, your PC (e.g., hard drive, sound card, graphics accelerator card, fax/modem etc...).

DFC Digital Future Coalition (group formed in 1995 whose mission is to ensure free flow of information on the Internet; for more info. See: http://www.ari.net.dfc")

DHCP Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DIP [Dynamic Internet Protocol] address provider on an NTS [Network server]).

DHS Digital High School

DHTML Dynamic Hypertext Markup Language

Dial up or dialup, is a telephone call from one PC to another through the use of a Modem [Modulator Demodulator]).

.dib Windows DIB [Device-Independent Bitmap] graphics file format extension.

DIDDS Dynamic Information Data Delivery System

DIF Digital Interface Format

digital The representation of data in a non-continuous signal; voltages represent on/off signals of 1s and 0s (each signal represents 1 data bit). Digital transmission lines offer faster speeds, more accuracy, and better flexibility than analog lines.

A cryptographic digital representation of an individual's identity on the Internet.

Dim A command or option in Windows which appears in a light gray shade instead of black. Dimmed commands can't be used under the current conditions. As you make changes to a document, different commands become dimmed and new ones available. Commands and options appearing in black are available.

DIN Deutsche Industrie Norm (German Industry Norms for "male" & "female" electrical connectors).

DIP (1) Dual In-Line Package (also see SIP & SIMM).

DIP (2) Dynamic Internet Protocol

DirectDraw Improved DCI [Display Control Interface] that manages video memory in MS-WIN and makes the interface appear like Apple's QuickDraw 3D.

A flow chart like graphical display of the directory structure on a disk.

The elimination of the mediators in the distribution and sales of products. Computer technology, for example, makes publishers less and less essential to individual authors since "Intellectual Property" may be now published directly on the Internet via home pages.

Display Bits The number of bits of display memory required to hold the display image.

Dithering Is the process used by Windows to simulate, as closely as possible, a color that is not available in the output device (monitor or printer).

DJCP DeskJet Control Panel

DLC Datalink Control protocol (communications protocol with networked printers)

DLL Dynamic Link Library (MS Windows system files with the extension .dll contain discrete sections of code and data that can be used by Windows, various applications, and other DLLs to perform a specific task. The same DLL loaded into memory can be used by two or more applications running at the same time.


Digital Light Processing (Texas Instruments' monitor technology that utilizes microscopic mirrors on a chip to deflect light. DLP micro-panel technology is applied in image projectors)


Data Link Switching


(1) Designated Market Areas (also see GIS [Geographical Information System] & ADI [Areas of Dominant Influence])

DMA (2) Direct Memory Address

DMCA Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Initiated in 1998, the DMCA provides recourse for owners of copyrighted material who believe that their rights under U.S. copyright law have been infringed on the Internet.)

Digital Micromirror Device (earlier version of DLP technology applied in image projectors)

DMI Desktop Management Interface (technology that defines a standard mechanism for accessing and configuring data in any piece of hardware or software).
DMTF Desktop Management Task Force
DMZ Demilitarized Zone (enables internet access to one PC in a network)

DNS Domain, Name, Service (NT connection to NET through TCP/IP [Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol]).
.doc text document file extension (MS Word, WordPerfect, etc.)

DoD Department of Defense (when DoD is aquiring commercial computer software it has limited use of this product as defined in Clause 252.227-7013 (C)(1) of the DFARS.
DOM Document Object Model ("An interface that defines the mechanisms for accessing data in a document.")

Domain A unique name of one PC or a server on the Internet, such as dfrankl@calstatela.edu (address or domain name of office PC) or danyf@adelphia.net (address or domain name of home PC).

DOS Disk Operating System (Microsoft's non-visual early version disk operating software platform that supports hardware and software applications on a PC; With its Windows NT OS Microsoft has abandoned DOS)
"Down" A whole system or a system component is not operational (e.g., e-mail, voice mail, access to data bases...)

Download The process of bringing data (from software, another PC or the Internet) into the user's PC (also see "upload")

"Download Credits" Number of allowed bytes for download from an MP3 site based on the site's ratio. In case of a 1:4 ratio, each uploaded byte is "worth" 4 one byte credits (4 bytes) for download.

DP (1) Desktop Projector

(2) Digital Photographic images

dp dot pitch (the smaller the dp [e.g., .35 mm, .28 mm, .26 mm, .25 mm] the sharper is a monior's display at maximum resolution)

DPA Distributed Password Authentication

dpi dots per inch (the larger the number of dpi, the higher the resolution of the output; thus, the printed image looks sharper).

DPMI DOS Protected Mode Interface

DPMS Display Power Management Signaling (a DPMS compliant monitor can, with software or firmware, power down in three stages: Standby, Suspend, and Off).

DPP Digital Color Photo Printer
DRAM Dynamic or Data Random-Access Memory (single ported fast memory, runs at approx. 50-60 nanoseconds ; also see VRAM)
Driver A software program that tells Windows how to interact with a piece of hardware, such as video display or a peripheral storage or input device. The driver's file extension is often written as .drv.
.drv Driver file extension (also see driver)
.drw Micrografx Designer/Draw graphics file extension.
DSig Digital Signature Initiative ((W3C's [World Wide Web Consortium] effort to define and implement a standard to be used by the Internet community for a unique digital finger print).

DSL Digital Subscriber Line [Loop] modem (also see ADSL [Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line])

DSP Digital Signal Processor (Programmable DSPs are currently used in computing, sound, and video applications. For example, TI [Texas Instruments] has developed a new DSP that can execute up to 1.6 billion instructions per second at 200 MHz. Current Intel Pentium processors can execute only 1/8 of that per second; ISDN [Integrated Services Digital Network] adapter that includes a DSP design transfers some of the workload from the system's processor to the ISDN adapter card. What we currently refer to as CPU [Central Processing Unit] may be labeled SDP in the near future)

DSR Data Set Ready (AT command for modems)

DSS Desktop Security Suite (McAfee's bundled data encryption, virus protection, and secure data backups software)

DSSO Domain Suffix Search Order (DNS [Domain, Name, Service] configuration box software feature).

DSSS Direct Sequencing Standard Specification (radio based standard for splitting bandwidth; DSSS performs better than FHSS [Frequency Hopping Standard Specification] but experiences more noise)

DSVD Digital Simultaneous Voice & Data (modem feature that allows for simultaneous transfer of talk and data over a single connection).

DTA Direct Tape Access (a tape drive that emulates a disk drive so that it may be read through MS Windows)

DTC Discrete Cosign Transform (technology use in JPEG [Joint Photographic Expert Group])

DTD Document Type Definition (the formal specification of a markup language, written using SGML [Standard Generalized Markup Language]).

DTE Data Terminal Equipment (PC, Printer, Fax or any other storage or output apparatus of a communications network).

DTMF Dual Tone Multi Frequency (The dialing method utilizes tones instead of numbers for the dialing procedure).

DTP Desk-Top Publishing

DTVI Distributed Tutored Video Instruction

DVD Digital Versatile Disk (stores 4.7 GB of data)
DVMRP Distance-Vector Multicast Routing Protocol

Software that enables computers to analyze text in different languages by teaching the computer to recognize the ending of one word and the beginning of the next word. The program then "looks at the idea contained in a text as the outcomes of probabilities derived from the clustering of a certain symbol."

.dxf AutoCAD Format Z-D graphics file extension.

DX2 a representation of Intel's earlier 486 CPU with a 25mhz clock multiplied by two = 50mhz clock speed or Intel's 486 DX2 66 which actually was a 33mhz clock multiplied by two.

DX4 a representation of Intel's 486 CPU with a 25mhz clock multiplied by three = 75mhz clock speed or Intel's 486 DX4 100 which actually was a 33mhz clock multiplied by three (Intel chose DX4 for marketing reasons).

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Page updated: Jan. 08, 2003