W3 Info Tec
COMPUTING ACRONYMS & TERMS' SMORGASBORD

Copyright 1994-2003, Daniel Frankl, Ph.D.
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
P AD Personal Access Device
P age
Mill
HTML [HyperText Markup Language] editor for Web Page authoring by Adobe
PAL Phase Alternating Lines (European TV & VCR standard that uses 625 lines and 50 frames per second).
PAP Password Authentication Protocol (unencrypted password; also see CHAP & SPAP)
Parallel
Super
Computer
Intel's new generation of ultra computers that utilize up to 9,200 parallel connections of Intel's Pentium Pro chips and are capable of 1 trillion floating point operations per second (the parallel super computer technology will make virtual testing of nuclear explosions and virtual ecosystems possible)
Parent
Window
Last active window prior to the current active window. Usually "Desktop," "Main," or "Applications" are parent windows. The "Program Manager" window is the "Mother" of all parent windows.
Parti-
tioning
Tool
Software designed to create and modify hard drive partitions. In addition, it can reshape cluster size to optimize the utilization of storage space.
PAS Publicly Available Specification
Pass-
word
Personalized code used in order to access a file or a network through a computer (e.g., Openit4Me or ilvMY2kidZ, etc...Random combinations are safer.)
Patenting
(software)
see US Patent Office Web site: http://www.uspto.gov
PBM Portable Bit Map (image format).
PBX Private Branch Exchange (a telephone system for a specific location [business] that connects to the outside network; also see "soft phone").
PC Personal Computer (usually used in describing IBM & IBM compatible machines)
.pcd Kodak Photo CD graphics file extension.
PCG Professional Graphics Controller (640 * 480 analogue by IBM)
PCH For the time being, PCH still stands for Pacific Coast Highway (HHOK).
PCI Peripheral Component Interconnect (Hardware standard that allows devices such as video adapters and hard drive controllers move data to and from memory swiftly; the PCI bus connects the graphics card and the system in order to bypass IRQ [Interrupt ReQuest],DMA [Direct Memory Address], and I/O [Input/Output] channel conflicts [Brown, E. R. (1994, July). PC MAGAZINE, p. 183].
PCL Printer Command Language (Old HP [Hewlett Packard] and HP compatible Laser Printers use PCL4; later printers, such as, HP III use PCL5).
PCS Personal Communications Services (Net)
.pct Macintosh PICTure graphics file extension.
PCX PC Paintbrush (Bitmapped images or computer graphics images format; also .pcx file extension)
PDA Personal Digital Assistant (electronic address book, organizer, calculator etc...)
PDA Primary Display Adapter
PDC Primary Domain Controller (keeps the master copy of the directory database on user accounts information for domain)
PDF Portable Document Format (Adobe PhotoShop)
PDL Page Description Language (PostScript, for example).
PdO Palladium Oxide (used to construct thin film that connects electrodes)
PEL Picture ELement (also see Pixel)
PEM Privacy Enhanced Mail (protected e-mail)
"Perl" Practical Extraction and Reporting Language (programming language for CGI scripts, developed by Larry Wall.
PESC Post Secondary Electronics Standards Council (founded in 1997, the PESC is a partnership of federal agencies, software and service providers and schools and higher education associations; see www.StandardsCouncil.org)
PetaOps
Super
Computer
US DoD [Department of Defense] joint project with researchers to construct a computer that is capable of 1,000 trillion operations per second.
PGP Pretty Good Privacy (Company specializing in Internet privacy protection)
Photo-
lithography
A process that uses light to create patterns on silicon. Layers of material are added and removed, resulting in progressively more complex circuits. To keep up with Moore's Law (doubling of transistors on a chip every 18 months) chip features must shrink at an equivalently exponential rate. "The narrower and circuit patterns and features, the faster electricity can move across a chip, boosting its performance. Infinitesimally small circuit patterns make it possible to fit more transistors on a chip, thereby increasing functionality and performance." (Source: intel.com/home/trends/future/euv_lithography.htm)
PHP PHP Hypertext Preprocessor is a server-side, cross-platform, HTML embedded scripting language.
.pic Picture Lotus 1-2-3 graphics file extension.
PICC Presubscribed Interchange Carrier Charge (together with SLIC [Subscriber LIne Charge] make up the additional monthly charges for one ($4.54) or two ($13.00) home telephone lines).
PICS Platform for Internet Content Selection (Created to provide Internet users with tools to censor or weed out cyberspace content materials that one may consider as inappropriate for children surfing the Net).
.pif Program Information File extension (Editor--includes information regarding non-Windows applications).
PIM Personal Information Manager (software such as calendars, telephone books, etc...)
PINs Personal ID Numbers
PIO Programmed I/O [Input/Output] Hook up for HD or CD ROM)
PIO Peripheral I/O [Input/Output].
PIX Product Information Exchange
Pixel PICture ELement (Also PEL--the smallest particle of an object on the monitor's screen. On color monitors each pixel is composed of the three colors (RGB [Red Green Blue). VGA screens support 480 * 640 pixels and up and Super VGA support 600 * 800 pixels and up.
PKI Public Key Infrastructure (regarding encryption and digital signatures)
Platform
Active
Cluster
Software that mobilizes many desktops through the Internet to help process hundreds of trials that involve thousands of very complex simulations.
Plug-ins Plug-ins are web utilities that are loaded along with your browser and extend your browser's capability to deliver audio visual content. Examples are Apple's "Quicktime" or Macromedia's "Shockwave." Also see add-ons.
PNG Portable Network Graphics specification (pronounced "ping" PNG is a relatively new graphic format developed as a royalty-free, new generation 24 bit graphics format; will most probably replace the current 256-color GIF format. For a comprehensive review see Rich Santalesa's article in NetGuide, "New Web Graphics: Contender Takes On GIF." July 1997, Vol. 4, no. 7, pp. 101-102; also see: www.netguide.com)
PNNI Private Network-to-Network Interface
PnP Plug-and-Play (software that allows a no-hustle adding of peripheral devices to your PC; a feature available since the introduction of Windows 95 and newer versions)
PnP BIOS Plug-and-Play Basic Input/Output System
POCIA Provider of Commercial Internet Access (also see ISP [Internet Service Provider])
Polling A host computer or a file server maintains control over the PCs and devices that are part of that network by polling or inquiring whether a station (PC) has information to deliver and then allows the information to be sent.
POP (1) Point of Presence
POP (2) Post Office Protocol (protocol used to strore and retrieve e-mail messages)
Portrait Print page format that prints across the wide end of the page (letter style; also see Landscape).
POST Power-On-Self-Test (after turning on the PC the system BIOS runs a POST)
POST When a Submit button is clicked on an interactive web page, the browser inspects the "POST" method and its destination in order to send the entered information to the intended receiver.
POTP Power One-Time Pad (one-time-pad encryption method to secure FTP [File Transfer Protocol]).
POTS Plain-Old Telephone Service
P-POP Plain Paper Optimized Printing (in [1997] Canon BJC-7000 Bubble Jet printer color technology that precoats the printing surface with a quick drying dye that repels liquids).
PPP Point-to-Point Protocol (This protocol sends TCP/IP [Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol] traffic across a serial transmission line attached directly to the Internet. PPP is similar to Serial Line Internet Protocol or SLIP but in a better system.
PPPoE Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet (an IETF [Internet Engineering Task Force specification for PPP over Ethernet)
PPTP Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (allows the creation of a private Internet or Intranet connection between two locations).
PQET Print Quality Enhancement Technology (IBM technology).
PRC Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (California based hotline for reporting privacy breaches; also included are practical tips for handling privacy problems. Also see : www.privacyrights.org.
Pre-
emptive
Multi-
tasking
Windows 95 feature allowing the user to copy a disk while printing or working on the word processor.
Print
Spooler
Software designed to feed data from several PCs into one Network printer in the received order.
Program-
ming
Creating computer software--the set of instructions that tells the computer how to perform a task.
PROM Programmable Read-Only Memory (also see EEPROM and EPROM).
PSP Program Segment Prefix (software programming term)
Post, Telephone, Telegraph (Communications Networks outside the U.S.).
Public
Domain
Software or factual information on the internet that one may copy, modify, and distribute freely. Freeware or shareware type software, on the other hand, may be copied and distributed but cannot be modified without the copyright holder's permission.
Push
Technology
In contrast with "pull" technology, by which PC users actively download Net information, push technology is a service that delivers Net information directly to your PC. The flow of information keeps coming to your PC at pre-determined intervals and you may end up getting a lot of unwanted materials.
PWI Public Windows Interface
PWR Power
PWS Peer (Personal) Web Server (Software that allows a single PC user to post her/his web page on the Internet while the PC is on and on-line via modem).
PWRGD Power Good (external power connection for PC)

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Page updated: Jan. 08, 2003