\\"Terminus Infinitus": Beyond A to Z

"Terminus*Infinitus": Beyond A to Z

Once upon a time... someone made the interpretation of the word "Mantra!"

Of course, You and I do know what that word means... don't we? As I can recall, oh yes... literally: "speech, (an) instrument of thought, from man to think; any sacred word or syllable used as an object of concentration and embodying some aspect of spiritual power." (As defined by the Collins English Dictionary).

Did you remember that?

A recurring conversation was rejuvenated between my friend and (former) classmate 'William S. Brown'; class of 2004/05, The Berean Institute, College of Business Adminstration and Computer Sciences; regarding the pros and cons of formal collegiate education... "Brother Will" has attended several other colleges and/or Universities, while I have also studied via the campuses of 'Community College of Philadelpha' and 'Temple University' (Anderson Hall), via PASCEP and M. k. Enterprises.

... We do concur, the cost of education is beyond phenomenal. Why should education have to cost so much - why a cost at all?

Even though both of us have accepted employment opportunities that require(d) a certain level of techinical expertise - of course living(s) have to be earned... but do they truly have to be made at the expense of students and those seeking earnable careers at their trade of career of choice? What ever happened to the "master and the apprentice" way of teaching and learning a life-long, living-earning skill? I remember... I can truly recall when many trades and home-economics were taught not only in the home or neighborhood shops and stores, but in the public schools! Many employers/recruiters hired directly from the high schools throughout the city of Philadelphia prior to the 1980's and 90's...

Where did it all go?

"What's an Algorithm?"... Is it true that it's a line of attack; Information, (A Flow Chart)?

'Will' and I asked ourselves, "What Can We Do About It?"

"What Are We Going To Do... What Will We Do About It?"

"How can we change the educational venue; the equation? Is There Any Other Alternative for Students and Knowledge Seekers other than creating a great amount of debt arissing from expensive College(s) and/or Tech Schools?"

These are the kinds of questions that have prompted this author to become a stalwart writer...

"Well, I'm Here To Tell Ya... This Author Intends To Do The Best To Continually Promote And Support Educational Endeavors For All... "By Any Means Necessary!"... In This Life Or Posthumously!"

The essays, articles, books, and social media publications submitted by this author are designed to give students and education seekers a "Leg-up" on their pursuits of personal enlightenment and educational endeavors.

"It is this author's commitment, my profound propensity to indefatigably inscribe throughout the annals of time and in the name of education and Information, my contribution(s) to the practice of "Free Education and Self-Help" Publication(s) For One And All - Across This Globe And Beyond!"

Pages 137 through 215, The Book; The 30th Chapter of...

"The One Thing I Know Is... " 'How To Understand Information Technology'

A Few Information Technology Definitions From A to Z:

Example(s):

ActiveX:

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.

Ad Hoc:

Description of Research Group:

An ad hoc network is an autonomous system of routers (and associated hosts) connected by wireless links--the union of which form an arbitrary graph. The routers are free to move randomly and organize themselves arbitrarily; thus, the network's wireless topology may change rapidly and unpredictably. Such a network may operate in a standalone fashion, or may be connected to the larger Internet operating as a hybrid fixed/ad hoc network.

This group is concerned with the study of Ad hoc Network Systems (ANS). Ad hoc networks are complex systems, with cross-layer protocol dynamics and interactions that are not present in wired systems, most prominently between the physical, link and network (IP) layers. The IETF community and the wider research community could benefit from research into the behavior of ad hoc networks that would enable advanced routing protocol development. This research group will endeavor to develop sufficient understanding in topic areas of interest to enable the desired protocol specification work.

ADO:

Short for ActiveX Data Objects, Microsoft's newest high-level interface for data objects. ADO is designed to eventually replace Data Access Objects (DAO) and Remote Data Objects (RDO). Unlike RDO and DAO, which are designed only for accessing relational databases, ADO is more general and can be used to access all sorts of different types of data, including web pages, spreadsheets, and other types of documents.

Together with OLE DB and ODBC, ADO is one of the main components of Microsoft's Universal Data Access (UDA) specification, which is designed to provide a consistent way of accessing data regardless of how the data are structured.

Aggregate Functions:

MIN returns the smallest value in a given column MAX returns the largest value in a given column SUM returns the sum of the numeric values in a given column AVG returns the average value of a given column COUNT returns the total number of values in a given column COUNT(*) returns the number of rows in a table

Aggregate functions are used to compute against a "returned column of numeric data" from your SELECT statement. They basically summarize the results of a particular column of selected data.

AGP-Advanced Graphic Port:

Short for Accelerated Graphics Port, an interface specification developed by Intel Corporation. AGP is based on PCI, but is designed especially for the throughput demands of 3-D graphics. Rather than using the PCI bus for graphics data, AGP introduces a dedicated point-to-point channel so that the graphics controller can directly access main memory. The AGP channel is 32 bits wide and runs at 66 MHz. This translates into a total bandwidth of 266 MBps; as opposed to the PCI bandwidth of 133 MBps. AGP also supports two optional faster modes, with throughputs of 533 MBps and 1.07 GBps. In addition, AGP allows 3-D textures to be stored in main memory rather than video memory.

AGP:

What is AGP?

Short for Accelerated Graphics Port, an interface specification developed by Intel Corporation. AGP is based on PCI, but is designed especially for the throughput demands of 3-D graphics.

PCI:

Peripheral Component Inter-Connect (functionality card).

Algorithm:

A line of attack; Information (The Flow Chart).

(al´g&-rith-&m) (n.) A formula or set of steps for solving a particular problem. To be an algorithm, a set of rules must be unambiguous and have a clear stopping point. Algorithms can be expressed in any language, from natural languages like English or French to programming languages like FORTRAN.

We use algorithms every day. For example, a recipe for baking a cake is an algorithm. Most programs, with the exception of some artificial intelligence applications, consist of algorithms. Inventing elegant algorithms -- algorithms that are simple and require the fewest steps possible -is one of the principal challenges in programming.

Genetic algorithms archive Repository for information related to research in genetic algorithms. Here you can find a calendar of events, back issues of the archive, links to related research sites, newsgroups, and source code.

A study on what faces people find the most attractive.

This was a study done to determine what types of faces are the most attractive. This shows how a genetic algorithm can be applied to a study of hereditary over many generations. Algorithms for common programming problems

Provides algorithms for common programming problems. It also provides pointers on how to implement those algorithms in various different languages. Demonstartion of genetic algorithm problem

This site illustrates the solution for the travelling salesman problem-- what is the best, most efficient way for a travelling sales man to travel through all the states. The solutions were found by running a genetic algorithm. The problem is a classic question that is dealt with using algorithms.

Analog: (adj.)

Also spelled analogue, describes a device or system that represents changing values as continuously variable physical quantities. A typical analog device is a clock in which the hands move continuously around the face. Such a clock is capable of indicating every possible time of day. In contrast, a digital clock is capable of representing only a finite number of times (every tenth of a second, for example). In general, humans experience the world analogically. Vision, for example, is an analog experience because we perceive infinitely smooth gradations of shapes and colors. When used in reference to data storage and transmission, analog format is that in which information is transmitted by modulating a continuous transmission signal, such as amplifying a signal's strength or varying its frequency to add or take away data. For example, telephones take sound vibrations and turn them into electrical vibrations of the same shape before they are transmitted over traditional telephone lines. Radio wave transmissions work in the same way. Computers, which handle data in digital form, require modems to turn signals from digital to analog before transmitting those signals over communication lines such as telephone lines that carry only analog signals. The signals are turned back into digital form (demodulated) at the receiving end so that the computer can process the data in its digital format.

ANSI:

Acronym for the American National Standards Institute. Founded in 1918, ANSI is a voluntary organization composed of over 1,300 members (including all the large computer companies) that creates standards for the computer industry. For example, ANSI C is a version of the C language that has been approved by the ANSI committee. To a large degree, all ANSI C Compilers, regardless of which company produces them, should behave similarly.

In addition to programming languages, ANSI sets standards for a wide range of technical areas, from electrical specifications to communications protocols. For example, FDDI, the main set of protocols for sending data over fiber optic cables, is an ANSI standard.

National Committee for Information Technology Standards (NCITS) Contains information on the efforts and involvements of NCITS in the area of market-driven, voluntary consensus standards for multimedia, interconnection among computing devices, storage media, databases, security, and programming languages.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Home Page Contains news, events, links to standards databases, and education and training links. Standardization - ANSI

Explains whythere is a need for ANSI and standardization.

API:

Abbreviation of "Application Program Interface," a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. A good API makes it easier to develop a program by providing all the building blocks. A programmer puts the blocks together.

Most operating environments, such as MS-Windows, provide an API so that programmers can write applications consistent with the operating environment. Although APIs are designed for programmers, they are ultimately good for users because they guarantee that all programs using a common API will have similar interfaces. This makes it easier for users to learn new programs. DOS Protected Mode Interface (DPMI)

This is a programmer's reference copy of the DOS Protected Mode Interface, a protected mode API specification for DOS extended applications. Microsoft Internet Server API (ISAPI) information page Provides a brief description of Microsoft's Internet Server API (ISAPI), along with a link to information on CGI.

APM:

Short for Advanced Power Management, an API developed by Intel and Microsoft that allows developers to include power management in BIOSes. APM defines a layer between the hardware and the operating system that effectively shields the programmer from hardware details.

Applet:

An applet is a small program designed to run within another application. Applets are useful on the Web because, once they are downloaded; they can be executed quickly within the user's browser. More than one applet can exist in a single document, and they can communicate with one another while they work. Java is one of the major languages used for creating Web-based applets.

Application:

A program or group of programs designed for end users. Software can be divided into two general classes: systems software and applications software. Systems software consists of lowlevel programs that interact with the computer at a very basic level. This includes operating systems, compilers, and utilities for managing computer resources.

In contrast, applications software (also called end-user programs) includes database programs, word processors, and spreadsheets. Figuratively speaking, applications software sits on top of systems software because it is unable to run without the operating system and system utilities.

Argument:

In programming, a value that you pass to a routine. For example, if SQRT is a routine that returns the square root of a value, then SQRT(25) would return the value 5. The value 25 is the argument.

Argument is often used synonymously with parameter, although parameter can also mean any value that can be changed. In addition, some programming languages make a distinction between arguments, which are passed in only one direction, and parameters, which can be passed back and forth, but this distinction is byno means universal.

An argument can also be an option to a command, in which case it is often called a commandline argument.

Artificial Intelligence:

The branch of computer science concerned with making computers behave like humans. The term was coined in 1956 by John McCarthy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Artificial intelligence includes

• games playing: programming computers to play games such as chess and checkers

• expert systems: programming computers to make decisions in real-life situations (for example, some expert systems help doctors diagnose diseases based on symptoms)

• natural language: programming computers to understand natural human languages

• neural networks: Systems that simulate intelligence by attempting to reproduce the types of physical connections that occur in animal brains

• robotics: programming computers to see and hear and react to other sensory stimuli

Currently, no computers exhibit full artificial intelligence (that is, are able to simulate human behavior). The greatest advances have occurred in the field of games playing. The best computer chess programs are now capable of beating humans. In May, 1997, an IBM super-computer called Deep Blue defeated world chess champion Gary Kasparov in a chess match.

In the area of robotics, computers are now widely used in assembly plants, but they are capable only of very limited tasks. Robots have great difficulty identifying objects based on appearance or feel, and they still move and handle objects clumsily.

Natural-language processing offers the greatest potential rewards because it would allow people to interact with computers without needing any specialized knowledge. You could simply walk up to a computer and talk to it. Unfortunately, programming computers to understand natural languages has proved to be more difficult than originally thought. Some rudimentary translation systems that translate from one human language to another are in existence, but they are not nearly as good as human translators. There are also voice recognition systems that can convert spoken sounds into written words, but they do not understand what they are writing; they simply take dictation. Even these systems are quite limited -- you must speak slowly and distinctly.

In the early 1980s, expert systems were believed to represent the future of artificial intelligence and of computers in general. To date, however, they have not lived up to expectations. Many expert systems help human experts in such fields as medicine and engineering, but they are very expensive to produce and are helpful only in special situations.

Today, the hottest area of artificial intelligence is neural networks, which are proving successful in a number of disciplines such as voice recognition and natural-language processing.

There are several programming languages that are known as AI languages because they are used almost exclusively for AI applications. The two most common are LISP and Prolog.

Numara Software:

Neural Network Help Desk Software - Offers Track-It! help desk software for advanced problem resolution, knowledge management, and employee/customer self-help via the Web.

Artificial Intelligence Information Resource - Business technology search site offering software, service, reseller and hardware information on thousands of IT solutions and Intelligent software products and suppliers.

Searchable directory of over 700 product abstracts for AI and intelligent software products. MIT Artificial Intelligence Projects

American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Provides links to AAAI conferences, symposia, publications, workshops, resources, and organization information. MIT's AI Lab home page

SRI International Artificial Intelligence Center (AIC) page Home page for SRI's International's Artificial Intelligence Center (AIC), one of the world's major centers of research in artificial intelligence. Here you can find information on their research programs, staff, and publications.

The Centre for Neural Computing Applications (CNCA) The CNCA is a University research group dedicated to developing neural computing and SMART software solutions to real world problems. The site provides project details, papers, extensive related links pages, and up-to-date information in the AI/neural computing world. The Outsider's Guide to AI Contains AI history, information on the LISP language, natural language processing, hardware, expert systems, human behavior, message filtering, robotics, and an AI timeline.

AS (AS/400):

Acronym for Autonomous System

An Autonomous System (AS) is a group of networks under mutual administration that share the same routing methodology. An AS uses an internal gateway protocol and common metrics to route packets within the AS and uses an external gateway protocol to route packets to other Autonomous Systems.

ASCII:

Acronym for the American Standard Code of Information Interchange.

Pronounced ask-ee, ASCII is a code for representing English characters as numbers, with each letter assigned a number from 0 to 127? For example, the ASCII code for uppercase M is 77.

Most computers use ASCII codes to represent text, which makes it possible to transfer data from one computer to another.

Text files stored in ASCII format are sometimes called ASII files. Text editors and word processors are usually capable of storing data in ASCII format, although ASCII format is not always the default storage format. Most data files, particularly if they contain numeric data, are not stored on ASCII format. Executable programs are never stored in ASCII format.

The standard ASCII character set uses just 7 bits for each character. There are several larger character sets that use 8 bits, which gives them 128 additional characters. The extra characters are used to represent non-English characters, graphics symbols, and mathematical symbols.

Several companies and organizations have proposed extensions for these 128 characters. The DOS operating system uses a superset of ASCII called extended ASCII or high ASCII. A more universal standard is the ISO Latin 1 set of characters, which is used by many operating systems, as well as Web browsers.

Another set of codes that is used on large IBM computers is EBCDIC.

ASIC:

Pronounced ay-sik, and short for Application-Specific Integrated Circuit, a chip designed for a particular application (as opposed to the integrated circuits that control functions such as RAM in a PC). ASICs are built by connecting existing circuit building blocks in new ways. Since the building blocks already exist in a library, it is much easier to produce a new ASIC than to design a new chip from scratch.

ASICs are commonly used in automotive computers to control the functions of the vehicle and in PDAs.

ASM:

Automatic Storage Management (ASM) is a feature in Oracle Database 10g that provides the database administrator with a simple storage management interface that is consistent across all server and storage platforms. As a vertically integrated file system and volume manager, purpose-built for Oracle database files, ASM provides the performance of async I/O with the easy management of a file system. ASM provides capability that saves the DBAs time and provides flexibilityto manage a dynamic database environment with increased efficiency.

ATA:

Short for Advanced Technology Attachment, a disk drive implementation that integrates the controller on the disk drive itself. There are several versions of ATA, all developed by the Small Form Factor (SFF) Committee:

• ATA: Known also as IDE, supports one or two hard drives, a 16-bit interface and PIO modes 0, 1 and 2.

• ATA-2: Supports faster PIO modes (3 and 4) and multiword DMA modes (1 and 2). Also supports logical block addressing (LBA) and block transfers. ATA-2 is marketed as Fast ATA and Enhanced IDE (EIDE).

• ATA-3: Minor revision to ATA-2.

• Ultra-ATA: Also called Ultra-DMA, ATA-33, and DMA-33, supports multiword DMA mode 3 running at 33 MBps.

• ATA/66: A version of ATA proposed by Quantum Corporation, and supported by Intel, that doubles ATA's throughput to 66 MBps.

• ATA/100: An updated version of ATA/66 that increases data transfer rates to 100 MBps. ATA also is called Parallel ATA. Contrast with Serial ATA.

ATA also is called Parallel ATA. Contrast with Serial ATA.

Backplane: (bak´plan) (n.)

A circuit board containing sockets into which other circuit boards can be plugged in. In the context of PCs, the term backplane refers to the large circuitboard that contains sockets for expansion cards.

Backplanes are often described as being either active or passive. Active backplanes contain, in addition to the sockets, logical circuitry that performs computing functions. In contrast, passive backplanes contain almost no computing circuitry. Traditionally, most PCs have used active backplanes. Indeed, the terms motherboard and backplane have been synonymous. Recently, though, there has been a move towardpassive backplanes, with the active components such as the CPU inserted on an additional card. Passive back planes make it easier to repair faulty components and to upgrade to new components.

Bandwidth:

(1)Arange with in a band of frequencies or wavelengths.

(2)The amount of data that can be transmitted in a fixed amount of time. Fordigitaldevices, the bandwidth is usually expressed in bits per second (bps)or bytes per second. For analog devices, the bandwidth is expressed in cycles per second, or Hertz (Hz).

The bandwidth is particularly important for I/O devices. For example, a fast disk drive can be hampered by a bus with a low bandwidth. This is the main reason that new buses, such as AGP, have been developed for the PC.

Bandwidth:

What is bandwidth?

The amount of data that can be transmitted in a fixed amount of time.

BitMap:

A bit map is a collection of pixels that describes an image, in human terms, a complete picture. A bitmap can be of various bit depth and resolution. Basically, a bitmap is an array of pixels.

A representation, consisting of rows and columns of dots, of a graphics image in computer memory. The value of each dot(whether it is filled in or not) is stored in one or more bits of data. For simple monochrome images, one bit is sufficient to represent each dot, but for colors and shades of gray, each dot requires more than one bit of data. The more bits used to represent a dot, the more colors and shades ofgray that can be represented.

The density of the dots, known as the resolution, determines how sharply the image is represented. This is often expressed in dots per inch (dpi) or simply by the number of rows and columns, such as 640 by 480.

To display a bit-mapped image on a monitor or to print it on a printer, the computer translates the bitmap into pixels(for display screens) or ink dots (for printers). Optical scanners and fax machines work by transforming text or pictures on paper into bitmaps.

Bit-mapped graphics are often referred to as rastergraphics. The other method for representing images is known as vector graphics or object-oriented graphics. With vector graphics, images are represented as mathematical formulas that define all the shapes in the image. Vector graphics are more flexible than bit-mapped graphics because they look the same even when you scale them to different sizes. In contrast, bit-mapped graphics become ragged when you shrink or enlarge them.

Fonts represented with vector graphics are called scalable fonts, outline fonts, orvector fonts. The best-known example of a vector font system is Post Script. Bit-mapped fonts, also called raster fonts, must be designed for a specific device and a specific size and resolution.

A representation, consisting of rows and columns of dots, of a graphics image in computer memory. The value of each dot(whether it is filled in or not) is stored in one or more bits of data. For simple monochrome images, one bit is sufficient to represent each dot, butfor colors and shadesof gray, each dot requires more than one bit of data. The more bits used to represent a dot, the more colors and shades of gray that can be represented.

The density of the dots, known as the resolution, determines how sharply the image is represented. This is often expressed in dots per inch (dpi) or simply by the number of rows and columns, such as 640 by 480.

To display a bit-mapped image on a monitor or to print it on a printer, the computer translates the bitmap into pixels(for display screens) or inkdots (for printers). Optical scanners and fax machines work by transforming text or pictures on paper in to bitmaps.

Bit-mapped graphics are often referred to as raster graphics.The other method for representing images is known as vector graphics or object-oriented graphics. With vector graphics, images are represented as mathematical formulas that define all the shapes in the image. Vector graphics are more flexible than bit-mapped graphics because they look the same even when you scale them to different sizes. Incontrast,bit-mapped graphics become ragged when you shrink or enlarge them.

Fonts represented with vector graphics are called scalable fonts, outline fonts, orvector fonts. The best-known example of a vector font system is Post Script. Bit-mappedfonts, also called rasterfonts, must be designed for a specific device and a specific size and resolution.

BOOLEAN: A form of algebra in which all values are reduced to either True or False.

Ex:2<5 (2islessthan5), is Boolean because the result is True.

BPDU:

Acronym for bridge protocol data unit. BPDUs are data messages that are exchanged across the switches within an extended LAN that uses a spanning tree protocol topology. BPDU packets contain information on ports, addresses, priorities and costs and ensure that the data ends up where it was intended to go. BPDU messages are exchanged across bridges to detect loops in a network topology. The loops are then removed by shutting down selected bridge interfaces and placing redundant switch ports in abackup, or blocked, state.

Understanding Spanning Tree Protocol Cisco Systems provides this technically heavy analysis of how spanning tree protocol operates.

BPM:

Short for Business Process Management it is a term that describes activities and (or) events which are performed to optimize a business process. These activities are aided by software tools. The set ypes of software tools are also called BPM tools.

Business Intelligence:

Most companies collect a large amount of data from their business operations.

To keep track of that information, a business and would need to use a wide range of software programs, such as Excel, Access and different data base applications for various departments through out their organization. Using multiple software programs makes it difficult to retrieve information in a timely manner and to perform an analysis of the data.

The term Business Intelligence (BI) represents the tools and systems that play a key role in the strategic planning process of the corporation. These systems allow a company to gather, store, access and analyze corporate data to aid in decision-making. Generally these systems will illustrate business intelligence in the areas of customer profiling, customer support, market research, market segmentation, product profitability, statistical analysis, and inventory and distribution analysis to name a few.

C:

A high-level programming language developed by Dennis Ritchie at Bell Labs in the mid-1970s.

Although originally designed as a systems programming language, 'C' has proved to be a powerful and flexible language that can be used for a variety of applications, from business programs to engineering. C is a particularly popular language for personal computer programmers because it is relatively small--it requires less memory than other languages. The first major program written in C was the UNIX operating system, and for many years C was considered to be in extricably linked with UNIX. Now, however, C is an important language independent of UNIX.

Although it is a high-level language, C is much closer to assembly language than are most other high-level languages. This closeness to the underlying machine language allows C programmers to write very efficient code. The low-level nature of C, however, can make the language difficult to use for some types of applications.

These examples are just a few representations of what you will find in this "Self-Help" book of Technical Information... "IT/BI!"

Within the pages of this particular book, the text therein will give the Student or Information Seeker highly valued resource(s). It is with the greatest hope that this information/data is of value to you the 'STUDENT' and the 'READER' alike.

(not quite the) End.

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"A Few Techie Definitions" began as a chapter between the pages of "The One Thing I Know Is... " (pages 137-215), but also has been offered in a posted series that began with the letter "A." Hindsight has garnered a reconciliation and is offering in its' entirety, via this publication; as well as within its' original home; the book, A Few Techie Definitions; "The One Thing I Know Is... " - How to Understand Information Technology!"



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