24-bit Video
A type of video signal available on the Macintosh platform that allows the display of 16.7 million colors. There are 8-bits of video data for each of the colors. (Red, Green, Blue)
Ambient Light
The light around the viewing area. Either around the computer display or the area where proofs are examined. Variations in ambient light can greatly affect the appearance of proofs and of the image on the computer display
Archiving Data
The act of keeping a copy of valuable projects on another storage device to make room for new work. Storage devices used for Archiving Data range from floppies to DAT Tape to CD-ROM.
Backing-up Data
The act of making a carbon copy of current work as a safeguard against equipment malfunction. Data is backed-up on various storage materials ranging from Floppy Disks to storage tapes
Baud Rate
A way of expressing the speed of a Modem in bits per second. A number such as 9600 baud means that the Modem has the ability to send and receive data at the rate of 9600 bits per second.
Compact Disk-Read Only Memory. CD-ROM technology was born in the music industry and has recently gathered tremendous popularity in the computer industry. A CD-ROM can store up to 640 Megabytes of data including software, artwork, motion video and sound. CD-ROM's are created from the publishers data in bulk on a mastering system at a wholesale cost of under $5US.
A Macintosh Desk Accessory that allows users to "choose" which printer or File Server they wish to use.
A multi-function electronic device that can execute instructions to perform a task.
Control Panel
A part of the operating system that allows the user to control various facets of their computers performance. For example, there is a control panel that adjusts the sensitivity of the mouse, and another that lets the user adjust the time on the built-in clock.
Central Processing Unit. The central brain of a computer that controls all other parts of the computer.
DAT Tape Drive
A computer peripheral used for back-up and archive functions. Using Digital Audio Tapes in 60, 90 or 120 meters length they are capable of storing from 1.3GB to 10GB of data per tape.
The general term for the work that we create with our computers and store on a disk.
Digital Video
A term referring to moving pictures that are stored on a computer hard disk for editing or playback. Digital video files vary in terms of their image size (measured in horizontal and vertical pixels) and their frame rate (measured in frames per second.)
The general term for the work that we create with our computers and store on a disk.
Dye Sublimation Color Printer
A color printer that creates color output that looks like a photograph. (While using CMYK dyes, there is no halftone pattern to hide detail.)
A part of Macintosh system software that adds specific functions to the computer. An example would be the File Sharing extension that allows networking capabilities to be added to the Mac.
A piece of information stored on a computer disk. A memo would be considered a file and so would a word processing software program. (We use the terms "document" and "program" to distinguish between different types of files.)
File Compression Software
Utility software that will allow computer files to be stored in a fraction of their un-compressed state. Most useful when transmitting data on long distance telephone lines with a modem to reduce toll charges.
Floppy Disk
A round shaped piece of magnetic plastic in a protective holder that can be used to store computer files.
An organizational aid on a Macintosh hard disk. Like manila folders in the office, Mac folders allow a user to group related files together. It is possible to create folders within folders to create an efficient storage system. Imagine a folder called "projects" containing a folder called "artwork" and another folder called "layouts."
A unit of measurement in computer storage equal to 1000 megabytes. There are numerous hard drives available today that have storage capacities of over "a gig."
Hard Drive
A device within a computer used to store computer files. All computers today will have hard drives that are used to store both programs and data documents created by the user.
Ink-Jet Color Printer
A type of color printer that uses cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink that is sprayed through small nozzles onto the page. Available across the entire price spectrum from under a thousand dollars for machines for home use to many thousands of dollars for machines that create the highest quality color hardcopy attainable. The Scitex Iris is an ink-jet printer.
A new term from the world of multimedia that refers to the explicit interaction between a user and a software package. Interactivity is most often experienced by reading menus, making selections and pushing buttons with a mouse.
JPEG Compression
Joint Photographic Experts Group Compression. A method to save storage space by compressing files. Called "lossy" compression, JPEG attains high degrees of compression by discarding non-important picture detail. When the image is un-compressed again later, it will not be exactly the same but the detail (according to experts) lost is trivial.
A unit of measurement (abbreviated "K") representing 1024 bytes of computer information.
Lossless Compression
A form of file compression that allows compression and subsequent de-compression without any loss of data. Compared to "lossy" compression, lossless does not compress the data to as great of a degree.
Lossy Compression
A form of file compression that will compress data by a very great percentage. (10:1 to 20:1) However, when the data is un-compressed later, there will be data lost.
Magneto Optical Cartridge Drive
A storage device using removable cartridges with a capacity from 128 MB to 1.3 GB. Using a combination of laser and magnetic technologies, they are considered safe, slow, economical systems. They are popular today as a means to store and transport large volumes of information.
A unit of measurement in computer storage equal to 1000 kilobytes. A "meg" is a very common unit of measurement and the term is spoken in terms of whole and fractional units: "That scan for the cover was five and a half megs."
Abbreviated Mhz. A term expressing the "clock speed" of a computer. The clock speed is like the pulse rate of a computer. Unlike our own pulse, it is desirable to have a computer with a high clock speed because it will execute a greater number of instructions in a given amount of time. Often part of a computers name like the Apple Power Macintosh 8100/80; which has a 80 Mhz clock speed.
A computer device used to connect a computer to a telephone line. Once that connection is accomplished, that computer can be used to call any other similarly equipped computer regardless of type. Those two machines can now share information. Modems come in various speeds (fast is good and speed is rated in "baud") but the transfer rate will always be considered too slow for transferring large graphics files. (Overcoming this speed problem is the main reason for file compression software.)
The monitor shows the image. A monitor is a computer display containing a large glass screen filled with red, green, blue phosphors and illuminated by electromagnetic energy. The signal comes to the monitor from the video card which is inside the computer. Colors will be close to those printed but never exact.
An input device for a computer. A mouse is a small box with a ball inside. The ball sticks out of a hole in the bottom and when the user moves the mouse around on the table, the ball rolls. This rolling of the ball is picked up by a mechanism inside the mouse and is transferred to the computer where it controls the movement of a pointer on the monitor display. There is also a button the mouse that can be clicked on a button on the screen or can be held down and the mouse moved (this is called "dragging") to allow the user to reposition things on the screen.
MPEG Compression
Motion Picture Experts Group Compression. A sophisticated method of compressing moving pictures to a high degree. (100:1 typically!) The digital video is compressed for storage or transport and is then de-compressed for playback. Considered "lossy" (see "Lossy Compression", it is generally considered to be an important development in the future of multimedia and the "information super-highway". MPEG requires specialized hardware for both compression and decompression.
A term used to describe an important new means of communication. Multimedia is communication with specific user interaction that can contain text, still or moving images, and sound.
Open Architecture
A term referring to the use of standard, multi-purpose equipment produced by a broad range of manufacturers. Apple Macintosh is said to be an open architecture computer because any company can make parts to be used inside and beside the Mac. Open architecture computer environments are preferred to closed architecture because competition keeps prices down and the pace of advancement up.
OPI Server
A special file server that holds high-resolution OPI images and executes the automatic exchange of that high-resolution data for the low-resolution version of the image the user positioned in the page layout. Note that this automatic exchange takes place during the output process.
A name of a new generation of computer CPU chips that offer significant performance gains over older technology. These PowerPC chips are at the heart of the new Power Macintosh machines and will replace older Macintosh models completely by late 1995.
Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks. A Raid is a high-performance storage system comprised of 2 or more drives operating as if they were one. RAID Level 0 is for maximized performance and RAID Level 1 is for increased data safety.
Random Access Memory. RAM is a resource in computer and is the actual area where calculations and information is stored. It is common today to see 8 MB to 24 MB of RAM in design workstations and 60 MB to 256 MB of RAM in image editing workstations. Having more RAM in a computer makes it faster and more capable. RAM is expensive.
Removable Drive
A general term for a computer storage device that allow the removal of the storage disk. This is for the purpose of data transport or for multiplying maximum storage capacity by using multiple disk cartridges.
Reduced Instruction Set Computing. A chip architecture found in the most powerful computers of our day. The PowerPC chip used by the Apple Power Macintosh is a RISC chip.
Slide Scanner
A type of desktop scanner that will only scan transmissive negative and slide film. These devices come in various sizes relating to their maximum original size: Some are capable to handle 35mm only while some can handle up to 4" x 5" originals. These devices have higher maximum resolutions than desktop flatbed scanners since their originals are smaller. Maximum resolutions of several thousand are not un-common.
A term that describes the page layout, illustration and image editing tools that are used in desktop publishing. The term software is synonymous with the terms "program" and "application." The slang term "code" also refers to software.
Solid Ink Color Printer
A type of color printer in which cyan, magenta, yellow, and black inks come in the form of a solid crayon like substance. These ink sticks are loaded into the printer where they are heated and melt. They are then sprayed onto the page where they solidify once again.
A term to describe software used for math calculations. With a display that resembles ledger paper, the user can enter numbers into these "cells" and also place text "labels" to identify the meaning of these "rows" and "columns" of numbers. It is then possible to create cells that contain "formulas" to add, multiply, subtract, divide these numbers or to perform many other specialized math functions. These numbers and calculation answers can be graphed and the resulting sheet printed out.
SyQuest Cartridge Drive
SyQuest Technologies Corporation manufacturers a popular system of desktop hard drives that use removable hard disk cartridges. SyQuest sells their products wholesale to several dozen companies that label them with their own brand name. These devices are very popular as a means of transporting a digital mechanical from the design office to the film output organization. They are also used to expand the computers storage capacity by adding more cartridges. (One is installed in the drive mechanism at any one time; the user must swap cartridges to gain access to the desired data.)
System Error
A term for a software failure that causes the computer to malfunction. A system error, if it occurs while the user is busy on a project, will usually cause the user to lose some of their work. After experiencing a system error, the user must "restart" their computer (turn it off, and on) to "reset" it so that it will function again. System errors are caused by defective software (bugs) or by certain, unexpected interactions that occur between two incompatible software programs.
System Software
A term for a complicated set of programs that act together to allow a computer, and other programs, to function. Different from an page layout application that the user may have, system software is what allows the page layout application to interact with the monitor display, the RAM, the hard drive and the rest of the computer.
Tape Drive
An add-on component to a computer system that allows a great volume of information to be stored on inexpensive magnetic tape cartridges. Used for daily back-ups and long term archival storage of past projects, a tape drive is considered an important element of a computer system.
Thermal Transfer Color Printer
A type of color printer that uses mylar ribbons with sections of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black color. Using heat (the thermal part of their name) the color is transferred from this ribbon onto the page. One of the earlier types of color printers, thermal transfer printers will expend an entire section of ribbon for even the smallest element on the page. (Each section of the ribbon is long enough to extend from top to bottom of the page.) This makes them rather expensive to use for light coverage when compared to solid ink color printers.
Track Ball
A computer input device. Like a mouse turned upside down, it has a ball of 2" to 3" in diameter halfway enclosed in a box like base. The user rolls this ball in its socket which is translated by a mechanism into movement of a pointer on the computer screen. There is a button beside this ball that is clicked to execute computer functions.
A life saving command available in some commercially available utility software that allows a user to recover a file that has been mistakenly deleted from a disk. The ability to un-erase a file is greatest immediately after it has been deleted. If the computer has been used much at all after the deletion, the likelihood of recovery is diminished.
Video Card
An expansion card installed inside a computer that contains necessary circuitry to create a video signal that can be processed by a computer display. There are many different types of video cards with varying capabilities regarding monitor size supported and total number of displayable colors.
Virtual Memory
A computer term for a performance enhancing feature of some software. Virtual memory is a process where hard disk storage space is borrowed and caused to act as if it were additional RAM. The system will then be able to perform more complex functions just as if it had the additional RAM memory actually installed. See also RAM.
A computer program created by an amateur programmer designed to cause intentional, malicious damage to the data stored on a computer. A virus is typically hidden inside of other software programs and once inside of a users computer, rapidly spreads to other files inside the computer. There are many anti-virus programs available that allow the user to scan all incoming files for virus'.