- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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