Sandy’s Lingo List
The world of technology has created some crazy new words. Here are explanations for a few of the more unusual words used in this chapter.
FireWire—A way to connect external devices that is also known as IEEE 1394. FireWire is faster than USB and supports data transfer rates of up to 400Mbps. Because of its high speed, FireWire is often used for transferring video files. FireWire was originally developed by Apple. It is found on most Apple computers and some PCs.
infrared (IR)—A wireless type of connection that works via infrared light waves. To use this type of connection, both devices must be equipped with infrared ports, be a few feet from each other, and have a clear line of sight between them.
liquid crystal display (LCD)—Used in display screens for most portable computers and many small digital devices. These displays have two sheets of polarizing material separated by a liquid crystal solution. An electrical current passing through the liquid causes the crystal to align, allowing or preventing light from passing through.
Media Center PC—This is a PC that uses Microsoft Windows Media Center Edition. It is a fully functioning desktop PC equipped with special hardware and software to display photographs and to display and record television and music.
media player—A generic term for devices that can play various types of electronic media. Media players are usually able to play both music and video.
MP3—The last three digits of a type of file called MPEG audio layer 3. This type of file is used for compression of audio signals. Because MP3 files are small, they can be transferred easily across the Internet and from device to device. This is the most popular file format for music devices, which are sometimes called MP3 players.
podcasts—Internet audio broadcasts that are presented in a series, somewhat akin to a radio or television series. You subscribe to a podcast and listen to it over the Internet or on your iPod or similar audio device.
radio frequency (RF)—Many wireless technologies are based on RF technology that sends radio frequency waves through the air.
satellite radio—Radio content distributed via satellite. Currently two companies, XM Radio and Sirius, provide satellite radio service. Each has its own programming, receivers, and satellites.