Technical

Crossplatform Definition

Crossplatform Definition

Software that can run on multiple types of computer systems. For example, the graphics program Adobe Photoshop and the word processor Microsoft Word are both available for the Windows and Macintosh operating systems. Therefore, Photoshop and Word are considered to be crossplatform applications.

While “crossplatorm” is typically used to describe computer software, it can refer to hardware as well. For example, peripherals such as keyboards, mice, printers, scanners, and digital cameras that work on both Mac and PC are crossplatorm. Software and hardware that work on more than one platform are also called multiplatform.

Technical

I/O Definition

I/O Definition

Stands for “Input/Output” and is pronounced simply “eye-oh.” Computers are based on the fundamental idea that every input results in an output. For example, if you are running a word processor program and type a sentence on your keyboard, the text will appear on the screen. The keyboard is an input device and the screen is an output device. You might also print the text using a printer, which is another output device. The computer’s CPU handles all the I/O operations, sending the data it receives to the correct path. The path may be to the video card, to the hard drive, or to the RAM, just to name a few.

The ports on the outside of a computer are commonly referred to as “I/O ports” because they are what connect input and output devices to the computer. Software developers use I/O to describe how a program will function, depending on what a user enters. For example, if the user presses the space bar key in a game, say “Super Jumper Man,” the character on the screen will jump. Multiply that by several thousand other scenarios of user input and you have yourself a computer game.

Technical

DAW Definition

DAW Definition

Stands for “Digital Audio Workstation.” A DAW is a digital system designed for recording and editing digital audio. It may refer to audio hardware, audio software, or both.

Early DAWs, such as those developed in the 1970s and 1990s, were hardware units that included a mixing console, data storage device, and an analog to digital converter (ADC). They could be used to record, edit, and play back digital audio. These devices, called “integrated DAWs,” are still used today, but they have largely been replaced by computer systems with digital audio software.

Today, a computer system is the central user interface of most DAWs. Most professional recording studios include one or more large mixing boards connected to a desktop computer. Home studios and portable studios may simply include a laptop with audio software and a recording interface.

Since computers have replaced most integrated DAWs, audio editing and post-production is now performed primarily with software rather than hardware. Several audio production programs, commonly called DAW software, are available for both Macintosh and Windows systems. Some common crossplatform titles include Avid Pro Tools, Steinberg Cubase, and Abelton Live. Other platform-specific DAW programs include Cakewalk SONAR for Windows and MOTU Digital Performer for Mac OS X.

Technical

Frame Definition

Frame Definition

In the computer world, a frame can be many different things. The different definitions of “frame” are listed below:

    1. Some Web sites use HTML frames, where the pages are broken up into various areas. Each area consists of an independent Web page. Frames allow the multiple Web pages to all show up in the same page.

 

    1. Graphics and desktop publishing programs also use frames. In these programs, frames are rectangular areas meant for inserting graphics and text. They allow users to place objects wherever they want to on the page.

 

  1. In video and animation, frames are individual pictures in a sequence of images. For example, a Flash movie you see on the Web may play 12 frames per second, creating the appearance of motion. Most video is shot at 24 or 30 frames per second, or FPS. FPS is often measured in 3D games as a way of checking how fast the graphics processor of a computer is.
Technical

Rendering Definition

Rendering Definition

Rendering is the process of generating a final digital product from a specific type of input. The term usually applies to graphics and video, but it can refer to audio as well.

1. Graphics

3D graphics are rendered from basic three-dimensional models called wireframes. A wireframe defines the shape of the model, but nothing else. The rendering process adds surfaces, textures, and lighting to the model, giving it a realistic appearance. For example, a 3D drawing application or a CAD program may allow you to add different colors, textures, and lighting sources to a 3D model. The rendering process applies these settings to the object.

Thanks to the power of modern GPUs, 3D image rendering is often done in real-time. However, with high-resolution models, surfaces and lighting effects may need to be rendered using a specific “Render” command. For example, a CAD program may display low-resolution models while you are editing a scene, but provide an option to render a detailed model that you can export.

2. Video

3D animations and other types of video that contain CGI often need to be rendered before viewing the final product. This includes the rendering of both 3D models and video effects, such as filters and transitions. Video clips typically contain 24 to 60 frames per second (fps), and each frame must be rendered before or during the export process. High-resolution videos or movies can take several minutes or even several hours to render. The rendering time depends on several factors including the resolution, frame rate, length of the video, and processing power.

While video clips often need to be pre-rendered, modern GPUs are capable of rendering many types of 3D graphics in real-time. For example, it is common for computers to render high-definition video game graphics at over 60 fps. Depending on the graphics power, a game’s frame rate may be faster or slower. If the GPU cannot render at least 30 frames per second, the video game may appear choppy.

3. Audio

Like video effects, audio effects can also be rendered. For example, a DAW application may include effects like reverb, chorus, and auto-tune. The CPU may be able to render these effects in real-time, but if too many tracks with multiple effects are being played back at once, the computer may not be able to render the effects in real-time. If this happens, the effects can be pre-rendered, or applied to the original audio track. All effects are rendered when the final mix is exported or “bounced” as an audio file.

Technical

Viral Definition

Viral Definition

Contrary to what you might think, the term “viral” has nothing to do with computer viruses. Instead it refers to a digital video, image, or article that has spiked in popularity and has reached a large number of users in a short period of time. While there is no exact number of views that makes something “go viral,” most viral media is viewed by more than a million people in less than a week.

Viral videos are the most common type of viral media. Most viral videos are posted on YouTube, which provides free video hosting. Since YouTube has become the central location to view videos on the web, homemade videos have the potential to be viewed by millions of people around the world. While some users have success promoting their YouTube videos from other websites, most viral videos gain popularity by word of mouth. For example, if someone comes across a video that he thinks is especially amusing or shocking, he might forward the link to his friends. If his friends also like the video, they might tell their friends, who may tell other friends, etc.

For a video to become viral, it needs to reach a certain threshold that might be considered a “tipping point.” Once it reaches this level of popularity, the number of views or “hits” spikes upwards and the video becomes viral. This may happen when the video reaches YouTube’s “Most Popular” list or is picked up and shown by a national news network. Once this happens, the already popular video gets even more publicity and goes viral.

Technical

Client-Server Model Definition

Client-Server Model Definition

The client-server model describes how a server provides resources and services to one or more clients. Examples of servers include web serversmail servers, and file servers. Each of these servers provide resources to client devices, such as desktop computerslaptopstablets, and smartphones. Most servers have a one-to-many relationship with clients, meaning a single server can provide resources to multiple clients at one time.

When a client requests a connection to a server, the server can either accept or reject the connection. If the connection is accepted, the server establishes and maintains a connection with the client over a specific protocol. For example, an email client may request an SMTP connection to a mail server in order to send a message. The SMTP application on the mail server will then request authentication from the client, such as the email address and password. If these credentials match an account on the mail server, the server will send the email to the intended recipient.

Online multiplayer gaming also uses the client-server model. One example is Blizzard’s Battle.net service, which hosts online games for World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Overwatch, and others. When players open a Blizzard application, the game client automatically connects to a Battle.net server. Once players log in to Battle.net, they can see who else is online, chat with other players, and play matches with or against other gamers.

While Internet servers typically provide connections to multiple clients at a time, each physical machine can only handle so much traffic. Therefore, popular online services distribute clients across multiple physical servers, using a technique called distributed computing. In most cases, it does not matter which specific machine users are connected to, since the servers all provide the same service.

NOTE: The client-server model may be contrasted to the P2P model, in which clients connect directly to each other. In a P2P connection, there is no central server required, since each machine acts as both a client and a server.

 

Technical

MMS Definition

MMS Definition

Stands for “Multimedia Messaging Service.” MMS is mobile phone service that allows users to send multimedia messages to each other. This includes images, videos, and sound files.

MMS is an extension of SMS, which is used to send and receive text messages. Like text messages, multimedia messages are first transmitted to a central server maintained by the cellular service provider. Once the message has been received by the server, it is forwarded to the recipient. If the recipient’s phone is off or she does not have cell phone service when the message is sent, the server will hold the message and send it once the recipient’s phone is available.

Most modern cell phones and smartphones support MMS messaging. MMS support is typically integrated into the text messaging interface and activates automatically when needed. For example, if you type a text-only message, it will be sent using SMS. If you add a graphic or video, the multimedia portion will be transmitted via MMS. Similarly, if someone sends you an multimedia message, your phone will automatically use MMS to receive the file. If your phone does not support MMS messages, you will most likely receive a text message that includes a URL where you can view the file from a Web browser.

 

Technical

OASIS Definition

OASIS Definition

Stands for “Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards.” To someone backpacking through the Sahara, this is not the type of OASIS you want to see. But is it a welcome sight in the computer science world. OASIS is a non-profit, global consortium that supports the development and adoption of e-business standards.

While it won’t quench your thirst in the middle of the desert, OASIS does provide several useful technology standards. Common standards regulated by the OASIS consortium include protocols, file formats, and markup languages. Hardware and software companies often work with OASIS to develop and institute standards that are efficient and effective.

The standards produced by OASIS are open standards, which means they can be used by any company or organization. This allows multiple companies to develop products based on the same standard, which offers a high degree of interoperability between different computer systems. For example, a file format standardized by OASIS may be supported by several different programs. Because each program can save files in the same format, the files can be opened by any of the programs without needing to be converted or translated. This makes transferring files between applications or even different systems a seamless process.

Technical

Delete Definition

Delete Definition

Delete is computer terminology for remove or erase. You can delete text from a document of delete entire files or folders from your hard drive. When typing a document, you can remove characters behind the cursor by pressing the delete key. If you want to remove characters in front of the cursor, you can press the smaller delete key near the home and end buttons on the keyboard. You can also remove entire sections of text by selecting the text you wish to delete and pressing either delete button on the keyboard.

Files and folders can be removed from your hard drive by dragging them to the Recycle Bin (Windows) or the Trash (Macintosh) and then emptying the trash. When you delete a file, it is actually not erased, but instead the reference to the file is removed. This means deleted files are still intact until they are written over. Special utilities such as Norton Unerase can recover accidentally deleted files.