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      As you begin working with computers and software programs, you will discover that certain words are unique in the computer industry.  Words such as directory, subdirectory, filename, cursor and others will begin to appear in the materials that you read.  To help you in understanding these words, a list of commonly used computer terms and their definitions are contained below.   


Analog – is a derivative of the word “analogous” meaning “similar to”.  Analog devices, such as analog video and audio recording devices record real events in real time using film or audiotape.  Digital translates the real event into 1’s and 0’s for computer use.


ANSI – stands for American National Standards Institute.  This institute develops standards for items like computers and software that are purchased or sold by the government.


API – Application Program Interface is a term used to describe the “hooks” available to “integrate” programs with each other.  For example, API’s are available for Microsoft Access to integrate or communicate with an image program.


Applications Program Software - computer programs that perform a wide range of tasks and generally designed for specific purposes.  Microsoft Word and WordPerfect were designed for word processing, Summation II for database and full text document search and retrieval, Lotus 123 for spreadsheet and Watermark for graphic images.  Also referred to as application or program.


Archive – archiving is the process of putting data on disks for long term storage.  Backups are used to ensure data is saved in case of data loss. 


Artificial Intelligence (AI) - is the field of computer science in which computers are programmed to exhibit characteristics of human intelligence. It attempts to model the way humans think.   Knowledge based systems, expert systems, virtual reality are some of the components of AI. The objective is to simulate factual patterns for consistency among decision-makers.  For example, legal decisions involve a large number of factors, many with complex interactions.  As a result outcomes are oftentimes inconsistent.  Artificial intelligence attempts to prevent the inconsistencies by consistently noting the factors of a particular decision and leading to the same conclusion under the similar set of facts.  These also are commonly referred to as "knowledge based systems” or “expert systems”. They capture the expertise of decision makers , convert it to a set of rules, and apply the rules to routine decisions. JEDA - Judicial Expert Decision Aid - is an expert decision system designed for judges in black lung cases.


ASCII format - American Standard Code for Information Interchange was a code developed through the cooperation of several computer manufacturers whose objective was to develop a standard code for all computers.  It facilitates the exchange of data between computer and application programs. This is the standard format for a DOS text file.  Computer files in ASCII can generally be imported to most DOS based computer programs.  Request a copy of a deposition from a reporter in ASCII (pronounced "as key") format unless there is a particular full text program that you will be using.


AUTOEXEC.BAT file - This is a MS-DOS file containing commands that automatically execute whenever you start the computer.  For example you can put in an autoexec.bat file a command to automatically start Windows. 


Back up - This is a duplicate copy of your data or application program files placed in a safe and separate place in case of loss of your original data.  It is important that you back up important data or program files.  If the original files are damaged, then one can use the backup files.


Bar Code – is a system of accessing data through a series of machine-readable lines.  Bar code readers can read the bar codes and can retrieve documents for viewing or presentation in the courtroom. 


Bernoulli Box – is a storage disk system that uses fluid dynamics to keep the disk floating in the air as data is accessed or written to the disk.

BIOS - Acronym for Basic Input/Output System. BIOS are instructions that tell the computer how to control the information between computers and peripherals.  In some operating systems, this part of the system is customized for specific computers.


Bit - Bit is an abbreviation for binary digit.  It is the smallest unit of measurement for a computer.  A bit can be either on or off in a computer.  Eight bits equal one byte or the equivalent of one character.


Bitmap – represents characters or graphics by individual pixels or dots.  They are arranged in columns and rows and can be altered with paint programs.  Bit map graphics, also called raster graphics, are images created with pixels.


Blowbacks – is a slang term for printing images off of a CD-ROM disk.


Boot/Reboot - This is the start up procedure for a computer.  It causes the execution of start up files such an autoexec.bat file.  When your computer locks up then you need to reboot the computer generally by holding down the CTRL and ATL and then pressing the DEL keys at the same time.


Bps - Bps stands for bits per second.  It is the transmission speed between two computers.


Browser – A browser is software like Internet Explorer used to view web pages on the Internet or Intranet.  It is the client software used to view sites located on servers running web server software.


Bulletin Board Service (BBS) - The early forerunner to group computing systems.  They permit users to exchange e-mail, retrieve files and share other computer functions between individuals who share common interests. 


Byte - This is the primary unit of measurement for computer storage.  It denotes the amount of space needed to store a single character of text.  One byte equals 8 bits.


Boolean Search - A Boolean search uses NOT LOGIC to prevent specific words from being retrieved with a search request, such as L*<legal>, which would find all words starting with L except legal.


Cache memory – special high speed memory area on a chip.  Cache memory allows the CPU to run faster because it doesn’t have to take time to swap instructions in and out of main memory,.  Large complex programs benefit the most from having cache memory available.


CAD – Computer Aided Design – means having computers design products, buildings, houses, highways and so forth. 


CGI – Common Gateway Interfaceis the standard used for connecting web pages with underlying data.  A CGI script has the capability of calculating mortgages, accessing databases for reports, etc.


Character – A character is equal to a byte and is a single letter or number.


Character Recognition – or OCR is the ability of a scanner to read human readable text into ASCII text like a word processor.


Client / Servers - refers to decentralized, usually desktop computers, loosely connected to a

central depository called the server.  This system is contrasted with mainframes.  In an Intranet or Internet system the client software is similar to Netscape and the server software would be Netscape Suitespot or something comparable.


Clock speed - Clock speeds (hertz, khz and mhz) refers to how fast a computer’s CPU processes information.   The faster the megahertz the faster the CPU will process data.


Communications Program - software that controls the transfer of data from one computer to another.  Programs are available to transfer data over telephone lines. Some programs permit you to operate a particular desktop computer from anywhere linked by a telephone line.


Compression - is a method of removing repetitive or redundant element from a computer file or collection of data.  The result is that the file needs less storage space and can be transmitted easier. 


Computer File - A computer file is a collection of computer commands and information stored in a file. 


Compatibility - The capability of a piece of hardware or software to operate with another piece of software or hardware.  For example, word processing files from WordPerfect are not compatible with Microsoft Word word processor unless the conversion program is used first.


Communications protocol - is a set of instructions, which enables two computers to talk to each other.   A protocol suite is a set of instructions to handle a variety of computer tasks such as printing, file transferring and so on.  TCP/IP is a protocol suite that is used on networks and on the Internet.    It has become one of the key defacto standards for tying together computers.  Hence, the popularity of the Internet and the communication is large part due to this protocol. It is part of the UNIX operating system.   FTP is an acronym for File Transfer Protocol and is a service for transferring files. 


Computer - A computer is an electronic device consisting of a central processing unit, monitor and keyboard to store, retrieve and process data.


Compression – is the ability of some software programs to shrink or compress the images and other computer files.


Config.sys file - This file automatically executes each time you boot the computer and generally configures peripheral devices attached to the computer.  For example, the config file can be coded to activate a sound card when the computer is started.  Windows 95 does not have this file but instead automatically configures attached hardware with a new plug and play feature which automatically recognizes attached devices.


CPU - Acronym for Central Processing Unit.  This is the main core of a computer, oftentimes called the brain of the computer. It controls the interpretation and execution of computer instructions.


Cross-references - Cross-references are enhancements that you can imbed in full text documents.  They are used to delineate words or phrases that mean the same thing.


Cursor - A cursor is the small dash on the computer screen that constantly blinks. This is the location that the next character will appear when you begin typing.


Data - Information that is processed or transmitted by a device like a computer.


Data Communications – is the transfer of data between two computer points.


Database - A database is a collection of data or information stored in computers that can be used for more than one purpose.  It is data that has been organized and structured for particular purpose such as a document management system.


Database Management Systems (DBMS) - This is the task of managing data in databases and retrieving information from that database.


Data Transfer Rate (dtr) - This is the rate of data transfer from one device to another.  CD-ROM’s can transfer information to a computer at 1000 kbps and higher.  The higher the transfer the faster the access to the data. 


DEPS (Digital Evidence Presentation System) - The system provides comprehensive multifunction support for all aspects of evidence display, complete with multiple digital and video inputs and up to 14 display outputs.  DOAR (www.doar.com).


Device Drivers - are drivers that control attached peripheral devices such as a mouse.  Device drivers will oftentimes come with devices that are subsequently added onto computers.


Digital – is the recording of information in a binary manner.  Information is recorded as 1’s and 0’s for use by a computer.  Analog records information real time in file and tape.  It does not convert the data to a new format.  Text in a word processor is in a digital format, images or graphics is in a bit map or digital format and so on.


Digital Cameras – are new cameras that translate real events or pictures directly into digital data.


Digitize – is the process of converting information such as a document into binary code.  Documents are converted into a digital format using a scanner.  They can be in a image digital format or in ASCII text – both digital formats. 


DAT – Digital AudioTape – is a technology that records digital audio onto magnetic tape.


Directory - is the location where files and subdirectories are located on the computer.  The data in your computer is stored and organized using a file and directory structure.  A file is a collection of information, such as a word processing file or containing program executable instructions.  Each file has a name associated with it. Pre Windows 95 filenames were limited to 8 characters, a period, and a 3-character extension.  Windows 95 permits long file names without an extension.  Files are stored in directories and directories can contain files and subdirectories.  The first directory is called the root directory.  A directory sequence that leads to a particular file is called a path.  A typical path would be C:\document\letter1.doc for a word processing file.


Diskette - is the data storage device for your computer. Removable magnetic disks usually come in 3 1/2 or 5 1/4 size. Hard disks come in assorted sizes and are usually nonremovable. The newest disk is the optical disk that stores in essence more data on the same size disk as the magnetic disks.


Disk Drive - device that enables a computer to read and write data on a disk.


Disk File - See Computer File


Document Retrieval – The ability to locate and view a document on a computer screen.


DPI – Dots Per Inch – This is a measurement of output resolution and quality.  It measures the number of dots per square inch.  A 600 dpi document is much sharper than a 200 dpi document but restores more storage space. 

Dot Pitch (DP) - The amount of space between dots of color or pixels on a monitor is called dot pitch.  The lower the dot pitch, such as .28, the clearer and crisper is the picture.


Enhancements/Annotations- Enhancements are codes that you can imbed within the text of a full text document to add in the summarization of documents and the preparation of reports.  The enhancements are notes, cross-reference codes, issue codes, and markers. 


Ethernet  - The operating protocol for a LAN.  On a LAN, computers are physically connected together using Ethernet cards and software.  It is relatively inexpensive and also provides the connection for Intranets to information.  It has a relatively large bandwidth.


Expansion card - Expansion cards are integrated circuit cards that can be added to your computer to expand its capabilities.  A network card can be added to your computer to give it the capability to connect it to a network.


Fax/Modem - This modem can send or receive faxes without printing the document first.


Fiber optic cable – is cable made from thin strands of glass through which data is transported.  Excellent conduit to transfer data for medium or long distances, but is more expensive than normal cable. 


Field - is the location on a computer input form to collect specific data such as document number, document condition, etc.


Field Name - a labeled area on the screen input form such as DCNO (document number), DATE (document date), SUMM (summary), etc.


File - A file is a collection of information such as a word processing file or containing program executable instructions.  It generally describes one document or image.  Files are stored in directories and directories can contain files and subdirectories.  The first directory is called the root directory.  A directory sequence that leads to a particular file is called a path.    A typical path would be C:\document\letter1.doc for a Microsoft Word processing file. 


Filename - Each file has a name associated with it. Pre Windows 95 filenames were limited to 8 characters, a period, and a 3 character extension.  Windows 95 permits long file names without an extension.


Firewall - Generally used to describe a security system for an Internet or Intranet web site.  Its purpose is to preclude intruders from viewing or changing sensitive data.  It will preclude access or allow it only for authorized users.


Fixed disk  - This is another name for a hard drive. 


Form - a computer input screen that contains fields where information is to be entered.  After information is entered, it is called a record.


Full Duplex – is a communications protocol for describing the transmission of data simultaneously in both directions. 


Full Text - This is the "full" or complete text of a document.  This term usually refers to a document that has been converted for use on a computer.  A "full text" document can be a deposition, memo, brief, interrogatories, rules of procedure, evidence and so forth since it is the "full text" of the document. 


Full Text Search – is the capability of searching text files for words, phrases or patterns of characters.  An image cannot be full text searched.  It has to be retyped or OCR’ed into the computer.


GB (gigabyte) - A gigabyte is 1,073,741,824 bytes or 1024 megabytes.  This unit of measurement reflects computer memory or disk storage.


Graphics – are primarily pictures and drawing either created into the computer or which are scanned and entered into a computer.


Graphical User Interface (GUI) - a computing environment that enables one to execute commands or interact with a program using graphical symbols on the screen. 


Groupware – is software designed to assist groups in working together using computers.  Lotus Notes is the most popular example.  With the recent emergence of Intranets, groupware will take on significant importance due to “open” standards, less expensive and easier to use.


Gooey – slang for GUI – which stands for Graphical User Interface.


Handwriting Recognition – is the technology that converts human handwriting into machine-readable ASCII text. 


Hard Drive - A storage device generally inside the computer used to store information. You save your documents to a hard drive.


Half Duplex – is a communications protocol that allows transmission in both directions, but only in one direction at a time. 

Hardware - The actual physical parts of a computer are its hardware.


HDTV – High Definition TV – is a new standard for broadcast TV.  A typical TV set contains 336,000 pixels.  An HTVD TV will contain over 2,000,000 pixels.


High resolution – is a description of the enhanced viewing quality of documents that have been imaged.

Home Page – This is the gateway into a web site.  It usually contains the main menu that directs the visitor to other parts of the site that can include documents, graphics, newsletters, other links, etc. 


HTML – Hypertext Markup Language is the language used to create hypertext, the language used to create Internet, Intranet and Extranet pages.  HTML’s commands direct a browser like Netscape how to display web pages.  These commands pertain to graphics, text and links to other pages or web sites.

Hypertext Linking - A hypertext link is the capability to link together any two separate sources of digital information and then jump to the secondary source whenever necessary.  For example, if you decide to “publish” a motion for summary judgment to your fellow attorneys, then when they review it and they decide to read the case, you cite in the motion and they can click on the case name and it will appear for review

Hz (hertz) - A unit of measures which indicates frequency in cycles per second.  The higher the megahertz of a computer, the faster it will run. Hertz is a measurement of frequency that is defined as one cycle per second. A megahertz is 1,000,000 cycles per second.  Microprocessors run at speeds that are measured in MHz or millions of cycles per second. 


Icon – This is a picture that when clicked upon, will activate a program or other computer functions. This is the foundation for a GUI desktop.


Image – This is an “electronic picture” of a document that is in a digital format.


Image Resolution – This refers to the sharpness of an image as it is being scanned.  Usually ranges from 200 to 400 dpi. 


Imaging  - This is the process of using a scanner to convert a document into a computer readable form. 


Index – This is generally a set of structured data information associated with documents or other information.  Indexing is used to link images with the data for instant viewing.  This an integral part of locating documents that have been scanned as images. 


Indexing - Some full text programs create an index whenever a document is converted for use within the program. It generally will increase the speed of searches and reports.


Infrared Technology - These are invisible radiation wavelengths.  This enables wireless transfer of capabilities between portables and desktop computers and also the sending of commands from a wireless keyboard or mouse to a computer. 


Ink Jet Printer - A printer which sprays ink from tiny jet nozzles. It produces high quality printouts in black and white or color.   


Install - Computer hardware or software is installed or set up for operation.  Hardware installation is generally done by connecting hardware, such as a sound card, into the appropriate sockets inside or outside a computer.  Software is generally installed from application programs that include their own installation programs.  These installation programs are started by running a setup.exe or install.exe file that usually copies all the files and sets up graphical user icons for execution.


Interlaced Resolution - Interlaced monitors scan every other line and are not as clear and are generally less expensive then non-interlaced monitors. These monitors scan the entire screen and are considered flicker-free.


Issue Code - An issue code is an enhancement code used in full text or databases to indicate a specific topic or area of interest for use within reports and searches.


Java  - is a computer language that enhances interactivity on the web, and is platform neutral.  It runs on the user’s computer.  A java applet is a miniprogram or application that runs on the user’s computer.   This language is to be contrasted with CGI – Common Gateway Interface – that runs programs on web servers.


JEDDI - Electronic Filing and Judicial Document and Data Interchange


JPEG – is a standard for still image compression. 


Jukebox – is a device that holds multiple optical disks that can be accessed through a computer.


Laser Printer - This printer uses a light beam to transfer the image to a piece of paper.  It prints a whole page at a time, as opposed to one line. 


Legacy Systems - Most businesses currently have present computer systems in place such as databases system, etc.  These systems can be connected to Intranets or Internets and are often referred to as “legacy” systems.


Load - When a program is copied from the hard disk or diskette into RAM memory the program is loading.  This occurs whenever you start a program.  When you turn on your computer the operating system program loads.


Magnetic-Optic – refers to an erasable recording method.  It is similar to a magnetic hard disk.


Menu - A menu in a computer program is a list of options that you choose from to do different computer functions.  Summation is a "menu driven" program.


Megabyte - this unit of measurement equals 1,048,576 bytes or characters or 1,024 kilobytes.  This unit of measurement reflects computer memory or disk storage.


Megahertz - see hertz


Memory - is space within the computer for storing electronic data.


Microprocessor - This is the chip inside the computer that is the center of all the activity.  The chip controls all the operation s of a computer and is used to execute program commands.  It is also known as a processor.


MIPS - Millions of Instructions Per Second – this is a measurement of computer speed.


MISManagement Information System – is generally the department responsible for digital information systems.


Modem.  This internal or external computer device connects to a telephone for the purpose of sending or receiving information from other computers. 


Mouse - This is the primary pointing device for the Windows operating system.  When you move the mouse over a flat surface, the cursor or arrow makes a movement on the screen.  It is a hand held device that allows you to control the location of the cursor with some programs and allows some commands to be executed by pushing buttons.


MS-DOS - Stands for Microsoft Disk Operating System.  It is a single tasking, single user operating system.  Windows 95 is a multitasking operating system.


Multitasking Operating System - This is an operating system that enables the user to perform more than one task at a time.  Windows 95 and OS/2 are multitasking operating systems.


Multimedia - delivery of information in multisensory ways through the integration of previously distinct media - text, graphics, computer animation, motion video, and sound - in a single presentation under the control of the computer. Refers to using computers to create and distribute communications enhanced with voice, sound, images, video, graphics, and text.  Since we are a multimedia society, the multimedia approach is the powerful force of the future in how we will communicate with our clients, jurors, or the judge.


Network - A network is when two or more computers are linked together to share data, programs and hardware resources.  Specialized hardware and software is required to network computers.


Non-Interlaced Resolution - These monitors scan the entire screen and are considered flicker-free.  The other type, Interlaced monitors, scan every other line and are not as clear and are generally less expensive.


Notes (Annotations) - Notes are enhancements that allow you to make an extended comment anywhere in a document.  Notes are very valuable as a summarization and preparation tool and will save you the time of taking handwritten notes and looking for them later.


Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) - The object can execute code or cause another program to execute code. Objects that represent images, graphics, videos, etc. are stored in the database and when activated by clicking on the mouse can launch other applications that store the OBJECT as a computer file.  This solves the problem of having to switch your present and computer files applications to new software by embedding these files in different software and activating when needed.


Occurrences - Occurrences are the number of times a particular search request occurs throughout a full text document.


Off-line - This is when a peripheral device does not have an active communications link with the computer.  For example, when a printer is off-line, it is unable to communicate and thus print a document from a word processing program.  Recently, a number of commercial services, such as CompuServe, suggest that you work off-line creating your mail before connecting to CompuServe to send it thus saving connect time charges.


On-line - Equipment, devices and other services that are in direct communication with your computer.  One can be on-line with a printer or the Internet.


Operating system - is the master set of software programs that manages and controls access to the computer by other programs.  It controls input and output to the mouse, keyboard, printer and all other devices connected to the computer.  DOS is a operating system.  Microsoft ‘95 is the new operating system which has combined DOS and Windows. 


Optical Character Recognition - is the process of using a scanner and software of converting paper into a searchable machine readable text like a word processing document.


Optical Drives – are storage devices that are written and read by laser.  There are certain types of disks such as CD-ROMs which are read only,  WORM – that can be written to once and read many times and WRRM which stands for Write Many, Read Many or is erasable.


Operating system - controls the overall operation of the computer.  The operating program directs and coordinates the commands between your computer and other hardware components such as printers, video, sound boards and so on.  It also coordinates the flow of commands between application programs and the computer.


Parallel Port - A port generally located in the back of the computer, which transfer data through multiple wires.  Eight bits are transferred simultaneously.  A printer is generally connected to a parallel port.  It is usually designated with the letters LPT1.


Parallel processing - is the process that enables a computer or a large number of processors to attack a problem simultaneously. Ten computers working together to solve a problem will solve the problem faster then one computer working on the problem.  The processing of data in a parallel manner will not be a problem.  Operating and application software to run parallel processors will be the hurdle to overcome.


Path - This is the directory sequence the computer must search to locate a particular file or directory.  See also directory and file.


Pen-based computing  - is a method of entering data into a computer using an electronic stylus.


Plug and Play  - The new plug and play standard in Windows 95 lets you add peripherals  to your computer without worrying about  jumpers, dip switches, or any other hardware adjustments.  The software will search for any new hardware components on startup and then configure the appropriate drivers to play the device.  Plug and play configures your PC for you


Port - This is a connector to a computer that allows data to be exchanged with other devices such as a printer, mouse, CD-ROM reader or external modem.


Processor - See Microprocessor.


Proximity Search - A proximity search is used to find words or phrases that are within a specified number of lines of another word or phrase.


Program - See Application Program.


Prompt - Usually shown as C:\ or A:\ that indicates that the computer is ready to accept input.


RAM (Random Access Memory) - is the memory available for user's programs and data when a computer is turned on.  Information can be randomly accessed very quickly.  RAM memory is emptied each time you turn the computer off. If you turn the computer off without saving the information in your RAM memory it will be lost.  RAM is generaly measured in megabytes. 


Raster Graphics – or bit map graphics are pictures defined as a set of pixels in columns or rows. 


ROM_(Read Only Memory) - This computer memory stores instructions permanently.  The ROM contains instructions that the computer uses to run properly.  It cannot be changed and is executed each time the computer is turned on.


ROM BIOS - These are chips that contain the BIOS code and the system configuration for the computer.


Root Directory. - This is the first level directory on a computer.  All other directories are subordinate to the root and are referred to as directories or subdirectories.  See also directory.


Record - after information has been entered in a form and the form is saved,  it is called a record.


Resolution - This reflects how sharp the images are on your computer monitor.  The higher the number the sharper and clearer the image.  Images are usually scanned at 200 to 400 dpi.  It also refers to the output resolution on a monitor.  The resolution 1024 X 768 is the number of pixels horizontally and the number of lines vertically on a computer monitor. 


ROM - Read Only Memory - is usually stored in your computer.  It can be accessed or read but not erased or altered.


Scan – is the process of converting a document into an image or using OCR software converting it to machine-readable text. 


Scanner - is a device that converts a document or picture into an image or machine-readable text.


SCSI - “scuzzy” – Small Computer System Interface – is the standard for connecting peripherals to your hardware CPU unit.


Serial Port - This connector port on a computer sends and receives data one bit at a time.  A modem, printer or mouse can be connected to your serial port.  It is usually denoted as COM1.  See also parallel port.


Single Tasking Operating System - An operating system that only performs one task at a time such as MS-DOS.  See also multitasking and operating system.  It can only be used on a single computer.


Software - is a collective term for computer programs.  Programs can be application or operating system software programs.  Software is a series of instructions to operate the computer and perform specialized tasks.  It is generally used to refer to specific application software programs, such as word processing, spreadsheets and so on.


Spreadsheet program - is a program that manipulates numbers and data in a table arranged in columns and rows.  Lotus 123 and Quattro are two spreadsheet application programs.


Streaming video - allows one to see the video as it’s downloading to your machine.  While a bigger bandwidth is preferable all you need is a 28.800 modem and a free software plug in.


Subdirectory - A subdirectory is a computer directory within another directory.


Synonym Search - A synonym search is used to locate words or phrases that mean the same thing as other words or phrases.


Tape Backup Unit. (TBU) - This device is used mainly to back up the large amounts of data on your harddrive.  It is similar to an audiotape. 


TCP/IP  - Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol is the operating protocol by which all Internet and Intranet computers communicate with each other.  It is the operating language directing how the packets of information will be sent over the network wire or wireless systems.


Text Management - are the techniques for creating, storing, organizing, controlling and retrieving text files in a logical fashion. 


Text search - is a technique for searching text files for occurrences of certain words or phrases. 


Unzip  - refers to decompressing a file using the popular PKUNZIP software. 


USB vs. FireWire – For years connecting peripherals to computers requited a vacant serial port on your computer.  There are now two new bus standards  - Universal Serial Bus (USB) and FireWire (IEEE 1394).  FireWire is the speed champ with speeds of 1000 to 400 MBPS.  USB has a slower speed 1.5 to 12 MBPS which is adequate for most peripherals.  The cost is lower for USB’s and should be used unless you need the higher speed for digital video or other bit hungry applications.


Vaporware - slang term referring to the announcement of software but not ready for delivery to customers.


Voice Recognition Technology  - Refers to the capability of a computer to "hear" a word and convert the word automatically to usable computer text.  This technological breakthrough has immense promise for automating the practice of law.  We would simply command the computer to open up the word processing program, dictate a letter and print and/or fax the letter and envelope for mailing.  If you have electronic mail - then just transmit it to whomever you wish.  Some law firms have " voice recognition" software in place and many others are considering applications for its use.


Wildcard - The wildcard is the asterisk (*).  It takes the place of any number of letters within a word.  For example, ar* could be used to represent all words that begin with the letters ar, regardless of their length.  It also can be used any other character in a filename such as smith*.*.


Windows - is the Microsoft operating system that features multitasking and a graphical user Interface. 


Word Processing - software designed to prepare a letter, brief or other documents.


WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get.  Refers to a word processor or graphics program that displays images on the screen exactly how they will appear on paper.


Zip - refers to compressing a file using the popular PKZIP software program.


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