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Shortcuts to Common Abbreviations and Acronyms:
A prefix meaning one-billionth in the American numbering scheme, and one thousand millionth in the British system.
One-billionth of second. The speed of computer memory and logic chips is measured in nanoseconds.
In communications, a voice-grade transmission channel of 2400 bits per second or less.
NetBIOS Extended User Interface, a network device driver for the transport layer supplied with MS's LAN Manager,etc.
Network Basic Input/Output System. In networking, a layer of software, originally developed in 1984 by IBM and Sytek, that links a network operating system with specific network hardware. NetBIOS provides an API with a consistent set of commands for requesting lower-level network services to transmit information from node to node.
A group of computers and associated peripherals connected by a communications channel capable of sharing files and other resources between several users.
A network can range from a peer-to-peer network connecting a small number of users in an office or department, to a local area network connecting many users over permanently installed cables and dial-up lines, or to a wide area network connecting users on several different networks spread over a wide geographic area.
network file system
NFS. A distributed file sharing system developed almost a decade ago by Sun Microsystems, Inc.
NFS allows a computer on a network to use the files and peripherals of another networked computer as if they were local. NFS is platform-independent, and runs on mainframes, minicomputers,RISC-based workstations, diskless workstations, and PCs. NFS has been licensed and implemented by more than 300 vendors.
network interface card
NIC. In networking, the PC expansion board that plugs into a personal computer or server and works with the network operating system to control the flow of information over the network. The network interface card is connected tot he network cabling (twisted pair, coaxial or fiber optic cable), which in turn connects all the network interface cards in the network.
network layer
The third of seven layers of the ISO/OSI model for computer-to-computer communications, the network layer defines protocols for data routing to ensure that the information arrives at the correct destination node.
Originally a Unix-based workstation from NeXT Inc. using a 24MHz Motorola 68040 processor, a high-resolution color display, stereo sound, and an erasable optical disk.
NiCad rechargable batteries used in portable computers.
new, longer-lasting rechargable batteries.
In communications, any device attached to the network.
In communications, extraneous signals on a transmission channel that degrade the quality or performance of the channel. Noise is often caused by interference from nearby power lines, from electrical equipment, or from spikes in the AC line voltage.
non-impact printer
Any printer that creates an image without striking a ribbon against the paper.
Describes a monitor in which the display is updated(refreshed) in a single pass, painting every line on the screen. Interlacing takes two passes to paint the screen, painting every other line on the first pass, and then sequentially filling in the other lines on the second pass. Non-interlaced scanning, while more expensive to implement, reduces unwanted flicker and eyestrain.
non-preemptive multitasking
Any form of multitasking where the OS cannnot preempt a running task and process the next task in the queue.
nonvolatile memory
Any form of memory that holds its contents when power is removed. ROM,EPROM,and EEPROM are all nonvolatile memory.
A small (smaller than laptops) portable computer, about the size of a computer book, with a flat screen and a keyboard that fold together.
National Television System Committee, founded in 1941 to establish broadcast-television standards in North America. Many PC video controllers can output an NTSC-compatible signal in addition to or instead of their usual monitor signal.
A character that has all the binary digits set to zero(ASCII 0), and therefore has no value.
In programming, a null character is used for severa special purposes, including padding fields, or serving as delimiter characters. In the C language, for example, a null character indicates the end of a character string.
null modem
A short RS-232-C cable that connects two PCs so that they can communicate without the use of modems. The cable connects the two computers' serial ports, and certain lines in the cable are crossed over so that the wires used for sending data by the other computer, and vice versa.
numeric keypad
A set of keys to the right of the main part of the keyboard, used for numeric data entry.

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