Computer acronyms

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End User License Agreement - The legal agreement between the manufacturer and purchaser of software. It is either printed somewhere on the packaging or displayed on screen at time of installation, the latter being the better method, because it cannot be avoided. The user must click "Accept" or "I Agree" and the license does stipulate the terms of usage, whether the user reads them or not. Wiki [ entry].



A Complex Programmable Logic Device (CPLD) is a programmable logic device with complexity between that of PALs and FPGAs, and architectural features of both. Wiki Entry.



Read-Only Memory is computer memory on which data has been prerecorded. Once data has been written onto a ROM chip, it cannot be removed and can only be read hence read-only memory. Wiki entry


Random Access Memory is a type of computer memory that can be accessed randomly; that is, any byte of memory can be accessed without touching the preceding bytes. RAM is the most common type of memory found in computers and other devices, such as printers. Wiki entry.


Single In-line Memory Module, is a type of memory module containing random access memory used in computers from the early 1980s to the late 1990s. Wiki entry.


Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory (SDRAM) is dynamic random access memory (DRAM) that is synchronized with the system bus. Classic DRAM has an asynchronous interface, which means that it responds as quickly as possible to changes in control inputs. SDRAM has a synchronous interface, meaning that it waits for a clock signal before responding to control inputs and is therefore synchronized with the computer's system bus. The clock is used to drive an internal finite state machine that pipelines incoming commands. This allows the chip to have a more complex pattern of operation than an asynchronous DRAM, enabling higher speeds. Wiki Entry.


Memory Management Unit is the hardware component that manages the computer memory. Typically, the MMU is part of the CPU, though in some designs it is a separate chip. Wiki entry


AKA SlowRAM. The ST and TT both have main memory (ST memory), shared evenly between video and the CPU. This sharing cuts down machine performance -there are times the CPU could use memory that video has. In the ST, the 68000 microprocessor very often hit memory just as its "time slot" opened up, so there wasn't much speed degradation; the TT has a much faster 68030, hitting memory much more often, and is thus more likely to be slowed down.


AKA fastRAM. This memory has nothing to do with video; for instance, you can't have a video image in TT memory and display it. This opens up TT-RAM to full-throttle access from the 68030; it about doubles the speed of programs running within it. This memory is also 32-bits wide, so everytime the 68030 hits it, it gets four bytes (eight bits each).

Video sync


Vertical BLank, i.e. in one frame, normally used for timing of demos and games such that all computation for screen movement are done during this period for smooth animation.


Horizontal BLank, i.e. in one line, normally used for timing of demos and games such that all computation for screen movement are done during this period for smooth animation.


National Television System Committee. The NTSC is responsible for setting television and video standards in the United States (in Europe and the rest of the world, the dominant television standards are PAL and SECAM). The NTSC standard for television defines a composite video signal with a refresh rate of 60 half-frames (interlaced) per second. Each frame contains 525 lines and can contain 16 million different colors.


Phase Alternating Line is a dominant television standard in Europe. The United States uses a different standard, NTSC. Whereas NTSC delivers 525 lines of resolution at 60 half-frames per second, PAL delivers 625 lines at 50 half-frames per second.



Musical Instrument Digital Interface is a standard adopted by the electronic music industry for controlling devices, such as synthesizers and sound cards, that emit music. Wiki entry.

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