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DVD, CD and Optical Storage Glossary of Computer Terms


access time: In mass storage devices, the time elapsed to read or write to or from a device
additive color system: A color reproduction system in which images are reproduced by mixing appropriate amounts of red, green, and blue lights.
animation: A synchronized sequence of graphics that conveys action.
antialiasing: The process of reducing the visibility of jagged edges by using gray scale pixel values to smooth andfeather contrasting intersections of bitmapped objects.
application: A computer program written for a specific purpose.
aspect ratio: The ratio of width to height of an image. The standard aspect ratio of broadcast television and mostcomputer displays is 4:3. The 35mm slide standard is 3:2.
asymmetric system: A video system that requires more equipment to store, process, and compress a digitalimage than it needs to decompress and playback. Intel’s DVIand Phillips/Sony’s CD-Isystems are asymmetric in full fidelity mode.
audio track: A CD- DA track with digital audio samples encoded as 16 bit numbers.
audio: Sound portion of a video signal. or separate soundused to; annotate objects on frames including text, graphics, animation and still images.
authoring language: A high- level programming language using English or mnemonics and simple commands specifically designed for developing multimedia applications. Often included as a subset of an authoring system.
authoring system: A software product designed to allow userswithout specific programming skills to develop and test multimedia applications.
averaging: The process of smoothing the selection or image by averaging the values of the surrounding pixelsover a specified radius.


bitmap: name for a family of image file-types composed ofdots (pixels). Bitmaps have attributes specifying color format, resolution, header, bit order, and other variables. A checker board is a good conceptual model for a bitmap image.
blur: To distort the current selection or image by reducing contrast along object lines with gradients.
BPP: Bits Per Pixel. An acronym for the number of bits used to represent the color value of each pixel in a digital image color format. example: CMYK=32bpp, RGB true color =24bpp,256 color & grayscale=8bpp, 16color=4bpp, Black and White line art=1bpp.
brightness & contrast balancing: The process of adjusting the density and intensity of an image.


cache: Pronounced “cash”.An external or internal reserved portion of a computer’s electronic memory Random-Access Memory (RAM). Frequently used information is stored in the cache so that your computer can get the information more quickly.
CD: The 12cm (4.75 in.) optical read only disc used for digital audio, data, and video storage and retrieval in various computer, audio, and video systems. CDs are produced using a number of processes to store information for optical retrieval. see: WORM, WREN, CD-ROM
CD- DA Track: a track on a compact disc containing audio information encoded according to the CD-Digital Audio specific
CD-I: Compact Disc Interactive. an interactive audio/video/computer system developed by Sony and Phillips For the consumer market.
CD-ROM: Compact Disc Read Only Memory. An adaptation of CD technology for use with general digital data. CD-ROM discs are “pressed” in an injection molding process from a master mould to create the data tract. Then they are coated with a reflective material and sealed.
CD-ROM XA :Compact Disc Read Only Memory Extended Architecture. A format for recording compressed digital audio at lower qualities, allowing capacity increases on a single CD from four to 19 hours.
CD-RTOS: Kernel:the nucleus of CD-RTOS, which is responsible for service request processing, memory management, system initialization, multi-tasking, input/output management and exception and interrupt processing.
CD-RTOS: Compact Disc Real-Time Operating System. the name of the operating system used in CD-I players.
CD-WORM: Compact Disc Write Once Read Many times. A type of CD-ROM disc named for the process used to create data on the disc. CD-WORM Discs preform identically as CD-ROM discs. The difference being a laser is used to “burn” the reflective layer to create the data tract. The cost of “ WORM Burning” is considerably less than glass master production for a single disc.CD-WORM Disks can be used to transport CD-ROM s for mastering and replication.
CD-WREM: Compact Disc Write Read Erase Memory. A data storage system commonly referred to as “Magneto-Optical”. It incorporates laser technology to “Burn” a magnetic layer on the disc, this produces a reflective surface that can then be read. This magnetic layer can be burned many times giving the medium read, write, and write over capability not found in CD- ROM & CD-WREM. This advantage comes only with considerable cost for Drives and Disc Cartridges. As a result this technology has not caught on in the home consumer market. It has great potential for multimedia, pre-press publication, and other digital graphic applications.
chroma keying: facility to replace selected colors in a video image with others that allows the creation of different scenes against the background. Some video boards contain such capabilities.
chrominance: signals of an image system that represent the color components of the image such as hue and saturation. A black and white image has chrominance value of zero.
clipart: Stock digital images in various subject matter and format for use in multimedia productions or anywhere graphics are needed. Rights to use, pricing, and quality vary from one manufacturer to another.
clone: To duplicate a portion of an image to another location. This is a cornerstone to the editing of digital images. This effect is useful in the process of retouching photographs.
CLUT: Color Look-Up Table. A table containing all the colors that may be used in a particular picture. Each entry provides an RGB value. The picture may then be encoded using the table entry addresses rather than the direct RGB value.
color balancing: The process of tuning the overall color cast of an image or selection
compression: a digital process that permits data to be stored or transmitted using less than normal the number of bits. Compression is critical for displaying audio and moving video fast enough on desktop computers. Some compression standards for still images are formulated by JPEG, for moving video by MPEG, and for telecommunications transmission by CCITT.


DDE: Dynamic Data Exchange. A communication technique for Windows and OS/2. DDE Applications can send and receive data once a communication path is established.
diffuse: To soften contrasting edges and fill areas of an image or object via random patterns. Also used to simulate colors outside the color pallet. see dithering
digital: A system in which values are represented by a series of binary bits.
digitizing: the process of encoding or converting images, sound, video and other data from analog or printed form to a digital format/specification.examples: Scanning= Printed image to Digital Image file, video capture=analog video signal to still or motion digital file.
dithering: The process of using patterns to simulate colors or gradients
DVI: digital video interactive. This is a compression format for recording digital video on a CD- ROM disk that provides up to 72 minutes of full motion video, or four hours of one-quarter screen full-motion video.


EISA: Extended Industry Standard Architecture. A 32-bit bus architecture standard designed for PC compatibles to take advantage of newer and faster microprocessors. Supports older AT style expansion boards. IBM’s Micro Channel Architecture (MCA) does not.
EMS: Expanded Memory System. A specification developed by the Lotus, Intel and Microsoft (LIM) corporations for application programs to address added memory resources above the 640- kbyte limit of PC and MS-DOS operating system. EMS helps provide maximum performance of memory-intensive applications such as Lotus 1-2-3 and Microsoft Windows.
encoding: Storing information according to a file specification for an intended retrieval suitability
EPP: Enhanced Parallel Port.
ESDI: Enhanced Small Device Interface. A standard for connecting disk drives and tape drives to a computer. This standard enables the drive to transfer data at high speeds.
exclusion: The opposite of selection. An editing technique to select desired areas of an image by ruling out all undesired areas. Particularly useful in selecting and removing an object from its background.


fade: A gradual change in brightness of an image or intensity of a sound. Considered a special effect that can be implemented with software or hardware.
file header: A block of data in a file, usually at the beginning, which describes the type of data in the file and the format of the data.
film scanning: Scalable optical Digitization of photographic transparencies negatives and slides. High quality standards requirements for Pre-press Digitization have resulted in capture specs exceeding 48bpp 6000pixels. film recording: A service used to produce film transparencies from digital images. Recorder specs, vary from one manufacturer to another near 4000pixels for 35mm film 24bpp
flash memory: Flash memory is a nonvolatile memory medium (it “remembers” even when the power is turned off) that can easily be updated. This credit card-sized package will be used to replace floppy and hard disk drives in portable personal computers in the future. Flash memory cards substantially reduce the computer’s power consumption (when compared with traditional mechanical disk-drive memories).
flatbed scanning: Document and image scanning utilizing a level glass bed scanner. Device specifications range include RGB @600dpi,single pass
flicks: Common term for digital motion sequences
fractal: Fractional Dimensional. A mathematical definition of a fractional element of an image after repeated application of a specific compression algorithm. Has theoretical compression ratio capability of 10,000:1. Commercial software is available with compression ratios in the range of 2,500:1.
frame: Used in video to denote a complete scan of an image. In motion video repeated scanning ofa changing scene produces a series of frames. Synonymous with a full computer screen desktop applications.
full-motion video: Display of a video sequence at the broadcast TV frame rate of 30 fps. Sometimes used to define motion video that is perceived to provide smooth motion regardless of frame rate applied.


GUI: Graphical User Interface. A graphically oriented interface that allows direct manipulation of on-screen objects and events using icons, menus and dialog controls. Macintosh, Windows, Silicon Graphics, island productsSee: WIMPs,


hypermedia: A multimedia application that lets the user point to objects, images, video, or text to navigate the application.


IDE: Integrated Drive Electronics.
IMA: Interactive Multimedia Association. An umbrella organization grouping over 220 suppliers and end-users to deal with multimedia standards and data exchange issues. Endorses and supervises technical aspects of JPEG and MPEG compression standards and developing multimedia platform standards.
importing: A method of accessing or bringing in files created on other platforms or applications.
interactivity: The ability of a user to control the presentation by a multimedia system, not only for material selection, but for the way in which material is presented.
interchange file: A family of filetypes whose specifications are standardized to facilitate use in a broad range of applications and in some cases platforms.
ISA: Industry Standard Architecture.
ISDN: Integrated Services Digital Network. Telecommunications networks based on fiber optics with greatly enhanced transmission capacity for handling video images and applications such as video conferencing.
ISO 9660: The designated specification number for the file structure standard of CD-ROM adopted by the International Standards Organization.
ISO: International Standards Organization. A world organization which serves to promote establishment of standards in facilitating international exchange of goods and services and develop mutual cooperation in scientific, technical, intellectual and economic areas of activity. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is the current U.S. voice in the ISO.


JBIG: Joint Bi-level Imaging Group. A working group established to develop a standard for compressing bi-level images such as black-and-white photographs or pages of text. JBIG is a loss less compression technique.
JPEG: Joint Photographic Experts Group. A standard for compression algorithms for digitizing still photographic images. JPEG compression ratios may range from 10:1 to 80:1, but it is a continuous trade-off between image quality and speed of delivery and storage capacity. Multimedia platforms are being equipped with special boards or chips implementing JPEG compression standard based on the DCT algorithm. There are also software solutions available to accomplish JPEG compression.


KBPS: Kilobits Per Second. A measure of transmission rate in thousands of bits per second commonly referred to as baud rate. Communication channels using telephone modems are established at set bit rates, 300, 1200, 2400, 4800, 9600, 14400 respectively. (example 14.4kbps)
Kodak Photo CD: A proprietary asymmetric image recording format developed by Eastman Kodak Company and introduced in 1992. The content of the CD disc is composed of nearly 100 24bit images 3000pixel in a multisession configuration. The KODAK Photo CD is considered a milestone in imaging development.


LAN: Local Area Network. A local community of computers linked with high performance cables. LANs vary in size, but are always imited to a single geographical area, such as an office, corporation, or campus.
luminance: Refers to the brightness value of all the points in an image.


magenta: The color obtained by mixing equal intensities of red and blue light. It is also the correct name for the subtractive primary color usually called red.
magneto-optical: See CD-WREM.
mastering: A real time process in which videotaped materials are used to create a master optical disk that can be replicated into final videodiscs or CD-ROM disks for operation with desktop computers. Usually performed by an outside specialty shop.
media: Specific means of artistic communication including forms such as film, art, voice, music, sounds, text, programming etc.
MIDI: Musical Instrument Digital Interface. It is a series of digital bus standards for interfacing of digital musicalinstruments with computers.
morph: The special effect merging object attributes from multiple images into composite views


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ODB: Object Database. A database that can handle diverse and complex data including video images, audio, bit maps, graphics and unstructured text.
opacity: Term used to describe the amount an editing technique effects a given area of an image. Opacity in commonly expressed in percentages an can be used to simulatea watercolor wash or in sequence segments to fade or dissolve


paint:to apply color or gradient to an area of an image palette:A group of selected colors used by a graphics board. The EGA board uses a palette of 16 colors. VGA boards in some resolutions provide a palette of 256 colors.
PCI Local Bus:The Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) local bus PCMCIA:Personal Computer Memory Card International Association. PCMCIA is becoming the link between desktop and notebook computing for data transfer and storage. PCMCIA slots perform the same functions as expansion slots on PC compatibles.
Photo CD:Generic term used to refer to Digital images on compact disc (see Kodak Photo CD) pixel:Picture Element. The smallest element of a screen represented as a point of specific color and intensity level.
platform:The hardware and operating system that applications are run on premastering:In CD-ROM distribution, the process of preparing the data to be placed on the CD-ROM so that is optimally fits the CD-ROM format and limitations.
primary color:In a tri-stimulus color video system, one of the three colors mixed to produce an image. In additive color systems, the primary colors are red, green, and blue. In subtractive color systems, the primaries are cyan, magenta, and yellow. production:In video, refers to the process of creating programs. In more specific usage, production is the process of getting original video onto tape or film and ready for post- production.


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resampling: The practice of interpolating an image of one specification and producing an image of another specification from that interpolation.
resolution: Defines image quality of a display. It refers to the number of pixels available on a display. Resolution controls the level of detail that can be presented on a screen.
retouch: Digital image editing processes used to restore damaged photographs for reproduction
RLE: Run-Length Encoding:a data compression technique that records repeated data elements with the same value, which is coded once along with a count of the number of times it occurs.


scanning: The most common practice of encoding real images into digital form Accomplished by use of a scanner which passes an image sensor across the original
screen grabs: Common term for the capturing screen rasterization images and video stills to digital files. Can be preformed with software or hardware, but quality may vary between method used.
SCSI: Small Computer System Interface. The abbreviation is pronounced “scuzzy.” A connection that allows high-speed information transfer between the computer and any external devices at speeds in the range of 4 to 5 megabytes per second. This specification also allows multiple devices to be connected via addresses to a single port (receptacle).
SCSI-II: A specification developed to provide greater speed and performance. An SCSI-II connection provides transfer rates ranging from 10 to 40 megabytes per second.
selection: The term for indicating the desired area to be effected by editing.
sharpen: To increase contrast along object edges to improve image appearance.
SIMM: Single In-line Memory Module. A small narrow circuit board containing Random Access MemoryChips (the electronic devices that store data while your computer works with it). SIMMs plug into special slots inside the computer to give the computer extra memory.
special effects: Digital image manipulation techniques for enhancing quality or creating unusual appearances. Can also be used to remove undesirable image attributes.
spray: To paint with a diffused edge to simulate “air-brush” feathering
storyboard: A method of planning the content of a presentation by drawing sketches of each screen with notes about what happens in that scene.
substitution: the process of replacing colors in a image with colors or patterns on the pallet for the image. this is implemented during color format conversion and pallet correction
Syquest: A manufacturer of SCSI removable cartridge hard drives. this drive specification has been widely used in pre-press and publishing situations.


tablet: A pressure sensitive input device used in conjunction with a pen to edit digital images.
touch-screen: A display monitor that is pressure sensitive to touch and is often used as a multimedia control instead or in conjunction with a keyboard. Better authoring systems should have touch-screen interface functions built in their software. Touch-screen displays vary widely and can be accomplished with special overlays or can come as integral screens with built-in touch-screen capabilities. The best screens also feature z-axis control, which allows screen response at different rates depending on the level of pressure applied.
track: A sequence of contiguous data, the beginning, length, mode and end of which are defined in the table of contents, which is held in the Q subcode channel of the lead-in area of the disc. The two types of tracks currently defined are the CD-DA track according to the CD-ROM specification that is also used in CD-I. In CD-DA the length of a track is related to playing times between four seconds and 72 minutes.
tuning: The Group term for a number of image editing activities including color and grey balancing, hue & saturation, gamma, histogram, and contrast adjusting…etc.


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UART: Universal Asynchronous Receiver-Transmitter. An electronic circuit contained within the communications port(s) of the computer that decodes and encodes data in the fashion required by the specific machine for receiving and transmitting purposes. The UART also performs the actual data transmission to the communication device, once it has been encoded and is ready to send.
UPS: Uninterruptible Power Supply. A battery reserve system for computer power installed to supply power in the event of outage. These systems protect against data loss during power outage.


video capture: The term for converting analog video signal to digital stills and Motion files.


warp: A special effect sequence of morph images that simulate smooth transitions of dissimilar frames.
WYSBYGI: “What You See Before You Get it.” An extension of WYSIWYG interface design allowing the user to view and edit selected smaller areas from a preview dialog box prior to committing special effects with the processing load of only a portion of the entire file.
WYSIWYG: “What You See Is What You Get.” A working interface of many authoring systems where an author sees the screens as he develops them exactly as they will appear to the user.


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Bill Margeson
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CBL Data Recovery Services
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