Glossary - Index A
ACR: Audio Communications Riser - a slot that is only used by large OEMs to add cheap devices to their computers. Since ACR devices are software based, they often times sap a lot of CPU resources.
ADSL: Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line - Like ISDN, ADSL uses standard phone lines to deliver high-speed data communications. But while ISDN's transmission speed is limited to 64 kbps, ADSL technology can deliver upstream (from the user) speeds of 640 kbps and downstream (to the user) speeds of more than 6 mbps. Even better, ADSL uses the portion of a phone line's bandwidth not utilized by voice, allowing for simultaneous voice and data transmission.
AGP: Accelerated Graphics Port - Brown slot located nearest to the processor on most motherboards. AGP ports are used exclusivly for graphics cards and are set back and keyed differently so that other expansion cards will not fit in them.
AMR: Audio Modem Riser - like the ACR, AMR's are extremely low cost software devices that can do a host of functions. Since they are software based, they use quite a bit of CPU resources.
Anti Alaising: The method in which jagged lines in 3d enviroments (easily seen in the horizon of games) are removed and smoothed out for a picture that is easier on the eyes.
API: Application Program Interface - The API is a set of functions that programmers use to develop software for specific purposes or to interface with other software. For example, the windows api allows programmers to develop software for windows. The api for a graphics suite would allow programmers to develop software for that graphics suite.
ASCII: American Standard Code for Information Interchange - The ASCII set of 128 characters includes letters, numbers, punctuation, and control codes (such as a character that marks the end of a line). Each letter or other character is represented by a number: an uppercase A, for example, is the number 65, and a lowercase z is the number 122. Most operating systems use the ASCII standard, except for Windows NT, which uses the suitably larger and newer Unicode standard.
Asic: Application Specific Integrated Circuit - ASIC is a custom microchip designed for a specific application.
AT Power connector: Mother Board Connects for an AT power supply.
ATX Power Connector: ATX - AT Extended form factor. Referrs to a standard for motherboard configuration and layout called the ATX Motherboard Specification. The AtX power connector replaced the older standard and allows the power supply to be turned on or off by the computer itself, rather than just by a physical switch.