Friday, 15 February 2019

Interesting Computing Terms from an Old Textbook

I got my hands on the text book, Computer Science for Advanced Level (4th edition) by Ray Bradley. This is from the For The Love of Reading project. Expectations : there is a world of information out there, you can't know it all, you can't read it all, you can't remember it all SO you have to be efficient, productive, selective and prioritise your learning and unlearning. Remember, garbage in garbage out (what up computer science reference). So my approach with this book was to go through the index and glossary and see what interesting terms stood out to me. I am listing them below with short paraphrasing with the help of what I found on the internet. Next I will skip through the chapters and see what else I find. Those I might share on social media from time to time.

WANG Computers - Started off in research and development (Wang Laboratories) then as a maker of digital calculators, made one of first desktops (WANG 2200), was a key player in the office computer segment, among other things.

WebWhacker - An early offline browser. Basically downloading pages and links for offline use.

Transputers - TRANSistor comPUTER. A family of chips instead of one complex processor. Each chip (building block) being a microcontroller that can boot and operate by itself.

Sibelius - Music Notaton software used by the most composers, arrangers, publishers and educators.

Point to point protocol - Communications protocol for direct communication between two nodes in networking.

Phonemes - Distinct units of sounds in a specified language. Useful for creating computer generated speech.

Flow soldering - Soldering of printed circuit boards by moving them over a flowing wave of molten solder in a solder bath; Also known as wave soldering.

Data gloves - For tactile sensing and fine-motion control in robotics and virtual reality.

BORIS - Beginner Optimised Reduced Instruction Set microprocessor. A teaching aid to explain how the microprocessor works.

Soundex - A phonetic algorithm for indexing of words by their pronunciation so you can perform a "sounds like" search on a database.

SID - Standard Idiot Test. A test to find out if a layman can use your device or system without any expert knowledge or training.

LEP - Light Emitting Plastic. My search turned up "light emitting polymer" which led to thin and bendable displays. This was emerging tech back when this book was published (1999).

Autostereogram - An autostereogram is a single-image stereogram, designed to create the visual illusion of a three-dimensional scene from a two-dimensional image.

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