Word of the Day: WiMAX

WiMAX is a wireless communications standard designed for creating metropolitan area networks (MANs). It is similar to the Wi-Fi standard, but supports a far greater range of coverage. While a Wi-Fi signal can cover a radius of several hundred feet, a fixed WiMAX station can cover a range of up to 30 miles. Mobile WiMAX stations can broadcast up to 10 miles.

While Wi-Fi is a good wireless Internet solution for home networks and coffee shops, it is impractical for larger areas. In order to cover a large area, multiple Wi-Fi repeaters must be set up at consistent intervals. For areas that span several miles, this is a rather inefficient method to provide wireless access and typically requires lots of maintenance. WiMAX, on the other hand, can cover several miles using a single station. This makes it much easier to maintain and offers more reliable coverage.

WiMAX is also known by its technical name, “IEEE 802.16,” which is similar to Wi-Fi’s technical specification of 802.11. It is considered the second generation broadband wireless access (BWA) standard and will most likely be used along with Wi-Fi, rather than replace it. Since WiMAX has such as large signal range, it will potentially be used to provide wireless Internet access to entire cities and other large areas. In fact, some proponents of WiMAX predict it will eventually spread Internet access to all parts of the globe.

– definition from TechTerms

Word of the Day: VFAT

Stands for “Virtual File Allocation Table.” Older Windows operating systems (Windows ME and earlier) used a file system called “FAT” or “FAT32.” The file system is what the operating system uses to organize and access files on the hard drive. VFAT, introduced with Windows 95, was an improvement to the basic FAT file system, allowing more information to be stored for each file. While the FAT file system can only store 8 characters for each file name, VFAT allows for file names up to 255 characters in length. Personally, I use the term VFAT to refer to the size of my cat.

– definition from TechTerms

Word of the Day: Sync

“Sync” is short for synchronize. When you sync a device, such as a cell phone, PDA, or iPod, you synchronize it with data on your computer. This is typically done by connecting the device to your computer via a USB or wireless Bluetooth connection. For example, you might sync the address book stored on your computer with your cell phone to update the contacts. If you have an iPod, you may connect it to your computer to sync songs, videos, and other data using Apple iTunes.

When you sync a device with your computer, it typically updates both device and the computer with the most recent information. This is also referred to as “merging” the data. For example, if you have added a phone number to your phone since the last time you synced it with your computer, that number will be added to your computer’s address book. Similarly, any numbers entered into the computer’s address book since the last sync will be added to the phone. Most syncing programs also remove entries that have been deleted on either the device or the computer since the last sync.

Since many devices can be synced with a single computer, the computer is often referred to as the “hub” for syncing portable electronics. For example, you might be able to sync an iPod, Blackberry, and PDA using the same address book on your computer. However, you may need to use a different syncing program for each device, since most use a proprietary software utility to sync with the computer. Common syncing programs include iTunes, The Missing Sync, Palm Desktop, and iSync.

– definition from TechTerms

Word of the Day: OLAP

Stands for “Online Analytical Processing.” OLAP allows users to analyze database information from multiple database systems at one time. While relational databases are considered to be two-dimensional, OLAP data is multidimensional, meaning the information can be compared in many different ways. For example, a company might compare their computer sales in June with sales in July, then compare those results with the sales from another location, which might be stored in a different database.

In order to process database information using OLAP, an OLAP server is required to organize and compare the information. Clients can analyze different sets of data using functions built into the OLAP server. Some popular OLAP server software programs include Oracle Express Server and Hyperion Solutions Essbase. Because of its powerful data analysis capabilities, OLAP processing is often used for data mining, which aims to discover new relationships between different sets of data.

– definition from TechTerms

 

Word of the Day: Keystroke

A keystroke is typing one character on a keyboard (not stroking your keyboard like a cat). Every time you hit a key, you perform a keystroke. Therefore, 5400 keystrokes in one hour means hitting 5400 keys in one hour, or 90 keys a minute (5400 ÷ 60 minutes).

Sometimes keystrokes per hour (KSPH) or keystrokes per minute (KSPM) are used to measure typing speed instead of words per minute (WPM). After all, typing the word “hi” 50 times doesn’t take quite as long as typing “Nebuchadnezzar” 50 times.

– definition from TechTerms

Word of the Day: Keylogger

A keylogger is a program that records the keystrokes on a computer. It does this by monitoring a user’s input and keeping a log of all keys that are pressed. The log may be saved to a file or even sent to another machine over a network or the Internet.

Keylogger programs are often deemed spyware because they usually run without the user knowing it. They can be maliciously installed by hackers to spy on what a user is typing. By examining the keylog data, it may be possible to find private information such as a username and password combination. Therefore, keyloggers can be a significant security risk if they are unknowingly installed on a computer.

The best way to protect yourself from keylogger programs is to install anti-virus or security software that warns you when any new programs are being installed. You should also make sure no unauthorized people have access to your computer. This is especially true in work environments. You can also periodically check the current processes running on your computer to make sure no keyloggers or other malware programs are active. While it is unlikely that you have a keylogger programs installed on your computer, it is definitely worth it to check.

– definition from TechTerms

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