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Zeus Lexicon

Copyright © 1996-1997. Zeus Productions. All Rights Reserved.

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D - 1. the fourth letter of the alphabet. 2. the drive letter usually used on a PC for the second hard drive or the CD-ROM drive. The floppy drives are ordinarily referred to as A and B and the first hard drive is referred to as C (at least in the U.S.). 3. the Roman numeral for 500. 4. n. a single hexadecimal digit used to represent the decimal number 13.

D2 - a bad movie from Disney

D3 - Macromedia Director version 3.0, 3.1, or 3.1.3. Refer to the TechNote, "Director Version History".

D4 - Macromedia Director version 4.0, 4.0.1, 4.0.2, 4.0.3, or 4.0.4. Refer to the TechNote, "Director Version History".

D5 - Macromedia Director version 5.0 or 5.0.1. Refer to the TechNote, "Director Version History". Code-named Spike.

D6 - Macromedia Director version 6, shipped June 1997. Refer to the TechNote, "Director Version History". Code-named Hopper.

DAC - (pronounced "dack") See Digital-to-Analog Converter. See ADAC, digital. 2. A one-time maker of DacPlus software accounting packages.

daemon - 1. (classical mythology) a. a god. b. a subordinate deity, as the genius of a place or a man's attendant spirit. 2. an automated program that handles a specific task, especially under UNIX. See mailer daemon, list server.

daisy-chain - 1. n. a series of devices connected one to the next. See SCSI. 2. v. to construct such a chain.

Dali - Salvador Dali, Spanish painter, father of virtual surreality and other illegitimate children.

data fork - the portion of a Macintosh file that contains the data, as opposed to the resource fork. Windows files only have data forks.

DCR - the file extension for Director files compressed with Afterburner. See DIR, DXR.

DDE - see Dynamic Data Exchange.

deBabelizer - a utility from Equilibrium Systems which converts between dozens of graphic formats, and creates optimized custom palettes. Available for both the Macintosh and Windows (new).

debug - to diagnose and fix a problem or bug, usually regarding a computer program. Refer to the TechNote, "Trouble-shooting and Debugging".

DEC - (pronounced "deck") see Digital Equipment Corporation.

decimal - 1. a number in the base ten number system, using the digits 0 through 9. See binary, hexadecimal, ASCII, EBCDIC. 2. the fractional portion of, or an entire, floating-point number.

Deep Blue - IBM's chess-playing computer employing parallel processing. Recently defeated reigning world (human) chess champion, Garry Kasparov. See Big Blue.

de-fragment - to optimize a fragmented hard drive by reorganizing each file into contiguous blocks.

DELL - PC clone manufacturer.

DeskJet - a family of inkjet printers from HP. See LaserJet.

desktop - the graphical portion of the OS, which fills the monitor and allows the user to perform various operations such as viewing files and launching applications. See Desktop Folder, Finder, rebuilding your desktop and Program Manager.

Desktop Database - a special hidden Macintosh system file that contains a list of all installed applications and the File Types that they can interpret. It is a good idea to rebuild your desktop periodically.

Desktop Folder - a special folder in the Mac OS which contains items on the desktop. Refer to the TechNote, "Path and File Specifications".

desktop publishing - so-called because you can publish quality materials with a desktop computer and laser printer. See DTP, LaserWriter.

desktop, rebuild - to rebuild the Desktop Database, hold down the Option and Command keys simultaneously while restarting your Macintosh.

device driver - software that tells the computer to talk how to talk to a specific hardware component, such as a mouse or CD-ROM drive. Device drivers under Windows are listed in the CONFIG.SYS file and loaded each time the computer is started. Device drivers on the Macintosh are a type of Extension. See interface.

DfM - see Director for Macintosh.

DfW - see Director for Windows.

digital - a discrete value, that can be represented numerically. A light switch is either on or off (i.e. digital), but a dimmer switch is continuously variable (i.e. analog). See DAC, ADAC, digitize.

Digital Equipment Corporation - once the second largest computer manufacturer in the world, now a company searching for a future. Based in Massachusetts and founded by Kenneth Olsen. Often called DEC.

Digital Signal Processor - a chip on the sound card that offloads complex processing operations to alleviate the load on the CPU. See DSP.

digital-to-analog converter - an electronic device which converts a digital signal, such as music from a CD, to an analog signal, such as voltages to create audio via a speaker. See DAC, ADAC. 2. Also called "D-to-A" converter. See drop date.

digital video - a computerized video, usually in QuickTime or AVI format.

digitize - to convert from an analog signal to a discrete computer-readable numeric signal, especially to capture audio or video. See digital.

DIR - the file extension for unprotected Director files, also known as Director "movies". See DCR, DXR.

direct memory access - the ability of the CPU to allow some other component, such as a sound card, direct access to a portion of memory. Proper DMA settings are necessary to avoid distorted sound or a computer crash.

Director - 1. Martin Scorcese 2. a multimedia authoring tool from Macromedia. Refer to the TechNotes, "Director Version History" and "Choosing a Multimedia Authoring Tool". Formerly Macromind Director. See D3, D4, D5, D6, DCR, DXR, DIR, CST, Lingo, DMS.

Director for Macintosh - the Macintosh version of Macromedia Director, aka DfM. Refer to the TechNote, "Director Version History".

Director for Windows - the Windows version of Macromedia Director, aka DfW. Refer to the TechNote, "Director Version History".

DIRECTOR.INI - an INI file used by Director for Windows. See LINGO.INI, and refer to the TechNote, "The DIRECTOR.INI and LINGO.INI Files".

DirectX - a library of video drivers for Windows 95 used to accelerate graphics performance. No direct relation to Director. Nearly impossible to uninstall, see virus. External programs which are conflicting with Director due to their use of DirectX may benefit from zLaunch. See ActiveX.

disable - to render inoperative. See Extensions (Disabled), Control Panels (Disabled), comment.

discreet - showing prudence or circumspection. Contrast tabloids.

discrete - consisting of distinct or individual parts. See digital.

discussion group - a computer-based area for people to discuss a topic of common interest. See mailing list, newsgroup, message board, post.

disk image - a complete "copy" of a disk, whether it be a floppy disk, hard disk or CD-ROM. A disk image is often prepared on a hard drive before being burned onto a CD-ROM.

disk operating system - see DOS, operating system.

Disinfectant - 1. Lysol; 2. anti-virus software for the Macintosh. See Links.

disinterested - unbiased, as in "the judge seated a disinterested jury." Often used mistakenly to mean uninterested.

Disney - the Walt Disney Co., purveyors of animated motion pictures such as Winnie-The-Pooh and Toy Story. See Disney Interactive, Pixar, Gopher.

Disney Interactive - interactive division of Disney, perpetrators of the Lion King CD.

Display Postscript - n. a resolution-independent standard for displaying text on a monitor, as opposed to a printed page, using Postscript. Most notably provided with the NeXT cube.

distribution list - a type of mailing list in which only the list owner can post messages to the list members. Refer to the TechNote, "Internet Mailing Lists", and join Zeus Productions' mailing list.

DiVola, Crazy Joe - character on Seinfeld, who gets crazy when he doesn't take his medication. See Kramer, YoYo Ma.

DLL - (pronounced "Dee-Ell-Ell", not "dull") Dynamic Link Library, a utility that adds functionality to the Windows OS or to an individual application. Some DLLs come with Windows, others are purchased commercially or developed custom. See Xtra, XObject, DLLglue, external.

DLLglue - a utility from Macromedia which allows some DLLs to be used from within Director, even if they were not specifically written for such usage. See Xtras, XObjects.

DMA - Direct Memory Access.

DMS - Director Multimedia Studio.

DMV - a black hole

DMZ - the DeMilitarized Zone between North Korea and South Korea.

DNC - Democratic National Committee

DNS - Domain Name Server.

document - 1. to write instructions on how to do something. See documentation. 2. a file containing data that is used in conjunction with an application. For example, a text document, or a spreadsheet. See File Type, Creator Code, stationery, document-centric. 3. a piece or paper (arcane)

documentation - something which people rarely read, and only slightly less rarely contains useful information. Zeus Productions strives to make their manuals actually useful so that both we and our customers can spend more time in development and less in technical support. Documentation can mean the difference between a useful product and a nightmare. Zeus Productions proudly offers excellent documentation for our products, available in the Documentation Center. See RTFM.

document-centric - adj. something with a document as its central focus. zOpen for Windows is document-centric, as it is primarily designed to open and print documents, whereas zLaunch for Mac and Windows is application-centric. See user-centric.

domain - an internet entity, such as an , commercial enterprise, educational institution, governmental agency, military agency, internet service provider (.net), not-for-profit organization, or foreign server (.uk, .ca, .jp, etc.) See dot.

domain name server - the physical computer which handles requests sent to a domain. See DNS.

DOS - Disk Operating System. 1. an operating system originally written by Microsoft, and used on IBM-compatible PCs from 1981 to present, but largely replaced by Windows 3.1 and Windows 95 as the OS of choice for the PC platform. See MS-DOS, PC-DOS, DR-DOS, CONFIG.SYS, AUTOEXEC.BAT, drive letter, Windows, eight-dot-three, EXE, FAT. 2. the operating system used on Apple II computers. No relation to definition 1.

DOS format - a floppy disk, CD, hard disk or file, which can be read or written on a DOS computer is said to be in DOS format. See Macintosh format.

dot - a period (.) that is used to separate the extension in file names (see eight-dot-three), domain names and e-mail addresses (pronounced "dot", as in "dot com", not "period"). See edu, gov, mil, net, org.

dots per inch - the resolution of a printer, monitor or graphic is often given in dots per inch. Common resolutions are 72 dpi (Macintosh screen), 300 dpi (ink-jet printers), 600 dpi (laser printers).

dot pitch - 1. what a curve ball looks like from the nosebleed seats. 2. a measure of resolution, usually the spacing between adjacent pixels on a monitor. The lower the dot pitch, the clearer the monitor. Quality monitors have a .28 mm dot pitch or better, such as .25 mm.

down - the state of being inoperable, such as "the system is down, so let's go shoot some hoops." See off-line, on-line, up.

download - 1. v. to retrieve information from a remote computer, such as a web site or ftp site. See upload. 2. n. a file or files that have been downloaded.

dpi - 1. Dolts Per Idiot (1:1) 2. Dots Per Inch

DR-DOS - a variant of DOS.

DRIP - 1. Dividend ReInvestment Plan - reinvesting the dividends earned on a stock to buy more of the stock directly from the company for little or no commission. 2. your leaking faucet. 3. Bill Gates.

drive letter - under DOS and Windows, each floppy drive, hard drive, CD-ROM, remote server drive or other drive is indicated by a letter followed by a colon, such as "A:", "B:", "C:" or "D:".

driver - a low-level program which allows applications to communicate with the OS or the hardware. See device driver.

driver conflict- 1. a situation in which one or more drivers are incompatible with each other or some other component of a system. The solution is to eliminate any unneeded driver(s) or upgrade the offending component(s). See Extensions Manager. 2. an argument over golf clubs. See conflict.

droid - a robot. See C3PO, R2D2.

drop date - 1. the date by which you must drop a class at MIT in order for the grade not to appear on your transcript. You can then take the class again the next semester for a new grade. See D-to-A converter. 2. an appointment to meet Uncle Cid.

DSP - Digital Signal Processor.

DTP - DeskTop Publishing.

DXR - the file extension for protected Director files, also known as Director "movies". Protected files can not be opened in Director, but they can be played back from a Projector. See DCR, DIR.

dynamic - adj. changeable or occurring on-the-fly. Dynamic operations are more flexible in that they can react to run-time situations, but also may be more difficult to program and more time-consuming at run-time. Contrast static, constant.

Dynamic Data Exchange - a method for exchanging data between Windows applications, see DDE, OLE, ActiveX.

Dynamic Link Library - see DLL.

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Copyright © 1996-1997. Zeus Productions. All Rights Reserved.

(This page last revised August 7, 1997)