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|Alphanumeric||A mixture of letters and numbers – often used in|
|Applications programme (program)||Programmes which carry out a particular task such as|
word processing packages, databases and spreadsheets.
|ASCII||American Standard Code for Information Interchange.|
A standard way of assigning numerical codes to characters and control codes.
|Background printing||Printing which takes place whilst allowing the computer|
to carry out another task.
|Bar codes||Printed codes made from vertical lines of different|
thickness used for fast error free data entry.
|Baud Rate ||A measure of the speed of data transmission used by|
serial communications between printer and computer. When setting up a serial
interface the baud rate settings on the computer and printer must be the same.
|Bidirectional printing||Printing in which the print head goes from left to|
right only on every other line – on other lines it does from right to left. This
increases the speed of printing as the head prints in both directions.
|Binary||The base 2 number system which uses only the two digits|
0 and 1.
|Bit||A Binary digit – the smallest numeric unit used by|
printers and computers.
|bps||Bits per second – a measure of the speed of data|
|Buffer||An area within the electronics of the printers in which|
data, sent from the computer, is stored before it is printed. Also known as printer
|Byte||A group of eight bits, which together make a unit which|
can be used to represent a character of number.
|CMYK||Colour printing based around cyan, magenta, yellow and|
|Condensed printing||Printing in which each character is narrower than|
normal – useful for fitting wide tables or spreadsheets onto the paper.
|Configure||To prepare a piece of equipment or a programme so that|
it will work with other software or equipment.
|cpi||Characters per inch.|
|cps||Characters per second|
|Daisy wheel printer||A type of letter quality printer that uses a round|
removable print head made from a spoked disk with a pre-formed character at the end of
each spoke (daisywheel)
|Default||Settings that take effect when equipment is turned on.|
|Desktop publishing||Using a computer to format pages of text and graphics|
rather than doing the same job manually with paste and scissors.
|Dot matrix printer||A printer which creates characters from patterns of|
dots. Usually used to refer to serial impact and ink-jet printers although laser
printers are also dot matrix printers.
|DOS||Disk Operating System|
|dpi||Dots per inch|
|Expansion board||A type of circuit board which allows the user to fit|
|Impact printer||A type of printer which forms characters by the impact|
of pins or pre-formed characters through a ribbon on to the paper.
|Ink jet printer||A type of dot matrix printer which forms characters by|
squirting tiny drops of ink onto the paper.
|Interface||The electrical connection between the printer and the|
computer – usually serial or parallel.
|Jumper||A moveable connection between two parts of an|
|Justify||To print text with even left and right margins – each|
line of text is the same length.
|Kb||Kilobyte. 1024 bytes|
|Laser printer||A non-impact page printer which uses both laser and|
electronic copying technology. Laser light is used to create an image on a
photosensitive drum which then attracts toner powder; the toner is then deposited
onto the paper and fixed in place by heat.
|LCD||Liquid Crystal Display. A visual display where|
each character is formed from segments which darken when a current is passed through.
|Line printer||A printer which prints an entire line of characters as|
|Macro||A method of storing groups of settings that can be|
executed with a single key press.
|Mb||Megabyte. 1,048,576 bytes or 1024 Kb|
|OCR||Optical character recognition. Recognising|
characters from a scanned document and converting them into a digital form suitable for
use within a computer.
|Operating system||The programme which controls the flow of data in a|
computer and its peripherals.
|ppm||Pages per minute. A measure of how fast a printer|
can print each page.
|Parallel Interface||A type of interface that allows parallel transmission|
of data when a number of bits, usually a byte, are transmitted at the same time.
|Parity||A technique for detecting errors in data sent to the|
printer via a serial interface.
|Peripheral||Any device such as a printer or display connected to a|
|Pixel||Smallest displayed unit of a bit-mapped image.|
|RGB||Red, Green, Blue|
|Serial printer||A printer that prints one character at a time.|
|Spooling||Temporary storage of data from a computer before|
sending to a printer.
|WYSIWYG||What You See Is What You Get.|
The ability of some applications programmes to provide an accurate screen