What is an “Optical Disc Drive” ?

May 3, 2016

Optical Disc Drive (ODD) – In computing, it is an disk drive that uses laser light or electromagnetic waves within or near the visible light spectrum as part of the process of reading or writing data to or from optical discs. Some drives can only read from certain discs, but recent drives can both read and record, also called burners or writers. Compact disks, DVDs, and Blu-ray disks are common types of optical media which can be read and recorded by such drives. Optical disc drives that are no longer in production include CD-ROM drive, CD writer drive, and combo (CD-RW/DVD-ROM) drive. As of 2015, DVD writer drive is the most common for desktop PCs and laptops. There are also DVD-ROM drive, BD-ROM drive, Blu-ray Disc combo (BD-ROM/DVD±RW/CD-RW) drive, and Blu-ray Disc writer drive which are not so much demand in the market.

Optical disc drives are an integral part of standalone appliances such as CD players, VCD players, DVD players, Blu-ray disc players, DVD recorders, certain desktop video game consoles, such as Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One, and Nintendo Wii U, and certain portable video game consoles, such as Sony PlayStation Portable. They are also very commonly used in computers to read software and consumer media distributed on disc, and to record discs for archival and data exchange purposes. Floppy disk drives, with capacity of 1.44 MB, have been made obsolete: optical media are cheap and have vastly higher capacity to handle the large files used since the days of floppy discs, and the vast majority of computers and much consumer entertainment hardware have optical writers. USB flash drives, high-capacity, small, and inexpensive, are suitable where read/write capability is required.

Disc recording is restricted to storing files playable on consumer appliances (films, music, etc.), relatively small volumes of data (e.g., a standard DVD holds 4.7 gigabytes) for local use, and data for distribution, but only on a small scale; mass-producing large numbers of identical discs is cheaper and faster than individual recording.

Optical discs are used to back up relatively small volumes of data, but backing up of entire hard drives, as of 2015, typically containing many hundreds of gigabytes or even multiple terabytes, is less practical than with the smaller capacities previously available. Large backups are often made on external hard drives, as their price has dropped to a level making this viable; in professional environments magnetic tape drives are also used.

——————————————————————

Return To The Main Features Page

——————————————————————

Source: Wikipedia


What is a “Multi-Core Processor” ?

April 26, 2016

Multi-Core Processor – A single computing component with two or more independent actual processing units (called “cores”), which are the units that read and execute program instructions. The instructions are ordinary CPU instructions such as add, move data, and branch, but the multiple cores can run multiple instructions at the same time, increasing overall speed for programs amenable to parallel computing. Manufacturers typically integrate the cores onto a single integrated circuit die (known as a chip multiprocessor or CMP), or onto multiple dies in a single chip package.

Processors were originally developed with only one core. In the mid 1980s Rockwell International manufactured versions of the 6502 with two 6502 cores on one chip as the R65C00, R65C21, and R65C29, sharing the chip’s pins on alternate clock phases. Other multi-core processors were developed in the early 2000s by Intel, AMD and others.

Multi-core processors may have two cores (dual-core CPUs, for example, AMD Phenom II X2 and Intel Core Duo), three cores (tri-core CPUs, for example, AMD Phenom II X3), four cores (quad-core CPUs, for example, AMD Phenom II X4, Intel’s i5 and i7 processors), six cores (hexa-core CPUs, for example, AMD Phenom II X6 and Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition 980X), eight cores (octa-core CPUs, for example, Intel Xeon E7-2820 and AMD FX-8350), ten cores (deca-core CPUs, for example, Intel Xeon E7-2850), or more.

A multi-core processor implements multiprocessing in a single physical package. Designers may couple cores in a multi-core device tightly or loosely. For example, cores may or may not share caches, and they may implement message passing or shared-memory inter-core communication methods. Common network topologies to interconnect cores include bus, ring, two-dimensional mesh, and crossbar. Homogeneous multi-core systems include only identical cores, heterogeneous multi-core systems have cores that are not identical. Just as with single-processor systems, cores in multi-core systems may implement architectures such as VLIW, superscalar, vector, or multithreading.

Multi-core processors are widely used across many application domains including general-purpose, embedded, network, digital signal processing (DSP), and graphics (GPU).

The improvement in performance gained by the use of a multi-core processor depends very much on the software algorithms used and their implementation. In particular, possible gains are limited by the fraction of the software that can be run in parallel simultaneously on multiple cores; this effect is described by Amdahl’s law. In the best case, so-called embarrassingly parallel problems may realize speedup factors near the number of cores, or even more if the problem is split up enough to fit within each core’s cache(s), avoiding use of much slower main system memory. Most applications, however, are not accelerated so much unless programmers invest a prohibitive amount of effort in re-factoring the whole problem. The parallelization of software is a significant ongoing topic of research.

——————————————————————

Return To The Main Features Page

——————————————————————

Source: Wikipedia


What is a “Memory Stick” ?

April 19, 2016

Memory Stick – A removable flash memory card format, launched by Sony in October 1998, and is also used in general to describe the whole family of Memory Sticks. In addition to the original Memory Stick, this family includes the Memory Stick PRO, a revision that allows greater maximum storage capacity and faster file transfer speeds; Memory Stick Duo, a small-form-factor version of the Memory Stick (including the PRO Duo); and the even smaller Memory Stick Micro (M2). In December 2006, Sony added the Memory Stick PRO-HG, a high speed variant of the PRO to be used in high-definition video and still cameras. Memory Stick cards can be used in Sony PSP, Sony XDCAM EX camcorders via the MEAD-SD01 adapter. SanDisk and Lexar are among few third-party Memory Stick producers. Kingston offers universal microSD to Memory Stick Pro Duo adapters, but these are unofficial.

——————————————————————

Return To The Main Features Page

——————————————————————

Source: Wikipedia


What is a “MACRO” ?

April 12, 2016

MACRO (short for “macroinstruction”, from Greek μακρο- ‘long’) – In computer science it is a rule or pattern that specifies how a certain input sequence (often a sequence of characters) should be mapped to a replacement output sequence (also often a sequence of characters) according to a defined procedure. The mapping process that instantiates (transforms) a macro use into a specific sequence is known as macro expansion. A facility for writing macros may be provided as part of a software application or as a part of a programming language. In the former case, macros are used to make tasks using the application less repetitive. In the latter case, they are a tool that allows a programmer to enable code reuse or even to design domain-specific languages.

Macros are used to make a sequence of computing instructions available to the programmer as a single program statement, making the programming task less tedious and less error-prone. (Thus, they are called “macros” because a big block of code can be expanded from a small sequence of characters.) Macros often allow positional or keyword parameters that dictate what the conditional assembler program generates and have been used to create entire programs or program suites according to such variables as operating system, platform or other factors. The term derives from “macro instruction”, and such expansions were originally used in generating assembly language code.

——————————————————————

Return To The Main Features Page

——————————————————————

Source: Wikipedia


What is a “MAC Address” ?

April 5, 2016

MAC address (A media access control address or physical address) – A unique identifier assigned to network interfaces for communications on the physical network segment. MAC addresses are used as a network address for most IEEE 802 network technologies, including Ethernet and WiFi. Logically, MAC addresses are used in the media access control protocol sublayer of the OSI reference model.

MAC addresses are most often assigned by the manufacturer of a network interface controller (NIC) and are stored in its hardware, such as the card’s read-only memory or some other firmware mechanism. If assigned by the manufacturer, a MAC address usually encodes the manufacturer’s registered identification number and may be referred to as the burned-in address (BIA). It may also be known as an Ethernet hardware address (EHA), hardware address or physical address. This can be contrasted to a programmed address, where the host device issues commands to the NIC to use an arbitrary address. A network node may have multiple NICs and each NIC must have a unique MAC address.

MAC addresses are formed according to the rules of one of three numbering name spaces managed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE): MAC-48, EUI-48, and EUI-64. The IEEE claims trademarks on the names EUI-48 and EUI-64, in which EUI is an abbreviation for Extended Unique Identifier.

——————————————————————

Return To The Main Features Page

——————————————————————

Source: Wikipedia


What is “Linux” ?

March 29, 2016

Linux (pronounced Listeni/ˈlɪnəks/ LIN-əks or, less frequently, /ˈlaɪnəks/ LYN-əks) – A Unix-like and mostly POSIX-compliant computer operating system (OS) assembled under the model of free and open-source software development and distribution. The defining component of Linux is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on 5 October 1991 by Linus Torvalds. The Free Software Foundation uses the name GNU/Linux to describe the operating system, which has led to some controversy.

Linux was originally developed as a free operating system for personal computers based on the Intel x86 architecture, but has since been ported to more computer hardware platforms than any other operating system. Thanks to its dominance on smartphones, Android, which is built on top of the Linux kernel, has the largest installed base of all general-purpose operating systems. Linux, in its original form, is also the leading operating system on servers and other big iron systems such as mainframe computers and virtually all fastest supercomputers, but is used on only around 1.6% of desktop computers with Linux-based Chrome OS taking about 5% of the overall and nearly 20% of the sub-$300 notebook sales. Linux also runs on embedded systems, which are devices whose operating system is typically built into the firmware and is highly tailored to the system; this includes smartphones and tablet computers running Android and other Linux derivatives, TiVo and similar DVR devices, network routers, facility automation controls, televisions, video game consoles, and smartwatches.

The development of Linux is one of the most prominent examples of free and open-source software collaboration. The underlying source code may be used, modified and distributed – commercially or non-commercially – by anyone under the terms of its respective licenses, such as the GNU General Public License. Typically, Linux is packaged in a form known as a Linux distribution, for both desktop and server use. Some of the popular mainstream Linux distributions are Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora, openSUSE, Arch Linux and Gentoo, together with commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server distributions. Linux distributions include the Linux kernel, supporting utilities and libraries, and usually a large amount of application software to fulfill the distribution’s intended use.

Distributions oriented toward desktop use typically include a windowing system, such as X11, Mir or a Wayland implementation, and an accompanying desktop environment, such as GNOME or the KDE Software Compilation; some distributions may also include a less resource-intensive desktop, such as LXDE or Xfce. Distributions intended to run on servers may omit all graphical environments from the standard install, and instead include other software to set up and operate a solution stack such as LAMP. Because Linux is freely redistributable, anyone may create a distribution for any intended use.

——————————————————————

Return To The Main Features Page

——————————————————————

Source: Wikipedia


What is an “Intel Core” ?

March 22, 2016

Intel Core – Intel’s brand name for various mid-range to high-end consumer and business microprocessors. These processors displaced the existing mid-to-high end Pentium processors of the time, moving the Pentium to the entry level, and bumping the Celeron series of processors to low end. Identical or more capable versions of Core processors are also sold as Xeon processors for the server and workstation market.

As of 2015 the current lineup of Core processors included the Intel Core i7, Intel Core i5, Intel Core i3, and Core M.

——————————————————————

Return To The Main Features Page

——————————————————————

Source: Wikipedia


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 175 other followers

%d bloggers like this: