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ANSI Stands for American National Standards Institute and is the body responsible for establishing industry standards in, among other fields, computer electronics.


ATA Stands for AT Attachment and describes the standard for attaching devices to any AT style PC.


Block Mode A feature that allows multiple read or write commands to be processed in batches of up to 32 sectors at a time instead of sector by sector.


Bus A bus is a group of data, control and/or addressing lines that extend from device to device and act as a conduit for signals. Often the bus will be shared by several devices and a set of signals or a "protocol" is implemented to arbitrate who shall send and receive signals at any given time.


DAW Stands for Digital Audio Workstation. A computer whose function is devoted primarily to digital audio recording and production.


DMA Stands for Direct Memory Access. A system by which peripherals can transfer data to and from system RAM without the intervention of the CPU.


FAT Stands for File Allocation Table and is a table that the system builds on any disk to keep track of what sectors are bad, are in use and by what file and in what sequence. Damage to the FAT is catastrophic! DOS/Windows keeps two copies of the FAT on any disk just for safety.


FAT 16 DOS and Windows through version 95A only supported FAT 16. This system stored the FAT table in a 16 bit word map. Large drives were split into very large clusters so they could be mapped. Drive partitions were limited to just over 2 gig as a result.


FAT 32 Starting with Windows 95B, a 32 bit mapping system was applied to the FAT so cluster sizes could be kept smaller and very large drives could be mapped. The result is more efficient use of disk space because any entry in the directory is allocated space in clusters, not sectors.


Handshaking A term given to a data transfer protocol that requires both the talker and the listener to exchange signals that verify a data packet has been received error free before the next packet is sent. If needed, the sender will be asked to repeat a packet if it arrives corrupted.


IDE Stands for Integrated Drive Electronics. Common name given to the ATA disk drive format popularly used in PCs today. Usually connects directly to the Mother Board. EIDE is Enhanced IDE. Drives capable of bus mastering are EIDE drives.


I/O Stands for Input / Output. This is a term for situations where data is transfered to and/or from devices or a system.


ISA Stands for Industry Standard Architecture. Originally an 8 bit bus in the first PCs, it was quickly upgraded to 16 bits in the IBM AT. Still in use on modern mother boards, it is limited to slower throughput peripherals due to its inherently low transfer speeds.


LBA Stands for Logical Block Addressing, and allows the BIOS to remap a drive's geometry so drives larger than 504 MB to be configured. Requires BIOS support.


PCI Stands for Peripheral Component Interconnect and refers to a bus in modern PCs that allows high speed connections to plug-in cards and IDE drives. The new AGP connector now being used by a lot of graphics cards is, in fact, only an extension of the PCI bus..


PIO Stands for Programmed Input/Output. If your drives aren't set for DMA, then you can bet they are set for PIO mode 4.


RAID Stands for "Redundant Array of Inexpensive Drives". This system clusters a group of disk drives together that will all hold the exact same information so as to guard against down time due to the failure of any one drive.


Retries If a device is attempting to communicate over a channel, but the receiver at the other end signals back that the data was corrupt, the sender then "retries" the transmission. Constant retries due to bad connection will eat away at otherwise good throughput specifications.


SCSI Stands for Small Computer System Interface. Considered a high performance interface for disk drives, DC drives scanners, and other peripherals.


Serial SCSI There are several attempts being made to standardize a high speed serial communications protocol to be used between a PC and peripheral devices such as cameras, keyboards, printers, etc. Aside from SCSI, the USB port and "FireWire" are also jockeying for acceptance.


SMART Stands for Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology. Allows drives to do sophisticated self diagnostics and auto correct when possible and report faults to the OS when necessary.


System Latency This kind of  latency is not to be confused with disk drive rotational latency. An example of SYSTEM LATENCY is the amount of time it takes changes in the user interface of a DAW application (such as  clicking a SOLO button) to translate into a change in the audio output.


UI Stands for User Interface and usually refers to the combination of the display, keyboard and pointing device (mouse) that allow the user to interface with the program. Can also refer to just the graphical information being displayed by the program.


When the number of devices that a SCSI controller can access is mentioned, it is understood that the TOTAL number of devices must include the controller itself as a device. Therefore, SCSI-1 can access 8 devices, but only 7 remain when the controller itself is counted. The same goes for wide SCSI that can access 16 devices; the controller and then 15 more.


"Command-Tag Queuing and Asynchronous I/O" by Nick Stam (c) 1997 Ziff-Davis Inc. from PC Magazine On Line.


"SCSI Just Keeps On Rolling - How SCSI Works" by Neil Randall (c) 1998 Ziff-Davis Inc. from PC Magazine On Line.


"SCSI Remains the I/O Interface of Choice for Workstations: An Analysis Comparing SCSI and Ultra DMA" a White Paper prepared by the SCSI Trade Association January 1998 by Thomas W. Martin and Andy Scholl


"SCSI vs. EIDE: The Real Story" by Nick Stam (c) 1997 Ziff-Davis Inc. from PC Magazine On Line.


"The PC Guide" Version 1.10.1 Aug 15, 1999 by Charles M. Kozierok.


"Troubleshooting Common System Configuration Issues - Windows 95/98 INF Update Utility - Bus Master IDE Driver for Windows 95" Revision 2.1 August 1998 by Sandeep Brahmarouthu and Alex Chung. published by Intel Corp.


"Ultra2 SCSI (LVD): The Low-Risk, High-Performance Solution" (c) 1999 by Quantum Inc.


"Ultra ATA/66 Extends Existing Technology While Increasing Performance and Data Integrity" (c)1999 Western Digital Corporation.


"Ultra SCSI White Paper" (c) 1999 by Quantum Inc.


"Virtual Memory Optimization" by Josť M Catena April 1998 published by


X3T9.2 committee's draft ANSI specification of the SCSI-2 standard, revision 10L. (approved on January 31, 1994).Transcription by Gary Bartlett Dec. 1994.


Cakewalk Music Software web site


Gadget Labs web site


Intel Corp Web Site.


Microsoft Web Site


Quantum Inc. Web Site


Seagate Web Site


SCSI Trade Association Web Site


Weboedia, Online Dictionary and Search Engine for Computer and Internet technology.


Western Digital Web Site