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Zeus Lexicon

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

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B - 1. the second letter of the alphabet. 2. the drive letter usually used on a PC for the second floppy drive. The first floppy drive is ordinarily referred to as A and the hard drives start at C (at least in the U.S.) 3. n. a single hexadecimal digit used to represent the decimal number 11.

Baby Ruth - a candy bar often mistakenly thought to be named after George Herman "Babe" Ruth, but actually named for President Grover Cleveland's baby daughter Ruth. See Reggie, Oh Henry!

BackStage - a database-driven web site management tool from Macromedia.

BAE - Bruce A. Epstein, the author of this glossary, and founder of Zeus Productions.

BAK - Back At Keyboard, a common chat session abbreviation indicating that you have returned from a temporary absence. See AFK.

Barney - 1. Fred Flintstone's sidekick. See Betty. 2. the Mesozoic Antichrist.

Basic - a simple programming language, often interpreted, rather than compiled. See Visual Basic, C, FORTRAN, Lingo.

BAT - the file extension for DOS batch files.

batch file - a file containing a series of commands to be performed in sequence. Common in DOS. See AUTOEXEC.BAT, BAT.

BCD - Binary-Coded Decimal. See EBCDIC.

Beatles, The - famous British rock band originating in Liverpool. See John Lennon, Brian Epstein, Flaming Pie, Apple, LSD, Mackintosh.

Beer Pong - the Sport of Kings.

behavior - 1. a feature or attribute of an object, such as a method of a parent script. The behaviors of an object are the functions it supports which can be used to manipulate the object. For example, if a "dog" object had a "sound" behavior, it might cause the dog to bark when called. See OOP. 2. the operation of a computer program. See well-behaved.
beta - 1. n. the second milestone of software development, a beta version includes most functionality, (hopefully) without substantial bugs or unimplemented features remaining. See alpha, beta test, gold master. 2. adj. characterized by an unreliable nature, as in, "Don't rely on beta software." 3. n. a deadline, as in, "We'll never make beta".

Beta - a video tape standard, eclipsed by the inferior VHS standard in the consumer market, but used for high quality video capture. See Hi8.

beta test - to thoroughly test a software product in order to discover, and hopefully remedy any bugs. See beta.

Betty - 1. See Archie, Gopher, Jughead, Veronica. 2. Betty Rubble. See Barney. 3. A cute chick.

Big Blue - IBM. See Deep Blue.

binary - 1. v. representable by two states, either on or off. 2. n. the "base two" number system. See bit, decimal, hexadecimal, ASCII, EBCDIC. 3. n. an executable program file.

binary-compatible - adj. identical and compatible across one or more platforms. Director, DIR, DXR, DCR and other data files are binary-compatible on both Mac and Windows meaning that identical files can be used on both platforms. Xtras, XObjects and Projectors are NOT binary-compatible and must be unique for each platform.

BinHex - 1. n. a file format used for data transfers on the internet. A BinHexed file usually has a ".hqx" extension. If you open a BinHexed file in a text editor, it should indicate "This file must be decoded with BinHex version x.x". BinHexed files are as much as 50% larger than the original file, but can preserve the file's format when downloading. BinHexing a file adds a wrapper which prevents errors when shuffling between UNIX servers. 2. v. to encode or decode a BinHex file.

BIOS - Basic Input/Output System - computer code contained in ROM that is used to boot up PCs. Popular brands include Phoenix BIOS.

birth - 1. n. a special method used in Director 4 to instantiate a child object. The birth method returned an instance of the object and was called before calling the object's other methods. The new method replaces the birth method in Director 5. 2. v. the create a child object. 3. n. a process whereby a baby is passed through a surprisingly small opening.

bit - a single Binary digIT representing an on/off state, as indicated by a zero (off) or one (on). There are eight bits in a byte, and four to a nibble. See hexadecimal.

bite - 1. lunch 2. the expected result of petting a pit bull. 3. See byte, nibble.

bitmap - a graphic in which each pixel is specified individually. See BMP, pixel-based. Contrast vector-based.

black - 1. a color (usually occupying the last position (index 255) in a color palette) with an RGB value of (0,0,0). When performing a Fade to White with the palette channel under Windows, Director will not fade black pixels to white. Use an off-black color instead. 2. a color included in the CMYK specification to provide deeper blacks than is otherwise possible.

black box - 1. the airplane data and cockpit voice recorders, which are actually painted orange. 2. anything which accepts input and outputs a result, and can be used without regard or knowledge of its internal working, such as a computer module. See encapsulation.

block - 1. a unit of storage on a hard drive. A file may span multiple blocks. 2. a contiguous amount of RAM. See fragment, the freeBlock, de-fragment.

Blood, Sweat, Code - the Code Warrior's credo.

blue screen - 1. a background used in chroma key compositing. 2. what Windows displays when it crashes. Also BSOD.

BMP - a common graphic (BitMaP) file format (pronounced "Bee-Em-Pee" not "bimp") under Windows, also used on the Macintosh. See PIC, PCT, PICT, TIFF.

BMUG - Berkeley Macintosh User's Group, a large user group which publishes books on ResEdit, AppleScript, and a large semi-annual newsletter that contains product suggestions and reviews.

body - 1. the message portion of an e-mail. Some mailing lists require that commands be placed in the body of an e-mail message addressed to the list server. See subject line. 2. an HTML tag containing the main portion of an HTML document. 3. Jesse "The Body" Ventura, professional wrestler and actor ("Predator"). Favorite quote: "I ain't got time to bleed."

boot - 1. n. a type of shoe. 2. v. to start up, short for "bootstrap". A computer is usually booted from a program stored in ROM. See boot drive.

boot drive - (also boot disk) the computer disk which contains the operating system, and is used as the "master drive" on a computer. The Macintosh boot drive is called the Startup Disk. The PC boot drive is ordinarily assigned the drive letter C, but in foreign countries it may be different.

Brinkley, Christie - supermodel and ex-wife of Billy Joel. Virtual reality fantasy girl in classic episode of "Mad About You". See David Brinkley, Carol Alt.

Brinkley, David - aged news commentator. Unpopular choice for virtual reality fantasy in classic episode of "Mad About You". See Christie Brinkley.

browser - 1. n. software that helps you navigate large amounts of data. An image browser might offer quick access to a large database of pictures. A web browser provides a way to access text, graphics and audio on the World Wide Web. The term "browser" commonly refers to a web browser. See File Explorer, MIE, Netscape. 2. n. a tire-kicker in a department store.

Bruce the Moose - Bruce A. Epstein

brush palette - a floating windoid that lets you select or configure the paint brush in a painting program or Director's Paint window. See palette.

BSOD - Blue Screen of Death, what Windows NT displays when it crashes.

BTW - By The Way, a common e-mail abbreviation.

bug - 1. an insect; 2. an error in a computer program, see debug, anomaly, outstanding issue, unverified report, feature, beta test.

Burgess, Rob - president of Macromedia. See Bud Colligan.

bus - 1. a big yellow vehicle carrying juvenile delinquents. 2. an electronic computer pathway over which data travels. See SCSI, GPIB, HPIB, IDE.

Byte - a magazine about PCs.

byte - a piece of data consisting of eight bits (two nibbles). A single ASCII character is represented by one byte. A byte can contain one of 256 possible values (0 through 255) the hexadecimal equivalent of 00 through FF. See EBCDIC, K, KB, MB, kilo, mega.

...continue with letter C...

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

(This page last revised August 7, 1997)