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Zeus Lexicon

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

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P6 - the Intel 80686 microprocessor, successor to the Pentium.

PageMill - a WYSIWYG HTML editor from Adobe Systems. See SiteMill.

palette - 1. a small movable windoid that provides a related set of functions to a main program, such as a tool palette or brush palette. 2. a group of 4, 16 or 256 values that determines the available colors on a computer monitor. Refer to the technote, "Mastering Director Palettes".

palette conflict - a situation in which one or more programs, such as Director and the Windows OS, are both trying to enforce different palettes, resulting in graphics appearing incorrectly. zLaunch for Mac and Windows can help eliminate palette conflicts. Refer to the technote, "Mastering Director Palettes".

palette issue - if your screen colors look all wrong, usually too dark, or psychedlic, it is usually a result of the wrong palette being in effect. Refer to the technote, "Mastering Director Palettes".

Palo Alto - 1. tall tree; 2. home to many high tech companies including HP and Xerox PARC.

Palo Alto Research Center - also PARC, a Xerox research facility which did most of the seminal work on GUIs and many other technologies. Their work was the basis for the Mac OS and Windows.

parallel - a parallel connection transmits data chunks along multiple wires simultaneously. Contrast serial.

parallel port - a communications port used to control certain devices, most notably printers. See LPT1, LPT2. Contrast serial port.

parallel processing - the use of multiple coordinated CPUs, each performing a portion of the required operation simultaneously. See Deep Blue.

PARC - (pronounced "Park" or "Xerox Park") Palo Alto Research Center. See Xerox.

parent - an item is said to be a parent if it creates or otherwise controls something else, as in parent window, parent process, parent script. See ancestor, child.

parent process - a process which spawns, or otherwise controls one or more child processes.

parent script - a Director script that is used to create, and controls the behavior of, child objects. See instance, new, ancestor.

parent window - the main window of an application which owns or spawns child windows, palettes or windoids.

partition - 1. an office sound barrier providing inadequate privacy and noise attenuation; 2. a portion of a hard drive or CD, formatted for a particular use. See hybrid.

path - the location of a file on a computer. The syntax for path specifications varies across different platforms. Refer to absolute path and relative path. Refer to the TechNote, "Path and File Specifications".

pathname - Lingo command returning the location of the currently running Director movie. Refer to the technote "Path and File Specifications".

path specification - a string describing the location of a file on a computer, such as "c:\windows\system\readme.txt" or "HD:System Folder:Preferences:Director 5.0 Preferences". Refer to the technote "Path and File Specifications".

PC - 1. Politically Correct. See PI. 2. Personal Computer, actually a registered trademark of IBM, but used widely for non-IBM computers. See Wintel.

PC-DOS - a version of DOS from IBM.

PC, Jr. - ill-fated foray into the home PC market, most notable for its infrared Chicklet keyboard. See junk.

PCT - a common graphic (PiCTure) file format (pronounced "picked"). see PICT.

PC/XT - . Personal Computer/eXtended Technology, the successor the original IBM PC, featuring a 10 MB hard drive and an 8086 processor running at 4.7 MHz. Also XT.

PD - Public Domain.

PDA - 1. Personal Digital Assistant, such as Newton MessagePad 2000, Sharp Zaurus or Velo 1. 2. Public Disply of Affection.

PDF - see Portable Document Format.

PDT - Pacific Daylight Time. See PST.

peacefully coexist - the ability for multiple applications or drivers to be active simultaneously. For example, the 16-bit and 32-bit versions of QTW can peacefully coexist, so there is no need to remove one before installing the other.

Pentium - the 80586 microprocessor from Intel, successor to the 80486. Widely used in Wintel computers. Plural "Pentia".

period - pronounced "dot". See eight-dot-three, extension.

Perl - an interpreted language for writing CGI scripts written by Larry Wall.

personal computer - see PC, Apple II.

PGP - Pretty Good Privacy - a decent, but not completely secure, encryption scheme popular for e-mail.

Phoenix BIOS - a popular brand of BIOS ROM chips for PCs.

Photoshop - a graphics application used for digital image manipulation from Adobe Systems. Many graphics artists use Photoshop to create and modify imagery that may not have originated with a photograph.

pi - an irrational number which is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, approximately equal to 3.14159, but in reality an infinite non-repeating decimal. The Guiness Book of World Records cites people who have memorized pi beyond 10,000 decimal places. The author's brother gave up after a mere few thousand.

PI - Politically Incorrect. A talk show hosted by Bill Maher on ABC.

PIC - a common graphic (PICture) file format (pronounced "pick"). see PICT.

PICT - a common graphic (PICTure) file format (pronounced "picked") on the Macintosh, also used under Windows. Also PIC and PCT, especially under Windows where extensions are limited to three characters.

PIF - Program Information File (pronounced "piff") a stub file used to run a DOS program under Windows. A PIF file specifies the name of the executable to run, and the working directory to be set. Refer to the TechNote, "Shortcuts, Icons, PIFs and Aliases"

piracy - 1. $4.75 for a decent beer at a ball game or $6.25 for a tuna fish sandwich at the airport 2. stealing, duplicating and/or distributing software illegally, or obtaining an unlicensed copy of software for your own use. Often assumed to be okay by pirates, but not to be confused with shareware or freeware.

PITA - common e-mail abbreviation for Pain In The Ass.

Pixar - creators of Toy Story and Renderman. See Steve Jobs, Disney.

pixel - Picture Element (pronounced "PIX-il", or sometimes "pix-EL"), a single dot in a graphic or on a monitor, used as a unit of measure. See dots per inch, dot pitch.

pixel-based - a pixel-based graphic stores the information for each and every pixel on the screen. This is memory-intensive, but may be drawn more quickly than comparable vector-based graphics, because no run-time calculations are required.

platform - a Lingo command, "the platform" which mistakenly returns the projector type and not the true platform type. Refer to the technote "Determining the Platform"

platfrom - 1. a common mis-typing of platform 2. an inquiry into the original of the platypus, as in "Where's that platfrom?"

platypus - 1. a web-footed, egg-laying, duck-billed mammal of Tasmania. 2. Franco D's pet, as in "And then my platypus jumped into the sink!".

plug-in - an external add-on which adds custom functionality not availablein the main application. Plug-ins for Macromedia products are called Xtras. Many applications support plug-ins, including Adobe Photoshop and Netscape Navigator.

POM - Print-o-Matic, a third-party printing Xtra for Director.

Pooh - See Winnie-the-Pooh, Disney, Gopher.

Popeye - the sailor man who eats spinach.

port 1. n. a wine fortified with brandy, traditionally from Portugal; 2. n. a harbor where people dock their boats and drink port; 3. v. to transport, or otherwise translate and/or modify a computer program or Director Projector from one platform to another, as in, "Who is going to port this mess to Windows?"; 4. n. a program which has been translated to operate on another platform, as in "Who messed up the Windows port? I need a glass of port".

Portable Document Format - a document format used by the Adobe Acrobat family of products. This widely used format is portable across multiple platforms and ensures that a document looks and prints the same on all platforms. Many on-line documents, such as government Tax Forms, documentation and manuals are in PDF format.

POS - Point Of Sale, often referring to marketing items for store checkout lines, or the software that links the cash register to an inventory tracking system.

post - 1. n. a message in a discussion group, message board , newsgroup, or mailing list. 2. v. to send a message to a discussion group, message board or mailing list. 3. adj. after, as in post mortem.

Postscript - a resolution-independent standard from Adobe Systems for describing and printing text and graphics, first features in Apple LaserWriters. Many graphics applications and printers are Postscript-compatible. See Encapsulated Postscript, Display Postscript.

POV - Point Of View, common e-mail abbreviation.

PowerComputing - Macintosh clone maufacturer.

PowerMac - a Macintosh computer using a PowerPC microprocessor. See native, emulation, 68K Mac.

PowerPC - a family of microprocessors manufactured by IBM and Motorola, used in PowerMacs and some IBM workstations. See 601, 602, 603, 604, native, Fat Binary.

PowerTalk - Apple Computer's architecture for collaborative communication, including e-mail and messaging.

PR - 1. Press Release. 2. Public Relations.

PRAM - 1. (pronounced "Pee-RAM") - battery-powered RAM that contains configuration information. Certain problems with your Mac may be resolved (allegedly) by "zapping the PRAM"; 2. an English carriage (pronounced "pram");

Preference - 1. a hair color by Loreal; 2. a desire or want, expressed or otherwise. 3. a user-configurable option. See Preference file, Preferences folder.

Preference file - a file, usually stored in the Preference Folder containing user-definable options which are saved by the user and restored when the related application is run. Director's Preferences file is usually called "Director x.x Preferences". Trashing a preference file will restore the settings to their default values, and usually cause an application to recreate a new preference folder. Trashing the preferences is often recommended when an application is behaving inexplicably and you are too lazy to re-install the software.

Preferences folder - a reserved folder name on the Macintosh in which an application should store any Preference files. The Preferences folder is always called "Preferences" and is always contained within the System Folder. See Extensions folder, Control Panels folder.

pre-master - 1. n. a CD from which a master is produced. The master is used for replicating the actual CDs. See gold master. 2. v. to create a pre-master.

Premiere - a popular digital video editing application from Adobe Systems, which can be used to create QuickTime and AVI videos.

pre-rendered - graphics that are pre-computed in advance. This results in higher quality and may result in better performance at run-time, but confines the visual effects to those scenes computer ahead of time. For example, Toy Story was pre-rendered at Pixar, not rendered dynamically in your movie theatre as you watched. Compare real-time rendering

primary color - a color that can be combined with other primary colors to create any possibly color, see RGB and CMYK.

process - 1. an "entity", such as a computer program running in memory. A process may be part of the OS, an application that you started, a print spooler, or many more things. See spawn, thread, child process, parent process. 2. to act upon, as in "this program will process the data."

process id - a unique number that identifies a process running on a computer, see process name.

process name - a process is uniquely identified by a process name or a process id which allows the OS to track its existence. The newest version of zLaunch for Windows even works with executables that spawn a secondary process.

processor - the microprocessor which runs a computer, such as the Motorola 680x0 Family, or the Intel 80x86 Family.

Pro-Choice - holding the belief that a woman has an inalienable right to decide what goes on in her own uterus. See sane, rational. Contrast Pro-Life. (The views expressed here happen to be those of BAE, principal of Zeus Productions.)

Prodigy - a private computer on-line network, owned by IBM. See MSN, AOL, CompuServe.

Program Manager - the person selling programs at a baseball game or giving them away at a theater. The desktop UI program under Windows 3.1, analagous to the Macintosh Finder. See EGA palette.

Pro-Life - anti-abortion, anti-Kervorkian, pro capital punishment. Ironically, many Republicans and the Christian Right that favor less government intervention in other areas feel that a woman's uterus is best controlled by the state. See hypocrite, zealot. Contrast Pro-Choice. (The views expressed here happen to be those of BAE, principal of Zeus Productions.)

Projector - a standalone Director run-time executable.

property - 1. something that makes you paranoid, conservative and subject to taxation once you own it. 2. Lingo's keyword for declaring an instance variable in a parent script. Each child object has its own unique copy of each property variable. Not directly related to a Lingo property list.

property list - a Lingo list in which each entry in the list has a label or "property name" by which the item can be referred. Not directly related to a child object's properties. Refer to the TechNote, "Working with Lingo Lists."

protocol - 1. diplomatic etiquette. 2. a communications standard by which computers or devices interact in an orderly fashion. See HTTP, FTP.

PS/2 - 1. a line of computers from IBM, successor to the PC. 2. half of a PS. See OS/2.

PST - Pacific Standard Time, time zone of the Western United States. Three (3) hours earlier than EST, two (2) hours earlier than CST, and one (1) hour earlier than MST, . Eight (8) hours earlier than GMT. See PDT.

punt - 1. v. to abandon or simply not do, as in, "I punted that problem set and played Beer Pong instead," or "she punted him"'. 2. v. to kick a football (obsolete). 3. n. a kicked football.

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

(This page last revised October 14, 1997)