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Glossary D...


D-VHS ("D-V-H-S") Acronym for Digital VHS.
DA15 ("D-A-15") A 15 pin connector that has two rows of offset pins (8 on top and 7 on the bottom), and a surrounding metal shell (A sized) angled at each end following the organisation of the pins, generally used for color video output on early Macintosh computers, between graphics cards when multiple PCI cards were used and as the IBM-defined analogue joystick port on PCs (where it is female).

DAC ("Dack") Acronym for Digital to Analog Converter.
DAISY CHAIN A term used to describe when a number of devices are connected one to the next in a chain rather than all being directly connected to a computer. A data request to any device is passed down that chain by each device after receiving it before checking if the message is for that device, in which case in then actions the request. Many devices can be daisy chained ranging from floppy disk drives to MIDI devices.
DARPA Acronym for Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency.
DARPANET The original Internet established in 1969 by DARPA primarily for military research purposes. There were originally only four computers, or nodes on the network, and it became known as the DARPANET, although this was later shortened to ARPANET.
DATA Information that is input to a computer system, and is then processed by mathematical and/or logical operations or stored for future use. (Don't intend to try to tell you how to pronounce this because no-one can agree!)
DATA BASE An defined organisation of data files containing information or reference material on a particular subject. However, the term is often used to describe any collection of data, or at the other extreme to a specific group of files under the control of a data base manager program, e.g. DB2, MySQL, Oracle, SQL, SuperBase.
DATA CARRIER DETECT (acronym "DCD") In order to transmit data between modems, the two modems must establish a connection, and maintain that connection by use of a carrier wave or tone between them. If this carrier is lost for any reason, the connection will be terminated immediately. Data Carrier Detect is usually seen as a light or other indicator to show that the link is being maintained.
DATA COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT (acronym "DCE") The communications equipment used for data transmission or in other words your modem.
DATA COMPRESSION A technique used to conserve space by eliminating gaps, data redundancies or empty fields. It comes in many forms, ranging from archival formats as with Lharc, executable formats as with PowerPacker, transmission formats as with DMS, automatic compression using MNP5 etc, Zip, and many others.
DATA FORK One logical segment of a file in the Macintosh filing system, containing simple streamed data, (e.g. the raw text characters in a word processing document. See also Resource Fork.
DATA SET READY (acronym "DSR") A signal that the Data Communications Equipment is ready to send/receive.
DATA SPEED INDICATOR The connection speed shown on a modem, usually as a baud rate value.
DATA TERMINAL EQUIPMENT (acronym "DTE") The equipment used as the data terminal, or in other words, your computer or terminal.
DATA TERMINAL READY (acronym "DTR") A signal which indicates that the Data Terminal Equipment is ready.
DAUGHTERBOARD A relatively small circuit board which connects to the Motherboard and in many cases may have additional boards attached to it.
• Amiga: The board that contains the Zorro and the IBM slots.
DB9 ("D-B-9") A commonly used name for a 9 pin connector which should more accurately be called a DE9 connector.
DB15 ("D-B-15") A commonly used name for a 15 pin connector which should more accurately be called a DE15 connector.
DB23 ("D-B-23") A 23 pin connector that has two rows of offset pins, (12 on top and 11 on the bottom), and a surrounding metal ground angled at each end following the organisation of the pins.

• Amiga: Used on the Classic Amiga for the 15KHz screen connection, and the external disk drive connection.
DB25 ("D-B-25") A 25 pin connector that has two rows of offset pins, (13 on top and 12 on the bottom), and a surrounding metal ground angled at each end following the organisation of the pins. Generally referred to as an RS-232 connector, but really this only applies when used on the serial port.

• Amiga: Used on the Classic Amiga for the Serial port (male) and Parallel port (female) connections and where available was also used for the SCSI-I connection (female).
DCD ("D-C-D") Acronym for Data Carrier Detect.
DCE ("D-C-E") Acronym for Data Communications Equipment.
DE9 ("D-E-9") A 9 pin connector that has two rows of offset pins (5 on top and 4 on the bottom), and a surrounding metal shell (E sized) angled at each end following the organisation of the pins. Often incorrectly referred to as a DB9 connector which would logically have a B-sized shell the same size as a DB25 connector.

• Amiga: Used on the Classic Amigas for the mouse and joy-stick connections.
DE15 ("D-E-15") A 15 pin connector that has three rows of offset pins (5 on each row) and a surrounding metal shell (E sized) angled at each end similar to the DE9 connector, and is used for VGA, SVGA, XVGA connections to display devices such as monitors. Often incorrectly referred to as a DB15 connector which would logically have a B-sized shell the same size as a DB25 connector.

• Amiga: Used on the Classic Amiga for the 31KHz screen connection on A2500, A3000 and A4000.
DEADABLE KEYS This description refers to keys on the keyboard which behave differently if a special "control key" combination is typed immediately preceding the key being pressed. The deadable keys are "(space), a, e, i, n, o, u and y", but not all combinations are valid. The following list shows the valid ones:
  • " " preceded by "Alt f" gives ""
  • "a" preceded by "Alt f" gives "" and "A" preceded by "Alt f" gives ""
  • "e" preceded by "Alt f" gives "" and "E" preceded by "Alt f" gives ""
  • "i" preceded by "Alt f" gives "" and "I" preceded by "Alt f" gives ""
  • "o" preceded by "Alt f" gives "" and "O" preceded by "Alt f" gives ""
  • "u" preceded by "Alt f" gives "" and "U" preceded by "Alt f" gives ""
  • "y" preceded by "Alt f" gives "" and "Y" preceded by "Alt f" gives ""
  • " " preceded by "Alt g" gives "`"
  • "a" preceded by "Alt g" gives "" and "A" preceded by "Alt g" gives ""
  • "e" preceded by "Alt g" gives "" and "E" preceded by "Alt g" gives ""
  • "i" preceded by "Alt g" gives "" and "I" preceded by "Alt g" gives ""
  • "o" preceded by "Alt g" gives "" and "O" preceded by "Alt g" gives ""
  • "u" preceded by "Alt g" gives "" and "U" preceded by "Alt g" gives ""
  • " " preceded by "Alt h" gives "^"
  • "a" preceded by "Alt h" gives "" and "A" preceded by "Alt h" gives ""
  • "e" preceded by "Alt h" gives "" and "E" preceded by "Alt h" gives ""
  • "i" preceded by "Alt h" gives "" and "I" preceded by "Alt h" gives ""
  • "o" preceded by "Alt h" gives "" and "O" preceded by "Alt h" gives ""
  • "u" preceded by "Alt h" gives "" and "U" preceded by "Alt h" gives ""
  • " " preceded by "Alt j" gives "~"
  • "a" preceded by "Alt j" gives "" and "A" preceded by "Alt j" gives ""
  • "n" preceded by "Alt j" gives "" and "N" preceded by "Alt j" gives ""
  • "o" preceded by "Alt j" gives "" and "O" preceded by "Alt j" gives ""
  • " " preceded by "Alt k" gives ""
  • "a" preceded by "Alt k" gives "" and "A" preceded by "Alt k" gives ""
  • "e" preceded by "Alt k" gives "" and "E" preceded by "Alt k" gives ""
  • "i" preceded by "Alt k" gives "" and "I" preceded by "Alt k" gives ""
  • "o" preceded by "Alt k" gives "" and "O" preceded by "Alt k" gives ""
  • "u" preceded by "Alt k" gives "" and "U" preceded by "Alt k" gives ""
  • "y" preceded by "Alt k" gives ""
  • "a" preceded by "Alt f" gives "" and "A" preceded by "Alt f" gives ""
  • "e" preceded by "Alt f" gives "" and "E" preceded by "Alt f" gives ""
  • "i" preceded by "Alt f" gives "" and "I" preceded by "Alt f" gives ""
  • "o" preceded by "Alt f" gives "" and "O" preceded by "Alt f" gives ""
  • "u" preceded by "Alt f" gives "" and "U" preceded by "Alt f" gives ""
DEBIAN A flavour of Linux which is available for the AmigaOne. Debian has been around since 1993 and was the brainchild of Ian Murdock while he was studying at Purdue University, "Debian" being a concatention of his wife's name (Deb) and his name (Ian). Murdock became dis-enchanted with the Softland Linux System (SLS) distro of Linux and wanted to change the way the various components were delivered. Rather than it all being the work of one person or a small group of people, Murdock's philosophy was to use a distributed team connected via the Internet, each member of the team specialising in defined areas, and to feed these elements into a whole distribution, and then let the users debug the system themselves. This concept evolved into what is probably the purest distribution of them all, created in the same way that the Linux kernal was developed. Debian Linux is available for a wide range of processors, including Intel and PowerPC.
DEFAULT A value or action assumed by a computer when you do not specify any value but simply press the Return key.
DEFENCE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY (abbreviation "DARPA") A division of the US defence department, who were responsible for establishing DARPANET.
DELETE To erase all or part of a record, file, image etc. In most cases, if you delete something, it may not be possible to get it back again. However in some cases, it is possible to undelete something provided it has not been overwritten by some other activity since it was deleted. Programs such as FixDisk or DiskSalv can be useful here.
DENISE CHIP The custom chip on the Classic Amiga that was responsible for the video output and was used to maintain the display on the VDU. It controlled the resolution, colours, sprites, text lines, etc. On the A1200 and A4000 machines it was superceded by the LISA chip to perform the same functions and more. Where the AAA chipset had been fitted these chips were superceded by the MONICA chip.
DEPTH GADGET The Depth gadget is normally shown as a pair of overlapping squares in the upper right corner of a window, that moves the window either to the front of the screen or behind all other windows on the screen.
DESCENDER The bottom part of a lower case letter that falls below the baseline.
DESK TOP PUBLISHING The process of producing on a personal computer, complex document layouts that are intended for, or suitable for, offset or lithographic printing. This includes text and graphics and may be monochrome or colour.
DEVICE INDEPENDENT GRAPHICS A standard where software written for one graphics card will work equally as well with any other graphics card that conforms to that standard. The first example of this is the set of EGS libraries from Viona.
DIG ("D-I-G") Acronym for Device Independent Graphics.
DIGITAL Refers to a technique of recording information as discrete points and the result as numbers, as opposed to infinitely variable signals or wave form such as sound, heat, light etc. The main advantage of digital data is its ability to be copied without any loss of information, or loss of quality, as is the case with analog signals.
DIGITAL SIGNAL PROCESSOR A chip dedicated to the manipulation of digitised sound signals. Because of its high processing speed, and ability to perform complex mathematical operations, a DSP can add sound effects to samples in real time.
DIGITAL TO ANALOG CONVERTER (acronym "DAC") An electronic chip which reads a series of binary pulses coded signal and converts them into an analog signal, the opposite to an Analog to Digital Converter.
• Amiga: This function is performed by the Paula and Mary chips.
DIGITAL VERSATILE DISC (acronym "DVD")
Digital Versatile Disc (also referred to as "Digital Video Disk") is a multi-application family of optical disc formats for read-only,  recordable and re-writable applications. The main features of the DVD formats are:
  - backwards compatibility with current CD media.
  - all DVD hardware will play audio CDs and CD-ROMs (although not all will play CD-Rs or CD-RWs)
  - physical dimensions identical to compact disc but using two 0.6 mm thick substrates, bonded together.
  - single-layer/dual-layer and single/double sided options.
  - up to 4.7 GB read-only capacity per layer, 8.5 GB per side maximum.
  - designed from the outset for video, audio and multimedia, not just audio.
  - DVD-Video for full length movies with high quality video on one disc.
  - DVD-ROM for enhanced multimedia and games applications.
  - DVD-Audio for higher quality music, surround sound and optional video, graphics and other features.
  - all formats use a common file system (UDF).
  - Digital and analogue copy protection for DVD-Video and DVD-Audio built into standard.
  - Recordable and re-writable versions are part of the family.
DVD-Video and DVD-ROM hardware and software have been available since 1997.  DVD-Audio was launched in 2000. First versions of DVD-R and DVD-RAM have been available since 1998, with consumer models becoming available during 2001.
DIGITAL VHS A video cassette recording system from JVC which will record with digital accuracy and still play all of the old VHS format tapes. Tapes still wear out and take time to fast forward to a particular part of the tape, but the cost is considerably less than most of the alternatives and the quality is as good.
DIGITAL VIDEO xxxt.
DIGITAL VIDEO EFFECT xxxt.
DIGITAL VISUAL INTERFACE Digital Visual Interface is an uncompressed, digital video interface standard (EIA/CEA 861), version 1.0 being released in April 1999. It was originally developed for the PC industry which was seeking a low-cost, high-bandwidth digital connection between PCs and digital monitors (such as LCDs), and is now the most widely used digital display interface in the PC industry. It is available on most LCD monitors, as well as many PC display projectors and plasma panels. It uses a chunky multi-pin connector comprising up to 24 pins (most of which are for TDMS) and an additional 4 pins for analog compatibility if applicable. The exact number of pins depends on whether it is DVI-A, DVI-D Single Link, DVI-D Dual Link, DVI-I Single Link, or DVI-I Dual Link. The following diagram shows how analog is provided from the digital source for DVI:
DIGITISED PICTURE A picture converted into an electronic format that can be processed, stored and reconstructed.
DIGITISED SPEECH Speech that can be played through a PC's speaker or through a soundcard.
DIGITISER A device that takes the analog information provided by a source such as a microphone or video camera and converts it to digital format for use by a computer.
DIN ("din") DIN is an abbreviation for Deutsches Institut fr Normung, or German Institute for Standardization, which is a German manufacturing industry standards group. DIN connectors are round, with pins arranged in a circular pattern. This type of connector was used widely for PC keyboards, MIDI instruments, and other specialized equipment. Another type of DIN connector is the mini-DIN. As the name suggests, mini-DIN connectors are smaller in size than a regular DIN. They are still round, but with the pins arranged in horizontal rows rather than in a circular pattern. Mini-DIN connectors are used for S-video connections, PS/2 mouse & keyboards, and some other applications. DIN and mini-DIN connectors are both held in place by the friction of the connector body and by pins.
DINGBAT A decorative element such a border, often supplied as a font.
DIP ("dip") Acronym for Dual Inline Package usually in reference to Dip Switches.
DIP SWITCHES A small series of miniature on-off switches on a Dual-Inline Package that enables user selection of options on a circuit board without any hardware modifications. They are frequently used to configure printers and other external devices, so before you use any new device, check for the correct DIP switch settings, and flip the switches using the end of a ball-point pen or a small screwdriver.
DIRECT MEMORY ACCESS The method by which the various chips use the memory they require by writing/reading it directly, rather than through CPU intervention. Devices that use this technique are generally faster than those that don't.
DIRECTORY Directories are used by the Operating System to keep track of the content of drawers or folders and information stored on a disk. Every disk contains a root directory (the main directory), and may have one or more sub-directories within it. Every drawer has a separate sub-directory.
DISCRETIONARY HYPHEN A hyphen entered by the user that is not displayed but tells the computer where to break a word, if necessary.
DISK Term used to the describe a flat, circular storage medium that is capable of storing digital information, organised in such a way that information can be accessed randomly using a system of tracks and sectors, with data being stored on both surfaces. The most common disks are coated with a magnetic oxide that functions in a manner similar to a cassette recorder, while other disks may have a reflective surface, which reflects light and operates similar to a Compact Disk. See also FLOPPY DISK, HARD DISK, OPTICAL DISK and CD ROM.
DISK CRASH Failure of a disk, thereby causing the system to malfunction, usually as the result of physical damage to the disk itself, often making the entire disk unreadable by the system.
DISK DRIVE A storage device that uses a spinning disk to contain the data, which can be read and/or written depending on the type of disk being used. All disk drives are operated by a disk drive controller which understands the type of drive and its physical characteristics.
DISK OPERATING SYSTEM A special program which enables a computer to function, which as the name implies is stored on disk and used as required.
• Amiga: The operating system is called AmigaDOS.
• Mac: The operating system was called Mac OS "System n", where "n"' was the version number up to 9, then it changed to "X". Subsequent versions were then given names such as Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger, etc.
• PC: The operating system is called MS-DOS, OS/2, or Windows (in one of its many incarnations). • UNIX: The operating system is one of the flavours of Unix, i.e. AIX, HP-Unix, Inix, Linux, Solaris, etc.
DITHERING By arranging how various pixels or colours are placed within an image, it is possible to trick the eye into thinking an image contains more colours than it actually does. There are various different formulae are available to do this, (such as Floyd Steinberg, Jarvis, Stucki etc as well as modes such as Halftone, Dots etc) producing many different effects. When using colour, halftones can be used to make images appear smoother.
DMA ("D-M-A") Acronym for Direct Memory Access.
DMS ("D-M-S") An acronym for a program called Disk Masher which is commonly used on the Amiga to compress the contents of a floppy disk, yet still maintain it in floppy disk format for decompression. Files were identified by file names ending in ".DMS". Before the data or programs can be accessed DMS must be used to decompress the data to a floppy disk, although RAD can be used.
DNS ("D-N-S") Acronym for Domain Name System but often mistakenly taken to mean Domain Name Server.
DOCUMENT The file being worked on by a word processing or DTP program.
DOMAIN NAME SYSTEM (acronym "DNS") A way of identifying places on the Internet, which translates the URL into the correct IP address for accessing the site.
DONGLE An electronic key which usually plugs into the mouse/joystick or parallel ports and must be present before some software programs will run, and are used to prevent copying and redistribution of the software. Some of these dongles provide a pass thru, which means that devices which normally use the ports can be plugged into the dongle instead. However, attempting to use multi-task multiple programs using more than one dongle, is generally unworkable and may cause both programs to malfunction.
DOOR GAMES A style of game that could be anything at all except that it is played on a BBS against other users of the BBS.
DOORWAY Often abbreviated to simply "DOORS" is simply a way out of the main menus of a BBS into a subsystem, usually a game or some other online pursuit.
DOS ("doss") Acronym for Disk Operating System.
DOTS PER INCH (acronym "DPI") The number of dots per inch determines the output quality. Typically your display screen gives about 75 dpi in high resolution while printed output on dot matrix printers is generally around 150-300 dpi and laser printers around 300-600 dpi. Compare this to commercial printing that uses 600 dpi as an absolute minimum and normally 1200-2500 dpi, and it may go some way to explaining the apparent differences in quality.
DOUBLE CLICKING Rapidly pressing and releasing a mouse button twice. The maximum time between the two clicks is determined by the preferences setting. Prior to WB 2.0, the time was set using the rightmost slider on the Preferences screen - drag the arrow up to decrease the maximum length of time, and down to increase it. With WB 2.0 and above the "Double-Click Delay" value defined within "Input" Preferences is used. The lower this value is set, the shorter the time - the maximum value of 200 is about 4 seconds.
DOUBLE SIDED SINGLE DENSITY (acronym "DSSD") An evolution of the original 3.5 inch SSSD floppy disks which were superceded almost as fast as they arrived.
DOUBLE SIDED DOUBLE DENSITY (acronym "DSDD") The standard disks used by the Classic Amiga which can store up to 901,120(880K) bytes of information, although this is reduced to 855,952 (using OFS) or 898,048 (using FFS), once the control information has been written during the formatting process. Although the same disks are also used by MS-DOS computer they use a different method of writing data, and can only store 737,290(720K) bytes of information on each disk. However, the Amiga can still read and write these disks but you must use a special device driver such as MessyDOS, CrossDOS or similar.
DOUBLE SIDED HIGH DENSITY (acronym "DSHD") Some A3000 machines and most A4000 machines are equipped with drives that can read and write DSHD disks. The disks are identified by a large HD on the top right hand corner, and an extra hole at the bottom right corner. On the Amiga they can hold 1760K, while on MS-DOS machines they can hold only 1440K.
DOWNLOADING The process of transferring programs and/or data files from one computer to another device or computer. In the case of a BBS, downloading refers to files that you transfer from the BBS to your computer. There is often a limit to the number of files or size of files that you can download but this can often be increased by uploading other files first.
DPI ("D-P-I") Acronym for Dots Per Inch.
DPSK ("D-P-S-K") Differential Phase Shift Keying, the technique used by the CCITT V.22 and Bell 212A communication protocols, where there are four possible symbols of 1 of 4 phase angles. Each symbol conveys 2 bits (dibits). Signalling rate is 600 symbols per second.
DR2D ("D-R-2-D") Acronyn for Drawing 2-Dimensional.
DRAGGING Moving an icon, window, or screen across the display.
DRAM ("D-ramm") Acronym for Dynamic Random Access Memory.
DRAWERS Drawers are the Workbench equivalent of a directory, and are places where you can keep tools, projects, and even other drawers to keep order on the workbench and to keep all related items together.
DRAWING 2-DIMENSIONAL One of the data formats supported by the IFF standard that provides for a 2-dimensional structured drawing format. This allows you to exchange any characters or structured clip art between programs which support the DR2D format, such as Art Expression, PageStream, TypeSmith, etc.
DRIVERS A software program (or sometimes a hardware add-on) that enables a device to be used correctly. For example, the Amiga requires a printer driver to be installed into the SYS:DEVS/PRINTERS directory and activated using the Preferences screen in order to correctly sent data to your printer. Each brand and type of printer requires its own specialised driver.
DROP CAP A large capital letter, often decorative, at the start of a block of text that drops into the lines below.
DROP SHADOW A shadow behind an image designed to make the image stand out.
DSDD ("D-S-D-D") Acronym for Double Sided Double Density.
DSHD ("D-S-H-D") Acronym for Double Sided High Density.
DSSD ("D-S-S-D") Acronym for Double Sided Single Density.
DSP ("D-S-P") Acronym for Digital Signal Processor.
DSR ("D-S-R") Acronym for Data Set Ready.
DTE ("D-T-E") Acronym for Data Terminal Equipment.
DTP ("D-T-P") Acronym for Desk Top Publishing.
DTR ("D-T-R") Acronym for Data Terminal Ready.
DVD ("D-V-D") Acronym for Digital Versatile Disk.
DVD+R ("D-V-D-plus-R") Acronym for the "+R" writable format of Digital Versatile Disk.
DVD+RW ("D-V-D-plus-R-W") Acronym for "+RW" re-writable format of Digital Versatile Disk.
DVD-R ("D-V-D-minus-R") Acronym for "-R" writable format of Digital Versatile Disk.
DVD-RAM ("D-V-D-RAM") Acronym for "-RAM" writable format of Digital Versatile Disk.
DVE ("D-V-E") Acronym for Digital Video Effect.
DVI ("D-V-I") Acronym for Digital Visual Interface.
DVI-A ("D-V-I-A") Acronym for Digital Visual Interface Analog, a type of DVI connection that only transmits analog signals and is intended for use with CRT monitors. An analog connector has only 12 pins in the base but also has two additional pairs of smaller pins, one pair each side of the aligning bar. You can use a DVI-to-VGA adapter with DVI-A to use a DVI graphics card to drive an analog display. You almost never see DVI-A.
DVI-D Single Link ("D-V-I-D Single Link") Acronym for Digital Visual Interface Digital, a type of DVI connection that is purely digital, with no analog compatibility at all. A single-link digital connector has 18 pins together with the aligning bar that can carry a maximum resolution to a 60Hz digital display of 1920x1200. While you can use a DVI-to-VGA adapter with DVI-A or DVI-I to use a DVI graphics card to drive an analog display, DVI-D output absolutely requires a digital display.
DVI-D Dual Link ("D-V-I-D Dual Link") Acronym for Digital Visual Interface Digital, a type of DVI connection that is purely digital, with no analog compatibility at all. A dual-link digital connector has 24 pins together with the aligning bar that can carry a maximum resolution to a 60Hz digital display of 2560x1600 or better. While you can use a DVI-to-VGA adapter with DVI-A or DVI-I to use a DVI graphics card to drive an analog display, DVI-D output absolutely requires a digital display.
DVI-I Single Link ("D-V-I-I Single Link") Acronym for Digital Visual Interface Integrated, a type of DVI connection that carries both analog and digital signals and can be used with either analog or digital displays. A single-link digital connector has 18 pins together with two additional pairs of smaller pins, one pair each side of the aligning bar. It that can carry a maximum resolution to a 60Hz digital display of 1920x1200. You can use a DVI-to-VGA adapter with DVI-I to use a DVI graphics card to drive an analog display.
DVI-I Dual Link ("D-V-I-I Dual Link") Acronym for Digital Visual Interface Integrated, a type of DVI connection that carries both analog and digital signals and can be used with either analog or digital displays. A dual-link digital connector has 24 pins together with two additional pairs of smaller pins, one pair each side of the aligning bar. It that can carry a maximum resolution to a 60Hz digital display of 2560x1600 or better. You can use a DVI-to-VGA adapter with DVI-I to use a DVI graphics card to drive an analog display. This is the most common DVI connector found on modern graphics cards.
DVORAK keyboard An alternative keyboard to the familiar QWERTY design, this one was designed in 1932 by Professor August Dvorak of Washington State University, with funding from the Carnegie foundation. Dvorak arranged his letters according to frequency, with the home row consisting of all five vowels and the five most common consonants: AOEUIDHTNS. With the vowels on one side and consonants on the other, a rough typing rhythm would be established as each hand would tend to alternate. With the Dvorak keyboard, a typist can type about 400 of the English language's most common words without ever leaving the home row. The comparable figure on QWERTY is 100. The home row letters on Dvorak do a total of 70% of the work. On QWERTY they do only 32%. But we have mastered the complexities of QWERTY and don't like change.


DYE SUBLIMATION A method of printing onto special paper using a heat transfer process and a multi-coloured dye ribbon. The resulting image resembles a colour photo although each image is quite expensive to produce.
DYNAMIC RANDOM ACCESS MEMORY (acronym "DRAM") A type of memory chip that uses a capacitative charge, (a small temporarily stored electric charge) to hold information in its memory. However it is also forgetful, and must be refreshed (read from and written to) very often - in fact every few thousandths of a second. However it is very fast and contains more information than an equivalent SRAM chip. There are two types of DRAM chips, Page Mode DRAMs and Static Column DRAMs. The latter allow for slighlty improved performance, but should not be mixed with any Page Mode DRAMs, otherwise the system cannot take advantage of the extra modes available and all chips run at Page Mode speed.

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