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Glossary G...


GADGET Graphic control devices, such as the Back-to-Front, Close & Drag gadgets, which let the user control programs via the mouse.
GAMES With its unique design with powerful graphics handling and sound capabilites, the Amiga has always been considered a games machine, but this requirement is now being actively pursued on every other platform now that relatively cheap graphic and sounds have become readily available. The simple games of yesterday are now becoming larger and often much more complex to play, many requiring high-end machines to take advantage of the options available. Depending on your particular tastes there is a wide range of games to choose from, loosely broken down into the following categories - Adventure games, Arcade games, Bat and Ball games, Beat-em-up games, Educational games, God games, Platform games, Puzzle and Quiz games, Racing games, Role-playing games, Shoot-em-up games, Simulation games, Sports games, Strategy games and War games.
GARY CHIP A custom chip that provides all BUS control signals, all address decoding and the keyboard reset interface. It also generates the 68000 VPA signal and handles some of the floppy circuitry. This chip has been replaced by the GAYLE chip on the A600 and later machines.
GAYLE CHIP A custom chip that provides all BUS control signals, all address decoding and the keyboard reset interface. It also generates the 68000 VPA signal and handles some of the floppy drive circuitry. This chip replaced the GARY chip on the A600 and later machines.
GENDER BENDER A small box with an identical connector on each side which can be used to convert a cable or connection with a female socket to a male plug or vice versa. Pin in and pin out connections are unmodified. They are commonly found with DB25 connections, but there are many others also available. In some cases a similar box may have a different socket or plug on each side but this is NOT a gender bender but an adaptor box and works differently. 
GENERAL PACKET RADIO SERVICE (acronym "GPRS") A mobile telephone service that sends data using packet switching rather than timeslots as with GSM. With GPRS, you don't get a whole timeslot to yourself. Instead your packets of data are sent out when there is room on the network. You are effectively connected and online all day, but you only pay for actually sending and receiving packets of data. As a consequence it is much more efficient. It is hard to figure out how fast GPRS is, as it depends on how many people are using your mobile network and how much demand there is for the timeslots.Most GPRS phones are setup to use a maximum of four timeslots to receive data, and one timeslot to send data.
GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE The licenses for most software are designed to take away your freedom to share and change it. By contrast, the GNU General Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change free software - to make sure the software is free for all its users. This General Public License applies to most of the Free Software Foundation's software and to any other program whose authors commit to using it. For more information see Free Software Foundation statements of intent.
GENLOCK A device to combine and synchronise the graphics from a computer, with those from an external video source like a video camera or a VCR. Genlock is a television term meaning "generator lock". When different video signals of the same standard are genlocked, their vertical, horizontal & subcarrier signals are synchronised either exactly or with a fixed offset. A second video signal is then locked to the original by a digital or analog phase-locked loop.
GHOSTING Displaying something on the screen, generally text, less distinctly than normal to indicate that it is currently unavailable. Often used in menus.
GIBIBYTE
(abbreviation "GiB")
1,048,576 (220) bytes, and is the unambiguous name for 'Gigabyte to denote the true binary value.
GIF (pronounced "giff") Acronym for "Graphics Interchange Format".
GIF24 (pronounced "giff-24") Acronym for "Graphics Interchange Format 24 Bit".
GIGABIT Roughly a thousand million bits, or 1,073,741,824 or (2^30) bits to be precise. This unit of measure is often used when discussing high speed data transmission.
GIGABYTE 1,073,741,824 (230) bytes to be precise, but frequently used to mean roughly a thousand million bytes, or 1024 Megabytes. This unit of measure is often used to denote the size of a hard disk drive, e.g. a 200 Gb hard drive. The unambiguous name 'Gibibyte' can be used for the true binary value.
GIGO (pronounced "gig-oh") Acronym for Garbage In - Garbage Out, and means that if your input is bad then your output will be bad too - computers simply follow instructions.
GLOB (pronounced "glob") From the Unix library function glob() that expands file paths according to a minimal regular expression syntax, it refers to the particular pattern match process that it uses.
GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM (acronym "GPS") Using military satellites, and a receiver small enough to be hand-held, you can position yourself anywhere on Earth to within 15m. GPS systems are also available as plug-ins to PC's.
GLOBAL SYSTEM for MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS (acronym "GSM") A mobile telephone service that sends data using packet switching rather than timeslots as with GSM. With GPRS, you don't get a whole timeslot to yourself. Instead your packets of data are sent out when there is room on the network. You are effectively connected and online all day, but you only pay for actually sending and receiving packets of data. As a consequence it is much more efficient. It is hard to figure out how fast GPRS is, as it depends on how many people are using your mobile network and how much demand there is for the timeslots. Most GPRS phones are setup to use a maximum of four timeslots to receive data, and one timeslot to send data.
GND (pronounced "ground") Abbreviation for Ground, and generally refers to any exposed metal on the computer or its peripherals.
GNU (pronounced "guh-noo") The GNU Project was launched in 1984 to develop a complete UNIX like operating system which is free software: the GNU system, (GNU is a recursive acronym for "GNU's Not UNIX"). Variants of the GNU operating system, which use the kernel Linux, are now widely used; though these systems are often referred to as "Linux", they are more accurately called GNU/Linux systems.
GOD GAMES A style of game where the aim is to influence and control a simulation of a community or environment by adjusting the various natural and sometimes the unnatural elements that might dictate how people behave.
GOPHER A menu-based navigation aid found on the Internet which enables access to other computers, search for information, link to Usenet or download files without even realising you are communicating halfway across the world. It is a very easy tool to use and makes fun of exploring the Net. Similar to Archie in function, it also takes advantage of the WAIS facilities. See also Veronica.
GPL (pronounced "G-P-L") Acronym for "General Public License".
GPRS (pronounced "G-P-R-S") Acronym for "General Packet Radio Service".
GPS (pronounced "G-P-S") Acronym for "Global Positioning System".
GRAPHIC ADVENTURE GAMES Where you control a character that you can see on the screen, involving a combination of action and logic to reach a destination or achieve a goal. This style of game has a high graphics component with colourful backgrounds and occasional action sequences in addition to puzzles.
GRAPHIC EQUALISER A means of the adjusting the various frequency bands in audible sound in relation to one another to improve the sound or create special effects. Many have LED displays as well to see the what frequencies are present and their relative strength.
GRAPHIC USER INTERFACE Pictorially oriented system that allows you to tell the computer what to do by selecting graphic symbols (in the form of icons or small pictures), rather than having to type in words and commands. The Amiga's operating system utilises a Graphic User Interface, known as Intuition, as does the Microsoft Windows product on MS-DOS computers.
GRAPHICS CARD A card which fits into the graphics slot inside box-type computers, which has the capability of providing enhanced graphics facilities. For Amigas this may be Harlequin, EGS 110/24, EGS-28/24 Spectrum, Piccolo, Rainbow, Retina and others, while on MS-DOS machines, this may be one of the many VGA or S-VGA cards. Graphics cards typically provide enhanced colour and expanded screen display modes, often requiring special monitors in order to obtain the available resolutions. See also Video Card.
GRAPHICS INTERCHANGE FORMAT (acronym "GIF") Better known by the acronym "GIF" it is a 256 colour image format devised by CompuServe in 1987 as a standard for picture exchange that uses an LZW compression technique, but it is slowly being superceded by JPEG. However it is still common in MS-DOS systems. Images in this format usually have a suffix of ".gif".
GRAPHICS TABLET A type of digitising device that utilises a flat tablet and a stylus, for graphic input. Existing drawings can be traced or new drawings created by moving the stylus across the tablet, reproducing the images on the screen in much the same way as using a mouse but generally much smoother.
GREY SCALE IMAGES Refers to images which are displayed or printed in either 16 (Grey Scale1) or 4 (Grey Scale2) shades of grey. This is achieved by dithering and the look of the resulting image is largely determined by the dithering option used. Some printer drivers (e.g the Canon BJ series) offer as many as 256 shades of grey with a wide selection of dithering methods. However, it is normal to only be able to display 16 shades on the screen in ECS mode.
GRID A set of non-printed lines similar to graph paper used a guide for layout of graphics and text.
GROUP A term used by some programs to describe a collection of boxes.
GSM (pronounced "G-S-M") Acronym for Global System for Mobile Communications.
GUI (pronounced "gooey") Acronym for Graphic User Interface.
GUIDE See AmigaGuide.
GURU Short for Guru Meditation.
GURU MEDITATION The name given to the alert messages that would appear as a red message on a black screen, when a system error occurred under Workbench 1.3. Generally caused by bad programming, these gurus were last thing you got to read, before the computer reset itself, many of which are listed here. They have been superceded in Workbench 2 and above by recoverable alerts.
GUTTER The space between columns of text.
GVP (pronounced "G-V-P") The trademark of an American hardware company Great Valley Products Inc, who manufactured accelators, graphics cards, hard drive controllers, and many other add-ons for the Amiga. The New Zealand agents were AmiKomp Systems in Auckland, while the Australian agents were Peripheral World in Croydon. GVP products are now manufactured by another company.

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Revised: November 06, 2005.