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Glossary H...


HAIRLINE The thinnest line an output device can render.
HALFTONE A continuous gray tone simulated by a pattern of pixels.
HAM (pronounced "ham") Acronym for "Hold and Modify" in 6 bit mode.
HAM-8 (pronounced "ham-8" Acronym for "Hold and Modify" in 8 bit mode.
HANDSHAKING Specifies the codes and electronic signals required for two or more electronic devices, such as computers, modems etc, to communicate with one another.
HANDLES A term used by some programs to refer to the dark coloured squares/shapes at each corner and at the middle of each side of a box which can be dragged to change the proportions of the box.
HARD DISK A term often used when referring to a hard drive. A hard disk is in fact one of a number of spinning platters made of rigid material and coated with magnetic oxide for storing data inside a hard drive.
HARD DRIVE A high capacity storage device that uses one or more hard disks or platters to store data. Capacity varies from 20 Megabytes to over 1000 Gigabytes and as the number of platters used to store the data increases so too does the capacity . However, density is also being improved with better technology, and half-height 3.5 inch drives can now store over 1000 Gigabytes of data.
HARDWARE A term used to describe your computer, and the peripherals attached to it, such as the disk drive, screen, mouse, printer, scanner, etc.
HDCP (pronounced "H-D-C-P") Acronym for "High-Bandwith Digital Content Protection".
HDMI (pronounced "H-D-M-I") Acronym for "High-Definition Multimedia Interface".
HDTV (pronounced "H-D-T-V") Acronym for "High-Definition Television".
HERTZ (pronounced "hurts") A term used to describe "cycles per second". For example, the alternating mains current operates at approx 50 Hertz, or in other words, the current changes direction 50 times every second. In countries such as the USA the mains current operates at approx 60 Hertz, hence compatibility problems and not just with the voltage.
HIERARCHICAL A term frequently used to describe the relationship between directories or folders, sub-directories or sub-folders and files in as they are seen by the computer's operating system, for example:
The hierarchy always begins at the "Root" directory and then proceeds to files and directories beneath it; as you can see directories may also be found within other directories and these are generally called sub-directories.
HIGH-BANDWIDTH DIGITAL CONTENT PROTECTION (abbreviation "HDCP") High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is a form of Digital Rights Management (DRM) developed by Intel Corporation to control digital audio and video content as it travels across DVI or HDMI connections. The HDCP specification is proprietary and an implementation of HDCP requires a license. HDCP is licensed by Digital Content Protection, LLC, a subsidiary of Intel. In addition to paying fees, licensees agree to limit the capabilities of their products. For example, High-definition digital video content must be restricted to DVD quality on non-HDCP compliant video outputs when requested by the source. DVD-Audio content is restricted to DAT quality on non-HDCP digital audio outputs (analog audio outputs have no quality limits). Licensees cannot allow their devices to make copies of content, and must design their products to "effectively frustrate attempts to defeat the content protection requirements".
HIGH-DEFINITION MULTIMEDIA INTERFACE (abbreviation "HDMI") The High-Definition Multimedia Interface, known as HDMI, is not very prevalent in the computer world but is commonly associated with digital television sets. However it is found on some monitors and a handful of graphics cards. HDMI is a purely digital standard with the capability to carry audio as well as video data. Like DVI, HDMI uses TDMS to carry digital signal data; also like DVI, HDMI is HDCP-compatible.
HDMI can employ one of two connectors: Type A (a small, 19-pin connector) or Type B (a broader 29-pin connector). The latter is defined but not in production yet. Both are hot: In other words, you can plug and unplug it while the PC and the monitor are on. With any luck, a computer's operating system will immediately detect, recognize, and configure an HDMI display. Type A is compatible with single-link DVI-D or DVI-I, so with the right adapter an HDMI graphics card can drive a DVI display. Note that in such situations, the audio portion of the HDMI signal is abandoned. What's more, HDMI devices each conform to specific versions of the specification from 1.0 or 1.3. As the specification increases, so does the throughput; HDMI 1.3 cranked the pixel clock rate of the digital interface from 165MHz to 340MHz. What does that mean in real life? For one thing, higher resolutions; there isn't a graphics card made that can hit the highest resolution of the current HDMI spec. For another, 48-bit color, which translates to over a billion colors. HDMI 1.3 also supports loss-less audio standards like Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD.
HIGH-DEFINITION TELEVISION (abbreviation "HDTV") High-Definition Television utilies the 1080p format that provides 1420 x 1080 in 4:3 format and 1920 x 1080 in 16:9 format as shown below:
However it should be noted that movies shot in Cinemascope which typically uses the 8:3 format will only display as 1920 x 720 with black borders top and bottom, otherwise the screen would need to be 2880 x 1080 as shown in green to accommodate it in full size.
HIGH MEMORY The memory between 640K (conventional memory) and 1Mb (start of expanded memory or extended memory) on an MS-DOS PC.
HIGH SIERRA The original CD-ROM format that was developed for widespread use within the MS-DOS world, but was quickly replaced by the ISO9660 format. Most CD-ROM drives can still read the High Sierra format however.
HIGH SPEED CIRCUIT SWITCH DATA (abbreviation "HSCSD") HSCSD is an enhancement of normal CSD mobile data services for all current GSM networks. It allows you to access nonvoice services at 3 times faster, which means subscribers are able to send and receive data from their portable computers at a speed of up to 28.8 kbps; this is currently being upgraded in many networks to rates of and up to 43.2 kbps. The HSCSD solution enables higher rates by using multiple channels, allowing subscribers to enjoy faster rates for their Internet, e-mail, calendar and file transfer services.
HOLD-AND-MODIFY (acronym "HAM") A display mode available only on Amigas that provides more colours on the screen than the number of bits would normally provide. However the number of colours depends on whether the Agnus or Alice chip has been installed. The original HAM mode provided by the Agnus chip, used six bits to give a a maximum of 4,096 colours, whereas the Alice chip used eight bits to give a maximum of 262,144 colours in HAM-8 mode. If we follow the normal rules for displaying 4,096 colours we would require 12 bits, but HAM uses only 6 bits. The first 16 colours are the exact colours that are defined for the first 16 colour registers corresponding to the value in bits 1 to 4. All other colours are determined using the colour of the pixel to the left modifying only the Red, Green or Blue component as determined by the value in the 5th and 6th bits (01 for blue, 10 for red and 11 for green). HAM-8 used the 6 bits for the exact colour and bits 7 and 8 for modifying the colour value of Red, Green and Blue. However, there was one draw back to HAM modes in that it can take three pixels to completely change colour i.e. from black to white, since each pixel can change only one of the 3 primary colours. This created an effect known as fringing. You must also take care when you change the colour of a pixel in that the colour of the following pixel may also change.
HOMBRE The name given to the custom chipset destined to replace the AAA chipset, but never produced. There were to have been two custom chips in conjunction with a PowerPC processor, and it was well into development at the time Commodore went bust.
HORIZONTAL SCAN RATE The speed that the raster travels across a CRT screen, while refreshing the image being displayed. The speed of the normal 1084 monitor is 15.625 KHz while multi-scan or MultiSync® monitors generally range from 31 KHz to as high as 79KHz depending on the brand and the price.
HSCSD (pronounced "H-S-C-S-D") Acronym for "High Speed Circuit Switch Data".
HTM (pronounced "H-T-M") Shortened acronym for "HyperText Markup Language".
HTML (pronounced "H-T-M-L") Acronym for "HyperText Markup Language".
HYPERMEDIA Similar to "HyperText", but expanded to include links to graphics, sound or any number of other "link"ed resources.
HYPERTEXT The term coined in 1965 by computer pioneer Ted Nelson, the author of the first personal computer book entitled "Computer Lib/Dream Machines", long before computers could actually handle such things. The term refers to an ability for documents that contain text fields, to have "links" to other text fields, perhaps even in other documents. For example, if you found a term you were not familiar with in a text file, and that file was linked to another file of definitions you could simply click on the word and its definition would pop up on the screen.
HYPERTEXT MARKUP LANGUAGE (acronym "HTML") A language which resembles that used when writing a simply graphic adventure, that can be used to write "hypertext" pages for navigating around the World Wide Web. If your pages are good enough, you can often find a site for them as part of an organisation's Web set.
HYPHENATION The splitting of words at the appropriate point at the line break, using the "-" character.
HZ (pronounced "hurts") Abbreviation for "Hertz".

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Revised: December 24, 2006.