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Glossary N...


NEAR INSTANTANEOUS COMPANDED AUDIO MULTIPLEX (acronym "NICAM") A digital form of stereo television broadcast, where the audio signal is transmitted simultaneously with the television picture, and is decoded by a special decoder within your TV or Video. Used in New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong, as opposed to the A2 system used in other countries.
NEAR LETTER QUALITY A term used to describe the overall clarity and legibility of a printer's output, comparable to a typewriter. Was once a selling feature of some of the older dot-matrix printers, but these days is expected.
NET A commonly used abbreviation for the Internet.
NETWORK The interconnection of a number of computers via cables, modems, or other means, that share resources like disk drives, printers etc.
NETWORK FILE SYSTEM (acronym "NFS") A protocol allowing clients to transparently access files and filesystems on remote servers. It is independent of architecture, operating system, network and transport protocols. It was originally released in 1985 and has been shipped with almost every Unix system since then.
NETWORK INFORMATION SERVICE (acronym "NIS") An IP resolution service above the DNS layer which provides a central point of administration for common configuration files and preserves the consistency of these configuration files across all hosts on the network.
NFS (pronounced "en-eff-ess") Acronym for Network File System.
NICAM (pronounced nigh-camm) Acronym for Near Instantaneous Companded Audio Multiplex.
NIMBUSQ An outline font format, similar to Compugraphic and PostScript fonts, and reputed to be faster than both. However, they are not commonly used, and not yet found in the Public Domain. The only program currently supplying these fonts is Final Writer from Softwood.
NIS (pronounced "niss") Acronym for Network Information Service.
NLQ (pronounced "N-L-Q") Acronym for Near Letter Quality.
NODE A computer attached to and acting as part of a network.
NSF (pronounced "N-S-F") Acronym for National Science Foundation, a US Government Agency, which in 1984 created five supercomputer centres whose resources were to be made available to any educational facility that wanted access. These 5 centres needed to be connected so the resources could be shared, and the clients had the facilities to access them. Their original plan was to use ARPANET but restricted by red tape, they decided to form their own network called NSFNET.
NSFNET A network formed by the NSF to connect schools and universities in the US to each other, on a regional basis, with at least one site in the region having access to their five supercomputer centres. This allowed all sites to have access to the centres, and each other, by forwarding information from site to site. Other government departments and agencies soon joined in, with NASA, health departments, energy departments, and so on, to the ever growing Net, all contributing to what is now known as the Internet.
NTSC (pronounced "N-T-S-C") Acronym for National Television Standards Committee, and generally refers to the broad television standard used in the USA, Canada, Central America parts of South America, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and a number of other countries. It has 525 lines running at 60 fields and 30 frames per second with a maximum of 150,000 picture elements (pixels) per frame. It dates from 1941 when the original monochrome standard was adopted, and has been adapted since for colour. The colour image is converted by a device known as a colour coder, which splits the signal into a Luminance or brightness signal and a Chrominance or colour signal. In addition, Chrominance comprises two independent characteristic quantities: `hue' and `saturation', but is somewhat inferior to most other systems. Often re-buffed for that reason with the suggestion that NTSC means `Never Twice the Same Colour'. Furthermore NTSC has many variations with different frequencies, known as NTSC 3.58 and NTSC 4.43. See also PAL and SECAM.
NULL An absence of information used as a positive confirmation of no information, as opposed to using a `0' or a blank. A null value is binary zeros.
NULL MODEM A special cable that allows a local device to be connected directly to a modem communication port. It is used when two computers wish to transfer information directly between them, without the need for modems or a LAN.

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