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Glossary O...


International symbol for the On/Off switch (mains switch) on many computer devices.
O International symbol on an On/Off switch to indicate the OFF position.
OCR (pronounced "O-C-R") Acronym for Optical Character Recognition.
OEM (pronounced "O-E-M") Acronym for Original Equipment Manufacturer.
OFF HOOK A term used with modems to indicate when the modem is using the telephone line, the comms equivalent of picking up the handset.
OPERATING SYSTEM The computer program at the heart of every computer that enables it run other software programs, play games etc. The operating system must understand the hardware inside the computer and know how to talk to devices attached to it. For PCs, the most popular operating systems are MS-DOS, OS/2, and Windows, but others are available, such as Linux. For Macintoshes the operating system is called Mac O/S, while Amiga's need AmigaDOS.
OPTICAL CHARACTER RECOGNITION The ability of the computer using a scanner and special software to read hand written or printed symbols, letters etc directly into the computer, thereby bypassing data entry via the keyboard.
OPTICAL DISK Optical Disks use some form of light have been around for many years but have evolved dramatically in recent years, to the point where nearly 8GB can be stored. The simplest form is the 
ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURER A generic term used to describe computer companies who manufacture or assemble computers from components for sale. The software installed on these machines is often supplied without manuals etc because it is supplied to them at "OEM" prices for installation only and not for resale.
OS/2 (pronounced "O-S-2") An operating system developed by IBM, in collaberation with Microsoft, for the PS/2 computers which offered limited compatibility with Windows. While it had some nice features, particularly in its "Warp" incarnation,  it lacked support and was rather pedantic in use, so it did not find favour as an general OS.
OUTLINE FONTS A generic term used to describe a font which has been mathematically defined such that it can be scaled to any size. See Postscript Fonts and True Type Fonts.

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Revised: September 19, 2005.