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Glossary R...


RACING GAMES A style of game where the aim is compete either against another player or the computer in a race around a track. Some involve racing cars or motor cycles viewed from the driving seat while others show all of the cars and the track from overhead.
RAD (pronounced "radd") A portion of the Amiga's memory set aside to act like a disk drive. There are many advantages, such as faster access times than to a floppy or even a hard drive, and unlike the standard RAM Disk the contents are retained if the Amiga is warm-booted (Ctrl-A-A), but not once the power is turned off. The main disadvantage is that the size is normally limited to that of a floppy disk, but this can also be an advantage when compiling files ready for output to a floppy disk - simply transfer the file to RAD, and when finished, use disk copy to create the floppy disk from RAD.
RAM (pronounced "ramm") Acronym for Random Access Memory.
RAM DISK A portion of the Amiga's memory that functions like a disk drive. There are many advantages, such as faster access times than using a floppy disk or even a hard drive. The only disadvantage is that the contents are lost once the computer is turned off.
RAMSEY The name given to the RAM controller chip found in Amiga A3000s, etc.
RANDOM ACCESS MEMORY Refers to the memory used to store data and execute instructions, and can be read from or written to in a random order unlike the sequential access of say an audio tape. A 16 bit Amiga can have up to 9 Megabytes of RAM (1Mb Chip and 8Mb Fast) while a 32 bit Amiga can theoretically have up to 1700 Megabytes (2Mb Chip plus Fast) although less than 64Mb is normal. See also Chip RAM, Fast RAM and Memory.
RASTER IMAGE A picture comprised of pixels, such as the Amiga produces on its monitor. Vector images are made up from lines, and are not used by the Amiga.
RAY TRACING Mathematically calculating the colour of each pixel on the screen as the point where a light ray intersects the plane of the screen. The ray is traced back in time as it is reflected and refracted by the objects in the scene.
RD (pronounced "R-D") Acronym for Receive Data.
READ ONLY MEMORY Refers to memory used to store data and execute instructions which can be read from but not written to. Typically used to store static data which does not change, such as the KickStart ROMs.
REAL TIME A term which broadly means happening as we see it, but in many cases real time illustrates something more like a time warp (backwards or just oh so slowwwwww) even with a fairly fast processor.
REBOOT Often used to describe a warm boot, but can equally apply to a cold boot.
RECEIVE DATA May refer to the process of receiving data, but is more correctly used in reference to pin 3 of the RS-232C interface, which is used to receive the data being transmitted via a modem. The latter may also have an indicator light labelled RD (Receive Data) to show when data is being received.
REDUCED INSTRUCTION SET COMPUTER A computer that understands a minimum number of instructions, as opposed to CISC processors. Program writing is more complex and more difficult, but the programs run significantly faster. The exact opposite of CISC.
RENDERING The process of converting a graphic defined using a mathematical formula into a recognisable image. The process is required for virtually all 3-D Modelling Programs, as well as Character Generators and Image Processors. Be warned though because most rendering can take quite a while unless you have an accelerator in your machine, and even then it might seem long.
RENDITION The 3-D graphics format created by Numerical Design Ltd, a company which makes 3D rendering engines for hire. Software packages using this engine can usually support writing the resulting image data in Rendition format. One such package is Octree Software's Caligari Broadcast, while the ADPro Professional Conversion Pack can be used to convert it to other formats.
REQUEST TO SEND Refers to the process of a data terminal requesting to transmit its data, but is more correctly used in reference to pin 4 of the RS-232C interface which is used to pass the signal between the terminal and the modem. Once the signal is detected by the modem, it will reply by sending a Clear To Send signal to the terminal. This is only effective when RTS/CTS hardware handshaking is being used.
REQUESTER A rectangular box that appears when the system or the program needs more information from you. A requester usually contains boxes that give you a choice of actions. To exit the requester, you must select one of the displayed boxes, one of which will normally be `Cancel' which enables you to exit from a requester without doing anything.
RESOLUTION Defined by the number of pixels displayed horizontally and vertically on the screen. The modes available depend on the machine being used and the version of the Graphics chipset, as follows:
  • 320x200 - EURO:36Hz Low Resolution
  • 320x256 - PAL:Low Resolution No Overscan
  • 320x400 - DBLNTSC:Low Resolution No Flicker
  • 320x400 - EURO:36Hz Low Resolution Interlaced
  • 320x512 - DBLPAL:Low Resolution No Flicker
  • 320x800 - DBLNTSC:Low Resolution Interlaced
  • 320x1024 - DBLPAL:Low Resolution Interlaced
  • 349x207 - NTSC:Low Resolution
  • 352x283 - PAL:Low Resolution Standard Overscan
  • 349x414 - NTSC:Low Resolution Interlaced
  • 349x526 - PAL:Low Resolution Interlaced
  • 368x290 - PAL:Low Resolution Maximum Overscan
  • 400x300 - SUPER72:High Resolution
  • 400x600 - SUPER72:High Resolution Interlaced
  • 640x200 - EURO:36Hz High Resolution
  • 640x207 - NTSC:High Resolution
  • 640x400 - DBLNTSC:High Resolution No Flicker
  • 640x400 - EURO:36Hz High Resolution Interlaced
  • 640x400 - EURO:72Hz Productivity
  • 640x414 - NTSC:High Resolution Interlaced
  • 640x480 - MULTISCAN:Productivity
  • 640x480 - VGA
  • 640x512 - DBLPAL:High Resolution No Flicker
  • 640x800 - DBLNTSC:High Resolution Interlaced
  • 640x800 - EURO:72Hz Productivity Interlaced
  • 640x960 - MULTISCAN:Productivity Interlaced
  • 640x1024 - DBLPAL:High Resolution Interlaced
  • 698x263 - PAL:High Resolution
  • 698x526 - PAL:High Resolution Interlaced
  • 800x300 - SUPER72:Super High Resolution
  • 800x600 - SUPER72:Super High Resolution Interlaced
  • 1024x1024 - A2024:10Hz
  • 1024x1024 - A2024:15Hz
  • 1280x200 - EURO:36Hz Super-High Resolution
  • 1280x400 - EURO:36Hz Super-High Resolution Interlaced
  • 1388x207 - NTSC:Super High Resolution
  • 1388x263 - PAL:Super High Resolution
  • 1388x414 - NTSC:Super High Resolution Interlaced
  • 1388x526 - PAL:Super High Resolution Interlaced
RESOURCE FORK One logical segment of a file in the Macintosh filing system, containing many elements and types of information, access to which is controlled by the Resource Manager. See also Data Fork.
RESTORE The process of replacing data from a backup taken previously.
RETARGETABLE GRAPHICS A standard proposed by Commodore, where the display format is independent of the software generating the output display that would enable virtually any program to output to any graphics card or screen resolution including any not even aviailable when the program was written.
RF MODULATOR Acronym for Radio (or Reference) Frequency Modulator, which is a device that adapts an RGB or composite video signal, so that it can be used with a standard television receiver. Using RGB input, the RF modulator first converts this to a composite video signal, and then encodes the composite video output, combining it with an audio signal if desired, into a radio frequency signal that can be input via the aerial socket of a TV or video receiver tuned to the corresponding frequency. The Commodore A520 is such a device for the A500, but is supplied internally on A600's and A1200's. Because of the encoding and decoding that is required, there is a certain amount of signal and quality loss compared to RGB or even composite.
RGB (pronounced "R-G-B") Stands for Red, Green, Blue which are the primary colours used to display images on the screen.
RGB MONITOR A video display device where separate input signals are provided for Red, Green, Blue, and sync, rather than the composite or Y/C monitors used for displaying video generated images. The result is a clearer image but even this depends on the horizontal scanning rate of the monitor. The 1084 is an RGB analog monitor with a horizontal scan rate of 15KHz, which is able to display an unlimited number of colours, as distinct from a digital RGB which can display only 16 colours, but tends to flicker when hi-res mode is used. More stable pictures can be achieved with multi-sync or tri-sync monitors.
RIBBON CONNECTOR Connecting cable where each wire is individually wrapped in plastic, but layed in parallel beside the other cables, much like a strip of licorice. The cables can be soldered to the connectors, but they would normally use a type of connector that simply presses into the cable, and held in place by a locking strip. The primary disadvantage of this type of cable is the lack of shielding, so it can be susceptible to stray signals.
RISC (pronounced "risk") Acronym for Reduced Instruction Set Computer.
RISER A card which plugs into an expansion slot on the  motherboard into which other expansion cards can then be plugged, generally so that the latter are parallel to the motherboard rather than at right angles to it. It can often be used to expand the number of expansion slots available on the motherboard.
RJ11 (pronounced "R-J-eleven") The kind of jack or connector used for the Amiga keyboard on A2000, B2000 and A3000 computers, which is essentially a 180 DIN connector.
RKM (pronounced "R-K-M") Acronym for ROM Kernel Manual.
ROLE-PLAYING GAMES Role-playing games differ from adventure games, in that you get to define your character (or party of characters) at the beginning of the game. You can often name your characters, (be they dwarves, fighters, wizards, whoever), and you tend to see proceedings through the eyes of your character or party rather than moving a character on the screen.
ROM (pronounced "romm") Acronym for Read Only Memory.
ROM KERNEL MANUAL Actually a set of manuals, namely "Includes & AutoDocs", "Libraries" and "Devices" which describe much of the internal workings of the Amiga, and the rules for correctly programming the hardware. They are published by Addison and Wesley and are revised with each new AmigaDOS release.
ROOT USER The SuperUser ID on a Linux or Unix system who can do virtually anything. In effect ROOT, owns and controls the entire system, and is used to administer other users etc.
ROOT DIRECTORY The central or main directory on a disk. 
• Amiga: The `root directory' is created when a disk is formatted. All other directories must be created by you., either with the "MAKEDIR" AmigaDOS command, or copying the "Empty" drawer and renaming it, or using the "New Drawer" menu item under AmigaDOS 2.0 and above.
• UNIX: The root directory (identified as "/") is the hub of a Linux or Unix filesystem, and is the base of the tree from which all other directories and files are linked.
RS-232C (pronounced "R-S-2-3-2-C") A standard for transmission of serial data covering both hardware configurations and transmission parameters using a 25 pin connector (DB25).
RS-422 (pronounced "R-S-4-2-2") A standard for transmission of serial data covering both hardware configurations and transmission parameters using a small 8 pin connector, found on the Macintosh and high-end video equipment.
RTFM (pronounced "R-T-F-M") Acronym for Read The Flaming Manual, (or similar) often used in response to errors or problems that users might have where it is obvious they could have helped themselves simply by reading the instructions in the manual.
RTG (pronounced "R-T-G") Acronym for ReTargetable Graphics.
RTS (pronounced "R-T-S") Acronym for Request To Send.
RTS/CTS A form of flow control for data transmission which uses two of the RS-232 lines for signalling between your computer and the modem, as opposed to adding special characters as used for XON/XOFF flow control. This method is also preferable because of its speed and reliability.
RXD (pronounced "R-X-D") Acronym for Receive Transmitted Data or simply Receive Data.

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Revised: September 19, 2005.