Home Page The Club Computers News Links Glossary EYAWTK
0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z ?

Glossary S...

SAMPLE A short digitised sound, usually from an instrument, but any sound can be sampled. It is usually compressed for storage is 8SVX format.
SAMPLER A device very similar to a digitiser. The technical term for a sampler is a transducer (something that transforms a variable physical quantity into an electrical signal). However, a sampler is a special type of transducer because the electrical signal has to be converted into one that the Amiga can access. This is done by a circuit known as an Analog to Digital Converter (ADC), the output being a series of binary pulses.
SANS SERIF Refers to typefaces which look very clean. They are a relatively recent invention, and came about after it was realised that there was no reason for type to resemble handwriting other than tradition. So they made the strokes of the letters the same thickness throughout, and removed all the wiggly bits at the ends of the strokes, creating a more forceful message.

From the French word "sans" meaning `without' these are simple typefaces, unadorned by the Serifs of the Roman and Egyptian styles. It has been suggested that Sans Serif typefaces shout out their message like an American evangelist, while Serif typefaces speak it in the genteel accent of an English nobleman. For these reasons Sans Serifs are frequently used for display purposes and for headlines in newspapers and magazines, or on posters in bright colours. Many magazines, in particular those aimed at the lower age groups, now use Sans-serifs as body text, because that is what the readers prefer. However, Sans Serifs can be tiring to read when used for something that requires a lot of non-stop text, like a book, but can be perfectly acceptable for short pieces like magazine articles.

SCALABLE CLIP ART Art images which are defined using a formula rather than a picture, which enables them to be resized or "scaled" without affecting the look of each image. This is the type of output produced by Pro Draw etc.
SCALABLE FONTS Fonts which are defined using a formula rather than a static image, which enables them to be resized or "scaled" without affecting the look of each letter. These are the types of fonts known as Compugraphic or PostScript Fonts.
SCANNER An electronic device which connects to a computer for converting a still, flat image such as a photograph, into a digitised computer picture. They can be either hand-held, (where you track them across the image by hand), or flatbed, (similar to a photocopier), and be monochrome or colour, with resolutions between 100 and 1200 DPI.
SCART A 20pin connector used by many modern VCR's and TVs to send video, audio, RGB and other signals in one single socket, which has a distinctive slant at one end of the metal surround.

SCRIPT A text file containing commands that is executable from the Shell or from other scripts. A typical script file is the "Startup-Sequence" file that automatically boots the Amiga. The term script is also used to refer to a file used for ARexx processing.
SCROLLING Moving forward, backward, and sideways through the a text file or graphic images displayed in a window. Scrolling may be activated using the scroll gadget, if one is present, or in many cases by positioning the cursor, or simply using the cursor keys.
SCROLL GADGET The gadget along the right-hand side of a window which lets you scroll up or down through a list of options.
SCROLL BAR The rectangle within the scroll box that you move to display the contents of the scroll area.
SCSI (pronounced "scuzzy") An  acronym for Small Computer Systems Interface,
SCSI-1 An alternative acronym for the original SCSI standard.
SCSI-2 (pronounced "scuzzy-2") An enhanced version of the SCSI standard which offers more efficient data transfer to give it faster performance with a maximum speed of around 5Mb per second.
SCSI-2 FAST The next stage from SCSI-2 that uses 8-bit parallel data transfer between devices but it does so at double the speed of SCSI-2, making the maximum possible transfer speed around 10Mb per second. All SCSI-2 compliant hard drives will work quite happily on SCSI-2, or even the SCSI-1 systems, but obviously not to their full potential.
SCSI-2 FAST AND WIDE A further development from SCSI-2 Fast that utilises 16-bit parallel data transfer to again double the speed to around 20Mb per second.
SCSI-2 WIDE FAST Alternative acronym for SCSI-2 Fast and Wide.
SCSI-3 (pronounced "scuzzy-3") UPDATE!!!!!    An enhanced version of the SCSI standard which offers more efficient data transfer to give it faster performance with a maximum speed of around 5Mb per second.
SD (pronounced "S-D") Acronym for Send Data.
SDK (pronounced "S-D-K") Acronym for Software Development Kit.
SECAM (pronounced "see-cam") Acronym for "Système Électronique Couleur Avec Mémoire".
SECOND LEVEL BOOTER Code that is executed on completion of the U-Boot process on an AmigaOne to provide dual-booting and other options, including loading the kick-start process for the OS4 system.
SELECTING The process of choosing an icon to work with, by pointing to it with the mouse pointer, then pressing and releasing the left mouse button.
SELECTION BUTTON The left mouse button. This can also be substituted for using the left `Amiga key' and left `Alt' key together after positioning the cursor.
SEMICONDUCTOR A solid or liquid electronic conductor with as co-efficient of resistance somewhere between a metal and an insulator, but varying with temperature changes. Common semi-conductors include germanium, silicon, selenium, and so on. They are essential to the working of a computer.
SEND DATA An alternative term for Transmit Data.
SEQUENCER A program or device which creates and manages a list of musical events to be played in sequential order at specific times.
SERIAL LINE INTERNET PROTOCOL (abbreviation "SLIP") The communications protocol which allows any computer to use the Internet Protocols by means of a standard telephone line and a modem. On the Amiga you will need a software slip.device in order to connect (there are many in PD). CSLIP is the same as SLIP, but also has compression facilities to speed things up.
SERIAL PORT One of the ports available on the Amiga to connect external devices which use serial data transfer techniques, where one byte of data composed of 8 bits is transmitted serially (one after the other) over a two wire pair. See also Parallel Port and Universal Serial Bus.
SERIF The short lines or embellishments that end the main strokes of letters in some typefaces. The origins of the word "serif " are probably lost in time but they are thought to have come from the Old German or Old Dutch. Some believe that Roman stone masons added serifs simply because after cutting letters in stone, they felt they did not look right without them. Others have suggested that a clumsy mason's apprentice slipped at the end of a complicated curly bit and then made the rest of the letters look the same to try and hide the mistake. "Serif" typefaces like Baskerville, Bookman, Century Schoolbook, Garamond, Souvenir, and Times are commonly used for 3 major reasons; they are formal, they are elegant, and they exude class. They also happen to be easier to read. Scientific studies of eye movement have shown that the eye reads the top of a word first, and then works its way down until the word is recognised, which is normally before the eye has scanned the entire word from top to bottom. As the difference between letters is more marked than letters without serifs, recognition happens, on average, around 20% faster with serif typefaces. Hence Serif typefaces are generally used for body text because of its readability.
SFC Acronym for Sound Field Control.
SGI Acronym for Silicon Graphics, Inc.
SHAM Acronym for "Sliced Hold and Modify" or simply "Sliced HAM".
SHAREWARE Public Domain software that can be freely distributed and copied , but if you like it and want to continue using it, you should pay a shareware fee to the author who will then probably send you the latest release as well, or a copy of the manual etc. Paying your shareware fees (usually between $5 and $40) encourages software authors to write more programs, or as is often the case, upgrade their existing ones.
SHEET FEEDER A sheet feeder enables a printer to load single sheets of paper automatically, without having to rely on the user to load each one manually. They are supplied as part of some printers but optional on others.
SHELL According to one reputable source a shell is the outer layer of a program that makes it easier for you to communicate with the Amiga.
SHOOT-EM-UP GAMES A style of game where the aim is to shoot and destroy virtually anything that moves or could provide a threat.
SHORT MESSAGE SERVICE (abbreviation "SMS") A variation of the Amiga's Hold and Modify format developed by Rhett Anderson, (formerly associate editor of COMPUTE!'s Amiga Resource) where the palette is changed on every scan line thereby getting rid of the fringing that often affects HAM images.
SI (pronounced S-I) Acronym for Speed Indicator, or more correctly "Data Speed Indicator".
SIG (pronounced "sigg") Acronym for "Special Interest Group".
SIMM (pronounced "simm") Acronym for "Single In-line Memory Module".
SIMPLE MUSIC FILE A files layout containing music that can be created by many of the music programs on the Amiga. However, Sonix, a program that also creates SMUS files, doesn't use IFF standard instrument format, so such files must be edited using Deluxe Music to access IFF sampled instruments.
SIMULATION GAMES A style of game which attempts to simulate a real-life event in some way. Simulation games range from Flight Simulators where you can pilot various types of plane from Tiger Moths to Stealth Fighters, Driving Simulations, Submarine Simulations and many others.
SINGLE IN-LINE MEMORY MODULE (abbreviation "SIMM") A small printed circuit board containing a number of surface mounted memory chips for a defined amount of memory that can simply be slotted into the motherboard.

SINGLE SIDED SINGLE DENSITY The original 3.5 inch SSSD floppy disks which were used by the early Macintosh computers, and defined the format to become so popular. The disks had interesting features that current disks don't have, in that the metal slide had to be slid across manually before being inserted into the drive and a gentle pinch at the top left corner would release a catch and close it again once it was removed from the drive, and the write enable/protect control was a small plastic tab that had to be broken out.
SIZING GADGET A gadget in the lower right corner of a window, that allows you to change the size of the window.
SLB Acronym for Second Level Booter.
SLICED HAM (abbreviation "SHAM") A variation of the Amiga's Hold and Modify format developed by Rhett Anderson, (formerly associate editor of COMPUTE!'s Amiga Resource) where the palette is changed on every scan line thereby getting rid of the fringing that often affects HAM images.
SLIP Acronym for Serial Line Internet Protocol.
(acronym "SCSI")
Better known by its acronym, it is a standard for connecting up to 7 peripheral devices to a single controller. Actually it provides for up to 8 devices but the controller itself occupies one of the devices ports. By small computer, it originally mean something smaller than a mainframe computer, but as technology has progressed, the technology has moved into the personal computer arena. However, like any technology, it has evolved over the years and there are now many variations of the SCSI standard but the latest standards still conform to the original architecture. For more information see SCSI-1, SCSI-2, SCSI-2 Fast, SCSI-2 Fast and Wide etc.
SMT (pronounced "S-M-T") Acronym for Surface Mount Technology.
SMPTE (pronounced "sim tee") Acronym for Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, and also the name given to the time format standardised by this institution. Most high-end video decks can generate and synchronise to this time code.
SMPTE/EBU (pronounced "sim tee E-B-U") Acronym for Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers / European Broadcasting Union, which is the full name for SMPTE.
SMS (pronounced "S-M-S") Acronym for Short Message Service.
SMUS (pronounced "smooze") Acronym for Simple MUSic file.
SNAPSHOT Lets you save the positions of icons in a window or the size and position of the window itself. Every time you open the window, it will assume the size and position of the last Snapshot, and any icons which you snapshot will also appear in their saved positions relative to the window. If you do not snapshot icons and windows they will assume non-overlapping places within the window dynamically. Can be reset by using UnSnapshot.
SOFTWARE Instructions and programs, dynamically loaded from a disk or other media, that tell the computer what operations to perform.
(acronym "SDK")
Documentation describing the architecture and framework of a computer's operating system, together with the software and copy modules necessary to develop application software..
SOUND FIELD CONTROL A fancy term sometimes used by Pioneer for Graphic Equaliser or tone controls.
SOUND SAMPLER A small box of electronics that connects to either the serial or parallel port of your Amiga which converts analog sound signals to digital signals that can be stored and manipulated by your Amiga. The input can be from a microphone or an audio source such as a CD or tape deck, but software is also needed to process the data supplied from the sound sampler.
SOURCE CODE Program code written in a particular programming language. Depending on the programming language, the source code may be run directly using a Run Time Interpreter or it may need to be compiled into Object Code before it can be executed.
SPECIAL CHARACTERS Refers to characters other than numerals (0-9) and letters (A-Z), such as !@#$%^&*() etc. Many are used by AmigaDOS to indicate special meanings, for example, the semi-colon `;' is used as a comment character, and means that AmigaDOS ignores anything on a line to the right of the semi-colon.
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP A group of people who get together for a specialised interest, e.g music, graphics, animation etc. In this way, a greater depth of knowledge can be shared amongst those who pursue that interest. Amiga Auckland supports a number of SIGs over a variety of subjects, and members are always welcome to start new ones at any time.
SPLINE A smooth curve which flows through several control points.
SPORTS GAMES A style of game which attempts to simulate sporting events from your armchair, ranging from Cricket, Golf, Rugby, Motor Racing, Snooker, Soccer, Tennis and so on.
SPREADSHEET The presentation of data in a matrix format, where every intersection on the matrix is called a `cell' and each has a unique name. In operation it simulates a business or scientific worksheet in which the user is able to indicate data relationships. When data is changed in one cell the program has the ability to instantly recalculate any related factors dependent on that cell.
SPRITE A graphic element which is independent of the background that it lies on, unlike a BOB. An example is the Amiga's pointer.
SRAM (pronounced "S-ram") Acronym for "Static Random Access Memory".
SSSD Acronym for "Single Sided Single Density".
STACK An area in memory that keeps track of internal operations. Sometimes the default size of this stack is too small for some programs to run, and you may need to use the `Information' option from the Workbench menu to make the value larger.
STARTUP-SEQUENCE Instructions that initialise AmigaDOS, and is found in the "S" directory on the Workbench disk.
STATIC ELECTRICITY Electrical charges which build up on your skin and clothes as a result of friction, movement, etc -the same charges that build up on a plastic comb when you comb your hair. The chips and circuit boards used in a computer are particularly sensitive to static electricity, and expensive chips can be ruined in seconds simply by contact. You should NEVER touch the chips inside the computer or on expansion cards, and when inserting or removing cards etc, it is recommended that you always wear a grounding cable. The latter are usually fitted to the wrist using velcro, and can be purchased for about $45 from good electronics shops, otherwise leave it to somebody who uses one.
STATIC RANDOM ACCESS MEMORY A type of memory chip that uses a latch to store each bit of information, and it will keep this information as long as the power is on, without the need to be frequently refreshed as do the equivalent DRAM chips. However it doesn't hold as much information, nor does it surrender it as quickly.
STRATEGY GAMES A style of game which involves strategy and logic, and ranges from simple card games through Chess in various forms to complex simulations on how a city can be run or perhaps an ant-colony instead.
STRING A contiguous set of alphanumeric characters.
STRING GADGET A gadget used to enter or modify strings or numbers.
STRUCTURED DRAWING A picture, or artwork, stored as a mathematical representation of what is seen on the screen, rather than a fixed image. Storing images in this way enables them to be scaled up or down with no loss of quality, because the image is redrawn rather than simply magnifying or shrinking a displayable image.
SUBDIRECTORY A subdivision of a directory.
SUBMENU The additional menus that appear to right side of a selected menu item.
SUBSCRIPT A character whose baseline is shifted down, relative to the character preceding it.
SUNRASTER A graphics image format defined by Sun Microsystems, for use on their Sun workstations. On the Amiga these can be handled by ADPro's Professional Conversion Pack. Early versions of the freely redistributable image conversion program, PBM, wrote 24 bit-plane SunRaster files with an incorrect bit ordering and these cannot be processed by ADPro's PCP.
SUPERSCRIPT A character whose baseline is shifted up, relative to the character preceding it.
SURFACE MOUNT TECHNOLOGY A manufacturing technique where individual components are mounted onto a circuit board directly during manufacture, rather than being soldered or slotted in later. This has proven to significantly reduce the reject rate and also reduce subsequent after-sale problems, because soldered joints tend to dry out and slotted components tend to come loose or oxidise with age causing faulty connections. All Amigas since the A600 have used this technology.
SUSE (pronounced roughly like the American composer "Sousa") A flavour of Linux named after Software-und System-Entwicklung,  Software and System Development) which was formed in 1992. Like many of the Linux companies, it was created while its founders were still at university. One of them was Roland Dyroff, who today is SuSE's CEO. Historically Germany has had some of the most advanced users in terms of awareness and deployment of GNU/Linux, so in 1996, SuSE decided to come out with its own distribution of Linux. Since then, SuSE has gone on to add many original elements, establishing itself as the leading European distribution with investments worth 12 million Euros (about NZ$24 million) from Intel and Apax Partners since 1999, and was purchased by Novell in 2003. SUSE Linux was originally supplied with the AmigaOne but after problems with availability it was switched to Debian Linux.
SWITCHING BOX A switching box is essentially a box to which two or more plugs may be connected with the ability to switch between them. The simplest switching box is one which connects to the mouse/joystick ports, and enables you to switch between them without reconnecting cables. There are also switching boxes which enable you to connect more than one device to the parallel or serial ports and switch between them.
SYNC A sync pulse is the first event in a video signal and is used to synchronise the display device or any other video equipment such as an alternate video source, keying device, etc. Sync signals may be present as separate Horizontal and Vertical sync signals or as a combined, Composite signal.
SYNTAX The rules for the arrangement of symbols, words and phrases in a language statement. If the particular language does not understand the arrangement being used, it will typically respond with a `Syntax Error' message.
SYSOP (pronounced "siss op") Abbreviation for System Operator, and is the person in control of a BBS. The SysOp is responsible for keeping the BBS online, and maintaining the security and integrity of the data stored on the BBS. To assist in these tasks, the SysOp may delegate some of these functions to Co-SysOps.
SYSTÈME ÉLECTRONIQUE COULEUR AVEC MÉMOIRE (abbreviation "SECAM") More commonly known by its acronym, it roughly translates as "Sequential with Memory", and refers to the television standard used in France, most French (or previously French) colonies, many parts of Africa, and Russia. It uses between 625 and 819 lines and runs at 50 fields with 25 frames per second. See also NTSC and PAL.

0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z ?
Home Page The Club Computers News Links Glossary EYAWTK

Copyright © 1998 Amiga Auckland Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: September 19, 2005.