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Glossary U...


U-BOOT(pronounced "you-boot") An abbreviation for Universal Bootloader, a project that provides firmware with full source code under GPL that is used on the AmigaOne. Many CPU architectures are supported: PowerPC(MPC5xx, MPC8xx, MPC82xx, MPC7xx, MPC74xx, 4xx), ARM(ARM7, ARM9, StrongARM, Xscale), MIPS(4Kc,5Kc), x86, and so on as detailed at http://u-boot.sourceforge.net/ and hosted at http://sourceforge.net/projects/u-boot.
UMTS (pronounced "U-M-T-S") Acronym for Universal Mobile Telephone System.
UNI (pronounced "you-nee") Abbrevation for Unidirectional Port.
UNIDIRECTIONAL PORT (abbreviation "UNI") An older parallel port standard for PCs also known as Centronics that only supports uni-directional communication between the PC and attached devices (such as a printer).
UNINTERRUPTABLE POWER SUPPLY (abbreviation "UPS") A way of ensuring that even if the mains power supply fails, the current supply to your computer continues, but it is only effective for a limited time depending on the size of the battery used to maintain the supply. In some cases it is only a few minutes, but it is generally long enough to save what you are working on and shut down in a controlled manner. The more sophisticated UPS systems used by large commercial computers can only use the battery supply until such time as a diesel powered generator is fired up to take over, but this should not be emulated using small petrol generators as the current isn't stable enough for computer use and may damage the internals of the computer.
UNIVERSAL MOBILE TELEPHONE SYSTEM (abbreviation "UMTS") A digital mobile telephone technology to deliver lightning-fast broadband connections, making streaming audio and video content a reality. This is the technology behind the third generation of digital mobile phones.
UNIVERSAL SERIAL BUS (abbreviation "USB") A plug and play type connection for computer peripherals, ranging from printers and scanners through to mice and keyboards. It has the advantage that peripherals can be connected and disconnected while the system is operational ("hot swapping"). The latter is essential when connecting PDAs for data synchronisation or data transfer. In most cases a computer will have only one or two USB ports, so a hub may be required to add additional ports.
UNIX (pronounced "U-nicks") An effective resource-sharing multi-processing Operating System developed by AT&T during the early 70's, but because AT&T was not allowed to sell computer products at this time, it released copies of it for educational purposes. Hence the popularity of UNIX spread, and some years later, with the release of Version 7, AT&T decided to restrict access to the source code. UNIX then split into two distinct streams: 4.x BSD originating from the University of California at Berkeley, where Version 7 was ported to the DEC-VAX architecture, while System V, now moving into the business world, was the result of AT&T's modifications to Version 7. Both streams are slowly coming together again as the POSIX standard takes over.
• Amiga: Amiga UNIX was one of the first releases of SVR4, and is acknowledged to be a complete implementation with full support for networking, virtual memory and X-Windows. However, it needs at least 100Mb of hard disk space, and about 10Mb of RAM, but there is a smaller version (without all the bells and whistles) called MINIX that was written by Professor Andrew Tanenbaum in 1987 for teaching purposes and requires much less resource. In effect AmigaDOS is not all that different in its capabilities so unless you must have UNIX, stick with AmigaDOS. However, the latest developments on the Amiga front have been based on Linux.
PC: Over recent years, a popular implementation of Unix in this environment is LINUX.
UNSNAPSHOT Unless the snapshot option has been used to make an icon always appear in the same place within a window, WorkBench decides dynamically where each icon should be placed. If the snapshot command has previously been used on an icon, UnSnapshot lets you cancel that position and leave it to WorkBench to dynamically place it once again.
UPLOADING The process of transferring programs and/or data files from one computer to another device or computer. In the case of a BBS, uploading refers to files that you transfer from your computer to the BBS. In most cases, this will earn you credits which either give you more time or the ability to download more files. The same terminology applies when using the Internet.
UPPERCASE Capitalised letters of a font, obtained by pressing the keyboard keys and one of the SHIFT keys (up-arrow keys above the Alt keys) at the same time. Uppercase letters may also be obtained by pressing the keyboard keys when the red light of the Caps Lock key is on.
UPS (pronounced "U-P-S") Acronym for Uninterruptable Power Supply.
USENET A worldwide bulletin board system that can be accessed through the Internet or through many online services.
UTILITY Used to describe programs which perform generalised functions, often of a utilitarian nature. There are literally thousands of utility programs and many are found in the Public Domain.

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Revised: September 19, 2005.