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Glossary W...


WAIS ("wise") Acronym for Wide Area Information Servers.
WAN ("wann") Acronym for Wide Area Network.
WAR GAMES A style of game where the elements of many other styles are combined into a single game which may range from battlefield situations, where you have to keep yourself alive, to global confrontations, where one wrong move is enough to annihilate the entire planet.
WARM BOOT What happens when you restart the computer without powering it off.
• Amiga: On Classic machines, press the Ctrl key, the Left Amiga key, and the Right Amiga key (Ctrl-A-A) simultaneously to warm boot. On the AmigaOne using a PC keyboard, press the Ctrl key, the Left Windows key, and the Right Windows key (Ctrl-Win-Win) simultaneously to warm boot.
• Mac: Select Restart from the menu.
• PC: Under MS-DOS, press the Ctrl key, the Alt key and the Delete Key (C-A-D) simultaneously to warm boot. Under Windows this will bring up a requester, where you can select 'Restart'.
• UNIX: Type "reboot".
WAVEFRONT A graphics image format devised by Wavefront Technologies Inc for storing pictures in a machine independent way. There are two formats, RLA and RLB and contain alpha channel data as well as colour data. On the Amiga these can be handled by ADPro's Professional Conversion Pack.
WEB Often used abbreviation for the World Wide Web.
WIDE AREA INFORMATION SERVERS
(abbreviation "WAIS")
A database navigational aid for Internet, similar to Archie in function, but rather than locating a file by name, WAIS helps you locate a file by the information contained within it. You use WAIS to search for a string or strings of text, and it will return a list of what it considers to be the nearest matches. The easiest method of accessing WAIS is by using yet another Internet tool called the Gopher.
WIDE AREA NETWORK
(abbreviation "WAN")
Similar to a LAN except that the participating devices may not be nearby and not directly connected by any cables, but may in another city, another part of the country, or even on the other side of the world. Security is provided by devices on the WAN knowing about one another and only letting authorised traffic from these devices pass through.
WIDESCREEN Any visual display format that is wider than the 4 x 3 aspect ratio normally associated with photographs or conventional television screens etc. It has been used in films in varying sizes ranging from 5 x 3 to 8 x 3 for many years by such names as Panavision, Vistavision, Cinemascope, Imax etc, which means that when they are shown on television the sides either have to be chopped off, and/or a band displayed along the top and bottom of the picture. In recent years televisions and other devices have been equipped with wider than normal screens designed for such films.
WILD CARD A symbol used to represent any value, typically in filenames, but can also be used for data. The simplest wild-card is the question mark (?) which means any single character, for example "w?rm" would select "warm" or "worm". Another common wild-card symbol is the asterisk (*),which means any number of characters, for example "war*" would select any value beginning with "war" and "*war*" would select any value with "war" anywhere inside it, e.g. stewardess, although the Amiga uses '#?' instead of '*' so equivalent values would be "war#?" and "#?war#?". Both AmigaDOS and Linux have comprehensive pattern matching capability which includes the wild card.
WIMP ("wimp") Acronym for Window,Icon,Menu,Pointer, which is the very simple method of performing complex tasks using the on-screen mouse 'pointer', as provided by the Amiga's workbench environment, MicroSoft Windows, the Macintosh OS, or the Unix X-Windows environment.
WINDOW A framed area of the screen that can contain a program or file.
WINDOWS The name given to the GUI operating environment designed by Microsoft as an add-on for Microsoft DOS (MS-DOS). It has passed through many iterations ranging from the original "Windows" environment, through Windows for Workgroups, Windows NT, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows ME, Windows XP, Windows Vista and so on.
WINDOWS METAFILE FORMAT A structured graphics format devised by Microsoft for the storage and manipulation of images which can be scaled to any size without losing quality. Files stored in this format are typically suffixed with ".wmf".
WMF ("W-M-F") Acronyn for Microsoft's Windows MetaFile Format.
WORD PROCESSOR A program specifically defined to manipulate words (or text) with control over the fonts and formatting etc including the ability to have different fonts and formats on the same line. Many word processors can even handle pictures or artwork and the ability to wrap the text around them. Simple text manipulation can be accomplished using a text editor, while Desk Top Publishing programs provide more advanced facilities.
WORKBENCH The Amiga's icon-based graphical user interface software.
WORLD WIDE WEB
(abbreviation "WWW")
A hypertext system which allows you to easily navigate yor way around the Internet, simply by clicking on a few buttons.
WRITE To record data in memory, or on a magnetic storage medium such as disk or tape.
WRITE ENABLE On floppy disks, it refers to the inability to see through the hole at the right hand top corner when viewed from the front of the disk, and the disk drives ability to write to a disk in this condition. On USB devices, it refers to a small switch that can be set to prevent writing to the device. See also WRITE PROTECT.
WRITE PROTECT On floppy disks, this refers to the ability to see through the hole at the right hand top corner when viewed from the front of the disk, and the disk drives inability to write to a disk in this condition. On USB devices, it refers to a small switch that can be set to prevent writing to the device. See also WRITE ENABLE.
WWW("W-W-W") Acronym for World Wide Web. Also pronounced "dubya,dubya,dubya" after George W. Bush and often abbreviated to simply "dub,dub,dub".
WYSIWYG
("wizzy wig")
Refers to "What You See Is What You Get" that is a way of describing the output from many Word Processors and DTP programs, in that it allows the author to see what the final result will look like as it us being created, but it can also cause confusion as changes are made and can make large documents unwieldy.
WYSIWYN
("wizzy win")
Refers to "What You See Is What You Need" that is a way of describing the output from many Word Processors and DTP programs, that is a variation of WYSIWYG, advocating that the information that a user needs is actually immediately visually perceptual.

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Revised: September 19, 2005.