Electronics Dictionary

Electronics Dictionary - Category P

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Packet - Based upon the type of network protocol used, this term refers to how data is divided and sent over a network. A packet also contains the data size, protocol used and the network address from where it was sent.

Panchromatic - A new type of photo cell that is sensitive to all wavelengths of visible light and collect a larger amount of light, resulting in higher quality pictures.

Parallel Port - An older type of cable port connection for printers and some modems, but still used.

Parity - An error checking method used by some modems.

Partition - A area created on a hard drive which is reserved for a specific drive letter. Several partitions can be created on a single hard drive.

PASCAL - A programming language developed by Blaise Pascal.

PCI -  Peripheral Component Interconnect.

PCMCIA - Personal Computer Memory Card International Association. These cards are commonly used in laptop computers.

PDA - Personal Digital Assistant. Here is an article with information on selecting the right PDA.

Peer to Peer network - This is a network configuration where there is no server. All computers on the network share information without a server. Best use of this network topology is home or small business applications.

Peripheral - Any external device connected to a computer (i.e. - mouse, printer)

Pfishing - A form of identity theft where email posing as a legitimate source is used to gather personal information. Click here to find out more about pfishing or phishing. Best advice - do not respond to emails from unknown persons or businesses.

Phase - The amplitude of a cyclic signal at a specific point in time.

PHP -  Hypertext Preprocessor. A programming language used for web sites.

Ping - A program that verifies connection over a network.

Pixel - Abbreviated term for Picture Element. This term refers to the single dots of light that compose a image or picture.

Pixel Count - The number of pixels that make up an image.

Plant - In terms of networking, the cables that connect all the computers in a local area network.

PLC -  Programmable Logic Controller. An industrial controller that contains a CPU. The PLC is programmed in "ladder logic" language.

Plug and Play - Hardware that automatically configures software settings to run correctly.

Plugin - An add-on to a program that adds more functionality.

Podcasting - Digital audio received by means of a RSS feed. Find out here how to make your own podcast.

POP3 - This is the most common protocol ( see protocol below) used by email programs. You must designate a pop server within your email program to be able to receive emails.

POST - Power On Self Test. A computer bios goes through this basic test when it is turned on.

POTS - Plain Old Telephone System.

Power Supply - As it relates to computers, this is the energy source for the whole pc. Click here to read more about power supplies. Advanced PC user? Click here to learn about troubleshooting and repairing power supplies.

PPI - Pixels Per Inch.

PPP -  Point to Point Protocol. Allows the sending of IP packets over dial-up connections.

Program - A set of computer instructions to perform a specific task.

Protocol - A set of rules and procedures that controls communications between 2 or more devices.

PSTN -  Public Switched Telephone Network.


Copyright 2006 Wilsons Electronics Dictionary