RAM Random Access Memory (RAM) is memory in a PC where data is stored temporarily whilst the computer is working with that data.
Rambus See RDRAM.
Ramdisk A disk emulator that uses part of memory (or RAM) as a disk drive. Because it is using memory, it is much quicker in operation that a physical disk. A downfall of a ramdisk is that all data is lost when the power is turned off.
Random access A term used when referring to how hardware devices store data.  Random access is a storage technique that enables a PC to access information immediately and without having to sequentially search for it.  For example, hard disks are random access devices as the read/write heads can be moved directly to the location of the required data very quickly.  By comparison, a tape is not a random access device as it needs to sequential scan the tape for the necessary data.  This may be quick when the data is near the front but it could take a long time if the data is at the back of the tape.
Raster The pattern of horizontal scanning lines on the screen of the monitor.
Raster Graphics Commonly known as Bitmapped Images where information is stored for each individual pixel in the image.
Raw Data Data that has not been formatted or manipulated in any way. A text (.txt) file is a perfect example of raw data: It contains nothing but characters, carriage returns, and, maybe, tabs.
RDBMS Acronym for Relational Database Management System.  It is a program that joins information from tow or more databases or tables of data to form a new data file.
RDRAM Rambus DRAM (RDRAM) is a faster and more expensive type of RAM. Its main benefit is that it can perform more that one operation per clock tick, therefore yielding speeds of up to 800MHz. Due to it being more expensive, this type of RAM is normally only found in high-end server systems.
Refresh Rate The number of complete images per second that can be drawn on the screen. Expressed in hertz (Hz).
Registry A series of very technical controls deep inside the heart of your Windows operating system. There are literally thousands of different commands, classes, and keys that can all be modified.
Relational database A database that allows data to be stored in multiple files or tables that are related to one another by shared data fields called keys. There advantage is that is often easier to generate ad hoc reports and reduction in disk space used due to it not storing redundant data.
Rendering The process of converting complex display images into a bit-mapped, onscreen image.
Replication In databases, the physical copying of data from one copy of a database to another.
Resolution The resolution is the total number of pixels on a screen. For example, when changing the screen resolution in Windows, The most commonly used ones are 640 x 480, 800 x 600 or 1024 x 768. This number is the number of pixels horizontally x vertically. So, for 640 x 480, the total number of pixels is 307,200.
Restore The function that a backup program performs to write data from a previous backup set onto a hard disk or network drive. usually you can select the files to restore, where to restore them to and a number of relevant options.
RFI Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) is the noise created in communications and computer gear by the surrounding radio waves. Some of these waves come from distant radio stations. Some come from your own high-frequency gear--a cordless phone, a television's internal electronics, or a processor chip, for example. RFI rarely hurts data, which can resend any missed or mistaken bits without even letting you know there's a problem, but it can make static on any audio or video line. You can buy RFI Eliminators that block out much of RFI.
Rich media A term used in Internet marketing for flashy, interactive ads.
Rip Expression for capturing a CD track in preparation for encoding into an MP3 file. This process normally involves the conversion of the CD track into a 16-bit, 44.1KHz sampled WAV file, which is then converted into the MP3 format.
RJ-11 The RJ-11 is a single line cable with several wires that connects your phone and answering machine to each other and to the wall.
Rollover effect An effect that changes an object's appearance when the mouse pointer is placed over it. Rollover effects are typically created using JavaScript.
ROM Read Only Memory (ROM) is a type of memory that can be accessed (ie. read) but cannot be erased or written to.
Root In Unix and Linux, it can refer to two things:
1. The administrator sign-on account. Otherwise known as super-user.
2. The highest level of the directory structure. Otherwise known as "/" (without the quotation marks).


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This page was last updated on Sunday, 14 December 2008