Glossary of Computer-related Terms
See also the 1995 Press Kit from Alliance Corporation.
List of terms and puns * found in the show
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Jump to: 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
- In binary notation, the same as 4096.
- Two raised to the 10th power, 1 K, kilo.
- Two raised to the 20th power, 1 M, mega.
- Two raised to the 30th power, 1 G, giga.
- Original film by student George Lucas (of Star Wars
fame) was "THX-1138".
- 1138 *
- In "The Tear", Alpha Wing proceeds on heading 1138.
- In 24-hour notation, the same as 2:00pm.
- 2 bits
- is "shayve and a hayrcut". (See nybble and byte).
- True color computer display, 8-bits each for Red, Green, Blue.
- Two raised to the 12th power, 1000000000000 in binary notation.
- Badge number of Police Constable McGarry on the British puppet
show Camberwick Green
- 452 *
- Guardian 452 is Bob.
- VGA display on IBM-PC, has less resolution than 24-bit displays.
- 8-bit *
- Low-resolution images of Bob and the others when Mainframe's
clock was slowed down.
- $99.99.99 *
- The price Mike the TV was advertising.
- American Broadcast Company, television network in the U.S.
- ABC *
- Armored Binome Carrier - an army tank. See APC.
- Atanasoff-Berry Computer - world's first digital computer.
- AC/DC Electrical appliance (like a sewing machine) that can operate on
either 120 volts A.C. (regular household current) or 120 volts
D.C. (battery power).
- AC/D Sea *
- The sea of energy surrounding Mainframe.
- A method for calculating something.
- Algorithm *
- The movie theater in Mainframe, down by the Bus Terminals.
- String of characters, letters and digits only.
- Alphanumeric *
- Enzo's way of saying "Awesome!"
- Armored Personal Carrier - an army tank. See also ABC.
- Aspect Ratio
- With width of a screen compared to its height.
Regular TV has an aspect ratio of 4/3 (1.333), HDTV is 16/9 (1.778).
- ATFL *
- ? (seen in the credits)
- The key used to delete mistakes.
- Backspace *
- "Backspace, backspace!" = "Retreat, run away!"
- Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code,
a simple language that Bill Gates ported to the original IBM-PC.
- Basic *
- Used as an insulting description of someone. Also "low density".
- One signal change per second, used to measure modem speeds.
- Baudway *
- Seen on large buildings outside Dot's Diner, also refers
to the conduits carrying the 1's and 0's digits.
- Binome *
- See "One" and "Zero" characters.
- Mathematical expression with two terms separated by "+" or "-".
- Memory on a video display card where graphics are stored.
- Bitmap *
- "Me and good old Frisket just kicked Megabyte's bitmap".
- BLock Transfer, copying pixels from one place to another.
- BLT *
- Brough Limited Television, the production company.
- Blitter Object for Amiga and Bosch graphics systems.
- Bob *
- The Guardian of Mainframe. Note: Bob's name does *NOT* come
from a computer term. It was chosen because the creators
of ReBoot liked the sound of Rowen Atkinson saying the name
"Bob!" over and over again in his commedy series "Black Adder".
- Bold Caps
- A POSTING IN 'ALL CAPS' IS CONSIDERED TO
BE SHOUTING. BOLD CAPS IS EVEN LOUDER.
- Type of logic using two values; true/false or one/zero.
- Bosch FGS Animation System
- An earlier computer used to create images.
- Boshbilt *
- Name seen on Peterbilt truck in opening sequence.
Probably named after James "Bosh" Boshier, the Editor.
- Binary Space Partition and is used in computer graphics
"for hidden surface removal in the case where the viewpoint
changes on a geometrically static scene."
- B.S.'n P.
- Broadcast Standards and Practices. The network censors.
- B.S.'n P. *
- Spell to get through stained glass window (Quick
and the Fed). Seen on liferaft in "The Belly of the Beast".
Tune sung by the Small-Town Binomes in "Talent Night"
- Error in program.
- Bus Terminator
- A resistor pack that prevents ringing on a high-speed
electrical bus, such as on the SCSI bus.
- Bus Terminals *
- The bus depot near the Algorithm Theatre.
- Bula *
- Name of the South Seas princess in the Crimson Binome.
- Computer Generated Images.
- Common Gateway Interface - used to create HTML pages on the fly
on the World Wide Web.
- CGI *
- Fax Modem and Data Nully are CGI Special Agents in "Trust No One".
- Calvin Spline *
- Seen on billboard outside Dot's Diner.
- Electrical device for storing an electrical charge.
Used in D.C. power supplies.
- Capacitor *
- Captain Capacitor is the Crimson Binome, aka Gavin.
- Capacitower *
- Tall building in each sector that runs that sector.
- Person who declares that some things are not suitible for
children to view. (See also sensor.)
- Controls how fast the computer runs.
- Clock *
- Very large pendulum that controls Mainframe.
- The program on MS-DOS personal computers that listens for
commands to be typed on the keyboard.
- command.com *
- The unseen mayor of Mainframe; Phong speaks for him.
- A composer of music, in the same category as Gershwin.
- Code name for the Mac OS after System 7; that project is dead.
- Copland *
- Name of Turbo's keytool.
- Central Processing Unit - the main piece of hardware in a
computer. Example: Intel 386, Motorola 68030, SPARC.
- CPU *
- Convertable Pursuit Unit; changes from a submarine to a police
car (One Adam 12, roger!)
- D.C. Power Bar
- Thick wire carrying several amperes of direct current.
- An extension of the Operating System that
runs detached, in the background. For instance, the 'sendmail'
daemon waits for incoming mail, the 'ftpd' + 'telnetd' + 'rlogind'
daemons handle incoming FTP, TELNET and rlogin requests.
- Daemon *
- The super-virus that infects the Net during Seasons III and IV.
- Ten cycles per second. Three decahertz is 30 frames per
second, the same rate that an NTSC television image is updated.
- Decahertz *
- Al, the cook in Al's Wait and Eat, runs at only 3 decahertz,
whereas most computers run at several megahertz.
- DeeCee's Power Bar *
- Seen on billboard outside Dot's Diner.
- Def Leppard
- Had a music video "Let's get Rocked" by the creators of ReBoot.
- see Daemon
- Dip Switch
- A set of switches small enough to fit into socket designed
for Dual Inline Pin chips. (Used to configure modems and such.)
- Dip Switch *
- "Those guys are a bunch of dip switches."
- Dire Straits
- Their music video "Money For Nothing" had simple CGI.
- Regular solid with twelve sides, each one is a pentagon.
- Dot Matrix
- Type of printer, as opposed to daisywheel and laser printer.
- Dot Matrix *
- Owner of Dot's Diner, big sister to Enzo.
- Dungeons and Dragons
- The ancestor of most role-playing games.
- Electro Cinematek *
- Pacific Cinemateque theatre near BLT studios, Vancouver.
- Ethernet Needing Zero Overhead - an Ethernet on a chip
idea for IBM PC compatibles that never caught on.
- Enzo *
- The name of Dot's kid brother - this name has no hidden
meaning, according to the producers.
- A cable that connects computers together so they can
talk to each other.
- The program in a TOPS-20 computer that listens for commands
to be entered.
- Executive Secretary
- Phong is Executive Secretary in the Principle Office.
- File Lock
- To protect a file from being read, written, or deleted.
- File Lock *
- Force field that immobilizes Mainframe inhabitants.
- Having a definite limit. Not infinitesimally small, nor
infinitely big. Contrast with transfinite
- Five *
- An inhabitant of Mainframe.
- Fixed Point
- A way of expressing numbers with an implied decimal point.
For instance, when money is expressed in cents, the decimal
point for dollars is always two digits from the right.
- Fleer *
- Company producing the ReBoot trading cards.
- Floating Point
- A way of expressing numbers where the decimal point is
allowed to move. Used in scientific calculations.
- Floating Point *
- The spot in the park.
- See "Phong".
- Program that erases everything on a hard disk and sets up
an empty top-level directory.
- FORmula TRANslator - old (and current) language for doing
mathematical computations on a computer.
- Stencil use by airbrush artists to cover certain parts
of a painting while they work on other parts.
- Frisket *
- Enzo's red and yellow dog, incredibly strong jaws.
- Game Cube
- A computer game console from Nintendo that came out 8 years after ReBoot.
- Game Cube *
- A purple, glowing cube that drops in from time to time.
Mainframers have to defeat The User, or they will be turned into Nulls.
- Captain of "The Love Boat".
- Gavin *
- Gavin Blair is creator and head animator
- Gavin *
- Real name of Captain Capacitor, the Crimson Binome.
- A common way of storing a computer image in a file.
- Gifelli *
- Name of a tire company sponsoring Formula-1 race in Mainframe.
- 1073741824 bytes (1048576 kilobytes, 1024 megabytes)
- Gigabyte *
- Kilobyte skips a generation, turns into Gigabyte,
which then splits into Megabyte and Hexadecimal.
- An unexpected electrical disturbance that makes a program
or machine act strange.
- Glitch *
- Bob's multipurpose Guardian's Tool.
- Gun *
- The name of Matrix's multipurpose weapon.
- Used to be a term of honor - the ability to make a
computer due useful tricks.
- Hack *
- One of Megabyte's henchmen, the red robot.
- Hat Trick
- In hockey, if one player scores three goals in a game, the
feat is called a "hat trick". (This started with the game
of cricket in the late 1800 in England. A bowler taking
three wickets with successive deliveries was given a hat.)
- Hat Trick *
- BLT/Mainframe Entertainment Inc has won three Gemini Awards;
one for technical merit and two "Best animated show or series".
- Base 16 numbers, 0-9 and A-F.
- Hexadecimal *
- Female villian in Mainframe.
- Hidden Files
- MS-DOS has a way of making critical system files be
hidden, so they don't show up on a regular directory listing.
- Hidden File *
- Trick Bob uses to convince Megabyte they have left.
- A type of workstation built by Silicon Graphics Inc.
- A low-end version of SGI's Indigo.
- I Want My MTV
- A music video by Dire Straits. The computer animation for this
video was done by the creators of ReBoot.
- I Want My MTV *
- Graffitti seen in Captain Capacitor's brig.
- The stair-step effect when a diagonal line is drawn on a bitmap.
- Jaggies *
- Dot says "that's creepy, it gives me the jaggies".
- JL SENIOR *
- See Lasseter, John.
- A way of compressing a computer image in a file.
- A type of Japanese sword. (Mouse has one in "Trust No One".)
- A computer program that can split large files into smaller
pieces (to fit on multiple floppy disks).
- Prefix meaning 1000 or 1024.
- 1024 bytes. (1024 kilobytes = 1 megabyte, 1048576 kilobytes = 1 gigabyte)
- Kilobyte *
- Megabyte's original form, before upgraded two generations
to Gigabyte and got split into Megabyte and Hexadecimal.
- Lasseter, John
- Creator of the short film "Luxo Jr." and the feature length
film "Toy Story". The marble statue outside Phong's Read-Only
Room is a tribute to this man's groundbreaking work.
- Los Angeles
- City in California, its City Hall seen in many SF movies.
- Lost Angles *
- The sector of Mainframe that includes Hexadecimal's Lair
- Low Density
- Floppy disk with only 720 K bytes instead of 1440 K.
- Low Density *
- Another insulting term.
- Luxo Lamp
- An adjustable lamp often seen on the desks of draftsmen and
animators. See "JL SENIOR" above.
- Big computer, typically bigger than 6 feet tall, 10
feet wide and 3 feet deep.
- Mainframe *
- The city in the computer where ReBoot takes place.
- An array; layed out rows and columns.
- Matrix, The
- Name of a science fiction movie staring Keanu Reeves.
- Matrix *
- Enzo's name for himself after growing up in the Games.
- 1048576 bytes (1024 kilobytes, 1/1024th of a gigabyte)
- Megabyte *
- Main bad guy in Mainframe.
- One million cycles per second. See Decahertz.
- Computer's microprocessor and memory are made of up silicon
- Micro-Chip *
- Seen on sign in Formula-1: Silicon Snacks, Micro-Chips.
- One millionth of a second (0.000001 seconds).
- Microsecond *
- "They should have been home microseconds ago." (Hours)
- (pronounced "mike") Short for microphone.
- Mike *
- The announcer TV.
- Minute *
- "I haven't have this much fun in minutes." (Months)
- Modulator-Demodulator - device for sending computer
data over the phone lines.
- Modemed *
- To transmit oneself from one electronic city to another.
- Device for moving the pointer on a graphical display.
- Mouse *
- A female hacker that has given Bob trouble in the past.
- One billionth of a second (0.000000001 seconds).
- Nanosecond *
- "Enzo should be home from school any nanosecond." (Minutes)
- The Internet or some other large network of computers.
- Net *
- The larger world that Mainframe is a part of.
- Old computer game written in Qbasic.
- Nibbles *
- The slug that Megabyte keeps in a cage. The remains of Welman Matrix
- Byte of 000, pointer to nothing, or the empty set.
- Null *
- The energy-sucking species that Nibbles belongs to. Remains
of Sprites who have either been defeated in a Game, or were
in the Twin City when Professor Welman's Gateway blew up.
- To make something ineffective, to cancel it out.
- Nullify *
- What happens to the citizens of Mainframe when they lose a
Game with the User - the sector is destroyed and the Sprites
are turned into Nulls.
- Half a byte; 4 bits (0000 to 1111 = 0 to 15). Pronounced "nibble".
- Regular solid with eight sides, each one is a triangle.
- A bit that is "on" - binary code is ones and zeros.
- One *
- Inhabitant of Mainframe, tall and skinny, three stacked cubes,
a type of binome.
- A high-end power workstation from Silicon Graphics Inc.
- To write over part of a file, to obliterate what was there.
- Overwrite *
- Enzo's Overwrite Delivery Service in "Racing the Clock".
- PCU *
- Prisoner Containment Unit gun in "The TIFF".
- A way of shading polygons so they don't look like flat surfaces.
See also SIGgraph definition
and comparison with Gourand shading.
- Phong *
- The all-knowing wise man of Mainframe.
- Photoshop Moment
- Reference to the "Kodak
Moment" - a happy moment worth saving on film.
- Standard TCP/IP utility to test whether a particular remote
system is accessable and alive.
- Ping *
- Signal sent into the void, programmed to lock onto energy bursts.
- Ancient video game that made Atari into a big business.
- Port, Authorized
- A low-numbered access port on a TCP/IP host.
- Port Authority *
- Place where Bob worked in the Super Computer.
- In 3-D solids modeling, intricate shapes can be formed out of
the primative shapes: sphere, cube, cone, cylinder.
- Primatives *
- A band in "Talent Night"; cone, sphere, cube. They go 2-D; the
sphere flattens into a circle, the cube rotates and flattens
into a diamond, and the cone flattens into a triangle covering
half of the diamond. This is the source of the "ReBoot" icon.
- Punch and Judy
- Olde-time puppet show where the puppets often hit
each other with a stick.
- Ancient form of computer storage, paper, holds 80 bytes of data.
- Punchcard and Qwerty *
- Puppet show on the boardwalk in "The Crimson Binome".
- The smallest unit of energy that can be added to a
subatomic particle (such as electrons and photons).
- Quantum Shake *
- A high-energy drink available at Al's Wait and Eat.
- A keyboard with the letters QWERTY on the top row.
(Typewrite keyboard as opposed to numeric keypad.)
- Ray Tracing
- Calculating what path a ray of light would have taken
from an object to your eye.
- Ray Tracer *
- Name of a web surfer.
- The act of searching for an entry in a computer database
and returning the results.
- Small Computer System Interface, used for disks and tape drives.
- Search Engine
- A program that can locate specific documents on the WWW.
- Search Engine*
- Function (occupation) of the IMAX driver, Maxine.
- Second *
- "Hurry, you haven't got all second, you know!"
- Sector *
- The city of Mainframe is divided into six Sectors.
- A device for sensing something, like temperature, pressure, etc.
- Sensor *
- Miss Emma is a "Prog Sensor" in "Talent Night". See censor.
- Scuzzy *
- The football-shaped familiar belonging to Hexadecimal.
- Silicon Graphics Inc, manufacturer of graphics workstations.
- Ship *
- The name of Mouse's ship.
- Semi-metallic element. In raw form, looks like obsidian
but is shiny gray.
- Slash *
- One of Megabyte's henchmen, the blue robot.
- Way of drawing a smooth curve through 2 or more points.
- Easily movable graphics element, built into hardware. (Bullets
and rocketships in some video games are implemeted as sprites.)
- Sprite *
- Dot, Enzo, and Bob are highly-evolved Data Sprites. The other
type of Sprites are the Binomes (Ones and Zeros)
- Very fast number cruncher, such as a CRAY-MXP.
- Supercomputer *
- Megabyte's goal for world domination, the place that Bob
came from. The Guardian Academy is there.
- Texture Mapped
- Wrapping an image (such as eyes and mouth) to a surface (such
as a sphere) instead of calculating more 3-D polygons.
- Tagged Image File Format, used for storing 24-bit images.
- Tiff *
- A misunderstanding between Bob and Dot.
- Toast *
- The Video Toaster is a video graphics board for the Commodore
Amiga computer. It was used on Babylon 5 and seaQuest DSV.
- A Canadian stocking cap, conical with a knit ball on top.
- Going beyond or surpassing any finite number, group or
magnitude. Contrast with finite.
- Jenny Trias was the ABC Head of Children's Programming.
- Trias Effect *
- The only thing capable of stopping Megabyte's Medusa Virus.
- Program that attempts to reverse the destructive effect
of the FORMAT command. Works only if FORMAT saved certain
critical bits of information somewhere else on the disk.
- Unformat *
- A device capable of reducing a binome to its components parts.
- Person using a computer.
- The User *
- The human operating the computer that contains the world
of Mainframe. The User is never visible but still competes in
- Video Window
- A window on a computer screen that displays full-motion video.
- Vid Window *
- Two-way video telephone used all over Mainframe. Small objects
can be passed through the window from one place to another.
- Program designed to infect a computer, do something nasty
and copy itself so that other computers can be infected.
- Virus *
- Megabyte and Hexadecimal are two different types of viruses.
- Viral Eraser
- Program that looks for and eliminates computer viruses.
- Viral Eraser *
- Mainframe's defense against viruses, looks just like a plain
ordinary pink eraser.
- Wait State
- When the CPU wants to access memory, but the memory bank
can't respond right away, it sends a signal that tells the CPU
to wait for the next clock cycle.
- Wait State *
- "Bob's in a wait state outside" says Enzo to Dot.
- Welman, Chris
- Executive in Charge of Software Development. Worked at
Mainframe Entertainment Inc several years before his wife, Mairi,
was hired as Director of Publicity.
- Welman Matrix *
- Father of Dot and Enzo.
- A rectangular area on a computer display screen for interacting
with programs. Built into a Macintosh, Amiga and Atari. Added
to UNIX (X-Windows) and now included with new workstations.
Finally added to the IBM-PC as Microsoft Windows.
- Wizzywig *
- Production company in Mainframe, used by Enzo to convince
Dot and Bob that Megabyte kidnapped him in "The TIFF".
- What You See Is What You Get (pronounced "whizzywig".)
A word processor that shows what the finished page looks like.
- Coordinate of a point in 2-D; distance from left edge.
- Coordinate of a point in 2-D; distance from top (or bottom).
- Coordinate of a point in 3-D; distance from the viewer.
- Zero *
- Inhabitant of Mainframe, circular shape,
a type of binome.
- Zipboard *
- Pair of flying disks that one stands on. (Better than a
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