Getting Your Computer Connected
Getting Your Computer Connected
Ian Urquhart (Lead Developer, E-Haus, LLC.) gives expert video advice on: What is the difference between "Firewire" and "USB"?; What is a "Personal Computer Memory Card Interface Association" (PCMCIA) slot?; What is an "ethernet" cable? and more...
What is the difference between "Firewire" and "USB"?
If you take a look at the back of your computer, you'll see that there are a lot of holes there to connect different kinds of components. These holes are called ports, and one of them is called a USB. USB is used to connect the most common peripherals to your computer, such as keyboards, mice, printers and scanners - all the most common things that you can think of to plug into your computer. The other type of port is called a Firewire port. You would use this when transferring large amounts of data to your computer, such as video from your video camera. You also use a firewire port if you're transferring large amounts of data to a backup hard drive that you want to attach.
What is a "Personal Computer Memory Card Interface Association" (PCMCIA) slot?
A PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card Interface Association) slot is a slot at the side of your computer. A PCMCIA is a little hole that will allow you to slide a little card in that, in turn, will allow you to attach different components to your computer, such as a wireless card, if you don't have one, a firewire port, or more USB ports, if you're running out of space.
What is an "ethernet" cable?
An ethernet cable runs from either your laptop or your desktop computer and connects to a modem so that you in turn you can connect your computer to the Internet.
What is an "IP address"?
IP stands for Internet Protocol. An IP address is something your ISP, or Internet Service Provider, will give you that gives you an address for them to find on the internet.
What does "download" mean?
To download means to take content from one place and put it in another. If you're downloading something from the Internet, like pictures, it just means that you're taking the pictures from the Internet and putting it onto your computer. If you're downloading pictures off your camera, that means you're taking it off your camera and putting it onto your computer.
What is the difference between a patch cable and a Cat 5 cable?
A patch cable and a Cat 5 cable look almost identical. A Cat 5 cable is a standard Ethernet cable that goes from your computer into your modem or router. A patch cable is for when you want to run information from one router to another router, and you need an upload cable, which is what a patch cable is sometimes referred to as. The only physical difference between a Cat 5 cable and a patch cable are the two wires at the end that are switched around. If you look closely at the end and put them side-by-side, you'll see the difference.
What is the difference between DVI, VGA and HDMI?
Now when you hear the terms VGA, DVI, or HDMI, they're talking about the different monitor connections, like the cables that connect your computer to your monitor. The old CRT monitors that look like televisions are all VGA monitors. A lot of the LCD flat screen monitors that come out today are also VGA monitors. Now, the DVI connection was supposed to be the higher end connection that gave you a better picture, but in reality they're pretty much exactly the same. The contrast ratios on your monitors matter more than the cable connections unless you're talking about HDMI--which are found at the higher end of the spectrum--which do matter. That's when the connections actually do show the difference, but they cost almost ten times as much. So for the normal consumer like you and me, it's not going to matter if it's a VGA or DVI connection.
What is the difference between FireWire 400 and 800?
The difference between Firewire 400 and Firewire 800 is merely the speed of transfer. The Firewire 800 transfers it at a higher rate of speed than a Firewire 400. That means you can get more data in a shorter amount of time over to wherever it is you want it to go.
What is "open source"?
Open source is freely available code on the internet that anybody can download and make changes to. A lot of people who develop software for audio applications/for photo applications feel that their work should be free and that other people are free to make changes to it. And that the world would be a better place in the end if they make their software available for everybody. You've got the other camp where programmers actually say that, "no, if I have this knowledge I should be able to make a living off it and I should be able to profit off of it." I personally think there is more than enough room for both camps, and that the open source people are right. If you make a small application, then make it available for everybody, the more programmers who get into it and make changes, the better the application will be. You can factor each other; you are stronger together than you are apart.
What is "RSS"?
RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication." You've seen the logo on a lot of websites and you're probably wondering what the heck that is. All RSS means is that you get the latest headlines from that website sent to you. Think of it as a computer version of the news ticker that you see on all the cable news networks.
What is a blog?
A blog is a web log that some people have shortened down to "blog." It's just a lot of people with a lot of time writing their opinions and putting them up on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. Most of the blogs that you see online aren't worth the time it takes to read them. On the other hand, you sometimes get stuff like shoe blogs, which some girls I know really like to peruse hourly - sometimes every five minutes.
What is a "Bluetooth" connection?
A Bluetooth connection is just a different type of wireless connection than your Internet connection. Bluetooth uses a different frequency and it's got a smaller range to it. It connects two devices together, so on a computer, it would be your mouse and keyboard. If you're on your phone, it's your earpiece. That will allow you to make and receive calls without needing a wire to connect the headset to the phone.
What is "Streaming"?
Streaming usually comes into play when you're talking about serving video or audio over the Internet. Streaming means that the piece of video or audio is put in a different location, and instead of you downloading every single bit of that movie, it just plays as it goes. It's a smaller amount of information that's sent over the Internet, so you can watch it faster.