Month: August 2016

Tech Terms: HDV

Stands for “High-Definition Video.” According to a consortium of manufacturers including Sony, JVC, Canon, and Sharp, it is a “consumer high-definition video format.” HDV is the next step up from Mini DV, which has been used in consumer digital camcorders for several years. The HDV technology allows high-definition video to be recorded on a Mini DV tape, using MPEG-2 compression.

Of course, recording in high-definition requires an HD camcorder, such as the Sony HDR-FX1 or the JVC GR-HD1. These cameras are significantly more expensive than their Mini DV counterparts, but can capture much higher quality video. HDV uses a native 16:9 widescreen format, with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. This is a substantial improvement over Mini DV, which records video in a 4:3 format, with a maximum resolution of 500 horizontal lines. Most HDV camcorders allow the user to record in standard DV as well, but if you shell out a couple thousand dollars extra for a HDV camcorder, you might as well shoot everything in HD.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/hdv

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Tech Terms: Mini DV

Most digital camcorders record video and audio on a Mini DV tape. The cassettes measure 2.6 x 1.9 x 0.5 inches (L x W x H), while the tape itself is only 0.25 inches thick. A Mini DV tape that is 65 meters long can hold an incredible 11GB of data, or 80 minutes of digital video.

The small size of Mini DV tapes has helped camcorder manufacturers reduce the size of their video cameras significantly. Some consumer cameras that use Mini DV tapes are smaller than the size of your hand. Because Mini DV tapes store data digitally, the footage can be exported directly to a computer using a Firewire (IEEE 1394) cable. So if you want to record video and edit it on your computer, avoid the SVHS and Hi-8 options and make sure to get a camera that uses Mini DV.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/minidv

So what is an MSP?

You may have heard the term MSP, but what does it mean? Managed Services Provider (MSP) is “the practice of outsourcing on a proactive basis management responsibilities and functions and a strategic method for improving operations and cutting expenses”.1 According to eFolder the following terms are associated with the MSP model:2

  • Quote – A quote is an estimate of the price of services or hardware sold. A quote is a formal presentation of these prices for your clients. Quotes should appear in a professional manner and include branding elements such as a logo and tagline.
  • Proposal – A proposal is typically used for a special project for a client, outside of the managed services contract. A proposal should identify the business problem and the technology solution you are proposing to solve the problem. Proposals are not meant to list costs or services, but rather the encompassing business solution. Like a quote, proposals should appear professionally and in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
  • Contract – A contract is a formal, legally binding document that defines the terms of the Managed Services Provider’s business relationship with their clients. A written contract seals the deal with your client, so well written contracts can have attorney input, and include restrictions, exclusions, and any other terms of the business agreement you wish to include.
  • SLA – An SLA, or Service Level Agreement, is part of your contractual obligation with a client. An SLA is an agreed upon amount of time that the Managed Service Provider has to respond or resolve a client issue. It’s a best strategy to under-promise and over-deliver, so build out a standard SLA and be sure to communicate these clearly to your service team and your clients.

Traditionally, information technology companies use the term, IT MSP. Businesses can utilize IT MSPs resources such as expertise, partnerships for better pricing, hosting, etc. The MSP model allows businesses to scale up or down based on the availability of internal resources. For example, why incur the expense of hiring 24/7/365 internal resources when you can pay an IT MSP when you need assistance. There are all inclusive contracts or pay as you go contracts.

Zerofail Southeast (ZFSE) is an IT MSP headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. We provide a variety of services segmented into six groups: application/user support, IT consulting, network administration, phone support, procurement and software development. Let ZFSE be your IT concierge for all of your IT support services.

Contact us today at info@zerofailse.com or 770.396.6000 Option 1 to see how we can assist you.

1https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Managed_services

2http://www.efolder.net/blog/msp-jargon-whats-in-a-word/

Tech Terms: DV

Stands for “Digital Video.” Unlike traditional analog video, which is captured frame by frame on a tape, digital video is recorded digitally, as ones and zeros. Since it is stored in a digital format, digital video can be recognized and edited by a computer, which is also a digital device.

DV camcorders, including Mini DV and HDV, record digital video and therefore can export the footage to a computer using a Firewire (IEEE 1394) cable. Analog camcorders such as SVHS and Hi-8 devices must be run through a analog to digital converter (DAC) in order to be transferred to a computer.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/dv

Tech Terms: Digital

Digital information is stored using a series of ones and zeros. Computers are digital machines because they can only read information as on or off — 1 or 0. This method of computation, also known as the binary system, may seem rather simplistic, but can be used to represent incredible amounts of data. CDs and DVDs can be used to store and play back high-quality sound and video even though they consist entirely of ones and zeros.

Unlike computers, humans perceive information in analog. We capture auditory and visual signals as a continuous stream. Digital devices, on the other hand, estimate this information using ones and zeros. The rate of this estimation, called the “sampling rate,” combined with how much information is included in each sample (the bit depth), determines how accurate the digital estimation is.

For example, a typical CD audio track is sampled at 44.1 KHz (44,100 samples per second) with a bit depth of 16 bits. This provides a high-quality estimation of an analog audio signal that sounds realistic the human ear. However, a higher-quality audio format, such as a DVD-Audio disc, may be sampled at 96 KHz and have a bit depth of 24 bits. The same song played on both discs will sound more smooth and dynamic on the DVD-Audio disc.

Since digital information only estimates analog data, an analog signal is actually more accurate than a digital signal. However, computers only work with digital information, so storing data digitally makes more sense. Unlike analog data, digital information can also be copied, edited, and moved without losing any quality. Because of the benefits digital information offers, it has become the most common way of storing and reading data.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/digital

Tech Terms: Analog

As humans, we perceive the world in analog. Everything we see and hear is a continuous transmission of information to our senses. This continuous stream is what defines analog data. Digital information, on the other hand, estimates analog data using only ones and zeros.

For example, a turntable (or record player) is an analog device, while a CD player is digital. This is because a turntable reads bumps and grooves from a record as a continuous signal, while a CD player only reads a series of ones and zeros. Likewise, a VCR is an analog device, while a DVD player is digital. A VCR reads audio and video from a tape as a continuous stream of information, while a DVD player just reads ones and zeros from a disc.

Since digital devices read only ones and zeros, they can only approximate an audio or video signal. This means analog data is actually more accurate than digital data. However, digital data can can be manipulated easier and preserved better than analog data. More importantly, computers can only handle digital data, which is why most information today is stored digitally. But if you want to transfer video from old analog video tapes into your computer so you can edit them, you’re not out of luck. You can use a digital to analog converter (DAC) to convert the analog information into a digital signal that can be recognized by your computer.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/analog

Tech Terms: Optical Drive

In the real world, “optical” refers to vision, or the ability to see. In the computer world, however, “optical” refers to lasers, which can “see” and read data on optical discs. These discs include CDs and DVDs, which are made up of millions of small bumps and dips. Optical drives have lasers that read these bumps and dips as ones and zeros, which the computer can understand.

Some common types of optical drives include CD-ROM, CD-RW, DVD-ROM, DVD-RW, and Blu-ray drives. CD and DVD writers, such as CD-R and DVD-R drives use a laser to both read and write data on the discs. The laser used for writing the data is much more powerful than the laser that reads the data, as it “burns” the bumps and dips into the disc. While optical drives can spin discs at very high speeds, they are still significantly slower than hard drives, which store data magnetically. However, because optical media is inexpensive and removable, it is the most common format used for distributing computer software.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/opticaldrive

Dialog Box

As the name implies, a dialog box serves to initiate a dialog with the user. It is a window that pops up on the screen with options that the user can select. After the selections have been made, the user can typically click “OK” to enter the changes or “Cancel” to discard the selections. It is customary for menu options that include an ellipsis at the end, such as “Preferences…” or “Save As…”, to open a dialog box when selected.

For example, if a user selects “Internet Options…” from the Options menu in Internet Explorer, a dialog box will pop up allowing the user to choose the default home page, change the security settings, empty the browser cache, and modify several other settings. Once the selections have been made, the user can click “OK” to use the new settings, or “Cancel” to discard the changes. Some Windows programs also have an “Apply” option that activates the selections without closing the dialog box.

When a user selects “Open…” from the File menu, an “Open dialog box” appears, allowing the user to browse the hard drive and other disks for files to open. When “Save As…” is chosen from the File menu, a “Close dialog box” pops up, allowing the user to type the name of the file and choose where to save it. While dialog boxes may not seem too exciting, they provide an intuitive way to communicate with the computer and are an essential part of today’s computer interfaces.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/dialogbox

Tech Terms: Hyper-threading

Hyper-threading is a technology developed by Intel Corporation. It is used in certain Pentium 4 processors and all Intel Xeon processors. Hyper-threading technology, commonly referred to as “HT Technology,” enables the processor to execute two threads, or sets of instructions, at the same time. Since hyper-threading allows two streams to be executed in parallel, it is almost like having two separate processors working together.

While hyper-threading can improve processing performance, software must support multiple processors to take advantage of the technology. Fortunately, recent versions of both Windows and Linux support multiple processors and therefore benefit from hyper-threading. For example, a video playing in Windows Media Player should not be slowed down by a Web page loading in Internet Explorer. Hyper-threading allows the two programs to be processed as separate threads at the same time. However, individual programs can only take advantage of Intel’s HT Technology if they have been programmed to support multiple processors.

Source: ttp://techterms.com/definition/hyperthreading

Tech Terms

An alert box, sometimes called a message box, is a small window that pops up on your screen to warn you that your computer is about to perform an operation with potentially damaging consequences. For example, when you choose to empty the Trash or Recycle Bin on your computer, an alert box may pop up, saying “Are you sure you want to permanently remove these items?” You are then given the choice to select “OK,” to delete the items, or “Cancel,” to prevent the items from being removed.

Alert boxes act as a safeguard for users, preventing us from doing things we wish we hadn’t. Perhaps the most common alert box is the one that pops up when you try to close a document without saving it. You’ll mostly likely see an alert box with the message, “Save changes to this document before closing?” You can select “Don’t Save,” to discard the changes, “Save,” to save the changes before closing the document, or “Cancel,” to cancel closing the document and continue working on it.

Most alert boxes include the standard alert icon — a triangle with an exclamation point in the middle — to get your attention. However, not all alert boxes have multiple options, such as “Cancel” and “OK.” For example, an alert box may show up on your screen saying a program performed an illegal operation and has unexpectedly quit. When that happens, your only option is to select “OK” and then kick your computer for quitting the program before you had a chance to save your work.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/alertbox