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P Definitions

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Palette: n.: In computer graphics, a palette is the set of available colors. For a given application, the palette may be only a subset of all the colors that can be physically displayed. For example, a SVGA system can display 16 million unique colors, but a given program would use only 256 of them at a time if the display is in 256-color mode. The computer system's palette, therefore, would consist of the 16 million colors, but the program's palette would contain only the 256-color subset.

PCI: n.: Short for "Peripheral Component Interconnect." It is a 64-bit bus, but it's usually implemented as a 32-bit bus. It can run at speeds of 33MHz or 66MHz. At 32-bit and 33MHz, it runs at 133MBps (Megabytes per second). A PCI slot is what you plug your internal modem, ethernet card, sound card, and some video cards into. They are the long, white slots on your motherboard.

Ping: 1. n.: Short for "Packet Internet Groper." The amount of time it takes for information to get from your computer to a server and back to your computer (measured in milliseconds). 2. v.: To send a very small file to a server and automatically bounce it back to your computer to measure the ping time (see def. 1), and sometimes returning the server's IP Adress.

Pixel: n.: Short for "PICture ELements." A pixel is a single point in a graphics image. Graphics monitors display pictures by dividing the display screen into thousands (or millions) of pixels, arranged in rows and columns. The pixels are so close together that they appear connected. On color monitors, each pixel is actually composed of three dots -- a red, a blue, and a green one. Ideally, the three dots should all converge at the same point, but all monitors have some convergence error that can make color pixels appear fuzzy. The quality of a display system largely depends on its resolution, how many pixels it can display, and how many bits are used to represent each pixel. VGA systems display 640 by 480, or about 300,000 pixels. In contrast, SVGA systems display 800 by 600, or 480,000 pixels.

Polygon: n.: A geometric figure that is used by a gaming engine to create any shape. Everything you see in a 3D game is either a polygon, or made out of polygons. Everything is made out of triangles. For example, a cube is made from 12 triangles (2 make a square, 6 squares make a cube). You can make any shape using triangles, except for perfect curves (but curves are obtained by making very small surfaces connected at large angles).

Port: 1. n.: A segment of your Internet/Network connection. Think of your Internet connection as divided into thousands of wires. Each wire is for a different purpose. This allows simultaneous transmit (like downloading a file and talking on an instant messenger). For example, port 80 is for HTTP.; 2. n.: An interface on a computer to which you can connect a device. Internally, there are several ports for connecting disk drives, display screens, and keyboards. Externally, there are ports for connecting modems, printers, mice, and other peripheral devices.

Prefab: n. "pree-fabb": Short for "Pre-Fabricated." It's a pre-made model for a 3D editor (like a level editor). For example, you can find prefabs online of torches you can use in your Quake levels. These are models people have already constructed so you don't have to.