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Learning Barcode Terminology 101

Alternating Current (AC) - In electricity, alternating current (AC) occurs when charge carriers in a conductor or semiconductor periodically reverse their direction of movement. Household utility current in most countries is AC with a frequency of 60 hertz (60 complete cycles per second), although in some countries it is 50 Hz. The radio-frequency (RF) current in antennas and transmission lines is another example of AC.

Access Point - In networking, an access point is a bridge. An access point converts RF to Ethernet. Allows RF end devices such as handheld, VMUs, and other data collection computers and PC’s, PDAs, etc. to connect to a LAN.

Automated Identification & Data Capture (AIDC) - The AIDC industry, synonymous with the Automatic Data Collection (ADC) industry utilizes hardware such as handheld, vehicle mounted and stationary data collection computers, wireless networks, scanners, and printers, and software such as ERP, WMS, etc. to collect data. This is done by using RFID, Touch Memory and barcodes. Using these tools allows us to better perform warehouse management, asset tracking, work in process tracking, route delivery, retail sales, inventory management, and many other tasks.

Automatic Identification Manufactures (AIM) – AIM, Inc. is the global trade association for the Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) industry. Their members are manufacturers or service providers of technologies such as radio frequency identification (RFID), barcode, card technologies (magnetic stripe, smart card, contact less card, optical card), biometrics, and electronic article surveillance (EAS).

American National Standards Institute (ANSI) - ANSI is the primary organization for fostering the development of technology standards in the United States. ANSI works with industry groups and is the U.S. member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electro technical Commission (IEC). Long-established computer standards from ANSI include the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) and the Small Computer System Interface (SCSI). In addition to DEC VT, 3270 and 5250, ANSI is a Terminal Emulation (TE) option on some data collection computers.

Antenna - An antenna is a specialized transducer that converts radio-frequency (RF) fields into alternating current (AC) or vice-versa. In the AIDC industry, a variety of antennas are used to modify or focus the gain of signal strength and include omni-directional, directional, high gain, and low or no gain antennas.

AS400 - The AS/400, formally renamed the "eServer iSeries/400," but still commonly known as AS/400 - is a midrange server designed for small businesses and departments in large enterprises and now redesigned so that it will work well in distributed networks with Web applications. The AS/400, one of IBM's greatest success stories, is widely installed in large enterprises at the department level, in small corporations, in government agencies, and in almost every industry segment.

Avalanche - Avalanche, from Wavelink, is a software product that provides centralized management of a large installed based of mobile end devices. It provides over the air configuration changes and and security among other things. See also Mobile Manager from Wavelink.

Backbone - A backbone is a larger transmission line that carries data gathered from smaller lines that interconnect with it. At the local level, a backbone is a line or set of lines that local area networks (LAN) connect to for a wide area network (WAN) connection or within a local area network to span distances efficiently (for example, between buildings).

Bandwidth - Bandwidth has a general meaning of how much information can be carried in a given time period (usually a second) over a wired or wireless communications link. For example, a link with a broad bandwidth - that is, a broadband link - is one that may be able to carry enough information to sustain the succession of images in a video presentation. More technically, bandwidth is the width of the range of frequencies that an electronic signal occupies on a given transmission medium. Any digital or analog signal has a bandwidth. In digital systems, bandwidth is expressed as bits (of data) per second (bps) or Kbps or Mbps.
Bar code - A bar code is the image of lines (bars) and spaces that is affixed to retail store items, identification cards, products, documents, postal mail, etc. to identify a particular product number, person, or
location. The code uses a sequence of bars and spaces to represent numbers and other symbols, known as a symbology.

Batch - Batch refers to a way that automatic data collection computers operate. Batch devices do not have a wired or wireless real-time connection to a host machine or application. They run a software
application that prompts the user for data. Data is collected and stored in memory or in a data file. At the end of the day or the user’s shift, the device is placed in a dock, cradle or otherwise connected to a PC or other host machine and the stored data is then downloaded to the host.

Bridge - In networking, a bridge extends the maximum distance of your network by connecting network segments which can be of dissimilar types. For example, RF to Ethernet. Access Points are bridges. Bridges determine the physical (MAC) address of the destination of a packet and will then rebroadcast the signal only if it resides on the other segment, thereby reducing overall

CAT 5 - CAT5 is one of the many categories of unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cables. The specifications describe the cable material as well as the types of connectors and junction blocks to be used in order
to conform to a category. CAT5 cables support up to 100Mbps transmission speeds over a distance of 100 meters.

CardBus - CardBus is the trade name for an advanced PC Card (also known as PCMCIA card) specification. The technology is used primarily in notebook and portable computers. The CardBus card fits in a
slot like a conventional PC card. CardBus allows for all the functions that are possible with PC cards, but with several improvements.

CE - Windows CE is an operating system from Microsoft designed for hand held computers. The CE operating system and the subset PocketPC operating system are designed for ¼ size VGA screens. CE has a Graphical User Interface (GUI) and is designed for application use in the business environment.

Compact Flash (CF) - A CompactFlash (CF) card is a popular memory card developed by SanDisk in 1994 that uses flash memory to store data on a very small card. A CompactFlash card makes data easy to add to a wide variety of computing devices, including digital cameras and music players, desktop computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), digital audio recorders, and photo printers. Based on the
Cisco - Founded in 1984 by a group of computer scientists from Stanford University, Cisco has grown into the leading manufacturer of wired and wireless network equipment used on the Internet and on private networks worldwide.

Client - A client is the requesting program or user in a client/server relationship. For example, the user of a Web browser is effectively making client requests for pages from servers all over the Web. The browser itself is a client in its relationship with the computer that is getting and returning the requested HTML file. The computer handling the request and sending back the HTML file is a server. Other examples of clients are email such as Outlook, Terminal Emulation (TE) and custom software applications on a data collection computer that communicate with a server application in real-time.

Client/Server - Client/server describes the relationship between two computer programs in which one program, the client, makes a service request from another program, the server, which fulfills the request. In a network, the client/server model provides a convenient way to interconnect programs that are distributed efficiently across different locations. Examples of client/server include - Outlook running on your PC and our Ryzex email server,

Coaxial Cable - Coaxial cable is called "coaxial" because it includes one physical channel that carries the signal surrounded (after a layer of insulation) by another concentric physical channel, both running along the same axis. The outer channel serves as a ground. Many of these cables or pairs of coaxial tubes can be placed in a single outer sheathing and, with repeaters, can carry information for a great

Code 39 - The Code 39 symbology (also called "3 of 9“ and “the universal code”), developed by Intermec, is probably the most commonly used barcode, and it is a standard for many government bar code specifications. This barcode encodes numbers, uppercase letters, and some punctuation. The list of valid characters for the Code 39 barcode includes:
Capital letters A to Z
Numbers 0 to 9
The space character
Symbols -. $ / +%

Code 128 - The Code 128 symbology is a variable length symbology which can encode numeric, upper and lower case alphabetic characters (the full 128 ASCII character set), punctuation, special function and control data characters. It also enables numeric data to be compressed into double the normal density by encoding two digits per encoded character.
Code 128 has three different character sets, called subset A, subset B, and subset C, which allow the bar code to be optimized for size.

Characters Per Inch (cpi) - For a given font or symbology, cpi (characters per inch) is the number of typographic or data characters that will fit in each inch of a printed line.
Barcode density is usually specified in cpi.

Direct Current (DC) - Direct Current (DC) is the unidirectional flow or movement of electric charge carriers, usually electron. The intensity of the current can vary with time, but the general direction of
movement stays the same at all times. As an adjective, the term DC is used in reference to voltage whose polarity never reverses. Most data collection equipment takes DC power. The power supplies that are ordered with the equipment converts AC power into the appropriate DC power level.

Decoded - Usually refers to a decoded or decoding barcode scanner. In the old days, scanners transmitted data called raw count data which is simply a list of the amounts of time spent on each bar and space in a barcode. It was then up to another device called a reader or decoder to translate the raw count data into something meaningful such as ASCII data. The decoder would then transmit the data to a host computer. Today, we have scanners that decode the raw count data into ASCII or Keycode data and transmit it straight to the host computer.

Density - Usually refers to the density of a barcode. Barcodes printed with a small X Dimension are more dense than those printed with a large X Dimension because more information can be crammed into a given space. Density is usually expressed in mils.

Depth of Field - Depth of Field (DOF) is the difference between the farthest scannable distance and the closest scannable distance to the barcode.

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) -DHCP is a communications protocol that lets network administrators manage centrally and automate the assignment of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses in an organization's network. Each machine that can connect to the Internet needs a unique IP address. When an organization sets up its computer users with a connection to the network, an IP address must be assigned to each machine manually without DHCP. With DHCP, the IP addresses may be assigned to each computer automatically. DHCP lets a network administrator supervise and distribute IP addresses from a central point.

Dual Inline Package (DIP) - A DIP is a common type used to mount and enclose semi-conductor chips. See also DIP Switch.

Dipole Antenna - Unlike an isotropic antenna, a dipole antenna is a real antenna that has a 360° radiation pattern in the horizontal plane and a 75° radiation pattern in the vertical plane if the antenna is mounted vertically. This creates a doughnut shaped radiation pattern. Because the beam is slightly concentrated, dipole antennas have a gain over isotropic antennas of 2.14dbi in comparison to an isotropic antenna. Some antennas are rated in comparison to a dipole antenna which is denoted by dBd. So, dipole antennas have a gain of 0dBd in relation to itself which is equivalent to 2.14dBi. A half wave dipole antenna (.5dBd) is rated at 1dBi. A quarter wave dipole antenna (.25dBd) is rated at .5dBi).

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Dip Switch - A series of tiny switches built into circuit boards. The housing for the switches, which has the same shape as a chip, is the DIP. DIP switches enable you to configure a circuit board for a particular type of computer or application. The installation instructions should tell you how to set the switches. DIP switches are always toggle switches, which means they have two possible positions -- on or off. (Instead of on and off, you may see the numbers 1 and 0.)
Many data collection devices, especially legacy, such as printers and radios have DIP switches. These switches are set for certain conditions, this is how these devices were configured.

Direct Sequence - DS Spread Spectrum is a RF technology that uses one to three 22MHz wide channels. Typically only one channel is used at a time. Other channels can be used when interference is an issue. DSSS provides a larger range and throughput than FHSS. DSSS is typically more costly than FHSS. DSS is more susceptible to interference than FHSS.

Direct Thermal - Direct thermal printing utilizes a heat sensitive chemically coated paper. The thermal print head is typically a long linear array of tiny resistive heating elements (about 100 to 300 per inch) that are arranged perpendicular to the paper flow. Each thermal print head element locally heats an area on the chemically coated paper directly under the print element. This induces a chemical reaction, which causes a black dot to form in that area. Building it from dot rows as the media passes underneath the active edge of the print head forms the image.

Directional Antenna - Directional antennas focuses the radiation pattern in a specific direction. They are available in a variety of from factors and strengths. Directional antennas are useful in covering long hallways and in bridging two wireless networks together.

Diversity Antenna - The use of diversity antennas is the use of two identical antennas for a single radio in an access pointOne antenna is the primary and the other is the secondary. The access point will periodically check the signal strength from each antenna and will use the stronger one. Diversity antennas are intended to be used as a last resort to reduce multipathing. They should not be used as a default. Diversity theory dictates that identical antennas be used and that they be mounted very precise distances apart.

Dots Per Inch (dpi) - In printing, dpi is the usual measure of printed image quality on the paper. The average printer today provides 152 dpi or 607 dpi. Choosing the higher print quality usually reduces the speed of printing each

Electrically Earasable Programmable Read Only Membory (EEPROM) - EEPROM, pronounced double-ee-prom or e-e-prom, is user-modifiable read-only memory (ROM) that can be erased and reprogrammed (written to) repeatedly through the application of higher than normal electrical voltage. Unlike EPROM chips, EEPROMs do not need to be removed from the computer to be modified. However, an EEPROM chip has to be erased and reprogrammed in its entirety, not selectively. It also has a limited life - that is, the number of times it can be reprogrammed is limited to tens or hundreds of thousands of times. In an EEPROM that is frequently reprogrammed while the computer is in use, the life of the EEPROM can be an important design consideration. A special form of EEPROM is flash memory, which uses normal PC voltages for erasure and reprogramming.

Electro Magnetic Interference (EMI) - EMI is the disruption of operation of an electronic device when it is in the vicinity of an electromagnetic field in the radio frequency (RF) spectrum that is caused by another electronic device. The internal circuits of personal computers and heavy machinery can generate EM fields in the RF range over a wide band of frequencies. These emissions can interfere with the performance of sensitive wireless receivers nearby.

End of Life (EOL) - After a product has been on the market for a significant period of time, usually four years or more, the manufacturer will designate the product as end of life and will no longer be sold. This can happen because there is no demand for the product or because parts to build the product can no longer be sourced, or because a product that supercedes it is available.
Usually, the manufacturer will still provide support and service on the product for a few months after EOL. Eventually though, the product will be designated End Of Service and End Of Support.
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Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory (EPROM) - EPROM is programmable read-only memory (programmable ROM) that can be erased and re-used. Erasure is caused by shining an intense ultraviolet light through a window that is designed into the memory chip. (Although ordinary room lighting does not contain enough ultraviolet light to cause erasure, bright sunlight can cause erasure. For this reason, the window is usually covered with a label when not installed in the computer.) A different approach to a modifiable ROM is electrically erasable programmable read only memory (EEPROM).

Electro Static Discharge (ESD) - Electrostatic discharge is the release of static electricity when two objects come into contact. Familiar examples of ESD include the shock we receive when we walk across a carpet and touch a metal doorknob and the static electricity we feel after drying clothes in a clothes dryer. A more extreme example of ESD is a lightening bolt. While most ESD events are harmless, it can be an expensive problem in many industrial and manufacturing environments. If not properly grounded, ESD can cause serious damage to electronic equipment.

Extended Service Set ID (ESSID) - A Service Set Identifier (SSID) is a sequence of characters that uniquely names a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN). This name allows stations to connect to the desired network when multiple independent networks operate in the same physical area. Each set of wireless devices communicating directly with each other is called a Basic Service Set (BSS). Several BSSs can be joined together to form one logical WLAN segment, referred to as an extended service set (ESS). A Service Set Identifier (SSID) is simply the 1-32 byte alphanumeric name given to each ESS.

Ethernet - Ethernet is the most widely-installed local area network (LAN) technology. Specified in the 802.3 standard from the IEEE, Ethernet was originally developed by Xerox and then developed further by Xerox, DEC, and Intel. An Ethernet LAN typically uses coaxial cable or special grades of twisted pair wires. Ethernet is also used in wireless LANs. The most commonly installed Ethernet systems are called 10BASE-T and provides transmission speeds up to 10Mbps. Devices are connected to the cable and compete for access using a Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) media access method. Fast Ethernet or 100BASE-T provides transmission speeds up to 100Mbps and is typically used for LAN backbone systems, supporting workstations with 10BASE-T network interface cards (NIC). Gigabit Ethernet provides an even higher level of backbone support at 1000Mbps (1Gbps or 1 billion bits per second). 10-Gigabit Ethernet provides speeds up to 10 billion bits per second.

Fiber Optic - Fiber optic (or "optical fiber") refers to the medium and the technology associated with the transmission of information as light impulses along a glass or plastic wire or fiber. Fiber optic wire carries much more information than conventional copper wire such as 10BASE-5, 10BASE-2, 10BASE-T, or 100BASE-T and is far less subject to electromagnetic interference. Most telephone company long-distance lines are now fiber optic.Transmission on fiber optic wire requires repeating at distance intervals. The glass fiber requires more protection within an outer cable than copper and fiber is more expensive than copper. FDDI and 10BASE-F use fiber optic cable.

Firmware - Firmware is software that is inserted into programmable read-only memory (PROM), thus becoming a permanent part of a computing device. Firmware is created and tested like software using processor emulators. When ready, it can be distributed like other software and, using a special user interface, installed in the programmable read-only memory by the user. Most data collection scanners, readers, printers, network devices and other devices have firmware.

Flash - Flash memory (sometimes called "flash RAM") is a type of constantly-powered nonvolatile memory that can be erased and reprogrammed in units of memory called blocks. It is a variation of
electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM). Flash memory is not very useful as RAM because of the overhead involved in writing data to a flash memory device. Flash memory tends to much less expensive than SRAM. Flash memory is available in a PC Card format. The term flash is also used as a verb to describe the act of burning or loading firmware onto a data collection computer, scanner, printer, network device.

Frequency Hopping - FH Spread Spectrum is a RF technology that uses up to 79 1MHz wide channels. Each “channel” is actually a preset sequence of frequencies. Transmissions will run the sequence for a given channel, in other words, it hops from one frequency to another during transmission. It can stay on a given channel for up to 400ms before hopping. As a result, this technology is more immune to interference than DSSS. Intermec’s devices with Open Air radios and Symbol’s Spring and 802.11 radios use Frequency Hopping.

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Gateway - A gateway is a network point that acts as an entrance to another network. A gateway is a router that also performs protocol translations.On the Internet, a node or stopping point can be either a gateway node or a host (end-point) node. Both the computers of Internet users and the computers that serve pages to users are host nodes. The computers that control traffic within your company's network or at your local Internet service provider (ISP) are gateway nodes.

General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) - GPRS is a packet-based wireless communication service that promises data rates from 56 up to 114 Kbps and continuous connection to the Internet for mobile phone and computer users. The higher data rates will allow users to take part in video conferences and interact with multimedia Web sites and similar applications using mobile handheld devices as well as notebook computers. GPRS is based on Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication and will complement existing services such as circuit-switched cellular phone connections and the Short Message Service (SMS). Some data collection computers are available with GPRS radios.

Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) - GSM is a digital mobile telephone system that is widely used in Europe and other parts of the world. GSM uses a variation of time division multiple access (TDMA) and is the most widely used of the three digital wireless telephone technologies (TDMA, GSM, and CDMA). GSM digitizes and compresses data, then sends it down a channel with two other streams of user data, each in its own time slot. It operates at either the 900 MHz or 1800 MHz frequency band.

Hertz - Hertz is a unit of frequency (of change in state or cycle in a sound wave, alternating current, or other cyclical waveform) of one cycle per second. It replaces the earlier term of "cycle per second (cps)." For example, in the United States, common house electrical supply is at 60 hertz (meaning the current changes direction or polarity 120 times, or 60 cycles, a second). (In Europe, line frequency is 50 hertz, or 50 cycles per second.) Broadcast transmission is at much higher frequency rates, usually expressed in kilohertz (KHz) or megahertz (MHz).

Infrared Data Association (IrDA) - IrDA is an industry-sponsored organization set up in 1993 to create international standards for the hardware and software used in infrared communication links. In this special form of RF transmission, a focused ray of light in the infrared frequency spectrum, measured in terahertz, or trillions of hertz (cycles per second), is modulated with information and sent from a transmitter to a receiver over a relatively short distance. Infrared radiation (IR) is the same technology used to control a TV set with a remote control. Infrared data communication is playing an important role in wireless data communication due to the popularity of laptop computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), digital cameras, mobile telephones, pagers, and other devices.

Intellitrack - Intellitrack started off as a PSC product and then broke away to form their own company. IntelliTrack® WMS is a low end and fairly easy-to-use warehouse management solution available in both batch and real-time RF versions. IntelliTrack WMS includes advanced warehouse management capabilities, including directed picking and put-away, cubing, wave management, and cross docking. Intellitrack’ Data Management Software provides modular solutions for:
Inventory, Stock Room, Fixed Assets, Check in / Check out.

Interleaved 2 of 5 (I 2 of 5) - Interleaved 2 of 5 is a barcode symbology that is used for many applications and is also referred to as USS ITF 2/5, ITF and I 2of 5 (pronounced Eye 2 of 5). It is a high-density numeric barcode type that can only encode 0 - 9. It is based on 2 of 5 but also encodes information in the spaces.

Intermec (Interface Mechanism) - Intermec designs, manufactures and sells data collection equipment such as scanners, readers/decoders, barcode printers, print media, wireless network systems, and other network devices. In 1988, Intermec bought Norand, a competitor.

Input/Output (I/O) - I/O is a very old term for Input/Output. Originally, it was used in programming and digital circuit design to refer to functions or circuits that dealt specifically with input and/or output functionality of hardware or software. Over the years, it has developed other meanings and it is a rarely used term today.

Internet Protocol (IP) - The Internet Protocol (IP) is the method or protocol by which data is sent from one computer to another on a network. Each computer (known as a host) on the network has at least one IP address that uniquely identifies it from all other computers on the network. When you send or receive data (for example, an e-mail note or a Web page), the message gets divided into little chunks called packets. Each of these packets contains both the sender's Internet address and the receiver's address as well as the data.

IP Address - In the most widely installed level of the Internet Protocol (IP) today, an IP address is a 32-bit number that identifies each sender or receiver of information that is sent in packets across the Internet or a network. Unlike a MAC address, an IP address is a logical address and is assigned to a computer, printer or other device on a network either manually or automatically by a DHCP server. is an example of an IP address. It is presented in four octets, each of which is 8 bits comprising a decimal number from 0 to 255. An IP address has two parts – the network address and the host address. The network is the first X number of bits (varies depending on the network) and the host address is the remaining bits. Subnet masks determine how much of the IP address is network address and how much is host address.

Local Area Network (LAN) - A LAN is a group of computers and associated devices that share a common communications line or wireless link and typically share the resources of a single processor or server within a small geographic area, for example, within an office building.

Laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) - A laser is a device containing a substance where the majority of its atoms or molecules are put into an excited energy state. As a result, the laser emits coherent light of a precise wavelength in a narrow beam. Many barcode scanners use laser light.

LEAP (Lightweight Extensible Authentication Protocol) - LEAP is the lightweight version of EAP and is a Cisco proprietary protocol also known as Cisco-Wireless EAP. LEAP provides
username/password-based authentication between a wireless client and a RADIUS server like Cisco ACS or Interlink AAA. LEAP is one of several protocols used with the IEEE 802.1x standard for LAN port access control. In the 802.1x framework, a LAN station cannot pass traffic through an Ethernet hub or WLAN access point until it successfully authenticates itself. The station must identify itself and prove that it is an authorized user before it is actually allowed to use the LAN. The primary difference between LEAP and EAP/TLS is that LEAP uses a username and password to authenticate while EAP/TLS uses
digital certificates.

LED (Light Emitting Diode) -A light-emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor device that emits visible light when an electric current passes through it. The light is not particularly bright, but in most LEDs it is monochromatic, occurring at a single wavelength. The output from an LED can range from red (at a wavelength of approximately 700 nanometers) to blue-violet (about 400 nanometers). Some LEDs emit infrared (IR) energy (830 nanometers or longer); such a device is known as an infrared-emitting diode (IRED).Wand, CCD and imaging scanners use LEDs for a light source.

Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) -A Lithium Ion battery is a rechargeable battery with twice the energy capacity of a NiCd battery and greater stability and safety. It is much less susceptible to memory effect than NiCd and NiMH batteries.

MilliAmpere Hour (mAh) - A milliampere hour is 1000th of an ampere hour (Ah). Both measures are commonly used to describe the energy charge that a battery will hold and how long a device will run before the battery needs recharging. Many batteries used for portable data collection computers use 1500mAh to 2700mAh batteries.

Mil - An international unit of measurement equaling one thousandth of an inch. Barcodes are measured using mils. Mil comes from the French word mille meaning thousand.

Mobile Manager - Mobile Manager, from Wavelink, is a multi-vendor solution for providing effective network management and control over wireless LANs. Mobile Manager will rapidly configure and deploy wireless networks (access points), maintain network health and performance, perform updates to mobile devices, and manage remote sites. This product is similar to but more robust than Intermec’s MobileLAN Manager.

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MobileLAN Manager - MobileLAN Manager, from Intermec, is a wireless network management software package that manages Intermec access points. It is a Java application, so it is a stand alone application (previous incarnations of this type of product from Intermec such as IncaView required that HP OpenView be owned and installed by the customer. This product is similar in nature to Mobile Manager from Wavelink, however it is not as robust as the Mobile Manager product

Milliwatt (mW) - The watt (abbreviated W) is the standard unit of power (or energy per unit time) and is the equivalent of one joule per second. The watt is used to specify the rate at which electrical energy is dissipated, or the rate at which electromagnetic energy is radiated, absorbed, or dissipated.mW or milliwatt is one thousandth of a Watt.In AC and DC electrical cicuits, W and mW is used to specify wattage.In RF, W and mW is also used to express output power.

Narrowband - Generally, narrowband describes telecommunication that carries voice information in a narrow band of frequencies. More specifically, the term has been used to describe a specific frequency range set aside by the U.S. FCC for mobile or radio services, typically in the 400Mhz range. In the AIDC industry Narrow Band communications refer to Ultra High Frequency (UHF) RF.

Network Interface Card (NIC) - Each device (Node) on a network will have a NIC. The NIC is installed inside the device and serves as the interface to the network. The NIC can be Ethernet, Token Ring, RF, or other. It provides a real-time dedicated connection to the network.Every NIC in the world has a unique hardware address called a MAC (Media Access Control) address. This is not to be confused with an IP address which is a logical address assigned to the NIC on each computer, printer, router, and other devices on a local area network (LAN). Nodes may have more than one NIC installed to talk to different networks.

Nicket Cadium (NiCd) - The NiCad battery is a type of battery commonly used in portable computers, camcorders, portable drills, hand held data collection computers, and other small battery-powered devices, having an effective and even power discharge. When compared to Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) and Lithium Ion batteries (Li-ION), NiCd batteries are the most susceptible to memory effect.

Nickel Metal Hydride (NiNH) - The Nickel-Metal Hydride battery is a rechargeable power source that is increasingly used in portable computers and other devices. The NiMH battery provides up to 40 percent longer service life than Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd) batteries as well as greater charge capacity. NiMH batteries are also used in cellular phones and camcorders. NiMH batteries are less susceptible to memory effect than NiCd batteries but more susceptible than Lithium Ion (Li-ION) batteries.

Node - In a network, a node is a connection point, either a redistribution point or an end point for data transmissions. In general, a node has programmed or engineered capability to recognize and process or forward transmissions to other nodes.In an offshoot meaning, computers, printers, and other devices connected to a network are also referred to as nodes.

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) - Originally, an OEM was a company that supplied equipment to other companies to resell or incorporate into another product using the reseller’s brand name. For example, a maker of barcode scanners like HHP might sell its scanners to a retailer like Intermec under a brand name owned by Intermec. A number of companies, both equipment suppliers and equipment resellers, still use this meaning.More recently, OEM is used to refer to the company that acquires a product or component and reuses or incorporates it into a new product with its own brand name.

Omni-directional Antenna - There are several types of antennas that are used in an RF implementation. Omni-directional antennas are among them. Omni-directional antennas radiate an RF signal in a 360 degree pattern.

Open Air - The Wireless LAN Interoperability Forum (WLIF) was a consortium of companies including Casio, Data General, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Intermec, Mitsubishi, Motorola, and Proxim, and was created in May 1996 to develop an open interoperability specification for wireless LAN devices. The result is the standard called Open Air. Open Air is based on a radio from Proxim, and uses Frequency Hopping and has a fixed data rate of 1.6Mbps. Intermec, Telxon and LXE products used Open Air radios. It is important to note that the Open Air standard has nothing whatsoever to do with the 802.11 specifications from the IEEE.

Packet -A packet is the unit of data that is routed between an origin and a destination on any packet-switched network such as Ethernet. When any file (e-mail message, HTML file, Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) file, Uniform Resource Locator (URL) request, and so forth) is sent from one place to another on the network, TCP/IP divides the file into "chunks" of an efficient size for routing. Each of these packets is separately numbered and includes the IP address of source and the destination. The individual packets for a given file may travel different routes through the network to the destination. When they have all arrived, they are reassembled into the original file (by TCP/IP at the receiving end).

PC Card -A PC Card (previously known as a PCMCIA card) is a credit card-size memory or I/O device that fits into a personal computer, usually a notebook or laptop computer. Probably the most common use of a PC Card is the telecommunications modem and network adaptor for notebook computers. The PC Card is based on standards published by the Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA). The PCMCIA 2.1 Standard was published in 1993. As a result, PC users can be assured of standard attachments for any peripheral device that follows the standard. A PC Card has a 68-pin connector that connects into a slot in the PC. There are three sizes (or "types") of PC Cards based on the thickness of the cards:The Type I and II cards work in a Type III slot and a Type I card will work in a Type II slot. (On the other hand, the thicker cards can't be fitted into the slots for the thinner cards.)

PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) - The PCMCIA is an industry group organized in 1989 to promote standards for a credit card-size memory or I/O device that would fit into a personal computer, usually a notebook or laptop computer. The PCMCIA 2.1 Standard was published in 1993. As a result, PC users can be assured of standard attachments for any peripheral device that follows the standard. The initial standard and its subsequent releases describe a standard product, the PC Card.

Platform - In computers, platform is a general term that refers to the physical hardware machine or the operating system running on that machine or the language and compiler that an application was developed under or any combination of these. For example, my customer’s platform is Unix running on a DEC machine. Or, my application is written in C with the MS Visual C version 1.52 compiler. Or, my platform is an IBM AS400.

PocketPC - Windows PocketPC is an operating system from Microsoft designed for hand held computers. The PocketPC operating system and the superset CE 3.0 operating system are designed for ¼ size VGA screens such as are found on PDAs. PocketPC has a Graphical User Interface (GUI) and is designed for consumer use. It comes with applications such as Pocket Word, Pocket Excel, Pocket Outlook, etc.

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Power Over Ethernet (PoE) - In the old days, when installing access points, the customer or installer had to run data cabling such as UTP and electrical cable to power access points. UTP cable has four pairs of wires, only two pairs are used to carry data. A few years ago, someone thought to carry power to the access points through the one of the other pairs of wires in the data cable, thereby eliminating the need for installing electrical cable which can be quite expensive. Power Over Ethernet involves the use of a power injector (Intermec calls it a power bridge). The power injector is installed in the central hub or switch room and is powered by AC power. The data cable is run into the injector which adds power to one of the unused wire pairs. DC power is then carried on the data cable to the access point.

Point of Sale (POS) - A point of sale is any checkout counter in a retail or wholesale outlet. Much more complex than the cash registers of even just a few years ago, the POS system can include the ability to scan barcodes, record and track customer orders, process credit and debit cards, connect to other systems in a network, and manage inventory.Generally, a POS terminal has as its core a personal computer, which is provided with application-specific programs and I/O devices for the particular environment in which it will serve.

Power Injector - A power injector is a device that delivers DC power over a network cable such as CAT5 UTP cable. This process is known as Power Over Ethernet (PoE). Intermec calls their power injector the MobileLAN Power Bridge. Symbol calls theirs the BIAS-T. Cisco calls theirs a power injector. The use of a power injector can eliminate the need to run AC power to each access point location, thereby greatly reducing the cost of an RF implementation.

Programmable Read Only Memory (PROM) - Programmable read-only memory (PROM) is read-only memory (ROM) that can be modified once by a user. PROM is a way of allowing a user to tailor firmware using a special machine called a PROM programmer. This machine supplies an electrical current to specific cells in the ROM that effectively blows a fuse in them. The process is known as burning the PROM. Other forms of ROM are Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EPROM) or electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM).

Protocol - A protocol is a set of rules governing a communication event in serial, parallel, network, wireless and other forms of electronic communication.Protocols exist at several levels in a telecommunication connection. There are hardware protocols, protocols between each of several functional layers of a network protocol stack and high level software application protocols and others.Both end points of a communication must recognize and observe a protocol. Protocols are often described in an industry or international standard.

PSC (Photographic Sciences Corporation) - A manufacturer that makes barcode scanners and data collection computers and terminals.

Programmers Software Kit (PSK) - A PSK is a library of functions that a programmer uses to develop an application for a data collection computer. Intermec has a PSK for its Janus family of products and a PSK for their Antares family of products. Other manufacturers have libraries available as well for their products. Sometimes its called a Software Developer’s Kit (SDK).

Resolution - In barcodes, resolution usually refers to how many data characters can be printed in a given amount of space. Resolution is usually specified in characters per inch (cpi).

Retro Reflective - Retro reflective labels have a shinny background surface. This type of label stock is often used when a long scanning distance is required. Combined with a large X Dimension and a long range scanner, retro reflective labels can be scanned from 50+ feet.

Radio Frequency (RF) - Radio frequency is a term that refers to alternating current (AC) having characteristics such that, if the current is input to an antenna, an electromagnetic (EM) field is generated suitable for wireless broadcasting and/or communications. These frequencies cover a significant portion of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum, extending from nine kilohertz (9KHz), the lowest allocated wireless communications frequency to thousands of gigahertz (GHz).
When an RF current is supplied to an antenna, it gives rise to an electromagnetic field that propagates through space. This field is sometimes called an RF field; in less technical jargon it is a "radio wave."AIDC industry products use UHF (400+MHz), 900MHz and 2.4GHz RF equipment.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) - RFID is a technology that incorporates the use of electromagnetic or electrostatic coupling in the RF portion of the electromagnetic spectrum to uniquely identify an object, animal, or person. RFID is coming into increasing use in industry as an alternative to the barcode. The advantage of RFID is that it does not require direct contact or line-of-sight scanning. An RFID system consists of three components: an antenna and transceiver (often combined into one reader) and a transponder (the tag). The antenna uses RF waves to transmit a signal that activates the transponder. When activated, the tag transmits data back to the antenna. The data is used to notify a programmable logic controller that an action should occur. The action could be as simple as raising an access gate or as complicated as interfacing with a database to carry out a monetary transaction. Low-frequency RFID systems (30 KHz to 500 KHz) have short transmission ranges, generally less than six feet. High-frequency RFID systems (850 MHz to 950 MHz and 2.4 GHz to 2.5 GHz) offer longer transmission ranges that exceed 90 feet. In general, the higher the frequency, the more expensive the system.

Read Only Memory (ROM) - ROM is "built-in" computer memory containing data that normally can only be read, not written to. ROM contains the programming that allows your computer to be "booted up" or regenerated each time you turn it on. Unlike a computer's random access memory (RAM), the data in ROM is not lost when the computer power is turned off. The ROM is sustained by a small long-life battery in your computer. Other forms of ROM include PROM, EPROM and EEPROM.

Router - On a network, a router is a device or, in some cases, software in a computer, that determines the next network point to which a packet should be forwarded toward its destination. The router is connected to at least two networks and decides which way to send each information packet based on its current understanding of the state of the networks it is connected to. A more intelligent for of a router is a gateway.

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Software Developer’s Kit (SDK) - An SDK is a library of functions that a programmer uses to develop an application for a data collection computer. Symbol has an SDK for its family of products. Other manufacturers such as Intermec have libraries available as well for their products, they call it the Programmer’s Software Kit (PSK).

Server - 1) In general, a server is a computer program that provides services to other computer programs, called clients, in the same or other computers.
2) The computer that a server program runs in is also frequently referred to as a server (though it may contain a number of server and client programs).
3) In the client/server programming model, a server is a program that awaits and fulfills requests from client programs in the same or other computers. A given application in a computer may function as a client with requests for services from other programs and also as a server of requests from other programs.

Spread Spectrum - Spread spectrum is a form of wireless communications in which the frequency of the transmitted signal is deliberately varied. This results in a much greater bandwidth than the signal would have if its frequency were not varied.Data collection computers and access points use Spread Spectrum technology such as Direct Sequence SS and Frequency Hopping SS.

Spring - Spring Protocol refers to the first 2.4GHz radios offered by Symbol Technologies. It was designed to the draft version of the 802.11 standard and is often referred to as pre-802.11.

Service Set Identifier (SSI) - A Service Set Identifier (SSID) is a sequence of characters that uniquely names a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN). This name allows stations to connect to the desired network when multiple independent networks operate in the same physical area. Each set of wireless devices communicating directly with each other is called a Basic Service Set (BSS). Several BSSs can be joined together to form one logical WLAN segment, referred to as an Extended Service Set (ESS). A Service Set Identifer (SSID) is simply the 1-32 byte alphanumeric name given to each ESS.

Subnet Mask - Once a packet has arrived at an organization's gateway or connection point with its unique network address, it can be routed within the organization's internal gateways using the host address as well. The router knows which bits to look at (and which not to look at) by looking at a subnet mask. A mask is simply a screen of numbers that tells you which numbers to look at underneath, specifically an IP address. In a binary mask, a "1" over a number says "Look at the number underneath"; a "0" says "Don't look." Using a mask saves the router having to handle the entire 32 bit address; it can simply look at the bits selected by the mask. With this example subnet mask -, the network address occupies 24 bits or the first three octets and the host address occupies the last eight bits or the last octet. The sender and the receiver should be using the same subnet mask in order to interpret the IP address properly.

Switch - A switch is a network device that provides a central point of connection between media segments. Switches are very intelligent hubs. Switches can perform intelligent path selection and minimize the amount of network traffic and hides the traffic from devices not involved in a dialog.
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Symbol Technologies - Symbol Technologies is a manufacturer of data collection scanners, computers and wireless network systems.

Symbology - The term barcode symbology can be thought of similarly to the way we think of the many languages we speak all around the world. There are many symbologies and they each have a vocabulary (character set) and a grammar or set of rules governing how we use the vocabulary. Some barcode symbologies are more appropriate for certain applications than others. Some symbologies encode only numbers 0 – 9, others encode numbers and upper case letters while others encode all 128 ASCII characters. One-dimensional (linear) symbologies have been around for years. Two-dimensional symbologies consist of stacked row symbologies and area symbologies.

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol - TCP/IP (TCP/IP) is the basic communication protocol of the Internet. It can also be used as a communications protocol in a private network.

Terminal Emulation (TE) - TE is the act of emulating a dumb data terminal to remotely access a host computer or mainframe. Typical terminals emulated include the following models:
DEC VT 100, 220, 320, and 460.

Thermal Transfer - Thermal transfer printers use the same basic technology as direct thermal printers, but with the elimination of chemically-coated media material in favor of a non-sensitized face stock and a special inked ribbon. A durable, polyester ribbon film coated with a dry thermal transfer ink is placed between the thermal print head and label. The thermal print head is used to transcribe the ink onto the label surface, where it cools and anchors to the media surface. The polyester ribbon is then peeled away, leaving behind a stable, passive image.

Advantages: High contrast, crisp image bar code print quality with a durable, long-life and archival image stability, maximum readability and IR scan ability, high contrast text, graphic and bar code print capability, and capability of printing on an unlimited variety of media stock – except multi-form.

Disadvantages: Cannot print on media without use of ribbon – resulting in higher supply costs over direct thermal, single pass thermal transfer ribbon can be wasteful if little is printed on it, ink transfer ribbon is a poor candidate for re-cycling, and to obtain optimum print quality in thermal transfer, the ribbon and media substrate MUST be compatible - otherwise, the heat from the print head could melt the ribbon onto the label causing internal printer problems.

Token Ring - A Token Ring network is a LAN in which all computers are connected in a ring or star topology and a bit- or token-passing scheme is used in order to prevent the collision of data between two computers that want to send messages at the same time. Token Ring was developed by IBM and is now specified by the IEEE in 802.5. The IEEE 802.5 Token Ring technology provides for data transfer rates of either 4 or 16Mbps.

Universal Access Point (UAP) - UAP is an Intermec acronym referring to a family of access point products.

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User Datagram Protocol (UDP) - UDP is a communications protocol that offers a limited amount of service when messages are exchanged between computers in a network that uses the Internet Protocol (IP). UDP is an alternative to the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and, together with IP, is sometimes referred to as UDP/IP. Like TCP, UDP uses the Internet Protocol to actually get a data unit (called a datagram) from one computer to another. Unlike TCP, however, UDP does not have all of the overhead such as error checking and transmission retries. As a result, UDP is much faster than TCP but not as reliable. Network applications that want to save processing time because they have very small data units to exchange (and therefore very little message reassembling to do) may prefer UDP to TCP. The Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) uses UDP instead of TCP.

Ultra High Frequency (UHF) - The UHF range of the radio spectrum used in legacy data collection computers is typically in the band extending from 400MHz to 450MHz. These radios are crystal based. These crystals must be grown and on occasion re-aligned because they have a tendency to drift.Its radio output power of 1w to 2w yields an effective range of one to two miles. Because of this, a site license is required from the FCC in order to use UHF radios in a data collection application.The data rate is about 19.2Kbps or less.

Undecoded - Undecoded scanners collect raw count data and transmit it to some other device, a decoder, that then converts the data and into ASCII data.

Unix - Unix is an operating system that originated at Bell Labs in 1969 as an interactive time-sharing system. Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie are considered the inventors of Unix. The name (pronounced YEW-nihks) was a pun based on an earlier system, Multics. In 1974, Unix became the first operating system written in the C language. Unix has evolved as a kind of large freeware product, with many extensions and new ideas provided in a variety of versions of Unix by different companies, universities, and individuals, such SCO Unix, Sun Microsystems Unix, and Linux. Because Unix is not owned by anyone, it became the first open or standard operating system that could be improved or enhanced by anyone.

Universal Product Code (UPC) - UPC is a barcode symbology that encodes numeric data only. It is used primarily in the retail industry to barcode products. There are two versions of UPC, UPC Version A which is a 12 digit symbology and UPC Version E which is a 6 digit symbology.
Universal Serial Bus (USB) - USB (Universal Serial Bus) is a plug-and-play interface between a computer and add-on devices (such as audio players, joysticks, keyboards, telephones, scanners, printers, and barcode scanners). With USB, a new device can be added to your computer without having to add an adapter card or even having to turn the computer off. The USB peripheral bus standard was developed by Compaq, IBM, DEC, Intel, Microsoft, NEC, and Northern Telecom and the technology is available without charge for all computer and device vendors. USB supports a data speed of 12 megabits per second. This speed will accommodate a wide range of devices, including MPEG video devices, data gloves, and digitizers. It is anticipated that USB will easily accommodate plug-in telephones that use ISDN and digital PBX. Some barcode scanners are available with a USB interface.

Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) - UTP cable is used for analog and digital communications. Flat gray UTP cable is used for phone lines and thicker UTP cable of various colors is used for digital networking. UTP cable has two to four pairs of wires, each pair is twisted around each other. UTP has no metallic shielding around the pairs. Category 5 or CAT5 cable is a popular cable used for networking and has four pairs. This type of cable is used in the IEEE 10BASE-T and 100BASE-T specifications for wired Ethernet networks.

Value Added Reseller (VAR) - A VAR is someone who adds some type of value like software to new or refurbished hardware products and sells to an end user, however they do not as a primary business buy and sell refurbished hardware.

Vehicle Mounted Unit (VMU) - A VMU or VMT is simply a data collection computer that mounts to a forklift or other vehicle. It get its power from the vehicle itself. Because of this and because these units are usually bigger than hand held units, they sometimes have full size screens, keyboards and operating systems such as Windows or Linux.

Video Terminal (VT) - VT is a family of terminals from DEC that includes the DEC VT100, 220, and 320. VT is the most popular terminal emulation type found on data collection computers.

Wide Area Network (WAN) - A WAN is a geographically dispersed telecommunications network, sometimes global in nature. The term distinguishes a broader telecommunication structure from a local area network (LAN) or a Metropolitan Area Network (MAN). A wide area network may be privately owned or rented, but the term usually connotes the inclusion of public (shared user) networks.

Wand - A wand, aka Light Pen, is a type of barcode scanner. Wands use a Light Emitting Diode (LED) for a light source and they must have contact with the barcode. The user manually swipes the wand from one end of the barcode to the other.

Wand Emulation - A barcode scanner that supports wand emulation first decodes a scanned barcode and then converts it back to a generic form of undecoded data. This is provided so that a decoded scanner may be connected to a reader or decoder that expects undecoded data as input.

Wavelink - A company that designs and sells software for terminal emulation, wireless network management, end device management and application development.

Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) - WEP is a data encryption standard, specified in the 802.11 standards from the IEEE, that is designed to provide a wireless local area network (WLAN) with a level of security and privacy comparable to what is usually expected of a wired LAN. A wired local area network (LAN) is generally protected by physical security mechanisms that are effective for a controlled physical environment, but may be ineffective for WLANs because radio waves are not necessarily bound by the walls containing the network. WEP sought to establish similar protection to that offered by the wired network's physical security measures by encrypting data transmitted over the WLAN. 40 bit WEP encryption is specified in the 802.11 standards. Access Point Manufactures went beyond that and offered 128 bit WEP encryption, however this is not part of the 802.11 standards.Although WEP is sufficient to protect data from most would be hackers, WEP encryption is vulnerable to those with the know how and the tools to break the encryption keys. Other methods such as password protection, end-to-end encryption, virtual private networks (VPNs), and authentication can be put in place to ensure privacy.

Wireless - Wireless generally refers to devices that communicate with other devices without wires. Examples of wireless media include RF, infrared, microwave, and satellite.
It is important to note that RF is wireless but wireless is not necessarily RF.

Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) - Wireless generally refers to devices that communicate with other devices without wires. Examples of wireless media include RF, infrared, microwave, and satellite. It is important to note that RF is wireless but wireless is not necessarily RF.

Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) - Wi-Fi Protected Access is a specification of standards based, interoperable security enhancements that strongly increase the level of data protection and access control for existing and future LANs. Designed to run on existing hardware as a software upgrade, WPA is derived from and will be forward compatible with the 802.11i standard. When properly installed, it will provide wireless LAN users with a high level of assurance that their data will remain protected and the only authorized network users can access the network. The Wi-Fi Alliance plans to begin interoperability certification testing on Wi-Fi products starting February 2003.

Wireless Wide Area Network (WWAN) - WWAN is a wireless WAN which typically uses CDMA, GPRS and other cell phone technology radios.

X Dimension - In barcoding, the X Dimension is the nominal width of the narrow bar in a barcode. Every barcode has an X dimension. The widths of wider bars and spaces are specified as a multiple of the X Dimension. The X Dimension is used to determine a barcode’s density. The smaller the X Dimension, the higher the density.

Zebra - A company that manufacturers and sells a wide range of barcode printers, accessories and media supplies.

2.4GHz - 2.4GHz is a RF frequency band commonly used in the data collection industry. Most of the major manufacturers provide access points and data collection computers with 2.4GHz radios. Some are proprietary such as the Spring radios from Symbol but most 2.4GHz radios conform to one of the following standards.
Open Air

3270 - The 3270 Information Display System ( a dumb terminal), a product from IBM, was, prior to the arrival of the PC, the way that almost the entire corporate world interfaced with a computer. When first
produced (the early 1970s), a 3270 display terminal was considered a vast improvement over its predecessor, the 2260.
The terminal was a non-graphical (text only) monochrome (black screen with green letters) display that buffered data so that key strokes could be saved until the ENTER key was pressed.
Today, the 3270 is emulated in most Terminal Emulation (TE) software packages along with VT and 5250.

5GHz - Devices with 5GHz radios operate primarily in the range extending from 5.15GHz to 5.35GHz and 5.725GHz to 5.825GHz.
The effective range of 5GHz radios varies dramatically from about 35 feet to about 1800 feet outdoors. No RF site license is required.
The data rate also ranges dramatically from 6Mbps to 54mbps. The 802.11a standard specifies a 5GHz radio.
5GHz is much faster than UHF and 900MHz but has an area of coverage about equal to or smaller than 2.4GHz. It is also less susceptible to RF interference than 2.4GHz.

5250 - The 5250 terminal, a product from IBM, was the primary interface to the IBM AS400. The terminal was a non-graphical (text only) monochrome (black screen with green letters) display.
Today, the 5250 is emulated in most Terminal Emulation (TE) software packages along with VT and 3270.

802 - The 802 specifications from the IEEE specify many networking subjects as listed below.
802.1 - Internetworking
802.2 - Logical Link Control, defines the LLC & MAC sublayers
802.3 - Ethernet (CSMA/CD)
802.4 - Token Bus LAN
802.5 - Token Ring LAN
802.6 - Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)
802.7 - Broadband Technical Advisory Group
802.8 - Fiber Optic Technical Advisory Group
802.9 - Integrated Voice and Data Networks
802.10 - Network Security
802.11 - Wireless Networks
802.12 - Demand Priority Access LAN, 100BaseVG-AnyLAN
802.15 - Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN)
802.30 - 100Base T

802.1x - 802.1x is a standard from the IEEE for passing EAP over a wired LAN. EAP messages are packaged in Ethernet frames. It is authentication and nothing more. 802.1x is also now used in wireless LANs since the wireless standard 802.11i has not yet been ratified. 802.1x has three components. The user or client that wants to be authenticated is called a supplicant. The actual server doing the authentication, typically a RADIUS server, is called the authentication server, and the device in between, such as an access point, is called the authenticator. One of the key points of 802.1x is that the authenticator can be simple and dumb - all of the brains have to be in the supplicant and the authentication server. This makes 802.1x ideal for access points, which are typically small and have little memory and processing power. The protocol in 802.1x is called EAP encapsulation over LANs (EAPOL). It is currently defined for Ethernet-like LANs including 802.11 wireless, as well as token ring LANs such as Fiber Distributed Data  Interface (FDDI). Authentication algorithms in 802.1x include EAP Cisco Wireless (LEAP), EAP-TLS and PEAP.

802.3 - 802.3 is a standard for Ethernet, a method of physical communication in a LAN, which is maintained by the IEEE. In general, 802.3 specifies the physical media and the working characteristics of Ethernet. Ethernet supports these possible physical media:
10BASE-2 (Thinnet coaxial cable with a maximum segment length of 185 meters)
10BASE-5 (Thicknet coaxial cable with a maximum segment length of 500 meters)
10BASE-F (fiber optic cable)
10BASE-T (twisted pair wire)
100BASE-T (twisted pair wire)
10BASE-36 (broadband multi-channel coaxial cable with a maximum segment length of 3,600 meters)

802.3af - 802.3af, also known as Power over Ethernet, defines a way to build Ethernet power-sourcing equipment and powered terminals. The specification involves delivering 48 volts of DC power over unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) wiring. It works with existing cable plant, including Category 3, 5, 5e or 6; horizontal and patch cables; patch-panels; outlets; and connecting hardware, without requiring modification. This approach of delivering power to an access point utilizes a power injector to add DC power to a CAT5 cable.

802.11 - 802.11 is a wireless standard from the IEEE. The original standard specifies three wireless technologies:
Frequency Hopping
Direct Sequence
There have been additions to this standard that specify faster technologies such as:
There is also an addition that deals with wireless security.
Often times, in the data collection industry, 802.11 refers not only to the standard, but specifically to the 802.11 frequency hopping products from Symbol Technologies because they are the only ones that released an 802.11 FH product.

802.11a - 802.11a is a supplement standard to the 802.11 standard from the IEEE. It specifies a 5GHz radio with data rates up to 54Mbps. It also specifies fallback data rates with the lowest being 6Mbps. At 6Mbps the range would be similar to the range of 802.11b at 1Mbps.

802.11b - 802.11b is a supplement to the 802.11 standard from the IEEE. It specifies a Direct Sequence radio with a high end data rate of 11Mbps. This standard also calls for fallback data rates of 5.5, 2 and 1Mbps as distance from the access point increases. Also specified in 802.11b is 40 bit WEP encryption. Many manufacturers offered up to 128 bit WEP encryption in their products, but this is not part of the 802.11b standard. Wi-Fi is sometimes thought to be synonymous with 802.11b in error. Wi-Fi is a certification applied to 802.11b products if they pass a compatibility test. 802.11b is the first standard that has gained world-wide acceptance and truly offers interoperability.

802.11g - Ratified in June, 2003 as an IEEE standard for wireless local area networks (WLANs), 802.11g offers wireless transmission rates up to 54 megabits per second (Mbps) compared with the 11Mbps per second of the 802.11b standard. Like 802.11b, 802.11g operates in the 2.4 GHz range and is thus compatible with it. 802.11g is not compatible with 802.11a.

802.11i - This draft standard is a supplement to 802.11 and is intended to improve WLAN security. It describes the encrypted transmission of data between systems of 802.11a and 802.11b WLANs. It defines new encryption key protocols including the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) and the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). When this standard is ratified, most likely in 2003, certain products may require hardware upgrades to support it, but most products will only require firmware upgrades.

900MHz - The 900Mhz range of the radio spectrum used in legacy data collection computers is typically in the band extending from 902MHz to 921MHz. 900MHz radios have an effective range of 3000 to 5000 feet outdoors. No RF site license is required. The data rate is about 100 – 400Kbps. Each manufacturer's implementation of a 900MHz radio system was completely proprietary. 900MHz is much faster than UHF but has a smaller area of coverage. It is also less susceptible to RF interference than UHF.

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