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Tech Writing Sample:
Non-Tech Data Products Glossary

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This excerpt (before formal editing) is from an original piece written
by Kass Johns for U S WEST (copyright).


A form of packet switching. Fixed length packets with large amounts of addressing and error checking data. It is easier to have a relay that moves fixed lengths rather than variable lengths.

A pathway between two computers.

circuit switched
With a circuit switched network, the computer using the line gets exclusive use of that circuit/line for the duration of the call. No other computer can get on that line or cause errors. Once the call is terminated, the line is open for the next computer to grab it.

client/server technology
Client/server refers to the manner in which a server interacts with the computers connected to it—the clients. A client/server application is software that requires a host for the bulk of the software—where the actual data is contained. The client software is then an access version used to "hook up" to the server software. Once engaged, the client talks to the server host and enters, edits or deletes data. Databases work like this. Groupware works like this.


A type of software. This software is like a big catalog of information. Most companies have them custom developed for their needs. Sometimes, specialized databases are sold for vertical market uses. This information is stored in the database, then users access or edit it from their computers. Records are pages in a database. Fields are sections of data within a page. For example, a contact database might have the following fields: name, title, company name, address, city, state, zip, country, voice, fax, email. Each record is that information for one person. The database is the entire group of records.

A folder or section of a computer's disk that hold specific files.

See upload/download.

See xDSL.



FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
These text files are created to answer commonly asked questions, saving time and effort in re-answering the same question for the next person to ask. This item came from the Internet culture.

fiber optic
Optical fibers (light) used for transmission. Running data via light transmission should give better quality and integrity than over a piece of metal wire. Metal wire is more subject to outside interference (lightning, magnets, other cables wrapped around it, gardeners with backhoesŠ).

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
Standard method used to transfer files across the Internet.


A software application type. It is one massive software that a workgroup can use at the same time. Certain job functions can accommodate this sort of software. Lotus Notes is groupware. This sort of application is not very practical for the extremely large file sizes in a publishing or CAD workgroup. Big files plug up the pipes.

© Copyright 1996-2001 for U S WEST (written by Kass Johns), all rights reserved world wide.
This work may not be used on another Web site or online service, sold for profit, included within commercial works, or altered or changed in any way without the express written permission of the author and/or copyright owner.



© Copyright 1996-2001 v.1.9.01
Kass Johns
Technical Writer & Consultant to the Publishing & Telecommunications Industries
Colorado Springs, CO • www.kassj.com • 719/635-1306 (vc)
kass at kassj dot com

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