Stickman Technology Knowledge Base

Glossary of Terms

Glossary is usually defined as an alphabetical list of technical terms in some specialized field of knowledge. This knowledge base glossary provides a collection of knowledge base documents that define many technical terms. These terms are arranged alphabetically, but you can quickly jump to a specific term by selecting its first letter from the index of the knowledge base glossary below.

Passthru
Or passthrough. A network router provides a gateway between networks and can provide services such as a firewall. Making a router transparent between two networks so that data effectively passes unchecked is known as passthru mode.
Patch panel
A row, or rows, of sockets that allows devices to be interconnected with the use of patch leads (a lead with the same connector at each end). Patch panels can be used to bring all sockets together into one place - often at the front of a bay, rather than at the back of all the devices. This then allows a system to be replugged differently very easily. Also know as a jackfield (JF) in the UK, especially broadcasting.
PBX
Private Branch Exchange: a telephone exchange or switching system that serves a private organisation. Old style analogue or digital systems using standard telephone lines tend to be large units installed onsite e.g. Avaya systems. Cloudcalling is a hosted IP PBX hosted offsite.
PCM
Pulse Code Modulation. A form of sampling normally taken to infer high quality audio, as in WAV files.
PoE
Power over Ethernet - a technology that lets network cables carry electrical power, meaning the receiving device does not need a separate power supply.
Port
Port has several meanings in IT:  Switch port – physical socket on a switch or other device, for instance a MESH switch (Switch 1 Port 5);  Wall port / floor port – physical socket taking a connection (usually) somewhere else in the building.  Internet port – a virtual (non-physical) port. Different types of communication on the internet use different ports. The number is appended to the end of an IP address. A common example is basic web page traffic which is port 80. Using the block of flats analogy above, the port number might be a particular person in one of the flats. Firewalls work by blocking all traffic in certain directions, and port forwards are specific ports that are not blocked. This can get quite complicated and it is best to speak to Stickman if you have a customer asking many questions about internet ports.  One important point to note is that the MESH in-built firewall only ever blocks incoming traffic, never outgoing, so all ports are open outgoing. When a client is on Passthru mode the MESH firewall is disabled, so all ports are open in both directions.  Telephone number porting – A process of moving a telephone number from one provider to another.
POTS
Plain Old Telephone System – standard analogue telephone service. Basic home landline.
Print spooler
A software program responsible for managing all print jobs currently being sent to the computer printer or print server. The print spooler program may allow a user to delete a print job being processed or otherwise manage the print jobs currently waiting to be printed.
Printer spooler
A software program responsible for managing all print jobs currently being sent to the computer printer or print server. The print spooler program may allow a user to delete a print job being processed or otherwise manage the print jobs currently waiting to be printed.
Program
In the UK, ’program’ relates to computer software or applications. All other uses of the word i.e. non-computing, are spelled ’programme’ e.g. TV programmes or training programmes. The USA uses ’program’ in all cases.
PSTN
Public Switched Telephone Network – Standard telephone line connected to the public telephone network.
PSU
Power Supply Unit. Any type of device supplying power to another device; usually converting mains electricity to a lower DC voltage. This could be an internal unit, or something external e.g. a ’wall-wart’.
PVID
Port VLAN ID. A method of tagging data packets with the VLAN they belong to.

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