Glossary of Computer-related Terms
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See also the 1995 Press Kit from Alliance Corporation.

List of terms and puns * found in the show

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- 0 -

In binary notation, the same as 4096.
Two raised to the 10th power, 1 K, kilo.
Two raised to the 20th power, 1 M, mega.
Two raised to the 30th power, 1 G, giga.
Original film by student George Lucas (of Star Wars fame) was "THX-1138".
1138 *
In "The Tear", Alpha Wing proceeds on heading 1138.
In 24-hour notation, the same as 2:00pm.
2 bits
is "shayve and a hayrcut". (See nybble and byte).
True color computer display, 8-bits each for Red, Green, Blue.
Two raised to the 12th power, 1000000000000 in binary notation.
Badge number of Police Constable McGarry on the British puppet show Camberwick Green
452 *
Guardian 452 is Bob.
VGA display on IBM-PC, has less resolution than 24-bit displays.
8-bit *
Low-resolution images of Bob and the others when Mainframe's clock was slowed down.
$99.99.99 *
The price Mike the TV was advertising.

- A -

American Broadcast Company, television network in the U.S.
Armored Binome Carrier - an army tank. See APC.
Atanasoff-Berry Computer - world's first digital computer.
AC/DC Electrical appliance (like a sewing machine) that can operate on either 120 volts A.C. (regular household current) or 120 volts D.C. (battery power).
AC/D Sea *
The sea of energy surrounding Mainframe.
A method for calculating something.
Algorithm *
The movie theater in Mainframe, down by the Bus Terminals.
String of characters, letters and digits only.
Alphanumeric *
Enzo's way of saying "Awesome!"
Armored Personal Carrier - an army tank. See also ABC.
Aspect Ratio
With width of a screen compared to its height. Regular TV has an aspect ratio of 4/3 (1.333), HDTV is 16/9 (1.778).
? (seen in the credits)

- B -

The key used to delete mistakes.
Backspace *
"Backspace, backspace!" = "Retreat, run away!"
Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, a simple language that Bill Gates ported to the original IBM-PC.
Basic *
Used as an insulting description of someone. Also "low density".
One signal change per second, used to measure modem speeds.
Baudway *
Seen on large buildings outside Dot's Diner, also refers to the conduits carrying the 1's and 0's digits.
Binome *
See "One" and "Zero" characters.
Mathematical expression with two terms separated by "+" or "-".
Memory on a video display card where graphics are stored.
Bitmap *
"Me and good old Frisket just kicked Megabyte's bitmap".
BLock Transfer, copying pixels from one place to another.
Brough Limited Television, the production company.
Blitter Object for Amiga and Bosch graphics systems.
Bob *
The Guardian of Mainframe. Note: Bob's name does *NOT* come from a computer term. It was chosen because the creators of ReBoot liked the sound of Rowen Atkinson saying the name "Bob!" over and over again in his commedy series "Black Adder".
Bold Caps
Type of logic using two values; true/false or one/zero.
Bosch FGS Animation System
An earlier computer used to create images.
Boshbilt *
Name seen on Peterbilt truck in opening sequence. Probably named after James "Bosh" Boshier, the Editor.
Binary Space Partition and is used in computer graphics "for hidden surface removal in the case where the viewpoint changes on a geometrically static scene."
B.S.'n P.
Broadcast Standards and Practices. The network censors.
B.S.'n P. *
Spell to get through stained glass window (Quick and the Fed). Seen on liferaft in "The Belly of the Beast". Tune sung by the Small-Town Binomes in "Talent Night"
Error in program.
Bus Terminator
A resistor pack that prevents ringing on a high-speed electrical bus, such as on the SCSI bus.
Bus Terminals *
The bus depot near the Algorithm Theatre.
Bula *
Name of the South Seas princess in the Crimson Binome.

- C -

Computer Generated Images.
Common Gateway Interface - used to create HTML pages on the fly on the World Wide Web.
Fax Modem and Data Nully are CGI Special Agents in "Trust No One".
Calvin Spline *
Seen on billboard outside Dot's Diner.
Electrical device for storing an electrical charge. Used in D.C. power supplies.
Capacitor *
Captain Capacitor is the Crimson Binome, aka Gavin.
Capacitower *
Tall building in each sector that runs that sector.
Person who declares that some things are not suitible for children to view. (See also sensor.)
Controls how fast the computer runs.
Clock *
Very large pendulum that controls Mainframe.
The program on MS-DOS personal computers that listens for commands to be typed on the keyboard. *
The unseen mayor of Mainframe; Phong speaks for him.
A composer of music, in the same category as Gershwin.
Code name for the Mac OS after System 7; that project is dead.
Copland *
Name of Turbo's keytool.
Central Processing Unit - the main piece of hardware in a computer. Example: Intel 386, Motorola 68030, SPARC.
Convertable Pursuit Unit; changes from a submarine to a police car (One Adam 12, roger!)

- D -

D.C. Power Bar
Thick wire carrying several amperes of direct current.
An extension of the Operating System that runs detached, in the background. For instance, the 'sendmail' daemon waits for incoming mail, the 'ftpd' + 'telnetd' + 'rlogind' daemons handle incoming FTP, TELNET and rlogin requests.
Daemon *
The super-virus that infects the Net during Seasons III and IV.
Ten cycles per second. Three decahertz is 30 frames per second, the same rate that an NTSC television image is updated.
Decahertz *
Al, the cook in Al's Wait and Eat, runs at only 3 decahertz, whereas most computers run at several megahertz.
DeeCee's Power Bar *
Seen on billboard outside Dot's Diner.
Def Leppard
Had a music video "Let's get Rocked" by the creators of ReBoot.
see Daemon
Dip Switch
A set of switches small enough to fit into socket designed for Dual Inline Pin chips. (Used to configure modems and such.)
Dip Switch *
"Those guys are a bunch of dip switches."
Dire Straits
Their music video "Money For Nothing" had simple CGI.
Regular solid with twelve sides, each one is a pentagon.
Dot Matrix
Type of printer, as opposed to daisywheel and laser printer.
Dot Matrix *
Owner of Dot's Diner, big sister to Enzo.
Dungeons and Dragons
The ancestor of most role-playing games.

- E -

Electro Cinematek *
Pacific Cinemateque theatre near BLT studios, Vancouver.
Ethernet Needing Zero Overhead - an Ethernet on a chip idea for IBM PC compatibles that never caught on.
Enzo *
The name of Dot's kid brother - this name has no hidden meaning, according to the producers.
A cable that connects computers together so they can talk to each other.
The program in a TOPS-20 computer that listens for commands to be entered.
Executive Secretary
Phong is Executive Secretary in the Principle Office.

- F -

File Lock
To protect a file from being read, written, or deleted.
File Lock *
Force field that immobilizes Mainframe inhabitants.
Having a definite limit. Not infinitesimally small, nor infinitely big. Contrast with transfinite
Five *
An inhabitant of Mainframe.
Fixed Point
A way of expressing numbers with an implied decimal point. For instance, when money is expressed in cents, the decimal point for dollars is always two digits from the right.
Fleer *
Company producing the ReBoot trading cards.
Floating Point
A way of expressing numbers where the decimal point is allowed to move. Used in scientific calculations.
Floating Point *
The spot in the park.
See "Phong".
Program that erases everything on a hard disk and sets up an empty top-level directory.
FORmula TRANslator - old (and current) language for doing mathematical computations on a computer.
Stencil use by airbrush artists to cover certain parts of a painting while they work on other parts.
Frisket *
Enzo's red and yellow dog, incredibly strong jaws.

- G -

Game Cube
A computer game console from Nintendo that came out 8 years after ReBoot.
Game Cube *
A purple, glowing cube that drops in from time to time. Mainframers have to defeat The User, or they will be turned into Nulls.
Captain of "The Love Boat".
Gavin *
Gavin Blair is creator and head animator
Gavin *
Real name of Captain Capacitor, the Crimson Binome.
A common way of storing a computer image in a file.
Gifelli *
Name of a tire company sponsoring Formula-1 race in Mainframe.
1073741824 bytes (1048576 kilobytes, 1024 megabytes)
Gigabyte *
Kilobyte skips a generation, turns into Gigabyte, which then splits into Megabyte and Hexadecimal.
An unexpected electrical disturbance that makes a program or machine act strange.
Glitch *
Bob's multipurpose Guardian's Tool.
Gun *
The name of Matrix's multipurpose weapon.

- H -

Used to be a term of honor - the ability to make a computer due useful tricks.
Hack *
One of Megabyte's henchmen, the red robot.
Hat Trick
In hockey, if one player scores three goals in a game, the feat is called a "hat trick". (This started with the game of cricket in the late 1800 in England. A bowler taking three wickets with successive deliveries was given a hat.)
Hat Trick *
BLT/Mainframe Entertainment Inc has won three Gemini Awards; one for technical merit and two "Best animated show or series".
Base 16 numbers, 0-9 and A-F.
Hexadecimal *
Female villian in Mainframe.
Hidden Files
MS-DOS has a way of making critical system files be hidden, so they don't show up on a regular directory listing.
Hidden File *
Trick Bob uses to convince Megabyte they have left.

- I -

A type of workstation built by Silicon Graphics Inc.
A low-end version of SGI's Indigo.
I Want My MTV
A music video by Dire Straits. The computer animation for this video was done by the creators of ReBoot.
I Want My MTV *
Graffitti seen in Captain Capacitor's brig.

- J -

The stair-step effect when a diagonal line is drawn on a bitmap.
Jaggies *
Dot says "that's creepy, it gives me the jaggies".
See Lasseter, John.
A way of compressing a computer image in a file.

- K -

A type of Japanese sword. (Mouse has one in "Trust No One".)
A computer program that can split large files into smaller pieces (to fit on multiple floppy disks).
Prefix meaning 1000 or 1024.
1024 bytes. (1024 kilobytes = 1 megabyte, 1048576 kilobytes = 1 gigabyte)
Kilobyte *
Megabyte's original form, before upgraded two generations to Gigabyte and got split into Megabyte and Hexadecimal.

- L -

Lasseter, John
Creator of the short film "Luxo Jr." and the feature length film "Toy Story". The marble statue outside Phong's Read-Only Room is a tribute to this man's groundbreaking work.
Los Angeles
City in California, its City Hall seen in many SF movies.
Lost Angles *
The sector of Mainframe that includes Hexadecimal's Lair
Low Density
Floppy disk with only 720 K bytes instead of 1440 K.
Low Density *
Another insulting term.
Luxo Lamp
An adjustable lamp often seen on the desks of draftsmen and animators. See "JL SENIOR" above.

- M -

Big computer, typically bigger than 6 feet tall, 10 feet wide and 3 feet deep.
Mainframe *
The city in the computer where ReBoot takes place.
An array; layed out rows and columns.
Matrix, The
Name of a science fiction movie staring Keanu Reeves.
Matrix *
Enzo's name for himself after growing up in the Games.
1048576 bytes (1024 kilobytes, 1/1024th of a gigabyte)
Megabyte *
Main bad guy in Mainframe.
One million cycles per second. See Decahertz.
Computer's microprocessor and memory are made of up silicon microchips.
Micro-Chip *
Seen on sign in Formula-1: Silicon Snacks, Micro-Chips.
One millionth of a second (0.000001 seconds).
Microsecond *
"They should have been home microseconds ago." (Hours)
(pronounced "mike") Short for microphone.
Mike *
The announcer TV.
Minute *
"I haven't have this much fun in minutes." (Months)
Modulator-Demodulator - device for sending computer data over the phone lines.
Modemed *
To transmit oneself from one electronic city to another.
Device for moving the pointer on a graphical display.
Mouse *
A female hacker that has given Bob trouble in the past.

- N -

One billionth of a second (0.000000001 seconds).
Nanosecond *
"Enzo should be home from school any nanosecond." (Minutes)
The Internet or some other large network of computers.
Net *
The larger world that Mainframe is a part of.
Old computer game written in Qbasic.
Nibbles *
The slug that Megabyte keeps in a cage. The remains of Welman Matrix
Byte of 000, pointer to nothing, or the empty set.
Null *
The energy-sucking species that Nibbles belongs to. Remains of Sprites who have either been defeated in a Game, or were in the Twin City when Professor Welman's Gateway blew up.
To make something ineffective, to cancel it out.
Nullify *
What happens to the citizens of Mainframe when they lose a Game with the User - the sector is destroyed and the Sprites are turned into Nulls.
Half a byte; 4 bits (0000 to 1111 = 0 to 15). Pronounced "nibble".

- O -

Regular solid with eight sides, each one is a triangle.
A bit that is "on" - binary code is ones and zeros.
One *
Inhabitant of Mainframe, tall and skinny, three stacked cubes, a type of binome.
A high-end power workstation from Silicon Graphics Inc.
To write over part of a file, to obliterate what was there.
Overwrite *
Enzo's Overwrite Delivery Service in "Racing the Clock".

- P -

Prisoner Containment Unit gun in "The TIFF".
A way of shading polygons so they don't look like flat surfaces. See also SIGgraph definition and comparison with Gourand shading.
Phong *
The all-knowing wise man of Mainframe.
Photoshop Moment
Reference to the "Kodak Moment" - a happy moment worth saving on film.
Standard TCP/IP utility to test whether a particular remote system is accessable and alive.
Ping *
Signal sent into the void, programmed to lock onto energy bursts.
Ancient video game that made Atari into a big business.
Port, Authorized
A low-numbered access port on a TCP/IP host.
Port Authority *
Place where Bob worked in the Super Computer.
In 3-D solids modeling, intricate shapes can be formed out of the primative shapes: sphere, cube, cone, cylinder.
Primatives *
A band in "Talent Night"; cone, sphere, cube. They go 2-D; the sphere flattens into a circle, the cube rotates and flattens into a diamond, and the cone flattens into a triangle covering half of the diamond. This is the source of the "ReBoot" icon.
Punch and Judy
Olde-time puppet show where the puppets often hit each other with a stick.
Ancient form of computer storage, paper, holds 80 bytes of data.
Punchcard and Qwerty *
Puppet show on the boardwalk in "The Crimson Binome".

- Q -

The smallest unit of energy that can be added to a subatomic particle (such as electrons and photons).
Quantum Shake *
A high-energy drink available at Al's Wait and Eat.
A keyboard with the letters QWERTY on the top row. (Typewrite keyboard as opposed to numeric keypad.)

- R -

Ray Tracing
Calculating what path a ray of light would have taken from an object to your eye.
Ray Tracer *
Name of a web surfer.
The act of searching for an entry in a computer database and returning the results.

- S -

Small Computer System Interface, used for disks and tape drives. Pronounced "scuzzy".
Search Engine
A program that can locate specific documents on the WWW.
Search Engine*
Function (occupation) of the IMAX driver, Maxine.
Second *
"Hurry, you haven't got all second, you know!"
Sector *
The city of Mainframe is divided into six Sectors.
A device for sensing something, like temperature, pressure, etc.
Sensor *
Miss Emma is a "Prog Sensor" in "Talent Night". See censor.
Scuzzy *
The football-shaped familiar belonging to Hexadecimal.
Silicon Graphics Inc, manufacturer of graphics workstations.
Ship *
The name of Mouse's ship.
Semi-metallic element. In raw form, looks like obsidian but is shiny gray.
Slash *
One of Megabyte's henchmen, the blue robot.
Way of drawing a smooth curve through 2 or more points.
Easily movable graphics element, built into hardware. (Bullets and rocketships in some video games are implemeted as sprites.)
Sprite *
Dot, Enzo, and Bob are highly-evolved Data Sprites. The other type of Sprites are the Binomes (Ones and Zeros)
Very fast number cruncher, such as a CRAY-MXP.
Supercomputer *
Megabyte's goal for world domination, the place that Bob came from. The Guardian Academy is there.

- T -

Texture Mapped
Wrapping an image (such as eyes and mouth) to a surface (such as a sphere) instead of calculating more 3-D polygons.
Tagged Image File Format, used for storing 24-bit images.
Tiff *
A misunderstanding between Bob and Dot.
Toast *
The Video Toaster is a video graphics board for the Commodore Amiga computer. It was used on Babylon 5 and seaQuest DSV.
A Canadian stocking cap, conical with a knit ball on top.
Going beyond or surpassing any finite number, group or magnitude. Contrast with finite.
Jenny Trias was the ABC Head of Children's Programming.
Trias Effect *
The only thing capable of stopping Megabyte's Medusa Virus.

- U -

Program that attempts to reverse the destructive effect of the FORMAT command. Works only if FORMAT saved certain critical bits of information somewhere else on the disk.
Unformat *
A device capable of reducing a binome to its components parts.
Person using a computer.
The User *
The human operating the computer that contains the world of Mainframe. The User is never visible but still competes in The Games.

- V -

Video Window
A window on a computer screen that displays full-motion video.
Vid Window *
Two-way video telephone used all over Mainframe. Small objects can be passed through the window from one place to another.
Program designed to infect a computer, do something nasty and copy itself so that other computers can be infected.
Virus *
Megabyte and Hexadecimal are two different types of viruses.
Viral Eraser
Program that looks for and eliminates computer viruses.
Viral Eraser *
Mainframe's defense against viruses, looks just like a plain ordinary pink eraser.

- W -

Wait State
When the CPU wants to access memory, but the memory bank can't respond right away, it sends a signal that tells the CPU to wait for the next clock cycle.
Wait State *
"Bob's in a wait state outside" says Enzo to Dot.
Welman, Chris
Executive in Charge of Software Development. Worked at Mainframe Entertainment Inc several years before his wife, Mairi, was hired as Director of Publicity.
Welman Matrix *
Father of Dot and Enzo.
A rectangular area on a computer display screen for interacting with programs. Built into a Macintosh, Amiga and Atari. Added to UNIX (X-Windows) and now included with new workstations. Finally added to the IBM-PC as Microsoft Windows.
Wizzywig *
Production company in Mainframe, used by Enzo to convince Dot and Bob that Megabyte kidnapped him in "The TIFF".
What You See Is What You Get (pronounced "whizzywig".) A word processor that shows what the finished page looks like.

- X -

Coordinate of a point in 2-D; distance from left edge.

- Y -

Coordinate of a point in 2-D; distance from top (or bottom).

- Z -

Coordinate of a point in 3-D; distance from the viewer.
Zero *
Inhabitant of Mainframe, circular shape, a type of binome.
Zipboard *
Pair of flying disks that one stands on. (Better than a motorized skateboard.)
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