Computer Terminology - R

This web page looks at some of the terminology associated with the Computer Industry. This appendix is not to be deemed as complete but does cover a large range of common terminology.

If you find a term not covered in this file you may Email Button and list the word (computer connected terminology ONLY). We will endeavour to locate the meaning and respond to you. If we consider it a common enough term, we will add it to our list. New terminology (with explanation) may also be submitted for consideration.

Index SIZE Numeric A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

RAM: See Random Access Memory.

RAMBUS: A type of memory technology used with Pentium IV's. It is more expensive (at this point of time) than SDRAM.

Random Access Memory: One of two basic types of memory. Portions of programmes are stored in RAM when the programme is launched so that the programme will run faster. Though a PC has a fixed amount of RAM, only portions of it will be accessed by the computer at any given time.

README file: 1. A text file included with an application that contains important (and often last minute) information about installing and using the application.
2. A text file on an FTP site that provides valuable information about the context of site.
3. Any text file that you are supposed to read before proceeding.

read receipts: An optional email feature that notifies you when a recipient has opened the email message you sent him. See also delivery receipts.

Real Soon Now: Whenever one's previous time commitments allow. A phrase used to indicate that a feature or program will be available sometime between the near-future and the distant-future.

recursive: A software procedure that calls itself.

refresh: To clear the screen or part of the screen and redraw it again.

remote login: Operating a remote computer over a network as if it were a local computer. This can be accomplished via one of several protocols, including telnet and the UNIX program rlogin.

render: To perform the calculations necessary to draw a complex three-dimensional image.

response time: A measurement of the time between a request for information over a network and the network's fulfillment of that request. "Overall response time" is an aggregate or average measurement of various response times over a particular network or through a particular host.

RFC: Abbreviation for Request for Comment. One of a long-established series of informal informational documents and standards that guide the development of the Internet. The most famous is RFC 822, the Internet mail standard drafted by Dave Crocker.

RGB: The standard colour system used by computers which indicates the balance of RED, GREEN and BLUE contained in the actual colour. The general format for indicating the colours is as follows:


The values of the colour are expressed in either decimal (where the numbers permitted for each colour is 0 - 255 eg.23 123 234) or in hexadecimal (where the number range is 00 - FF eg A198D3).

Rich Text Format: (abbreviation: RTF) A format for text documents that includes formatting attributes, such as different fonts and typefaces.

Ripping: A popular expression for capturing an audio track for conversion to an MP3 file.

ROM: Read-Only Memory. One of two basic types of memory. ROM contains only permanent information put there by the manufacturer; information in ROM cannot be altered, nor can the memory be dynamically allocated by the computer or its operator.

root: The administrative user account on a UNIX system that can bypass security controls. Sysadmins will log in as root when they need to perform tasks such as modifying system files, creating new user accounts, or setting up new services. The root account is also known as the superuser account. Root passwords are closely guarded by security-conscious syadmins. See also sysadmin.

root directory: The top level in a hierarchical file system. For example on a PC, the root directory of your C: drive contains all the second-level subdirectories on that drive.

ROTFL: Abbreviation for Rolling On The Floor Laughing.

Router: A device used to transfer information from one computer on one network to another network.

RSN: Abbreviation for Real Soon Now.

RTF: See Rich Text Format.

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