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  Jargon Buster

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PABX
Private Automatic Branch Exchange - telephone switch that can route calls internally and without manual intervention. A type of PBX.

PAP
Password Authentication Protocol (a security feature).

Parallel Port
In computing, a character is represented by a binary number (byte), typically made up of eight binary digits (bits). A parallel port is a connector where information is made available and can be read one whole character (or byte) at a time. See also serial port.

PBX
Private Branch Exchange - a telephone switch.

PC
Personal Computer.

POTS
Plain Ordinary Telephones (like a house phone - analogue, not digital).

PPP
Point-to-Point Protocol - the Internet standard for transmitting IP packets and network datagrams over serial point-to-point links.

PRI-Primary Rate
An ISDN circuit providing (in Europe) up to 30 x 64 kbit/sec bearer channels for use by data or speech and two 16 kbit/sec control channels. Up to 30 independent calls can be carried at the same time on one Primary Rate.

PSTN
Public Switched Telephone Network: the official name for the fixed line telephone system.

Pulse Dialling
Also known as LD (loop-disconnect) dialling. A method of dialling where the telephone is alternately disconnected and connected to signal to the exchange. For example if a digit 5 is dialled this could be signalled by sending 5 disconnection pulses. The frequency and length of the pulses and the number of pulses for each digit can vary from country to country. This dialling method is now mostly superseded by tone dialling.

QSIG
A means of signalling between telephone systems using a 2 Mbit/sec digital link, allowing up to 30 simultaneous calls on one circuit.

Router
A device which forwards packets between networks. The forwarding decision is based on network layer information and routing tables, often constructed by routing protocols.

Screen Popping
When a call comes in, a display 'pops' on your desktop screen with the information of the incoming caller.

Serial Port
In computing, a character is represented by a binary number (byte), typically made up of eight binary digits (bits). A serial port is a connector where information is made available and can be read one binary digit (or bit) at a time. Therefore 8 bits need to be read in order to obtain each character. See also parallel port.

SO Buses
ISDN2 Circuit coming out of your computer that can convert to ISDN30 - SO Buses are a cheaper way of connecting to an ISDN30 module than a Terminator.

Soft Fax
Fax that is enabled through your desktop PC - send and receive without an external fax machine

Stac
A company that is big on data compression. It maintains a WWW server at http://www.stac.com.

Switch
1) Any device that engages electrical connections in a circuit.
2) Informal term for any type of PABX.
3) A device used to direct packets in a switched network.