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Glossary of Terms

The Intermec glossary provides definitions of technical terms used to describe systems, devices, solutions and applications within the Automated Data Capture Industry.

The unit of information by which the network communicates. A single network message with its associated header, addressing information, data, and optional trailer. A packet can also be called a frame or datagram.
A group of labels that are always printed together. When labels on a page share the same data, it reduces the number of commands that must be sent to the printer.
Program acknowledgment character. Sent from the reader when the received IRL program compiles with no errors.
A communication scheme in which the bits of a byte are transferred simultaneously over a multistrand cable.
1. The operating limits of a device, such as a printer. Also, the variable information sent with a command. 2. In programming, a value assigned to a variable either at the beginning of an operation or before an expression is evaluated by a program.
A system for encoding characters with odd or even bar code patterns. Parity provides a self-checking feature in bar codes and other data transmission techniques. Even parity characters have an odd number of binary ones in their structure. For the purposes of data processing and data communications, parity does not relate to whether the original character is odd or even, but how an individual character is made odd or even with the addition of one more bit (1-0).
parity bit
A parity bit is added to the binary array to make the sum of all of the bits always odd or always even for a fundamental check.
parity bit/bar/module
A parity bit is added to a binary array to make the sum of all of the bits always odd or always even for a fundamental check.
Printed circuit board. A flat board whose front contains slots for integrated circuit chips and connections for a variety of electronic components, and whose back is printed with electrically conductive pathways between the components.
PC card
A PC card is similar to a floppy disk. You can use Type I or II memory PC cards and Type II expansion PC cards. Memory cards provide additional disk storage space, not more executable conventional memory. Expansion cards (also called I/O cards) allow you to connect the reader to I/O devices. PC cards were previously called PCMCIA cards.
Personal Computer Memory Card International Association. This group of manufacturers has defined a set of hardware and software standards for memory and expansion PC cards that are available for personal computers.
Print contrast signal. A measurement of the ratio of the reflectivities between the bars and spaces of a symbol, commonly expressed in percent. PCS is calculated as:
RL : RD x 100 percent
where RL = reflectivity of the light elements and RD = reflectivity of the dark elements
PC Standard communications protocol
A communications protocol that handles data transfer on a character-by-character basis or by either filling a receive buffer or transmitting a buffer of data. This protocol is designed to be compatible with the standard PC BIOS functions. The one exception is that the PC Standard protocol can buffer data that is received to avoid losing characters if a program has not checked for data recently.
PDF 417
A two-dimensional stacked symbology. Each row in the symbol includes start/stop characters, row identifiers, and symbol characters, which consist of four bars and four spaces each and contain the actual data. PDF 417 provides an extensive error detection and correction option that can recover up to 510 characters lost due to a damaged label or to an error in scanning.
peer-to-peer network
A type of LAN whose workstations are capable of being both clients and servers.
A peripheral is a device connected to a computer; for example, a terminal or printer.
physical RAM drive
See RAM drive.
Peripheral interface controller. The PIC processor is an internal processor that manages the terminal's batteries.
A method of bar code printing in which all the bars are printed at once, in parallel. The bar code appears across the width of the label. Used to be referred to as "drag."
1. The number of characters printed in one horizontal inch determined by the increment by which the printer platen moves. 2. Rotation of a bar code symbol about an axis parallel to the direction of the bars.
One spot in a rectilinear grid of thousands of such spots that are individually "painted" to form an image produced on the screen by a computer or on paper by a printer. A pixel is the smallest element that display software can manipulate in creating letters, numbers, or graphics.
Plessey Code
A bar code symbology that is fixed length, continuous, and not self-checking. It is used extensively in libraries. The character set is 0 - 9 plus six additional symbols. This symbology includes a start character, data characters, an eight-bit cyclic check digit, a termination bar, and usually a reverse start character. Similar to MSI code.
point size
A unit of measurement for font height; 72 points equals 1 inch as measured from slightly above the top of the uppercase letters to slightly below the bottom of the lowercase descenders.
Point-to-Point Protocol
Communications protocol typically used to connect the reader directly to a computer or terminal. Data sent by the reader is followed by a carriage return and line feed (CR LF). XON/XOFF is supported. Point-to-Point protocol characters cannot be modified; however, the transmission parameters, such as parity and data bits, can be modified.
Poll character. Sent by the host to request reader data. For User Defined Multi-Drop protocol, you must define a unique character for each reader on a data line.
poll sequence
A controller command to a polled device that tells the device to send data
polled device
A device in a network that transmits data in response to an initialization from the controller. If the POL character is not enabled, all Intermec readers and printers will transmit data when the operating system of the device requires data to be transmitted.
The act of a computer (or controller) asking end devices if they have information to send to the computer (or controller.)
Polling Mode D
A protocol that allows devices and controllers to exchange data in an "ask and receive" format. Polling Mode D is used to connect multiple devices to a single multiport controller.
For hardware, a connecting component that allows a microprocessor to communicate with a peripheral device. For software, a memory address that identifies the physical circuit used to transfer information between a microprocessor and a peripheral device.
port concentrator
A device that continuously polls for transactions and passes those transactions to the host. A port concentrator can control from 1 to 16 devices from one master communications port at a time. It also performs the function of time-stamping each transaction.
The ability of an ERP system to run various operating systems, databases, and networks without making major adjustments or limiting functionality.
Point of sale.
Power-on self test. This test runs when you boot the terminal. The test ensures that the terminal's hardware and peripherals are operational.
A field of data that is sent after the data in a message. It is typically used to tag transactions from the bar code reader for rapid processing by the host, and it expands the data field (record) length. See also preamble.
Postnet Code
A "height modulated" symbology used primarily by the U.S. Postal Service for sorting mail. All bars and spaces are the same width, and ZIP code information is encoded into the particular arrangement of tall and short bars.
power management
Software and procedures that extend the life of a terminal or reader's main battery pack and backup battery.
Predefined data that is automatically appended to the beginning of transmitted data. When preamble is enabled, you must enter a valid Preamble A or B before the reader will send data to the computer. See also postamble.
Precision Print™
Trademarked term Intermec uses to describe the software and adjustable hardware features of the 3240 printer that enable it to print high registration labels.
preferred tree
The tree you specify that you first want to connect to in a NetWare 4.X network if you have multiple trees. If this tree has a server with a free connection, the NetWare DOS Requester attaches to it.
pre-printed symbol
A symbol that is printed before use, either on a label or on the article to be identified.
presentation space
The physical space being displayed by the terminal emulator session.
print quality
The measure of how a bar code symbol adheres to the requirements of dimensional tolerance, edge roughness, spots, voids, reflectance, PCS, quiet zone, and encoding.
print speed
Measured in inches per second (IPS), the rate at which media travels past the printhead.
A device controlled by a computer that makes images appear on media. The images can be formed by heat transfer (thermal) or by striking an image on a wheel (impact.)
The mechanism inside the printer that prints.
printhead elements
The parts of the printhead that print by placing a mark on the label when heated. In a 3400 printer, ech element is 0.005 square inches in area and is switched on and off separately in order to react with the media or thermal transfer ribbon to create a mark on the label.
printhead range
The range over which the resistance of the wires that carry energy to the printhead elements can vary before sending a warning. The wires are tested with each printhead test.
printhead test
A test that takes place each time the printer is turned on, or receives a specific command from the host. This test makes sure the resistance of the wires that carry energy to the printhead elements are within the acceptable range, which ensures the temperature of the elements is within the acceptable temperature range.
program (n.)
See application.
Programmable read only memory. A memory chip that can be programmed once, but cannot be reprogrammed.
protected field
In word processing, preset data or an area that cannot be changed or overridden by an operator without altering the program. On a display device, a display field in which a user cannot enter, modify, or erase data. See also unprotected field.
The rules for communication between like processes, providing a means to control the orderly communication of information between stations on a data link.
protocol handler
A protocol handler provides communications services that let a device send data to other devices by transmitting and receiving data as specified by the communications protocol.
protocol response
A message from an application or device that either acknowledges the receipt of a transaction, confirms that the transaction was not processed, or sends a message back to the source of the transaction.
protocol stack
A group of drivers that work together to span the layers in the network protocol hierarchy.
Programmer's Software Kit. A library of software functions for creating applications.
Program statement separator character. The PSS indicates the end of an IRL program statement. It separates individual IRL program statements from one another in a block of IRL program statements. PSS must not be defined same as the EOM.
One of two programs you can use to change the contents of drive C. PutImage places an image file created with MkImage on the reader. You can run PutImage only on the reader.gration by establishing and publishing standards, such as the business object document, for integration of business objects across an enterprise.