PalmOS-Password Control Of Changes


The computer operating system used with the PalmPilot and Palm series of handheld digital personal assistants, as well as other organizers including Handspring and IBM. The system comes with a number of built-in applications including dates, address book, to-do list, memo pad and calculator. In addition, PalmOS interfaces with infrared devices and TCP/IP. Other operating systems for handheld devices include Windows CE and EPOC.


A standard library database interface. An Internet term .


  1. Pulse Amplitude Modulation. Process of representing a continuous analog signal (a voice conversation) with a series of discrete analog samples. This concept is based on the information theory which suggests that the signal can be accurately recreated from a sufficient sample. Why bother? Sampling allows several signals to then be combined on a channel that otherwise would only carry one telephone conversation. PAM was used as part of a method of switching phones calls in several PBXs. It is not a truly "digital" switching system. PAM is the basis of PCM, Pulse Code Modulation. See PCM and T-1.

  2. Presence and Availability Management. See PAM Forum.

PAM Forum.

The PAM Forum is an independent nonprofit consortium dedicated to establishing and promoting presence and availability management (PAM) as an ad hoc industry standard. The focus of the PAM Forum is to develop and promote a presence and availability interface specification that enables software vendors and service providers to bring personalized, interoperable communications services to market. PAM-based services enable subscriber control of communications choices and privacy options across multiple devices and networks.


Perceptual Analysis Measurement System is a speech quality measure developed by British Telecommunications to address the problem of objectively measuring subjective speech clarity. The specification was first issued in 1998. To perform a PAMS measurement, a sample of recorded human speech is input into a system or network. The characteristics of the input signal follow those that are used for MOS testing and are specified in P.830. Though natural speech samples may be used, PAMS is optimized for proprietary artificial-like speech samples. The output signal is recorded as it is received. The input and output signals are then input into the PAMS model. PAMS performs time alignment, level alignment, and equalization to remove the effects of delay, overall systems gain/attenuation, and analog phone filtering. Time alignment is performed in time segments, so that the negative effects of large delay variations (that cause problems for PSQM) ar removed. PAMS then compares the input and output signal in the time-frequency domain, comparing time-frequency cells within time frames . This comparison is based on human perception factors. The results of the PAMS comparison are scores that range from 0-5, corresponding on the same scale as MOS testing. PAMS produces a listening quality score and a listening effort score that correspond with the ACR opinion scale in P.800 and the opinion scale in P.830. A newer newer technique is called PESQ. See PESQ.


Pulse Address Multiple Access. Where carriers are distinguished by their time and space characteristics simultaneously .


Public Access Mobile Radio. The European term for what we call Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) or Trunked Mobile Radio (TMR) in the US. The private version for use in fleet applications is called Private Mobile Radio (PMR). See SMR and TETRA.


Personal Area Network. A personal area network is a very small wireless local area network that joins your own personal communications devices such as your PDA, your PC and perhaps your phone. For more, see Bluetooth and 802.15.1.

Pan and Scan

When a program or movie which has originally been created for theatre viewing on a 16 by 9 aspect screen is shown on a 4 by 3 aspect television screen by selecting the portion of the picture which contains the action and centering that on the display. This allows for a full screen display on a television screen that captures the action and eliminates only static parts of the original picture. At least that's the theory. It doesn't work too well if one actor one side of the screen is speaking to another actor on the other side of the screen. See also Letterbox.


Across all of Europe, including England and the countries on the continent ” France, Germany, Italy, etc. . "We'll launch that magazine in a Pan-European edition."


A TV term referring to the translation of widescreen movies for TV broadcast through the introduction of moves and cuts which were never intended in the original. Less than the complete frame is transmitted, and portions of the picture are left out. The technique makes the action visible in a narrower frame such as your TV set. Contrast with Letterboxing.

Pancake Coil

A type of inductance having flat spiral windings. An old radio definition.

Panda Eyes

The term panda eyes is used in the fiber optic business. Fiber optics are tiny threads of glass that carry pulses of light, and with them, much of the world's telephone, television and computer signals. But, according to the Wall Street Journal, "you can get a real education standing in a San Jose, Calif., clean room belonging to JDS Uniphase, the leading maker of the lasers, amplifiers and the like used in the world's fiber networks. The room is brightly lit, with a steady hum from all the air-filtering equipment. Workers sit in rows at work stations, each having a sign above the worker's head. One of the stations is labeled 'Panda Eyes.' The job here is to take two fiber-optic strands and, while looking through a microscope, join them together, lengthwise, like the strings in a violin bow. When the two strands are perfectly aligned and viewed head-on under the microscope, they look just like, yes, a pair of panda's eyes. The worker then can move on to the next pair."


What Australians call a window in a multi-windowed computer screen. For example. an agent in a call center might see a screen with several panes, one showing the customer's order status, another showing the customer's payment schedule, etc.

Panel, Patch

See Patch Panel.

Panel Antenna

An antenna which consists of a dipole array built in the configuration of a panel.

Panel Office

A very early type of central office switch.

Panel System

Workstation defined by thin panels that provide privacy and insulation from noise.

Pangloss, Dr.

Dr. Pangloss is a character in Candide, by Voltaire. It's a farce in which all these horrible things keep happening to Candide, but Dr. Pangloss keeps telling him, "It's the best of all possible worlds ."

Panne Fatale

An equipment crash in Italian or a fatal breakdown in French.


pseudo Automatic Number Identification. Pronounced "pee-annie" it is a modification of Automatic Number Identification (ANI) and is used to pass information across systems that can handle ANI traffic. Also called Routing Number. pANI is a number employed in wireless E-911 call setup that can be used to route the call to an appropriate public service answering point (PSAP). The pANI generally identifies the cell/sector from which the call originates, whereas an ANI carries the actual telephone number of a wireline caller. For example, one of the wireless E911 mandates requires that a 20 digit number be passed from the call originator to the receiving 911 Call Center when processing an emergency call. The first 10 digits is the calling number, where the second 10 digits is the pANI. This pANI is in standard numbering format (that is, (NPA)NXX-xxxx for North America), and is cross-referenced in a database that holds cell site co-ordinates. This allows conventional telephone networks to move a number (that will ultimately equate to a very rough location of a cell site) to emergency service folks. Thus, a 911 Center will get the calling number (ANI), and a rough location (using a pANI).


Pretty Amazing New Services/Stuff. PANS is a term coined to describe ISDN Capabilities which should eventually replace POTS. Contrast with POTS. In May, 1998, Rodney G. Seiler, Telecommunications Engineer, QUALCOMM Incorporated, wrote me "Harry, I take issue with your definition and origin of 'PANS.' I first heard this as 'Peculiar And Novel Services' in 1978, possible even earlier. I can assure you that ISDN was not in the picture when PANS first came along. Thank you for an almost perfect (this is not faint praise) reference much used in the business."


  1. Packet-Level Procedure. A protocol for the transfer of packets between an X.25 DTE and an X.25 DCE.X.25 PAP is a full-duplex protocol that supports data sequencing, flow control, accountability, and error detection and recovery.

  2. Password Authentication Protocol and CHAP are widely-used authentication methods for communicating between routers, both for reaching the Internet and for securing temporary WAN connections such as a dial-backup line. CHAP uses a 3 way handshake process that, in concept, resembles a dial-back routine and uses encrypted passwords. With PAP, one router connects to the other and sends a plaintext login and password.


To paper is a noun that means, in certain circles, to put the agreement onto paper ” a process usually done by lawyers . Usage is: "We have a deal. Let's now paper it." The goal of papering the transaction is not to spend more on legal bills than the amount of the deal. Says Michael Dubin, real estate seller extraordinaire, "Most of our deals are papered too extensively and expensively. That's why I no longer practice as a lawyer."

Paper Sizes


Europe and Japan

A = 8 1/2" x 11"

A3 = 11.7" x 16.5"

B = 11" by 17"

A4 = 8.3" x 11.7"

C = 18" by 24"

A5 = 5.8" x 8.3"

D = 24" by 36"

B4 = 10.1" x 14.3"

E = 34" by 44"

B5 = 7.2" x 10.1"

B6 = 5.1" x 7.2"


Paper Tape

A long thin paper roll on which data is stored in the form of punched holes. Usually used as input to other systems. Many old-fashioned telex machines still use paper tape as their storage medium. Punch up the message on the paper tape, rewind the paper tape, call the distant telex machine, then start the paper tape containing the message. The primary benefit of paper tape is that you save on transmission line cost. The paper tape will run through at the maximum speed of the line, while a human operator typing manually would be slower. The disadvantage of paper tape is that you can't change the message once you've typed it. Magnetic medium ” floppy disks, hard disks, bubble memory ” are much more flexible. They are rapidly replacing paper tape, even on telex machines, or on personal computers, which are replacing telex machines as telex data entry devices.

Paper Tape Punch

A device to physically punch holes in a roll of paper tape in order to store information.

Paper Tape Reader

A device which translates the holes in coded perforated tape into electrical signals suitable for further handling. The reader may be attached to a keyboard-printer or it may be a free standing device.

Paper Tiger

A paper tiger is a threat or a person who appears to be outwardly powerful or dangerous but is inwardly weak and/or ineffectual. The expression comes from the paper tigers that Chinese generals used to hang on city walls in an effort to frighten attacking forces. The tactic didn't work.


  1. Positive Acknowledgement Retransmit.

  2. See Peak-to-Average Ratio.


A shape which can focus a microwave signal into one narrow beam. All satellite and microwave antennas are parabolic, not spherical. See Parabolic Antenna.

Parabolic Antenna

The most frequently found satellite TV antenna, it takes its name from the shape of the dish described mathematically as a parabola. The function of the parabolic shape is to focus the weak microwave signal hitting the surface of the dish into a single focal point in front of the dish. It is at this point that the feedhorn is usually located.

Parabolic Reflector

The technical name for a dish antenna shaped like a perfect parabola. See Parabolic Antenna.


An assumption about the ways things work. The word paradigm (pronounced par-a-dime) is typically used by people who want to sound a little more pompous and intellectual than you and I. A yuppie word. If you want to talk about how things are changing you can talk about a "paradigm shift." According to the Economist Magazine, Thomas Kuhn invented the notion of the paradigm shift to explain what happens in scientific revolutions. A revolution happens, his theory goes, not because of startling new facts, but because of a change in the overall way the universe is seen. After this shift, old knowledge suddenly takes on new meaning. A classic paradigm shift is the way we have changed our concepts of computing from mainframe centralized mainframe computing to distributed LAN-based computing.

Paradigm Shift

A paradigm is the way we think about something. It's a collection of theories , laws and generalizations that cause us to think the way we do about something. When something "BIG" comes along to cause us to think differently ” very differently ” it's called a paradigm shift.


Utility is when you have one telephone, luxury is when you have two, opulence is when you have three ” and paradise is when you have none.


Classically, parallel means extending in the same direction, equidistant at all points, and never converging or diverging, e.g. parallel rows of houses . In computing, parallel means the apparent or actual performance of more than one operation at a time, by the same or different devices (distinguished from serial): Some computer systems join more than one CPU for parallel processing. In telecommunications, parallel transmission means to take one stream of data, break that stream into several and transmit all the streams simultaneously. Parallel transmission is like having a four lane highway. Serial transmission is like having a single lane highway . See Parallel Data, Parallel Transmission, Series and Serial Transmission.

Parallel Circuit

In a parallel circuit there are at least two paths for the electric current to flow through. To find the resistance of a parallel circuit, add up the reciprocal of the resistance of each of the paths the electric current may follow. The reciprocal of the sum is the total resistance of the circuit. As components are added to a circuit in series the total resistance of the circuit increases . As components are added to a circuit in parallel, the total resistance of the circuit decreases.

Household wiring is the most common type of parallel circuitry . Every outlet is parallel with every other outlet on the same circuit-breaker. So, if a bulb blows in a light fixture on that circuit, all the other devices on that circuit will still function. Another explanation. Imagine three 1.5 volt batteries. With the batteries connected in parallel, the circuit will deliver 1.5 volts. Connected in series it will deliver 3 x 1.5 volts, or 4.5 volts . By contrast, a string of Christmas tree lights is strung in a series circuit, one long continuous circuit. Should one bulb go out, usually the rest will also. See also Parallel Data.

Parallel Connection

A connection in which the current divides, only a part of the total current passing through each device.


Indicates that multiple paths exist between two points in a network. These paths might be of equal or unequal cost. Parallelism is often a network design goal: If one path fails, there is redundancy in the network to ensure that an alternate path to the same point exists.

Parallet Cut

See Cutover.

Parallel Data

The transmission of bits over multiple wires at one time. This is usually accomplished by having one wire for each bit of an eight-bit byte going from a device, usually a computer, to another device, usually a printer. Thus the word "Parallel." Data transmission in parallel is very fast, but usually happens only over short distances (typically under 500 feet) because of the need for huge amounts of cable. In contrast, the other common method of data transmission, serial transmission, takes place over one pair of wires and is usually slower than parallel transmission, but can happen over much longer distances, especially using phone lines. Parallel data transmission does not happen on phone lines. See Serial Data and see the Appendix.

Parallel Interfacing

A method of interfacing peripherals to computers, usually printers. Not as common as RS-232-C serial interfacing.

Parallel Networks

Parallel networks, or segregated networks, exist when a single network location supports more than one physical wide area network connection for the purpose of supporting one or more applications.

Parallel Optic Interfaces

See POI.

Parallel Port

An output receptacle often located on the rear of a computer. Unlike serial, there is no EIA standard for parallel transmission, but most equipment adheres to a quasi-standard called the Centronics Parallel Standard. Almost every PC since the original IBM PC has come with an ordinary, 25-pin D-connector parallel port. These low-speed ports are fine for sending output to a printer (which is usually the slowest device in a computer system). But when transferring data between two PC parallel ports or using the parallel port as a method of getting to and from external hard disks, the speed is too slow. As a result, there have been a number of attempts to speed up and add intelligence to the lowly parallel port. How can you tell what type of parallel port you have? A free utility called PARA14.ZIP is available on the Internet at, or on CompuServe in the IBMHW forum, Library2. See EPP (Enhanced Parallel Port), ECP (Extended Capabilities Port) and USB (Universal Serial Bus).

Parallel Processing

  1. A computer technology in which several or even hundreds of low-cost microprocessors are linked and able to work on different parts of a problem simultaneously.

  2. A computer performs two or more tasks simultaneously. This contrasts with multi- tasking in which the computer works fast and gives the impression of performing several tasks at once.

Parallel Sessions

In IBM's SNA, two or more concurrently active sessions between the same two logical units (LUs), using different network addresses. Each session can have different transmission parameters.

Parallel Tasking

Technology which allows LAN adapters to transmit data to the network before an entire frame has been loaded from the computer to the adapter's buffer and to transmit the data to the computer's main memory before an entire frame has been received from the network. In effect, a frame can reside on the network, the adapter and in the computer memory simultaneously, thus boosting throughput.

Parallel Transmission

  1. Method of information transfer in which all bits of a character are sent simultaneously as opposed to serial transmission where the bits are sent one after another. See Parallel Data.

  2. Method of achieving higher system reliability through use of completely redundant transmission facilities.

Parallel Wiretaps

A parallel wiretap is connected across the two lines of a telephone line pair in parallel with the telephone instrument. A parallel must have a high resistance, otherwise the telephone line will be closed and the central office will think that the telephone is off hook. Parallel wiretaps can use high value resistors to isolate the tap. These are easy to detect. Serious wiretaps will use capacitors to isolate the tap from the telephone line.


A limit, boundary, or threshold. Software often includes user-definable parameters, which allow the user to set threshold values. If a threshold value is exceeded, an alarm is triggered, an exception report is generated, or an action takes place. For example, you can set a user -definable parameter that causes your PC's screen saver to activate after a certain number of seconds. The screen saver keeps your CRT ( Cathode Ray Tube), or monitor, from being ruined.


A verb which means to control the behavior of a piece of software by supplying required data at time of execution. A basic precept of structured programming is that, wherever possible, data should be kept separate from active program code. If, for example, you're writing a function that dials a phone number, the phone number should never be "hardwired" into the function itself ” but should be passed to it, at runtime, as a so-called "argument" or "parameter." This encourages the creation of flexible, bullet- proof software components that are easy to re-use. Much application software is written so that its behavior can be controlled by supplying parameters at time of execution. For example, the DOS command 'delete' requires a filename (the name of a file to be deleted) or wildcard expression as a parameter. More complex application programs (e.g., voicemail systems) are configured by supplying parameters on special screens or in dialog boxes, or by modifying external parameter databases.


The record in a stored program control central office's data base that specifies equipment and software and options and addresses of peripheral equipment for use in call processing. See also Parameterize.

Parametric amplifier

Paramp. An amplifier that (a) has a very low noise level, (b) has a main oscillator that is tuned to the received frequency, (c) has another pumping oscillator of a different frequency that periodically varies the parameters, i.e., the capacitance or inductance, of the main oscillator circuit, and (d) enables amplification of the applied signal by making use of the energy from the pumping action. Note: Paramps with a variable- capacitance main-oscillator semiconductor diode are used in radar tracking and communications Earth stations, Earth satellite stations, and deep-space stations. The noise temperature of paramps cooled to the temperature of liquid helium, about 5 K, is in the range of 20 to 30 K. Paramp gains are about 40 dB.

Parametric Equalizer

A device for manipulating sound by boosting and cutting selected frequencies by specific amounts. Basically, a much more elaborate and precise version of the bass and treble controls found on stereo systems. See Equalization.


See Parametric Amplifier.


Palo Alto Research Center. A laboratory owned by Xerox and populated by it in the 1970s with some of the most creative scientists of the day. It is legendary for having pioneered technologies ranging from the laser printer to the Ethernet local area network and the graphical user interface for PCs. Sadly, Xerox senior management didn't recognize what it had and didn't recognize the value of its inventions , and didn't exploit most of them. Fortunately, other companies did. PARC was incorporated as a subsidiary company in 2002.


  1. A radio tap that takes its power from the phone line.

  2. One seeking financial gain from the effort or fame of another. In the world of the World Wide Web, a parasite is much like a Cyber squatter, or squatter. A squatter simply registers (i.e., squats on) a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) in advance of the " legitimate " owner of a trademark or service mark in hopes that the "rightful owner" will pay an exorbitant sum of money to buy it. A parasite registers a similar URL, which typically is a commonly mistyped version of a well-known name, often taking advantage of telephone dialing mnemonics . For example, AT&T owns 1-800-OPERATOR, which is a collect-calling service access by dialing the telephone number associated with that combination of numbers and digits on the touchtone keypad. Some years ago, another company (which will remain unnamed herein) got the number 1-800-OPERATER, relying on the fact that a large percentage of the US population can't spell "OPERATOR." It worked, and they got a lot of business. AT&T took exception to the parasitic service, i.e., they took legal action. They won. See also Cybersquatter. Ray Horak, my contributing editor, wrote this definition. And while I'm

  3. A Windows software that is quietly loaded onto your PC when you install an ordinary program or carrier. When a PC user infected by a parasite visits an e-business site on the Internet, the parasite inserts a code that routes the commission to its carrier, even though it did nothing to refer the visitor. According to InfoWorld, this has been shown to suck countless dollars from,,, and others.

Parasitic Grid

The ad hoc network created when many 802.11b (also called WiFi) users steal Internet access from their neighbors' wireless network, or, more politely, get that Internet access for free. See 802.11b and 802.1X which deals with attempts to place security on wireless LANs.

Parent Domain

Another way of saying a top level domain. See Domain.

Parent Node

The logical group node that represents the containing peer group of a specific node at the next higher level of the hierarchy.

Parent Peer Group

The parent peer group of a peer group is the one containing the logical group node representing that peer group. The parent peer group of a node is the one containing the parent node of that node.

Pareto Principle

Named after Vilfredo Pareto, the 19th-Century economist and sociologist, the Pareto Principle is also known as "the 80:20 rule." It says that 80 percent of an enterprise's revenue comes from 20 percent of its customers. More correctly, the Pareto Principle refers to the fact that in any population that contributes to a common effect, a relative small number of the population account for the bulk of the effect. Vilfredo Pareto observed this relationship with respect to the distribution of wealth in a human population, and developed a theory of logarithmic law of income distribution to fit the phenomenon . The Pareto Principle later became applied to the distribution of quality losses (i.e., errors) in manufacturing, and since has become a universal shorthand name for such phenomena in virtually any field. In large part, popularity of the term is attributable to J.M. Juran, who used it incorrectly to describe the principle of the " vital few and trivial many."


A process for detecting whether bits of data (parts of characters ) have been altered during transmission of that data. Since data is transmitted as a stream of bits with values of one or zero, each character of data composed of, say seven bits has another bit added to it. The value of that bit is chosen so that either the total number of one bits is always even if Even Parity error correction is to be obeyed or always Odd if odd Parity error correction is chosen .

Here's an explanation (better, but longer) from The Black Box Corporation in Pittsburgh: Many asynchronous systems append a parity bit following the data bits for error detection. Parity bits trap errors in the following way. When the transmitting device frames a character, it counts either the number of 0s or 1s in the data bits and appends a parity bit that corresponds to whether or not the count in the data bits was even or odd. The receiving end also counts the data bit 0s or 1s as it receives them and then compares the computation to the parity bit. If an error is detected , a flag can be set and retransmission may be requested . When even parity is chosen, the parity bit is set at 0 if the number of 1's in the data bits is even and it is set at 1 if the number of 1's is odd. Conversely, odd parity sets the parity bit at 1 if the number of 1's in the data bits is even, and it is set at 0 if the number of 1's is odd. Other parity selections include mark, space or off. Mark parity always sets parity at 1. Space parity always sets parity at 0, and "off" tells the system to ignore the parity bit.

Parity Bit

A binary bit appended to an array of bits to make the sum of all the bits always odd or always even. See ASCII and Parity.

Parity Check

A method of error-detection in binary data transmission whereby an extra bit is added to each group of bits (usually a character of data). If parity is to be odd, then the extra or parity bit is assigned either a one or zero so the total number of ones in the character will be odd. If the parity is even, the parity bit is assigned a value so that the total number of ones in the character is even. This way errors can be detected. See Parity.


  1. A telephone system feature that (like many features) may mean different things depending on who created it. One definition of "park" is that I dial another extension and park the call at that extension. It doesn't ring. Then I go over to that extension and pick up the phone and I'll be speaking with whoever I parked over there. This feature is useful if I have to go to another phone to find some information the caller wants. There's another definition of the telephone system meaning of "park." You have a single line phone. You put that call on a variation of hold. Then you or anyone else can pick up any phone in that pickup group and you will have your parked call.

  2. In the language of hard disks, "parking" means moving the read/write head to a safe area of the hard disk when you're ready to turn the disk off. "Parking" places the heads of a hard disk in a locked position so that the storage medium (i.e. the hard disk) will not be damaged during transit. This is useful because it keeps the head from bouncing on data areas of the disk and damaging the disk. Some hard disks have a program called "park" which you run before you turn off the machine. Others do it (self-park) automatically. All hard disks on laptops are self-parking. Most modern disks are. You ought to check. It's very important.

Park Timeout

A PBX feature. This is the period of time before an unanswered Call Park call is redirected to the Prime Phone for the line the call is on.

Parked Unit

A Bluetooth term. Devices in a piconet which are synchronized but do not have a MAC addresses.


When two domains point to the same IP Address.


A group of owls is called a parliament.


  1. PARS are Purchase of Accounts Receivables. These are what the LECs (local exchange carriers) send to their long distance carriers who they have a B&C (Billing and Collections)agreement with.

  2. Periodic Auction Reset Security. PARS are typically short-term securities. You can buy them from your broker.


In linguistics it means to divide the language into components that can be analyzed . Parsing a sentence involves dividing it into words and phrases, then identifying and naming each component. Parsing is very common in computer science. Compilers must parse source code to translate it into object code. Applications that processes complex commands must also parse the commands. Parsing is divided into lexical analysis and semantic parsing. Lexical analysis divides strings into components, called tokens, based on punctuation and other keys. Semantic parsing works to define the meaning of the string once it's been broken down into individual components.

Part 68 Requirements

Specifications established by the FCC as the minimum acceptable protection communications equipment must provide the telephone network. Meeting these requirements does not certify that equipment performs any task. Part 68 is the section of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations governing the direct connection of telecommunications equipment and premises wiring with the public switched telephone network and certain private line services, e.g., foreign exchange lines (customer premises end), the station end of off-premises stations associated with PBX and Centrex services, trunk-to- station tie lines (trunk end only), and switched service network station lines (common control switching arrangements); and the direct connection of all PBX (or similar) systems to private line services for tie trunk type interfaces, off-premises station lines, automatic identified outward dialing and message registration. These rules provide the technical, procedural and labeling standards under which direct electrical connection of customer-provided telephone equipment, systems, and protective apparatus may be made to the nationwide network without causing harm and without a requirement for protective circuit arrangements in the service provider's network. Form 730 Application Guide is a collection of literature you'll need to register your telephone/telecom equipment under Part 68 of Title 47 at the Federal Communications Commissions. To get this material (it's free) drop a line or call the Federal Communications Commission, Washington DC 20554. You can file Form 730 yourself, but the Form 730 Application Guide also contains a list of Part 68 Certification Laboratories, a list of technical references and a list of reference sources.

More recently, the FCC decided to privatize its Part 68 responsibilities, selecting ATIS (Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions) and the TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association) as joint sponsors of the Part 68 ACTA (Administrative Council for Terminal Attachments). ACTA comprises 18 members, with two each elected from six interest segments, including Local Exchange Carriers (LECs), Interexchange Carriers (IXCs, or IECs), Terminal Equipment Manufacturers, Network Equipment Manufacturers, Testing Laboratories, and Other Interested Parties. "Invited Observers," a non-voting category, will include members approved by the council on a case-by-case basis. ACTA responsibilities include adopting and publishing technical criteria for terminal equipment submitted by ANSI- accredited standards development organizations, and operating and maintaining a database of approved terminal equipment. The first meeting of ACTA was scheduled for May 2, 2001. See also ATIS and TIA.

Part X

A reference to Part 64 or 68 of the MFJ (Modified Final Judgement) given to the RBOCS by Judge Harold Green. It specified the separation of customer-owned equipment and telephone owned equipment as well as telephone company demarcation .

Partial Conversion

A Verizon definition. This situation occcurs when a Verizon end user elects to use a CLEC or Reseller billing service for some, but not all of the lines on his/her account.

Partial Meshed Network

A type of wide area network topology in which every remote location is not connected directly to every other remote location, but instead is connected directly to a small subset of locations. It is a topology with more direct connectivity than a star configuration, but less direct connectivity than a fully meshed configuration.

Partial Packet Discard

(PPD). An intelligent packet discard algorithm used to control congestion. PPD checks for any of the following conditions: a policing violation, a CLP threshold violation, or no free buffer space available. If it encounters one of these conditions, it discards all remaining cells from point of encounter (including violating cells) up to but not including the next end-of-frame cell. See PPD for a bigger explanation.

Partially Perforated Tape

Same as chadless tape. See Chadless Tape.

Particle Beam

Beams of neutral particles such as deuterium or heavy hydrogen at very high particle energies and low currents. The atoms are accelerated through electric fields as negative ions with an extra electron attached; then the electron is stripped off in passage through a gas cell, leaving a beam of neutral atoms . The advantage of the beams as weapons is that their target penetration is so high that it is virtually impossible to shield against them. However, the beams must have very long dwell times on a target to produce lethal depositions of energy.


  1. As a verb, partition means to divide a network into independent segments or to divide a disk or tape drive into independent volumes . As a noun, a partition is a division of memory or hard disk. For example, the Windows operating systems can allocate hard disk space for one or more partitions, each of which behaves as a physically distinct hard disk.

  2. To break down a spectrum license into two or more geographic areas.

Partitioned Emulation Programming Extension

PEP. An IBM special software package that, with the Network Control Program (NCP), allows the same communications controller to operate in split mode, controlling an SNA network while at the same time managing a number of non-SNA communications lines. It was developed by IBM to facilitate migration of users to SNA.


Sections on a hard disk. You can divide your hard disk into as many as four partitions to run four operating systems. See also 32-Megabyte Barrier.

Parts Per Million

See PPM.


A particularly stupid word for the person making or receiving a phone call, as in the calling party (caller) or the called party (person called). Sometimes the phone industry calls a subscriber to their service a "party," as in four-party phone lines. Party is now now used in the airline business, as in "How many people will there be in your party?" As if traveling were fun any longer.

Party Identification

Identifying the person who is placing a call on a party line, i.e. phone line with several people sharing it. Often found in rural locations.

Party Line

  1. Saying what your company or boss wants you to say.

  2. A telephone line with several subscribers sharing its use.

Party Line Service

Telephone service which provides for two or more phones to share the same loop circuit. Party line service, which is becoming less common, is offered in two-party, four-party and eight-party versions. Interestingly, there is a version of ISDN in which several subscribers do share the same ISDN line ” but they would rarely be affected by it because of ISDN's specialized signaling and the two phone lines in its 2B+D bandwidth.

Party Line Stations

Two party phone service can be expanded to support to multi-party service.


PAS (Personal Access System) is an MLL-based (Mobile Local Loop) personal wireless system that uses the PHS (Personal Handyphone System) standard to offer a limited mobility cordless/portable phone solution to end-users. You can't take it from one city to the other. It's a cell phone that only works in your home city. Think of it a giant cordless phone that only works in your own city. In other words you can't roam with it. This is less a technical limitation, rather than a marketing limitation. PAS basically offers consumers the convenience of a mobile phone, with the cost advantages of a fixed-line phone. PAS enables landline telephone companies to offer limited mobility phone services to communities of up to as big as you want, based on how many cell sites. As far as I can tell, PAS is a proprietary system of a manufacturer called UTStarcom and is mainly used in China and Vietnam ” other developing countries. Air interface technical specs are: Standard ” RCR STD-28, Version 2; Spectrum ” 1,895 to 1,918.1 MHz; Voice coding ” 32 Kbps ADPCM; Data coding ” PIAFS (PHS Internet Access Forum Standard). As I write this, it has 30 million subscribers in China and offers Chinese subscribers cell phone service for about one-third the price of normal GSM cell phone. PAS is probably the fastest and lowest price way of installing telephone service where there previously was none. It bolts onto the existing switchs and it looks like a loop carrier in an existing central office.


A programming language designed for general information processing and noted for its structured design. Pascal originally was specified by Niklaus Wirth, a computer scientist at the Institut fur Informatic in Zurich, Switzerland in 1968. It is named in honor of Blaise Pascal, a 17th century mathematician who developed one of the first calculating machines.

Pass Band

A spectrum of frequencies conducted by an electronic device and usually defined by upper and lower -3 dB points. See Passband.

Pass Through

The process of accessing one device via another device. The intermediate device that sends backs the transmitted messages for testing.

Pass Window

The range of frequencies used in a transmission system to transmit voice or data signals. More often referred to as bandwidth. See Bandwidth.


The range of frequencies that can pass through a filter without being attenuated (i.e. stopped ). See Pass Band.

Passing The Buck

In card games , it was once customary to pass an item, called a buck, from player to player to indicate whose turn it was to deal. If a player did not wish to assume the responsibility, he would "pass the buck" to the next player.


A friend got fired from a busted dot com. He called me to help him new employment. His criterion? He wanted a company he "could feel passionate about." He wanted a job he could love. He wanted a job he could feel strongly about. The concept of feeling passionate about your job became popular with dot com companies in the late 1990s when people who joined them felt they were creating a new world ” the New Economy, as it was called. Passion thus replaced older values of security, stability and the chance to climb the corporate ladder.


No electronics. See Passive Backplane.

Passive Backplane

A technology where all of the active circuitry that is normally found on an "active" PC motherboard (such as the CPU) is moved onto a plug-in card. The motherboard itself is replaced with a passive backplane that has nothing on it other than connectors and joining, etched-in wires. This is why this technology is sometimes referred to as "slot cards". The chance of a passive backplane failing is very low, since it has essentially no functioning componentry. A passive backplane has several advantages: You can swap cards in and out faster. You can upgrade your processor and change faster and easier. A computer made with a passive backplane will typically have slots ” as many as 25 versus only 8 or so in a "normal" PC. Passive backplane computers are increasingly used in critical computer telephony applications.

Passive Branching Device

A device which divides an optical input into two or more optical outputs.

Passive Bus

ISDN feature which allows up to six terminal devices and two voice devices (also called telephones) to simultaneously share the same twisted pair, each being uniquely identifiable to the switched ISDN telephone network. See ISDN.

Passive Components

Passive components, which include resistors, capacitors and inductors, do not generate signals or energy. They adjust and regulate current, store energy and filter frequencies, etc. Passive components belong to a group called discrete components, which perform a single function, e.g. regulate current or switch signals. By contrast, integrated circuits combine the functions of multiple electronic components on one chip. Together, discrete components and integrated circuits are the building blocks of electronic devices. See Active Components.

Passive Contract

In the software business, there are two types of contracts. One you sign and one you don't. A passive contract is the one you don't sign. A passive contract typically comes with an over-the-counter, shrink-wrapped software package and you execute it by breaking the seal on the package. The passive contract spells out terms and conditions you agree to ” like not copying the software, not selling, etc.

Passive Coupler

A coupler that divides entering light among output ports without generating new light.

Passive Device

Electronic components that don't require external power to manipulate or react to electronic output. These include include capacitors, resisters and coils (inductors). Active devices include transistors , op amps, diodes, cathode ray tubes and ICs.

Passive Headend

A device that connects the two broadband cables of a dual- cable system. It does not provide frequency translation.

Passive Hub

A device used in certain network topologies to split a transmission signal, allowing additional workstations to be added. A passive hub cannot amplify the signal, so it must be connected directly to a workstation or an active hub.

Passive Leg

A telephone company AIN term. The leg to a terminating access of an SSP or ASC switch. There is no access signaling on a passive leg to directly control the progress of a call.

Passive Loitering

A law passed in France in the fall of 2002. My friend, an American lawyer in Paris , wrote me, "It is only something that a rightwing French Interior Minister could come up with. Apparently, it is hanging around in a manner and dressed in a manner that suggests a woman is an available prostitute. It doesn't require that she apparently do anything. hence the word 'passive." It wouldn't last 10 seconds in a U.S. federal court ."

Passive Optical Components

Components used to guide and manipulate optical wavelengths , including:

  • Attenuators. Used to control signal amplitude.

  • Couplers. Used to split or combine light.

  • DWDM couplers. Split or combine light by wavelength.

  • Optical isolators. Used to eliminate back reflections.

  • Optical switches. Used to direct light to fiber.

  • Tunable bandpass filter. Allows for wavelength selection.

Passive Optical Network

See PON.

Passive Reflector

A simple reflector used to change the direction of radiation from a microwave beam. For example, a reflecting surface mounted on a hill top and so positioned as to direct the energy down onto a valley receiving site. See Passive Repeater.

Passive Repeater

A passive reflector system constructed from two reflectors that are simply coupled together with a short length of waveguide . The first reflector acts as a receiver while the second transmits but in a different direction. There's no electronics in the system.

Passive Side

When describing a loopback test, the passive side is used to identify the device that sends back the transmitted messages for testing.

Passive Splicing

Aligning the two ends of a fiber without monitoring its splice loss.

Passive Star

A star-topology local network configuration in which the central switch or node is a passive device. Each station is connected to the central node by two links, one for transit and one for receive. A signal input on one of the transmit links passes through the central node where it is split equally among and output to all of the receive links. Also called a star coupler or a retransmissive star.

Passive tag

An RFID tag without a battery. When radio waves from the reader reach the chip's antenna, it creates a magnetic field. The tag draws power from the field and is able to send back information stored on the chip. Today, simple passive tags cost around 50 cents to several dollars.

Passive Terminator

A crude type of single-ended SCSI terminator that can't compensate for variations in terminator power or bus impedance. No longer recommended by ANSI, it's adequate for most simple SCSI-1 Applications. See also Active Terminator and Forced-Perfect Terminator.


Gaining access to one network through another element. Also spelled Pass Through.


A word or string of characters recognized by automatic means permitting a user access to a place or to protected storage, files or input or output devices. In order to be somewhat secure, passwords should be at least eight characters and should include both numbers and letters , both upper and lower case. Passwords should not be obvious things like your name or initials, your wife's name or initials, your children's names or initials , your dog's name, your birthday, or your social security or employee number. "Password," is not a good password, either. Don't write your password on a sticky note and stick it on your computer. Most people's password are obvious, thus easy to crack. The harder you make a security system ” of which a password is but one element ” the more complaints you will get from your users. All security systems are a compromise between absolute security and useability.

Password Authentication Protocol

PAP, A security protocol that establishes a simple PPP authentication method using a two-way handshake to verify the identity of the two computers or communicating devices. PAP sends passwords as text, which makes it vulnerable to hackers.

Password Control Of Changes

A feature that makes it impossible to alter the performance of a piece of equipment without first entering a password.

Newton[ap]s Telecom Dictionary
Newton[ap]s Telecom Dictionary
ISBN: 979387345
Year: 2004
Pages: 133 © 2008-2017.
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