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Tyner - retail glossary
Category: General > Retail & Bar Code Systems General Glossary
Date & country: 07/10/2008, US
Words: 79


ADAPTER CARDS
Cards that can be installed in expansion slots located on the Central Processing Unit of a computer.. These cards enhance the flexibility of the computer to accept devices such as monitors, memory adapters and parallel and serial peripherals.

ANSI
(American National Standards Institute) to achieve compatibility between data devices.

ASCII
(American Standard Code for Information Interchange)A seven-bit-plus parity code established by

ASYNCHRONOUS TRANSMISSION
The method whereby data is sent and received one byte at a time.

BAR CODE
A printed code consisting of a series of vertical bars that vary in width. Bar codes are capable of being 'read' and decoded by bar code scanners. Bar codes are used to identify retail sales items, identification cards, library books and other products. They are also utilized to manage work in progress, to track documents and for many other automated identification applications.

BAR CODE PRINTER
A printer used to produce bar-codes on labels, tags and other paper materials. A bar code printer can be a simple dot-matrix report printer or a sophisticated, dedicated device that uses thermal printing technology.

BAR CODE SCANNER
A bar code scanner reads bar codes. Bar code scanners are generally classified as wands, hand-held, projection/vertical or in-counter scanners.

BAR CODE VERIFIER
Bar code verifier`s are designed to measure and ensure traditional print quality. Bar codes are normally analyzed foe wide to narrow ratio, print contrast, bar growth or loss and quiet zone dimensions and formats.

BAUD
Unit of signaling speed. The speed in baud is the number of discrete conditions or events per second.

BI-DIRECTIONAL
Characteristic of a printer, in which print element moves first to the right on one line, then to the left on the following line.

BIT
(Binary Digit) The smallest unit of information in a binary system: a 1 or 0 condition.

BUFFER
A temporary-storage device used to compensate for a difference in data rate and data flow between two devices (typically a computer and a printer): also called a spooler.

BYTE
A binary clement string functioning as a unit. Eight-bit bytes are most common. Also called a 'character'.

CASH DRAWER
A cash drawer holds paper money and currency and can either be an integrated component of a complete register or a separate peripheral device. As a separate component, a cash drawer is operated and electronically opened by a printer or directly from a computer.

CCD
Charged Coupled Device. A memory device used in hand held bar code reader. CCD scanners use a light technology to read bar codes.

CENTRAL PROCESSING UNIT
(CPU

CHECK READER
A peripheral device used to read encoded information on a check to be transmitted and processed by a computer or register for authorization and approval.

COLOR MONITOR
A monitor that displays data and graphics in color. Color monitors vary in the number of colors, dot-pitch and intensities they can produce.

COMMUNICATION PROTOCOL
The rules governing the exchange of information between devices on a data link.

CREDIT CARD AUTHORIZATION
The process in which a credit card is accepted, read and approved for a sales transaction. Credit card authorization is normally accomplished by reading a credit cared through a credit card reader that is integrated into a register or stand-alone reading device. Generally, pertinent credit information is transmitted via a modem and telephone line to a credit card 'clearinghouse'. The clearing ho...

CURSOR
A blinking symbol on the screen that shows where data may be entered next.

CUSTOMER POLE DISPLAY
A peripheral device designed to show customers information about their transaction. This information normally consists of a description and price of the product they are purchasing. Customer pole displays are also used to display marketing information and other messages.

DECODE
A term used to describe the process of interpreting scanned or 'read' information and presenting it in a usable fashion to the computer.

DIRECT THERMAL
Direct thermal is a printing technology method in which the printer utilizes a paper that reacts chemically to heat. The label rolls are coated with a thermo-sensitive layer that darkens when exposed to intense heat. Direct thermal printers require no ink or ribbon and are typically used when a bar code label needs to endure for a year or less.

DISKETTE / FLOPPY DISK
A flexible disk which holds information that can be read by the computer.

DOS
(Disk Operation System)The standard operation system for all computers advertised as 'IBM Compatible'.

DOT-MATRIX PRINTER
A printer that forms characters or images using a matrix of pins that strike an inked ribbon.

DOWNLOADING
The process of sending configuration parameters, operating software or related data from a central source to remote stations.

DUAL TRACK
A type of credit cared reader that is capable of reading both Track 1 and 2 on a credit card.

EMULATION
The imitation of a computer system, performed by a combination of hardware and software, that allows programs to run between incompatible systems.

EPROM
Read-only, non-volatile, semi-conductor memory that is erasable via ultra violet light and reprogrammable.

EXPANSION BOARD / EXPANSION SLOT
The optional device board that is usually added inside the system cabinet at an available expansion slot.

FIRMWARE
A computer program or software stored permanently in PROM or ROM.

HAND-HELD DATA COLLECTOR
See Portable Data Collector

HARD DISK DRIVE
Enclosed disk drive that contains one or more metallic disks for data storage. A hard disk has many times the capacity of a diskette.

HOST COMPUTER
A central computer, such as a mainframe computer at a company`s headquarters or central office. The central computer in a star network.

IN-COUNTER SCANNER
A bar code scanner that normally has multiple laser beams emitting from it to read bar codes in high-speed environments (i.e. grocery stores). An in-counter scanner is usually mounted into a countertop so that products can quickly and easily be passed over the scanner for bar code reading.

LASER SCANNER
A bar code scanner that utilizes laser technology. These scanners emit laser beams that read bar codes. Laser scanners have 'depth of field' which enables them to read bar codes from short distances away (6' to a few feet).

LED (Light Emitting Diode)
A semiconductor light source that emits visible light or invisible infrared radiation.

MAGNETIC STRIPE READER
See Credit Card Reader

MASTER REGISTER
A cash register that acts as the central register or 'file server' in a multiple register environment. The master register normally controls 'slave' registers that are networked and cable to it.

MEGABYTE
A unit of measure that consists of 1,014 bytes.

MICR READER
MICR is an acronym for Magnetic Ink Character Recognition. MICR Readers are normally used to read the encoded information within the ink on a check.

MICROCOMPUTER (Personal Computer)
A small. low cost computer originally designed for individual users. Recently, microcomputers have become powerful tools for many businesses that, when networked together, have replace minicomputers and in some cases mainframes and information tools.

MICROPROCESSOR
Integrated circuit chip that monitors, controls and executes the machine language instructions.

MODEM (Modulator - Demodulator)
A device used to convert serial digital data for transmission over a telephone channel, or to reconvert the transmitted signal to serial digital data for acceptance by a receiving terminal.

MONOCHROME MONITOR
A monitor that displays characters in only one color, such as amber or green.

MTBF
(Mean Time Between Failures)The average time between failures of a particular device based on statistical or anticipated experience.

MULTI-USER
Multi-user systems consist of two or more computers that are connected together and that share data and peripherals. A multi-user system includes a host computer (file server) and one or more stations. All stations share the same hard disk and may share other devices such as printers.

NETWORK
A communications system connecting two or more computers and their peripheral devices.

NETWORK CARD
An expansion card that is installed in an available slot in a computer so that it may connect and communicate to another computer.

OPERATING SYSTEM
System that consists of several programs that help the computer manage its own resources, such as manipulating files, running programs and controlling the keyboard and screen.

PARALLEL TRANSMISSION
Transmission mode that sends a number of bits simultaneously over separate lines. Usually unidirectional.

PERIPHERAL DEVICE
Hardware that is outside of the system unit, such as a disk drive, printer, cash drawer or scanner.

PINPAD
A 'pin pad' is a small keyboard that normally contains numeric keys. PIN is an acronym for personal identification number which is normally entered into the keyboard 'pad' to verify account information for a transaction (i.e. similar to an automated teller machine).

POLLING
A means of controlling devices on multi-point line. Usually utilized to send/receive information via modem from remote computers to a central computer.

PORTABLE DATA COLLECTOR
A hand-held computer that can be used as a stand alone portable unit for point-of-sale, inventory, receiving and other applications. A portable data collector is normally a temporary storage device that gathers information and downloads data into a main or central computer.

POS (Point-of-Sale)
Term normally used to describe cash register systems that record transactions or the area of 'checkout' in a retail store.

PROGRAMMABLE KEYBOARD
A keyboard that is capable of being configured and programmed in a variety of ways. Programmable keyboards allow keys to represent special departments, functions, product, etc.

PROJECTION SCANNER
A type of bar code reader that is normally placed vertically, and that projects laser beams horizontally to scan bar codes. Often used when high performance and speed to reading bar codes is critical.

PROTOCOLS
A set of rules for the exchange of information, such as those used for successful data transmission.

RAM (Random Access Memory)
Temporary storage that holds the program and data the CPU is processing.

SCALE
A scale is a peripheral device used to record the weight of an item and transmit the amount to a computer for processing.

SERIAL TRANSMISSION
Transmission mode that sends data one bit at a time. In most cases, in personal computers, serial data is passed through as RS232 serial interface port.

SIGNATURE CAPTURE
A peripheral device that electronically captures an individual`s signature for customer identification and transaction applications.

SLAVE REGISTER
A cash register that is driven by a 'master' register in a multiple register environment.

SMART CARD
A smart card contains a 'chip' with memory and is typically used to hold customer account information and a 'balance' of money similar to a checking account. The card is inserted into a device that can read and write to it updating information appropriately.

SOLENOID
Solenoids are commonly used in 'dumb' cash drawers and incorporate a cable connected trigger which releases the drawer. Cash drawers with solenoids are interfaced to receipt printers that 'drive' them. Solenoids have different voltages and are integrated into the cash drawer dependent on the printer they are interfaced to.

THERMAL TRANSFER
Thermal transfer is a printing technology method in which printers use regular paper and a heat sensitive ribbon. The ribbon deposits a coating of dark material on the paper when exposed to intense heat. Thermal transfer printers produce a more durable label that won`t fade as quickly as direct thermal labels and are often used when a label needs to endure longer than a year.

TILL
The paper money and currency tray that holds money in a cash drawer. Tills are usually available in 4 or 5 till versions, available with lock and cover and are removable.

TRACK 1
Track one is a 'track' of information on a credit card that has a 79 character alphanumeric field for information. Normally a credit card number, expiration date and customer name are contained on track 1.

TRACK 2
Track two is a 'track' of information on a credit card that has a 40 character field for information. Normally a credit cad number and expiration date are contained on track 2.

TRACK3
Track three is a 'track' of information on a credit card that has 107 character field for alphanumeric information. Normally a credit card number, expiration date and room for additional information are available on track 3.

UNIX
UNIX is a terminal based operation system in which 'dumb' terminals are communicating back to a 'smart' processing unit or host.

UPS
An acronym for uninterruptible power source. A UPS is primarily used as a back up power source for computers and computer networks to insure on-going operation in the event of a power failure. Sophisticated units also have power conditioning and power monitoring features.

VERTICAL SCANNER
See Projection Scanner.

WAND
A pen-shaped bar code scanner that emits a beam from the end or tip of the wand. Wands are older, bar code reading technology but inexpensive and still widely used where speed and performance are not crucial.

WEDGE
A wedge decodes 'read' data (i.e. bar codes, credit cards) and communicates that information through a keyboard port on a computer. The keyboard plugs into the wedge and the wedge device plugs into the computer where the keyboard was. Sophisticated wedges can accept a few different peripheral devices. Also See Decode.

Y-CABLE
A cable that normally allows two peripheral devices to communicate off of one port on a computer.