Open Data-Link Interface To Optical computer (Technology Terms)

Open Data-Link Interface

ODI (Open Data-Link Interface) is a software interface that allows different Data-Link Layer protocols to share the same driver or adapter in a computer. ODI was introduced by Novell. For example, using ODI, both TCP/IP and IPX/SPX can share the same device adapter.

The Data-Link Layer, part of the Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) model, provides a way to move data across a physical link.

Open eBook Forum

The Open Electronic Book Forum (OEBF) is an organization whose purpose is to develop a specification for electronic content, based on existing HTML and XML standards, that allows electronic book content to be viewed on various devices (PC display, PDA, or eBook reader) and all platforms. The OEB Forum brings publishers, authors, agents, distributors, hardware and software vendors, and programmers together to work towards creating this common standard in "dual-stream publishing," the simultaneous production of both electronic and print media.

Goals for the OEB Forum include:

• Providing a forum for the discussion of issues and technologies related to electronic books

• Developing, publishing, and maintaining common specifications relating to electronic books and promoting the successful adoption of these specifications

• Promoting industry-wide participation of electronic publishing through training sessions, guidelines, and demonstrations of proven technology

• Identifying, evaluating and recommending standards created by other bodies related to electronic books

• Encouraging interoperable implementations of electronic book related systems and providing a forum for resolution of interoperability issues

• Accommodating differences in language, culture, reading and learning styles, and individual abilities

Open Profiling Standard

Open Profiling Standard (OPS) is a proposed standard for how Web users can control the personal information they share with Web sites. OPS has a dual purpose: (1) to allow Web sites to personalize their pages for the individual user and (2) to allow users to control how much personal information they want to share with a Web site. OPS was proposed to the Platform for Privacy Preferences Project (P3P) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in 1997 by Netscape Communications (now part of America Online), Firefly Network, and VeriSign.

How It Works

1. A Web user uses special software (or it could be combined with a Web browser) to create a Personal Profile that is stored in the user’s computer. (If desired, the Profile could also be placed in a corporate or global directory.)

2. When a Web user visits a Web site for the first time, the site could ask the user for information from the Personal Profile and the user could decide whether and how much information to give the site.

3. The site would store the information on its site. When the visitor returned, the Web site, after identifying the user, could use the previously-stored Profile to personalize the pages for that user (for example, provide occupation or hobby-related information on certain pages).

What the Personal Profile Contains

One could think of the Personal Profile as an elaborate, user-defined cookie. Cookies are files that Web sites currently place on each user’s own hard disk so that they can recall some information about the user. This information is very limited and the user can control only whether cookies are permitted or not. A Personal Profile gives the user much finer control of personal information. In general, a Personal Profile would contain:

• A unique identifier for the Profile itself

• A unique identifier for each Web site that is visited (used to control how much of the Profile the site can access)

• Basic demographic data (country, zip code, age, and gender)

• Contact information (name, address, zip or postal code, telephone number, e-mail address, and so forth). This is based on the vCard specification.

• Additionally, one or more sections for e-commerce information, such as credit card numbers

• Detailed personal preferences (hobbies, favorite activities, favorite magazines, and so forth)

The P3P Recommendations provide a formal way to implement the Personal Profile that uses the Resource Definition Framework (RDF) of the W3C.

Open Service Gateway Initiative

OSGi (Open Service Gateway Initiative) is an industry plan for a standard way to connect devices such as home appliances and security systems to the Internet. With such a standard, home users could, for example, install a security system and be able to change from one monitoring service to another without having to install a new system of wires and devices. The ”service gateway” would be an application server in a computer that was a gateway between the Internet and a home or small business’s network of device. The OSGi plans to specify the application program interface (API) for programmers to use to allow communication and control between service providers and the devices within the home or small business network. OSGi’s API will be built on the Java programming language. Java programs can generally be run on any computer operating system platform. OSGi is an open standard programming interface. Changes will evolve through the ”Java Community Process.”

OSGi is intended to connect new Jini ”smart appliances,” Bluetooth wireless device groups, as well as TV set-top boxes, cable modems, alarm systems, energy management systems, and other devices to Internet sites that can be used to manage them remotely and interactively. The service gateway (SG) is intended to manage this interconnection with ”zero administration."

Among some popular device-to-Internet applications are expected to be energy measurement and load management in the home; home security systems that a home owner can monitor and control away from home; continous monitoring of critical care and home-care patients; and predictive failure reporting for home appliances. The OSGi specification will be designed to complement existing residential standards, such as those of LonWorks (see control network), CAL, CEBus, HAVi, and others.

The initial group of companies that formed the initiative were: Alcatel, Cable Wireless, Electricite de France, Enron Communications, Ericcson, IBM, Lucent Technologies, Motorola, NCI, Nortel Networks, Oracle, Philips Electronics, Sun Microsystems, Sybase, and Toshiba.

Open Source Development Labs

Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) is a nonprofit corporation founded by IBM, Intel, and Computer Associates to support Linux developers and users. The goal of OSDL is to provide a place where Linux and other Open Source developers can work together and create standardized and compatible Linux platform applications. Plans for a state-of-the-art laboratory based somewhere in Oregon were announced in August 2000 by Scott McNeil, who is widely credited with the concept for OSDL.

open source

1) In general, open source refers to any program whose source code is made available for use or modification as users or other developers see fit. (Historically, the makers of proprietary software have generally not made source code available.) Open source software is usually developed as a public collaboration and made freely available.

2) Open Source is a certification mark owned by the Open Source Initiative (OSI). Developers of software that is intended to be freely shared and possibly improved and redistributed by others can use the Open Source trademark if their distribution terms conform to the OSI’s Open Source Definition. To summarize, the Definition model of distribution terms require that:

• The software being distributed must be redistributed to anyone else without any restriction

• The source code must be made available (so that the receiving party will be able to improve or modify it)

• The license can require improved versions of the software to carry a different name or version from the original software

The idea is very similar to the copyleft concept of the Free Software Foundation. Open Source is the result of a longtime movement toward software that is developed and improved by a group of volunteers cooperating together on a network. Many parts of the UNIX operating system were developed this way, including today’s most popular version, Linux. Linux uses applications from the GNU project, which was guided by Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation. The Open Source Definition, spearheaded by Eric Raymond (editor of The New Hacker’s Dictionary), is an effort to provide a branded model or guideline for this kind of software distribution and redistribution. The OSI considers the existing software distribution licenses used by GNU, BSD (a widely-distributed version of UNIX), X Window System, and Artistic to be conformant with the Open Source Definition.

Prior to its acquisition by AOL, Netscape, in an effort to stay viable in its browser competition with Microsoft, made its browser source code (codenamed Mozilla) freely available, encouraging programmers to improve it. Possible enhancements will presumably be incorporated into future versions. The open source movement has gained momentum as commercial enterprises have begun to consider Linux as an open alternative to Windows operating systems.


OpenCourseWare (OCW) is an educational initiative developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to make the core teaching materials for all MIT graduate and undergraduate classes available at no cost to Internet users around the world. OCW has been compared to the open source software movement because course materials on the OCW site will be "open and freely available worldwide for non-commerical purposes such as research and education, providing an extraordinary resource, free of charge, which others can adapt to their own needs.” MIT President, Charles M. Vest, anticipates that within ten years, lecture notes, course outlines, reading lists and assignments for over 2000 MIT classes will be freely available on the OCW Web site.

President Vest has said that although OCW appears counterintuitive in a market-driven world, it is particularly appropriate for a research university such as MIT where ideas move quickly from the laboratory to the classroom before there is even time to publish it in textbooks. OCW is not seen as a substitute for revenue-generating distance education (which requires interaction between teacher and student) but rather as a Web-based resource for teachers and learners around the globe. MIT anticipates that OCW will initially cost between $7.5 million and $10 million per year and is actively seeking funding partners.

MIT is known for its innovation in collaborative and distance learning projects, including long-distance education and collaborative research programs with the National University University of Singapore and Cambridge University in England. MIT faculty members will retain intellectual property ownership of most materials posted on the OCW site, following MIT’s current policy on textbook authorship. MIT faculty members have expressed the hope that OCW will encourage other universities to follow their initiative and join them in this "unprecedented step in challenging the privitization of knowledge.”


OpenGL (Open Graphics Library) is the computer industry’s standard application program interface (API) for defining 2-D and 3-D graphic images. Prior to OpenGL, any company developing a graphical application typically had to rewrite the graphics part of it for each operating system platform and had to be cognizant of the graphics hardware as well.

With OpenGL, an application can create the same effects in any operating system using any OpenGL-adhering graphics adapter.

OpenGL specifies a set of "commands" or immediately executed functions. Each command directs a drawing action or causes special effects. A list of these commands can be created for repetitive effects. OpenGL is independent of the windowing characteristics of each operating system, but provides special "glue" routines for each operating system that enable OpenGL to work in that system’s windowing environment. OpenGL comes with a large number of built-in capabilities requestable through the API. These include hidden surface removal, alpha blending (transparency), antialiasing, texture mapping, pixel operations, viewing and modeling transformations, and atmospheric effects (fog, smoke, and haze).

Silicon Graphics, makers of advanced graphics workstations, initiated the development of OpenGL. Other companies on the industry-wide Architecture Review Board include DEC, Intel, IBM, Microsoft, and Sun Microsystems. There is no cost (other than learning) to developing an application using the OpenGL API. Microsoft offers free downloads of the OpenGL libraries for its Windows systems. Although OpenGL is not itself a development "toolkit," such toolkits are available, including Silicon Graphics object-oriented programming 3D graphics toolkit, Open Inventor.


OpenType is a file format for scalable (outline) font files that extends the existing TrueType font file format used by Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh operating systems. OpenType was developed jointly by Microsoft and Adobe and allows an Adobe PostScript file to be part of a TrueType font file. Prior to OpenType, Adobe did not support TrueType fonts as well it did its own font format, Type 1, for printers that use PostScript. PostScript is an industry standard printer formatting language for higher-quality and more sophisticated printers. OpenType is also known as TrueType Open v. 2.0. The main advantages of OpenType are:

• Improved cross-platform support

• Better support for the international character sets specified in the Unicode standard

• The ability to specify advanced typographic controls

• Smaller file sizes

• The ability to add a digital signature to a font set to ensure the integrity of the files

The OpenType specification includes a convention for assigning suffixes (file name extensions) to OpenType file names. An OpenType file contains either a TrueType outline font file, which requires a suffix of TTF, or a PostScript outline font file, with a suffix of OTF. A collection of TrueType files packaged together has the suffix TTC.


OpenVMS is an operating system from the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) that runs in both its VAX and Alpha computers. OpenVMS evolved from VMS, which originated as the operating system for the VAX in 1979. VMS exploited the concept of virtual memory. DEC is now part of Compaq.

OpenVMS is a multitasking and multiprocessing operating system based on VMS; it was renamed OpenVMS when it was redeveloped for the Alpha processor. (OpenVMS is also the name now used on the VAX computer.) The "Open" suggests the added support for the UNIX-like interfaces of the POSIX standard. Programs written to the POSIX standard, which includes a set of standard C language programming functions, can be ported to any POSIX-supporting computer platform. Formerly a 32-bit operating system, more recent versions of OpenVMS support 64-bit instructions.

Among other features, OpenVMS can be used with special software that facilitates its use with Windows servers.


Opera is a Web browser that provides some advantages over the two most popular browsers from Netscape and Microsoft. Much smaller in size, Opera is known for being fast and stable. Opera, which is available for BeOS, EPOC, Linux, Mac, OS/2 and Windows, offers the same capabilities of the more popular browsers including integrated searches and Instant Messaging, support for JavaScript, cascading style sheets, and mail. Because Opera is so compact, it is being promoted as the browser of choice for hand-held Internet devices.

Opera for Windows is now free; there is still a purchase fee for other platforms. The free version of Opera contains ads, which are cached weekly to insure Opera’s fast speed is maintained. The other versions of Opera do not have ads, which is why Opera charges a modest one-time license fee. The feature you notice first after installing Opera is a menu or "hotlist" that serves as both a directory to the Web and a bookmark file. The hotlist can be easily removed and you can use the full viewing space to look at multiple Web sites at the same time, either tiling or cascading the windows. You can choose to have the sites you were last looking at restored the next time you open the Opera browser. Opera offers keyboard as well as mouse control of its features. Plug-ins such as RealAudio, RealVideo, and Shockwave can be added. Opera does not support Active-X or Visual Basic.

Opera began in 1994 as a research project for the national phone company in Norway and is now considered to be the third most popular Web browser in use today.


1) In computers, an operand is the part of a computer instruction that specifies data that is to be operating on or manipulated and, by extension, the data itself. Basically, a computer instruction describes an operation (add, subtract, and so forth) and the operand or operands on which the operation is to be performed.

2) In mathematics, an operand is the object of a mathematical operation.

operating system

An operating system (sometimes abbreviated as "OS") is the program that, after being initially loaded into the computer by a boot program, manages all the other programs in a computer. The other programs are called applications or application programs. The application programs make use of the operating system by making requests for services through a defined application program interface (API). In addition, users can interact directly with the operating system through a user interface such as a command language or a graphical user interface (GUI).

An operating system performs these services for applications:

• In a multitasking operating system where multiple programs can be running at the same time, the operating system determines which applications should run in what order and how much time should be allowed for each application before giving another application a turn.

• It manages the sharing of internal memory among multiple applications.

• It handles input and output to and from attached hardware devices, such as hard disks, printers, and dial-up ports.

• It sends messages to each application or interactive user (or to a system operator) about the status of operation and any errors that may have occurred.

• It can offload the management of what are called batch jobs (for example, printing) so that the initiating application is freed from this work.

• On computers that can provide parallel processing, an operating system can manage how to divide the program so that it runs on more than one processor at a time.

All major computer platforms (hardware and software) require and sometimes include an operating system. Linux, Windows 2000, VMS, OS/400, AIX, and z/OS are all examples of operating systems.

Operational Support System

An Operational Support System (OSS) is an application program that helps someone monitor, control, analyze, and manage problems with a telephone or computer network.

Optical Carrier levels (OCx)

The Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) includes a set of signal rate multiples for transmitting digital signals on optical fiber. The base rate (OC-1) is 51.84 Mbps. Certain multiples of the base rate are provided as shown in the following table. Asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) makes use of some of the Optical Carrier levels.

Optical Carrier Level

Data Rate


51.84 Mbps


155.52 Mbps


622.08 Mbps


1.244 Gbps


2.488 Gbps


10 Gbps


13.271 Gbps


40 Gbps

Optical computer

An optical computer is a hypothetical device that uses visible light or infrared (IR) beams, rather than electric current, to perform digital computations. An electric current flows at only about 10 percent of the speed of light. This limits the rate at which data can be exchanged over long distances, and is one of the factors that led to the evolution of optical fiber. By applying some of the advantages of visible and/or IR networks at the device and component scale, a computer might someday be developed that can perform operations 10 or more times faster than a conventional electronic computer.

Visible-light and IR beams, unlike electric currents, pass through each other without interacting. Several (or many) laser beams can be shone so their paths intersect, but there is no interference among the beams, even when they are confined essentially to two dimensions. Electric currents must be guided around each other, and this makes three-dimensional wiring necessary. Thus, an optical computer, besides being much faster than an electronic one, might also be smaller.

Some engineers think optical computing will someday be common, but most agree that transitions will occur in specialized areas one at a time. Some optical integrated circuits have been designed and manufactured. Three- dimensional, full-motion video can be transmitted along a bundle of fibers by breaking the image into voxels (see voxel). Some optical devices can be controlled by electronic currents, even though the impulses carrying the data are visible light or IR.


Optical technology has made its most significant inroads in digital communications, where fiber optic data transmission has become commonplace. The ultimate goal is the so-called photonic network, which uses visible and IR energy exclusively between each source and destination. Optical technology is employed in CD-ROM drives and their relatives, laser printers, and most photocopiers and scanners. However, none of these devices are fully optical; all rely to some extent on conventional electronic circuits and components.

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