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By Chris De Herrera 
Copyright 1998-2007
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Glossary of Terms
By Chris De Herrera, Copyright 2000-2002
 Version 1.09  Revised 5/5/2002

Glossary of Terms


I created this glossary of terms to help users understand the concepts that are covered on Pocket PC FAQ.  Some of these terms are specific to the Pocket PC and Windows CE while other are generic to computers in general.


802.11, Wireless Ethernet - A wireless local area network protocol which allows high speed access to network resources.  It operates at 11, 5.5, 2 and 1 megabits per second depending on distance.  It uses the 2.4 ghz spectrum using direct sequence spectrum (DSS)..  WECA is the industry consortium which works with vendors on interoperability.  For information on PC Card compatibility and configuring read 802.11 Wireless LAN Configuration.

ActiveSync - The desktop software that the Handheld PC, Palm-size PC and Pocket PC use to synchronize with.  The latest version is ActiveSync 3.5 which is covered here.

ADSL - Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line - A high speed connection to the internet.  Usually configured for 1.544 mb/s receive from the internet and 128k send to the internet.

Bluetooth - A wireless protocol that is used to communicate from one device to another in a small area usually less than 30 feet.  It uses the 2.4 ghz spectrum to communicate a 1 megabit connection between 2 devices for both a voice channel and a 768k data channel. The Bluetooth specification calls for different profiles such as voice and serial emulation to be used by devices to communicate.  However interoperability needs to be tested to confirm compatibility of the higher level protocols that use Bluetooth to communicate between devices.  Version 1.0 requires users to register the connection between the 2 devices while version 1.1 allows a Bluetooth device to communicate with up to 8 devices.

Cable Modem - Provides high speed access to the internet at receive rates from 1,544k or faster.  The upload rate is much slower usually 256 or 512k.  Each cable company uses different standards for their cable modem.

CHAP - A security (authentication) protocol used with PPP. It sends an encrypted hash of the password to the client for comparison to the password entered. It does not send the password over the PPP connection.  Windows CE and the Pocket PC do not support encrypted CHAP password authentication.

CF, CompactFlash - A non-volatile secondary storage card which is compatible with the Pocket PC and Windows CE originally designed by Sandisk.  CompactFlash uses flash memory so it does not require very much power to work. With an adapter it is compatible with a PC Card slot.

DHCP - Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol - Automatically configures the PC Companion with an IP address, subnet and gateway. Optionally, can configure WINS and/or DNS entries. DHCP is supported with Ethernet and wireless LANs including 802.11 and Proxim.

DNS - Domain Name Server - The server where host names are translated to their IP address. This server is used on the internet and some private networks.

Domain - This is the Windows NT/2000/XP domain name for Netbios/WINS.  You should not use this unless directed to do so by your ISP.  This is not the Internet domain name.  It is commonly used when dialing corporate networks.

DSL - Digital Subscriber Line - A high speed data line used to connect to the internet. Different kinds of DSL exist such as ADSL and SDSL.

FTP - File Transfer Protocol - A common way that users download or upload files to the internet.  Can be used to update a website as well.

H/PC, HPC - Handheld PC, a Windows CE PDA with a 640 x 240 or larger display and a built in keyboard. For more information read the PC Companion Feature Comparison.

H/PC Pro - Handheld PC, Professional Edition, the 3rd generation of H/PC. For more information read the PC Companion Feature Comparison.

H/PC 2000 - Handheld PC 2000, the 4th generation of the H/PC. For more information read the PC Companion Feature Comparison.

IMAP4 - Internet Messaging Access Protocol 4 - IMAP4 allows you to download the e-mail subjects then select the messages to download.  Also, you can choose to synchronize a folder of messages as well. Microsoft Exchange supports IMAP4 access to e-mail.  Mail clients that use IMAP4 use SMTP to send e-mail.

MMC, Multimedia Card - A postage stamp size memory storage card originally designed by Sandisk.  Retrieves information serially at approximately 2 megabits per second.  Compatible with PC Cards using a special MMC PC Card reader. Encrypted version is called SD or Secure Digital.  In the future the MMC slots will support peripherals such as modems and Ethernet cards.

NAT - Network Address Translation - A program or piece of hardware that converts the IP address from a private address to a public address real time.  This allows multiple users to share a single public IP address.  It also prevents access to these users from the outside without special configurations.  NAT is used in home networks and corporations to allow multiple PCs to access the internet via T-1, ADSL, SDSL or Cable Modem.

Netbios - IBM and Microsoft's peer to peer networking protocol.  Windows CE uses Netbios over TCP/IP to synchronize and communicate to Windows Networks.

PAP - Password Authentication Protocol - A security authentication protocol used with PPP. The password is sent to the client as clear text for comparison. CHAP is a more secure protocol.

Partnership - The connection made with ActiveSync to your desktop. The Partnership is stored on both the desktop and PC Companion.

PC Companion - A term used to describe the Handheld PC, Palm-size PC and Pocket PC as a group.

PDA - Personal Digital Assistant - A term used to describe computers small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.

POP3 - Post Office Protocol 3 - The address for receiving e-mail from your ISP.  You will need to know your username and password to access this.  In some cases the username and password are NOT the same as the log on username and password.

Pocket PC - A computer that fits in the palm of your hand which runs the latest Windows CE Operating System 3.0.  Includes Pocket Word, Pocket Excel, Calendar, Contacts and Tasks as well as other applications. For more information read Pocket PC Articles and the PC Companion Feature Comparison.

P/PC, PPC - Palm-size PC - The first and second generation keyboard less PDA. Normally not used to describe a Pocket PC.  For more information read the PC Companion Feature Comparison.

PPP - Point to Point Protocol - The protocol that is used to connect to the internet and corporate networks via dialup networking.  PPP depends on CHAP, PAP or scripts for authentication.  Windows CE does not support data encryption for PPP connections.

SD, Secure Digital - A hardware encrypted version of the Multimedia Card. Requires 2 additional pins for encryption support so existing MMC devices may not support SD.  Designed to prevent unauthorized duplication of data.  Some SD slots also support peripherals.  You need to contact the manufacturer of the device to find out if the peripheral is supported.

SDSL - Synchronous Digital Subscriber Line - Data service provided by the phone company with both the send and receive speeds the same.  Usually available in 384, 768 and 1,544 k bits per second speed.

SMTP - Simple Mail Transfer Protocol - The protocol that you use to send e-mail via your ISP.  It is used with both POP3 and IMAP4.

SPA - Secure Password Authentication - SPA is used to prevent unauthorized use of a SMTP mail host to send e-mail.  It is used by MSN to send e-mail.  SPA is not supported by Windows CE's Inbox.  The Pocket PC 2002 supports SPA in the Inbox application.

SSID - Service Set Identifier - Specifies which 802.11b network you are joining.  Some systems allow you to specify ANY SSID as an option so you can join any network.

SSL - Secure Sockets Layer - A method to encrypt data sent over the internet.  SSL is implemented in web browsers so you can visit secure websites.  It can also be implemented in other connections like e-mail for corporate users.

TCP/IP - Transport Communications Protocol/Internet Protocol -  The communications protocol that the Windows CE uses to communicate to the internet and synchronization.

USB - Universal Serial Bus -   An 11 megabits per second bus for peripherals.  Requires one host controller and supports multiple slaves.  See the USB FAQ for details on the Pocket PC / Windows CE implementation.

VPN - Virtual Private Network -  A way to communicate through a dedicated server securely to a corporate network over the internet. Windows NT, 2000 and XP offer native VPN support.  Also, VPNs are recommended to secure 802.11b wireless LANs as well.

WEP - Wired Equivalent Privacy - the standard for encrypting data over an 802.11b wireless network. This 40 or 128 bit encryption has been shown to be insecure.  So the current recommendation is to use a VPN to secure corporate data.

WINS - Windows Internet Naming Service -  The service in Microsoft networks that translates host names into the IP address. WINS uses Netbeui as the protocol and is compatible with Netbios. 

WDA - Wireless Digital Assistant - This is the term that Hewlett Packard coined with their new 928 WDA Pocket PC 2002 Phone Edition which integrates a cell phone with a Pocket PC.

XDA - Extended Digital Assistant -  This the term that O2 coined with their new Pocket PC 2002 Phone Edition which integrates a cell phone with a Pocket PC.

XIP - Execute In Place - The execution of a program stored in ROM or flash that is run directly from the location where it is stored.  The execution does not require the program to be copied into ram before execution.  This reduces the amount of ram that an application requires since it does not all have to load into RAM.

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