RE[2]: Bandwith

Subject: RE[2]: Bandwith
From: Patrick O'Connell <patricko -at- EICON -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 1994 13:58:00 PST

Greetings, Arthur!

From the Jargon File (the one existing WinHelp version I know of is
enormously fun to read because of all the cross-references):

:bandwidth: n. 1. Used by hackers in a generalization of its
technical meaning as the volume of information per unit time that a
computer, person, or transmission medium can handle. "Those are
amazing graphics, but I missed some of the detail --- not enough
bandwidth, I guess." Compare {low-bandwidth}. 2. Attention
span. 3. On {USENET}, a measure of network capacity that is
often wasted by people complaining about how items posted by others
are a waste of bandwidth.

Defined in strictly technical terms it's the capacity of a communications
medium to carry data. Originally it referred only to physical media like
cabling, where bandwidth is used literally to describe the maximum width of
the frequency band a cable can carry. Greater width = medium can be divided
into larger number of one-bit channels = greater number of bits can be
transmitted simultaneously = faster communications. Information superhighway
<cringe> entrepreneurs are eyeing the cable-television industry hungrily
because your basic coax TV (CATV) cable can carry a LOT more data than your
basic phone line!

However, with the advent of all kinds of wireless media and countless kinds
of compression technologies, "bandwidth" has simply come to mean "how much
data you can move in or out over a given period of time."

|\| Patrick Brian O'Connell ! Intermediate Writer,Eicon Technology|
.|| These are my opinions, not ! Corporation / (B) 514-631-9825 x2482|
\| Eicon Technology's. ! Net:patricko -at- eicon -dot- com |

>>From: atc
>>To: patricko
[reference to my last techwr-l posting}>>
>>So what is bandwith, anyway? Is it the same as processor time? I've
>>heard the word forever, but I've never had to use it in any of the
>>technical docs I've written.
>>Arthur Comings

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