- Dictionary of PC Hardware
- and Data Communications
- By Mitchell Shnier
- 1st Edition April 1996
- 532 pages, $19.95
- The Dictionary of PC Hardware and Data Communications Terms covers
terms in two of the most volatile and interesting areas of computer development:
personal computers and networks. It provides up-to-date information about
everything from a common item like "batteries" to an obscure
font technology called "Speedo."
- The book's strength is that it is comprehensive. The author has combed
the Internet and other online services to find the latest and most vexing
acronyms and terms. Each entry has three sections. First, it lists the
acronym; then the expansion of that acronym; and third, the definition
- In a way, it's inaccurate to call this a dictionary because it provides
long and useful descriptions of the complex terms in these two computer
areas. For example, the description of PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), a popular
data encryption protocol, covers three and one-half pages. The entry for
PowerPC contains a table listing the clock speed, number of transistors,
width in bits, cache in kilobytes, and pins of each PowerPC processor currently
- The author has carefully cross-referenced the terms as well (to other
sections of the book, and to ftp and www sites on the Internet).
- O'Reilly's new Dictionary of PC Hardware and Data Communications Terms
is now freely available on the World Wide Web. Web content providers can
link to definitions in the online version of this book. The terms are updated
frequently to provide immediate access to new definitions. By linking your
documents to these terms over the World
- Wide Web, you can avoid having to update your own documents' definitions.
- 532 pages, $19.95
- Encyclopedia of Graphics
- File Formats
- The Complete Reference on CD-ROM
- with Links to Internet Resources
- By James D. Murray & William vanRyper
- 2nd Edition May 1996
- 1154 pages, $79.95 Includes CD-ROM
- O'Reilly's new edition of the Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats
is a wonderfully diverse kind of product -- it's a book, a CD-ROM, and
a World Wide Web product, all in one. You'll find printed information in
convenient book form. You'll be able to access text files, images, and
code locally on the CD-ROM provided with the book. And you'll be able to
link automatically from the product to the O'Reilly GFF Web Center -- and
from there to the larger world of the Internet -- for even more complete
(and up-to-date) information about graphics file formats.
- What's in this product -- and why does its book/CD-ROM/online format
work so well as a means of presenting information?
- It's all about graphics file formats. As any graphics programmer or
illustrator knows, there are many different file formats used for storing
graphics data -- data such as vector graphics, ray tracing, black-and-white
photographs, truecolor images, animation data, motion video, and multimedia
data. The Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats is the definitive reference
to all of these formats -- from major, standardized formats, like GIF,
TIFF, TGA, and BMP,
- to newer or specialized formats, like PNG, SPIFF, SGI YAODL, and Facesaver.
The first edition of the book has already become a classic for programmers
on all platforms -- Windows, MS-DOS, OS/2, the Macintosh, UNIX, and others.
- What type of information is available in the book and through its online
- Whether you are a graphics programmer who needs to know the precise
contents of every bit in a file, a graphics illustrator who needs to know
how to convert a file from one format to another, or anyone else who needs
to deal with the low-level technical details of graphics files, this product
is for you. For each of more than 100 formats, the product provides quick
summary information -- How many colors are supported by the format? What
type of compression does it use? What's the maximum image size? What's
the platform, the numerical format, and the supporting applications? It
also provides extensive text detailing how graphics files are constructed
in a particular format.
- In addition to describing the details of the file formats, the Encyclopedia
of Graphics File Formats contains a good deal of general graphics information,
- A detailed discussion of graphics concepts and programming, covering
such topics as palettes, color (its perception, conversion, and quantization),
and the various types of graphics file formats (e.g., vector, bitmap, metafile,
scene description, animation, multimedia, 3D, font, audio, virtual reality
modeling language [VRML], and page description language [PDL]).
- Detailed descriptions of different methods of compressing graphics
data (e.g., run-length encoding, LZW, CCITT, JPEG, JBIG, ART, fractal).
- Discussions of ways of converting from one type of file format to another.
- Information on emerging graphics initiatives, including JPEG (an image
data compression standard of particular interest in multimedia technology)
and MPEG (a set of digital and audio compression standards for sound and
motion picture data).
- The second edition of the book contains hundreds of pages of new content.
For example, you'll find:
- Articles on additional graphics file formats not covered in the first
edition, like PNG (Portable Network Graphics), SPIFF (Still Picture Interchange
File Format), DPX (SMTPE Digital Picture Exchange), SAF (Standard Archive
Format), and 3DS (3D Studio).
- Descriptions of new data compression methods -- extensions to JPEG
compression, and the new JBIG, ART, and fractal compression methods.
- New sections on encrypting graphics files, detecting viruses in graphics
files, dealing with corrupt graphics files, and writing your own file formats
and file format specs.
- A discussion of the Unisys patent claim on the LZW compression method
-- and its impact on your use of GIF files and software.
- A new appendix on dealing with graphics files on the Internet and the
World Wide Web -- how to download and convert files, how to post information,
how to handle the mechanics of FTP, Web servers, news groups, and more.
- What will you find on the multiplatform CD-ROM included with the book?
- First, you'll find file format specifications, a wonderful collection
of resources that are often hard to locate and obtain -- in many cases,
they have never before been available outside the organizations that developed
them. We've assembled original file format specification documents from
such vendors as Adobe, Aldus, Apple, IBM, Microsoft, and Silicon Graphics.
- Second, we've chosen the best of the free software and shareware --
for Windows, MS-DOS, OS/2, Macintosh, and UNIX platforms -- that will let
you convert, view, compress, and manipulate graphics files and images.
- Third, we've included a variety of test graphics images to help you
test software, convert formats, compare color depth and file size, and
figure out what format is right for your application.
- Fourth, on the CD-ROM we've retrofitted the entire contents of the
book for display on the Internet's World Wide Web.
- Finally, we've provided tools and links that allow you to access the
material efficiently and to keep up to date. Using the Enhanced Mosaic
browser (also included), you can browse the book's contents online, look
up the details of a file format, access graphics manipulation and display
software quickly, and (if you have an Internet connection) link to our
Web home page on the Internet where we maintain an online update service.
- The new EGFF is a product that will never go out of date because O'Reilly
is making a commitment to support it online. At the O'Reilly GFF Web Center,
you'll find a roadmap to other resources of interest to graphics programmers
and designers, maintained by author James Murray. You'll be able to get
information on new file formats, updated versions of vendors' graphics
file format specifications and software packages, find out about new online
archives of graphics images and other data, and learn what's new in the
- Of course, you'll still get the printed book -- after all, a book is
still the most portable resource around -- to take on the train, carry
to class, or keep in your library at home or at work.
- Who needs this book?
- The first edition of the book was aimed mainly at graphics programmers.
With this second edition, we've provided content and tools that will make
this product an invaluable resource for graphics illustrators and designers
as well. Unlike graphics programmers, these users don't need to know the
details of how GIF, TIFF, and PNG files are constructed. However, they
do need to make the right choices about which formats can be converted
to the formats they or their customers need, which support the color depth
they want, and which compress fastest.
- Whatever your graphics needs, you'll find the new Encyclopedia of Graphics
File Formats an invaluable aid -- packed with information, constantly up-to-date,
and fun to use. We're excited about the information and the tools we've
been able to collect, and we look forward to sharing the fruits of our
labors with you.
- Technical requirements for the product: a CD-ROM drive; a PC running
Microsoft Windows 3.1, 95, or NT; and a Macintosh workstation, or a UNIX
workstation supported by Spyglass Enhanced Mosaic. A 256-color monitor
is highly recommended.
1154 pages, $79.95 Includes CD-ROM