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Windows Server 2003 Glossary - P

Updated: March 7, 2008

Applies To: Windows Server 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

For more Windows Server terms, see the Windows Server 2008 Glossary.

Glossary - P

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An icon that represents embedded or linked information. That information may consist of a complete file, such as a Paint bitmap, or part of a file, such as a spreadsheet cell. When you choose the package, the application used to create the object either plays the object (for example, a sound file) or opens and displays the object. If you change the original information, linked information is automatically updated. However, you must manually update embedded information.

See also: embedded object   linked object   OLE   


An Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) network layer transmission unit that consists of binary information representing both data and a header containing an identification number, source and destination addresses, and error-control data.

See also: Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference model   

packet filtering

Prevents certain types of network packets from either being sent or received. This can be employed for security reasons (to prevent access from unauthorized users) or to improve performance by disallowing unnecessary packets from going over a slow connection.

See also: packet   

packet header

In network protocol communications, a specially reserved field of a defined bit length that is attached to the front of a packet for carry and transfer of control information. When the packet arrives at its destination, the field is then detached and discarded as the packet is processed and disassembled in a corresponding reverse order for each protocol layer.

See also: packet   

packet switching

A technology for breaking data into packets and then sending the packets over a network. Each packet has a header containing its source and destination, a sequence number to reassemble the information, a block of data content, and an error-checking code. The data packets may take different routes to their destination, where the original information is reassembled after the packets arrive. The international standard for packet switching networks is X.25.

See also: packet   

PAD (packet assembler/disassembler)

A device that connects a non-X.25 device such as a modem to an X.25 packet switching network.

See also: packet   


See other term: Physical Address Extension (PAE)  


In virtual memory systems, a unit of data storage that is brought into random access memory (RAM), typically from a hard drive, when a requested item of data is not already in RAM.

See also: virtual memory   

page fault

The interrupt that occurs when software attempts to read from or write to a virtual memory location that is marked not present. In Task Manager, page fault is the number of times data has to be retrieved from disk for a process because it was not found in memory. The page fault value accumulates from the time the process started.

See also: Page Faults Delta   Task Manager   virtual memory   

Page Faults Delta

In Task Manager, the change in the number of page faults since the last update.

See also: page fault   Task Manager   

paged pool

The system-allocated virtual memory that has been charged to a process and that can be paged. Paging is the moving of infrequently used parts of a program`s working memory from random access memory (RAM) to another storage medium, usually the hard disk. In Task Manager, the amount of system-allocated virtual memory, in kilobytes, used by a process.

See also: registry size limit (RSL)   Task Manager   virtual memory   

page-description language (PDL)

A computer language that describes the arrangement of text and graphics on a printed page.

See also: PostScript   PostScript fonts   Printer Control Language (PCL)   Printer Job Language (PJL)   

paging file

A hidden file or files on the hard disk that Windows uses to hold parts of programs and data files that do not fit in memory. The paging file and physical memory, or random access memory (RAM), comprise virtual memory. Windows moves data from the paging file to memory as needed and moves data from memory to the paging file to make room for new data. Also known as a swap file.

See also: Peak Memory Usage   registry size limit (RSL)   virtual memory   


paper source

The location (such as Upper Paper Tray or Envelope Feeder) of the paper at the printer.

See also: printer   

parallel port

The input/output connector for a parallel interface device. Printers are generally plugged into a parallel port.

See also: port   serial port   

parent domain

For DNS and Active Directory, domains that are located in the namespace tree directly above other derivative domain names (child domains). For example, would be the parent domain for, a child domain.

See also: Active Directory   child domain   domain   Domain Name System (DNS)   

parent object

An object in which another object resides. For example, a folder is a parent object in which a file, or child object, resides. An object can be both a parent and a child object. For example, a subfolder that contains files is both the child of the parent folder and the parent folder of the files.

See also: child object   object   

parent-child trust

A trust that is automatically established when a new domain (the child domain) is added, or becomes subordinate, to an existing domain (the parent domain). Parent-child trusts are transitive and two-way.

See also: child domain   parent domain   transitive trust   two-way trust   


A calculated value that is used to reconstruct data after a failure. RAID-5 volumes stripe data and parity intermittently across a set of disks. When a disk fails, some server operating systems use the parity information together with the data on good disks to recreate the data on the failed disk.

See also: fault tolerance   RAID-5 volume   striped volume   

parity bit

In asynchronous communications, an extra bit used in checking for errors in groups of data bits transferred within or between computer systems. In modem-to-modem communications, a parity bit is often used to check the accuracy with which each character is transmitted.

See also: parity   


A portion of a physical disk that functions as though it were a physically separate disk. After you create a partition, you must format it and assign it a drive letter before you can store data on it. On basic disks, partitions are known as basic volumes, which include primary partitions and logical drives. On dynamic disks, partitions are known as dynamic volumes, which include simple, striped, spanned, mirrored, and RAID-5 volumes.

See also: basic disk   basic volume   drive letter   dynamic volume   extended partition   primary partition   system partition   

partition boot sector

A portion of a hard disk partition that contains information about the disk`s file system and a short machine language program that loads the Windows operating system.

See also: partition   

passive client

A Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) browser, capable of broadly supported HTTP, that can make use of cookies. Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) in Windows Server 2003 R2 supports only passive clients, and it adheres to the WS-Federation Passive Requestor Profile (WS-F PRP) specification.

passport authentication

A user authentication mechanism that uses standard Web technologies to enable single sign-on access to multiple Web resources.

See also: .NET Passport   authentication   


A security measure used to restrict logon names to user accounts and access to computer systems and resources. A password is a string of characters that must be provided before a logon name or an access is authorized. A password can be made up of letters, numbers, and symbols, and it is case-sensitive.

See also: maximum password age   minimum password length   user account   

Password Authentication Protocol (PAP)

A simple, plaintext authentication scheme for authenticating Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) connections. The user name and password are requested by the remote access server and returned by the remote access client in plaintext.

See also: authentication   password   plaintext   Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP)   remote access server   

password policy

A collection of policy settings that define the password requirements for a Group Policy object (GPO).

See also: Group Policy object (GPO)   password   

Password Synchronization

A feature of Windows that helps integrate Windows and UNIX networks by simplifying the process of maintaining secure passwords in both environments.


A sequence of directory (or folder) names that specifies the location of a directory, file, or folder within the Windows directory tree. Each directory name and file name within the path must be preceded by a backslash (\). For example, to specify the path of a file named Readme.doc located in the Windows directory on drive C, type C:\Windows\Readme.doc.

See also: directory   


A state that applies to a node in a cluster. The node is a fully active member in the cluster but cannot accept new resource groups (for example, a resource group cannot fail over or fail back to a paused node). You can administer and maintain a paused node.

See also: cluster   failback   failover   node   offline   

PC Card

A removable device, approximately the size of a credit card, that can be plugged into a Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA) slot in a portable computer. PCMCIA devices can include modems, network cards, and hard disk drives.

See also: modem (modulator/demodulator)   


See other term: Printer Control Language (PCL)  


See other term: primary domain controller (PDC)  

PDC emulator master

A domain controller that holds the PDC emulator operations master role in Active Directory. The PDC emulator services network clients that do not have Active Directory client software installed, and it replicates directory changes to any Windows NT backup domain controllers (BDCs) in the domain. The PDC emulator handles password authentication requests involving passwords that have recently changed and not yet been replicated throughout the domain. At any time, the PDC emulator master role can be assigned to only one domain controller in each domain.

See also: Active Directory   backup domain controller (BDC)   domain controller   operations master   primary domain controller (PDC)   


See other term: page-description language (PDL)  

Peak Memory Usage

In Task Manager, the peak amount of physical memory resident in a process since it started.

See also: Task Manager   


A state that refers to a resource in a cluster when the resource is in the process of being brought online or taken offline.

See also: offline   online   resource   

Per Device or Per User Licensing

A licensing mode that requires a separate device-based or user-based Client Access License (CAL) for each device or user that accesses a server running Windows Server 2003, regardless of the number of concurrent connections.

See also: client   device   Per Server Licensing   

Per Server Licensing

A licensing mode that requires a separate device-based or user-based Client Access License (CAL) for each concurrent connection to a server running Windows Server 2003.

See also: client   device   Per Device or Per User Licensing   

performance alert

A feature that detects when a predefined counter value rises above or falls below the configured threshold and notifies a user by means of the Messenger service.

See also: Messenger service   

performance counter

In System Monitor, a data item that is associated with a performance object. For each counter selected, System Monitor presents a value corresponding to a particular aspect of the performance that is defined for the performance object.

See also: performance object   

performance object

In System Monitor, a logical collection of counters that is associated with a resource or service that can be monitored.

See also: performance counter   

performance object instance

In System Monitor, a term used to distinguish between multiple performance objects of the same type on a computer.

See also: performance object   

perimeter network

An Internet Protocol (IP) network segment that contains resources, such as Web servers and virtual private network (VPN) servers, that are available to Internet users. Also known as screened subnet.

See also: Internet Authentication Service (IAS)   Internet Protocol (IP)   virtual private network (VPN)   

permanent virtual circuit (PVC)

A virtual circuit assigned to a preconfigured static route.

See also: static routes   


A rule associated with an object to regulate which users can gain access to the object and in what manner. Permissions are assigned or denied by the object`s owner.

See also: object   privilege   

personal identification number (PIN)

A secret identification code that is used to protect smart cards from misuse. The PIN is similar to a password and is known only to the owner of the card. The smart card can be used only by someone who possesses the smart card and knows the PIN.

See also: smart card   

Physical Address Extension (PAE)

A feature of x86-based servers that allows computers running Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition, and Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition, to support more than 4 gigabytes (GB) of physical memory. Physical Address Extension (PAE) allows up to 64 GB of physical memory to be used as regular 4-kilobyte (KB) pages and expands the number of bits that can be used by the kernel to address physical memory from 32 to 36.

See also: x86   

Physical Disk resource

A disk on a cluster storage device. Physical disks are supported as cluster resources by a Resource DLL.

See also: Resource DLL   

physical security

The protection of critical data repositories and paths through the use of physical barriers. Physical barriers range in effectiveness and complexity from locked doors to multilayer access control systems involving proof of identity and explicit access permissions.

See also: security   


See other term: process identifier (PID)  


See other term: program information file (PIF)  


A utility that verifies connections to one or more remote hosts. The ping command uses Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) echo request and echo reply packets to determine whether a particular Internet Protocol (IP) system on a network is functional. Ping is useful for diagnosing IP network or router failures.

See also: host   Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP)   Internet Protocol (IP)   packet   


Short for picture element, one spot in a rectilinear grid of thousands of such spots that form an image produced on the screen by a computer or on paper by a printer. A pixel is the smallest element that display or print hardware and software can manipulate to create letters, numbers, or graphics. Also called a pel.

See also: screen resolution   


See other term: Printer Job Language (PJL)  

PKCS #10

The Certification Request Syntax Standard, developed and maintained by RSA Data Security, Inc.

See also: Public Key Cryptography Standards (PKCS)   Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA) cryptographic algorithms   

PKCS #12

Personal Information Exchange Syntax Standard, developed and maintained by RSA Data Security, Inc. This standard primarily provides a format for storing keys or a certificate in a file.

See also: Public Key Cryptography Standards (PKCS)   Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA) cryptographic algorithms   


The Cryptographic Message Syntax Standard. It is a general syntax, developed and maintained by RSA Data Security, Inc., for data to which cryptography may be applied, such as digital signatures and encryption. It also provides a syntax for disseminating certificates or certificate revocation lists.

See also: certificate revocation list (CRL)   encryption   Public Key Cryptography Standards (PKCS)   


See other term: public key infrastructure (PKI)  


Data in its unencrypted or decrypted form. Sometimes also called cleartext.

See also: encryption   

plotter font

A font created by a series of dots connected by lines. Plotter fonts can be scaled to any size and are most often printed on plotters. Some dot-matrix printers also support plotter fonts.

See also: font   

Plug and Play

A set of specifications developed by Intel Corporation that enables a computer to detect and configure a device automatically and install the appropriate device drivers.

See also: universal serial bus (USB)   



A network basic input/output system (NetBIOS) implementation that uses point-to-point communication with a WINS server to resolve names as IP addresses.

See also: IP address   network basic input/output system (NetBIOS)   Windows Internet Name Service (WINS)   

point of presence (POP)

The local access point for a network provider. Each POP provides a telephone number that allows users to make a local call for access to online services.

point of termination station (POTS)

Basic dial telephone connections to the public switched network, without any added features or functions. Also called plain old telephone service.

pointer (PTR) resource record

A DNS resource record used in a reverse lookup zone to map an IP address to a DNS name.

See also: Domain Name System (DNS) domain   IP address   resource record (RR)   reverse lookup   zone   

Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP)

An industry standard suite of protocols for the use of point-to-point links to transport multiprotocol datagrams. PPP is documented in RFC 1661.

See also: Compression Control Protocol (CCP)   remote access   Request for Comments (RFC)   Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)   voluntary tunnel   

Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)

Networking technology that supports multiprotocol virtual private networks (VPNs), enabling remote users to access corporate networks securely across the Internet or other networks by dialing into an Internet service provider (ISP) or by connecting directly to the Internet. PPTP tunnels, or encapsulates, Internet Protocol (IP) or Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPX) traffic inside IP packets. This means that users can remotely run applications that depend on particular network protocols. PPTP is described in RFC 2637.

See also: Internet Protocol (IP)   Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPX)   NetBIOS Extended User Interface (NetBEUI)   packet   Request for Comments (RFC)   tunnel   virtual private network (VPN)   

poison reverse

A process that, used with split horizon, improves Routing Information Protocol (RIP) convergence over simple split horizon by advertising all network IDs. However, the network IDs learned in a given direction are advertised with a hop count of 16, indicating that the network is unavailable.

See also: hop count   Routing Information Protocol (RIP)   split horizon   


The mechanism by which computer settings are configured automatically, as defined by the administrator. Depending on context, this can refer to Group Policy or Windows NT 4.0 System Policy.

See also: Group Policy   Group Policy object (GPO)   System Policy   

polling intervals

The frequency the Resource Monitor checks that the resource is available and operating. There are two levels of polling: Looks Alive and Is Alive. The server cluster requests a more thorough check of the resource`s state at each Is Alive interval than it does at each Looks Alive interval; therefore, the Is Alive polling interval is typically longer than the Looks Alive polling interval. You can specify the two polling intervals and a time-out value for resources.

See also: resource   Resource Monitor   


See other term: point of presence (POP)  

POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3)

A popular protocol used for receiving e-mail messages. This protocol is often used by Internet service providers (ISPs). POP3 servers allow access to a single Inbox in contrast to Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) servers, which provide access to multiple server-side folders.

See also: Internet service provider (ISP)   Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)   


A connection point on your computer where you can connect devices that pass data into and out of a computer. For example, a printer is typically connected to a parallel port (also called an LPT port), and a modem is typically connected to a serial port (also called a COM port).

See also: parallel port   serial port   universal serial bus (USB)   

port based network access control

A form of network access control that uses the physical characteristics of a switched local area network (LAN) infrastructure to authenticate devices that are attached to a LAN port and to prevent access to that port if the authentication process fails. This form of network access control is used in 802.1X authentication.

See also: 802.1X authentication   access control   authentication   local area network (LAN)   port   

port ID

The method that Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP) use to specify which program running on the system is sending or receiving the data.

See also: User Datagram Protocol (UDP)   

port rule

For Network Load Balancing, a set of configuration parameters that determine the filtering mode to be applied to a range of ports.

See also: filtering mode   Network Load Balancing   port   

port scanning

A method that is used to identify services or programs that respond to service requests that are made over a network port.

See also: port   service   

Portable Operating System Interface for UNIX (POSIX)

An Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) standard that defines a set of operating-system services. Programs that adhere to the POSIX standard can be easily ported from one system to another. POSIX was based on UNIX system services, but it was created in a way that allows it to be implemented by other operating systems.

See also: service   


possible owner

A node in a cluster that can run a specific resource. By default, all nodes appear as possible owners, so the resource can run on any node. In most cases, it is appropriate to use this default setting. If you want the resource to be able to fail over, at least two nodes must be designated as possible owners.

See also: cluster   failover   node   resource   


A page-description language (PDL), developed by Adobe Systems for printing on laser printers. PostScript offers flexible font capability and high-quality graphics. It is the standard for desktop publishing because it is supported by imagesetters, the high-resolution printers used by printing services for commercial typesetting.

See also: page-description language (PDL)   PostScript fonts   PostScript printer   Printer Control Language (PCL)   Printer Job Language (PJL)   service   Type 1 fonts   

PostScript fonts

Fonts that are defined in terms of the PostScript page-description language (PDL) rules and are intended to be printed on a PostScript-compatible printer. When a document displayed in a screen font is sent to a PostScript printer, the printer uses the PostScript version if the font exists. If the font doesn`t exist but a version is installed on the computer, that font is downloaded to the printer. If there is no PostScript font installed in either the printer or the computer, the bit-mapped (raster) font is translated into PostScript and the printer produces text using the bit-mapped font. PostScript fonts are distinguished from bit-mapped fonts by their smoothness, detail, and faithfulness to standards of quality established in the typographic industry.

See also: downloadable fonts   font   page-description language (PDL)   PostScript   raster fonts   

PostScript printer

A printer that uses the PostScript page-description language (PDL) to create text and graphics on the output medium, such as paper or overhead transparency. Examples of PostScript printers include the Apple LaserWriter, the NEC LC-890, and the QMS PS-810.

See also: page-description language (PDL)   PostScript   virtual printer memory   


power conditioning

A feature of an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) that removes spikes, surges, sags, and noise from the power supply.

See also: uninterruptible power supply (UPS)   

Power Users group

A group whose members can manage accounts, resources, and applications that are installed on a workstation, stand-alone server, or member server. This group does not exist on domain controllers. Administrative tasks that can be performed by members of this group include creating local users and groups; modifying and deleting accounts that they have created; removing users from the Power Users, Users, and Guests groups; installing most applications; and creating and deleting file shares.

See also: domain controller   group   member server   stand-alone server   


See other term: Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP)  



In Group Policy, the application hierarchy, based on the order in which Group Policy objects (GPOs) are applied. The GPO that is applied last takes precedence over all other objects.

See also: Group Policy Management console (GPMC)   Group Policy object (GPO)   Group Policy object link   inheritance   

predefined key

A key that represents one of the main divisions of the registry. Each predefined key is displayed in a separate Registry Editor window, with the key's name appearing in the window`s title bar. For example, HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT is a predefined key.

See also: hive   key   registry   

preferred owner

The node on which you prefer each group to run. For example, the static load balancing model performs best when groups are appropriately balanced between two nodes. When a node fails, the remaining node takes over the groups from the failed node, but performance is diminished. By setting those groups to fail back to their preferred server (the failed node), you automatically restore maximum performance when failback occurs. A group does not fail back if a preferred owner is not selected. You will not always choose a preferred owner because it may not matter where the group resides; all that matters is that the group is still running on one of the two nodes. Or, the nodes may be equally capable of handling the load required to use some or all of the resources.

See also: failback   group   node   resource   

preferred server

The NetWare server that you connect to by default when you log on to your computer. The preferred server validates your user credentials and is queried when you request information about resources available on the NetWare network.

See also: credentials   resource   

preset-to callback

A form of security in which a remote access server verifies users by calling them back at numbers supplied by the network administrator at the time user privileges are granted. Only a network administrator can change a preset callback number. This ensures that no one can borrow a user`s password and connect to the server from a location other than the user`s normal one.

See also: callback number   connected, user authenticated   remote access server   

preshared key

An Internet Protocol security (IPSec) technology in which a shared, secret key is used for authentication in IPSec policy.

See also: authentication   Internet Protocol security (IPsec)   IPsec policy   key   


To create a computer account in Active Directory before an operating system has been installed on the computer that will use the account. Prestaging is a part of supporting Remote Installation Services (RIS) for the client computer, and it ensures smooth client installations because the newly installed client computer is immediately recognized as having an account in Active Directory. The computer account information must include the globally unique identifier (GUID), which RIS uses to identify the client computer. An administrator can also use prestaging to control which computers can be installed through RIS.

See also: Active Directory   computer account   globally unique identifier (GUID)   Remote Installation Services (RIS)   

Primary disk

The hard disk drive that contains the system and boot partitions used to start Windows.

See also: boot partition   system partition   

primary domain controller (PDC)

In a Windows NT domain, a domain controller running Windows NT Server 4.0 or earlier that authenticates domain logon attempts and updates user, computer, and group accounts in a domain. The PDC contains the master read-write copy of the directory database for the domain. A domain has only one PDC. In a Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 domain, the PDC emulator master supports compatibility with client computers that are not running Windows 2000 or Windows XP Professional.

See also: Active Directory   backup domain controller (BDC)   mixed mode   PDC emulator master   

primary group

The group with which a Macintosh user usually shares documents stored on a server. You specify a user`s primary group in the user`s account. When a user creates a folder on the server, the user`s primary group is set by default as the folder`s associated group.

See also: group   

primary master

An authoritative DNS server for a zone that can be used as a point of update for the zone. Only primary masters have the ability to be updated directly to process zone updates, which include adding, removing, or modifying resource records that are stored as zone data. Primary masters are also used as the first sources for replicating the zone to other DNS servers.

See also: DNS server   replication   resource record (RR)   zone   

primary partition

A type of partition that you can create on basic disks. A primary partition is a portion of a physical disk that functions as though it were a physically separate disk. On basic master boot record (MBR) disks, you can create up to four primary partitions on a basic disk, or three primary partitions and an extended partition with multiple logical drives. On basic GUID partition table (GPT) disks, you can create up to 128 primary partitions. Also known as a volume.

See also: basic disk   extended partition   GUID partition table (GPT)   logical drive   master boot record (MBR)   partition   volume   

primary zone

A copy of the zone that is administered locally.

See also: secondary zone   zone   

principle of least privilege

The security guideline that a user should have the minimum privileges necessary to perform a specific task. This helps to ensure that, if a user is compromised, the impact is minimized by the limited privileges held by that user. In practice, a user runs within the security context of a normal user. When a task requires additional privileges, the user can use a tool such as Run as to start a specific process with those additional privileges or to log on as a user with the necessary privileges.

See also: privilege   security   

print job

The source code that contains both the data to be printed and the commands for print. Print jobs are classified into data types based on what modifications, if any, the spooler must make to the job for it to print correctly.

See also: print spooler   Printer window   printing pool   

print processor

The component that, working in conjunction with the printer driver, receives and alters print jobs, as necessary, according to their data type to ensure that the jobs print correctly.

See also: print job   printer driver   

print server

A computer that is dedicated to managing the printers on a network. The print server can be any computer on the network.

See also: printer   

Print Server for Macintosh

A service that enables Macintosh clients to send and spool documents to printers attached to a computer running Windows NT Server; Windows 2000 Server; or an operating system in the Windows Server 2003 family, excluding 64-bit editions, and that enables clients to send documents to printers anywhere on an AppleTalk network. Also known as MacPrint.

See also: service   

print spooler

Software that accepts a document sent to a printer and then stores it on disk or in memory until the printer is ready for it.

See also: printer   spooling   

Print Spooler resource

Printer queues providing access to a network printer connected to the network by an IP address rather than by an individual name. Print spoolers are supported as cluster resources by a Resource DLL.

See also: IP address   print spooler   Resource DLL   


A device that puts text or images on paper or other print media. Examples are laser printers or dot-matrix printers.

See also: logical printer   print spooler   printing pool   

Printer Control Language (PCL)

The page-description language (PDL) developed by Hewlett-Packard for their laser and inkjet printers. Because of the widespread use of laser printers, this command language has become a standard in many printers.

See also: page-description language (PDL)   PostScript   Printer Job Language (PJL)   

printer driver

A program designed to allow other programs to work with a particular printer without concerning themselves with the specifics of the printer`s hardware and internal language. By using printer drivers that handle the subtleties of each printer, programs can communicate properly with a variety of printers.

See also: device driver   

printer fonts

Fonts residing in or intended for a printer. A printer font, usually located in the printer`s read-only memory (ROM), can be internal, downloaded, or on a font cartridge.

See also: device fonts   downloadable fonts   font   font cartridge   

Printer Job Language (PJL)

The printer command language developed by Hewlett Packard that provides printer control at the print-job level. Using PJL commands, you can change default printer settings such as number of copies to print. PJL commands also permit switching printer languages between print jobs without action by the user. If bi-directional communication is supported, a PJL-compatible printer can send information such as printer model and job status to the print server.

See also: page-description language (PDL)   PostScript   Printer Control Language (PCL)   

printer permissions

Permissions that specify the type of access that a user or group has to a printer. The printer permissions are Print, Manage Printers, and Manage Documents.

See also: permission   

Printer window

A window that shows information about any pending print jobs for the printer. For each printer you have installed or to which you are connected, you can view information such as how many documents are waiting to be printed, who owns them, and how large they are. Also called the queue view.

See also: print job   

Printers and Faxes

The folder in Control Panel that contains the Add Printer Wizard and icons for all the printers installed on your computer.

See also: printer   

printing pool

Two or more identical printers that are connected to one print server and act as a single printer. In this case, when you print a document, the print job will be sent to the first available printer in the pool.

See also: print job   printer   

private branch exchange (PBX)

An automatic telephone switching system that enables users within an organization to place calls to each other without going through the public telephone network. Users can also place calls to outside numbers.

private key

The secret half of a cryptographic key pair that is used with a public key algorithm. Private keys are typically used to decrypt a symmetric session key, digitally sign data, or decrypt data that has been encrypted with the corresponding public key.

See also: public key   public key encryption   

private network

A cluster network that supports only node-to-node communication.

See also: cluster   node   

private or public network-to-network interface (PNNI)

The ATM Forum standard that defines the interface between asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) switches in a private network or a public network.

See also: asynchronous transfer mode (ATM)   

private queue

For Message Queuing, a queue that is not published in Active Directory and that can be accessed only by applications that have access to the full format name of the queue.

See also: Active Directory   internal private queue   Message Queuing   public queue   

private volume

A Macintosh-accessible volume that is accessible by only one Macintosh user. For a volume to be a private volume, the permissions on its root directory must give the volume`s owner all three permissions (Make Changes, See Files, and See Folders), while giving the primary group and everyone categories no permissions at all. When a private volume`s owner uses the Chooser to view the volumes available on the server, the private volume is listed; however, no other users can see the private volume when viewing the volumes available on the server.

See also: Chooser   permission   volume   


A user's right to perform a specific task, usually one that affects an entire computer system rather than a particular object. Privileges are assigned by administrators to individual users or groups of users as part of the security settings for the computer.

See also: object   user rights   


The virtual address space and the control information necessary for the execution of a program.

See also: socket   

process identifier (PID)

A numerical identifier that uniquely distinguishes a process while it runs. Use Task Manager to view PIDs.

See also: process   Task Manager   


A set of instructions that a computer uses to perform a specific task, such as word processing, accounting, or data management. Also called an application.

program information file (PIF)

A file that provides information to Windows about how best to run MS-DOS-based programs. When you start an MS-DOS-based program, Windows looks for a PIF to use with it. PIFs contain such items as the name of the file, a start-up directory, and multitasking options.

See also: MS-DOS-based program   


A characteristic or parameter of a class of objects or devices. For example, properties of Microsoft Word files include Size, Created, and Characters.

See also: device   object   property cache   property value   tag   

property cache

For Indexing Service, a file that stores values for document properties.

See also: document   Indexing Service   property   

property value

A specific characteristic or parameter that defines a property. For example, property values of a specific Microsoft Word document could include Size = 10,000 bytes, Created = Jan 2, 1999, and Characters = 5,250.

See also: property   

Protective MBR

The first sector of a GUID partition table (GPT) disk that is structured like the first sector of a master boot record (MBR) disk to prevent x86-based disk utilities from destroying GPT partitions. The Protective MBR contains one partition that reserves the entire space used on the disk by GPT partitions.

See also: Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI)   GUID partition table (GPT)   master boot record (MBR)   x86   


A set of rules and conventions for sending information over a network. These rules govern the content, format, timing, sequencing, and error control of messages exchanged among network devices.

See also: Internet Protocol (IP)   Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)   

protocol parser

A dynamic-link library (DLL) that identifies the protocols used to send a frame onto the network.

See also: dynamic-link library (DLL)   frame   protocol   

proxy server

A firewall component that manages Internet traffic to and from a local area network (LAN) and that can provide other features, such as document caching and access control. A proxy server can improve performance by supplying frequently requested data, such as a popular Web page, and it can filter and discard requests that the owner does not consider appropriate, such as requests for unauthorized access to proprietary files.

See also: local area network (LAN)   


A Windows command-line utility that manages the Password Synchronization component of Identity Management for UNIX, either on a specified computer, or globally.


public key

The nonsecret half of a cryptographic key pair that is used with a public key algorithm. Public keys are typically used when encrypting a session key, verifying a digital signature, or encrypting data that can be decrypted with the corresponding private key.

See also: key   private key   Public Key Cryptography Standards (PKCS)   public key encryption   recovery agent   

public key cryptography

See other term: public key encryption  

Public Key Cryptography Standards (PKCS)

A family of standards for public key cryptography that includes RSA encryption, Diffie-Hellman key agreement, password-based encryption, extended-syntax, cryptographic message syntax, private key information syntax, and certificate request syntax, as well as selected attributes. Developed, owned, and maintained by RSA Data Security, Inc.

See also: public key cryptography   

public key encryption

A method of encryption that uses two encryption keys that are mathematically related. One key is called the private key and is kept confidential. The other is called the public key and is freely given out to all potential correspondents. In a typical scenario, a sender uses the receiver's public key to encrypt a message. Only the receiver has the related private key to decrypt the message. The complexity of the relationship between the public key and the private key means that, provided the keys are long enough, it is computationally infeasible to determine one from the other. Also called asymmetric encryption.

See also: encryption   private key   public key   symmetric encryption   

public key infrastructure (PKI)

The laws, policies, standards, and software that regulate or manipulate certificates and public and private keys. In practice, it is a system of digital certificates, certification authorities, and other registration authorities that verify and authenticate the validity of each party involved in an electronic transaction. Standards for PKI are still evolving, even though they are being widely implemented as a necessary element of electronic commerce.

See also: certification authority (CA)   public key   

public network

A cluster network that supports client-to-cluster communication (either with or without supporting node-to-node communication).

See also: cluster   node   

public queue

For Message Queuing, a queue that is published in Active Directory and replicated throughout a Windows enterprise. Public queues can, therefore, be located by any computer running Message Queuing within the enterprise.

See also: Active Directory   Message Queuing   private queue   queue   

public switched telephone network (PSTN)

Standard analog telephone lines, available worldwide.

pull partner

A WINS component that requests replication of updated WINS database entries from its push partner.

See also: push partner   replica   Windows Internet Name Service (WINS)   

pulse dialing

A form of dialing that enters a phone number by means of pulse frequencies. The user typically hears a series of clicking sounds when dialing. Old-fashioned rotary dial phones use pulse dialing.

See also: touch-tone dialing   

push partner

A WINS component that notifies its pull partner when updated WINS database entries are available for replication.

See also: pull partner   replica   Windows Internet Name Service (WINS)   


See other term: permanent virtual circuit (PVC)  

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