See login account.

active window

The only window that recognizes input (activity) from the keyboard and mouse; only one window is active at a time.

ADAT optical interface

The ADAT optical interface provides a unidirectional point-to-point connection of 8 tracks of 24-bit digital audio, with subcodes, at professional sampling rates, on a single consumer-grade optical fiber. A typical use is for a data connection between multiple ADAT tape decks, for bouncing tracks between decks.

address dial

See SCSI address dial.


See system administrator network administrator.


The AES3-1992 specification of transmission format for digital audio data. This specification is also commonly referred to as AES/EBU. See also ANSI S4.4-1992 and IEC958, Audio Engineering Society, Inc., Vol. 40, No. 3, 1992, New York, NY 10165. For more information on this specification, see


An information document describing implementation of AES3-1992 (see above attribution) using 75-ohm coaxial cable with 1 V peak-to-peak signal levels. See

back up

To copy files and directories from your hard disk to a tape.

backup tape

A tape that contains a copy of the files and directories on your hard disk. A full backup tape contains a copy of all files and directories, including IRIX, on your hard disk.

baud rate

The speed (calculated as bits per second) at which the computer sends information to a serial device, such as a modem or terminal.


The frame that holds the front cover. It attaches to the front of the chassis.

blank panel

A piece of plastic or metal that covers openings in the chassis. A blank panel may be in front of an empty drive bay, an empty graphics board slot, an empty PCI module opening, or an empty PCI slot.


To start the system by turning on the workstation and monitor; the system is fully booted when you see the console login: prompt or the login screen.


On a mouse, a button is a switch that you press with your finger. In a window on your screen, a button is a labeled rectangle that you click using the cursor and mouse.


A flat metallic disk that contains information that you can view and copy onto your own hard disk; you cannot change or add to its information. CD-ROM is short for compact disc read-only memory.


The exterior metal framework of the workstation that contains its working parts.


To press the left mouse button to display a popup menu, move the cursor to highlight a command, and then release the button.


To press and immediately release a mouse button.

compression connector

A specialized connector with two halves. One-half of each connector resides on the frontplane. The other half resides on the module or XIO board to which it is attached: the system module, the PCI module, or the XIO graphics or option boards.The connector on the frontplane has pads; the connector on the module or board side has bristles. The compression connector must always be covered when a board or module is out of the Octane2 workstation. It is easily damaged. See Appendix A, “Care and Cleaning of Compression Connectors”.

compression connector cap

A cap that fits over a compression connector and protects it from being damaged by dust, finger oil, scratches, dents, and so on. The cap must be on a compression connector attached to a module or XIO board whenever the board or module is out of the Octane2 workstation.

configuration file

A system file that you change to customize the way your system behaves. Such files are sometimes referred to as customization files.

confidence test

A test that you run to make sure a particular device (such as the keyboard, mouse, or drive) is set up and working properly.


Hardware at the end of a cable that lets you fasten the cable to an outlet, port, or other connector. A connector can also be on a PCI or graphics board and attaches to a connector on the end of a cable.

console window

The window that appears as a stowed icon each time you log in; IRIX reports all status and error messages to this window.

CPU board

The printed circuit board within your workstation chassis that contains the central processing unit (CPU) and its associated cache memory. The processor board plugs into the system module in the Octane2 workstation.

current working directory

The directory within the filesystem in which you are located when you are working in a shell window.


The small arrow or other shape on the screen that follows the movements of the mouse. It may change shape depending on its location on the screen.


Digital Audio Tape. A magnetic tape from which you can read and to which you can copy audio and digital media.


Decibels relative to 1Vrms. To calculate the dBV value for “x” Vrms, use 20log10(x/1Vrms).

default printer

The printer to which the system directs a print request if you do not specify a printer when you make the request. You set the default printer using the Print Manager.


A set of behaviors that Silicon Graphics specifies on every system. You can later change these specifications, which range from how your screen looks to what type of drive you want to use to install new software.


A series of tests that check the hardware components of your system.


Dual inline memory module. A small printed circuit board with DRAM (dynamic random access memory) chips. DIMMs are made in various types and densities. Only one type and one density can be used in a DIMM bank.

DIMM socket

A long thin female connector located on the system board into which you insert a DIMM.


A special file in the filesystem in which you store other directories and files.

disk resource

Any disk (hard, tape, CD-ROM, or floppy) that you can access either because it is physically attached to your workstation with a cable or because it is available over the network using NFS.

disk use

The percentage of space on your disk that contains information.


To press and release a button twice, very rapidly. When you double-click an icon, it opens into a window; when you double-click the window Menu button, the window closes.


To press and hold down a mouse button, and then move the mouse. This action drags the cursor to move icons or to highlight menu items.


A hardware device that lets you access information on various forms of media, such as hard and floppy disks, CD-ROM disks, and magnetic tapes.

drive address

See SCSI address.


To use NFS software to make all or part of your filesystem available to other users and systems on the network.

external device

Any piece of hardware that is attached to the workstation with a cable.

female connector

A connector that has indentations or holes into which you plug a male connector. An example of a female connector is an electrical wall outlet that accepts an electrical plug.


An area in a window in which you can enter text.


A set of disk blocks in which you store information such as text, programs, or images that you created using an application.


A hierarchy of directories and files. Directories contain other directories and files; files cannot contain directories. The root (/) directory is at the top of the hierarchy.


A window containing buttons that you must click and/or fields in which you must enter text.


The circuit board that connects PCI and XIO boards to the system board.

GB (gigabyte)

The abbreviation for a standard unit for measuring the information storage capacity of disks and memory; 1,024 megabytes equal one gigabyte, in most cases.


A port on the graphics board to which you attach a cable that attaches to an external video source. This allows you to synchronize local video to video from various external sources.

graphics board

The printed circuit board within your workstation that contains the graphics processors. Graphics boards reside on the XIO module.

grounded electrical outlet

An electrical wall outlet that accepts a plug with a grounding prong. In the U.S.A., all three-prong outlets are grounded.


The protocol that controls the flow of information between a workstation and a printer.


To change the color of an item on the screen by positioning the cursor over it, or by positioning the cursor over it and pressing a mouse button.

home directory

The active directory each time you log in. It is specified in your login account; you own this directory and, typically, all its contents.


Any system connected to the network.


The name that uniquely identifies each host (system) on the network.

human factors guidelines

A set of standards and suggestions for making your physical working environment more comfortable and healthy.


A small picture that represents a stowed or closed file, directory, application, or IRIX process.


The Silicon Graphics online search tool that finds information by keyword, topic, or task. InfoSearch seeks information in all information sources: man (reference) pages, online books, application help, release notes, and task cards. InfoSearch is located in the Toolchest.

internal drive

A drive that fits inside the workstation and connects to an internal port; it is never connected with a cable to a visible external port. An internal drive is occasionally referred to as a front-loading drive.


Input/Output signals to and from graphics/XIO boards and PCI boards.

IP address

A number that uniquely identifies each host (system) on a TCP/IP network.


The Silicon Graphics version of the UNIX operating system. See also system software.


A mouse-and window-based text editor included with the IRIX operating system.

KB (kilobyte)

The abbreviation for a standard unit for measuring the information storage capacity of disks and memory (RAM and ROM); 1024 bytes equal one kilobyte, in most cases.


To start an application, often by double-clicking an icon.


Light-Emitting Diode. A light on a piece of hardware that indicates status or error conditions.

local workstation

The physical workstation whose keyboard and mouse you are using, all hardware that is connected to that workstation, and all software that resides on that hardware or its removable media.


A long piece of metal with a hole on the end that you slide through the chassis. It allows you to secure the workstation with a lock and locking cable. The drives, frontplane, system module (containing the CPU and DIMMs) are inaccessible when the lockbar is locked in the system.

log in

To give the system your login name so you can start a session on the workstation.

log out

To end a session on the workstation.

login account

A database of information about each user that consists of, at the minimum, the login name, user ID, and home directory.

login name

A name that uniquely identifies a user to the system.

login screen

The window that you see after powering on the system, before you can access files and directories. The window contains one icon for each login account on the system.

male connector

A connector that has raised edges, pins, or other protruding parts that you plug into a female connector. An example of a male connector is an electrical plug that you plug into a wall outlet.

man (manual) page

An online document that describes how to use a particular IRIX command. Also called reference page.

MB (megabyte)

The abbreviation for a standard unit for measuring the information storage capacity of disks and memory (RAM and ROM); 1024 kilobytes equal one megabyte, in most cases.


A list of operations or commands that the workstation can perform on various objects on the screen.


A hardware device that displays the images, windows, and text with which you interact to use the system. It is also called a video display terminal (VDT).

monitor cable

The cable that connects the monitor to the workstation to transmit video signals.

monitor power cable

The cable that connects the monitor to the workstation to provide power to the monitor. It is thick, with a male connector on one end and a female connector on the other.


To make a filesystem that is stored on a local or remote disk resource accessible from a specific directory on your workstation.

mount point

The directory on your workstation from which you access information that is stored on a local or remote disk resource.


A hardware device that you use to communicate with windows and icons. You move the mouse to move the cursor on the screen, and you press its buttons to initiate operations.

mouse pad

For an optical mouse, this is the rectangular, metallic surface that reads the movements of the mouse. For a mechanical mouse, this is a clean, smooth, rectangular surface that allows the mouse's track ball to roll efficiently.


NEdit is a graphical user interface (GUI) text editor. NEdit provides all the standard menu, dialog, editing, and mouse support found in modern GUI-based environments.


A group of computers and other devices (such as printers) that communicate with each other electronically to transfer and share information.

network administrator

The individual(s) responsible for setting up, maintaining, and troubleshooting the network, and for supplying setup information to system administrators of each system.


A form that appears on the monitor when the system requires that you confirm an operation that you just requested, or when an error occurs.


To double-click or select an icon, and then choose Open from a menu to display information that the icon represents.

option drive

Any drive other than the system disk. Option drives include floppy disk drives, secondary hard disk drives, or DAT drives.


Openings in the hardware to which you attach connectors to make electrical connections.

parallel port

An outlet on the workstation to which you connect external printers and similar devices.


A combination of letters and/or numbers that only you know; it is analogous to a key and prevents unauthorized access to your system. It is an optional element of your login account. If you specify a password for your account, you must type it after you type your login name before the system lets you access files and directories.


The list of directories that leads you from the root (/) directory to a specific file or directory in the filesystem.


Peripheral Component Interconnect (a bus specification). The PCI bus is a high-performance local bus used to connect peripherals to memory and a microprocessor. A wide range of vendors make devices that plug into the PCI bus.

PCI I/O blank panel

A metal panel that fits on a slot in the I/O door. It must be in place if a PCI board is not installed in the corresponding slot in the PCI module.


A hardware device that adds more functionality to the basic workstation, such as a tape drive. See also external device and internal drive.


An outlet to which you attach cable connectors.

power cable

The cable that connects the workstation to a grounded electrical outlet.

power off

To turn off the power switches on the workstation chassis and the monitor.

power-on diagnostics

A series of tests that automatically checks the hardware components of your system each time you turn it on.

power supply

The piece of hardware in the Octane2 chassis that directs power from an electrical outlet to the chassis, monitor, and internal SCSI devices.

Printer Manager

A tool that you access through either the System toolchest or the System Manager. Use it to set up printer software and monitor jobs that you send to the printer.

PROM monitor

The interface that you use to communicate with the system after it is powered on, but before it is booted and running IRIX.


A character or word that the system displays in an IRIX shell; it indicates that the system is ready to accept commands. The default prompt for regular user accounts is %; the default prompt for the root account is #.


To stop running an application.

reference page

See man (manual) page.

remote workstation, drive, disk, filesystem, or printer

A hardware device, or the information or media it contains, that you can access across the network; it is not physically connected to your workstation.

reset button

A button on the workstation that you can press, to power off and then immediately restart. Never press this button while IRIX is running unless all attempts to shut down the system using software fail. See also shut down.

restore (files)

To copy files from a disk or a tape back to the hard disk on which the files originally resided.

root account

The standard IRIX login account reserved for use by the system administrator. This account's home directory is the root (/) directory of the filesystem; the user of the root account has full access to the entire filesystem (that is, that user can change and delete any file or directory). The user of this account is sometimes referred to as the superuser.

root (/) directory

The directory at the top of the filesystem hierarchy.


The portion of the monitor that displays information.


Small Computer System Interface (pronounced “scuzzy”). SCSI is a high-speed input/output specification for small computers. The Octane2 workstation is SCSI-3 compliant and supports two Ultra fast/wide/single-ended SCSI buses, each capable of transferring data at 40 MB per second.

SCSI address

A number from one to seven that uniquely identifies a SCSI device to a system. No two SCSI devices that are physically connected to the same SCSI bus can have the same SCSI address.

SCSI address dial

A small plastic dial connected to some SGI external SCSI devices. Click its small buttons to select a SCSI address for a new SCSI device.

SCSI bus length

The combined length of all internal and external SCSI cables in a system for each SCSI bus.

SCSI cable

A cable that connects a SCSI device to a SCSI port on a workstation.

SCSI device

A hardware device that uses the SCSI protocol to communicate with the system. Hard disks and floppy disks, CD-ROM drives, and tape drives are all SCSI devices. See also SCSI.

SCSI terminator

An electronics device, often an external plug, that is required at the end of each SCSI bus. The Octane2 workstation uses active terminators only on an external SCSI or Ultra-SCSI device, not on the workstation itself.


To position the cursor over an icon, and then click the left mouse button. Once an icon is highlighted, it is the object of whatever operation you select from a menu.

serial device

Any hardware device that requires a serial cable connection to communicate with the workstation.

serial port

An outlet on the workstation to which you connect external serial devices.


A system that other systems on the network access to use its disk space, software, or services.


A window into which you type IRIX commands.

shielded cable

A cable with a protective covering that reduces the possibility of interference with radio, television, and other devices.

shut down

To safely close all files, log out, and bring the workstation to a state in which you can safely power it off. From Toolchest > System, choose System Shutdown.

software option

Any software product that you buy from SGI, other than the standard operating system software included on your system disk.

standalone workstation

A workstation that is not connected to a network.

static electricity

Whenever your body comes in physical contact with metal parts (including printed circuit boards) of computer equipment, there is the potential for you to feel an electrical shock (electrostatic discharge, or ESD), which could damage the equipment. To prevent this, you must always wear a wrist strap when working with the internal parts of a workstation.


A port on the graphics board to which you attach a cable that attaches to StereoView (3D) glasses or a StereoView (3D) headset.

Swap Ready

A port on the graphics board to which you attach a cable that attaches to another computer. This allows you to synchronize buffer swap events across the two computers using a double buffer application.


A user with root privileges. You become a superuser by logging in as root, by typing su at the shell prompt, or by running programs set up to run as root. See also system administrator.


All the workstation hardware and software.

system administration

The tasks associated with setting up, maintaining, and troubleshooting a networked or standalone system.

system administrator

The individual responsible for setting up, maintaining, and troubleshooting a system. The system administrator uses the root login account to perform most administrative tasks.

system crash

This occurs when the IRIX operating system fails and the system does not accept any keyboard or mouse input.

system disk

The physical disk that contains the standard IRIX operating system software.

System Manager

A set of tools that the administrator uses to set up and manage the Silicon Graphics workstation. You access the System Manager through the System toolchest.

system software

The standard IRIX operating system software and Silicon Graphics tools. These are included on the system disk and on the CD that you use in the event of a system crash.

System toolchest

The toolchest in the upper left-hand corner of the screen labeled “System.” You start system tools, such as System Manager, using this menu.


A standard networking protocol that is included in the system software.


The ridged knob attached to a screw in a cable connector. You turn it to secure the connector to an outlet.


To make a filesystem that is accessible from a specific directory on your workstation temporarily inaccessible.


Hardware or software that you add to the basic workstation to increase performance, such as additional memory (DIMMs), a higher capacity CPU, more powerful graphics boards, and so on.

user ID (UID)

A number that uniquely identifies a user to the system.

Watt (average)

Average power in watts 1Wave=1Vrms x 1Arms. (Watt [average] refers to audio power, often quoted as Watts rms).


A portion of the screen that you can manipulate that contains text or graphics.


An assembly of hardware that includes a system board, graphics board, CPU, memory, system disk, and power supply. A workstation can include more than one of each component as well as optional boards that add functionality. The hardware is enclosed in a chassis with a cover. The addition of a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and software makes it a working system.

wrist strap

A flat cable that you wrap around your wrist and attach to a metal part of the workstation whenever you work with internal components of the workstation. This prevents electrical shocks to yourself and the components. See also static electricity.

XIO boards

High-speed boards produced by Silicon Graphics such as graphics, networking, disk interface, or video boards.