Re: TECHWR-L Digest - 8 Apr 1995 to 9 Apr 1995

Subject: Re: TECHWR-L Digest - 8 Apr 1995 to 9 Apr 1995
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 1995 08:48:55 PDT

>I started out as a non-techie. I was introduced rather early on the the
>concept of "refresh" and have had no trouble learning how this term is
>applied to computer screens. IMHO, if you take a moment to define the
>term, you have educated your audience without offense. In fact, many may
>thank you for it later as they will be less likely to sound ignorant with
>talking to others more knowledgeable about the process.

This might be the case if the term "refresh" were being used properly,
which in this instance it isn't. It's being used in a sloppy,
computer-science jargon manner.

You normally see "refresh" used properly for two phenomena: dynamic
RAMs, which lose their data over time unless you renew it periodically,
and CRTs, which lose their picture over time unless you renew it
periodically. Strictly speaking, "refresh" indicates a process in
which you maintain THE SAME DATA over time, where it would otherwise
fade away. This definition matches the colloquial definitions of
what "refreshing," "refreshments," and a "refresher course" mean.

Using "refresh" to mean "a deferred presentation of new material" is
an overextension of the term. All it has in common with a true
refresh is that the end result is a visible picture on the CRT.

That's a piece of industry slang, which is as likely to confuse as
to enlighten. If the users are outside the industry, I'd just as
soon not burden them with it.

-- Robert

Robert Plamondon * Writer * robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (408) 321-8771
4271 North First Street, #106 * San Jose * California * 95134-1215
"Writing is like plumbing -- even people who know how to do it will
pay top dollar to keep their hands clean."

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